I have watched the rise of the morally bankrupt Christian fundamentalist mind-set in America with equal parts disgust and sadness and bemusement, all overlaid with a general sense that just about everything these people do is pretty much the exact opposite of what Jesus had in mind. Which is exactly what makes them so dangerous.
I have seen the big pharmcos work like intestinal worms to create a nation of jittery and confused prescription-drug addicts, Big Auto refuse to improve mpg or cop to the overall abusive idiocy of the monster SUV, heard the president mutter the actual words, "We do not torture," as the United States quickly becomes, in its global actions and disregard for all things humanitarian, little better than the fundamentalist terrorists it claims to despise.
And lo, it is bleak and nasty and gray as death's own gum disease.
On the other hand, I have seen new voices of protest being born straight out of the pious machinery of fundamentalist ignorance. I have seen the coolly blasphemous alt-spirituality segment of the bookstore explode and flourish and make a calm mockery of the belief that godhood is somehow unattainable to calm and open-hearted people right here, right now.
Community is flourishing in new and astounding forms, via 10 thousand blogs and 10 million photo-sharing Web pages and countless bizarre blinking winking communication devices, our frayed human interconnections constantly regenerating in new and unexpected ways, like nerve endings after a traumatic accident.
(thanks, as always, to GWPDA for the hat tip)