A reader writes:
The video you link to of the guy smashing his work computer because he sees a reference to porn almost perfectly encapsulates the modern Conservative movement in the US, and even more broadly the approach of religious conservatives to things they don't like. Notice that the star of the spot can't simply close the window. He can't just click through to a different screen. Instead, his reaction is violent--he has to destroy the computer.
Does that suggest he can't handle the temptation?
I'm almost reminded of the crazy conservatives in Afghanistan who can't handle goats without diapers, since they might be too tempting. Or with conservative Islam which requires that women cover themselves completely and remain quiet, because to do otherwise would tempt men too much.
Well: it was supposed to be humorous, of course, but the violent lashing out is still revealing, I'd say. Another reader writes:
Watching this video as a woman, it's more than creepy -- it's terrifying. What if the boss that came in and handed him a cup of coffee weren't an older man, but a beautiful woman in a skirt and open blouse? What would the subtext be in this case -- having just seen him absolutely rip apart and destroy the computer with the tempting images?
The fundamentalist psyche is deeply terrified by the choices of modernity, and fundamentalism's refusal to allow for small or moderate concessions to human nature makes a violent response to temptation almost inevitable. In a way, that was 9/11 and much Jihadist violence: a lashing out at those more at home and successful in the modern world than they are. Notice that no one in the fundamentalist Christian video seems particularly concerned that the guy has destroyed someone else's property either. Fighting evil often seems to incur collateral damage. Ask the Iraqis.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.