For those of you who come here via the Twitter–and that’s gotta be 99.9% of you, because this is not exactly a website in everyone’s bookmark bar–you’ve probably noticed a lot of bird pictures in my feed lately, to the point of outnumbering shitposts, infosec and political discourse.

There is a reason for that: it keeps me sane. Birds are, while not everyone’s interest to the degree that they are mine, at least a neutral common ground for the most part. Nobody has negative feelings about birds in general other than in regard to the deposits they leave on parked cars’ windshields. And these tiny dinosaurs can cause giant seratonin dumps, helping to wash over the other stupidity of the day.

But we can’t all agree on birds. We can’t, it seems, agree about anything whatsoever. And this is because there is a fundamental disconnect between the *morals* and *ethics* of people who are indoctrinated into an ideology of absolutism and those who are not.

A normal, unindoctrinated person would be able to, say, engage with the ethics of policing, of privacy, of individual autonomy, of reproductive heath, and not feel the need to get involved in how another person lives their lives if it doesn’t directly infringe on others’ privacy and livelihood. Such a person could be against abortion in general for moral reasons–but also understand that there are times when an abortion is necessary because of other mitigating circumstances, that other people have other situations that might require such a decision, and therefore abortions should be available and the reasons for them are NONE OF THEIR FUCKING BUSINESS.

But there are a group of people with outsized power in this country who believe their moral position–established by people who interpret teachings that are thousands of years old and were refined and used to shore up the power of a threatened autocratic elite for much of the last two millenia–is absolutely right, and that the autonomy of individuals over their bodies (among other things) is secondary to the imposition of moral absolutism on this country. A country, mind you, that was created by the usurpation of its territory by people who were largely fleeing the moral absolutism of a state church and the wars spurred by religious and nationalist differences in Europe. (A gross oversimplification, but you get my drift.)

“Freedom” and “Liberty” mean entirely different things to this group of people, who see them as meaning “freedom to make everyone live the way we intrepret a mistranslated anthology of pre-Roman Jewish origin stories and post-Roman gnostic letters to tell us to, along with some arbitrary racism and the desire to keep things the way they never were but that we wish they had been.” Unfortunately, a majority of the Supreme Court is now made up of members of this death cult and people who carry water for them because they like the feel of authoritarianism.

And let us be clear, the “morals” of these people are flexible when it comes to achieving their ends. They will happily support the most vile, counter-Biblical lying, cheating, adulterer they can find who will promise them what they want and not care a mustard seed about the damage done in the process. The consequences of their actions matter not, only that they see their aims as holy and pure and fuck everyone that gets in their way.

They will not fight fair. They never have. Ask the Sioux. Ask the generations of enslaved who they used religion as an excuse to keep enslaved. Ask the survivors of their moral cousins who tried to exterminate the Jews.

Abortion is just the beginning. Clarence Thomas made it clear that they’re coming for everything that they see as “immoral,” even though his own marriage was made legal by the same interpretation of the Constitution that was the basis of Roe. They want America to look like Putin’s Russia: no LGBTQ rights, a cowed intelligentsia and press, and wrapped in religious legitimacy.

The Democrats are, sadly, infected with them as well or afraid to act against them, blabbering about how history bends toward justice blah blah blah. They worry about inflation and the economy and the pain points that the other side uses to win with the masses.

It’s time to do something more than just vote.

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