And the award for the most ridiculous non-sequitur of the year….

The award goes to Dan Henninger, writing in the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal. (Well, it had to be there, or the NRO, or the Weekly Standard, didn’t it?) So, what caused the financial melt-down? We’re talking about a crisis brought on by Republican-inspired deregulation, and overseen by a government of Republican Christianists, whose power base lies in the southern parts of the USA…
Dan starts off well:

What really went missing through the subprime mortgage years were the three Rs: responsibility, restraint and remorse. They are the ballast that stabilizes two better-known Rs from the world of free markets: risk and reward.

Well, that makes sense. After all, the absence of “responsibility, restraint and remorse” has defined the Bush years, from foreign policy to deficits, to energy and taxation. And as Dan emphasizes…

Responsibility and restraint are moral sentiments. Remorse is a product of conscience. None of these grow on trees. Each must be learned, taught, passed down.

Very good. And the reason why responsibility and restraint have failed us is…? (Fasten seat belt: prepare for neck-snapping non-sequitur.)

And so we come back to the disappearance of “Merry Christmas.”
It has been my view that the steady secularizing and insistent effort at dereligioning America has been dangerous. That danger flashed red in the fall into subprime personal behavior by borrowers and bankers, who after all are just people. Northerners and atheists who vilify Southern evangelicals are throwing out nurturers of useful virtue with the bathwater of obnoxious political opinions.
The point for a healthy society of commerce and politics is not that religion saves, but that it keeps most of the players inside the chalk lines. We are erasing the chalk lines.

Breathtaking. I guess he subscribes to the notion that if you’re going to say something silly, make it outrageously silly. I particularly liked the idea of how dangerous secularizing “flashed red in the fall into subprime personal behavior by borrowers and bankers, who after all are just people”. (What else would they be – apes? Oh, wait….)
(Tip o’ the hat to PZ.)

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