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Sat Aug 30, 2014, 06:20 AM

Punishing Africa for Buying Our Exports


Punishing Africa for Buying Our Exports
by Tina Dupuy | August 29, 2014 - 9:38am

In the 1600s, self-exiled English established the first two European settlements in the New World: Jamestown and Plymouth. One thrived on growing tobacco from ill-gotten Spanish seeds. The other thrived on the freedom to practice their religion.

These two seemingly contradicting ideas—religious fervor and capitalism—are foundational to America. Pre-dating, well, our founding. These two currents have co-existed in this part of the world for 400 years.

Historically this is what the U.S. has given to the world: our odd balance of piety and profit; religion turning a blind eye to lucrative vice and enterprise tipping a hat to spiritual mores (when it’s good for business). Hobby Lobby is a perfect example of this: For economic reasons their retirement plan invests in companies that make birth control and for religious reasons they want to disincentivize their employees from taking those same medications.

And much to my chagrin, what we haven’t done is be a leader in human rights: We eradicated slavery long after Europe. We were far from the first on women’s suffrage. We’re the only Western nation to still execute our own citizens.

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