Reading The Sun's pious outrage at U.S. Marines urinating on dead Taliban fighters reminded me of Nietzsche's remarks on decadent religions — cultures so wrapped up in the make-belief worlds of the afterlife that they've come to devalue life in this world ("Despicable and destructive," Jan. 13).

But instead of hand-wringing about the sacredness of dead bodies, how about harnessing the new-found appreciation of humanity among the Taliban and Afghan President Hamid Karzai to draw attention to the barbaric and inhumane practices that are accepted as the cultural standard in their region?

Those would include the systematic de-humanization of women, the celestial rewards promised to psychopaths for slaughtering women and children and the mass murder of "infidels."

The intolerance and religious discrimination that the Taliban died fighting for, and their concept of genocide as a foreign policy goal (as in Iran's attitude toward Israel), offer a far more worthwhile "teachable moment" than any temporary lapse in judgment on the part of a few Marines.

J. Christoph Amberger, Towson