The New Gospel according to the Left

Hold on to your Bibles, folks. A new preacher is heading into town.

Slowly over the last week, the liberals have been coming around to the idea that, perhaps, the election defeat they just suffered was due to morals. Perhaps. Liberal columnist after liberal columnist is mentioning morals and values with the tentative acceptance that, yes, vast numbers of people turned up at the polls to pull a lever for someone who, they thought, had a more moral platform.

For them, this is very difficult to accept and understand. They just simply don’t think like that. To them, it’s the economy, stupid. It’s the war in Iraq. It’s things that really MATTER.

So, at first it began with the left saying, “What’s the matter with these people? Don’t they know that the Democrats want to help them? Why do they support tax cuts for the rich when they are so poor?” Ignoring the fact that the increase in the child tax credit helped EVERY taxpayer who had children or that the revisions to the marriage penalty taxes helped EVERY dual income married couple (who pays taxes) regardless of income. They make it seem as though nobody from middle America actually pays taxes.

Then, the left began to ponder if all those exit polls could possibly be true. “People who thought morals were important voted overwhelmingly for Bush.” They lament the ignorance of these people, the apparent hatred and close-mindedness of those who are not in favor of gay marriage. Who needs them anyway, they think. Yuck, we can’t embrace idiots and bigots. We are so much better than they are.

Then the reality: oh, we can’t win an election if we DON’T embrace them.

“Whatever shall we do?” they cry with all the drama of a Southern Belle.

And now, they are starting to formulate a plan. And here it is: they need to take back some moral high ground. They need to prove to the American people that they are moral too by pointing out how moral they are and how immoral the Republicans are on some issues.

Notice the “some issues” caveat. And here’s where the New Gospel according to the Left gets published. You see, they CAN NOT side with conservatives on the two biggest moral issues going: abortion and gay marriage. They just can’t do it. Too much of their base is made up of those who support views completely divergent from those of MOST of America (#1 abortion on demand from conception until about 10 minutes after birth and #2 total acceptance of homosexual relationships as equal to that of heterosexual relationships). MOST Americans think first trimester abortions are ok and MOST Americans care little about what goes on in someone’s bedroom privately. But the hard core liberals don’t want mere tolerance and certainly don’t want to be secretive about their lives. They want to indoctrinate new generations into total acceptance of abortion and gay marriage with no caveats. They want to suppress any religious views that say otherwise. The only intolerance allowed is intolerance of the religious. And the rest of the party follows along in fear of losing that base.

So, here comes the new list of morals that the Democrats have the upper hand in:

#1 The war in Iraq. This war is immoral, they believe. And they want us to believe it too. They will begin to quote from the Pope, soon, I’m sure, to regain those Catholics who for the first time in a long time actually favored a Republican over a Democrat. The problem with this issue comes if the elections go well and the Iraqis begin to manage their own affairs. I expect some odd behavior on the part of Democrats to actually THWART democracy in Iraq so that they can hold on to this issue. No kidding.

#2 Gay marriage. What? How can they win the moral high ground here? By turning the issue around. We need to look at the coin from the other side, they’ll suggest. Gay marriage is GOOD. Gay marriage is MORAL. It means these couples are monogamous. It means these couples can help take care of unwanted children through adoption – children who might otherwise be aborted. {If you don’t allow gay marriage, the blood of some babies will be on your hands, they’ll suggest.} These couples love each other. Their relationship should be given equal weight to that of heterosexual relationships. These couples just want to live fulfilled lives and anyone who is opposed to that is guilty of hatred, bigotry, and the confused notion of supremacy. It is IMMORAL to be hate-filled. It is EVIL to be bigoted. And then the tear-jerker arguments: a dying man unable to see his partner in the hospital, a loving “spouse” left penniless when her partner dies without a will, a stay-at-home dad with no health insurance because his “husband” can’t claim him as a dependent at work. And it’s all the fault of the right-wing conservatives who think their God wants them to oppress people. Jesus preached love and forgiveness and tolerance. What WOULD Jesus do? Approve gay marriage, of course. He probably would have done it in the Bible if that had been an issue back then, but since he couldn’t foresee the future (he was just a man, you see), he couldn’t preach on the topic.

#3 The poor. Yes, the poor will once again get dragged into the political arena. This time, though, any idea other than a government controlled “steal from the rich and give to the poor” program will be touted as immoral. We MUST help the poor and the only acceptable way is to highly tax the rich to fund all sorts programs for everybody else. It is IMMORAL for someone who makes $500,000 a year to be able to keep it all for themselves. And these evil (by default) people can not be trusted to fund the proper programs, so it is only fair for the government to take about half of that income to give to those less fortunate. Should the current administration succeed in getting some faith-based programs well established with government funds, expect that a liberal administration would seek to regulate the faith in these programs to ensure that those helped are well protected from any religious influence.

So, start watching for that new preacher. The one who will tell you that gay marriage is good. The one who will talk about innocent life in Iraq (and be silent on innocent life in the womb). Be prepared to be lectured on the new reality of good and evil. Their best hope is to get these positions established as bono fide moral issues. And then get people to look at HOW MANY issues the Democrats have the upper hand in. They will not try to win abortion, but will try to win as many other issues as they can in the hopes that America will see them as more moral because they are better on more issues. {This is like trying to convince someone that FIVE pennies is better than TWO dimes. It works great for a simpleton, but won’t cut it with anyone with an IQ exceeding 80.}

And now, my suggestions to the Democrats, not that anyone would really listen. I think the Democrats need do only two things to win. I still wouldn’t vote for them, but I think most Americans would fall for these ideas. If you want to take back middle America, here’s all you have to do:

#1 On gay marriage: do not side with the gays and lesbians on gay marriage, especially on a federal level. State that you think the states, particularly the PEOPLE in the states, should be able to decide for themselves. Do not support a mandate that one state accept another state’s gay marriage. Support civil unions only, except where a popular vote indicates marriage as acceptable. I think most Americans would “tolerate” civil unions. Promote this tolerance.

#2 On abortion: do not side with abortion on demand. Support parental notification. Denounce partial-birth abortion. I think most Americans would be satisfied if they were sure their daughters were protected and if they were spared the gruesome details of partial-birth abortion. I think the left has made enough people reluctant to criticize a woman who is unexpectedly pregnant who feels she has no choice but to abort the baby. There is enough talk about the health or life of the woman or those who were victims of rape or incest to make people feel that there might be a reason to allow an exception in favor of abortion.

Although neither of those new positions would change my mind, I think many, many Americans would be more comfortable in siding with the Democrats if these more moderate stances were adopted. In my opinion, however, the left is too entrenched in the radical policies of its base to change, this time. It will take yet another defeat when their new morality is not accepted before they will begin to change.

And my advice to my right-wing politically minded friends: stay alert. Be ready to confront this new way of thinking before it takes hold in your less conscientious friends. Be prepared to reiterate that the issue of abortion is much more important that any other moral issue. With regard to other issues like the war or helping the poor, be ready to talk about ways that the Republicans try to accomplish much of the same thing. Remember, conservatives (most of us) have a different idea of HOW to help the poor. The methodology is not a question of morality, it is merely a different idea. It is not immoral for the government to support greater charitable giving from an individual to a charity (as opposed to the socialist idea that the government will take it all and THEY will decide how to fairly distribute it). Gird your loins, friends, we’ve got work to do.

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poem

I am a Christian
by Maya Angelou

When I say… “I am a Christian”
I’m not shouting “I’m clean livin.”
I’m whispering “I was lost,”
Now I’m found and forgiven.

When I say…”I am a Christian”
I don’t speak of this with pride.
I’m confessing that I stumble
and need CHRIST to be my guide.

When I say… “I am a Christian”
I’m not trying to be strong.
I’m professing that I’m weak
and need HIS strength to carry on.

When I say… “I am a Christian”
I’m not bragging of success.
I’m admitting I have failed
and need God to clean my mess.

When I say… “I am a Christian”
I’m not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible but,
God believes I am worth it.

When I say… “I am a Christian”
I still feel the sting of pain,
I have my share of heartaches
So I call upon His name.

When I say… “I am a Christian”
I’m not holier than thou,
I’m just a simple sinner
who received God’s good grace, somehow.

post election ruminations

It is two days after election day. I am thankful that the ordeal is over and hope we can all get back to the business of being Americans and not pro-Bushies or pro-Kerries or anti-Kerries or anti-Bushies. I am thankful that we do not have a drawn out process full of hanging chads and recounts and litigation.

I am completely saddened at the high level of negetive emotions that have been displayed over the last few months. From my perspective, the anti-Bushies (the Michael Moore devoutees) have been completely consumed by a hatred directed at the person of George Bush. They desire, not only, to see him removed from office, but actually wish physical harm to come his way. Wouldn’t it be nice, they ponder, if someone just simply assassinated him?

I do not see this level of ill-will directed at John Kerry. I myself do not like the man’s policies. I have no opinion of him as a person, beyond my usual judgement about his character (or lack thereof). I admit that I have high standards when it comes to evaluating a person’s integrity, but the consolation I offer is forgiveness for not meeting those high standards. In other words, I have limited respect for the policies and values of someone who does not uphold my high standards, but I readily say, “It’s not his fault – he’s just swallowed the notion that morality is dictated by popular vote and not natural law.”

Of course, forgiveness for this mentality does not equate to any desire to see the person running the country.

But at least my attitude to John Kerry is one of annoyance at his limited viewpoint, his failure to understand human nature, his insistence of believing falsehoods as truths. But hatred? No. Especially not directed at him personally.

So, my thoughts go back four years to our last election. Was the level of hatred the same? I definitely did not feel intense hatred towards Al Gore. My attitude was much the same as that towards John Kerry. I had no desire to see him President, but did not feel all consumed by an intense loathing of him or his policies. I do think the personal hatred toward George Bush began four years ago with the perceived notion that he stole the election. But, of course, those who hated him had a limited arsenal of things to hate – he hadn’t done anything yet.

But I force myself to go back even farther to the years of Bill Clinton. Did conservatives have the same sort of personal hatred toward Clinton as the liberals have toward Bush? My instictive answer is “No…no way!” And it’s an emphatic answer, too. Yet every time I try to recall those emotions I felt those many years ago, my mind turns from the task. This leads me to suspect that the emotions did, in fact, run deep. The man’s bulbous nose still evokes a roiling of the stomach. Of all the people on the planet, I think Clinton would be one of the last I’d be interested in meeting. Perhaps his wife is #2. Did I wish him death? Perhaps I might have hoped for a sudden heart attack….except of course, that this would mean an Al Gore presidency. I am pretty sure that I never wished upon him the agonizing death I’ve heard desribed by one anti-Bushie who wanted to personally shoot the president with numerous shots to his extremities in the hopes of a slow and painful death.

So, did I hate the man, Bill Clinton? Yes, at the time I directed my hatred to the man AND his policies and not just to the policies. Do I still hate the man? No. He repulses me, but that’s not hatred. That’s the same gut reaction one might have when accosted by a beggar with leprosy. It is not an appropriate reaction, but a purely human one.

Will the anti-Bushies hate the man, George Bush, ten years from now? It is undoubtedly true. Liberals continue to despise Ronald Reagan and rejoice in his demise. They probably would have rejoiced in his illness, except that his mind was not able to comprehend it, and they would wish upon him an end of full consciousness of its misery.

What baffles me most, though, about these hate mongers who personally depise the President and wish him and his family and anyone like them ill, is THEIR insistance that conservatives are filled with hate. It seems to me a case of pointing out the splinter in your neighbor’s eye while ignoring the log in your own.

I know that most of the problem stems from the perception that the policies of social conservatives are xyz-ophobic or anti-abc. If we oppose gay marriage, we are homophobic. If we oppose illegal immigration, we are xenophobic. If we oppose abortion, we are anti-woman. If we oppose high taxes, we are anti-poor.

I’m sure the farthest thing from their minds is that social conservatives envision a better America…a more loving America…a freer America.

I explained to Bill last night: I think there was a time when society cared most about producing a better society. And that meant, promoting good and protecting children. It meant enforcing public decency. It meant encouraging behavior that was best for children and families, the building blocks of society and the seed of the future. It meant personal sacrifice for the good of all.

Today, this concept is seen as oppressive. We have freedom of speech, which includes foul language in public places. We have freedom of expression, which includes the right of young people to wear revealing clothing and grope each other in public. We have freedom of religion, which includes the right to attack or belittle other religions. We believe that no one, and certainly not the government, has any right to infringe upon our ability to do whatever we want and whenever we want. We can marry…we can divorce. If children are hurt by this, too bad.

Speaking of which, I have a student in my CCD class. I don’t know which one. I think it’s a girl. At the end of class, I ask each student to write a prayer request on a slip of paper which is placed in a prayer box. They are not read aloud, but I read them after class. Apparently this child’s parents are going through a divorce. Every week, without fail, she prays for their reunion. She doesn’t pray for their happiness. She doesn’t give a crap about THEIR happiness. All she cares about is HER happiness, which is non-existant in the current situation. I know many people think that a child would be happier in a divorced home, because living with two people who dislike each other would, in theory, be miserable. I propose that it is only miserable for the adults, and the children care little about how their parents feel about it. But there is an overriding right of parents to happiness, and it matters little that their children suffer immensely.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we all lived in a bubble and our actions had no effect on others?

Someone once said that freedom does NOT mean being able to do whatever you want. FREEDOM MEANS BEING ABLE TO DO THE RIGHT THING. We can’t do whatever we want. Our actions DO have an effect on others. We can’t kill our neighbor. We can’t steal from the grocery store or the mall. We can’t drive recklessly or at outrageous speeds. We can worship (or not) however we choose. We can publicly denounce a wrong action by another or by the government. We can get together in small or large numbers and have meetings about whatever we want and can do so on public property with proper permits. We can vote and can encourage others to vote and we can complain or celebrate those results.

And we can wait peacefully until the next election to change the government if we don’t like the way the current one is running things. And while we wait, we can work on grass roots efforts to educate others about the problems we see.