Blonde moment

And the silver spoon.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

I could gloat but...

I was talking with a co-worker of the opposite political view. Work isn’t the time to gloat, nor is it the time to rub in that your candidate won. And I’m not about to do either right now. My co-worker pointed out that people voted for the first time in years because of the gay marriage issue. I agree to an extent. But I’d like to challenge everyone to think beyond that. It is not just about gay marriage, though that is a huge part of it.

I am a slightly conspiracy theory oriented person. And I also hold very true and steadfast to my belief in Jesus as the savior of the world. Those two pieces of information combined are enough for some to consider me nuts. OK, I can live with that. And I will admit to being a little off balance.

I come from a variety of individuals who call themselves, and are referred to as, Born-Again Christians. Also, they are called the conservative Christian right. I will refer to this group as the conservative Christians. It seems a little more inclusive of who we really are. This group includes Catholics, Lutherans, and others who may not claim to be “born again” but are none-the-less very devout in their belief. And not all Born-Again Christians agree with the conservative Christians, so I want to limit myself.

Based on this conversation with my co-worker, I want to clarify what a values vote truly is. I probably can’t share this at work, and again, I am not paid to discuss politics and religion there. I am doing this in hopes that my readers may understand what ideas were rejected in the election and why.

To start with a conservative Christian worldview, one needs to understand that conservative Christians, and orthodox (with a small o) Christians, believe in the existence of absolute good and evil on a moral and spiritual plane. And orthodox Christians believe that mankind is born with a sinful nature and is deserving of eternal damnation in Hell. As there is the existence of good and evil, conservative Christians seek to discern what is good and evil based on what the Bible says. These people believe in the inerrancy of the Bible. Conservative Christians strive to obey God as His word appears in the Bible. Conservative Christians share their faith with others, but will never force people to change. This is because Conservative Christians understand that it is the work of the Holy Spirit to win souls to Him.

Conservative Christians see their place in the world through a few different pictures. I’d like to talk about two of these pictures as an explanation. First, Christians are to be in the world, yet not of it. Second, Christians are to be the salt in the world.

Conservative Christians are in the world yet not of it. They take this role very seriously. Being in the world means that we cannot loose touch with the world around us. You see conservative Christians performing good works and acts of charity constantly. They participate in the work place, in the neighborhood, and in the schools. You may know someone who is a conservative Christian. Their object is to not withdraw from people they see as their mission field. However, Christians are not to be of the world. Christians have developed their own music, radio, schools, movies, books, commentary, media, television, and entertainment. Christians do this so that they are not lead to sin against God. Also, they want to protect their children from sin against God. Most of their actions can be explained by the avoidance of sin. Take for example their stance on condom distribution in school. They do not want condoms distributed in schools because they do not want to increase the level of temptation put upon their culture for their children to have extra-marital sex. The same goes with abstinence education in schools. Basically it is the Christians goal to become more like God through the obedience of His word as spoken in the Bible, avoidance of sin, the living of pure lives, witnessing to others, and performing acts of charity and kindness. The biggest fear of Conservative Christians is that they will be suppressed and unable to practice their beliefs in the way they see fit. They want to be free to read the book of Leviticus. They want to be able to call what the Bible calls sin, sin. And if anyone threatens any of the above, they react.

There are a couple of political views that are fairly universal among conservative Christians. First is the preciousness of life. This view is expressed primarily in an anti-abortion stance. Conservative Christians may disagree to the extent of abortion being wrong, but they do not want people just having abortions like it is a common and acceptable form of birth control, and generally they support a ban on third trimester abortions. Other life is precious views include stances against euthanasia, and occasionally the death penalty. I personally believe that there are certain crimes that warrant the death penalty, genocide, for example; but I live in an anti-death penalty state, so I really haven’t thought much about it. Second, conservative Christians are pro-Jews in Israel. Regarding the extent of foreign aide will be discussed when I take apart party platforms. However, at least, conservative Christians believe that Jews should be able to live wherever they want, including and especially their Holy Land, without threat from terrorists and hate. Furthermore, they act upon such beliefs, either through foreign aide or charitable giving. Third conservative Christians tend to have bad gut feelings about the United Nations, and other people telling the United States what to do and how to do it. They tend to believe that the US is a sovereign nation and is not accountable to anyone but God and voters.

Conservative Christians disagree on a variety of economic and social policy issues, but economics and other social policy issues really have little to do with being a conservative Christian. Conservative Christianity is a God thing and a values thing. Conservative Christians are not necessarily fiscal conservatives, or Supply Side Economists, or Libertarians, or even traditional Constitutionalists.

Next, I would like to discuss progressives. I will use the term “progressive” instead of liberal as is the choice of those who fall into this category. Progressives start with a belief that man is basically good. Furthermore, they believe that all of mankind is basically reasonable and can be talked and negotiated into just about anything. Progressives like unity and everyone to come to an agreement that they all find mutually satisfying. You see this belief practiced in labor unions. They are concerned about people being disenfranchised. They want everyone to have an opinion. There is no good or evil because most everyone can be reasoned with. They also like learning about others and seeing that others have what everyone else has. This is manifested in several ways. If group A has access to a brand new playground, they want every group to have a brand new playground. Progressives are also religious, though they tend to practice unorthodox Christianity (if you acknowledge a goddess, you’re unorthodox). Also, they may practice other religions, be merely a spiritual person, or be an atheist. Progressives like to help people they see as victims. Say you’re a smoker; they want to help you become healthy and quit because it is someone else’s fault you smoke. They don’t like consequences. For example, let’s say two consenting teens have sex. They don’t want them to have to suffer the consequences, so they hand out condoms to everyone so they won’t get pregnant or diseases and can still have sex. They also see everything as a problem for the collective unit to solve.

Progressives believe in education. No, not the go to school to learn reading, writing, and math, type of education. Progressives believe that if you just look at an individual and his problem or desire, you will have all of the information and will have to agree with that individual and his needs for resolution. Let us take for example, the parents of a gun shot victim. These parents go out on TV and say how horrible their kid’s death was and how tragic and everything. They say that no one should have to go through such a tragedy. I agree that there should be no murder. But the next time you see these folks, they are with some politician or another who wants to ban guns and is using their story. You may argue that people shouldn’t kill people. You’re right. But is it a gun issue? Progressives see the problem as the killer had a gun. You see this education belief practiced in prisons where criminals are talked through their problems, go back out on the street, and do the same thing.

Because progressives believe in education and unity and compromise; that there is no right or wrong; they have a few very basic political beliefs. First, that everyone should have the exact same privileges under the law. Marriage, for example. Access to the same education (which is why they are against private schools and vouchers), is another example. Access to the same amount of money, is the third example. They also have conflicting views on personal choice. For example, it is OK to have an abortion but not to smoke.

The above beliefs lead to a few very scary things. First, is the UN. The UN is the ultimate ground of compromise to the progressive mind. One can talk to all of the leaders of the world and come up with solutions to problems and interfere with every country’s business without bombing them. Second is the current state of the public schools. There are too many moral points of view being taught that real subjects are not. It is one thing to do a paper on a different culture. It is another thing to call it equal or superior to your own. Third is multilateralism, or the involvement of Western Europe in US affairs. Progressives have a need for committees. And if the committee doesn’t include France, Germany, or Russia, it must not be complete. Finally, it is judges. Progressives nominate fellow progressives to judgeships so that people will not become victimized by laws that the legislature passes.

Here is where I will discuss my second example of a Christian’s role in the world. Christians are to be the salt. Christians walk a fine line in their daily lives between sharing the gospel and turning off unbelievers. Mostly, they do this quietly and in the micro level. If a teacher doesn’t want a kid to bring “Hermie the Wormie” to school, a parent will step in. If someone can’t wear a cross around their necks, they’ll say something about it. If someone invites a Christian to a sexually explicit movie, they’ll decline. It is very simple things that most Christians will do. But at times, Christians recognize that there is a time for more salt. This election was that time.

First and foremost, this election was about the Christian world view. Gay marriage is a part of it. But Christians don’t want their kids exposed to anymore sin in the world and they put their collective foot down and said, “Enough.” This doesn’t just involve the gays neighbors actually getting married. It is about explaining homosexuality, other religions, and other values systems to children at an earlier and earlier age. It is about taking control over what our children see and what we see. Though Christians can flood their homes with all sorts of Christian media, they cannot bring any of it into school. And they are forced to blindly accept what the curriculum says. Second it is about potential interference into conservative churches. I attend a conservative church in the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church. The Missouri Synod reaffirmed its stance on homosexual marriage this year. Conservative Christians do not want to be suppressed when they disagree with progressives. They see potential suppression as religious bigots, homophobes, and on the abortion issue.

Second, the election was about how we see the world. Conservative Christians rejected the UN, France, Germany, and Russia. It is not that we rejected allies. We rejected specific points of view, namely that this is a time for negotiation.

Third, the election was about Hollywood and other forms of media. Conservative Christians have long felt irrelevant to Hollywood and the news media portray them as idiots. We gave them what for and called them irrelevant and idiots.

The statement has been made. The world now has to deal with it.


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