Monday, September 01, 2003

Singing out the Truth

Ten Propositions for The Democrats. Read 'em.

What Do Liberals Really Want. Read it, too.

One of the things the latter article touches on is the worthlessness of the terms 'conservative' and 'liberal' today.

Remember when conservatives supported sound fiscal policies and limited government? The current administration, which is theoretically "conservative," is plunging the country into unprecedented debt and operating the largest secret police force the nation has ever known. If that's conservative, then so was the Soviet Union.

The thing is, the current administration ISN'T politically "conservative". The current administration is Conservative Christian. And that is not necessarily the same thing as supporting sound fiscal policies and limited govenment.

And, while I was googling 'Conservative Christian' for a definitive definition, which I did not find, I stumbled over this article, A Conservative Christian Case for Civil Same-Sex Marriage, which I found to be quite interesting. It was published in 2000. To quote:

I suppose we can continue living in denial, stubbornly bailing water out of the rapidly sinking ship of "Christian America." Or we can get in touch with reality and realize that we need drastically to change our political course. The future of the Christian church in America lies with the preservation of civil liberties, not with the dogged pursuit of our Christian moral agenda to the annoyance of everyone else. Christians of all people ought to take interest in making the preservation of civil liberties in this country a top political priority, because as a group of religious people in a pluralistic society, we uphold moral standards and traditions that the rest of the country thinks are at best outdated and at worst harmful...
...The problem is, our political aim was not simply to protect the rights of Christians. It was to enact moral change in society that would affect everyone regardless of whether they agreed with our views. We have sought to push a moral agenda instead of lobbying for civil liberties as we should have. If we had focused on civil liberties, we would have made progress in securing the rights we wanted for ourselves, and made a valuable contribution to securing the rights of our fellow Americans in the process. We could have still taken on abortion and concentrated primarily on defending the rights of the unborn child...
...Therefore, since the church's primary concern with relation to the state ought to be the protection of our right to freely practice our religious beliefs, our political strategy ought to be twofold: 1) making sure we don't turn public opinion against us by being pushy, overbearing, and malicious; and 2) supporting the rights of other people also to exist peacefully in this land, because in doing so we secure the same for ourselves
Supporting other people's civil liberties doesn't say that we necessarily agree with their views of morality or religion. For instance, we don't agree with Buddhists and yet we don't hesitate to stand up for religious freedom. What it does say is that we are willing to get along with others and demonstrate the same respect for them that we wish for ourselves. This is not some radical new idea. It is simply practicing The Golden Rule: "However you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets" (Matthew 7:12).

Well worth reading.

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