I recently read one of those amazing emails that floats around the Internet and makes it from computer to computer.
You know... the ones that are actually written by people like Rush Limbaugh but are signed by an untraceable 8th grader who speaks as the voice of reason with uncanny intelligence and maturity for his age. Yes, I mean a email that's title begins with Fwd:...
So this one proposes that the conservatives and liberals in our country divvy up the land, the people, the possessions, and the ideals of our country. The conservative can have the things they like best and the liberals can have their things. I understand that the point of this email is to vent in such a way that the "conservatives" can feel better about the current state of our country more than to make a consistently logical argument in favor of these proposals, but I must use this opportunity to share some of my problems with the email.
The email portions are italicized:
"Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, Marxists and Obama supporters, et al:
We'll keep the capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart and Wall Street. You can have your beloved homeless, homeboys, hippies and illegal aliens. We'll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO's and rednecks. We'll keep the Bibles and give you NBC and Hollywood .
I have no problem with someone saying they like these things and they want them, but I wonder what the Bible has to do with this? This email implies that those who love greedy CEO's etc. are ones who love the Bible and ones who love the homeless, the hippies, etc. are ones with no Biblical, and might I assume, moral grounds for these beliefs.
It seems to me that this view should be exactly opposite. The Bible speaks against greed more than it speaks against murder. The Bible commands that we not only tolerate, but actually care for the homeless, the (illegal) aliens, and the "unlovable" (which I am substituting for 'hippies' because that is who fits here). In fact, more attention is placed on the moral command to love and care for the poor in the Bible than any other people group. The notion that those with wealth should care for those without wealth is not a Liberal viewpoint, it is God's viewpoint.
You can make nice with Iran and Palestine and we'll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us. You can have the peaceniks and war protesters. When our allies or our way of life are under assault, we'll help provide them security.
We'll keep our Judeo-Christian values.. You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism and Shirley McClain. You can also have the U.N.. but we will no longer be paying the bill.
I actually don't have a problem with the idea of defending our nation and allies and appreciate the right to use force when necessary. I don't agree with lumping all of Palestine and Iran into this mix but that is far too complex for me to explain here. Allow me to simply say, that I think Jesus is much more of a pacifist than I am and he would dispute this point more than I would. My biggest problem with this paragraph is that again, this writer seems to lack any real Judeo-Christian values that are actually found in the Bible, but rather values that are found on Fox News.
We'll keep the SUVs, pickup trucks and oversized luxury cars. You can take every Subaru station wagon you can find.
I think this line implies that the environment is not important. I have no qualms with big cars or with wisely using the resources we have (I drive the largest vehicle found on the road), but "Judeo-Christian Values" that do not respect God's creation are no values at all. Biblically speaking, we are given the privilege of "ruling" the earth, but with that privilege comes the responsibility to treat it well. God made this great creation and I cannot envision any logically thinking Christian actually believing that God does not care how poorly we treat His creation.
I have a great little vegetable garden in my backyard. If I give it to someone to use any way they like and they completely destroy because I told them they are in charge, I will be pissed off that they were so disrespectful to this thing that I carefully created.
You can give everyone healthcare if you can find any practicing doctors. We'll continue to believe healthcare is a luxury and not a right.
I too believe that healthcare is a luxury and not a right. But I also believe that Jesus said how you treat one another will be the test of whether you truly are a Christian. If Christians do not want the government to provide healthcare to those that can not afford it, then they better start providing it through their own means. THIS IS THE WAY OF JESUS. Christian doctors should volunteer services or lower their costs to the poor and wealthy Christian businessmen should set up funds to pay doctor bills for those who cannot do it on their own. Biblically speaking, the government doesn't care for the poor, because it expects the followers of God to do it.
Finally, We'll practice trickle down economics and you can give trickle up poverty your best shot. Since it often so offends you, we'll keep our history, our name and our flag. Actually, the Bible that this writer wants to keep issues a decree that the entire Nation of Israel forgives all debts and returns all land to original owners every 50 years. This was done to ensure economic equality so that the divide between the rich and the poor does not progressively widen.
.... And about keeping your history, your name and your flag... The history of this country is a beautiful history of brave people looking for better lives. It is a history of immigrants (can you believe it) who wanted a brighter future for their kids. It is a history of people seeking religious freedom (like the hundred's of Persian Christians from Iran who live in my town). It is a history of people who had nothing in common except for the desire to see a better day so they fought and died side by side. It is the history of a country that once justified slave trading by using verses from the Bible until people really began taking the Bible to heart and then they bravely changed course. It is also the history of a country who sacrificed hundreds of thousands blacks, whites, hispanics, asians, liberals, and conservatives to protect other countries from invading forces and that found a way to stand together in the face of difficult times. It has leaders who sacrificed the comforts available to them to brave the cold and snow with the less fortunate as a sign of camaraderie (George Washington).
The name of the country is "United States of America". If you want to keep the name, you must remain united. Being united does not imply that you agree, it simply means that come hell or high water, we are the USA. We will face tough times, we will have to dig a bit deeper to pull one another up, we will sacrifice some of our comfort to remain united and move ahead. But in the end the world will watch and they will follow.
-I didn't realize I would stand on that soap box so long.- I appreciate the views of this writer but I do not appreciate the fallacies in his reasoning. This is why the GOP has lost its grip on this country. They use tired arguments that are filled with passion but no punch. Their ideas are not all bad, and the ideas (ideals) of the other side are certainly not all good but a new line of reasoning must emerge if the Grand Old Party wants to avoid being the Grand Dead Party.