Thursday, July 29, 2004


Is It Just Me?

As a good liberal, I have spent the last three evenings watching coverage of the Democratic Convention. I loved the opening night speeches, and as I posted yesterday, Barrack Obama was amazing. Last night I found Rev. Sharpton amusing, to say the least, and I was impressed by John Edwards' speech as well. I think he will be a real asset to the Kerry ticket.

But as I watched (PBS and MSNBC), something occurred to me. Now, it could be that I'm a little slow in coming to this conclusion but I feel it's something that needs to be discussed. (Preferably by someone with a little more exposure than me, but it's a start.) Which of the two major parties is most closely associated with religion? Of course it's the conservatives. Ask the religious right who they support and they'll gladly tell you, George W. Bush (or whomever the current conservative candidate in the race is). Now stop and ask yourself, which of the two major parties is most closely aligned with the principles of Christianity: acceptance, forgiveness, charity? Is it still the conservatives? No, it's the liberals.

Think about the story of Jesus for a moment. He spoke of love, peace, and charity. He was willing to be associated with an alleged prostitute and he healed the sick. He turned the other cheek in the face of confrontation and he sacrificed for himself and his own prosperity for the betterment of others. Do these sound like the qualities of the conservative party? Not the conservative party that I know.

Let's try a few more questions. Which party is opposed to a woman's right to choose? That would be the conservative party, because, in their eyes, abortion is murder. However, how many abortion clinics have been bombed by conservatives? How many abortion doctors have been killed by conservatives? Are violence and murder a part of the Christian principles that I'm unaware of? I don't seem to recall those.

What about matters of finance? Which party advocates the rich getting richer and the poor staying poor? That would be the conservatives. (Did you know that for every Dick Cheney who saved $300,000 from the Bush tax cuts that there were 250 Americans that saved $0? That's how you get an average tax cut of $1200 per person.) I don't recall Jesus condoning this practice. Jesus advocated charity.

What about acceptance? Which party was it that advocated civil rights? Which party was integral in the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964? I don't think this one was the conservative party. In fact, I recall our current conservative president being in favor of ending affirmative action. As Rev. Sharpton said last night (I'm paraphrasing here), if our current president were in office in 1954, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas wouldn't have been able to get into law school.

So what conclusion can I draw from all this? Obviously, Jesus was a liberal. In fact, he may have been the first, and most ardent, liberal. So why does the religious community support Bush? I know, God works in mysterious ways.

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