Posts Tagged ‘conservative

11
Nov
10

Dueling Dissonance

So, I’m having serious headaches from the cognitive dissonance created in meh wee brain thanks to both side of the ideological aisle.

On the one side, there are the conservatives, who inspired dissonance-related sufferings in my cerebrum when I heard one too many of them on NPR today indicate that the threat of climate change is some big myth and we should stop trying to control carbon levels in the air or protect endangered species and all of that. Where does the cognitive dissonance come in?

Well, a lot of these people will be happy to tell you God has everything in hand and we should stop worrying. After all, God promised not to destroy the Earth again and if the climate changes, it’s simply God’s will and we shouldn’t mess with it.

So, if we should keep our hands off because God has climate under control, why the hell does He need your help trying to derail same-sex marriages and homosexual rights? I mean, if you think He doesn’t need any help with the climate, surely you don’t think a bunch of gays and lesbians are going to pose Him any problems, right?

Therefore, while you’re ignoring our collapsing environment, do us all a favor and stay out of the affairs of consenting adults who happen to be the same sex.

Thanks.

The other half of my dissonance comes from the left…a group who’s been shoving legislated health down our throats for ages. Bad enough that Happy Meals are being banned in San Francisco but now the FDA is going to slap hideous disease-ridden photos on cigarette packs because the Nanny State mentality dictates that smokers still just don’t get it and therefore we’ll shock them into quitting.

First, aside from the fact that I want to see some diseased livers or graphic bloody drunk-driving related action shots on liquor bottles to balance that out…as well as photos of fat-clogged arteries and diseased hearts on potato chip bags…I want to know how my progressive brethren can possibly endure the following dissonant thought:

How can you rail on about how evil it is to flash photos of aborted fetuses in the faces of women seeking to terminate pregnancies, and be in FAVOR of flashing rotting body parts to adults who should be able to choose any damn legal vice they please?

So, on the left and the right: How about both of you get a grip and go back to minding your own damn business.

27
Jun
08

A Super Team-Up

OK, we’re going to lean heavily into geekdom today, but I’m a nerd at heart, so forgive me. I’m going to talk about a couple of comic-book heroes today to make a point. Largely because I didn’t have a topic in mind so I actually looked through my pile of images for inspiration, and Green Arrow and Green Lantern provided it.

Also, the topic is really short (for me), which is a plus; I’m still digging out of a backlog of paying work.

You don’t need to know that Green Arrow has all sorts of high-tech trick arrows and Green Lantern has an obscenely powerful ring that can create almost anything he needs in a whoop-ass fight. I’m telling you anyway, but you don’t need to know. What you do need to know are the personalities of these two heroes, particularly back in the early 70s, I believe it was, when they were teamed up together in a single comic book.

Green Lantern was a very law-and-order type. I think he would have been voting along “red state” lines. He was ex-Air Force test pilot, and thus a more military/heirarchy minded kind of guy. He fought the good fight, but he did so as a soldier or lawman. Even as a superhero, he took his marching orders from an interstellar organization that had appointed itself to keep order and peace in the universe…something much like the miliary he had once served.

Green Arrow was a more social justice type of guy. Liberal. You can make some safe bets he probably voted along “blue state” lines. He wasn’t out to turn people into pincushions. I mean, look at the way he dressed. He’s all swashbuckler/Robin Hood, ain’t he? And who did Robin Hood sidle up to? The poor and disenfranchised.

From a moral standpoint, neither character was better than the other. They balanced each other out and they complemented each other. This is something I’d like to see more of among Christians.

I don’t necessarily expect the far right wing to get along with the far left wing in the religious circles. I mean, when one side might believe that everything in the Bible is 100% literal and the other might be trying to say that not only is it symbolic but most of Jesus’ words weren’t even his own true words, well, that’s not a recipe for success.

But most Christians aren’t that extreme, I don’t think. I think most of the conservative ones and the more liberal ones have enough in common to sit at the same table. What we need is working together, even if we argue about the fine points of how best to serve God. What we need is dialogue instead of picking apart whose views are “right.” What we need is synergy, and not arguments about who loves Jesus more.

Working in opposing corners not only diminishes our strength in terms of evangelism and education about Jesus but also makes us look bad. Because when two big groups of Christians seem to be almost always at odds with one another, following Jesus doesn’t look like such a savvy choice.

There is a whole world hurting out there, and it’s time for us to team up, just like in the comic books.

28
May
08

Of scarves and fidelity

So, I’ve got a beef with the right wing and the left wing today, thanks to recent posts at The Field Negro and Raving Black Lunatic that have hipped me to some crazy stories in the news…well, online rants that have made the news, anyway.

First, we have right-wing pundit Michelle Malkin, who in her blog post Of Donuts and Dumb Celebrities tries to make the case that a scarf worn by Rachael Ray in a Dunkin Donuts commercial somehow legitimates and supports terrorism because is supposedly so obviously a keffiyeh. Given that it’s still pretty rare to find a die-hard conservative who is an atheist, I’ll work under the assumption that she’s Christian. And in putting forth this rant (which actually convinced Dunkin Donuts to pull the ad), she epitomizes one of the things that pisses me off about narrow-minded right-wing Christians, which is that they think you can reduce terror-loving religious extremists to something like a scarf. They are so frickin paranoid that we’re going to be overrun by swarthy Jesus-hating footsoldiers that they are concerned someone will see Rachael Ray in something keffiyeh-like and sympathize with terrorists.

Way to oversimplify religious extremism while completely ignoring your own.

But hey, I have a left-leaning Democrat in my sights too. Let it never be said I never have anything bad to say about the folks who are a bit closer to my political views. In this case, Sylvia Welsh, in a blog post titled The Shrinkage Factor, actually suggests that Barack Obama’s seemingly unassailable fidelity to his wife is some sign that perhaps he’s not tough enough to be president. That’s right, she actually tries to weave together a blog post that can somehow posit that by being faithful to his wife he’s too much of a nice guy (granted she makes a lot of other points in this blog as well, few of which make any damn sense). And in this we see the hypocrisy of someone whom I’m certain would be quick to decry a conservative Christian for cheating on his wife while espousing family values, but can also be among those who expect Obama to repudiate his pastor of 20 years and also knock him for not cheating on his wife. What Bizarro World suburb does this woman live in?

*Sigh* God save me from the idiots on the right of me and the idiots on the left of me…please.

16
Apr
08

God doesn’t do wings

OK, I’m sure the header for today’s post has folks confused already. Doesn’t God have a whole Host of angels with wings? Or am I saying God is against fried chicken wings?  No, no. I just have something very important to impart to you. Something profound. Pay attention now.

Angels have two wings.

(Crickets chirp in the background. Many heads are scratched. A tumbleweed rolls by.)

Well, I could have confused you more by asking “What is the sound of one hand clapping.” Instead, I have stated the obvious. Angels don’t have one wing; they have a pair.

So what?

It’s my way of pointing out that God doesn’t do politics. With every passing year, it seems that people talk more and more about the left wing vs. the right wing. The liberals vs. the conservatives. Pro-choice vs. pro-life. And often they try to bring God or Jesus into the mix to support the validity of their views. But neither God nor His angels nor Jesus are left-wing or right-wing. They are both.

Or, far more likely, they are neither.

Liberal Christians who find various parts of the Bible a bit icky (like policies against homosexuality, the notion that men are at the top of the spiritual hierarchy, etc.) like to point out that Jesus was love and like to suggest that Christ just went and overturned all that God had ever said and made it all about love. This isn’t Woodstock in the ’60s, folks. Jesus was a very dutiful Jew. He affirmed what his Father had established. But he helped to show us that God was love, even in the midst of all the rules and the sometimes retributive nature of the Almighty.

Conservative Christians like to focus on the wrath and damnation a lot and point out that we are all a bunch of lousy sinners and that we need our human laws to reflect God’s laws. Which would be fine, I suppose, if everyone was Christian. Which they aren’t. Let’s remember that Jesus told us to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s. In other words, the Bible has always recognized that sometimes (in fact, most of the time) people are under human rule that doesn’t always reflect God’s ideals and doesn’t always call for the same things as God does. The population is pretty diverse religiously (not that you’d know if you just looked at the elected U.S. officials in national offices and a lot of them in state offices…they’re pretty white and Judeo-Christian overall), and that means that making the nation’s law be that of God’s law is both unlikely to occur and probably a bad idea.

God is not a conservative. He is God. He made the universe and He made the rules, all the way from the physics of how things exist and work to the rules of behavior we humans should follow. He is a parent, and the rules of good parents are not about politics but about protecting us and shaping us into the best that we can be.

Jesus is not a liberal. He is God’s faithful son. He included people that the traditional religious leaders rejected not because he was a left-wing hippie with miraculous powers but because God has always loved all of us. He just cannot save us from ourselves, because the essence of free will is that we choose to embrace God or to separate ourselves from Him. Jesus was a human with divine nature, and thus able to bridge the divide between God and man.

And lest we forget the third part of the organization, the Holy Spirit is not a moderate. (He also isn’t Casper the Friendly Ghost. Just because we say “Holy Ghost” doesn’t mean the Holy Spirit is running around saying “Boo!”) The Holy Spirit is the aspect of God that indwells within us and allows us to be reunited with His spirit as we become born again through Jesus the Christ. That may seem like some moderate-style politics, but since God ain’t part of any political party or ideological wing, and neither is Jesus, why would the Holy Spirit pick political sides?

I personally think politics would move a lot smoother if the left wing and right wing would both shut the hell up and start working on what’s important for the people instead of for their own agendas. And the Christian faith could do a lot better by simply making compassion the No. 1 priority and showing people the light that shines from people who truly live for God and have Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I cringe to see politics in the pulpit. I despise seeing religious leaders try to sway politicians to craft laws that will support religious policies. I know that a true separation of church and state isn’t possible. But I also know that a merging of them, while theoretically possible, is just plain wrong.

Jesus will return to establish a new kingdom and a new Heaven and Earth. When that happens, we won’t need government most likely. I sure hope not anyway.

But until that day, let’s keep some perspective as to when we need to be political and when we need to be spiritual, and let’s not pollute one with the other. And when we are political or when we take on activist roles, let’s remember that the Heavenly Host isn’t left wing or right wing. And frankly, we’d probably be better off if more of us didn’t try to be one or the other.

Anything with just one wing tends to fall out of the sky, you know. And that fall can be long and hard. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if the ideologues were the only ones getting hurt. But people who stray too far to one wing or the other have a tendency to survive a lot of their falls.

Sadly, it’s usually because their fall was cushioned by a whole lot of other people who were crushed beneath their ideological weight.

(Yes, I know I keep promising that follow-up to my “Tongues Tied” post about a week ago. How about tomorrow? I think. Maybe.)




Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley

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