…you have to be kidding… Part 2

A day after I posted a screed on the identity crisis facing “conservatives” in general and the Republican party in particular; you almost wonder if Leonard Pitts, jr. goes blog trolling once in a while to find ideas to work into his latest columns or if the guy is really good at reading minds.  In his republished column found in the Opinion pages of the Spokesman-Review, Pitts gave his readership some examples of Christianity gone awry.  Christians who for the most part stood silently by when those not like us—Nazi led holocaust of the Jews for one, tortures and killings of civil rights workers for another—took place in their name.  And Pitts then went on to use such examples, why he wasn’t surprised, by a poll concerning the use of torture being justified at least part of time.  That when you broke it down by religious affiliation, those most ardently affiliated (my words, not his) were more likely to approve of torture.  Really?  Those most ardently affiliated who didn’t want a branch of the gvt, namely the courts, to allow hubby Schiavo to pull the plug at long last on his wife.  Who pushed GOP into office with the condition that eventually the courts would rule in their special interest favor of overturning Roe v Wade.  None the less, they are prepared to believe that torture is justifiable some of the time.  For a people hell-bent on not wanting human life to be demeaned, they sure seem to want human life demeaned.  Well, as long as it is the other guy.

Which is why I continue to have a problem wrapping my head around why this is supposed to be somehow “conservative.”  You don’t stand around condemning that pro-choice Dem where the “choice” supported leads to the abortion death of a fetus; but have no problem wanting to see someone’s child inflicted with pain, misery, even to the point of death if it will achieve some illusion of security.  It is still a life.  It also matters on how you would end up looking to others when it comes to your image on an international level.

Yes, terrorists have kidnapped and tortured our fellow Americans as well as foreign members of the press in such war theaters as Iraq.  Without a doubt, nothing will persuade them to act more decently or civilized.  But the Christ whom Pitts referred to as that Middle Eastern man who was imprisoned, tortured and finally put to death…  That he found it ironic that such followers of the Middle Eastern man who suffered such a fate would none the less wish it inflicted on others…  That same Christ in the book of Luke argued that perfect love was to include even your enemies.  Let me just add here concerning “The Golden Rule:”  Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.  If you didn’t wish to be subject to “enhanced interrogation techniques” yourself, why would you subject others to them?  Apparently, “The Golden Rule” can be just as selectively applied as any other biblical teaching.

So, let me remind my readership of a few important matters.  What does “strict construction” mean when it comes to biblical passages?  What does the belief that the bible is literally true mean?  Then let us again refer to Luke where “he” had penned that the followers of Christ were to love even their enemies and here was why, because of the blessings that God gave to the righteous and sinners alike.  If the bible is literally true then no bible believer would believe in torture.  For torture itself would go against the grain of Christ’s teachings.  So shall I say that instead bible belief or strict constructionism is a matter of political expediency?  Where those who make such a claim in order to wrap about themselves a “conservative” fig leaf  to demonstrate what makes them legitimate as a social and poltical force are however unwilling to recognize that the biblical instructions from Old to New Testaments aren’t exactly options; they are moral obligations.  So, what’s a “value” if you think the other guy should uphold it, whether abortion, stem cell research, what defines marriage or what defines a family; but that you don’t care to uphold it yourself?  A “value” dictated but not practiced is certainly hypocrisy.  But what would make a hypocrite “conservative?”  The religio/political activists never had a problem wanting gvt to be there for them and their special interest agenda.  Who didn’t want the competition from “collectivists” of say minorities, feminists, the impoverished who also felt that the same gvt should address their needs.  But the same social activists who wanted the country and the gvt as well as the U.S. Constitution all to themselves; still had to live with the not so friendly reality that the country isn’t and never will be made up of just them.  A conservative would accept that reality.  Because that is the way things are.  A conservative would have to accept that in a democratic nation there are going to be many interest groups vying for the attentions of gvt.  The gvt that acted against one group in order to favor another might at the same time no longer work for the nation as a whole.  And what conservative would want that?  Pitts made his column about “Christians” in particular, the Christianity that isn’t.  He’s right.  While religio/political activists have demonized the opposition as “those liberals” who are for everything that supposedly the religio/political activists are against; the same activists desperately need the “liberals” to legitimize their own moral failures.

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