Nov 11, 2004

Our Moral Values: We Fight For Humanism, More Freedom & Democracy!

In This Cultural Divide Our Values Will Transcend This Election

This is a re-posting of a reply I wrote after being criticized for being too harsh on "the opposition." I feel that we are in a great cultural divide right now, and this is no time to surrender our principles in the spirit of unity. What we're fighting for is for more civil rights, more openness, more democracy, and for our country to remain a beacon of hope, an envied & admired leader in the world community. The powerlogs claim a mandate to radically transform our society, while the theologs make assertions that cannot be proven. We will not stand for such.

The progressive community suffered a blow, and it's OK to stand up and fight! Why is not OK to fight for more personal freedoms, for a more equitable distribution of the nation's wealth, for separation of church and state, for our country to be a respected leader in the world community?.... These values are good not just for the liberals, but for all people. Why should we make truce with those who want to make us pray to their god, follow their religious practices in our private lives, don't want us to love and sleep with whomever we like, and, for goodness sake, are opposed to science?! All those people ( perhaps as much as 30% of the electorate) indeed voted for Bush! Did they not? Today the Evangelicals declared that Bush rode on their coat tails! They argue that their religious agenda must be implemented now.

No, not all Republicans or those who voted for Bush are "bad people." I do think that most are well-meaning Americans, and even if we disagree with each other they accept that disagreement is allowed and it's healthy for our political system. They, and all the fiscal conservatives who voted for Bush, should re-examine the partner they're going to be sleeping with, and, how their vote empowered the fundamentalists, the totalitarians, and those with apocalyptic views.

We are going to fight, and we are going to fight hard for our rights, for the rights of all Americans, because even those " bigots, the anti-intellectuals, the selfish rich who vote their pocketbooks, those intolerant theocrats, the simpletons who care more about their guns than their children's healthcare, the arrogant morons with a microscopic worldview" would not like it if they were a minority in a Moslem theocratic state! Would they? That's why they fail to see that an open, liberal society is better for them too. Unless, it's their way or the highway!

America is a conservative nation. When Lyndon Johnson signed The Civil Rights laws said that the Democrats would lose the South for a generation.... Well, it turned out to be much longer than that. Simply put, giving rights to Blacks was resented in the South, was it not? Can anyone dispute that there is still racism in the 21st century America? Can anyone dispute that millions of our fellow citizens are bigots, narrow-minded, and intolerant? Can anyone dispute the fact that overtly-racist politicians (like David Duke) garner huge amounts of votes?! Can anyone dispute that if you don't go to church, are not a devout Christian you are considered "un-American" by those "pious and moral" citizens of ours?

No, unfortunately, they are not just a few of them here and there. Who elected to the US Senate that bigot from Oklahoma--who wants the death penalty for all doctors who perform any abortion at any stage? The answer is, the majority of Oklahomans who voted on November 2nd, that's who!

Please let's be realistic. If you don't attack those who want to limit personal freedoms, those who want to impose a theocratic state, those who want a closed society and are against science.... Then , we better pack up and leave for Canada or Europe. Surrendering our country without a fight is not recommended. There is still hope. At the very least we must do all we can. It's the right thing. Our values are worth fighting for.

Why not call on those hypocrites who wear their religion on their sleeves but use it only for selfish reasons? Why not call on those who wear the American flag on their lapels, while they spill American blood to enrich themselves? Why not call on those "uber-patriots" who talk about sacrifice when themselves sacrifice nothing?

I want my kids to grow up in a country where people are judged by their actions not by the color of their skin. Where love is love. Where they realize that there is a world outside our borders. Where they are taught history and true science. Where, even though they may not come from a wealthy family, they'll be given the opportunity through access to free education and healthcare to advance their lot. I don't care if you call this left or right, up or down, east or west.... I want my kids to promote freedoms, scientific inquiry, and lead a happy life through personal responsibility and real choices!
Let's do it the "Jesus way": Teach tolerance, love thy neighbors different as they may be, and help the sick and less fortunate of our society! Jesus didn't have just a personal relationship with God. He also acted! And, he taught that your faith means nothing if you don't actively care about and for your fellow humans.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you that we should fight. Those who destroy a country always ride on the apathy of the people.

We also have to be realistic and examine why and how we lost. I'm not much of a conspiracy theorist, but there were big irregularities with voting out there. At the very least, we have to correct the problems so the people's votes are not wasted.

I'm also disgusted by those in power who are hypocrites, asking us for sacrifice while they get richer. Too many Americans have a very impressionable mind....

Fear ruled this time.

Kelly D.
Cleveland, Ohio

Anonymous said...

Forget it, it's going to take 30 years or more for the majority of Americans to be socially liberal like the Europeans /Canadians are today....

Over there they hire the best available managers to run the government, since the most basic issues, like civil liberties, religion, and such, have been resolved...

Here we're still fighting about issues that prevailed in the Civil war.....

I'm so disgusted right now.... Hope I can recover


Anonymous said...

To those who want to give it up, leave the country, or withdraw from politics for ever: If you care about YOUR rights and the kind of society YOUR kids will grow up in, then YOU have NO CHOICE, but to continue being informed, and involved, and spreading our values!

Why do you want to let Ashcroft (he's checking out for good soon), or the Bushland gang to determine what values this America should adhere to??????!!!!!!!

Yes, moral values are very important, but our values are not private, are not selfish.....they are for liberty and justice for all!!!! Are they not?


RH said...

Someone please explain to me how one can be for individual freedom of speech, individual rights, and overall freedom of choice, and yet make a concerted effort to infringe on those freedoms. When reading this you are probably thinking that I'm talking about the Republicans/Conservatives. Wrong. I'm talking about the Liberal left.

When you talk about freedom of speech you should take into consideration the fact that that freedom is allowed to everyone - liberals and conservatives. When you are talking about individual rights, you also need to make sure that you take into account both sides of the ideologies. Just because you have an opinion, it doesn't make it a right one. Just because you think that those of alternative lifestyles should have the right to get married, doesn't mean that someone else that might disagree with that opinion should think the same way. It is their Constitutionally protected right to express their opinion, even though it might be different from yours. It does not make them less intelligent, or morally wrong, much the same way your opinion doesn't make you more intelligent, or morally right.

The Liberal left has forgotten that, and for the past decade or so, through the ways and means of the Courts and the Media has attempted to push their opinion of what is right and what is wrong on the rest of the country. Trying to force change on someone will just create more resentment and anger, thus allowing them to reaffirm their stance and fight even harder for it. People have forgotten that change takes place over time, not overnight. In the case of same-sex marriage it will take more then attempts at Court-guided change to cause people to view things differently.

Forced change, as was demonstrated this past election by 11 states that passed DOMA's - Defense of Marriage Act, almost always has the opposite effect then was originally thought. One can say that the Civil Rights changes of the 1960's is evidence that change can happen overnight. You would be mistaken if you thought that to be true. Even though the S.Court handed down Brown vs. Board of Education in the middle part of the 1960's, it still took more then 2 decades (in some places it is still taking place) for people to alter their views and become more accepting. In order for Brown vs. Board to have had the intended effect, political and social climates had to have been just right.

I have always been in favor of all people of this country having full constitutional rights and freedoms. I do not support the Administration's plans of amending the constitution for the purposes of excluding some from having constitutional rights. I feel that this issue can be better handled by the states. However, change will come only when the people in these states are ready for it. As evidence of the fact that over 40 states have DOMA's on the books, it is safe to say that the majority of the country is not ready for a change in how we define marriage. Forcing that change will only make those who oppose it fight that much harder in order to uphold the values and morals that are supported by the majority of the people of this great nation.

Andros said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Andros said...

All comments are welcome, but please refrain, from personal attacks. Let's keep it civilized.
And, please, don't post under my name! Use your initials or a nickname. Thanks

Andros said...

Dear RH,

I appreciate anyone who has a concern about rights and civil liberties, and I hope you remain active in promoting and safeguarding them regardless of where the attack comes from, including the left!

I make no discrimination, in opposing the attackers to our freedoms and in wanting those fundamental rights for everyone. A true liberal wants freedom and justice for all.

I agree with you that change usually doesn't happen overnight, especially when it comes to social issues. However, when the social fabric is resisting basic human rights, it is necessary to use any means, including the courts, to enforce those rights. Can I claim a "right" to make you my slave? I can surely believe that I'm chosen by God to be your master, but it doesn't make it so. Nor should I have the "right" to act upon such a belief. And, how about if you're a minority in my world? Should you wait until my society changes its collective mind that some day may give you your freedom?

I'm sure you'd agree that the court's decision to end discrimination was correct, because it re-affirmed basic human rights. Suppose, a state decides to revert to slavery tomorrow, and the majority of its residents believe that inter-racial marriage is not allowed (laws in the books until the 1960s in the South)... wouldn't you rise up and fight for those rights being taken away? I'm sure you would, as any decent human being would.

Labels can be mis-applied, or used to divert attention, but the label "liberal" means to me someone who is for more civil rights, more openeness, more freedom, for scientific inquiry, standsfor reason, and so forth, for everyone.... It is within this framework that the individual can pursue his own dreams, realize his potential and by doing so contribute to the progress of the society.

My position is that you live your life in freedom and exercise personal responsibility. Make your own choices and live by them. If you're happy, I'm happy. I leave you alone to pray to any gods you wish, fall in love with whomever, and, marry the one you love. I expect the same in return. I do have a problem when you try to force your morality on me.

There is a big difference between "forcing change" that promotes rights and choices, and forcing change taking away rights--as it's been happening under the Bush administration.

You're a thoughtful person and I appreciate your concerns. We need more open-minded people like yourself. I do hope that you remain engaged in what's happening in our country and that you continue to promote rights and freedoms for EVERYONE!