Liberals are not the problem
I have read many commentaries in various newspapers written by religious conservatives claiming how liberals are destroying the U.S. economy and degrading our moral standing in the world. It is sad seeing how much the United States is struggling with high unemployment and a sluggish economy. However, I do not see the future of America through the eyes of a religious conservative. The future is not as bleak as most Christian fundamentalist would have us believe.
I do agree with their assessment though that the U.S. is in a grip of a serious moral crises and the root of our economic meltdown is lack of fiscal restraint and greed. The American public education system is also failing and it would appear in the eyes of the world that the U.S. is on the decline. However, it is not the public school systems responsibility to develop moral fiber. Bringing back pray in the classrooms or reading bible passages at the start of each class will not fix our education system. That is what most Christian conservatives would have us believe.
Common decency is what’s lacking in our society but it’s not something one learns in a text book. It is something that is developed in ones psyche through proper upbringing at home. Instituting morality is the parents’ responsibility and a strong moral fiber is passed down from one generation to the next. It is expressed freely in ones character for others to emulate and embrace.
I also disagree with the religious conservative viewpoint that liberalism is the culprit for the ills of America.
Our Nation’s history is full of examples of how religious fundamentalists pointed the finger at the so called liberals blaming them for causing each crisis that America faced.
A good example would be the delegates that signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776. They were considered radical liberals by those who didn’t want to rock the boat and enter a war. The religious conservatives at that time argued that a war against England could not be won.
It was also during Thomas Jefferson’s time that the Roman Catholic Church declared democracy to be an immoral form of Government. The Pope at that time stated - ……. America does not recognize Christ and the church as its moral and governing authority. Therefore, its government is worldly and immoral…...
With his radical idea of erecting a wall of separation between church and state, Thomas Jefferson, was considered the greatest liberal of all. Conservatives at the time declared him an atheist even though he was a Deist. The Deist at that time believed in God but not in religion.
The 1860 presidential election in the U.S. is another example of the conservative influence at the polls. If it wasn’t a three way race Abraham Lincoln never would have been elected President. Lincoln only got 40% of the popular votes because he was considered too liberal by those who voted against him. Those in favor of slavery were the diehard conservatives that used bible quotes to prove their point as to why slavery is morally acceptable under the eyes of god.
I do not know of any Americans today that would justify slavery by quoting passages in the bible or blaming liberalism for igniting the bloodiest war in American history.
It would appear also that ultra conservatives have a narrow mindset and their outlook on the world comes in a prepackaged belief system. Their faith is steadfast and strong but the world is not as simplistic or black and white as the religious conservatives would have us believe. Reality is complex but reason and an educated society will continue to unravel the riddles of our vast and expansive universe. I do on the other hand believe there are deeper dimensions to life but I don’t believe in a supreme being concurring with feeble minded ramblings of bible thumping fundamentalists.
The Liberals who the conservatives fear so much were the free thinkers throughout history. They developed their intellects in order to enhance humanity. Their free thinking radical approaches to solving problems will continue to offend the religious conservatives’ sensibility while the world continues to progress forward.
I do realize however that Democracy is not a perfect form of government we witnessed that with our country’s economic collapse and the corporate bailout that pursued. Now we have a huge national deficit and the government’s only solution to solving this fiscal mess is by putting the massive spending behind. Fiscal responsibility is what’s needed in solving this economic crisis.
Our nation may be facing mounting challenges but it is not doomed as some would have us believe. The next generation will in fact inherit our national deficit due to our government’s shortsightedness but let’s hope we learned a lesson from this lack of fiscal restraint.
Today's Christian conservatives have a much dimmer view of America’s destiny but it wasn’t Christian fundamentalists that gave birth to this great land of ours. It was free thinkers who brought forth this nation and guided us forward so that we as a people can continue to be a moral beacon for the other nations of the world.
History will always repeat itself and just as our nation overcame past economic challenges so too will we overcome this current challenge and I truly foresee brighter days ahead.
Always with love from Suzhou, China,
Thomas F O’Neill