Sunday, October 12, 2008

Heathen democrats?

I agree with blogger Richard Ivory of People should not be pigeonholed politically. I bet the assumption that every black person is a democrat is as much an affront to Ivory as some of the assumptions about democrats are to me.

A student at Liberty University - founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell - told NPR that upon finding out that he votes democrat, fellow students consistently ask him if he is a christian. I can't imagine that someone with conflicting beliefs would enroll at Liberty, so the question is asinine as it is ignorant.

I keep hearing and reading the jokes about democrats being lawless and anti-christian and I don't get them. I miss the punch lines because they are grossly exaggerated and inaccurate caricatures. I happen to be christian and I know many christian democrats. I'm pretty sure there are more than a few of us. When did being a democrat come to mean you are heathen? How did Republicans come to be the prevailing authority on christian values? Who made the Religious Right antipodal to the Liberal Left?

I vote democrat because I agree with more of the elements of that party's platform, than the Republican Party. None of those elements stand in opposition to my christian beliefs. I believe that a government's role is to defend the country against its enemies (with more emphasis on the diplomatic tools available to avoid armed conflicts, than on the execution of war); to protect the wellbeing (economic, health and otherwise) of all its citizens; to preserve the God-given and law-given rights of all its citizens - including a woman's right to choose. I believe there should be clear and absolute separation of church and state. I do not believe that prayer and faith should replace knowledge and strategy in dictating public policy. Does that make me unchristian? I don't think so. I believe that a government allowed to dictate what I do with my body or who my partner should be, could one day conceivably tell me how to worship. And a government that prays rather than plans is not using the gifts God gave them.

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