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Morality

Approximately 1 of 5 voters on Tuesday named moral issues as their top concern in the Presidential election. Almost 80% of those people voted for George Bush. This is astounding.

How does George W. Bush have “better morals” than John Kerry? There are two areas where Bush would “out-moral” Kerry – abortion and gay marriage. Yes, just two issues. It is amazing that we live in a nation where people do not look beyond two issues and see the rest of the world. Don’t get me wrong, I am against abortion and it is an important issue. But it is far from the only issue out there. And gay marriage? Even if you think it is a sin, is it moral to limit the rights of a specific group of people, whether or not you agree with them or not?

We live in a nation full of immorality. People flock to Vegas for prostitutes and slot machines. People flock to the liquor store or their computer for pornography. Women are objectified constantly. Men cannot wait until the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue arrives; yet think that homosexuality is an abomination. Over 50% of marriages end in divorce. The economic gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow, even though it is already the highest among industrialized nations. Women and minorities continue to make less money than white males, even when they have the same qualifications and it is the same job. We allow government sanctioned killing. We give larger tax breaks for pollution creating Hummers than we do for hybrid vehicles. We cut taxes for those who need the cut the least, and let the middle class shoulder more of the burden. We live in a nation that is responsible for the killing of over 1000 American troops and upwards of 100,000 Iraqi civilians. We live in a nation where people believe that good environmental policy is cutting down as many trees as possible and drilling for oil in some of the last natural refuges we have left.

Yet most of our nation can only look at two things – abortion and gay marriage. Eleven states voted against gay marriage on Tuesday, yet there is a good chance that half of the voters against it were divorced. Do you see the hypocrisy? Two of the Republican Party’s largest financial supporters are the tobacco lobby and the gun lobby. So we can support tobacco addiction and arming America with guns whose sole purpose is to kill, yet my uncle cannot marry his partner that he has been together with for longer than I can remember. We have people calling themselves pro-life and supporting the death penalty. We have people calling themselves pro-life and saying that we need to “blow them all away in the name of the Lord”.

Whose moral values are we talking about? And why are the people of this nation unable to look beyond two issues.

I know that this sounds a little (a lot) bitter. I am just frustrated that people do not see outside of the Falwell/Robertson bubble. I am frustrated the far right has been successful in claiming that abortion and gay marriage are far more important than other issues. I am frustrated that “progressive faith” is shunned by the right and ignored by the left. I am frustrated that Christians are so often not taught morality and ethics from a Biblical standpoint, but from a conservative political standpoint, with a few Bible verses thrown in. So I apologize for the bitterness, it has just been a frustrating week.

For more reading, check out these two articles/posts:
Jim Wallis, of Sojouners, has a great article about progressive faith, and how it did not lose the election, because there was no progressive faith in the election. Bush was far from it, and Kerry hid from it until the very end. There is also a great commentary on Christians and “morals” over at the Left Coaster. While the Left Coaster takes a pretty negative view of Christians, I think there is some very astute commentary in there.

Note: This post can also be found here

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  • http://www.capnken.com/wisdom Cap’n Ken

    Don’t confuse regular “morality” with “Christian agenda morality”.

    The Christian agenda is to control the “moral” behavior of individuals. Yes, it’s focused on abortion and gay rights at the moment, but what’ll come down the road are prayer in public schools, censorship (to address the porn issue, at least online) and maybe even banning gambling, liquor, etc.

    But as Paul Begala said on CNN this morning, Bush isn’t likely to push the Christian agenda hard. He merely tapped into that “moral” garbage to get re-elected.

    The scary thing is 2008 and beyond, when people like Ralph Reed will see themselves as viable candidates because of the Christian agenda.

    And they may be right.

  • kuros

    The problem here is a large group of people that choose to follow religious leaders that are unrighteous and wicked. I guess because I am a Mormon and a liberal Democrat I think that I can see what is going on on the inside of the Evangenical Christian movement. Right now, there are religious leaders, Falwell, Robertson, that are wicked men unconcerned with God or the commandments. They have led the people under them astray through the politics of resentment and hatred. I don’t know that there is much we can do about it until the people realize what has happened. We can start to genuinely address there needs and concerns. I mean job protection, healthcare, unions, education. The Republicans have taken economic issues off the table. We need to take social issues off the table. John Kerry did a good job with starting this. Actually, I am amazed that Kerry got 48% of the vote to Bush’s 51%. Ohio was down to 1% difference. That is amazing to me. People are starting to wake up and smell the coffee. Start looking after the workers again, ditch the Yuppies, and we will be the dominant party. Sorry for the long post, but I feel passionate about this.

  • http://hippydave.brendoman.com/ dave

    I do not think that the progressives need to take social issues off the table. I think that that they did need to talk about ALL social issues. Not just abortion and gay marriage. Most people will realize that they agree with a “liberal” stance on most issues, we just need to convince people that those issues are just as important as abortion and gay marriage.

    And yea…I feel passionate about it too.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com andy marsh

    that’s BS people…the people that I know didn’t vote for bush because they felt that they needed to vote for a religious leader…as a matter of fact…I don’t have very many friends that go to church or consider themselves very religious…the reason they voted for bush and not kerry is because they don’t trust kerry…he comes from the most liberal state in the country and he’s even more liberal than his buddy teddy!

    There are social issues I’m sure both sides could agree on…schools, health…

    But I’m telling you right now, if the democratic party puts another person that’s considered to be as liberal or more liberal than the murderer teddy kennedy up for a vote…then he’s not going to have any better luck than kerry did.

    clinton was a moderate democrat…and until the democratic party comes back closer to the center…you guys are gonna continue to scream about republican presidents!

  • http://ari.typepad.com Steve Rhodes

    Please, you can drop the “most liberal” now. That was based on one year, 2003, when Kerry missed most votes because he was campaigning.

    And Andrew Kohut said that calling morals the most important issue ” is a little bit misleading.”

  • http://kyle.brendoman.com Kyle S

    I have decided that the fundamental problem with fundamentalism (heh-heh) is that of focusing on the sins of others, rather than sins of one’s own self. This is manifested most obviously in the demand for political action against homosexuality and abortion.

    Of course, to point this out like I just did is hypocritical, since I am now pointing out the faults of people, without examining my own life. It’s a bit of a catch-22.

    I read a very refreshing view in Philip Yancey’s Soul Survivor. Yancey tells of a newspaper that asked for essays in response to the question, “What is wrong with the world?” G.K. Chesterton’s response was the shortest:

    Dear Sirs,

    I am.

    Sincerely Yours,
    G.K. Chesterton.

    This is the kind of humility Paul demonstrated when he called himself the worst of sinners. We should all aspire to such an attitude.

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    But I don’t believe in sin.

    So, that’s what’s really wrong with fundamentalism, that it believes in sin at all. Doesn’t matter if it’s theirs or someone else’s: sin is on the fundamentalists’ minds. And this leads them to want to legislate according to what they define as sin.

    They all want to keep other people from committing sins, when all they should be concerned about is what goes on in their own homes and no one else’s.

  • http://kyle.brendoman.com Kyle S

    My point exactly. Whether you’re calling it sin or not, it’s about personal morality.

  • Dana Renner

    Why can’t there be a moderate American vision? The election is over and we still have another 2 years of the Bush presidency. We need to concentrate on getting Government to serve all the people, not just some. People are suffering, Soldiers are dying in Iraq and we need to get them home. Guess what and we are still arguing about right vs left, Democrat vs Republican. I feel that we Christians should show the best way and that is the way of the Cross. Christ is the ensign of the people in Him we have hope and maybe we can bring that hope back to Government. We do not need pulpiteering, but we do need conviction, a person of faith, and one who is the President of the United States, not of wealthy interests, or immoral interests either. But one who is for the people, in a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Maybe a true FDR. FDR was a friend of the people. Thanks and keep praying.