Monday, June 16, 2008

Slicing the pie a different way

A recent episode of the podcasted show "Left, Right, and Center" revolved around the idea of hopes for "A New Center." I found this to be a wholly narcissistic exercise, as everyone posited their pet causes as the kernel around which a New Center would form. That ain't gonna happen-- carving the pie in such a way that you get no crust for yourself. What could happen is a realignment, a slicing of the pie along a different axis. Consider these points:
  • Fox News network, known for conservative programming, gets citations from the FCC for lewd sexual content.
  • The New York Post, known for conservative political opinions, always features a bikini or underwear shot in its first 10 pages.
  • Sean Hannity, a conservative talk show host, ardently defended the ardently pro-abortion (but Iraq War supporter) Steny H. Hoyer over the ardently anti-abortion (but Iraq War critic) John Murtha in the battle for House Majority Leader.
  • A conservative political action group boos John McCain when he gets to the podium because of his moderate views on immigration.
  • Many conservative pundits are telling Joe Lieberman (pro-abortion) how much they like him, and were against John McCain (pro-life) during the primary season
Notice a trend? I didn't even get to Rush Limbaugh's jokes about the "brilliant" sexual humiliation of detainees.

I'm not saying that Republican voters are bad people. I am saying that what gets posited as "conservative" is in no way required by the teachings of the Christian Church. I don't think that John Paul II (Father "No to War") would be pleased with a media source that was ardently pushing the war and showing lewd pictures of women for titillation purposes. I can dig up some sermons from Martin Luther that give me the same impression.

I would like to see the political pie sliced in a way that puts the above bulleted mindsets into a different party than the actual teachings of the Christian church. Not that the church must be a player on the political stage. The church however IS a player on the philosophical stage. And some philosophies celebrate lawlessness. We've seen that "conservatives" have no problem with pushing abortion and lewdness. This kind of "conservatism" is not so much about small government (consider a few-trillion-dollar war), but rather about getting off of Archie Bunker's case. Laissez faire.

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