Image courtesy of thewoodenshoes on Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons.
[This post was originally published on June 24, 2010. The content has been edited, updated, and expanded.]
I write this coming off a hard week of Facebook exchanges with a conservative Christian. Good guy, from what I can tell, with a good heart. Just very conservative. So I now have this picture of myself as a scary, ultra-liberal. I don’t think that’s who I am (and he never used those words), but here, for the benefit of all, I will “come clean” about my views (both political and theological).
1. I believe Jesus Christ is the risen Son of God and that salvation comes through him alone. I also happen to believe that if he is in fact God, then he will unite people with God who do not fit the formula the church has established. People get upset with me for thinking this, but why? Can I not leave it to God to do what God will do?
2. I am pro-life. God cares as much about the already-born as he does about the unborn, so I believe social justice is critical as well.
3. I am pro free-market. However, because so many people lack internal constraints based on well-grounded moral principles, the market must be regulated to keep individual self-interest from shipwrecking the country (if it hasn’t already).
4. I believe in “Just War” theory. I am not a pacifist, but lean strongly in that direction.
5. I believe that not only are individuals responsible before God, but so are countries and societies.
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I believe in love. Not the squishy, touchy-feely kind, but the kind that takes guts and practice and a lot of failure before we start to get it right.
I believe in freedom and pluralism, grateful that I live in a country where I am free to believe in God but where no one has to.
I believe in God, and that the vast majority of people who do not believe in God, or who believe in a different god than I do, are fine people with a lot to teach me. I am not at war with them, and I am not on the side of any so-called Christian who is.
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Is it just me, or is Barack Obama sounding more like George W. Bush every day? This is either because:
a. Obama is giving in to political pressure and changing his ideals
b. Obama is seeing reality much more clearly, and reasonable human beings, given full information, will naturally come to similar conclusions about how America should proceed
I am inclined to believe it is the second one. What do you think?
Here is another example of the paranoia that is coming so often from the political right these days. This is a great illustration of how we can assign meaning to things that seems to resonate on a visceral level, and yet we can miss the mark completely.
[disclaimer: I realize political paranoia is not the exclusive domain of the right. But with a Democratic president, it just appears to be the right’s particular forte at this time]
[another disclaimer: I do not endorse every single thing about the clip below. But I wholeheartedly endorse its general point about the paranoia]
To skip right to the main point, start viewing at 2:20.