Recently I was surfing around at HuffingtonPost.com, a relatively new site that combines news items, liberal columnists, and the unmoderated commentary of any knucklehead with a keyboard (though of course that last feature is, frankly, sort of what makes the internet the internet), and I fell into a debate about who had the greater claim to morality, Republicans or Democrats.
A poster calling himself The Christian Right summed up his feelings about those of us on the left, to wit: "You must come to the realization that you are irresponsible, you have no self discipline, you have no shame, you have no moral compass, you have no objectivity, you have no plan, you are not forward thinking, you have little value in a civilized society, you reside on the lunatic fringe, and you cannot legitimately defend that position."
Golly. What bad people we must be. (But you know, as misguided as this person is, at least he used the serial comma.)
I couldn't help responding to this Christian Right person, because I think part of the problem we liberals have right now is that we don't make enough effort to counter such lunacy. Even when we're maligned by people like this, people who are blinded by ideology, people who feel marginalized, we should still let others know that his opinions and the truth are miles apart.
Here's how I responded.
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The Christian Right is not right at all.
He says "you're irresponsible," but I'll bet he hates Planned Parenthood, which teaches people how to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
He says "you have no self-discipline," but fails to notice that his blanket generalization is a classic example of undisciplined, immature thought.
He says "you have no shame," but supports the most shameful leader in our country's history, a president who openly lies about his reasons for sending young Americans to their death.
He says "you have no moral compass," but pridefully believes his moral compass is good enough for everyone to use.
He says "you have no objectivity," yet he can justify one president's lies over another's, because that president believes the way he does.
He says "you have no plan," but has no interest in considering a plan that would improve living conditions for the poor and middle-class, no interest in considering a plan that doesn't conform to his exceedingly narrow and superstitious worldview.
He says "you're not forward-thinking," simply because our thinking is aimed at avoiding Armageddon, not inviting it.
He says "you have little value in a civilized society," without regard to the fact that progressive thinkers are the ones that advanced the cause of civil rights, ended slavery, enfranchised women, and guaranteed his right to practice the religion of his choice.
He says "you reside on the lunatic fringe," which, whether it's true or not, is a far more moral place to reside than among the self-righteous and narrow-minded.
He says "you cannot legitimately defend that position," but I can, and I have, and so can everyone in this blog who believes in American ideals. There's room for everyone in our tent, Christian Right, but you cannot in good conscience say the same.
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I might have gotten a little heavy-handed toward the end, but hey, the good news is that I suddenly remembered I have a blog. Perhaps I won't go five months between posts next time.