How can we be so different?

5 09 2009


     I was watching MSNBC this morning to see what others were saying about the Presidents health care bill. It was not surprising that they were filled with mocking sarcasm towards those “right wing” folks out there. Those people are “crazies” who see socialism in the artwork at the Rockefeller Center in New York. A “hammer and sickle”, or the “Worker and the Farmer” or imprints of Lenin embedded in the artwork mean nothing. Those people who see all the growing public programs as socialistic must have imaginary friends.

     They talked a bunch about how America is not socialist, has never been socialist, does not intend to be socialists, will never become socialists and those who see a left turn towards socialism are loonies. They even had a Brit. to tell us that Americans have a different kind of DNA which will not allow us to become socialists. Well, I suppose that no side of the debate has a corner on sarcasms. So on with the game.

     What was a bit surprising though was the debate at MSNBC on how the President can win on his health care agenda. It sounded like a democratic strategy session. They plotted and planned. They offered advice and encouragement for the President to simply move forward, pressure the Blue dogs and forget about bi-partisanship. It is clearly the morally superior thing to do. We must push for public health care because we are better people.

Here’s the deal

     There are clearly two world-views in collision. Some interpret the world one way and others interpret the world another. And beyond that there are others whose world views are being challenged and confronted by both sides. We call them moderates. They really are folks who want to offend no one or have simply not thought through the deeper questions of life. For example, how can you not have an opinion about abortion?

How can we be so different?

     When each person walks into the ballot box, he or she becomes a theologian. They look at the candidates and ask which would take the actions I would agree with. In other words, which candidate sees the world the same way I do? The answer is simple. The candidate you think who sees the world the most like you is the one you believe views God the most like you. Make sense? Your view of life is impacted by your view of God.

How it plays out in political views,

     One’s view of God perhaps most directly impacts one’s view of man. Is man good or bad? Do we need laws to protect us from power grabbing tyrants or can we trust others with our basic rights because they will have our best interest at heart. Will the basic decency of mankind be reflected in laws that protect one’s property and privacy , laws that are good and fair or will laws generally express self interest and a desire to take advantage of others.

Another way to ask the question,

     A different way to find the same answer is to ask the question, “How do you read the 20th Century?”. Was it a century with a few evil people who are exceptions to the rule trying to take over the world? Or is there a common thread of selfishness that runs right down the middle of all of us? Alexander Solzhenitsyn came to see it that way as a prisoner in the Gulags of the Soviet Union. The prisoner performing surgery on a particularry vile guard was tempted to perform a shoddy operation, to end his career of villainy early. At that crossroad he realized the line between good and evil does not run between us and them. It runs right down the middle of all of us. So how do you read the 20th Century? It will tell you a bunch about yourself.

Next time: Reading the 20th Century



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