A DIVIDE TOO WIDE TO BRIDGE

teabag

I have a page on my blog called Bridge Makers.  It is a rare day I see any post I would consider worthy of calling a bridge maker.   I have never received a nomination.  Why is that?  What divides us?  Why is the divide increasing?

An Unending Appetite

We see answers in the news every day.  It is all too human for us to be greedy gluttons.  On Friday, for example, the Washington Times carried the following story, DuPont, Monsanto trade barbs over competition.  Curious for more details, I read an earlier story, FEATURE-Monsanto, DuPont square off in crop seed turf war, by CNN Money.  These two goliaths, Dupont worth over $29 billion and Monsanto worth over $45 billion, each have about a third of the seed business.  Their contest to secure the rest of the business leaves no holds barred.

Considering the complexity of running such large enterprises, the sheer size of these companies is inexplicable — except for the advantages of the political influence such size brings.  As it happens, when our nation was founded, large corporations were rare.  In fact, during the Boston Tea Party, the colonists directed much of their rage against the British East India Company.  To stifle competition against a favored corporation, King George III awarded the British East India Company special tax privileges.  Such an obvious abuse of citizen rights did not go over well.

Similar vile chicanery continues today in the shadows of complexity.  The Alantic, pitching the public option (for nationalized  health care), complains about corporate greed in Welfare Dons.  Ironically, the same article points out the huge amount of ineptitude in today’s government-financed health care.   Nonetheless, we are suppose to believe more government will fix the problems government created.   All we have to do is hate the Welfare Dons.

Instead of hating the Welfare Dons, we might be wiser to consider a different question.  How many of us imitate the greedy Welfare Dons?  How many of us seek every material advantage we can from government?

Theological Oppression

Religious strife is nothing new.  The problem of government and religion is the same as it has always been.    Religious freedom depends upon a diversity of beliefs competing in the market place of ideas.   Because it denies them full control, some will always hate an open market place.  So it is that our government has taken control of education.  The result?  With the government running our education system and a few large corporations in charge of most of the mass media, our leaders have successfully indoctrinated large numbers of us in secular humanism.

Who opposes government/corporate education and indoctrination in secular humanism?  Advocates for secular humanism label their opponents fundamentalists and right-wing Christian radicals.  Moreover, these advocates seek to slowly morph the meaning of the term “fundamentalism.”  Increasing, secularists apply the label fundamentalist to any Christian who actually believes the Apostle’s Creed.

Nonetheless, the battle is not completely lost.  Out of respect for tradition, our elected officials still take an oath of office, but many openly break that oath.  How do they justify breaking it?  How do they convince the public that that oath is not important?   They use a technique we call rationalization.   They rationalized, for example, that we have a living constitution.

To honor an oath is to honor our fear of the Lord, wherein is the beginning of wisdom.  But what if one knows of no God and teaches mere human wisdom?  Then who does keeping our oath honor?  The man who made the oath?  What if that man finds the honor more inconvenient than the breaking of his oath?

Fear of Losing Control

We fear people who think and do differently.  So we strive for uniformity, rigid control that reflects and affirms our beliefs.  To avoid being offended by differences, we will happily lock both our neighbors and ourselves into unions, corporations, government agencies, and monolithic churches that insist upon a conformity of practice and belief.  Then we will hide and bury our blatant fears and raging biases with slogans that require government enforcement, uniformity, and conformity; but endorse diversity and multiculturalismRalph Waldo Emerson described the problem this way.

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.  (from here)

Emerson’s words spoke to a consistency of word and thought, an ability to never contradict one’s self.  When we insist upon such a consistency, we stifle ourselves with an impossible need for perfection.  Imagine then the result when we insist upon perfect social control and consistency.  We stifle ourselves, our friends, and our neighbors.  Until it erupts with rage, our world becomes bland and lifeless.

The Solution

The solution is dreadfully simple, but it is not easy.  To live as would choose, we must let our friends and neighbors live as they would choose.  We each must bleed, and we each must sweat for our own causes.  Worst of all, whether we ask for help or offer to give help, we must be willing to take no for an answer.  Unless he is willing, we must each accept the right of our neighbor to be left in peace.

Other Views

As I see it, the Tea Party Movement reflects the desire of Americans to restore their right to independent thought and action.  What is happening?

SWAC Girl announces a call to action, Join the March on Washington, DC … Saturday, Sept. 12.  She cites this website for a the mission statement.

Fishersville Mike has an announcement, I’m a teabagger.

According to Tertium Quids, Mark Warner Changes His Tune on Townhalls.

The Virginian does excerpts, P.J. O’Rourke writing about the Washington Post, but it could as easily have been the Virginian Pilot.

Deo Vindice links to a great song, Listen to This Song.

Leslie Carbone reports, Town Hall Reflections.  She notes that “The plunder lobby did a good job of mobilizing its astroturf whiners for yesterday’s Town Hall meeting with Howard Dean and Jim Moran.”

The Star City Harbinger claims the mantle of Reagan Conservatism for Obama, While Democrats and independents grow more conservative, National GOP indulges radical elements of the right-wing.

2 thoughts on “A DIVIDE TOO WIDE TO BRIDGE

  1. Tom, there are people who attempt to represent their religion by attacking those who attend other churches (such as Bull Run Unitarian, which I attend). These same people claim to be “right wing,” which gives others a bad name. Unfortunately, there are jerks in every church and in every institution, but because of this, the religious wars fester in our country. Until we can either accept or ignore one another, we will continue to see friction between factions.

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  2. kgotthardt – I suppose there are “right-wing” Christians, but I have not notice that these Christians actually step on anyone’s rights. In fact, it seems to me that the biggest infringement on religious liberty in this country are Federal, state, and local governments that allow themselves to be used as a tool to educate children in values which those children’s parents disapprove.

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