George Bush apparently has convinced his supporters that he has a direct pipeline to the almighty. It may seem like an odd contradiction, but I, a liberal environmentalist and progressive is also a God fearing Christian with a conduit to my hero: Jesus Christ. I pray often: to “talk” to my deceased father and asking my Lord for strength to fight those who despoil the planet. My “God” is a loving and accepting deity. I have been taught to accept those who profess religion or belong to no religion: because each can be moral, loving and good.
Upon silent reflection of the post election results and the swirling debate about morality, my prayers were answered with questions. In short: Jesus has some serious questions for us all about morality and the apparent contractions of using “religion” to advance a sordid agenda of hate and arrogance. If a certain “segment” of our populous thinks it has the upper hand with morals they must “walk the walk.” In other words, Jesus would like some answers:
- Has George Bush received a mandate to liquidate the creation? George Bush has not addressed the issue of mass extinction or the threat of global warming. How can despoilment of the earth be moral? Even the bible (Ecclesiastes) acknowledges this: “Yea, they have all one breathe; so that a man (or woman) hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.”
- Do the supporters of George Bush think that it is moral to let an economic system treat its most treasured asset, children, as nothing less than prostitutes for profit? Where is the moral outcry against selling thongs to eight year olds and targeting children with consumerism at home and at school? Soda pop companies and fast food entities now act like big tobacco in its quest to lead children into the quagmire of diabetes and osteoporosis. We are selling out children as commodities to an economic system that increasingly has no ethical parameters.
- Do the “elite moralists” who claim this election was about values believe they have the right to tell a girl or woman who is the victim of incest or rape or a domineering man that they cannot decide for themselves about the option of abortion? Where are the programs to make birth control free? Where are economic safeguards for those in poverty who lack medical care? Jesus tells me that “ the care of children” does not end after nine months in the womb! The real work begins after birth: health care for children and an equal playing field for women in education and work options. If moral pundits have such disdain for abortion why don’t they show the same disdain for those who place women in desperate situations?
- Is it moral to lie about war? Is it moral to allow our beloved young soldiers, both men and women to be killed and maimed for a war that seems to be justified with ideals as solid as the shifting sands of a beach? Where is the outcry for the tens of thousands of dead Iraq children? Is it not the height of immorality to term them as collateral damage: for in the eyes of God, no child is marginal or expendable.
- Ask the moralists is it right to steal? Corporations steal from the American treasury like uncommon criminals: their thievery destroys families and denies the elderly of pensions. Lives are ruined, yet economists boast about Darwinian economics?
My conversation with God leads me to believe that love is a good thing. That is individuals in a loving relationship deserve respect. The hatred against homosexuals soils this doctrine of love and respect, as if love between two individuals (same sex or not) cannot be good?
The discussion of morals in America is a good thing. When it comes to “goodness”: it doesn’t belong to the religious or non-religious, Democrat or Republican, poor or rich. It belongs to those who practice it and defend it. For Republicans to claim that this election was a referendum on “morals” is utter hypocrisy. The “vocal apostles” of the Republican party: the Michael Savages, the Rush Limbaughs, the Lar Larsons, the Anne Coulters and the Bill O’Reillys are charlatans who increase hatred and vitriolic national dialogue. The Republican effort to highjack morals is as transparent as George Bush being the environmental, education or fiscally responsible “president.”
The Democrats are as equally guilty in their inability to take moral stands that are consistent. Some in the Democratic Party would like to shun the opportunity to defend an issue based on “morals.” That is a tragic mistake. There are a great many “religious” members of the Democratic Party, as well as a great many “moral” members of the party that are not religious. Religious or not: it is goodness and conviction that counts.
Many in the Democratic Party advocate a move to the “center” on issues: as if defending children, defending the environment, defending economic sanity are not liberal issues, for they are. Democrats’ inability to frame protection of children, the environment and care of the elderly in moral terms has been a disaster for their party. John Kerry did not inspire because he was afraid to hold up a picture of dead Iraq children and ask, “Is this moral?” Kerry did not hold up a giant list of species soon to be extinct and ask, “Who gave us the right to cause their extinction” or better yet, “did Jesus give you moralists the mandate to sink the ark?” Kerry did not scold soulless corporations, because his party, just like Republicans prefers to deal with the “money traders” even though my hero Jesus held the money traders in contempt. Sadly, the Democrats invite dirty money into the temple of politics, as they decry the cronies of Bush: from Halliburton to Enron. Any moral strength that Kerry possessed was tossed into the wind in the name of quisling Democratic politics. People are attracted to moral commitment: religious or not.
Jesus is liberal: forgiving, loving and steadfast. For the Democratic Party to ignore people like me with devout beliefs is foolish. For the Republican Party to claim itself a party of Jesus-like values soils the historic reputation of a man like Jesus as well as Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Buddha and Mohammed.
Let’s have a discussion on morals. Let’s urge the media to have the “moral guts” to show us the carnage in Iraq, expose the corporate thievery of childhood and bring to light gutting of our environmental safety net. Will politicians take to Capital Hill and talk about issues that really matter in America? We have a lot of questions to answer and not only Jesus will be listening.
John F. Borowski pieces have appeared in the NY Times, UTNE Reader and many other numerous sites. He is a marine and earth science teacher of 25 years. He can be reached at email@example.com