Friday, October 19, 2007

The Most Pressing Issues of Justice: Take Two

The earlier misfire was Blogger's fault. Of course, Wes Kenney would demur at this point, asserting that it is actually my fault for sticking with Blogger. Now, inspired by Rich Mullins, I say, "This is the post as best as I can remember it." In most states there is one and only one legal contract that one party can break unilaterally without fear of consequence. In many states, there is one and only one medical procedure that a doctor can inflict upon a thirteen year old without notifying a parent. In a great many businesses and some states as well, there is one and only one extramarital relationship that can qualify a person to be included in someone else's workplace benefits. Divorce, abortion, homosexuality. Liberals have carved out for the dissolution of homes, the murder of innocents, and the depravation of human sexuality special legal niches to encourage this behavior. They talk about poverty, but the problem of poverty in America is no better today than it was in 1967. The war on poverty has been very successful at preventing poverty among graduates of the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, but it sure hasn't done much to improve the lives of people in Desha County, Arkansas (2007 unemployment rate: 11.5%; 2004 poverty rate: 28.7%). They talk about health care, but four decades after the government's first steps toward socialized medicine, we are in a health care crisis (to hear liberals speak of it). On the other hand, liberals can provide a long list of accomplishments regarding divorce, abortion, and homosexuality. So, who's been obsessed with these "culture war" issues? Who has launched them into the public discourse? Until next year's election, you are going to hear incessantly that religious conservatives have been obsessed with these issues while liberals have been doing everything possible to make the world a better place. You're going to hear that religious conservatives are too cozy with the Republican Party (all evidence to the contrary...can anyone say James Dobson?...notwithstanding). Be not deceived—these are talking points designed to weaken the conviction of values voters (as though the 2008 candidate lineup were not a powerful enough elixir for that task). But these issues have become so contentious and so important not because of anything conservatives have done, but because of the way that liberals, in their bizarre, obsessive devotion to these ideas, have shoehorned them into our system of laws. These are the most pressing issues of justice that we face today. For all of its violence and duration, the Iraq war has barely eclipsed the single-day death toll of abortion in the United States alone. Divorce is among the most predictable causes of poverty in our country. Homosexuality has contributed to the spread of one of the worst public health plagues that the world has known. If we love people, we ought to advocate for laws that discourage people from aborting babies, abandoning their marital vows, and engaging in sexual behavior with people of the same sex. Instead, we have a set of laws that encourage them to do all of these things. Those who steadfastly call for an end to these things stand in the lineage of Elijah and Isaiah. Those who prefer nuance and sophistication to conviction will stand in the line of George McClellan—so mesmerized by the feints across the lines as to be caught unprepared in the critical moment and place of engagement.

1 comment:

The Milkman said...

It's about time. Blogger was probably in process of deleting your blog due to inactivity.

Last election cycle I had an interesting conversation with a Democrat deacon in our church. I was promoting "value voting" and he took the hard-line, yellow dog stance. His basic premise was that the Republican's so-called stand on conservative value issues was mere rhetoric to secure the religious vote.

His question to me was basically "what have they done about these things? In the years since Roe v. Wade, the Republicans have held the oval office for most of the time and have they done anything about abortion or is it worse? Has the divorce rate lessened? Has the family been strengthened?"

Of course, you might imagine my dilemma. My response was " takes more than a Republican president...and it takes time to accomplish change. And, of course, I would rather have a do-nothing politician who (at least) speaks out against injustice than one who neither speaks nor works for what is right.

This little conversation helped strengthen and deepen my own convictions. A few things this helped me realize:

1) Never tire or give up the fight for what's right. There will always be a Sanballat to discourage you.
2) Realize that the AMERICAN PEOPLE need a heart change rendered by a relationship with Jesus if wide-spread reform is to be a reality.
3) Be not ignorant nor acceptant of stump speech rhetoric that leads nowhere. We are going to have to toughen up on politicians who promise the moon and deliver black holes.
4) Be leary of serving in a church with a Democratic leaning.