Of course there is no lack of hypocrisy to be found among us all. Still one can’t help but imagine the vitriol and accusations of hatred and intolerant bigotry that would be hurled had it been an outspoken liberal canned from a conservative production. If tolerance was evenly demanded and practiced honest conversation might follow.
Apr 01 2010
Michael Medved believes the recent totally partisan Congressional vote to establish federal control over all healthcare is useful in Exposing the Essence of the Left/Right Divide
After the House of Representatives voted on Obamacare, Representative Louise Slaughter, the New York Democrat who chairs the Rules Committee, told the Wall Street Journal: “It makes me so happy that, after 100 years, we can finally catch up with the rest of the world!”. Does Ms. Slaughter really believe the U.S. has lagged behind the rest of the world since 1910? During that period, we saved the planet in four major international conflicts while our surging economy brought higher living standards to most of the world. The key distinction between Democrats and Republicans involves attitudes toward America. The right believes the world would benefit by following America’s example; the left thinks the U.S. should become more like the rest of the world. Democrats may long to emulate France, but most Americans feel proud – rather than embarrassed – by our nation’s uniqueness.
I WISH this was true. But if the divide were so simple, if mere emulation of Europe was the goal of the Left, then when European governments occasionally take a step to the right, the American Left would want to emulate that. Obviously, they do not. A more subtle piece on the left/right divide was written in 2008 by Dennis Prager, and I commented on it here.
Instead, the American left only celebrates the European left, a fact that has been obvious for at least 30 years, since the American left derided Margaret Thatcher at every turn. In fact, one of the Left’s main briefs against Reagan was that he and Thatcher were such good friends.
The essence of the Left/Right divide, then, is very simple.
Leftists believe in the perfectibility of human beings and human culture, if only we could get it right, if only we could create just the right laws and social structures, if only the evil influences of traditional religion and selfishness could be removed, if only the right people were in charge to make everyone else “do right.”
The Right also wants the right people in charge, but the Right’s definition of “the right people” will be those who have no particular thirst to override basic human freedom in the service of some larger social goal, those who believe the government governs best that governs as little as possible (consistent with the basic functions of civil government), and, most important of all, those with enough humility to know that they don’t have the answers to everything, and who are convinced that government is not the answer to most things.
The Left wants to control us for our own good. The Right thinks it’s good for us to be in control.
And that’s the divide.
Mar 18 2010
Article and picture from CNN: Evangelical leader takes on Beck for assailing social justice churches
An evangelical leader is calling for a boycott of Glenn Beck’s television show and challenging the Fox News personality to a public debate after Beck vilified churches that preach economic and social justice.
The Rev. Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners, a network of progressive Christians, says Beck perverted Jesus’ message when he urged Christians last week to leave churches that preach social and economic justice.
Now here’s what’s sad/funny about this article.
First, the United Church of Christ, as a denomination, is “pro-choice.” So they’re for “social justice” for everyone but the most innocent among us, who apparently do not deserve legal protections of any kind. And as a member in good standing of the National Council of Churches, they never saw a South or Central American socialist/communist dictator they didn’t like. Which means, of course, that they weren’t for “social justice” for the people in political prisons (or dead) in those places. I mean, how bad can a communist dictator be if he has national health care in his country?
Second, when they show a United Church of Christ sign, and quote “evangelical” minister Jim Wallis, they create by association the notions that the United Church of Christ is evangelical, and that evangelicals as a whole have any serious disagreement with Mr. Beck. Both are false.
Third, “social justice” is a euphemism for statist solutions to “social problems.” Otherwise, churches that use the term would be talking about Christian charity, love, mission and service, which are wonderful, old and uncontroversial ideas, not “social justice.” And, of course, the origin of the term “social justice” had nothing to do with any church, being an artifact of Marxist thought and its intellectual descendants. (And isn’t Mr. Beck taking heat for pointing that out.)
It’s interesting that by pointing that out, Mr. Beck has become the subject, instead of the perversion of the concepts of Christian charity, love, mission and service into “social justice” that is preached by the “Christian Left.”
Fourth, the United Church of Christ is shrinking, fast. It is simply dying out. Along with most of the rest of the “mainline protestant” groups. That’s what happens to Christian groups that abandon their central teachings and moral values to appeal to the world. So in a few years or decades, it’s likely that no local congregation will be around to maintain the sign above.
Some churches are converted to skating rinks when they’re sold due to lack of interest, or lack of surviving members, if the building is big enough.
That sign looks big enough to list prices and hours of operation.
Jan 12 2010
In a recent discussion here, I tried to illustrate that saying about a negative behavior that “everybody does it” is generally misleading, unless some numbers are put to the observation. Yes, some groups have some bad apples. But some groups have a lot more than others. Some ideologies have had unfortunate consequences… but some have had far worse consequences.
Especially perverse is the notion that both sides have the same numbers of people with equally good motivations, so that we must “respect” all those on the other side as if they really want the same things we do, and have the same values we do. So in a fit of undoubtedly childish sarcasm, I illustrated the absurdity of the notion that “everybody does it” and “everybody really means well” this way:
There is no difference in behavior between the right and the left. Both sides are equally respectful (or disrespectful) of the other. Both sides are equally right. Both sides are equally wrong. Both sides have the same tendency to speak hatefully of the other. Both sides have the same number of radicals. Both sides care equally about everybody and everything. Both sides have the same number of people who are committed to doing the moral thing. Both sides have the same numbers of people who are committed to their perspectives for purely selfish reasons. Both sides lie exactly the same amount. Both sides celebrate equally the personal misfortunes of the other.
Everyone is just as equal in everything as it is possible to be. We’re all just the same. No one is any more correct than anyone else. There are no absolutes, no one knows any more than anyone else, and everything is up for reconsideration at any time.
Furthermore, the communists in the Soviet Union were no worse and no better than any other political party or entity in any other nation, because everyone is basically the same, and there are no real moral differences between people who believe different things honestly.
In fact, the Chinese Communist Maoists were no worse than the Whigs…. just different. Who is to say whose values are better than whose? What gives anyone the right to say that one side’s values and policies are better than the other’s?
After all, good Christians were in favor of slavery, and quoted scripture to support it.
So nobody really knows anything with any certainty. In fact, stating one’s opinion too strongly is probably a sign of intellectual immaturity and possibly colonial intentions.
Can’t we all just get along?
(my tongue is starting to hurt, and I will now remove it before it becomes permanently bonded to the inside of my cheek)
Manifestly, everyone and every group and every ideology is NOT the same in negative consequences, negative motivations, and just plain evil. I believe that it is far more often the Left that makes the claim of a false equality, especially by saying “the Right does it too” when some really obvious transgression is pointed out regarding the Left.
Very simply, I have the impression that the Left is rarely embarrassed, or will admit being embarrassed, by anything that anyone on the Left says or does. On the other hand, when someone on the Right goes over the line, they are likely to be chastised FROM the Right. For example, very many on the Right were very critical of the overspending, pork barreling, and ear marking of the Republican congress before 2007. So were many on the Left. But the Democrat congress has topped Republican excesses by at least an order of magnitude… and the Left is mostly silent about it.
The difference is telling.
Aug 11 2009
Mr. Schaeffer, your dad would be proud. Very proud.
For the record, he was a great man.
But in the meantime, you really don’t have much to worry about.
And Ms. Maddow, as hard-hitting journalism goes, including probing questions, the challenging of facts not in evidence, etc., that was simply a tour de farce. (Spelling intentional)
And your, uh, former audience is on to you.
UPDATE: Mr. Schaeffer, is this one of the angry white men you had in mind? I would purely love to see you attempt to debate with him.
Jul 27 2009
It’s popular to view so called “right-wingers” as nuts with guns and bad attitudes, not really suitable for polite society, probably unstable and dangerous. From the panicky news coverage given to the murder of a late-term abortionist, to the Napolitano Homeland Security Office labeling conservatives as possible terrorist threats, to lies about how many US firearms make it to Mexico for use in the murderous drug wars, the general feeling is that conservatives are just barely holding themselves back from mass murder…. and that’s on a good day.
So, for the innumerate among you, a little analysis. First, some raw numbers.
America is now estimated to have between 238 million and 276 million firearms, compared with some 250 million legally owned guns, or 84 for every 100 people, recorded in a July 2001 survey.
This survey is a bit old. There are now lots more guns in civilian hands in the USA. In fact, there’s been something of a boom in gun sales since the 2008 elections.
It seems likely that a disproportionate number of firearms are in the hands of conservatives. Given that a great many people own more than one firearm, there are likely a very large number of liberal-left folks who own none (although the rich ones hire bodyguards who are armed… and are probably conservatives), while probably a majority of conservatives do own guns of some kind.
Let’s say, just for a talking point, that 50 million conservatives in the USA own guns, or have easy access to them in their households.
When was the last time you heard of a liberal/left government official of any kind, whether elected or appointed, who was murdered by a conservative with an agenda, using a firearm? If conservatives are just angry people looking for an excuse, they certainly have the means. If just a thousandth of a percent of conservative gun owners are looney-tunes crazy enough to shoot a lefty politician, that would leave 500 crazy, roaming Rambos, each one with blood in his eye and a round in the chamber.
I was just wondering. Did they all miss? Did they all take a shot and miss and get arrested? Did the major media (with it’s well-known reticence about saying negative things regarding conservative gun owners) just fail to report it? Were they all mistaken for ex-lovers of the lefty/lib politicians they shot at, and therefore ignored? (After all, dog bites man isn’t news, is it?)
I dunno…. but IF the folks I saw out on the range last week wanted to shoot themselves a commie pinko gay-loving taxing/spending multi-cultural baby-killing global warming socialist, I don’t think they’d be likely to miss. Those conservative folks may be ignorant, selfish, bigoted and gap-toothed, but they can hit what they aim at, usually more than once, even if their drive-bys involve shooting from the back of a 1962 Ford pickup the color of primer.
If there were 500 of them (or just one!) out looking to kill a lefty tonight, it would show up on the news tomorrow. I’m thinking that while some of them may have considered it, just about none of them would do it… because, unlike the Left, they actually believe in right and wrong, and divine judgment.
So, lefty/libs everywhere, some advice. Better stop accusing conservatives of the thing they almost never do. Better stop accusing them of conspiring to murder the righteous redistributers of wealth.
First, it’s not true. And second, you wouldn’t want to give them ideas.
Nov 09 2008
The satirist at his dyspeptic best.
A look back in remorse on the conservative opportunity that was squandered.
Read it all. You won’t agree with this or that, but it’s hard to deny a great deal of it.
I have only one addition: the Left is bound to blow it, too, though the kind of damage the Left can do is much harder to undo.
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