My friend and fellow blogger Blackiswhite Imperial Consigliere (BiW) wrote a piece on what he felt was the contradiction inherent in liberal’s calls to Christian’s belief system. In part he writes:
On one hand, they continuously flog Justice Black’s perversion of “separation of church and state” to the degree that any public expression of Christianity is an opportunity for a very small minority to use the courts to suppress the beliefs of a majority based on the specious belief that their lives would be completely devastated by the mere exposure to a cross on a war memorial that they never look at anyway. On the other hand, they want to quote Scripture to promote the belief that the same people they want to marginalize should be enthusiastic about government picking their pockets to fund entitlements and welfare programs that it has absolutely no business engaging in.
The remainder of this post is my reply to him:
At first blush, your accusation of double standard hits home. How can we, on the one hand, try to keep religion out of government and in the next breath use religion as a reason for government action?
To understand this is to engage a bit of nuance which you and your fellow “rightists” have proven incapable of doing.
Those who quote scripture to justify public policy do so because scripture DOES apply to personal choices. When I say I want separation of church and state, I’m saying that I don’t want any religion forced on me but I recognize your right to be religious … AND I am also aware of the lessons your religion teaches you. I have a right to expect you to participate in this American civic experiment in a way consistent with your Christian belief system. Your refusal to do so makes you a hypocrite.
As has been proven time and time again, the Bible can be cherry picked to death. It is all things to all people. The notion that Matthew is contradicted by Corinthians, Thessalonians and Acts only goes to show that the Bible is not a cohesive book but a potpourri thrown together by a bunch of different people who didn’t coordinate the message. That’s why any non-believer quoting the Bible is engaging in a fool’s errand. I’ve done it a few times myself and have finally learned my lesson. I can say one book says WHITE and you will find me a passage in another book that says BLACK. It’s a flawed method of debate.
Here’s the bottom line …. if your religion obligates you to be charitable, as you have said it does, then there is no need to compel you. When your government says it needs your help, your charitable nature will lead you to cooperate. No conflict at all. But the truth is your charitable nature only goes so far. Your willingness to participate in a cooperative society only goes so far.
What we got from Elizabeth Warren was a civics lesson. In fact that was an implicit theme of the entire convention. We’ve gotten away from viewing ourselves as part of a larger enterprise. As long as we pay OUR mortgage, and get OUR kids through school, we’re happy. If we choose to give to a charity or two, that’s OUR business. As for the country as a whole … it can go to hell in a handbasket. Being a citizen is meaningless. We never signed up to care for our country.
BiW, I’m sorry dude but your party comes off as selfish and petty. The two conventions made the contrast so vivid. To circle back to the beginning, at first blush you’re right. There is a seeming contradiction in the resistance to religion and the appeal to religious principles. But I submit that appeal is simply an attempt to play the game in your arena … to get you at a level you understand. The folly is that you and your fellow conservatives will dig through scripture to justify your selfishness. So ultimately, the liberals attempt to appeal to your religious conscience fails.