For the past few weeks I have been submitting articles to the Enumclaw Courier-Herald, in large part because of my interest in the 2008 elections, and the recent conservatism I have encountered since returning from my first year of college at the Art Institute of Seattle. It is not that I was under the impression that Enumclaw was the twin sister of the Emerald City in the way of political opinion (after all, I grew up here)—just that the opinions of our Republican-skewing residents seemed to be manifested in a way that made me wonder how factual their arguments actually were.
From the moment I submitted my first letter, I found the process a rewarding mix of both expression and mitigation. And while this platform generated a few conversations on the Courier-Herald’s online counterpart, it wasn’t until Jean Hoiland, creator of Mindful Intent, and thus this blog, contacted me about a possible writing position that I truly felt proud of what had (hopefully) been accomplished. That being said, let me start my inaugural post by saying how truly appreciative I am to be a part of the Mindful Intent team, and that I look forward to discussing my various opinions on political matters with all of our readers in the weeks and months to come.
There is a troubling aspect of the divide between the two dominant political parties that seems to have escaped unnoticed—or perhaps with little consideration—for quite some time. If anyone has visited the Enumclaw Courier-Herald’s website and read the comments listed below the published “Letters to the Editor,” they will know exactly what I am referring to. It’s this notion that liberals, those so-called “left wing nuts” have no right referring to themselves as Christians.
“Gov. Palin dangerous? Why? Because she is pro-life, pro-family, and a fiscal and conservative Christian?” As you can see, that quote—offered up by a frequent reader of the paper’s website—tries to tie my suspicions surrounding Sarah Palin’s judgment and readiness to serve to the fact that she believes in God, and instead ignore the two painful interviews she has so far been allowed give and her shameless stump speeches, intended to do nothing more than divide this country and stir up hatred.
“In regards to the use of the term ‘hate’. The left has mastered that quality. The hatred the left exhibits towards, conservatives, Christians and anyone that disagrees with them.” A quote penned by one of Enumclaw’s most printed conservatives, we are again reminded that we who lean left have no right belonging to the same religion as those who vote red, but instead should be delegated to the sidelines when it comes to the religious arena. After all, Jesus was a conservative, not a liberal.
There is nothing in politics more baffling, in my opinion, than the idea that those who skew Republican have a patent on the Christian faith. If I am not mistaken, there’s a certain bestseller, in print for quite some time now, which states that the only person whose judgment holds precedence is…what’s His name, again? I can’t…oh, yes. His name is Jesus. Interesting. How then, if you are the only party containing every Christian value in which we liberals are apparently so devoid, can you pass judgment on those who prescribe to a different political platform?
Let me make something clear: I am in no way trying to attack those Republicans out there who possess a deep faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, or those who may feel very strongly against abortion, and follow the Bible’s declaration that homosexuality is, indeed, a sin. And to give credit where credit is due, there are members of the conservative side that express their opinions with eloquence and grace. While I may disagree with their philosophies, I can, and will, respect those with differing opinions and religious preferences. What I do not respect, however, is the notion that because my ideas may differ with theirs, I am somehow a lesser man of faith. You want to attack my position on the war in Iraq? That’s fine. You want to accuse me of being a socialist who believes only in the expansion of government? Fair enough. But religion is where I draw the line, and I will not be bullied into the postulation that my faith is without merit.