October 20, 2008

Faith: Red, Blue? Why Not Purple?

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.

4 comments:

mountainmother said...

Travis,
thank you for your thoughtful letter to the editor. You give me hope for the future. The hate mongers that regularly post to the Enumclaw paper are growing tiresome. They are narrow minded, unwilling to educate themselves on any given subject and don't know how to discuss, only spew hatred.

AnniShar said...

Travis,

I called your writing brilliant in my online comment on the Courier Herald site. Another wrote in saying I should save such description for the "real" brilliant authors. Brilliance, like beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I form my own opinions and impressions. You are indeed a brilliant writer and we are so lucky to have you as part of our community. I don't like name calling. It's ugly and gets worn and old fast. However the people who continually dominate the Courier Herald's opinion site with narcissism and self righteousness who insist on being right on every count is indeed beyond enjoyment or enlightenment. In my humble opinion, they are becoming boring and ridicules.
Thank you for your refreshing, thoughtful writing. It does indeed give me HOPE FOR CHANGE in the most positive fashion.

Latigo Liz said...

I echo everything you folks have stated. It’s down right scary to see, read and listen to the hatred and downright bigotry put forth by many of the folks on the Republican side of the ticket. Whatever happened to the separation of church and state?

Jean Hoiland said...

I would like to encourage dialogue from both sides. Let's not generalize how the Parties act. There is hatred and bigotry on both sides. Let's keep this a respectful and open dialog with out labeling. I live in a divided household, believe me the conversations can get heated, but in the end we are all entitled to our opinions and we need to accept and be tolerant of differences. Let's set an example and refrain from the type of interaction that has gone on at the Courier Herald website.