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Lean to the left, lean to the right, stand up, sit down…

5 November, 2009

Despite the many posts I have written in opposition to Barack Obama’s politics and in support of the Tea Party Movement and to the preservation of our constitutional rights, I am having a hard time figuring out the political cycles.  You would think I would be very happy that two Republican candidates just beat two Democrat candidates for governor of their respective states, but I’m not.  Nor am I sure that I am happy about the “revolution” that is about to take place.

The Republicans think their time has come.  They can replace a socialist tendency with a puritanical tendency.  I’m actually registered as an Independent.  I think  and act as an independent.  I don’t want the state or federal government meddling in schools, doctor’s offices, hospitals, etc.; but I don’t want religion in my schools, my doctor’s office, or personal values either.  Quite frankly, I haven’t noticed that either side of that coin holds much value for a lot of  human beings  on the “other” side.

It’s a real dilemma.  What is an independent thinker to do?   I can and have voted for third party candidates, but that rarely ever causes any great changes in Washington, so the folks there just keep meddling in my affairs.  I can also look for centrists from either party and swing left or right from election to election, but that is not really a satisfying choice either, because I’m always having to compromise something.  Obviously, there have been times when I could not vote for any candidate on the ballot because the compromises were too great.

So here I am on a Thursday morning thinking still about Tuesday’s elections and the resulting euphoria from the right.  Oh boy, now we can stop the Healthcare Bill because it might fund abortions, rather than because it might not improve health care.  And, there is still that pesky Maine vote against same-sex marriage.  Conservatives take great delight in that vote because their God has told them to interfere in everyone else’s business.  I spent some time this morning looking at the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights trying to find how that particular imperative was written into law.  It wasn’t.  As it turns out, Article VI of the Constitution states clearly that

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States. (here)

Isn’t that odd? You would think that the founders would have insisted on a religious test if they intended for religion to be a guide for our laws; shouldn’t every Senator or Representative share the same religious values?   But wait, the Colonies belonged to England, only they were settled by people from all over Europe. Perhaps they did not all share the same interpretation of The Bible, and the Founders who believed that

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and  the pursuit of happiness.

did not feel a need to specify which Creator or how those rights were to be achieved.  I don’t see anything that mandates a nation-wide common value system.

The fifty-four men who composed the First Continental Congress represented different interests, religions, and regions; they held conflicting opinions as to how best restore their rights. Most did not know each other; some did not like each other. With no history of successful cooperation, they struggled to overcome their differenceshere

I understand differences and I understand that people often fear what they are not. A bi-racial child, a mixed racial couple, a foreigner with a different accent or style of dress evokes some primitive need for self-protection.   Some people don’t want others to kill “babies” by abortion, but they will kill doctors or nurses who perform abortions.  Some people don’t want “non-traditional” couples to marry so they use their voting rights to deny others of their rights to make that choice.

But unless you are willing to go form your own colony somewhere, like the Separatist Pilgrims* did, you can no longer live in a homogeneous world. Isn’t going to happen. You can forestall change but you can not stop it (and I definitely do not mean “change you can believe in”). African slaves were not people once; neither were the indigenous peoples of the U.S., neither were women really (just an attachment to some male – father, husband, brother, it didn’t matter which).  Unless you are a Hobbit, the world around you is going to change. If you don’t do it, your children or their children will.  (My daughter told me this yesterday in a discussion about the need to be aware of others and twenty-four hours later, I get her point.)

Hold on to your own values and let me hold on to mine.  In the meantime, I’m still looking for a Centrist, tolerant candidate, who wants to defend the Constitution and keep this country from total financial bankruptcy and defend ALL its citizens, not just the ones who consider themselves “chosen.”

* more on this in the next post.

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