Archive for February 2012

Lutherans Find Common with Catholics on Obama Mandate – Tim Townsend | God’s Politics Blog | Sojourners

February 25, 2012

Lutherans Find Common with Catholics on Obama Mandate – Tim Townsend | God’s Politics Blog | Sojourners.

 

This article  is further proof that the more social conservatives feel threatened in this country the more they are going to close ranks. Whether the threat is real or perceived does not necessarily make a difference.  Since the the1960s social conservatives from various religions have teamed up to respond to a perceived liberal social agenda. While this may be hard for 21st century secular people to wrap their minds around, all of the social conservatives mentioned in this article do not have the same view on contraception, but they all believe that the Bible is the word of God.  It is God’s revelation to man and what God says in this book God means.  These groups have fought over how to interpret the revelation but the one thing they do agree on is that the revelation comes from God.  That is why the battles over interpreting it are so passionate.  Granted the religions mentioned in this article have had debates over which books belong in God’s revelation.  But when it comes to the books of the Old Testament (Torah for the Jews) they are in agreement over about 85% of the books.  Regardless of this, the people in this article all believe that morality as laid out in those Old Testament books are meant to be observed regardless of cultural shifts in morality over time. It should also be noted that for the Christians in this article the commands in the Old Testament are to be understood through the lens of the New Testament.  But this latest round of debates over contraception have to be seen in light of what social conservatives have believed to be an assault on their morals since the 1960s.   The social conservatives have felt threatened since the passing of Roe v Wade, the passing of no fault divorce to the latest debates over legalizing same sex marriage.  In fact, while this article does not mention the Muslims they too see their morality threatened by liberal social agendas.  A person would never know this from watching Fox News but when Muslims, conservative Catholics, evangelicals and orthodox Jews converse on moral issues they soon realize that they have way more in common than the media would let on.

Some secular people may read this article and play the Nietzsche card and say that the people in this article are only concerned because they are losing control over moral decisions in American culture.  If that is your response you are missing the point on two accounts.  First, you cannot play the Nietzsche card without shooting yourself with your own gun.  If you say someone else disagrees with your position because they are fearful of losing power, aren’t you saying that because you want your position to win the fight?  If your position wins, doesn’t that give your group power over the moral direction of the nation?  So the power position argument is moot, everyone is trying to fight for his or her position and if their position wins yes they will have some power over the direction of the debate.  Second, if we really want to understand the social conservatives in this article not just the ones who use the social conservative argument to win elections like Newt Gingrich, we have to realize that they take their holy book VERY seriously.  You can belittle it like Bill Maher but you will not understand this group until you understand that they take their moral cues not from what society deems acceptable now, but what God has commanded from all eternity.  You can even call them hypocrites and some of them are, but plenty actually live out their beliefs, like the Rabbi I grew up down the block from who had 11 children. We will never get along in a pluralistic society if the Bill Maher’s of the world just label the social conservatives as morons and the social conservatives brand the liberals as social degenerates.  This only makes things worse.  And if the liberals continue in the Bill Maher school of rhetoric they may be pushing some people who disagree on a lot into a coalition over the things they do agree on.  Finally, to understand the social conservatives in this article, one must realize they believe they have an authority source for their position while the liberals have their feelings or the latest cultural norms our society has deemed acceptable.