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Home » Discuss » DU Groups » Religion & Spirituality » Christian Liberals/Progressive People of Faith Group Donate to DU
cbayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-21-10 02:37 PM
Original message
My father writes a column for the San Gabriel, CA paper. I thought this might be of interest to this group.


In recent years there has been a plethora of voices emanating from so-called values voters. Most of these voices claim a religious motivation. Birth control, abortion homosexuality are held to be contrary to the will of God. I respect those who are concerned about sexual mores, but I wish I could sense their passion about even graver matters. One wonders if Gods interest rises no higher than our genitals.

As I listen to and read what these values voters have to say, I am struck with the other matters that get dragged along behind the sexual ones. There is opposition to gun control, support of capital punishment, a fixation on asserting that poverty is the fault of the poor, an anti-labor bias, a pro-war fascination, a flag-waving super nationalism, an opposition to any commonly shared care for the poor, or the left-out, or the medically uninsured. How these conclusions flow from religiousbasically Christiansources remains a mystery. I can only conclude that a very persistent and clever strategy has managed to mix a conservative political philosophy with a conservative religious commitment. But then religion has often been seduced by those peddling a political agenda. Slavery, and then segregation, for instance, were often supported by those holding that these social obscenities were divinely inspired.

I also live by values, which come from a number of sources, including my religiousbasically Christianroots. But the values I affirm and the public policies which I believe flow from these fundamental commitments, are far different than what conservative society seems to currently suggest. Here are some of the values I hold sacred, and the commitments which I believe flow from them.

*Every person everywhere is of infinite worth. No one is a commodity to be exploited.

*We are all part of a human community. We are not just individuals who have only a self-serving relationship with all others. Everyone is my neighbor. Everyone is my brother or sister. No man is an island, entire to himself.

*The just society takes special care of its most fragile members. No one is simply left behind.

* When there is a vast difference between rich and poor, a value-oriented society must step in and offer some form of economic justice, which goes beyond charity.

*Food, shelter, clothing, health care, education are all human rights, not the special privileges of the economically well off.

*War and other forms of collective violence are contrary to a responsible ethical norm. Publically sanctioned murder in any form, including capital punishment, dishonors human life.

*Vengeance solves nothing. Reconciliation based in honest negotiation is a far better way to handle differences.

*We are called to care for, protect and sustain the natural creation, not just use it up for our economic benefit. Global warming is a spiritual, not just an economic, problem. We dont own the earth. Each of us just occupies a bit of it for a few decades.

*A pro-life commitment goes from birth to death, not just from conception to birth.

*From each according to ability. To each according to need, is a prescription for a more just society. While Karl Marx penned it in 1875, he was simply quoting a passage recorded in The Acts of the Apostles, a Biblical document from the first Christian century.

*No nation, culture, or system can claim to be Gods only favorite. Nobodys flag or nation has a corner on divine blessing, particularly when that claim is used to support war or economic exploitation.

*If we are blessed, it is so that we might be a blessing.

*When I am hungry it is a nutritional problem. When my neighbor is hungry it is a religious problem. And that sort of religious problem has profound economic implications.

Every person or society tends to operate out of some sort of value system which forms the basis for both individual and civic action. Whether that person or that society is part of the problem or part of the answer depends on what those values are all about.

But thats just my opinion.

Charles Bayer

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RevCheesehead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-21-10 09:23 PM
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1. Beautifully done!
I hope it makes people stop and think ... that's always a good thing!

Thanks for sharing!
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demosincebirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-10 12:56 AM
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2. Great piece.
You should post it in DU General Disc, too.
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Kajsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-12-10 11:19 PM
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3. Beautiful, Cbayer!
He absolutely nailed it here!

Thanks so much for sharing this.

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