Moral Contradictions

Friday, July 07, 2006

Incredible power

Via religious right watch comes a Sinclair Lewis quote:

"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."

The gut-pulling emotional power of both nationalism and our faith is great - combining the two must be done carefully, if at all. How easy would it be to forego our humbleness in favor of arrogance derived from being convinced we're right? Where did Jesus display an arrogant attitude? Even under pain of death, with no friends, He still accepted the free will of the people to not accept Him.

Our Constitution allows for debate, and God is big enough to accept our questions. We must not force conformity by handling dissent with accusations that one isn't patriotic or religious enough.

Nazism thrived under those types of conditions - we must maintain the integrity of our Constitution and the protections they provide for all Americans to prevent national discourse from diving down that slippery slope.

5 Comments:

  • I wish there was something I can disagree with here, but...

    Oh, wait: there's that pathetic straw man that anyone is "handling dissent with accusations that one isn't patriotic or religious enough." I defy you to cite one instance where someone is doing so. The simply fact is that claims of such are the McCarthyism of the far Left, trotted out, I suspect, as a preemptive strike (I thought you guys were against those) whenever such individuals indulge their hatred of all things Conservative.

    By Blogger James Young, at Friday, July 07, 2006 11:56:00 PM  

  • James, I'll disregard the "you guys" comment and pretend that you were trying to be respectful.

    I almost provided an example in the original post, except I thought it would be fairly easy to see.

    Did I draw a strawman? I don't think I did. Did I say such instances were prevalent? Not in the original post I didn't. Did I espouse a hatred for "all things Conservative"? No, and you know that. Read the previous post and see if I hate all things Conservative. I'm actually more conservative than I appear here.

    Did I warn that if more instances did become prevalent and were combined there could be danger? Yes I did.

    Did you draw a strawman of my post and put words into my mouth? Yes you did. A bit touchy, are we?

    If you want an example from the political side, open your eyes. How many people were labeled as unpatriotic for questioning the Bush Administration's push for war back in 2002? Folks who didn't believe the low cost, the ease of the plan, and predicted the insurgency were laughed off as "supporting the terrorists", yet now they seem to be the wiser folks. They weren't unpatriotic - they were actually more patriotic because they simply wanted the truth and were concerned about their country and their soldiers.

    For a strawman regarding religion, I've been asked how I could even consider not voting Republican. What about the pastor in East Waynesville, NC that kicked Democrats out of his church for not voting the "right way"?

    Does that make me a McCarthy, or convict me of drawing a strawman? Do I gloat about instances such as that, or rejoice in this stuff? No. Do I want to be one of the "you-guys" who become unhinged and sound alarmist? No. If you're reading anything into my post, then I read into your comment as being a little sensitive, and I believe that's revealing in and of itself.

    I am surprised I drew so much vitrol over what I thought was a fairly restrained post. I'm interested in what I said, instead of what you think I said, that prompted you to write that comment. Seems like you drew a strawman up of me just to prove your strawman point. I just read the post and your comment and am quite frankly, a bit baffled.

    By Blogger Nathan, at Saturday, July 08, 2006 10:11:00 AM  

  • Don't forget this example where a member of Veteran's for Peace is arrested for wearing a shirt with that logo, because the VA officer defines it as a protest.

    I agree, Nathan. Your post was restrained. I don't think you, or most of us on the so-called left, are arguing that we have become a fascist nation, nor that conservatives are actually fascist.

    The fear, and it isn't irrational, is that we are slipping away from the nation we once were. Some of us look at "free speech zones" and ask "wft?" The ready ease with which many people support torture or indefinite imprisonment, or the almost eager approach to have our administration invade our privacy without oversight, fills most of us with bit of trepidation.

    And what is most disappointing is that it used to be conservatives who were most vocal about those fears. As much as I have disagreed with conservatives on many aspects, I have always respected that they feared an intrusive state--that it was always the state who loaded people up in cars and incarcerated (or worse) them. I respected that fear that centralized power needs a heavy dose of caution.

    The combination of religious and patriotic fervor should fill us all with a little dread.

    By Blogger Streak, at Saturday, July 08, 2006 11:54:00 AM  

  • Oh, and if we are still looking for examples, check out this discussion about conservatives publishing home addresses of people who disagree with the religious or political right, in a clear intent to intimidate them.

    By Blogger Streak, at Saturday, July 08, 2006 12:01:00 PM  

  • From Wikipedia:

    "Fascism is a radical totalitarian political philosophy that combines elements of corporatism, authoritarianism, extreme nationalism, militarism, anti-rationalism, anti-anarchism, anti-communism and anti-liberalism."

    Hmm...

    By Blogger Marty, at Monday, July 10, 2006 10:36:00 PM  

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