Thursday, December 09, 2004

Sinners in the Hands of a Benevolent Dictator

NPR had a story on the other morning where they were talking about how gay marriage will one day be accepted as normal, blah, blah blah. I couldn't help but think that this gay guy spouting this crap has an extreme hatred for society. I don't mean in a vague Marxist way, I mean a very personal disdain for anything that doesn't meet his 'standards' for how society is supposed to operate. (okay, maybe that's Marxist as well, moving on...). To him, gay marriage was less a right that he was striving for, than it was a club with which to beat the rest of society. It goes without saying that if this club isn't around anymore, the malcontents that dislike western civilization will find another club with which to beat it.

I didn't listen to the whole story, but I can fill in the blanks. I know these lefty activist types have no interest in what other people actually think and feel about their cause, so they're obliged to use activist courts to shove this drivel down people's throats. Of course to oppose such moves will get you labeled as a bigot, a 'homophobe' (which isn't even a real word. I mean, what's it supposed to 'mean'?), or a religious nutjob.

It's that last bit I had in mind while reading Dr. Kwanda's post where he said (and I paraphrase) that the labeling of the Democrats as Godless religion haters is a bum rap. I was of course taken aback by this since, much like left wing bias on college campuses, I figured the anti-religious bent of the Democratic party is a fact to all parties involved. To back up the proposition that the Democrats are pro-values, and pro-American values at that, Dr. Kwanda says that (and I paraphrase again) the fact that irreligious people hang out in the Democratic party is shear coincidence and that the Democrats carry the true values for individual liberty, and it's incorrect in his view to disparage them as inherently anti-religion. Of course facts like the one below give the impression that hatred of religion has become a way of life for the Democratic party:

According to the 2000 ANES data, the hatred of religious conservatives long apparent among Democratic convention delegates has found a home among a disproportionate number of Democratic voters. Twenty-five percent of white respondents in the ANES survey expressed serious hostility towards religious conservatives, as opposed to only one percent who felt this strongly against Jews, and 2.5 percent who disliked blacks and Catholics to a strong degree. (Ironically, these are people who say they "'strongly agree' that one should be tolerant of persons whose moral standards are different from one's own.")
Okay, so the Democratic party has an anti-religion streak after all, but is this a coincidence of shared political views among those in the party? Hardly. Besides the fact that tax payer funded partial birth abortion and gay marriage are hardly things even the non-religious can get behind, the left's vision is by it's very nature disdainful of religion, and by extension, people of faith. The fact that those that hate religion hang out in the Democratic party isn't some sort of coincidence, or some failing in modern religions, but because those on the left cannot accept there's a higher power than that of the state. As Karl Marx said:

The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.
Karl Marx never went around saying "communism is great...and oh yeah, I don't like religion". He saw the elimination of religion and making man the final arbiter of right and wrong as a prerequisite to the creation of his dream state.

One might think I'm being a lazy 'red baiter', but while the Democrats anti-religious streak might not exist for the purposes of implementing Marx's dream; it does have as it's basis, the belief that man, meaning themselves, has the final say in what is right and wrong. Of course with the American left, it isn't 'right and wrong' as much as it is 'fair and unfair'. Rights and wrongs would entail a definitive definition which is often housed in religious values, while fair and unfair are antithetical to this and are based on the subjective judgment of those whole feel they are most able to make it.

This mind-set comes up in another post by Dr. Kwanda which demonstrates the world view of the American left. In this post on his site Dr. Kwanda knocks an executive compensation package given by the pharmaceutical firm Merck where the executive staff will get paid three years salary and bonuses if the company gets taken over. On it's face one may consider this 'unfair', but what isn't considered is the fact that if the company were to get taken over the executives would get sacked. In this situation, if the executives suspect a takeover attempt they may well leave (as any of us would) in order to get the drop on a different job. As anyone who has worked in a corporation before would know, when you see the executive staff leave, that's your cue to find yourself a new job as well. So while it's not 'fair' on the face of it, the board (i.e. the owners of the company) made a decision that, while not equally advantageous to everyone, was none the less in the best interests of the company and thus everyone who works there.

This issue shows just a slight hint of the disdain many of the left have for the decisions other people make about their own personal decisions. While espousing all manner of left wing causes in the name of liberty, the left actively seeks to limit all manner of liberty by banning that which they personally deem 'unfair'. Since there are no absolute rights and wrongs in this mindset, it is impossible for those in the modern left to weigh the 'pros' against the 'cons' in any situation.

This opposes with religion where individuals do their best to make the best decisions that they can given whatever situation they may be in. These individual decisions are shaped not only by doctrine and traditions, but also by the knowledge that the unobtainable perfection of God provides a benchmark for their behavior. However, in the social justice, i.e. fairness, worldview the state determines what it feels to be right or wrong. Since liberal views on fairness are completely arbitrary and are often formed with unspecific knowledge about the subject on which they are passing judgment, 'fairness' will always be a moving target because it is a preference and not a value of any sort. 'Fairness' is thus completely unlike 'rights' and 'wrongs' which can weighed in different situations, but not changed.

As well, in order for the left to intellectually justify this mindset, moral relativism, the mortal enemy of strong religious values, seeps into their decision making process. The failure of a policy can thus easily be shrugged off as "well x was as bad as y, so it makes no never mind". The end point of this line of thought not only inevitably leads to a resentment of the those who abhor moral relativism (i.e. people of faith), but also to bizarre comparisons, such as when Democratic senators say that Osama is okay because of his mythical child care program, or American nudie pictures of prisoners are as bad as the abuses wreaked by Saddam.

For instance, the fact that homosexuality might be wrong (from even a non-religious point of view) would mean that at some level the prohibition of homosexual marriage, while 'unfair', is none the less correct. The idea of unfairness, such as the fact that some people make more money than others, that some races do better in school than others, or that some people don't have the health problems of others, is completely intolerable to the modern political left. Their quest to implement their own personal view of fairness and social justice, by judicial fiat if necessary, runs counter to everything a strong religion stands for. After all this, it's ironic then that the left's strong desire to implement their view of perfection from the top down has the stink of extreme religious zealotry.

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