Wednesday, November 7, 2012

There must be more to political choice than two flavors of Kool-Aid

The Religious Right is Dead, writes Damian Thompson in the London Daily Telegraph.

Sadly, it's true.  And yet if so, good riddance, and may that vampire stay buried.

Adherence, or at least pandering, to Creationism, and zero tolerance for abortion, have been an achilles heel of conservatism in the US. 

I believe it's quite possible to value, and even be moved by, the moral and philosophical framework provided by Christianity without literally believing the science-fictional embellishments by which it is accompanied.  I treasure my church-going friends, and value the irreplaceable role that a well- and benevolently-run church can play in a community.

It is possible to vote Republican in spite of that party's abovementioned pandering, but if well-meaning, intelligent people hear abhorrent, ignorant statements about women or science from the likes of Akin or Mourdock (whatever their other virtues), I think it is quite understandable that they might, in comparison, consider the Democrats the party of Carl Sagan and vote accordingly.

Needless to say, Sagan was no admirer of regimes that were hostile to free expression and open questioning, and so some who abhor those features of the current US regime may consider themselves in a quandary of choosing between relatively well-meaning flat-earthers, and relatively well-informed Soviet-style tyrants.

It should not be necessary for one's choice to be limited only to which of two flavors of Kool-Aid to drink.

What the US needs is more Deism or its equivalent, a creed expressed by a number of the US founding fathers.  People who believed in the value of a Judeo-Christian moral framework but who did not believe in divine intervention, believed in liberty, and were not afraid to open their God-given eyes, ears and brains to a rational and factual understanding of the physical world, and of political and economic principles.

Sadly, Deists these days are a bit thin on the ground in the US, and those who prefer drinks other than Kool-Aid seem destined to be parched for some time to come.

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