The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and the real reason to oppose them

Two days ago, Cal Thomas posted a column in the Washington Examiner which took "liberals" to task for supposed "bigotry" toward the likes of Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, or "evangelicals" in general, with the following words:

In contemporary culture, those who claim to tolerate everything are intolerant of ideas that come from perspectives other than their own, especially when those ideas are rooted in conservative politics or evangelical faith.

Though anti-Semitism and anti-Catholic bigotry sadly are still with us, the new and "accepted" bigotry among some on the left is for those who call themselves -- or are sometimes mislabeled by people who don't know the difference between born-again and born yesterday -- evangelical Christians.

With two evangelicals running for president, the opening salvo in what is likely to be a God vs. government battle has already been launched. A June 22 article in Rolling Stone magazine gives bigots permission for more bigotry. The illustration by Victor Juhasz, which accompanies it, reveals where the writer is headed.

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., is dressed as Joan of Arc with a Bible in one hand, a bloody sword in the other, a cross on her chest, and the "finger of God" pointing at her from heaven.

In the background, people are being burned at the stake. Father Charles Coughlin at his worst would have had trouble topping this on his bigoted radio broadcasts in the 1930s.

Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi says Bachmann is "a religious zealot whose brain is a raging electrical storm of divine visions and paranoid delusions." One of many examples he cites is her assertion that China is "plotting to replace the dollar bill."

Recently, China's official Xinhua News Agency editorialized in favor of a new global reserve currency, replacing the dollar. Don't look for a retraction.

There's plenty more in "Michele Bachmann's Holy War" on which the bigots can feast. This is the argument of anyone who has little or no faith in God. They attack people who believe the Supreme Being does not sit in the Oval Office.

The secular left is also going after Gov. Rick Perry's faith. Writing in the New York Times, Timothy Egan refers to the Texas governor as a "biblical bully" and asks, "Is God listening to Rick Perry?"

Ideas that come from the minds of secular liberals are considered right and good, no matter their track record. Ideas from conservatives, be they secular or especially evangelical, are "bat sh*t crazy," according to Taibbi's scatology.

There is a way to blunt this coming tidal wave of anti-evangelical bigotry. Bachmann and Perry -- and any other Republican who wishes to join in -- should not play on the territory of their opponents.

Instead, they should focus on what works and whose lives have been transformed by embracing similar faith and similar attitudes.

When I read this column, I felt like commenting, but while the Examiner used to print letters to the editor from me routinely, they haven't always done so. So I held off. And I was glad to see in today's Examiner, a letter to the editor by David Lampo, which could almost have been written by me. The letter was so good, I want to reprint it as a guest editorial in this blog:

Re: "A new wave of liberal bigotry," Aug. 18

Cal Thomas should receive a chutzpah award for his piece charging "the left" with religious bigotry simply because they are exposing the scary records and statements of Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry. Anyone who studies these two candidates will find a long list of examples of religious and anti-gay bigotry, particularly in the case of Bachmann, whose long-held religious belief in the views of the radical theologian Francis Schaeffer make her the most extreme major party presidential candidate in generations.

Millions of Republicans, independents and libertarians are deeply worried about the records of these two candidates. They are not being attacked simply for having religious faith, as Thomas states. They are being attacked because their beliefs and statements are so extreme that most Americans will repudiate them at the polls if the country is unfortunate enough to have either one of them as the Republican presidential candidate.

If that happens, the many virtues of divided government will become readily apparent.

David Lampo


Well written, Mr. Lampo!

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