Vail Daily column: Losing their religion
It’s ironic that President Obama is more Christian than President Reagan ever was.
I’ll leave it you to remember which sprang from the hard side of Chicago while the icon of the ages for ideological conservatives fully lived the Hollywood dream.
Guess which one divorced, didn’t go to church, estranged himself from his kids, couldn’t refer to Scripture without a teleprompter and guided his day more by horoscopes than the Good Book?
I don’t point this out to diss Reagan. I voted for him. I understand the political tug-of-war between conservative and liberal governance, looking sometimes in wonder from the midpoint at each end of this rope.
If anything, this is an indictment of the right and highly righteous of the Christian faithful. They have grown arrogant, small-minded and willing to sacrifice simple truth for thoroughly secular political advantage.
This is to say, they’ve lost their way. Big time.
The Christian left has its own issues. But they have withered from the more commanding presence in politics half a century ago to nearly novelty now. The once familiar “feed the poor,” “turn the other cheek,” “love your neighbor” — even your gay, colored, homosexual unmarried, illegal immigrant with children born out of wedlock neighbor — have long gone under the waves, drowned.
Listening to the politicized right, you’d think today’s proper Christian has rifle at the ready and all of Islam in his sights. I say “his” because he’s white as white can be and obviously angry. Let us pray.
I’ll leave you to the full panoply of ideological expression these days to test the truth of this caricature that alas, when you look closely, isn’t nearly so exaggerated as it should be.
Worse, the currently inhibited left pole strikes me as even crazier than the right. Their bizarre notions of fairness and equality would bankrupt the nation in character as well as finances in a finger snap, given their way. Their solutions would be neither fair nor equitable. We’d be California continuing unchecked, sunk under the weight of bad philosophy brought to life. Then collapse.
The Democrats’ all but banishment of the liberal wing of the Christian faith — the religion’s true heart — makes for an even starker imbalance in the Christian brand, if you will. The prevailing one, unfortunately, touches closer to the shameful intolerance that made the Western world ripe for the Inquisition, atrocities in Salem and the Crusades some of our letter writers would stir from cold ashes to full flame if they could.
That’s hardly the stuff of such wimps as Mother Teresa or what is taught most about the Savior in Sunday School.
One of my favorite bits of Scripture springs from the Old Testament — hallow to the three branches that spread from their common root. The concept was expressed in several ways from “Romans” to Christ to the Prophet.
It was perhaps best phrased this way: “To overcome evil with good is good. To resist evil by evil is evil.”
To me, this says it all. Too bad we’re such lousy listeners.
I realize every now and again in my own petty little everyday life that I’ve gone deaf to this wisdom for all too long of stretches — to my own detriment every time. So I cannot speak from innocence or purity as I cast my stones, saying what seems to need to be said, and not without hope we’ll figure it out someday.
But hey, we have to identify a problem before we can fix it.
And here it is: The overly righteous right has made an oxymoron of “Christian love.” And the left has let them.
Editor and Publisher Don Rogers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 970-748-2920.