Friday, February 03, 2006

Are We Going in the Right Direction?

This post has nothing to do with my previous post of a similiar title. It is a futhur diaglogue arising from my Don Quixote and the TSA post.

ajmac left this comment:

Tough break there and I'm sorry you ended up in such a pickle. But why are you apologizing for voting for Dubya? Do you disagree with the new TSA policies? Do you even know the difference between pre- and post-9/11 policy? Do you really imagine that you could have skipped the beaurocratic red tape during the Clinton administration?Life definitely is not fair. But aren't these the very occasions on which we are called to demonstrate Christ's grace?You should be proud that you voted for this administration and that you have had a part in freeing millions from the hand of tyranny. I'm sorry that you have borne more than your fair share of the inconveniences, but I fail to see how this is the moral issue you make it out to be.

First, I greatly appreciate ajmac for posting his opinions and questions. They are opposite my thoughts, but valid and not personal.

Second, I think open discussion on these issues is critical for Christians. So I am continuing the dialogue and request that others join in regardless of your stance.

My first response to ajmac is to requote the end of my letter:


We are sacrificing freedom for the disillusion of safety. We tell the world and our soldiers that freedom is worth dying for, but then tell our citizens we must sacrifice freedoms for false security. That is not the America we founded. But it seems to be the America our children will inherit.


My additional response is that we let the terrorists change our country and our way of life (not that we didn't need some adjustment). That was their stated purpose, and they accomplished that purpose. The financial burdern on this country of these changes and of the Iraq war will be staggering. Note that the new systems failed during Katrina. The Homeland Security Act clearly states that this department is responsible for managing the response to any disaster. Despite the failings of state and local agencies during Katrina, clearly the new system failed both in implementation and execution.

I believe we have over-reacted. I also fear that the new systems are based more on making Americans feel safe rather than making adjustments that have real impact on security but that balance the freedoms Americans enjoy. The innocent are being affected more than the guility. We are putting bars on our own windows.

I am not saying we should have done nothing, but have the implemented changes been the right ones? Have they been implemented well? Are they a movement toward greater freedom or limiting existing freedoms? The evidence is mounting to the negative.

I challenge that the Bush administration has led us through fear in the quise of bravado and patriotism intertwined with "Christian duty". I fear Christians have accepted too many of the Bush administration policies without real consideration of their effect because he states he is a Christian. We are almost euphoric in having a Christian in the White House and have given this administration carte blanche through a Republican controlled House and Senate (I was one of the voters who did this). In poll after poll, a majority of Christians support the war and support the administrations handling of post-9/11. The same polls show all other groups overwhelmingly disapprove. Is it good that Christians are the biggest supporters of violent solutions? Is the "ends justifies the means" argument compatable with Chrisitian discipleship?

I really like what Leornard Pitts Jr. said in his Jan. 29 column entitled "Fear the 9/11 Hammer".
"To be an American is to commit a daily act of faith. Or as Colin Powell said, the day after the Sept. 11 attacks, 'We're Americans. We don't walk around terrified.' Too bad his own party is so intent on proving him wrong."

I hope some will weigh in on this discussion. Please don't tee off on anyone, but don't be afraid to state your thoughts if you feel strongly. That is a great freedom we still enjoy and should exercise. Again, I thank ajmac for exercising this freedom to further our discussion.

6 comments:

JMG said...

I fear Christians have accepted too many of the Bush administration policies without real consideration of their [e]ffect because he states he is a Christian. We are almost euphoric in having a Christian in the White House and have given this administration carte blanche through a Republican controlled House and Senate....

I agree with your sentiment. I think that many Christians have jumped on the republican bandwagon because of a few topics such as abortion and homosexual rights. A Christian can feel good about voting republican because what they interpret the bible to say about these issues agrees with the republican platform. I know people who vote republican strictly on abortion. Other issues seem too difficult for them to ponder; the reasoning seems to be that if the republicans are right about abortion, then they must be right about most everything else. 'They are the party of morality, so I can trust them to always do the right thing and always act in the best interest of Christians.' (Yes, that's a simplistic and stereotypical view of many Christians, but then again, a lot of Christians fit this mold.)

The idea floating around is that good Christians vote republican, and anyone who doesn't support republican ideas is a heathen democrat. We hear of cases of politicians and Christian leaders who perpetuate this division. The media have also done a lot to perpetuate this way of thinking. Division and strife are what sell, so naturally the media will do all they can to play up the division. The people, instead of learning to think for themselves, listen to the rhetoric played over and over again on TV and feel the need to choose a side. It's a big, vicious circle.

Tony Arnold said...

Well said JMG. And thanks for grammer correction. :-) When in a hurry, I miss that one often even though I know when to use effect and affect.

DB Carden said...

"You should be proud that you voted for this administration and that you have had a part in freeing millions from the hand of tyranny."

I hope this doesn't come across as "teeing off" but we will soon see the fallacy of this statement. As can be seen in examples like Venezuela, Palestine, France, etc...the freedom to choose a government does not preclude the occurence of tyranny. We Americans have some magic fairy dust sprinkled in our eyes in thinking that democracy equals freedom.

True "freedom" comes from one source, no matter the circumstance you find yourself in. I dare say, it is not our jobs as Christians to fight wars to "free people from tyranny". Oh the irony of replacing Saddam Hussein with a militant Shiite government (it hasn't happened yet, but it is inevitable) in the name of freedom and showing Christ's grace.

I find this to be one of the main problems with Christians allying with the "principalities and powers". Inevitably, Christ's principles are usurped in the name of the state.

Tony Arnold said...

I don't think anyone could take that as teeing off. Well said and the point is perfect. Thanks for posting DB. Well articulated and I agree 100%.

Tony

Purgatory Penman said...

To me, there is no defensible reason for any Christian to vote Republican. It is ironic that, in many small towns and middle-sized cities, where it is assumed that Christians practice an "old-time" religion of love and grace, polls show that those who claim to have voted for Bush because he is a Christian, overwhelmingly support torture for prisons of war (at least prisoners of the "War on Terror.")

As for the Republican platform of pro-life compassion, its hyprosy is revealed everytime funds are cut from programs that help vulnerable and helpless citizens survive.

I do hope that God will choose to come back to this earth before the results of our present administration have injured our children and grandchildren.

Tony, thanks for occasionally reading my blog. I discovered only today that we are fellow Tennesseans--I from Memphis, you from Nashville.

Your Christian outlook reflects well on our state.

I have two new essays on my blog that you might like.

Tony Arnold said...

I read regularly Penman although I don't always comment. I enjoy your writing.

Your thoughts are well said here. May God grant you peace of heart in your turbulent environment. I pray He protects you at all times.

Tony