Friday, January 8, 2010

On Christian Conservatives.....

Christian Conservatives, A Conflict in Terms
An Essay By Brother Tracy Gibson Of Philadelphia and Delaware

You know, I thought about it and I thought about it. Time went on and I thought about it some more. And some more. How can Christians really be conservative like they are in many Southern states (The so-called Bible Belt) and other parts of this grand Nation we call the United States of America? How do the two concepts of Christianity and Conservatism honestly co-exist in one’s mind and in one’s way of thinking—let alone one’s actions? My conclusion is that the two ideas can’t co-exist simultaneously in the thinking of a sane person. Not real Christianity. Conservatives want things to basically stay the same. Stay the course. Jesus wanted change, Big Change. Conservatives would have never been for Civil Rights unless the passage of such rights were forced down their troughs. Ultra Conservatives would go to the hangings of Black men and Black women (sometimes even children in the case of Emmett Till) and watch with glee while holding onto their Bibles—just before dining on Barbeque or going to church. Is that sanity—I think NOT!! They would attend such gruesome and deadly public events just after attending church or before church. That does NOT sound like God to me. It took decades of struggle until just about everyone but the KKK knew that Civil Rights and now Human Rights are the ONLY direction for America and the rest of the world to be moving towards. This is the right thing to do, as Spike Lee and a host of other Progressives such as writer Nome Chomsky have made clear. The conservatives were against the end of slavery—again the White and Black abolitionists had to get together with other progressive thinkers to end slavery. This was not pretty. IT was a bloody battle that took years and a major war called the Civil War. This struggle started at the beginning of slavery & took place before, during and after the Civil War. You might think President Abraham Lincoln was a conservative—well think again. He was NOT a conservative like we are used to experiencing today from Republicans. He was for an end to slavery even though he was a Republican—he was more of a progressive thinker in those days than a conservative. In those days, the mid 1800’s, Republicans were not far right and out of touch with the common man and reality like they are today.

Moreover, what about Labor Rights? The rights many of us take for granted were fought for tooth and nail over the 1920’s and 30’s and 40’s and on. There was a great deal of bloodshed and even deaths as labor rights activists, some courageous American politicians and everyday people struggling to make a living, helped finally give us the five day week and the weekend. They also gave us child labor laws, better wages, healthcare benefits, overtime and other such hard-fought-for rights. When the conservative hero-- Ronald Reagan was elected President of the United States in 1980, the first thing he did was crack the back of the of the Air Traffic Controller’s Union. (Why some people insist that Reagan was a hero, I’ll never understand.) The Airport workers wanted better working conditions for what is arguably the most stressful job in America. Reagan went on to do several gruesome things like have Maurice Bishop of Granada killed during an American invasion; destroy the American economy through the arms race (whatever happened to negotiation?); there was the Iran-Contra Affair and all the drugs that were bought into LA by the CIA (This is documented stuff); he bastardized Affirmative Action; and set the stage for so many, many U.S. jobs to leave our country over the 1990’s. He also helped almost criminalize the word ``LIBERAL’’ with the help of the so-called Liberal media (the Liberal Media concept is really another Right Wing trick and a myth—the most overpaid and popular radio talk show hosts are very conservative (Such as Rush Limbaugh), as well as many leading newspaper columnists such as George Will and William Safire.. . There are few liberal voices who can boast of such structured social acceptance, status and high pay as the three men just mentioned. I love Whoopi Goldberg and bell hooks dearly, but their words do not find their way into public policy and general public discourse as readily as the three gentlemen mentioned here (Safire, Limbaugh and Will). Liberals are generally for labor rights, conservatives are generally for the rights of the corporate structure to pay less taxes, exploit cheap labor at any human cost and expand no matter what happens to the environment. Ultra right wing conservatives are like a speeding train out of control. The conservatives feel their pro-corporate policies will stimulate jobs. What did George Bush’s Big National Tax cut for the rich do to ensure your job and expand our economy? NOTHING!! We have had higher unemployment, a weaker economy, a dollar falling dramatically in value, an expensive $250 Million-Dollar-a-day war and mounting racial intolerance under the regime of George Bush and Dick Chaney. Party, and ideological animosities were building as we faced off for the (2008) National Fall election and the eventual victory of Barack Obama and the Democrats. The last days of Bush’s triumphant mishap so flagrantly called a Presidency were long awaited for by progressives and positive thinkers like myself... The conservatives don’t sound like what Jesus would have wanted for the future of the World or the future of America. I believe that Jesus was not only NOT a conservative, but he was most likely a person with dark skin—probably an African. White conservative Christians have been misled and lied to for years. And they continue to spread their lies through the media and from their pulpits. People Like the late Reverend Jerry Falwell have taken their conservative ideas way too far. Conservative ideas were originally designed to help keep the government out of the way of corporations and out of people’s personal rights and out of people’s bedrooms and personal business. But people like Falwell have taken their ideas out of the church and into our personal lives by fighting against a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion and the right of Same Gender Loving people to find dignity within their relationships. The conservatives under Ronald Reagan and the Bushes look more like Judas and King Herod than what my concept of Jesus is. Why King Herod? Herod took people’s taxes, made war and sought to kill all who were about justice and empowering the poor and down trodden. (King Herod went after Jesus Himself!!) Sound familiar? Bush was in the pocket of the rich and wealthy—he practically admitted it in Michael Moore’s film ``911’’. Bush is especially cozy with the BIG oil companies and the pharmaceutical companies. Obama prides himself in that he has taken mostly small donations from poor and middle income Americans. Who do you think sounds more like Jesus? Reckless foreign intervention; war and repression; racial hatred; no increases in funds for educating poor and disadvantaged children (through programs such as Head Start); more money for bombs over money for books and education; no support for level-the-playing-field programs such as Affirmative Action; and the rights for women?—Out the window!! These are part and parcel of the Conservative agenda. That is not what Jesus would be working towards if he were alive. Jesus was killed by people in the Bible who DIDN’T believe in human freedom, peace, love and the power of prayer to heal. Call the White House and tell them you want to change the Pentagon into a World Peace Center and see how far you get!! (And that is even with Obama in the White House). Well, that is what Jesus would be doing if he were alive today!! He would tell you that the Pentagon itself is NOT sustainable and neither are the two wars the U.S. is fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq!! (Much Too costly in lives and Money!!) In America, even a Nobel Peace Prize winner like Jimmy Carter won’t take his name off the Nuclear Submarine named after him. I asked him to do so in a letter and he wrote back saying he would NOT do so. But, even so, I like Jimmie Carter and I think his Presidency was more in line with what Christianity is REALLY all about. We have become so comfortable with a war machine mentality (in the guise of National Security) that violence, hatred and war have come to fit our Nation, much of our thinking and the former Bush Administration like a supple leather glove. Unfortunately, President Obama has NOT taken a strong stand against war and repression like a person of color and a man with his intellect and stature should. This is largely due to the perseverance of the conservative ideology in America. Guns, guns, guns and more guns!! Support for the National Riffle Association (NRA). These are also part of the Conservative agenda—but not what Jesus, as I understand Him, stood for. So don’t get it twisted—like the Goliath media does. Understand that being a true Christian is trying to be Christ – like. Not being like a racist, or like backwards-thinking conservatives. Is there anything good that conservatives have brought us? Certainly war and repression and a world on the brink of destruction are not good things? Well, George Bush sure paved the way towards the White House for Senator Barack Obama of Chicago. If George Bush had turned out to be a more moderate Republican like former President Gerald Ford, I don’t think the rise of Obama would have been so dramatic, so meteoric and so successful. For that I thank old George…………. After he stole the elections of 2000 and 2004, the people were raring and ready for change. Not even a woman in the form of Hillary Clinton was speaking to change enough in 2008 so she didn’t make the cut. Unfortunately, if the Democrats don’t bone up and stand up to the ``Party of NO’’—the Republicans, we could well be on our way to fascism in 2012—a thought I don’t relish and would rather NOT write about or think about at this point. Stay alert, stay tuned and vote in EVERY ELECTION!!!

Mr. Gibson can be reached at BrotherTracy11@GMail.Com

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