Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Good news doesn't sell

We hear so often from the right-wingers in this country about the moral decline in America. To hear them talk we're defining deviancy downward as we slouch toward Gomorrah. Children don't say "Yes ma'am" and "No sir." Men wear their hats indoors. And women use curse words. Indeed, they say, we must be in the end times.

Fortunately, not all conservatives feel this way. Francis Fukuyama, for example, writes in his 1999 book, The Great Disruption: Human Nature and the Reconstitution of Social Order, that after the social chaos and moral erosion of the 1960s and '70s, we seem to be in the midst of a reweaving of the social fabric. Our society is rebuilding the civic institutions and social order it needs to stay healthy.

Just yesterday, David Brooks wrote in the New York Times about how America seems to be picking up the pieces from the if-it-feels-good-do-it era and putting itself back together. He cites many statistics showing that out-of-wedlock births are way down, as are crime and drug use. Even divorce rates seem to be on their way downward, especially among younger college graduates. His column brings us good news and let's us know that we really have a lot to celebrate in these times. Americans are not just mouthing off about traditional values but actually practicing them. It even appears that the younger one is, the more likely one is to show firm moral discipline.

I strongly recommend you read, Brooks' editorial. Click here:

Unfortunately, even while reasonable conservatives like Brooks and Fukuyama cheer on this social reconstruction of civic America, the right-wing GOP leadership would rather focus on the negative. Bearing good news about rebuilding the social order doesn't sufficiently incense the rank and file. If the average Republican actually heard that an increasing number of Americans choose to behave responsibly, those checks to the RNC might quit coming and the feverish outrage might subside on Election Day. Therefore, the right-wing outrage mill must continue its focus on the negative, and boy, do they have to really dig and take liberties some days to dredge up some santimonious indignation.

God and Politics

Speaking of morals, the New York Times and our ongoing discussion of the Democrats' search for identity, the Times ran a pretty good column the other day written by Jim Wallis, who heads the liberal evangelical Christian group Sojourners. Wallis, who also wrote the book God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It, disucsses how Democrats should speak up and start molding the discussion of what it means to bring a Christian perspective to public forum.

Click here:

Good blog, Mouth. I get sooo tired of conservatives harking back to the good old days of the 1950's. Yeah, lets go back to Jim Crow, Red baiting, and mono. Where we all walked lockstep together in our homogenous staid society. Where conformity was a virtue. I think the 60's and 70's was a convulsive reaction against this, though no doubt it went too far and has left some societal problems that we are still dealing with. I got a novel suggestion: instead of pointing a finger at others, how about we reach out a help hand.
Dear Throat,

You keep speaking about reaching out with a helping hand, and how real Christians speak with their actions.

I know that you do help the needy out through your church by contributing financially,(which is commendable) but do tell, what exactly are you DOING to lend a helping hand as a Christian? Or, is this just for others to do and not yourself? :-)

I mean, the government takes money from everyone and gives to the needy, so if helping people financially is all that is required to demonstrate Christian or even moral genuiness, then we have all met that standard, and even more so for the rich, which pay almost all of the taxes in this country.
Dear BM,
Well, I'll start with Habitat for Humanity, overseas mission trip to Guyana(and not just preaching the word, but working side by side to help the needy), teaching hispanic youth soccer at my church, feeding the homeless. So don't point the hypocritical finger at me, dude. If you like, we can start comparing daily what we've done to help the needy.
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