Skip to comments.Inadequate Ideologies
Posted on 08/01/2005 5:08:20 AM PDT by Molly Pitcher
Recently, a Wall Street Journal poll announced that both political partiesRepublicans and Democratsare now held in low regard by the American people. Usually if the fortunes of one party decline, the other party increasessort of a zero sum game. Now, however, for the first time in polling history, both parties come up in negative territory.
Why would this be? Well, the driver who took me to do a CNN broadcast recently gave me a hint. He didnt know who Karl Rove was, and he didnt know who all the people up on Capitol Hill were who were calling for his scalp. Nor did he care. He dismissed it as just politics, that is, ideologically driven politics.
When ideology begins to replace revealed truth as the basis for governing a society, you inevitably have the kind of polarization we have in America today, Reds vs. Blues. Ideology is a man-made political formulation for how people should live their lives together and is, therefore, from our perspective as Christians, inherently flawed. And its dangerous when a society becomes so polarized over ideology that it lacks a frame of reference for agreeing on the common good.
This all started when moral relativism took root in America, beginning in the sixties on the campuses and then invading popular cultureback when Time magazine asked that provocative question, Is God dead? When this happened, the overarching standards of truth and moral behavior historically governing our society were undermined. And forty years of aggressive secularism since then have simply erased the idea of moral absolutesno such thing as truth; everything is a matter of personal preference.
This eliminates the possibility of reasoned, intelligent discourse. Since people are attracted to different ideologies, all we can do is clash. So every issue about how we govern ourselves, or what our standards ought to be, ends up in a titanic wrestling match.
The American public is rightly disenchanted with this poor excuse for a political process. And while I would like to blame the politicians, I cant. They are simply reflecting what has happened in our broader culturethe death of truth, the lack of any common standard by which we can judge what we do. The tragedy is, of course, that politicians will continue to lose stature in the publics eye with the over-the-top rhetoric we saw in the Karl Rove case. With no agreed-upon standards, you just start shouting more loudly. Public discourse becomes course, unreflective, harsh, and when you dont get your way, it becomes shrill. You set out to destroy your political enemies, because power is the way to win an argument. Obviously, people are going to be turned off by this.
As Christians, we should be the first to recognize that ideologysubstituting human schemes for revealed truthis the enemy of the Gospel, and the enemy of historic conservatism: conservatism not as political ideology, but as a respect for tradition, custom, a reliance upon the past, a belief in natural law and the religious underpinnings for society.
Well, how do you change a culture? You change it one person at a time. We start explaining to our neighbors why things are happening the way they are, why they are disillusioned with politics. We have a special obligation to talk about how the death of truth and the secularizing of America are paralyzing the political process, and we had better get busy and make our case quickly, because the way we are going, America could become ungovernable.
Maybe if the Republicans found their spine .. their numbers would go up
Very true. I don't think the reason is limited to what Mr. Coulson states, mere disenchantment. How about disgust, disgust with the two parties AND those elected for NOT standing for principals. This is a great part of it. Look even to Frist the other day....because it was politically expedient for him to "change his mind" about stem cell research, he caved in to political pressure; whether one agrees or not with his initial "stand," he did not remain steadfast to his principals...he "changed his mind" because of politics. Most all of the elected officials are the same....whereever the wind blows, the sway with it. How can one not be disgusted with that? What is there to admire in a political expedient?
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When ideology begins to replace revealed truth as the basis for governing a society, you inevitably have the kind of polarization we have in America today, Reds vs. Blues . . . This all started when moral relativism took root in America, beginning in the sixties on the campuses and then invading popular cultureback when Time magazine asked that provocative question, Is God dead? When this happened, the overarching standards of truth and moral behavior historically governing our society were undermined. And forty years of aggressive secularism since then have simply erased the idea of moral absolutesno such thing as truth; everything is a matter of personal preference.
And this is absolutely true.
There's no "good guy" in a food fight. The media have made a real legitimate struggle of good v. evil look like a food fight to the average bear. Since the demoncrats can't win, they'll settle for a food fight draw.
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