It's Friday. You are on your second coffee. For a change you glance at the "Letters" section of the Intelligencer Journal, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and your eye catches a missive entitled "Liberalism and the Bible," signed by John Peiffer of the nearby town of Columbia. John appears a bit upset. "Liberalism supports sexual promiscuity and perversion, abortion and wealth redistribution. It exploits feelings rather than reason, using emotionally charged but vaguely defined phrases such as "fair share," "war on women," "social/economic justice," and more, intended to divide us."
What? You don't say! Where does this man get his information? Who told him that you have to believe in sexual promiscuity and perversion to be a liberal? What does he find so shocking about wealth redistribution? From the predominantly conservative mass media in the area, from his neighbor, from his talk group?
He continues: "In the liberal view, government is to dictate to religion, seeking to violate people's faith and conscience, especially of Christians. Other religions, notably Islam, receive better treatment."
I gulp down the rest of the coffee in the cup and ponder who this person is, whether he is married, if he has children, if his children have been sent to fight in one of the wars that both liberals and conservatives have sparked, if he has read the U.S. constitution, where he was during the Civil Rights Movement; I wonder what he thinks about capitalism, free enterprise, the market economy, the drip down theory...
John continues his diatribe: "We know that many are dependent on the government, and that such programs cannot be cut off overnight (!!). However, such largesse was never God's plan, and we need to practice personal giving, not coerced public "charity." It will take time to make the proper reforms. Christians who follow the Bible should not be liberal."
Lot's of questions still gyrate in my brain. Has this man ever worked? What did he do during the Great Depression? Does he think that government is unnecessary? Does he want to be defended by the police, by the Pentagon? What would he do if his daughter were to fall in love with an Afro-american? Does he believe that social problems are the result of "big government?" Does he pay taxes? Does he vote, believe in democracy? Is he really a conservative? Does he really believe in the Bible...in statements such as "do onto others as you would want them to do onto you?"