Saturday, June 07, 2014

No Apologies

There was a bit of a scuffle on Facebook today after I posted a thought about the Bergdahl brouhaha. I suggested that a lot of people were taking strong positions based on what stance their favorite news sources were espousing. I have thought and thought about Bowe Bergdahl and what he may or may not have done and I have thought about the circumstances that now have him on U.S. soil; I have read a lot, and I still don't think I know enough to take a strong stance. Right now I'm inclined to trust the President and allow for the likelihood that there is far more to this story than the public is aware of.

My FB post yielded some comments and an email that suggested I was apparently a Liberal, and went on to say that this didn't seem to mesh with my role as a hospital chaplain.

I don't have any idea what to do with the second part of that other than to point out that a lot of intelligent people -- my seminary professors, some of them -- are fond of saying, "Jesus was a Liberal."

As to the first part, I am sorry that there was any doubt at all that led the writer to write "apparently," as though applying that label would bring some sort of shame. Because, most certainly, I am a Liberal.

For almost as long as I've had this blog, there have been two quotes either in the sidebar when I had one, or down at the bottom.  They're there because the resonate with my core values. They are almost as much a part of me as my dancing ladies.

One's from a fictional character:


“Liberals got women the right to vote. Liberals got African-Americans the right to vote. Liberals created Social Security and lifted millions of elderly people out of poverty. Liberals ended segregation. Liberals passed the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act. Liberals created Medicare. Liberals passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act. What did Conservatives do? They opposed them on every one of those things – every one. So when you try to hurl that label at my feet, ‘Liberal,’ as if it were something to be ashamed of, something dirty, something to run away from, it won’t work, Senator, because I will pick up that label and I will wear it as a badge of honor.-- Matt Santos, The West Wing

The other is from a real person:


          "If, by a liberal, they mean someone who looks ahead, and not behind ...
          Someone who welcomes new ideas, without rigid reactions...
          Someone who cares about the welfare of the people -- their health, their housing, their schools,                 their jobs, their civil rights, their civil liberties...
          Someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us...
          If that is what they mean by a liberal, I am proud to be a liberal." --John Fitzgerald Kennedy


I don't automatically subscribe to the Liberal viewpoint on everything. I think about the issue and decide for myself; more often than not, I find myself in the Liberal column. I respect that others have also considered the issues and come out in a different place; I have no interest in arguing viewpoints.


I believe in a woman's right to choose but I wish the death penalty would be outlawed. I think marriage equality has taken far too long to become a reality and that lack of gun control laws has given birth to way too many tragedies. 


And I believe that many Americans might wait a bit until more actual facts are known before rushing to judgment on Bowe Bergdahl and why and how he is no longer a prisoner.




23 comments:

Millie said...

Well said! I stand with you and wear the Liberal label proudly.

Millie said...

PS I loved The West Wing!

Linda said...

I agree wholeheartedly with everything you have said. I especially like the JFK quote. I've always thought of myself as open-minded and Gospel-oriented. I think you are, too.

OT Quilter said...

Well said and well quoted. I, too, find myself usually in the Liberal column and respect others' viewpoints. I do get tired of the political back-and-forth on FB; all I want is to see what my friends and family are doing!

Barbara Anne said...

I'm with you! I was taught to think for myself, that morals are not a matter for law, and that your rights end where the next person's nose begins. That has landed me in the Liberal ranks and that's fine by me.

To care for the wellbeing of others with my vote is my honor.

Hugs!

Gari in AL said...

I smiled as I read this post. I was raised in a very conservative home and was one until the Dole run for the oval office. The mean spiritedness of that campaign made me take another look at my party and over the years that ongoing look caused me to become more liberal. My Christian faith has never been shaken but the conservative, right wing has been crushed.

Pat said...

You and I are on opposite sides of the political fence, but what separates you from many others is that you make a concerted effort to see both sides, to seek a balance view, and to not let political beliefs interfere with friendships. I understand the desire to express political views on FB, but I get weary of continual postings. I question the value of these bombardments, since they are really not going to change anyone's mind; I have come to think of them as just a way in which the poster just trying to call attention to themselves.

I am also offended by posters who make it their business to point out every flaw in someone of the party while ignoring similar flaws within their own ranks. But the thing that rankles me the most is the vicious, nasty way in which posters comment. Name calling, wishing individuals in the political spotlight physical harm (and even death), and acting in in a manner that makes me wonder how anyone could find them credible.

Political discourse has its place, as does the seeking out of new ideas. I admire the way in which you make your point known, my friend, but leave yourself open to listening to others.

Quiltdivajulie said...

Excellent commentary -- you nailed it!!

stitchinpenny said...

I am not a liberal and my views agree in some cases and not in others with those you have written here. The most important thing in all cases is that each of us has the right to believe in this country. That will cause differences and conflict, but these should be solved with reasoned debate and possibly an agreement to disagree. I am very tired of name calling and intolerance from both sides. It is funny to me when the extremes of either side point out how extreme and ridiculous the other side is and figuratively shout so they can drown out the other side. I live by the statement my father made to me when I turned 18 - "I have taught you the lessons and values you will need, but you are responsible from here on out. You only have one person to answer to anymore and you will face that person every morning in the mirror."

Anonymous said...

Every once in a while, reading your blog I am reminded of why I love it so much. This is one of those times. Agree, agree, agree!
Sue

LoieJ said...

Well, there are Liberals and Conservatives. There are Republicans and Democrats and many other parties. And there are Progressives. I'm not sure what the opposite of Progressive is, but anti-Progress sounds wrong. In any case, if you read the Bible, which I know you do, there are so many passages in both the OT and NT about caring for others. And about receiving Grace and applying Grace and living in Grace. So we can pick the party or philosophy that seems most aligned with that. I agree with your commenter who said that there is too much nastiness in the way some political commenters talk about their counterparts. So often, if you read a half way decent on-line article about a topic, the comments start out nice and then deteriorate into name calling that has nothing to do with the topic at hand. Sheesh.

quilt for fun said...

I totally agree with all you've said in this post. I'm saddened by the the folks who seem to have no compassion for others, and those who rush to judgement based on a few political commentators. As more is known about Bowe Bergdahl's situation, I suspect many people will may regret their first comments and realize this situation, like many others, is more complex than we now know.

Kathleen Schwitzner said...

I have read your two quotes and have decided long ago that they best articulated WHY I am a liberal. I now live in a conservative part of Illinois, where people feel that if you fall upon hard times, well, that was your fault and you deserve it.

I am commie, pinko-, bleeding-heart liberal democrat (channeling my best Archie Bunker here - I was a little kid when that show was on) from Cook County, IL, where the President, WHO IS A BLACK MAN, is from. No joke, I hear this where I live now.

I remind them that he is also a WHITE MAN.

Nancy, thank God you're a liberal! And thank God Jesus was one too.

AS for Boew, I'll take Barack's word on this one, and pray for that man to heal.

Ray said...

Right on, Sister, as always!!!

suz said...

Very, very well said! I too would have to add the word Liberal to my name. Like you, I too look at issues with what I hope is an open mind. I'm also an Independent and have voted both sides of the aisle. As with most things in politics, I truly doubt we have all the information about this young man - it's truly sad that there are people who want him to be a scapegoat or banner for their latest hate-mongering instead of celebrating the fact that he's reunited with his family. One of the wonderful things about this country is that we can openly have different views about politics - and one of the responsibilities of that right is that we have to respect the other person's views.

Suzan Oxenreider said...

Perfectly stated. "Liberal" is not a dirty word...and I would always choose to err on the side of compassion.

Denise in PA said...

Nancy, I agree with everything you said - could have written it myself - my views exactly.

Shari Sherman said...

AMEN!

sharon said...

the first thing that came to mind was Amen Sister....guess that sticks...

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