Thursday, March 31, 2005

pretty dumb for a bunch of smarties

John Danforth's op-ed in the NY Times yesterday deserves to be read. Danforth is a former Republican Senator and UN ambassador (he resigned not long ago). He also happens to be an Episcopalian minister who believes the Republican party has become nothing more than the political arm of the Christian conservative movement. Being a Christian and moderately conservative myself, this should either offend me or make me squeal with delight (secretly of course, or on the 700 Club).

But it doesn't. Because he's right. While my beliefs might not jive with those of Christian conservatives most of the time, I still consider myself one in the loosest of definitions. And I agree that we have a monopoly on the Republican party, which is a dangerous situation for the marketplace of ideas. Conservative Christians too often stifle opposition or criticism because of our so-called monopoly on "The Truth." What we fail to admit far too often is that we're just as prone to error as anyone else. In fact, we should be the first to acknowledge such, seeing as how we theologically hold to the depravity and fallen state of humanity.

The Republican Party is a crap party, make no mistake about it. Yet the best way to unmake it such a crap party isn't to suffocate debate, but rather to encourage it. Democrats and Republicans should be known for more than just their take on abortion or stem-cell research. The American people deserve more than just an endless debate on choice/life and human sexuality. And Republicans deserve to be known as more than just a political action group for the Christian Right.

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