Re: What does a liberal think?

From: John W Burgeson (
Date: Sat May 11 2002 - 12:47:43 EDT

  • Next message: JW Burgeson: "Re: The Problem of Liberal Theology"

    Walt wrote: "Burgy told me that he once was a libertarian. He still is
    insofar as I
    can see."

    I did? I do not remember that. I may have said that I gave the
    Libertarian outlook a fair study at one time. I am, BTW, a registered

    "Funny how we all exalt a given outlook implying something negative about
    the opposition. Since a conservative is the opposite of a liberal, we
    should describe what a conservative thinks as: ... >>

    I have clipped those line items I do associate with conservatives. Maybe
    I'm wrong on some of them.

    Free speech. Most conservatives, I think, would not extend the 1st
    amendment as far as most liberals. One example -- the "Cannot burn the
    American flag amendment" which rears its ugly head every year in
    Congress. The cries of anguish from the right were indeed loud when
    SCOTUS ruled on that one a few years ago. Not from the left.

    Government control of religion. I think all the pressure in favor of the
    state prescribing mandatory prayer in school comes from the right --
    primarily from the RR.

    In favour of any law that inserts a grim faced man in a blue suit with a
    large gun into a doctor's office. Again, in favor of a Federal or state
    law that prescribes what a doctor and patient relationship can consider,
    with criminal penalties for nonconformance. The pro-life folks come from
    the right, and they want a LAW.

    I have some testimony on my web site given by six ladies who have been
    caught up in this issue. If the RR had had its way, those testimonies
    might well have not been given, for the ladies in question would be dead
    or severely disabled.

    People of color have lesser standing. Not all conservatives, of course.
    But there is little doubt that the % of conservatives who hold this
    position is substantially larger than the % of liberals. One hopes that
    the % is small on both sides.

    Women have lesser standing. Same comment as above, only that the gap is

    People with different sexual preferences have lesser standing. Same
    comment as the above, except that the gap is even wider.

    See diversity as a "bad thing." Same comment, and the gap is wide here

    Show disrespect to those of a different religious persuasion. I have
    gotten email from a number of persons after 9/11 -- good folks, whom I
    love -- telling me to hate the evil Muslims. All are conservative

    A Google search I made the other day shows a plethora of Islamic
    organizations issuing statement of shock and horror after 9/11 -- but
    somehow those statements don't seem to get media attention. Could the
    media be too conservative? Boggles the mind.

    Show disrespect to those with no religious persuasion. I serve as a sysop
    on Compuserve's RELIGION forum. Time after time I observe well-meaning
    conservative Christians wander by, find the some of our participants are
    non-Christians, and begin to disrespect them. I have never seen a liberal
    Christian do this. I have conservative friends who glibly quote "The fool
    has said in his heart... " and then, with a smirk, consider the issue
    closed. I don't have a single liberal friend who does that.

    See Christianity primarily as a prescriptive religion. Yes, I think this
    is widely held by the right. Say the right syllables and you are saved.
    Get the right baptism. Attend the right church. Follow the right leader.
    Of course, some liberals do that too, seeing works "do good things and
    you'll make it" as the way to salvation. So I'm not really sure which
    side errs the more with this one.

    I quoted Boff as writing: "The eternal destiny of human beings will have
    nothing to do with how much we ignore the hungry, the thirsty, the naked
    and the oppressed. In
    the end, we will be judged by none of these things." Walt replied that "A
    good conservative has that motto taped to his PC monitor."

    Some probably do. Boff is worth reading.

    Finally, Walt wrote: "If Flip Benham is Burgy's example of a conservative
    Christian, is Spong the example of a liberal Christian?"

    I think Flip is an unfortunate example; that most on the right are both
    more compassionate and more understanding than him. Spong is an example
    of a liberal Christian, rather more farther left than I am (so are Borg &
    Bultmann). I have not read much of Spong, however; I plan to study two of
    his books this summer, just picked up at a used book sale at Iliff. At
    this time I know only that I do not hold the position that he does but I
    do not know yet his grounds for holding it.

    Thanks for the comments.

    John Burgeson (Burgy)
            (science/theology, quantum mechanics, baseball, ethics,
             humor, cars, philosophy and much more)

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