I have written about this before and about my fears that this particular "problem" would get worse. I have voiced my dissension [as always] that conservative does not always equal Christian and Pagan does not always equal liberal. These are stereotypes and, although stereotypes are regrettably based on statistical fact, they are not absolute truth. This divisive and, frankly, destructive thinking was the single reason why I extricated myself from the Lexington 9/12 organization- a handful of Christian fundamentalists felt that their religious preference was more of a mantle for conservatism than liberty itself. I have relayed the specifics in the past, so I won't rehash them.
The other day while listening to The Pulse on WLAP [that's talk radio for all you younguns, AM], as I am known to do, Pagans endured yet another slap from the Christian base. While admitting that the majority of Christmas holiday traditions are integrated from Pagan teachings as pointed out by a caller, Leland Conway, [whom I typically have immense respect for] host of the show, made a flippant and gloating 'well, we see who ended up on top on that one' remark. Now to avoid painting all Christians with the same brush, I will place my grievance squarely on the shoulders of Mr. Conway and those members of the 9/12 group by whom I am so reviled.
You see, while we are all sitting around chuckling at the Left, the Democrats in Congress who are so divided among themselves that they can't seem to get anything accomplished, we are in the same regrettable boat. At the moment, we are simply untested. Given the slightest opportunity, we will fracture into a myriad of subgroups and special interests, as well. I daresay, from my observation, that this brand of Christian conservative has banded with the Libertarian Independents in order to strengthen their cause but will turn on them in an instant to further the cause of Christianity. To them, that just makes good battle sense, since it is after all incumbent upon Christians to preach and convert as it is with Muslims which is why I usually classify both groups together under the same 'fundamentalist' label.
Now, I understand that this country was founded on Christian principles and I agree that we should hold to those principles. Moral integrity is essential to the well-being of our nation and a close relationship with a higher power is just as critical. But to assume that one cannot agree or live Christian ideals without being Christian is like saying that one cannot each Hummus unless they are Greek. Many religions offer similar teachings. Christians say "Do unto others..." and Wiccans have the Rede: "And it harm none, do as thou will."
[Deep breath] Sorry, I am getting off topic here...
My point is that I have long said that I fear fighting for the liberty of everyone to have a faction [ in this case Christian or Muslim fundamentalists] hijack the movement later and turn the blade in my direction or worse, that of my children. There will never come a time when all will be of one mind in politics or ethics or religion. That is the nature of humanity and also the beauty of our inherent diversity [the "diverse" we are naturally, not the kind that is the result of manipulation]. The danger is when one group eschews the moral imperatives of the cause for the sake of growth and loses its soul in the process. Pagans did this when they persecuted Christians during the later Roman empire and it actually contributed to not only the rise of Christianity but the decline of the empire and Paganism. Pagans have spent centuries being murdered for the beliefs they are reported to hold. All of it has led only to a soulless society steeped in false piety.
Before we allow ourselves to be swept away by our individual preferences, we need to hold true to the creed that we are claiming. If you do indeed believe in liberty, then you must believe in the liberty of all, whether or not they believe in the Creator that bestowed it. To do otherwise makes us worse than those who oppose personal liberty outright because it is self-serving and subversive.
As for Mr. Conway, I appreciate his personal faith and hope he continues his crusade for liberty and reduced government intervention. He will, however, be doing it with at least two fewer listeners to his radio show. Glenn Beck seems to have come to an understanding that still eludes his 3-6 time slot counterpart: That faith and the bond between a spiritual figure-head and the person is infinitely more important than belonging to the "right" group while doing it.
I may not agree with the Christian power-structure, hierarchy and their version of history and truth, but I will fight for their right to believe as they wish. I expect my choices to be as respected. If we cannot get a handle on this way of thinking now, then 2010, 2012 and every other change of power will be irrelevant and we will be caught in a cycle that does nothing to improve our situation.
We are all Americans and we all deserve liberty. No one is more entitled to it than another and we need to stop thinking that way.