Yes, I admit it … I am a political junky, and also unabashedly what today is being called “liberal” and/or “progressive.” But fundamentally, these labels are, like all labels, much too restricting to really pinpoint my views, much less anyone else’s. When I really examine the system of values that drives my political opinions, I have to point to the values that shaped me in childhood, which were plainly and clearly known as “christian.” Today, I especially detest that particularly label because it has come to mean something entirely different from what I gleaned in my upbringing! The cartoon here pretty much sums up what I mean …
Long ago I abandoned my childhood affiliation with formal religion, but the values that are at the heart of not only christianity but all major religions, and loudly professed by many, are consistent with the values that shape not only my opinions, but my actions, to the extent that is humanly possible.
One of the values that was taught to me in my early upbringing as a value/action that is among the “worst” is that of hypocrisy. Among my very favorite stories that I heard over and over again was the story of Jesus overturning the tables of the Pharisees who were selling their goods at the entrance to a temple. Please don’t hold me to this little story as accurate, or get into details such as what was supposed to be going on in the story — the important thing here is that I took away a lesson that hypocrisy is one of the worst things in the world! What I got from the story was that the guys (maybe some gals) selling their wares were professing to be righteous, but their actions defied their righteousness. And in fact, this symbolizes in my mind what we are today protesting in terms of the corporate practices that have created our vastly unjust economic system.
So this promises to be a truly banner year! None of us are free of our own indulgences that are clearly in the realm of hypocrisy, and it is not something limited to one political party or another. But the blatant hypocrisy of many who loudly proclaim to be “christian” and then support policies and actions that are so totally non-christian — this is something that I simply cannot abide. Many are also speaking out on this issue, and in this year that is following on the heels of the “year of the protester” it is my hope that we will see more and more exposure of the many hypocrisies that damage our nation and our politics.
So with the fundamental values peace and love, here’s to a fabulous 2012! May it bring lots of discussion that raises the bar in terms of what we expect from our leaders, our politicians, and our movers and shakers!