Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Are you a Liberal?

This is a great diagnostic tool to discover where you fall on the political spectrum. Dennis Prager is one of the clearest minds in public life.

"It is my belief that about half of the Americans who call themselves liberal do not hold the great majority of positions held by mainstream liberal institutions such as the New York Times editorial page, People for the American Way, and the
liberal wing of the Democratic Party. So here is a test of this thesis to be given to anyone who believes he or she is a liberal. If you feel I have omitted a liberal position or have unfairly characterized any of them here, please email
me. This is still a work in progress.

Thank you,
Dennis Prager

You say you are a liberal.

Do you believe the following?

Standards for admissions to universities, fire departments, etc. should be lowered for people of color.

Bilingual education for children of immigrants, rather than immersion in English, is good for them and for America.

Murderers should never be put to death.

During the Cold War, America should have adopted a nuclear arms freeze.

Colleges should not allow ROTC programs.

It was wrong to wage war against Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War.

Poor parents should not be allowed to have vouchers to send their children to private schools.

It is good that trial lawyers and teachers unions are
the two biggest contributors to the Democratic Party.

Marriage should be redefined from male-female to any two people.

A married couple should not have more of a right to adopt a child than two men or two women.

The Boy Scouts should not be allowed to use parks or any other public places and should be prohibited from using churches and synagogues for their meetings.

The present high tax rates are good.

Speech codes on college campuses are good and American values.

The Israelis and Palestinians are morally equivalent.

The United Nations is a moral force for good in the world, and therefore America should be subservient to it and such international institutions as a world court.

It is good that colleges have dropped hundreds of men's sports
teams in order to meet gender-based quotas.

No abortions can be labeled immoral.

Restaurants should be prohibited by law from allowing customers to choose between a smoking and a non-smoking section.

High schools should make condoms available to students and teach them how to use them.

Racial profiling for terrorists is wrong -- a white American grandmother should as likely be searched as a Saudi young male.

Racism and poverty -- not a lack of fathers and a crisis of values -- are the primary causes of violent crime in the inner city.

It is wrong and unconstitutional for students to be told,
"God bless you" at their graduation.

No culture is morally superior to any other.

Those are all liberal positions. How many of them do you hold?

1 comment:

Richard said...

Yes, very good. Here is what is difficult in sorting out. We are both universal and particular beings. Ancient tribes were intensly particular. A real tribe can not much exceed about 5,000 people because the "dancing green," which is the heart of the tribe where the tribal ritual dances were held, is of necessity only able to hold about this many people. Beyond this the intense sacramental quality of the dance is lost. Tribes are very deep and very narrow. Each of us is tribal in some way. Conservatives generally want to accentuate this side of the accent. I am a particular person from a blood family, from a region, as part of a nation. I have a particular religions heritage. All of this is particular. There are very much the particular realities that someone like Russell Kirk would value.
On the other hand, I am also a universal being. Empires in the ancient world more or less embodied this reality. We are under the sky. The sky world of the stars and the sun and moon define us. We are a people of the constellations. No matter where I am in my empire (Incas, Aztecs, Chinese, Egyptian, even Roman) the same stars are visible. We are universal.
The modern liberal tends to attempt to embody this. I am a universal pureed being. A universal man without nation, tribe, family, gender, race, or almost any particularity. It is a very broad and very thin reality.
The Bible combines the two. Israel was a tribal nation. But they were also the people of the sky. "You will have as many children as the stars of the sky" is spoken to Abraham in this ancient context. The 12 tribes gather round the Tabernacle in the Numbers. A wonderful French scholar has done the work of showing how this correlates to the zodiac. Twelve tribes, sun and moon of Joseph's dreams, become a greater reality in the tribes of Israel. Israel was the tribal / sky people.
When Jesus came, he gave us One / Manyness. Paul was the first completely cosmopolitan man, more cosmopolitan than the Caesars to whom he spoke. But he was a Jew of Tarsus, a Pharisee, to his cuticles. He never lost his utter particularity.
In Jesus Christ, we become universal without the pureeing of modern liberalism, and perfect our near tribal particularity without tribal narrowness in ideal. This is what we grow into. How can we be universal conservatives? That is almost an oximoran, and yet what every Christian is called to be.


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