Wednesday, June 5, 2013
How Liberals Seem to Think
Today was the feast day of St. Boniface, a martyr. The past few days have been celebrations of the lives of martyrs from around the world. The priest in his short sermon this morning commented on how these martyrs gave their lives willingly, as they sought to offer the Good News, not for their own benefit, but for the benefit of strangers --- these strangers who then killed them.
And my thoughts leapt beyond the priest’s mind-opening insight.
Many Christian evangelists differ significantly from others who would choose to proclaim their beliefs. First and foremost, I believe, is that the Christian believes he knows something about the people to whom he would speak. He believes they are innately valuable, with a dignity equal to his, as bestowed upon them both by a common Creator. Even if they are not nearly as educated as he, the Christian evangelist has a respect for those he speaks to, and so he “offers” them the Good News. To their disbelief or questions, he patiently explains answers. And to their physical weaknesses or needs, he offers charity.
He comes to offer strangers gifts, spiritual and material benefits, and asks nothing in return. The Christian evangelist invites strangers into his family, “invites”, yet some kill him for his unselfish gifts.
My thoughts moved this morning to thoughts of another faith, Islam, which also sends out its members to increase their family of faith. On one key point, however, Islamic evangelists differ from Christian ones: they lack respect for the people they go to. The Christian sees all men as equally dignified by God; the Islamist sees dignity only in people of his faith, so strangers are of less value than him, but they can be increased to equal value if they convert. The Islamist, therefore, believes a man’s mind can change his dignity; what he thinks determines who he is. To him, no man is born with any dignity or rights. And any man who would not choose to think as the Islamist does, never does gain any rights or dignity, hence many Islamists believe infidels can be slaughtered as animals --- because they don’t think properly.
I found these thoughts about how some men value others --- or not --- interesting, but then my mind went to a more general summary of what I had perceived: there are many men who believe strongly that any men who do not think as they do lack dignity. The Islamist is focused on religion, but there are men who generalize this thinking into all matters about “for the good of man”. These people believe that anyone who does not believe as they do lacks a certain dignity; he is “wrong-thinking,” and like the Islamist these self-proclaimed “right-thinking” men feel compelled to take action, “for the good of man.”
I perceive that this mindset seems to exist most often in those we would describe as “liberal.”
It almost seems a bastardization of the word “liberal” to use it to describe minds closed to any other thinking, confident that they are “right.” But looking at the Islamist example, I can see how the liberal mindset can indeed think that it is “liberal.”
The Islamist is extremely confident that he knows the truth of what is good for man, and therefore he must ensure other men think as he does --- it is for their own good. In his mind, he is doing a good thing. And so the liberal mindset is focused on the poor, for example, and wishes them an equal share of all things, and he will steal from the rich and give to the poor --- because this is a good thing. Not seeing any innate dignity in all men, the liberal sees no dignity in man’s efforts or the value of work. Equality comes first, irrelevant if you work for it or not. And in perceiving the elite value of his own thinking, the liberal lessens the value of other’s thinking --- and their lives.
This seems to be why the liberal mindset more easily accepts abortion. All men are NOT created equal; some lives are more important than others, and they believe their own “right-thinking” life is the most important. So it is somewhat natural, to their way of thinking, that the unborn have less value than themselves. Their own life comes first, and is more important. An recent unbiased survey showed that the vast majority of Americans are really “pro-life,” only not which life. While valuing life, some Christians say all life is equally valuable, while others of a liberal mindset would say “No, mine is more valuable than others.” And the liberal mind would seek to define and impose on others exactly which lives are less valuable, to the point that they may be disposed of. This is the mindset began with the Age of the Enlightenment philosophers --- those self-defined “right-thinking” men, and continued on in the minds of Hitler, Stalin, and other communist leaders. They dictated to others because they sincerely believed: “I know what is right.” And this general thinking seems to be the mindset of many liberals in America and the world today.
To a liberal mindset, the liberal mindset is right, and for all the right reasons. He desires all the Christian social values and seeks to impose them. He thinks that by taking away man’s dignity, he is giving him dignity. He would take away the dignity God gave man, and replace it with a dignity that HE gave to man. He would value heaven as a good thing, but he would not expect man to choose it, but he would seek to give it to man, here on earth. That’s why he values the word “choice,” only when he is the one doing the choosing, including imposing unwanted choices on others. He does have a certain affinity for the Islamist mindset in that he believes it is right to dictate what you believe --- for others’ own good.
I think both the Islamist and the liberal have a problem with the prayer Jesus taught us, the Our Father. The Islamist believes it is blasphemy to call God as a Father: he believes God in His immensity cannot be understood by man, nor can His ways --- God is a dictator who man must follow, no matter what. But although he wouldn’t call God Father, the Islamist does seem to act in the dictatorial manner that he ascribes to his God.
The Our Father is a prayer said in humility. “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done. Give us this day …, and For Thine is the Kingdom and Power.” I think the liberal mind rejects this prayer, and the asking for these things from God, for the liberal perceives that he already knows the will of God, and will make His kingdom come, because he has the power to make all good things happen here on earth --- a power that rests not with God, but with the dedicated liberal. He believes he knows and is acting as a “good-thinking” god.
A liberal mindset individual seeks to outlaw sin --- as he defines sin. He might allow someone to think contrary, but not to act, which in the long run will destroy the “sinful” thinking. He would encourage “loving” homosexual acts, destroy “confining” marriage, “choose” life, and make laws to mandate these “good things” in public policy, while criminalizing anyone who would speak otherwise. And these are thought, by the liberal mindset, to be good things, for the freedom and self-defined happiness of man.
Christian thinking and philosophy dominated history after Christ. Unable to reason Christianity away, the “enlightened” minds today seem to have chosen to take over educational systems to teach the young their mindset, and through laws limit others. I think the liberal mind of today would not accept God’s action in the Garden of Eden: Ask Adam and Eve not to eat of that tree?? No, no, the liberal mindset would make that tree illegal, put barriers around it and tax the farmer who owns it out of existence so that the tree would die. Ask Adam and Eve not to sin?? No, the liberal mind would forbid them to sin, or make it impossible for them to sin --- as the liberal mind defined sin. Jesus said: “Love all, even the sinner.” The liberal mind couldn’t disagree enough with those words. Sinners --- those who would choose to disagree with them --- deserve no love. This, it seems to me, is why there is so much outright hate exhibited in the political arena, by those who are so extremely confident of their right-thinking, and frustrated by others who don’t think the same.
I said that I’ve come to perceive that the Final Judgment day for each individual will consist of but a single question asked by God: “Who do you love?” The liberal mind will look at his life’s actions and perceive in answer: “Why, myself, of course, because I want to make a heaven for all men just as you do, God. Isn’t that what I was created to do?”
And I wonder how God will answer him.