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Good Morning Nanty Glo!

       Wednesday, November 10 2004 

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

The aftermath

Sensing several weeks ago that some fuses were getting short over political arguments on the Home Page email forum, I tried to keep the discussion here on a theoretical level rather than discussing the merits of one candidate or the demerits of another running up to election day. And I feel empathy with those who now want to put the campaign of the past 18 months behind us and find common ground rather than continue to fan rhetorical flames. On the other hand, this is as far away from another national referendum as we can get, so maybe this is the safest time to try out our social proposals and in the course of that take to task those on the other side of the proverbial "aisle."

I must admit that many of the columns and commentaries that have been published in the past week have been stimulating, provocative, grist for the mill. The dominant theme has been, from both sides, that the other side just "doesn't get it." And the left can't believe that anyone actually believes their "humanist values" are inferior to the values of the solid majority that voted to re-elect President Bush. Conversely, we on the right side of the aisle can't believe that the left is so blind that, even in a victory of historic proportions for traditional American and Christian values, they can't grasp our present national reality.

This development is instructive in light of our long-running discussion of what constitutes theoretical thought. Though these poles-apart opposite views of values are highly ideological on both sides, the fact that they are so far apart illustrates that the advocates on both sides have been steeped in their theory so deeply that they find it hard to imagine they could be less than accurate in assessing the true state of our culture. Obviously people on one pole, who think God talk is all just baloney and everyone knows it, is nowhere near able to converse constructively with their opposites, who believe that anything other than God-based talk is relatively banal, pointless, and especially when a culture is falling apart, threatening.

There is, of course, a spectrum of thinkers between both of these poles. Close to the left pole are many who believe all religion is charlatanism, even a threat to progress and capable of quickly taking us back to the dark ages. Next are some who believe that Democrats are really what they claim to be, true advocates of the poor, and that the truest example of a holy American in this time is Jimmy Carter, and all those who identify with him, like Howard Dean. There are many who think that though God may be a human creation, we have to play along with the religious factions because such glue is necessary to hold any society together. Some play religious to get a larger political base (the Clintons?). There are many who would like to believe, but can't quite do so, but respect and honor those who do. Still another notch on the spectrum is occupied by those who believe that those who do "truly believe" in a Supernatural world are the best kind of people, even if their ideals are too high to aspire to themselves. But they want to be close to them and, if forced to choose, choose the religious over the irreligious..

Right now, almost like in the aftermath of a national disaster like the 9/11 attacks, religion and religious motives are the culture's Topic A. Let's enjoy that for as long as it lasts.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 

Chuckles

Another theoretical thought: "Things are more like they are now, than they ever were before."

Dwight Eisenhower  

Thought for today

"Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't - you're right."

Henry Ford  

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