Via Andrew Sullivan comes this:
Take two iconic states: Texas and Massachusetts. In some ways, they were the two states competing in the last election. In the world’s imagination, you couldn’t have two starker opposites. One is the homeplace of Harvard, gay marriage, high taxes, and social permissiveness. The other is Bush country, solidly Republican, traditional, and gun-toting. Massachusetts voted for Kerry over Bush 62 to 37 percent; Texas voted for Bush over Kerry 61 to 38 percent.
So ask yourself a simple question: which state has the highest divorce rate? Marriage was a key issue in the last election, with Massachusetts’ gay marriages becoming a symbol of alleged blue state decadence and moral decay. But in actual fact, Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate in the country at 2.4 divorces per 1,000 inhabitants. Texas – which until recently made private gay sex a criminal offence – has a divorce rate of 4.1. A fluke? Not at all. The states with the highest divorce rates in the U.S. are Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas. And the states with the lowest divorce rates are: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Every single one of the high divorce rate states went for Bush. Every single one of the low divorce rate states went for Kerry. The Bible Belt divorce rate, in fact, is roughly 50 percent higher than the national average.
The complicated truth is that America truly is a divided and conflicted country. But it’s a grotesque exaggeration to say that the split is geographical, or correlated with blue and red states. Many of America’s biggest “sinners” are those most intent on upholding virtue. In fact, it may be partly because they know sin so close-up that they want to prevent its occurrence among others. And some of those states which have the most liberal legal climate – the Northeast and parts of the upper MidWest – are also, in practice, among the most socially conservative. To ascribe all this to “hypocrisy” seems to me too crude an explanation. America is simply a far more complicated and diverse place than crude red and blue divisions can explain.
Chepooka’s reaction is of course the cry we liberals should be sounding every moment of every day: How can we live together and reconcile all of this? Well, I think somebody is going to have to find a way to communicate that while liberals mostly talk about personal liberty, they are certainly NOT the “anti-God” party, the “pro-abortion” party, the “Robin Hood” party … because damn if we’re not completely misunderstood.
Fact is, we share the goals of the “moral right” and are pretty damn good at achieving those goals. We just don’t know how to communicate this because we’re spending too much time being pissed off about the hypocricy.
Over at Unspun, Rick speaks on a related topic – the quieting of disent of Christians, by Christians. This relates to the refusal by several tv conglomerates to carry a pro-gay, pro-Christian tv commercial that you may have noticed I talked about earlier.
What does all of this have to do with all of that? The Right is trying to convince America that it is the party of religious values. To do that, it must convince America that leftists are anti-god, anti-moral, and that they are pro-god, pro-moral values. This commericial threatens that message by presenting a pro-god, pro-leftist agenda message.
Rick writes of The United Church of Christ, “a group of Christians with about 1.4 million members in the United States … I know that theyâ€™ve been around awhile. In 1700, they were the first mainline church to take a stand against slavery.”
As in the past, they’re once again proving that liberalism goes with Christianity like chocoloate syrup on bowl of stawberry ice cream.
There is war going on in this country for the freedom of our thought, and the freedom of our expression. Jeff Jarvis isn’t far off the mark when he says that the Blogosphere will soon be targeted. Most of us on the left see this war, many on the right who should be our allies on this, don’t — not yet, anyway. But with the Republican’s failure to pass the FMA, and the minority of Republican Representatives opposing the rule changes to favor DeLay, there is hope that they will soon see this for what it is, and fight with us on the side of freedom.
As for myself, I’m an athiest. But that’s what is great about the left — we welcome all kinds. If politics were tv shows, the Republicans would be 90210 – all white and rich. The Democrats would be Deep Space Nine — blacks, whites, asians, religious, non-religious, shape shifters, and Ferengi.