To the editor:
I must first admit to being a Christian, who is a registered independent, with libertarian tendencies. Yes, this is a thing, because I say it is. I have decided to dive into a flurry of letters between Ruth Heflin and someone she identifies as a Christian conservative.
I find Heflin’s latest letter to the editor interesting and dismaying for a number of reasons. First, it is interesting in its display of the very characteristics she accuses others, such as repeating “conservatism’s mantra,” while she wades heavily through talking points that can be found prominently on liberal websites such as The Daily Kos and The Democratic Underground.
I find it dismaying she seems to think it is acceptable to rail against those who may have a different point of view while taking pains to make us believe she is tolerant, accepting, and, most of all, correct about everything on every topic. She does this by using Bible quotes and showing quite a bit of hubris in believing she knows not only what every Christian should feel and believe, but exactly what Jesus felt and believed, as well as every conservative’s opinion on every topic. Heflin seems convinced that only the "left” is the champion of marriage, individual responsibility, and freedom, despite obvious attacks against these very things through specific policies and introduced legislation from the city-level on up, and they are done by both liberal and conservative politicians. I get the feeling she would like us to believe most Christians somehow want to “remove safety nets” for those less fortunate and that “conservatives ignore individual freedoms repeatedly, wanting to limit the rights of many for trivial things,” when the facts tell us the complete opposite is true.
At no time has any conservative politician announced the abolition of “safety nets,” which have been in place for decades, merely increased accountability and oversight of programs notorious for abuse, corruption, and mishandling. Instead of providing actual facts to support any of her claims, she throws around generalizations and broad assumptions, all while accusing others of doing the same. Whether they do or not is not my point. The fact she does exactly the same thing is my point.
It is this very attitude that stifles discussion and hampers understanding.
To intimate that all conservatives display “hate, distrust, resentment, and obvious biases against others whom they seek to control” is, at its core, an obvious display of hate, distrust, resentment, and obvious bias against those she seeks to marginalize. Again, that broad brush does nothing but serve to decrease the effectiveness of her argument. In closing, I recommend Heflin take a look at the Bible she so loves to quote and pay particular attention to Matthew 7:3-5: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
In my interpretation, this means that judgment is fine, as long as you aren’t doing the same thing for which you are judging others. Of course, that is merely my interpretation, and others have and will have a different thought on the subject. But, unlike Heflin, I embrace the fact that others have opinions, and I am willing to engage them as long as they articulate their opinion with logic and specifics, not generalities and rhetoric.