Thursday, March 20, 2008

Talking Heads

I am conservative. Conservative theologically. Conservative socially. Conservative politcally for the most part.

In my post on Monday, I expressed my frustration with conservatives especially in their inability to talk candidly about race.

Barack Obama, in his incredible speech on Tuesday, pointed this out when he said:

Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism.
They are now doing it again with his speech. Instead of gleaning from its wisdom, they are simply playing politics. "Dismissing any legitimate discussions of racial injustice and in inequality" as Barack said.

I hear Rush Limbaugh do this all the time. Last night, it was Shawn Hannity that I heard doing the same: not listening to people on his show who think differently, cutting them off in mid sentence and then misrepresenting what they were saying, more concerned with winning arguments than on coming to a common understanding. Ignorance. Pure ignorance.

It is no wonder that people think of conservatives as arrogant, stuck on themselves, and know it alls who don't listen to anyone. That is how these guys act. It makes me cringe at the idea of being conservative.

I think that good leadership is a person with good idealogy who is humble enough to learn from others and listen to others.

Have you observed these same attitudes from conservative people? What will it take for people to get past winning arguments to building coalitions? How do we get people to learn together from people who are different from them?

5 comments:

david rudd said...

unfortunately, at the core of being conservative is a high value on "conserving" status quo, if the status quo is working.

race is an issue where the status quo is not working for a lot of people, but it is for most conservatives so washington conservatives are slow to move.

sad, since this is the party of lincoln.

Anonymous said...

I am with you KG. I tend to be more conservative, but am really reluctant to be painted with the standard conservative brush.

In fact, I am not sure if I actually am a conservative, since I don't have all the answers like it seems we are supposed to :)

I like to learn new stuff, and that doesn't exactly fit either.

It has just been in the last eight years, that I have come into relationships with many Christians who are more liberal politically.

What a blessing they have been in my life. I thank God for intersecting my life with folks who are different from me. How boring life would be in a place where everyone thought, acted, and looked just alike.

your neighbor - Bill

kimorelock said...

I was very liberal when I was in high school. I was pretty much on board with every socially & fiscally liberal position out there. And then I got saved.

"Liberal" was a dirty word amongst my new Christian friends and I purged every last drop of liberalism out of me. And then I graduated from college and started really making my faith my own, which included thinking about things I was passionate about in high school and that maybe not all of them were inconsistent with my faith (some of them certainly were, but not all).

What bothers me is that too often Christians don't think -- they toe the party line and don't consider current social issues with the spirit & heart of many of Jesus' sayings. I really think that every Christian should read that book you lent me -- I can't remember the name of it now, but it really shed a lot of light for me on the issue of race & the church.

KG said...

Good thoughts all.

Although I recongnize that I am conservative on many things, I don't want to be labeled as such either. It carries such a negative reputation because of the words and behavior of a few. Especially if you are relating to people of color in America. To some, it is almost like saying: "I am a racist".

I want to follow Jesus in all areas: personal life, with others, politically, and the list goes on. By being tied to a group or politcal party, it will not be easy to do that.

It is sad that to many Christians are so comfortable being married to the Republican party.

Noel Edwin Cisneros Ritter said...

Good thoughts, this primary season has been a painful one for me. Its the first time as a "raised rupublican" that I have found myself very much drawn the the "progressive" side.

Its painful, because it's hard to begin to discuss issues of Race, poverty, and education, with my family, I know their response. And as soon as I heard Obama's moving speech, I know that there would be many who would simply dismiss it as a non-issue. It gets painful when our love for our neighborhood, racial justice, and the Kingodom seem to put us in conflict between "Left or Right" doesn't it.

Thanks for writing about Obama's speech Kevin, I appreciate it