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Food for thought

Maybe the "moral values" people are divided on don't have as much to do with religion as some people think. Arnold Kling writes about the political conflict between the ownership society W wants to build and the bureaucratic nanny state a lot of folks want to preserve and expand. RTWT.

Via Instapundit, from whom so many good links come.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 18th, 2005 06:29 pm (UTC)
I think "moral values" are more politically motivated than religiously motivated, indeed, although I think this argument seems to be rather skewed with some rather typical, oversimplistic "right vs. left" rhetoric that spoils the otherwise very interesting premise. I'd love to see an objective analysis of the situation--say, a scientifically based survey, perhaps, on what various Americans feel constitutes "values" and how they relate to politics and economics. It may give a very interesting glimpse into the variety of human mindsets that inform the ballot boxes we check.

Regardless, being a liberal whose "values" are heavily based upon her religious beliefs (as a member of the Society of Friends), I don't like to see all religious folk lumped in any one group or another. Certainly I'd think most people who are religious have their values informed by their religion, but what that particular religion teaches may vary widely. How "religion" came to equal a certain type of American Christian fundamentalist I'll never understand.

Death Quaker
Feb. 18th, 2005 06:50 pm (UTC)
It would be nice seeing a study like that, but I'm cynical enough to think that we won't be seeing one from academia any time soon.

That having been said, I think you're putting the cart before the horse here (assuming that I'm not misunderstanding you) when you say that "moral values" are more politically than religiously driven. It seems pretty clear to me that the way people vote is heavily influenced by their religious views - you vote Democrat because of the way the Quakers have taught you to see things, while I vote Republican (partially) because of my Catholic faith and how I believe it requires me to act.

How "religion" came to equal a certain type of American Christian fundamentalist I'll never understand.
I'm thinking it has a lot to do with most journalists being a bunch of atheistic Commie Pinko heathens the kind of people who don't go to church often or are otherwise religiously observant, and the fact that the most visible political bloc (aside from the Jews) in contemporary politics are the evangelical Christians who tend to vote Republican in large numbers. Since most reporters can't tell the difference between a fundamentalist and an evangelical any more than they can distinguish the ELCA from the Missouri Synod Lutherans, we get the kind of obtuse reporting we're both all too familiar with.

I'm somewhat familiar with the press blindness on religion from a Catholic perspective, too. Take a look at any random Catholic blog and you'll see a lot of frustration with the press giving lots of attention to fringe groups such as Frances Kissling's Catholics for Free Choice and very little to what bishops are actually saying. Maddening.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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