Straight from a spritual progressive's mouth, I replied.
David Limbaugh discusses faith and politics at his website. He mentions conservative Christians' disappointment in the Democratic party for what they view as contempt for "traditional values."
The problem isn't that conservative Christians -- generally speaking -- don't understand where the left is coming from; it's that they do. They have expressed open contempt for certain traditional values, even though many Democrats are Christians, too.
My problem, as a 'social-justice Catholic' is that, for twenty years, the Religious Right has walked all over many of my own closely-held values....or walked OVER them in their rushed obsession to co-opt the GOP with their two pet issues. (Abortion and homosexuality). Mr. Limbaugh can poke fun at Howard Dean all he likes, but it won't change the fact that there are millions upon millions of Christian Democrats, or that the GOP's public reputation is sinking. If the GOP thinks they'll recoup any kind of lasting popularity with the majority of American voters while pandering to a group who thinks "two issues a set of moral values makes," they are sadly mistaken. Methinks they are hustling in order to avoid electoral disaster in November.
Eighty-nine detainees are now on a hunger strike at the Guantanamo Bay naval base - WAVY-TV
Risky Gambit by Abbas Raises American Hopes, Israeli Worries - Forward
Despite U.S. expressions of hope that a new gambit by the chairman of the Palestinian Authority could pave the way to negotiations with Israel, fears persist in Washington and Jerusalem that the maneuver could backfire and end up strengthening the Islamic fundamentalist group Hamas
EXCLUSIVE: BOBBY KENNEDY JR. TO QUESTION 2004 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN MAJOR ROLLING STONE FEATURE ARTICLE - Brad Blog (tip of the hat to sarahlane)
Thomas L. Friedman: A Quick Fix for the Gas Addicts - NYT
Dixie Chicks beat backlash, hit No. 1 with new album - CBC
Corning, N.Y.: 10 memorable moments from this year's LPGA Corning Classic
The Natalie Gulbis experience: It's not polite to stare, but it's also hard to miss the Natalie Gulbis galleries around the course. Golf fans admire her solid game. There are others who just like to look.
"I see this town as a microcosm of Heartland, U.S.A."
- Mario Rossi, writing about my own village of Camillus, N.Y.
A Tribute to Camillus, N.Y. by Mario Rossi
The late (and great) Syracuse columnist Mario Rossi wrote an article (from which I posted excerpts below) in 1977 about my own village. I moved to the village of Camillus, N.Y. in 1991, fourteen years after Mr. Rossi wrote these words, but they ring just as true today as they did back in 1977. In 2002, the village of Camillus celebrated its 150th anniversary and a three-day sesquicentennial celebration was held.
Mayor Ed Fletcher
There is an undeniable strength of the American spirit here in this place, and thanks to the efforts of people who strongly value tradition, such as the village's current mayor (and veteran) Ed Fletcher, our children grow to understand the significance of holding our nation and its traditions close to our hearts.
Camillus typifies Memorial Day celebrations * EXCERPTS - read the entire column at Syracuse.com) Thursday, May 25, 2006 By Mario Rossi (Neighbors West edition of the Post Standard)
Everything seems to be changing in this fast-moving, volatile age of ours, but some traditions manage to continue, thank heavens, thereby transmitting a sentiment that is pure Americana and so, as reassuring as it is enjoyable.
I came to this conclusion in Camillus on Memorial Day.
The village observes the holiday with parade and ceremonies, drawing thousands to a main street which dips from hillside to hillside and is transformed briefly from its customarily staid appearance to a thronged, banner-bedecked thoroughfare.
Children by the score wave American flags, provided free by the generosity of local business people; vendors move through the crowds with balloons and souvenirs; and the spectators stand three, five and even six and seven deep.
It's a great turnout for a great spectacle.
Message comes through
With the opening of the program, the real message of the event begins to come through: This is unabashed patriotism, as genuine as it is sentimental - homage to our country and Old Glory, tribute to the fallen heroes of battlefield and rededication to the American ideal.
Is this an anachronism? An anomaly?
We are in pure sunlight, our eyes and ears are open, and the loudspeaking system is working perfectly. That's "God Bless America" we hear, and "Flanders Field" and "Taps," echoing and reechoing across the heart of the village. And red roses are being placed on the grave's green covering, and shots are being fired in ceremonial salute.
We're not missing a thing; it's really happening.
They remember history
Let others forget the past, if they will; let them forget history, but not in this place.
They do not pander here to the currently popular notion that a nation is only worth the handout it can give you; they hold to the theory that devotion to country is an all-pervasive thing akin to love. That is the gratifying reality that prevails in today's sight and sound.
Somehow, the old values do survive, and if here in Camillus, perhaps in other communities across the land.
I see this town as a microcosm of Heartland, U.S.A.
And so, when called upon to say a few words, I speak of the solider who died in battle, and I ask:
"Did he die for an abstract cause, a silken flag, a faceless government, a catchy slogan?"
But I know the answer is here, and I need not have articulated it: "Friends, he died for you and me."
More importantly, however, I know that this village and its people and the happenings here today give comforting evidence that what our country stands for will ever withstand the assaults of the skeptics, the doubters, the challengers and the non-believers.
We can be assured that though many elsewhere prefer to forget the battlefield sacrifice as no longer ideologically fashionable, at least here they understand and comply wholeheartedly when they are importuned, in reference to the dead warrior.