In politics, religion, culture — we are better off for a change

Contributing writerOctober 21, 2013 

Change has occurred throughout historical time bringing incremental change to politics, economics, religion, culture and the environment. Certain eras have brought changes so vast that the world changed exponentially. The 21st century is one of these periods. Such times find many people frightened, uneasy and even paralyzed by the enormity of change.

Those on the right claim the 1960s caused an unraveling of America. Now the Republicans and their leadership have their tea party crisis. Cultural changes often reveal a loss of manners, privacy, accepting diverse lifestyles and ethnic backgrounds. Evolution is adapting to change.

To paraphrase journalist Helen Thomas, “Get over it, we are better off for these changes.

Many on the right cannot understand that the 18th-century Constitution is viable today; Attempts to reinterpret or rewrite to conform to their own ideology achieves only misguided policies. Repeated efforts to erode or misconstrue are to be avoided, for each generation must deal with change unhampered by the past.

The Second Amendment is not sacred. Congress can regulate arms, business, health care and more. The “full faith and credit” of the nation is as important as good credit ratings for individuals. Our court should be flexible and functional; legal or philosophical minds of judges should be broadly learned not tempered by ideologies.

Freedom and equality are two sides of the same coin. One cannot exist without the other. Attempting to make one ascendant over the other creates a nation of license on the one hand and authoritarianism on the other.

Changing Christianity for this century has resulted in the dominance of religion and piety.

Jesus’ values were those of a man who spoke truth to power and scourged the temple of corruption. Our founders were men who were skeptical of too much power and also aware that power was needed in order to govern. They tried to create a government of balance, and for the most part they did.

Neither state piety nor politicians, Bible in hand, posturing as persons of principle, are the ingredients for dealing with change. Those of the Hindu faith believe extremes come in cycles and pass to better times. The religious hubris of our own time is no different than any form of arrogance. But it will pass for religious authoritarianism, and like all such dictates will give way to sincere persons who do not have to wear their faith on their sleeves like a Star of David. Separation of church and state will prevail.

Daily prayers in public schools are not needed. Good educators who teach the responsibility of citizenship are necessary. Public schools promote a sense of fair play and the need to be responsible contributors in the community. Responsible citizens work for the good of society and the nation as a whole. They become the doers for the best interests of self, family, community, the nation.

We have heard enough revolution by the tea-party rebels. We should remember the words “Beware the lean and hungry,” from Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.” We should all take note of this observing them in the House of Representatives.

Our honorable, maligned president, a constitutional scholar who is polite and firm in his desires for this nation, is a better model than those who wish to shut down the government. The disaffected tea-party caucus in the House is only concerned with strategies for controlling and dismantling government, not with governance.

There is anger in this nation but it is not with the ACA. Repeated lies, misdirection and obstruction are not the way to govern. These rebels cannot bring back the pre-Civil War days with Calhoun’s strategies for avoiding taxes and the dominance of states’ rights. The Union won.

The socialism of an economic safety net is a policy guarded by all advanced nations.

Martha J. Pierce is a former educator and a member of The Olympian’s 2013 Board of Contributors. She may be reached at marbill 83@comcast.net.

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