Thursday, September 11, 2008
Friends' Concerns about Sarah Palin
The first comes from a friend with many years in Alaska:
The following links are available to you to explore. There's a good explanation of the difference between intratextual religious fundamentalist systems and intertextual religious communities.
When I saw the signs "Palin Power" and "Country First" at the Republican convention, the grand old flag suddenly (metaphorically) became a red one. Every single totalitarian government on the face of the earth has monopolized the mind of it's constituents by demanding unilateral commitment to a country or a personality. What happened to the once conservative Christian values of "God first, family, and community service?"
The first web site is a book review, which will give you some clear distinction between fundamentalist religious systems and non fundamentalist religious groups. It also addresses the relationship between fundamentalist religious systems and terrorism. It is a summary of some very good reading material.
The second web site is an insightful article written in 2005 by a professor at Ohio State University, Walter A. Davis. This article addresses the following: Four basic beliefs as fundamental to Christian fundamentalism. (1) Inerrancy or biblical literalism, the belief that every word of the Bible is to be taken literally as the word of God; (2) conversion or the experience of being reborn in Christ; (3) evangelicalism or the duty of the saved to spread the gospel; and (4) Apocalypticism or Endism, the belief that The Book of Revelations describes the events that must come to pass for God's plan to be fulfilled. An example of apocalyptic fundamentalism would be, "In the end times, folks are going to flock to Alaska to be saved and raptured." Those who read the Davis article may not agree with everything the author asserts. Yet, there are worthwhile insights into how the fundamentalist mind can become a psychological dysfunction that adversely infects and sabotages the web of psycho-social relationships.
Every mainline denomination in American Christianity is struggling right now with ideology of both the far right and far left. There are many of us that fall somewhere in between and we are not happy with the extreme and single issue domination. Right now, I believe that a great gift to the whole of America would be for individuals to educate themselves regarding the fundamentalist mind so as not to hate or resent but to say, "No thank you, now let's move on with some serious attention to these complex issues. Let us reach some intelligent resolve that doesn't put all children of the globe at serious risk." Let mainstream Christians who see don't see themselves in any extreme begin to speak out with questions in strength and confidence.
The second comes from Art McEldowney with many years in government service:
Boy Scouts know it, Girl Scouts know it and members of the military know that to wear the flag of the United States of America as an article of clothing is to show disrespect and contempt for that flag. Until struck down by the U.S. Supreme court there were laws against such activity and the Congress of the United States continues work toward re-establishing flag desecration laws.
Apparently some of the people running for the highest office in the land care less about the flag, one of the most recognized symbols of U.S. unity, than they do about what they believed would be a cute political stunt.
Sarah Palin’s wearing of the U.S. flag in a full page picture in a major news magazine (Newsweek, September 15, 2008, p. 29) published around the world for all to see is flag desecration. If wearing of the flag was done out of ignorance, then a widely published apology is due the people of the United States. If wearing of the flag was indeed to show disrespect, voters will need to decide how best to deal with that disrespect at polling time.
See United States of America Flag Code, section 8 for reference.