I was questioned lately on what made me a liberal. I believe in God, I must be a conservative. I am a stay at home mom with a husband that leads our house like the bible says, I must be a conservative. (Actually, while I am a stay at home mom my husband and I are equal partners in our house.) Because of my belief in God, I must be against marriage equality, abortion, taxes…I must be a conservative. All of this ending with the claim that John F. Kennedy would be a Republican under the current structure of the Democratic Party that had been high-jacked by liberals. I find it amusing that liberal has become a dirty word. I find it amusing because liberalism was founded on liberty and equality. Below is the response I gave.
I am a liberal. Just because I am a liberal does not mean I can’t believe in God. Just because I have a traditional family does not mean that I think that is the only or even best way to go. I believe one of the basic requirements for a free society is the freedom to pursue whatever religion you wish including the freedom to not pursue religion. I am a Christian, but I do not believe that a free society can legislate a single religious belief. When we do so we are no longer free.
I fail to see how a government based on freedom of religion can regulate a religious institution such as marriage. I am fine with the churches’ position. I am less fine with any government telling two consenting adults that they can’t get married. There are churches out there that support same-sex marriage and I have a HUGE problem with the government telling them what they can and cannot support. Personally, I have absolutely no problem with same-sex marriage. Their love and relationships are just as valid as mine. Marriage in a church is a religious ceremony before God and I feel that the church can determine who they can and cannot marry. I think they are wrong to do so but perfectly free to make that choice. Marriage is also a legal contract and I have problems with this legal contract being restricted to certain types of people by the government. I equate these with Jim Crow laws that prohibited inter-racial marriage. If you look back, the arguments are even the same.
I am for tax reform yes…but probably more different from what you would think. First, I am in favor of a flat tax with no stupid deductions (like for yachts, private jets, and show horses). You get a standard deduction and that is it. Since that will never happen I am in favor of creating new tax brackets for the super-wealthy. I find it horribly unfair that persons making $400,000 pay the same rate as those making millions. We need brackets for those higher incomes. With regards to FICA, the Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax removed from every paycheck for Social Security and Medicaid, I am willing to pay more. Currently, Medicaid is at 1.45%. That’s $14.50 for every $1,000 earned bumping it up to a full 2% would only increase it by $5.50 for every $1,000. I am more than willing to pay that to help more Americans. And all income should be subject to the Social Security portion of the FICA tax…not just the first $110,000. I am poor; I get a return most years. I would give up every single penny, regardless of how much it helps my family, if it could guarantee every single American quality health care.
I am not for partial birth abortions and I would argue that no liberal really is…however, my views on abortion could take up a huge amount of space. Some of them though, can be found here: http://wp.me/p33Zln-b
As far as the Islamic religion is concerned…I support it 100%. The reasons why are many. First, we have freedom of religion in this country. Second, not every Muslim believes what the extremists believe. “Islamic Extremism is to Islam what the KKK is to Christianity”—it may be from an old ‘West Wing’ episode but I really do believe it. Furthermore, I studied religion in college and have read the Qur’an. I know that what it says is so very different from what is presented by the extremists. I know many Muslims who are good Americans that do not believe a single thing coming from the mouths of terrorists. Christianity’s history hasn’t exactly been all flowers and roses either. Judging all Muslims for the beliefs of extremists is akin to judging all Christians based on the beliefs of the Westboro Baptist Church.
I am not for the government restricting my diet…but making recommendations to how I should eat is pretty much the job description of the Surgeon General. Making healthier food cheaper and crappy food more expensive is no different from taxing alcohol and tobacco. I also feel that one shouldn’t be able to buy candy and soda with food stamps.
I have no problems with doctors, teachers, and others whose duty it is to care for my children to ask if there are guns in the home. If it prevents even one child from a preventable death or injury because their parents were too stupid to figure out on their own that they should keep their pretty pink gun out of the reach of their 3yo then I am all for it. I find it to be similar to asking about lead in the home. Or smoking. Or car seats. Frankly, someone has to look after our kids and American parents, by and large, are failing miserably.
Now, looking back at history I have found a lot of Executive Orders that I disagree with. Pretty much every President since FDR had a few I disliked. A few have had some that I agree with. They are nothing new and the Executive Orders Obama has signed have made him disappointingly average. As far as taking control of our infrastructure, that has been an Executive Order since Truman was President. Wire taps, search warrants, and what not are due to the Patriot Act, which I oppose vehemently. But a conservative President and a conservative Congress enacted it. Detention of US citizens is also not new…technically FDR did it…but the tenets in National Defense Authorization Act (which is currently being blamed solely on Obama) actually began with Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Terrorists. AUMF was also passed under conservative leadership…on September 14, 2001…quietly, while America was distracted. We should speak up about these actions but we should also be clear of the whole history of such actions and not lay blame solely at the feet of the individual holding the Presidency. What we need to do is take such tenets to court and get them deemed unconstitutional (which is what we are doing with NDAA now) so no one can do it again.
A liberal is: “someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people—their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties—someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a ‘Liberal’, then I’m proud to say I’m a ‘Liberal’.” according to John F. Kennedy. Personally, given the quote, I think JFK would fit nicely into this Democratic Party. Lincoln I have a hard time believing would still be a Republican given his liberal and progressive stances on a number of issues. I am a liberal. Furthermore, I am a bleeding heart liberal and I wear that title like a badge of honor. Just like I don’t believe I should pick and choose parts of my Bible, I also do not believe that I can pick and choose parts of my Constitution. I believe, with my whole heart, cemented by my faith in God, that all men are created equal and therefore are equal under the law.