No Consistent Ethic

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Image by seiuhealthcare775nw via Flickr

I’m finding that there is no consistent ethic that defines the American people and still satisfies all of the various self interest groups shouting for recognition out there. I’m finding that I can’t be part of any special interest group for one reason or another. If I disagree about abortion stances of either side, I am not allowed to call myself a feminist or an evangelical. If I believe in evolution and also in a Deity that engineered it, I cannot be classed an atheist or a believer. If I am for Obama’s health care plan but I say he hasn’t pushed it far enough, I am not allowed to call myself conservative or the purveyor of a republic. If I don’t believe in wealth distribution I can’t be called a socialist. If I am in favor of women’s ordination, I cannot be Catholic or evangelical Protestant. If I believe in a Divine entity I cannot be an atheist, but if I believe in a Deity that is genderless, I cannot call myself a Christian, Muslim, or Jew. If I believe in a personal Deity that answers prayer I cannot be a pantheist or panentheist.  If I believe that motherhood is a valid choice for women or that men are a necessary part of society I cannot claim the radical feminist label.  If I feel that all women (ALL WOMEN) deserve respect, I cannot call myself a feminist.  If I think that America is the greatest country in the world, I cannot call myself a liberal or progressive. I could go on and on.

The only consistent idea would be a moderate idea between the radical politics of left and right. But where are the masses of those in the middle? Where are their political leaders? Why do they not say anything? Where are the moderate Christians, Muslims, and Jews? Where are the evolutionary agnostics or religious humanists? Are these ideas not sexy enough to be reported? No,  the ethic now is extreme identity politics. That’s what sells. That’s what makes news. That’s what makes for a faux event. One has to draw battle lines to be heard, but you can’t draw them with what’s already out there especially if you do not adhere to every political point the ideologues offer. So no wonder there is the ethic of rugged American individualism. It’s what made this country great, but I fear it will also be its downfall.

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