The past century has seen a struggle toward the light. Inch by inch, mankind has been climbing out of a deep, dark pit of ignorance, intolerance, injustice and cruelty toward the promise of a better, kinder tomorrow. Throughout the world, people have been turning away from brutish practices and governments have, by and large, been turning away from oppressive policies.
This is what we call progress.
The way I see it, people who applaud this struggle are known as progressives, and those who prefer to remain unenlightened are conservatives.
In America, extreme radicals in the conservative movement have gained control of one of the two major political parties. These Luddites decry science, scoff at preventative medicine, laud ignorance and heap abuse on the bowed heads of society’s most defenseless members – poor children, single mothers, the aged, the sick and the unlucky.
The media lump the radicals together under the “Tea Party” title, but they are more numerous than that. There are enough of these mean spirited people to be dangerous. And they are in a fighting mood as the U.S. heads into an election year. Progressives cannot let them win.
If they win, much of the last century’s progress will be lost. Their domestic targets include:
- Social Security and Medicare
- Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and other health care programs
- All federal education programs
- All federal antipoverty programs
- Federal disaster relief
- Federal food safety inspections and other food safety programs
- Child labor laws, the minimum wage, overtime, and other labor protections
- Federal civil rights laws
Internationally, their main goal is military domination of the earth. Brooding over the imagined threat of a Muslim invasion that would impose Shariah Law on Americans, they favor unlimited “defense” spending and preemptive strikes against real and imagined enemies.
And they hate the idea of the United Nations. To them, peacekeeping and humanitarian aid are at best a waste of money, at worst a surrender of American “sovereignty.”
For reasons that I can’t figure out, these latter-day Crusaders embrace right-wing elements in Israel and support the unjust treatment of Palestinians.
For example, Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (a Republican from Florida) has just introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that would slash U.S. contributions to the United Nations to punish the organization for its expected vote in favor of Palestinian statehood.
(Palestinian statehood is a remote possibility anyway, as the United States would surely veto the move in the Security Council.)
Ros-Lehtinen’s bill would also withhold funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which aids Palestinian refugees, and pull the United States out of the U.N. Human Rights Council, which has been critical of Israel.
The bill would also halt new U.S. contributions to U.N. peacekeeping missions until “reforms” are implemented.
I am aghast at the brutishness of the radicals’ agenda at home and abroad. And I am furious at the blasphemy inherent in the pretense that they are Christians doing God’s work.