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GUEST COMMENTARY: Basic Differences

Posted by kinchendavid on July 20, 2006

By  Tom Proebsting

 Moberly, MO   — If I hear or read of one more person—radio talk show host or newspaper columnist—spurt out platitudes over the differences between liberals and conservatives or between Christians or Muslims, I’ll puke. Not since the Vietnam War has this nation been so divided over a host of issues.


The American people have drawn an imaginary line between their own ideologies and that of others who differ with them. Today, folks are deeply divided over the War in Iraq, President Bush’s declared war on terror, abortion, gay rights, the drug problem, religion, sex, the welfare state, rights of privacy issues, the press, free speech, and the right to assemble and to petition Uncle Sam.


What happened to neutrality and dialogue? Where did the compromises go? Why do we have to imagine an enemy within? Are there not enough enemies without? Where has reason and logic gone concerning today’s issues? Why has so much emotion and greed entered into our decisions?


I assert that the American people are less divided on issues than they realize. As an example, I’ll use the Christian faith. In many churches that I have attended, the minister will advise his audience to beware of other Christians outside of his own denomination. The man will then cite small inconsequential differences as a basis for his assertion. He may even declare that other churches stand in opposition to his church.


What differences can split Christianity? The Holy Bible, which Christians claim as their reference for truth, lays it out plainly for anyone who can read and understand English. The Good Book states that Jesus Christ is the head of the (one) church. That’s right. Jesus Christ, not the pope or some protestant preacher.


Another example is the Holy Trinity, God in three persons. Christians often fight over what this means and who God is. If the Bible is true, then God knows who he is and Christians need not define him in their humanistic terms. The Bible says to worship him, not define him.


Christians as a group do believe in God, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, salvation, good works, faith and a mass of other common Christian beliefs. The similarities should hold Christians together. They should agree to disagree on minor differences.


The same holds true in politics. Liberals and conservatives spar over the War in Iraq. I agree there are many differences to argue over concerning the war, but here is a compromise. Right or wrong, our troops are there and they should be permitted to finish the job. Our military and political leaders should formulate a wise plan to win this horrible war. As you can see, there is more to agree on here than there is to argue on.


How about the divisive discussion over President Bush’s declared War on Terror? There is a lot to disagree on, but let’s remember Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. On that day, Islamic jihadists came to America and purposely killed over 3,000 fellow Americans. Some action may be better than no action. Whatever Mr. Bush is doing right or wrong today, there have been no foreign attacks on American soil since 9/11. Coincidence or improved intelligence? It’s anybody’s guess. Remember, our government is stuck between being careful of every American’s freedoms and rights and of being one-hundred percent efficient in the War on Terror. Recall that the Roman Empire fell by outside invaders chewing off a chunk of Rome here and a chunk there.


Another 50-50 battle is the issue of abortion. Everyone agrees it’s a bad procedure. No person in their right mind wants to take a life. Let’s compromise. Allow the government to pass out free birth control to the ladies. Viola! Problem solved!


Gay rights appear to be a divisive issue but it’s not as bad as the press reports. Roughly one percent of our adult population is gay. That is only one out of a hundred persons. Very few adult gays wish to be married. They’d rather be swingers.


Let’s compromise and listen to the American people. Most polls reveal that the vast majority of Americans do not want gay marriage to be legalized. Even in places that are bastions of liberality, such as Massachusetts and New York, polls reveal that most of the residents wish for marriage only between a man and a woman. Gay marriage is not a real issue and it should not be divisive.


Most Americans know that the war on drugs is a somewhat failed program, but that drugs are a big problem. Here’s a compromise. Spend a little more money on education, prevention, and treatment. Drug addiction is a sickness, just like alcoholism is. Let’s fight both fronts of this long-running war.


There are even more problems and issues facing us today that are dividing us as a nation. But a little thinking and logic will reveal that people are more in agreement than not. Let’s compromise on some of these issues. Some of my examples may appear simplistic and they probably are. However, I had a college professor who used to say, “Life is good when you simplify it.”


Let’s compromise and simplify. The real enemy is not our fellow Americans.


                        * * *

Tom Proebsting is a writer and blogger in Missouri. Tom Proebsting, 823 N. Ault St. Moberly, MO 65270

                     e-mail: truthprobe777@yahoo.com

Proebsting invites comments. Reply to: http://truthprobe.blogspot.com








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