Why it’s a wedge issue: Republicans believe that everyone ought to live a moral life — and Democrats believe that, in reality, many of us don’t
BY DAVID RICKEY — News that the unmarried, 17-year-old daughter of vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin is 5-months pregnant adds yet another dimension to her selection by Republican candidate John McCain. Immediately, we are reminded that even presidential candidates are, first and foremost, human beings facing the same life choices the rest of us face.We are told that Bristol will marry the father of the child, and that is intended to make it “all right.” And for the child’s sake, especially, we hope it does. The family announced:
“Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family.”
As a simple event, this is a common story — as is, for that matter, Vice President Dick Cheney’s lesbian daughter giving birth to a baby boy in May of 2007. These events happen to members of the human family. But it raises difficult questions, not about the people involved in these stories, but about the way we all respond to, and care for each other.
Not everyone who gets pregnant has the support of a loving family. Not everyone has the benefit of love and community support. Many Republicans are very uneasy about this revelation.
I believe it’s because of the fragility of the basic position of moral superiority that is expressed by conservative politicians and religious pundits.
It’s an easy target for the mainstream media, most eloquently channeled by Maureen Dowd in the The New York Times:
When confronted with their colossal carelessness around the globe and here at home, their mantra was, as Rummy put it, “Stuff happens.”
Now reality, in all its messy, crazy, funky glory, has flooded the party, in the comely, crackling form of Sarah Palin.
Unable to stop the onslaught of wild soap opera storylines erupting from the Palin family and the Alaska wilderness, McCain campaign adviser Steve Schmidt offered caterwauling reporters a new mantra: “Life happens.”
But our way of looking at the difference between Republicans and Democrats is about intention: At best, Republicans believe that everyone ought to live a moral and compassionate life — and Democrats believe that, in reality, many of us don’t. So Republicans legislate to protect their view of how things ought to be, and Democrats legislate to change the way things are.
On Soul’s Code we explore the deep process of spiritual evolution with the intention of waking up individuals to their deeper truths through teaching and practice. We see that the world is hurting. We are hurting. We believe that the remedy for that pain is deep spiritual growth, first on an individual level, then on a community and cultural level.
We can all count the many ways that certain human events fail to live up to what we think they ought to be.
But what matters is our learning to care for ourselves, and each other, so that our mistakes and bad choices don’t play out into ever-widening circles of pain and suffering. We are all in need of, and deserving of, forgiveness. But we also need to grow from our mistakes — and do better with them, and next time.
Everyone is truly a guru, as the motto of this site affirms. But not enough of us have done the work to truly know it, or to live it.
I hope that Bristol and the young man she will marry will grow deeply through the difficulties of raising a child and of loving and caring for each other. Hopefully, they will then work for the healing and well-being of others through their experience.
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