Saturday, May 16, 2009
My hope for this new venture, or 'adventure' in blogging is that it will become a place where liberal-minded folk in the East Texas area can come to for views that are consistently well thought out, well written, and above all, passionately liberal. Thus, this blog announces itself as being unapologetically liberal. Not "progressive," but liberal. The conservative noise machine has done a terrific job of trashing that word over the past decade, and if we can make a small contribution towards the rehabilitation of liberalism's prestige and cache, then our efforts will not have been in vain.
For some time I have been a proponent and advocate of my fellow liberals growing a spine. It can be argued that the lack of said anatomical feature has contributed mightily to the horrid state of affairs in which we now find ourselves. The previous administration has laid waste to the true values of the country, such that we are currently having to endure the bizarre and morbid spectacle of a former Vice President of the United States extolling the virtues of torture! How might things have gone if somewhere along the road one or two brave liberals had raised the warning flag and taken a stand upholding the American prohibition against torture?
Clearly, there are consequences to craven inaction as well as to the reckless actions of those few who would undermine all that we hold dear as a people. It shouldn't take hurricanes, misbegotten wars and nefarious domestic skulduggery such as the unwarranted, politically motivated firings of nine U.S. Attorneys to awaken a population to the moral turpitude of its leaders. But alas, this is where we have arrived. If it is to be turned around, it will take a clarion liberal call that rings from the highest levels of American government to the humblest venues of town and country.
To that end, we launch ETLR as a dim outpost of liberalism here in the piney woods of East Texas. Our targets will be all of those instances of conservatism run amok that are everywhere evident in the surrounding region. As a native son, I am well aware of the rigid authoritarian stance of the ultra-conservative. I've seen it all my life. I intend to take aim at that mentality whenever and wherever it comes across my path. The mentality of ultra-conservatism has infiltrated East Texas at every level; socially, culturally, and politically and needs to be challenged accordingly.
We will ferret out this corrosive mindset whenever it boldly rears its ugly head in the public square and administer the appropriate smackdown. No sacred cows will be spared. Any organization or institution providing a public forum in the community which seeks to foist a conservative POV on the rest of us may find itself in our crosshairs: newspaper letters & editorials, television, radio and internet content, billboards, church marquees...We expect to find no shortage of things to write about.
Anyone, liberal or conservative, who can reasonably articulate an idea can join the conversation. Hatemongering, emoting, partisan bloviators, however, are not welcome. As liberals, we will not shy away from a lively exchange of ideas. But we will show respect to, and demand it from those who wish to be included on the blog.
Finally, it bears saying that our liberal opinions are certainly of no more inherent moment or worth than anyone else's. But when you are an isolated island of liberals adrift in a vast sea of conservative culture and opinion, you appreciate the few kindred spirits you find on the journey. As fiesty liberals, that is to say, liberals who have found the strength of our convictions, we want to do our small part in the struggle for the American soul. If you are liberal in your politics, your religious views, and your values, welcome to ETLR, an oasis of liberal thought in this arid conservative desert that we call home.
For us this represents a first attempt at utilizing the medium. We hope you'll bear with us as we learn and as the blog evolves. Thanks.
The previous column was screaming in my head as I read the latter. Unity? I believe his words of unity and turning God-ward are code telling fellow Christians to stand against those he condemned in his earlier column. If I were a believer in this God the Reverend prays to, I think I would worry more that God might punish this country for its un-Christian response to 9/11, taking our "shock and awe" war into a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, a war the Reverend has somehow decided to support as a just war. I would think God would be a mite upset about so many Americans heaping hatred and prejudice on much of the Islamic community everywhere. I know I would find it hard to believe that God would listen to the prayers of a Reverend who goes out of his way to promote that kind of prejudice and glorification of war in his local newspaper.
We should be encouraging all religions to continue to evolve, embracing compassion, understanding of each other, and acceptance of other religious beliefs, not building resentment and separation. You would think a Reverend would know that better than anyone else.
You can find the Reverend's columns at: