Finding Common Moral Ground
John Miller–in the recent National Review–calls attention to a set of moral initiatives and legislation that the moral and religious of left/right/center have been putting forward:
Halting the international and domestic trafficking and enslavement
of millions of girls, women, and children.
Promoting international religious freedom as a core element of U.S. human-rights policy.
Eliminating domestic prison rape and violence, which is the purpose of the Kennedy-Sessions Prison Rape Elimination Act.
Upgrading the inhumane conditions of Third World prisons.
Adopting a “Helsinki strategy” of advancing human rights as a key element in dealing with the government of North Korea.
Developing and sustaining the AIDS initiative originally proposed to the Bush administration by evangelical leaders.
Reducing the ability of oppressive regimes to monitor and censor Internet communications
Ensuring the peaceful promotion of democracy as a key theme in U.S. foreign policy.
Miller also observes that Evangelicals don’t get any credit for getting the ball rolling in the first place:
Though evangelicals were mainly responsible for these campaigns, they have gained little political credit for them. The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the rest of the establishment media are happier writing about Christians’ besieging of abortion clinics than about their joining with feminists to halt sex trafficking. Sub specie aeternitatis, this is fine—the evangelicals can layup treasure in Heaven—but it’s a definite handicap when waging future campaigns. Many liberals would be astonished to discover that the Christian Right is campaigning to stop prison rape. Their mental image of evangelicals is one of people who favor the worst possible treatment of criminals. Fair coverage would introduce a valuable note of cognitive dissonance into the average liberal’s prejudice against evangelicals.
How much of this is a pipedream? Don’t know. If you add abortion and gay marriage to the 8 items mentioned above, you’ll find that liberals and evangelicals (and, by extension, conservatives) agree with each other 80% of the time–but spend 95% of their time arguing over the 2 items over which they disagree. Now, these are fundamental disagreements. But every once in a while it’s good for everyone to take a step back and acknowledge that we all can agree on something!
Of course, an important caveat would be that, while we can agree on the goals outlined above, we don’t always agree on the method use to attain those goals…..
You all better go sing Kumbya and have a group hug before I change my mind.