9/11/2009—Although many Democrats despised President George W. Bush and thought he was a liar, I don’t remember any of them yelling “You lie” at Bush during a President speech to Congress, as Republican representative Joe Wilson did during President Obama’s speech on healthcare. There is one important difference between liberal and conservative groupings in America that might explain this behavior. Conservatives like Wilson are either self-proclaimed religious people or are supported by such people, or both. While there are many religious liberals, religion does not usually occupy as prominent a role in liberal politics.
I am suggesting that the true believer mentality that treats political opposition not as rather simple disagreement, but instead, as apocalyptic divide, may have to do with this religious orientation.
It may surprise readers of this blog that I acknowledge this, since I am a admirer of our religions and their place in politics. But I do recognize this tendency. Religion can make people more intolerant.
That is why I would like to quote Pope Benedict, writing before he became Pope, in the book, Truth and Tolerance. Speaking of relativism, Pope Benedict writes, “The one single correct political option does not exist." (117). The church has no special expertise in how to bring about just and efficient healthcare, for example. Not everything is a fundamental moral issue. Benedict knows that. Some Americans forget.