Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Romney, Rodney, and the Plea to "Get Along"

It was humorously pointed out in the previous thread that it apparently takes a Mormon like Mitt Romney to recognize the fact that the minutiae of one's theology has much less bearing upon his public service than the "common morality" that he shares with all people of faith.

I'm not sure if what lay behind Romney's appeal is an example of irony, or the most obvious thing in the world.

Think about it: Experience amply demonstrates that, generally speaking, it is the underdog who pleads for leniency and the outsider who calls for tolerance. In our nation's history it wasn't white people who were marching for civil rights, it wasn't Protestants who were calling for an end to religious bigotry, and it wasn't men demanding equal pay for equal work.

As Andrew Meyer can testify, it's the guy with the taser to his chest who cries, "Don't tase me, bro!"

Part and parcel of (fallen) human nature seems to be that one must find himself against the ropes before he will employ the Rodney King defense. Whether the humans in question are religious or not, once the powerless become the powerful, it is no longer time for "just getting along," but for brandishing the sword and taking the land.

If and/or when the church in America becomes completely marginalized in the public square, our religious leaders will begin to whistle a very different tune than they have heretofore. Instead of the sabre-rattling and rhetoric of dominion, we will begin to hear our evangelical leaders make the "live and let live" appeal that their enemies presently invoke.

The problem, however, is that anyone's appeal to the same civil liberties that he has been instrumental in denying the underdog for centuries cannot but sound hypocritical and hollow.

In a word, when Bellick gets sentenced to Fox River, whatever happens next, it won't be good....