For many of us progressives, it has been obvious that we are upholding traditional American values that are under attack by powerful right-wing extremists. We tend to express our American values as ethical rather than moral, because the religious right constantly uses the name of God to brainwash the public into accepting its worshiping of evil, greed and arrogance. There would seem to be no need to point out that vilification of the poor, the elderly, disabled people, veterans and those at the edges of society is thoroughly un-Christian, un-American and evil.
Yet, many Americans believe that this country can't afford to ensure that nobody goes hungry, that nobody is homeless, uninsured or without the opportunity to earn a decent living. Many Americans believe the lie that large segments of society are unwilling to work - or are deserving of nothing but a slow, agonizing death. For those who are Christian, we dare not point out how Republicans have skewed the religious message so as to be unrecognizable to Christians or to those of other faiths as well as ethical humanists and atheists.
Folks, America is broke, they say! We can only afford for the wealthy to live the good life. We can no longer afford luxuries like the Golden Rule, equal opportunity, human rights, the right to control our reproductive choices and taking care of those who are less fortunate than us. It is astounding that Christianity has come to this point, to the point of 180 degree opposition to the teachings of Jesus and of all of the collected ethical standards of morality that the world has come to accept.
What the Republicans have given us is nothing other than Social Darwinism, the value of a war of all against all, a competition for nothing less than survival, as each individual must prove their right to exist on the basis of the economics of greed, fear and exploitation by those in power. Sick. And the Ryan Budget of the Republicans is the dis-embodiment of all that centuries of Christian and secular morality and ethics have held dear. "Love thy neighbor" and "serving the least of us" and being our brothers' and sisters' keepers has been replaced by unadulterated greed and avarice. The Republican world has turned morality upside down and upholds mortal sins and ethical failures as the new republican ideals. It has completely perverted Darwin's lesson of mutual aid and adaptability being the basic human tools for survival, rather than brutality and selfishness.
What has gotten into these jackarses? As Jesus and the teachers of other religions and ethical traditions have shown, the highest form of life is not the acquisition of wealth and material possessions, but the living of a meaningful life, serving the social and physical needs of our community of humans, tending to the amazing planet we are responsible for, learning in ways that enhance life and honor creation. What has gotten into us as a nation?
Friends, we can't just sit here and watch our country being driven to ruin by soul-less, greedy demagogues. That's what Occupy is about. That's what progressive politics is about. We can not abdicate the political sphere to devil-worshiping trolls dressed up as Christians. While politics is not the answer to our problems, it is, indeed, the battlefield on which we now struggle for the soul of America. We need to transcend politics. We need public financing of elections. We need a Constitutional Amendment to remove the demonic notion that corporations are people from our legal system.
But, in order to defeat the forces of evil that are gathered to pick the bones of this great nation, our once-indivisible nation, we need to vote, and we need to get our friends and neighbors to vote. We need to send the champions of greed a strong, unequivocal message of what American morality is today, of what Christian morality is today. Enough of the rationalizations extolling greed as our highest goal. Enough of grown adults standing in front of crowds with lies, distortions and delusional justifications for treating fellow Americans unjustly, dishonestly and with cruelty and hatred. Say "no" to the creepy moral degeneracy that has consumed the Republican Party.