Godless Liberal

The other day I was called a “Godless Liberal”, not for the first time, during a political debate; I pondered this for a few minutes before I responded. I understood my opponent was angry with me, furious if truth were told. If we had been speaking face-to-face, I suspect the ‘Godless Liberal’ would have been accompanied with finger pointing and looked something like this:Anger

GODLESS LIBERAL

Before I go on, by the way my response was “Yes, but you will never understand the nuance.”

Perhaps the words I used were too big, maybe he didn’t understand them. Whatever the case was, the discussion went downhill from there, the content of his argument went from senseless fiction regarding the state of police violence to comments regarding my gender and my relationship to canines (Fucking Bitch was one of the least offensive but most frequently used).

The entire exchange got me thinking about the state of our national conversation, not from a political standpoint, not from what we see in media but, from how we speak to one another. It got me thinking; outside the usually polite boundaries we maintain in professional settings, we have none anywhere else. We are perfectly comfortable with name-calling, crossing any previously established boundary to disparage our opponent and we have not the least amount of shame in our behavior. What made this complete faceless stranger feel comfortable denigrating me in the most sexist terms?

Just to keep this all in perspective, he continued to pound me and everyone else with his moral superiority based on his Christianity, which apparently also magically infused him with intellectual superiority as well. I was frankly astounded.

Right-wing-Christian-hall-of-shame

Of course we only have this group of truly wonderful examples to compare him with.

 

That said and his point made, he viewed me as ‘outside’ and unworthy of anything approaching civil discourse. I did not surmise this, he told me he was under no obligation to treat me with respect as I was a ‘non-believer’ and bound for Hell.

Morals, Ethics, Principles, Values, Scruples, Integrity

Do these words have real meanings anymore? Can we say with certainty all societies have something akin to moral structures members willingly agree with and abide by? When my little friend called me a Godless Liberal, what did he really mean? Did he fully understand or was he just parroting mindlessly what he heard from others. Was this his only answer when he was no longer able to debate the issue at hand?

The question of Godliness and Godlessness, religious affiliation, worship both what and how, whether we recognize them or not, have been taking center stage in our public life for decades now. Though we are enjoined from doing so by our laws, even by our Constitution and by implication by our Bill of Rights, we judge each other by a set of Principles. Whether we subscribe to a ‘religion’ or not, we nonetheless subscribe to a common set of Principles, though some may be more porous, more flexible within the context of our day-to-day lives.

I have been thinking about this all week. This is what I have ultimately come up with, tell me what you think, am I right or wrong?

Morals: Primarily derived from religious thinking, all societies have basic frameworks that seem to be consistent though some are more deranged than others in their application of the rules.

  • Don’t be dishonest (Lie, Cheat, Steal)
  • Don’t be promiscuous and be faithful in your marriage (don’t covet either)
  • Don’t murder (killing might be okay though for the right reason)
  • Be compassionate to those weaker than yourself (feed the hungry, care for the sick and aged)

Ethics: Primarily defined for businesses to operate in the marketplace, organizations establish these to clarify the rules and ensure everyone knows them. Personally, I think in many cases Business Ethics are the organizations smoke screen but that is just me. I have seen these few from past employers they have rarely been adhered to.

  • Don’t pay bribes (Influence peddling)
  • Respect for individuals (Civil and Human Rights)
  • Respect for local culture
  • Respect for environment
  • Deliver profit to shareholders

Principles, Values, Scruples & Integrity: I have combined these because they are all personal in my mind. We develop personal and interpersonal relationships within society and with individuals, how we interact is based on our own evolution. Despite what some would have us believe we are not born Principled or with Integrity. When we come into the world, we are nothing more than empty vessels waiting to be filled.

I essentially filtered the 10 Commandments down to three (similar to George Carlin) and then added one of my own. Most religions agree with these as foundational notwithstanding the simpler language I used. I find myself in a quandary as I consider the issue of Morals, Ethics, Principles, Values, Scruples and Integrity –

OpEdStarting at the reading of my four Commandments, I walk the walk every day. Thus, I have Morals.

If I read my Ethics, as a businessperson who has worked in a variety of roles for Fortune 100 companies and as an Independent Business Owner, I walk the walk and talk the talk. In fact, I have been in trouble for doing so in the past. With this answer in mind, I am also a person of Ethics.

Continuing with my reading through the last group of definitions, I know my answers and believe I am a person of Integrity, a Principled person.

Godless, perhaps if I apply the definition as society does it this is true; I am not religious only spiritual. I do not subscribe to any religion created by man to control society, engineer preferred outcomes or oppress entire segments of society by gender, class or in some cases race. In fact I don’t just not subscribe, I reject.

Liberal, indeed I have been an agitator, a protestor and at times an ‘in your face’ type of Godless Liberal. I am now and have been since I was old enough to understand the difference a Progressive Left of Center Liberal.

Being a Godless Liberal wasn’t an illegal or immoral political stance last I heard, in fact some of the greatest men and women of history were staunch Liberals, including our own Founding Fathers. It seems we have lost our way. Stoning, burning at the stake, dunking have all been outlawed in the US of A for many years now; with Godless Liberal and public Slut Walking making a comeback, I have to wonder what is next?

Comments

  1. I’d take issue with your point that we’re all born empty vessels. I think all animals are born with some basic instinctual leanings we might call moral – for instance an instinct towards fairness. It’s part of our equipment to enable us to survive as social animals. As for godless, the opposite is to have (or worship) a god, not to be one. I enjoyed the article – and long may you remain godless!

    • Many take issue with that particular point of view, I get it. Truthfully though, if you consider it if you are born into a society that believes sacrificing virgins into a volcano you will buy into that ‘moral’ standard. Is this moral? Well were I the virgin I would question your morality and certainly your fairness.

      Just sayin’

      Glad you enjoyed it. Hope you will return.

  2. Reblogged this on The John Liming Report and commented:
    Valentine Logar addresses something that I, myself, have encountered a lot over the years since 2001 —– ever since I started my own blog which is now called, “The John Liming Report.”

    One staunch “Conservative” even went so far as to devote four or five entire blog posts to telling the world what a —- (expletives deleted) — I am and my response? I was grateful for the publicity. But the “Moral and Intellectual superiority” of the right wing has been fully documented over the years by their own clueless propaganda. Having said that, there are moments when one or more of them will accidentally or otherwise manage to come up with something that has a tinge of truth. I guess that is an inevitable thing when you are dealing with idiots en masse. It’s like a room filled with snakes sometimes. You know that in the room full of snakes there might be one or two that won’t bite you if you go into the room but the other thousand snakes in the room become a very discouraging factor in the decision to enter the room or to stay out of it.

    Val has hit the nail squarely on the head with this post and I am proud to be reblogging it for all the world to share. Thanks, Val!

  3. Let’s not think too deeply about these epithets. But consider. When you include two disparate concepts it usually implies that it is unusual for them to go together. Remember GHW Bush and his “compassionate conservatism”. Why? Because we don’t associate “compassion” with “conservatism”. So, he made a point of connecting these opposites.
    So, back to “godless liberal”. Does that not imply that those two concepts are also usually incompatible? The norm, therefore, for liberals must be to be “godlike”. Hence, when you are defamed by being called a “godless” liberal, all other liberals, by contrast, must be doing the work of god herself!

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  5. Nice post … well done !!!

  6. Hmmmm, which one of you is the godless one? As you yourself said, you are a spiritual person. On the other hand, many people who blindly follow the rules of a church or religion don’t have a genuine relationship with the divine. A connection with God is not defined by the superficial label of a religious faith…but then again, like you said, this guy would not be able to grasp the nuance involved…

    • Believe me, it was a strange conversation. He thought he was insulting me. I on the other hand, I considered the source and took it as the highest of compliments.

  7. I would consider “godless liberal” a compliment!

  8. Well, as an admitted Old Liberal and atheist, I thought you might enjoy this ditty.

    https://josephurban.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/the-liberals-are-coming-the-liberals-are-coming/

  9. On another note … “It Is What It Is” has been honored by this new award. We would like to pay it forward. Remember, you don’t need to accept. Just know that your work is deeply appreciated!!
    But, hey …. there are no rules!!

    https://hrexach.wordpress.com/2015/02/20/the-power-of-words-award-from-the-idealisticrebel/

  10. Brilliant, Val. Job well done!

  11. Doesn’t sound like he was one bit worthy of bestowing such a title in the first place! He is absent of the love and grace that God represents. If disagreement with Christians or any other believer in any other religion, on politics and issues, means we are godless, then Godly must have also taken on a new definition.

    And no, he wouldn’t understand the nuances.

  12. Well done Val.. and so agree with your sentence….. ” Godless, perhaps if I apply the definition as society does it this is true; I am not religious only spiritual. I do not subscribe to any religion created by man to control society, engineer preferred outcomes or oppress entire segments of society by gender, class or in some cases race. In fact I don’t just not subscribe, I reject.”.. Well said.. x

  13. Ethics has gone downhill, that much I know. I suspect that in your comment to that person that the word ‘nuance’ went right over their head!

  14. From one “Godless Liberal” to another … I salute you! Great post — and I love the “nuance” remark! I’m filing it away for future use… 🙂

  15. Love Love Love George Carlin, prophetic genius.
    xxx

  16. I think that you’re a Goddess Liberal, Val.

  17. The guy ended up spinning his wheels because he had nothing of worth to add. I bet he doesn’t understand what he was trying to say. He’s repeating something he doesn’t understand and he was losing the battle. Ugh,

  18. I, too, fail to see the connection between ‘Godless Liberal’ and immorality. I’m sure there are many people out there who are atheists and liberals but also quite moral.

    Luckily, not all of us are comfortable with name-calling and online rudeness. It seems it’s often those cloaked in their gowns of anonymity who feel comfortable letting the vitriol fly. I suspect many of them wouldn’t do the same in a face-to-face encounter. (Though if the topic is politics or religion, they very might well… 😉 )

    • Carrie, unfortunately I think our current environment would allow those very same terribles to drag me out to the town square and brand me with a scarlet letter. I am not certain which letter, but one of them.

      We have sunk very low.

  19. The question got me thinking about my response: … hmmmm … how about … Are you saying that all liberals are godless or that all the godless are liberals?

    • Don’t know Frank. Truly I don’t know. I suspect he was simply frustrated he couldn’t win the debate. He started there, thinking this would get a rise out of me. When I agreed he sunk lower.

      Of course calling me names rarely gets the right response either.

  20. Watching Carlin was wonderful, thank you for the treat, Val.

    And I didn’t realize you were in contact with my eldest brother, Val! Because these are exactly the sorts of things he says to me. We are not close.

    Like X (who I thought of, of course during the Carlin clip), I go by the Golden Rule. Or I try to, anyway.

    • Well I think most of us try to go by the Golden Rule. Unfortunately, far to many fail…..miserably. Maybe they just think some of the bad stuff doesn’t really count.

      I love Carlin. He is one of the people I always think of when asked who I would most like to sit down and talk to, dead or alive.

      Your brother calls you a Godless Liberal and then resorts to name calling? Are we related? I have a brother like that.

      • We must be related, Val. My brother is a very sad case with a very loud mouth.

        But the more people I get to know, the more I find that everybody has somebody like that in their family!

  21. “Godlesss liberal”? I take this as a compliment, if anything. My morals stem from the Golden rule, which pretty much covers “don’t steal”, “don’t kill”, “dont bear false witness”, “be kind to people”, “be faithful” – which are basically your commandments, too.
    P.S. Calling someone a “fucking bitch” in a political debate – yeah, a real Christian thing to do.

  22. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Perfectly worded, expressed and posted. I think we need more like you …. because there are too many of them. If you allow me, I would proudly join you in an army of godless liberals, walking sluts, etc. because this would be the best start in trying to fix the mess we currently have. I have no chosen religion (gave it up) and strongly believe in spirituality. Great post!

  23. Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.

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