Sometimes the radical ends of a spectrum touch one another much like a circle will get you closer to the same point on the edge of the circle if you keeping going around it. Take as an example, Communism and Fascism. One comes from the left and the other from the right but in the end they are very much alike. So it is with conspiracy theories from the left and right as well. And often it happens in popular and political culture as we’ve seen the past five days. 

The response to Sarah Palin’s nomination for the GOP ticket from the far left and the far right is remarkably similar. On the left we hear about how she should stay home and raise her children. She is told that her family responsibility disqualifies her from holding high office. On the far right we hear the same thing, especially from Christians who seem to live closer to "The Little House on the Prairie" than the 21st century. I discovered this odd similarity by reading blogs yesterday. The left was having a field day talking about "stay at home" moms and teen pregnancy and abstinence education. You would have thought that they got religion over the weekend. Then I read the Christianity Today blogs on the same issue and the far fright showed up there in full force. Some suggested that Gov. Palin is obligated to be a 24/7 mom. Others said her place has to be in the home, thus under he husband’s authority, if she is to be a faithful Christian woman. Loads of self-righteous condemnation appeared on both sides of the divide.

As for the left I find their arguments disingenuous and even hypocritical. Since when did they care so much about teen pregnancy and mothering in any meaningful sense. And regarding the Christian right I have to ask: "Where do you get the biblical basis for 24/7 moms?" In the ancient world there was no way this happened. Even the texts we do have in Paul speak about "parents" not about mothers caring for their children. This argument is thankfully dead in the evangelical mainstream but not in some circles, especially among some strongly opinionated conservatives.

Odd isn’t it? Two strong ideologies that are diametrically opposed in the end embrace the exact same talking points. Something about this ought to make serious and thoughtful Christians take pause.

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  1. Bruce Newman September 4, 2008 at 6:44 am

    It’s been my thinking for some time that the most prevalent disease in this country (perhaps in the world) is self-righteousness. From non-Christians it’s no surprise. It’s no surprise, unfortunately, to hear it from Christians either but it’s much more pathetic. All they’re doing is showing just how much they’ve baptized their own stubborn wills, dressed them in the filthy rags of their own righteousness and then act as if they’re expressing something faithful and profound. At least non-Christians have an excuse.

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