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Liberal Education – Part One
Witnessing Tools
Thursday, September 09, 2010
Rebecca Droeger

After years of debate, I still have a hard time understanding how my liberal cousin with a genius IQ could hold onto the ideals of the Left.  He and I have had a similar upbringing, we both graduated from Universities, and we both have excelled in our chosen career field.

We used to love sharing jokes, playing games, watching movies, talking about baseball and spending time with our family.  Yet, somewhere over the years, we grew more and more apart on our political viewpoints.

Up until I was nine-years old, we used to spend almost every day together.  Then, in 1984, his father had to relocate out of our home-state due to his job.

Still, we remained very close despite the distance.

He started college three years before I graduated high-school, and attended a very prominent university in his state.  He joined a Fraternity, became active in student life, and met the love of his life his freshman year.  He married her upon her senior year in College and they have been married for over 15 years now.

As a matter of fact, I started my freshman year of college the year he and his wife were married.

The university I attended was just as liberal as my cousin’s; and like him, I joined a sorority and became active in student life. 

My experience started to differ from his starting my sophomore year because I changed universities after marrying my first husband and moved to Colorado.  Due to financial needs, I had to work full-time and attend school at the same time.  After my ex-husband served his first military term, we moved back to Indiana where I attended a large University and continued to work two different jobs.

After a year at the larger University, I decided to attend a smaller University for full-time working adults and graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 1999.

Shortly after graduation, my ex-husband and I began to experience difficulties in our marriage and it did not endure.  We divorced in 2000 and he remarried in 2001.  I met my current husband while working at the same company and remarried in May of 2002.  We celebrated the birth of our daughter in August of 2003.

So, given that I’m the one that has experienced a failed marriage; I would think that I would be the more liberal between me and my cousin.  Surprisingly, he is so far left that he has touted my failed marriage as a reason that politics and fundamental Christianity should not blend together, citing that some Fundamentals might break out Old Testament forms of punishment for divorce.

All of our political conversations started during the Bush vs. Kerry 2004 Presidential campaign.   We shared dialogue as to why we chose our particular candidate.  My cousin was actually upset with the non-politically informed public as to why they were voting for Kerry.  He was a big Kerry supporter and he was upset that people would not necessarily be voting for Kerry so much as they would be voting against Bush.

The conversations were definitely interesting as he made me really provide sources for my point of view and he would not let me just get away with opinion.  At the time, I really appreciated how open we could be with one another and how he always kept me on my toes.  We agreed on some of the stupid things that Bush did, like his viewpoint on illegal immigration or the way he carried out the tax cuts at the time because I knew that it would trickle down to hurt state and local governments.  I did not disagree with tax cuts in general, just the refunds/rebates.  I know Bush was trying to give the American Public something tangible; but it really did nothing to stimulate the economy at the time.

Anyway, it all changed during the 2008 campaign.  We became so polarized on our viewpoints that you wouldn’t even think we ever agreed on anything before.  Where I was against universal health-care, he was for it; where I thought abortion was wrong, even though he agreed that abortion was wrong, he did not think that it should be made a law for a woman not to “choose.”

Then, when it comes to the economy, he is a huge proponent of the progressive tax citing Warren Buffet as Obama’s financial advisor on the campaign.  He totally buys into taxing the “rich” more to fund things like the health-care overhaul.

Of course, if I even mentioned Obama’s associates or suggested that his far-left, radical thinking seemed like socialism, my cousin considered me paranoid and narrow-minded.  He even proposed that I did not have much empathy towards others who were less fortunate than me.  Oh, if he only knew how much time, money, blood, sweat & tears I spent volunteering, giving and praying; I know he would never have even let the thought cross his mind.

And that is where we differ.  He sees that government has to be the Savior, that government should help the poor or less fortunate; where I see that it is our individual responsibility to help the poor or less fortunate; because my Savior is Christ and I look to Him to show me how to take care of others.

My cousin’s comeback for that argument was that not everyone would volunteer and that the government has to “show people how to do it,” or else they would never do it otherwise.  My cousin thinks the youth of today would just become self-absorbed, greedy, sponges that do not contribute anything useful to society because “big-brother,” wasn’t there to show them how it’s done.

Well, he may be partly right that there might not be anyone to show the secularized youth how to volunteer; because the government is so busy taking God out of everything in public life.  Maybe the government will need to step in; because “why” should anyone volunteer when they’re not given a reason?

Part Two to be continued next week

About Rebecca Droeger

Last week: Refuting the Other Side

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