Commentary - Jeb Bush and the "Neo-Christians"
Greater Orlando NOW President's Message -
(Reprinted From March, 1999 Newsletter):
We were gratified to learn that the Center for Bioethical Reform, a Kansas based organization with the mission of promoting the "humanity of the unborn and the inhumanity of abortion," ended up cutting short their visit at UCF, due to their apparent ineffectiveness on campus. We also learned that the Promise Keepers canceled their year 2,000 March, and the courts found the Nuremberg group guilty of stalking and promoting terrorism on the Internet against abortion providers. We learned that President Clinton allocated 4 million dollars to the EEOC (the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) to help women break through the glass ceiling, and that tremendous steps are being made toward increasing funding for quality child care, as well as ending the disadvantage suffered by women regarding Social Security benefits.
On the downside, we discussed the severity of the oppressive existence endured by the women in Afghanistan under the Taliban rule, and the gains the radical religious right are making in Florida as a result of the election of Jeb Bush. We fully expect Bush to reverse all the gains we achieved under Lawton Chiles. Bush will most likely try to ban the so called "partial-birth" abortion, he'll approve the "Choose Life" license plates, he'll sign a law that requires parental notification for minors seeking an abortion, he'll promote the school voucher program, and quite possibly, although this is merely speculation, he'll approve Senator John Grant's proposal to allow posting of the Ten Commandments on public property. We must also be wary of the new regulations being bandied about the legislature that would impose additional and unnecessary restrictions and fees on any doctor's office or medical center that performs even one abortion.
As you can see, for every step we seem to take forward nationally, we take two backward in Florida. Jeb Bush has strong conservative beliefs and the religious zealots are delighted and in full support of his agenda. By electing this man, the people of Florida have put the rights of moderates, liberals, and anyone not a rabid conservative in jeopardy.
One of the most troubling aspects of the current climate today lies in my sense of a nation turned upside down. I say this because at one time to profess religious or "Christian" values generally meant to possess and exhibit behavior that could best be described as charitable, forgiving, tolerant, and humane. A "Christian" followed the teachings of Jesus. Today, should I dare to express an opinion opposite to that of the Neo-Christians, I experience not compassion, tolerance, or even forgiveness for having the audacity to believe something other than they do, but rather, I am subject to excruciating vituperation, violent hostility, and certainly no level of tolerance or humanity whatsoever. In fact, at times I've been vociferously condemned to a torturous existence in hell amidst their prayers of imprecation against me.
I find it most disconcerting that contemporary Neo-Christian philosophy in its attempt to become the defining culture of America, has completely abandoned its original tenets in its objective to achieve this aim. Yet its "followers" still consider themselves "Christians" even though they exhibit none of the traditional definitive behavior. These hypocrites need to address the lies that they are living and examine the true nature of their behavior. For I have never met a more hateful, intolerant group than I have met in today's religious political extremists. When I am afraid to express an opposing viewpoint for fear of a "Christian's" violent reaction, then something is amiss with the nature of "Christianity," and the nation that accepts this behavior. By not addressing this issue and bringing it to the forefront, we are allowing the hypocrisy to swell and survive. We must speak out on the falsity of their self-righteous claims, and point out their true character, that of a hateful, bigoted group whose actions in no way reflect the teachings of Christ.
At next month's meeting, we will spend the first twenty minutes for an update on the latest political issues, and we will then have ten to fifteen minutes to discuss those issues. We will then have a brief treasurer/membership report, and we will spend the remaining time addressing any topics or information that members would like to bring to the attention of others. Thank you for your interest and participation !
JoAnn Polley, President - Greater Orlando NOW