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For what it's worth, I take issue with your recent column stating that liberals are not interested in "learning" about the moral values of the red states. It's not that I don't understand their values or that I don't want to learn about them. . . I just don't agree with them.

I take strong issue with the increasingly blurred line between church and state in this country. That's one of my values. All these red staters who want prayer in schools and the Ten Commandments on the statehouse steps need to ask themselves how they would feel if the President signed off every public address with "Allah Bless America." My guess is that they would all have a collective heart attack. They don't get to dictate a national religion just because they are in the majority. The separation between church and state was enacted by our founding fathers because they understood what it meant to be in the religious minority. If those living in the red states would study the Constitution the way that they study NASCAR events, they might have a better understanding of the issue.

Secondly, being a rabid born again Christian does not equate with having values and morals. For me, protecting the earth is a value. I would think that those who believe in creationism would be in agreement with me on that point. However, the mega-church down the block form my house in Aurora has a parking lot full of Hummer and Lincoln Navigators every Sunday.

I believe in the sanctity of human life. However, I don't believe that life only should be protected in stem cell form. I also mourn those executed by the state for crimes that they have committed (or not committed) and the 100,000 civilians dead in Iraq. Where was the moral outrage of the religious right over those deaths? I don't believe that, since this war began, I've heard one mention of the civilian death toll by the President. Oh, and by the way, abortions have tripled under President Bush's watch, due to massive federal funding cut backs for family planning clinics. Red staters ought to be educated as to that, too.

Speaking of the President, while you believe that liberals were not interested in learning, you ignore the fact that a recent University of Maryland study showed that those supporting President Bush were woefully misinformed about the state of the world.  I could list all the findings for you, but here are the highlights and the link:

Even after the final report of Charles Duelfer to Congress saying that Iraq did not have a significant WMD program, 72% of Bush supporters continue to believe that Iraq had actual WMD (47%) or a major program for developing them (25%). Fifty-six percent assume that most experts believe Iraq had actual WMD and 57% also assume, incorrectly, that Duelfer concluded Iraq had at least a major WMD program. Kerry supporters hold opposite beliefs on all these points.

Similarly, 75% of Bush supporters continue to believe that Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda, and 63% believe that clear evidence of this support has been found. Sixty percent of Bush supporters assume that this is also the conclusion of most experts, and 55% assume, incorrectly, that this was the conclusion of the 9/11 Commission. Here again, large majorities of Kerry supporters have exactly opposite perceptions.

So if you want to talk about being educated and learning, I would suggest that those who voted for President Bush have just as much to do as all us godless liberals.

And finally, a word on gay marriage. You said "Most Americans don't much care what consenting gay adults do. But they draw the line at marriage. They see judges deciding the issue, and when they oppose such judicial activism, they're denounced as bigots."

First of all--all of us who are "married" in are engaged in civil unions. That's what our marriages are in the eyes of the state. "Marriage" is in no danger of being co-opted by gays, because the state has no say over what private religious organizations do. We could allow civil unions in IL, it doesn't mean that the Catholic church or any other church will be required to marry gay couples. So basically, we are all fighting over the word "marriage" at the top of our State Marriage Licenses. Too bad most of those God-fearing, moralistic, value-laden red staters didn't understand that. My  head exploded every time I heard someone, including John Kerry and the President state that they were opposed to gay marriage but not civil unions. They are essentially one and the same, as far as the State is concerned. And those who voted against gay-marriage don't like being called bigots? Too bad. Neither did those who opposed inter-racial marriage. I call 'em like I see 'em. In light of the war in Iraq, the strengthening of Al-Qaeda, millions of Americans slipping into poverty, corporations outsourcing jobs, and the continued assault on the environment by the Bush administration, I'm glad that the religious right can take heart in the fact that they voted to "stay course" based on the fact that they don't like boys kissing.

I will not apologize for being educated and informed. I will not apologize for believing that this President does not stand for or represent my morals and values. I will not apologize for believing that others have no right to impose their religious beliefs on myself or others in this country. When did being educated and intellectual become a bad thing?  I don't believe that my party has to change to try stoop to the level of those who get their information about the world from their preachers instead of a newspaper or the evening news. For God's sake--people in OK elected a Senator who sterilized young girls without their consent, defrauded Medicare, and believes that abortion doctors ought to be executed. Why don't you spend a column writing about those values?

Julie DiCaro
Proud mother, lawyer, and liberal
Aurora, IL

Originally posted to chicagojulie on Sun Nov 07, 2004 at 09:33 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You are right (none)
    Here is my post on cold heared truth.  The topic was about how the democrates are loosing touch with the family value crowd - as it relates to what is best for our children.

    It is funny. What many parents are seeing is their children slipping away, and in many cases (certainly not all or even most cases) it is largely due to a lack of parenting, so they are looking for absolution that will never come. If they can blame it on the media or society, they never have to look in the mirror. Many of my conservative acquaintances want my kids to spend more time with their kids. According to these people, mine are "nice boys" who are a good influence. You know the type, straight A students, very involved in athletics, polite and conscientious. Oh by the way, my kids listen to their RAP CD's, I take them to R movies and other things that are not consistent with good family values as defined by the right. But you know what, we talk about these things and they are well grounded. In fact, my kids will usually turn off the worst of the songs before I tell them to. Also, the TV is in the main room (not in the bedroom) as is the computer - so we are actively involved with what they watch and surf. Of course it would be easier to put them up in the bedroom with the TV and computer (as many of my conservative friends do) and blame the media.

    My favorite story is with the friend (I will use the term loosely) who is starting to have trouble with his son. While out to dinner a few months back, he spent half of the evening ranting about the bad influence of Hollywood. According to him, this is the major problem today. A few weeks later, his kid was in my car when we were looking for a parking place. He told the story of how great it was they had an old disabled parking pass from a relative who no longer needed it. They were able to park up front all the time.

  •  Oh, thank you! (none)
    That is a tremendous letter, and as a Chicago resident who absolutely loathes John Kass and his smug, smarmy views that lack all logic and wallow in emotions, I thank you.  If you're ever downtown, come by the Merc and I'll buy you lunch for that one.

    "When fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression" -- H.L. Mencken

    by cinnamondog on Sun Nov 07, 2004 at 09:54:45 AM PST

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