Render unto Caesar

The Republican Party at a Crossroads

One of the three passages from the Bible that I quote most often is Matthew 22:21, which goes: Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.

Jesus said this after being asked by his enemies if the Jews should pay taxes:

  • If he answered Yes, they could brand him a sellout to the Roman occupation.
  • If he answered No, they could report him to the Romans as a subversive.

He sidestepped the question entirely by saying the above.

Which brings me to last night’s vote. In all of these years of posting, I don’t think I’ve ever told you what political party I adhere to.

Growing up in the Reagan years, I’ve traditionally been a Republican and then, more recently, an Independent.

Like the Republicans, I want smaller government, less wasteful spending, and tighter reins on government programs.

But their social bent makes it difficult to see myself aligning with them in the near future, or ever again for that matter: The jaw-droppingly misplaced views on women’s rights, the virulent anti-immigration bent, and (most annoying to me as a practicing Christian that has actually read the Bible) the pseudo-Christianity.

My friends think I’ve moved left. I’ve not.

With the exception of certain items, my views have been fairly consistent through the years. It’s the political landscape that’s moved right. Even Obama, with the healthcare reform – a traditionally Republican ideal spearheaded by Nixon – his aggressive hunt for Bin Laden, and his extensive use of drones for strikes, is far more right than I would have expected.

Unfortunately, the right has moved ever more right as well, particularly socially. To the point that my vote is not wanted, even though it is needed. The same goes for the Hispanic and female vote, which were deciding factors in this last election.

So now the party has a choice: Continue to alienate the fiscally conservative but socially moderate voters like myself or tack back to the middle where compromise is a virtue not a vice.

Romney won more white male votes than any candidate ever – 6 out of 10 white males voted for him. And yet that was not enough.

Moreover, it will never again be enough.

So back to the Bible quote.

Papers are noting that the party is at a crossroads: continue to cling to this ridiculously intolerant RHINO Tea-Party view and become completely irrelevant OR see the world as it is.

My suggestion is to crack open the Bible and give that quote a re-read: Give unto Caesar (the government) what the government requires for you to survive and unto your own beliefs what you need to make it through your day.

The two are separate and should always remain separate. If God is god, he is god without needing a seat on Pennsylvania Avenue. If He’s not, the problem’s moot.

And here’s the main thing: Even the big guy Himself said that.

Explicitly.

Finally, when my breakup happened years ago, the only thing I knew clearly in my haze of insomnia and sadness was this: I do not want someone that does not want me.

Every time I thought of calling or writing her, that sentence stopped me. And now I’m happier for it we’re both happier for it.

Put another way, you don’t want me? Fine. I’m going to take my ball and go home.

God bless and protect the man and the office. Le Roi est mort, vive le Roi…

 

Location: going to the office for the first time in a while
Mood: conflicted
Music: Why am I the one always packing all my stuff?
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44

Location: 9:00 yest, pulling a lever on the UWS
Mood: hopeful
Music: may your dreams Be realized

Making some major life decisions but I’ll fill you in on those later. On an unrelated matter, broke my right pinky. Again.

Guess you’ve seen Pretty in Pink. But I much preferred the remake, which came out the very next year called Some Kind of Wonderful. Same director, same writer, different cast but same roles.

The writer and director couldn’t get the ending they wanted for Pretty in Pink. Ergo, Some Kind of Wonderful. So their got their ending.

In other news, voted today. Got a free cuppa joe and now my hands’re shaking like an 80s crack addict. The voting machines were the same grey machines they had in NYC since I was kid – also in the 80s. More things change, the more they stay the same. I worry we got a different cast, but the same roles.

But there is one aspect of this story, however, I particularly like. MLK was murdered seven years before I was born. 44 years ago. Now a black dude is the 44th president – and almost no one I know thinks of him as a black dude. He’s just a brilliant, ambitious man. That’s something different and good. Hopefully, we’ll have the ending we want.

God bless and protect the man and the office. Le Roi est mort, vive le Roi…

YASYCTAI: Be hopeful (1 min/1 pt)