Thursday, May 30, 2013

Green Tea Party

On this past week's episode of Darkwood Brew, Frank Shaeffer stumbled over his words a bit during his spot on rant about the Culture Wars and created the fictional Green Tea Party.  A number of us in the chat room picked up on it and got to considering the possibility.  I am registered to vote in Massachusetts with the political designation of Green Rainbow Party, so I am both already a part of half of this fictional party and sadly aware of the limitations of merger names.  When the Green Party and Rainbow Coalition chose to merge in Massachusetts they ultimately chose the unfortunate name of Green Rainbow.  Even on Saint Patrick's Day in Southie, I defy you to find a green rainbow.  On the other hand, Green Tea Party has a nice ring to it and hints of the sort of open minded coalition building that is so desperately needed in our nation today.

As a political and social progressive, I am often about as far left as one can get on many issues.  Interestingly, the far right of Libertarianism at times comes to hold very similar positions, albeit for very different reasons.  Pat Buchanon opposed NAFTA, not for the labor rights and environmental reasons that I did, but does that mean that we couldn't work together on the issue?  Ron Paul is no pacifist, but he and I agree that our troops should not be involved in foreign wars.  Could we not envision political solutions to complicated issues that involve such strange bedfellows as those who would be in a Green Tea Party?

It is so frustrating to find opposition based solely on political affiliation not position.  I had heard (sorry I can't find a citation at the moment) about a study that showed that conservatives would be willing to buy energy saving products if marketed to save money but not if they would save the environment.  This is just one issue that clearly has lots of room for both sides to be happy if they can accomplish the same things for different reasons.

It is even possible to find similar agreement on hotly contested moral issues.  Pro-choice advocates  would not be upset by a reduction of abortions by means of more adoptions, so why should pro-lifers oppose a move to increase funding for foster care and adoption services?  Sadly, bills in Congress designed to do just that have been defeated along staunch partisan lines.  This sort of thing only goes to prove that this issue is designed to be used as a wedge to serve partisan politics not truly advancing the professed cause.

Can we start moving in the direction of convergence?  It is my great hope that the church can lead the way for the culture this time.  I've blogged previously on what I see happening in the church where post-Evangelicals and post-Liberals are finding each other and common ground.  Since the Culture Wars started due to church influences, perhaps the truce can start here as well.  Surely I'm not the only Culture Hawk who has become a Culture Dove!

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