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Personal beliefs should form American way of life

I think I have a problem with a letter I read in The Oracle on Monday. The commentator declared the country was becoming more conservative, that people were beginning to see that the conservative way of life is basically congruent with the American way of life.

It’s not the content of the letter that concerns me, though I tend to disagree with him. It’s its austere nature that most caught my eye. The commentator didn’t just think that his personal political philosophy was correct; he knew it.

How can he be so sure that he is completely correct? I will not hide that I am socially liberal (neoconservatives would call me a “peacenik,” even though I have no particular love for the beatnik movement so alluded to) and fiscally moderate. I have studied enough to know what I believe, but I would never go so far as to say, that I am absolutely right.

In power today, in the White House and very much in Congress, are groups of people that believe there is a universal morality that comes from Judeo-Christian tradition. Forget the fact that Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism and the other world religious philosophies all have valuable teachings.

These people would have you believe that the fabric of our country can be found soley in the belief of God and Jesus. Take Lynn Cheney, who, after the Sept. 11 attacks, thought schools shouldn’t teach classes focused on Islam but instead should create classes to reveal so-called “traditional values” of American politics.

I have no problem with this, except that Cheney, in her narrow-mindedness, is not celebrating the values of peace, liberty and democracy, but morality described by Christianity. Does no one else have problems with this?

I am quite sick of these narrow ideas flooding this newspaper, most often as “rebuttals” to the “liberal media.” The hypocrisy is, if I told these people they were wrong and I was right, they would inundate my inbox telling me just how wrong I really am.

Well, e-mail away, because here is what I do believe: I believe that people driving around in $100,000 plus cars, while some people can’t make enough money to buy their children medicine, are wrong.

I believe walking around like a platonic philosopher-king when it comes to political philosophy, saying that you know the “truth” and must teach the rest of us, is wrong. You don’t know the truth. To proclaim you do is incredibly naïve.

I believe that discrimination, either through sexuality, gender or race, still exists. When a man in Texas can be dragged until he falls apart, or a boy can be hung on a fence in Wyoming, then discrimination (hate) exists. When a man can walk into a Jewish center in Los Angeles with the intent to kill children for no other reason than because they are Jewish, then hate exists.

To not have laws to balance this out would be ludicrous.

I believe that going to war with a country that poses no real threat to us is wrong. I believe waging war in the name of strategic resources and personal vendettas is wrong. I believe that going to war without exhausting diplomatic avenues is wrong.

So, I’m a “peacenik?” A “bleeding heart?” At least I’m not a warmonger, or worse, full of apathy toward anyone but myself.

Joe Roma is a junior majoring in political