Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Ron Paul on Racism; Mark Driscoll on Marriage

I’d like to share a couple of links:

1. Here is a YouTube video, “Busted! Ron Paul racist rant caught on tape!”

The title of the video is ironic because the video goes on to show that Ron Paul passionately stands up for African-Americans. He opposes the war on drugs and favors treatment for addiction instead, one reason being that the war on drugs has disproportionately targeted minorities, when there are whites who have addiction problems, too. Paul also opposes the federal death penalty because it, too, tends to target minorities. And Paul affirms that racism is actually inconsistent with libertarianism, which treats people as individuals rather than as groups.

I can see Paul’s points, here, and I appreciate his concern for minority issues. I may vote for him in the primaries. But I’d have a hard time having him as President because I do not believe that libertarianism will help the vulnerable. I think, for example, that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a good idea—-all of it—-for people are not always going to do the right, fair thing on their own. I also cringe at Ron Paul’s opposition to laws against sexual harassment (see here). I can see his point that, say, telling a crude joke in the workplace should not be made into a federal case. But I also think that a woman should be able to take legal action if her employer is making her employment or professional advancement contingent on having sex with him. Paul’s statement that the woman should seek employment elsewhere if she does not like her current job-environment strikes me as insensitive. It does not consider the difficulty of finding a job, as well as women’s vulnerability, as they seek to maintain their personal dignity while also feeding their families. So, in my opinion, Ron Paul is a mixed bag when it comes to understanding the plight of the vulnerable.

2. Rachel Held Evans reviews Mark Driscoll’s Real Marriage. I have not read the book, but, from what I know of Driscoll, her critiques strike me as spot-on. Driscoll, for instance, has a certain conception of what being a real man is, and he seems to look down on those who do not fit that mold. I also agree with Rachel that the Christian conservative teaching that women should submit to their husbands is a one-sided reading of Scripture, for Esther did not blindly obey her husband when she appeared before him at risk of death. But, like Rachel, I appreciate Driscoll for saying that husbands and wives should be friends, and, while his admission of his personal flaws does raise the question of whether we should view our pastors as infallible oracles, I do admire his vulnerability and his willingness to grow. In my opinion, conservative evangelicalism has good and bad points: it teaches men to love, honor, and respect women, rather than seeing them as sex-objects, and it also encourages men to admit when they are wrong. Yet, that co-exists with a patriarchal mindset.

1 comment:

  1. "...for people are not always going to do the right, fair thing on their own."
    When coerced, they are still not doing the right, fair thing. There's no such thing as moral motion, only moral action.

    ReplyDelete

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