Tomatoes, Marriage Ammendment, Kansas

Several years ago, I was trying to explain something to my wife while we were driving. After about a half hour of miscommunicating, I said with exasperation, "Am I speaking in Chinese?"
(I think our oldest daughter had just been born and I was sleep-deprived.

I thought about that story when I heard about this new book, What's the Matter With Kansas? author Thomas Frank , who looks at a growing disconnect between those who vote based on personal moral values and those who vote on social moral values in politics. In Kansas, apparently, voters embrace politicians whose social values they resontate with--even if those same politicians have economical policies benefit the wealthy at the expense of poor and middle class families.

According to reviewers, Frank seems at a lost to explain why this is so, except to blame it on a damnable right wing conspiracy.

If Frank had taken a few Sundays to sit in the pew of some Kansas churches, he might have found an answer to his question.

Christian America seems to be more and more divided between those who care about social morality (war, social justice, poverty)and downplay private morality; and those who care about private morality (abortion, homosexuality, adultery.)

An example:

The Presbyterians are boycotting Taco Bell (for buying tomatoes from growers they say exploit their works.

The Southern Baptist want an a federal marriage ammendment because they think gay marriage is wrong.

Both think they are doing God's will. But Baptists (for the most part)would be hard pressed to understand why they ought to care about how much farmworkers paid. And many Presbyterians aren't too sure God cares about gay marriage. It is as if the other group is speaking in Chinese.


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