Beinstein column: Are Democrats at war with American culture? | PostIndependent.com

Beinstein column: Are Democrats at war with American culture?

Alex Beinstein
Alex Beinstein
Provided

Many evangelical Christians believe the Jews must be in Israel to hasten the second coming of Christ (reference Matthew 24:16-17).

And yet, Rep. Ilhan Omar continues to support legislation that effectively takes away the rights of Jews to live in the Holy Land.

Worse still, she seems to have the support of the entire Democratic Party in so doing.

When Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa explicitly supported “white nationalism,” Republican leadership not only condemned him but also stripped him of his committee posts.

Meanwhile, Omar, who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which has direct jurisdiction over matters relating to Israel, was never punished for saying support of Israel is simply a matter of bribery — a comment she never fully rescinded.

Omar wants to boycott Israel for its human rights abuses, likening such activity to boycotting the Nazis. Huh?

For all its flaws, and it has many, the state of Israel has never, remotely so, advocated for exterminating Arabs or any racial group. Its only position is that there are many countries in the world that are run by Muslim majorities, whereas Israel is the only country in the world that retains a Jewish character.

And yet, for this clear anti-Semitism, I don’t see Omar or Democrats suggesting a boycott of India for how it treats its Christians or China for how it treats its Muslims. Instead, she’s defended as some type of martyr.

But it’s not just Omar or Israel. Many Christians believe our laws should be observed and upheld, including our immigration laws. Isn’t that what the scriptures suggest: Those who follow the laws will be blessed and those that ignore them will be cursed?

For that, evangelicals are called fascists. I thought it was the fascists who believe in propping up some authoritarian ruler at the expense of law and order.

Many working class Christians cannot afford to send their kids to parochial schools, especially after they pay their property tax bill.

Despite its numerous shortcomings, look how ineffective our public schools have been compared to countries like Finland and South Korea. The Democrats refuse to budge on allowing any public funds to be used for religious schools. This isn’t to say religious schools shouldn’t also be forced to show how well their students are performing in math and reading, but why, if certain religious schools perform better than their secular counterparts, can’t money be directed their way?

In a whole host of ways, from Pell Grants to research funds, the U.S. government already uses public monies for religious colleges (Georgetown, Liberty University, Notre Dame, etc.). In fact, the original motto of America’s most esteemed university, Harvard, was titled “For Christ and Church.”

There are some Democrats who make very valid criticisms of the Trump administration. What happened to the GOP’s pledge to be fiscally responsible? Why don’t we see Trump’s cabinet look like the rest of America? How is the Trump administration setting a national tone on how to reduce local property regulations (density, reducing 1-acre lot requirements, scrapping the need to make parking lots readily available, etc.) to make housing, especially in our urban areas, more affordable?

It is true that the difference between owning a home and always renting creates stark wealth inequality, and broadening home ownership, especially among minorities, can make a huge difference.

Singapore, which has 90% home ownership, compared to our 63%, proves this can be done (Singapore mainly does it by forcing people to save more, and for those savings to be used for housing).

But all of these arguments fall on deaf ears when the people making them are at war with the culture of America itself. You can’t make fun of people’s most cherished beliefs, the cross and the flag, and simultaneously gain their trust.

The beauty of our Republic is that it allows for dissent and differing ideas. But those ideas have to be rooted in a common culture. Let’s hope that, one day, Democrats might just look at a flyover country as their neighbor, not their enemy.

Alex Beinstein is a millennial who grew up in Aspen, lived in Carbondale for a while and now writes from Washington, D.C. His column appears monthly in the Post Independent.


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