First off, isn't media girl awesome! She pulls together a lot of ideas. Her post below is a gem. Indeed, I also suspect that post-modernist views get absorbed into the popular culture and body politics of progressives. Media girl is right when she see that there is an caution: hands off the tiller of moral values.
There is a right wing article of faith that Reagan sold to the American people and the American people bought in - that government has no role in moral values and he argued that church and state are separate. Church is where morals values are expressed and not in the state and by looking at our foreign policy and how we have treated other nations, we have to see that we have drifted toward some rather non-moral positions.
Then, the right has tried to right the non-morality by implementing faith based initiatives.
The progressives have been vapid in their opposition of this mixture of church and state because the right wants it both ways. They want the government out of moral decisions, then argue the government is non-moral, and then argue their theocratic position that church should now play a larger role in state - a rather clever shell game if you ask me and one that they have played like masters.
Obviously, the progressive have in their dotage forgotten Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson. They have even forgotten Republican Dwight Eisenhower who warned us against the military-industrial complex.
Government has a moral position. It takes in taxes to provide for the common defense and its broad aims are to promote the general welfare. Too many people equate welfare with the dole, rather than well-being.
They have bought into the idea that charity is something churches do, but not states. Yet, the government is much better equipped, has more resources, and more organizing capability than any church.
I have always been more suspicious or religious charity than government charity, although both have problems. I recall that when the Jews were expelled from England some 400 years ago, they went to Spain where they were met with Christian charity at the docks. Kiss the cross and get bread. Don't kiss the cross and get the sword. Other faith based initiatives include, in my own life, meeting people who invite you to a wonderful gathering at their commune to have supper. After a while they reveal who they are - Moonies.
Government does not have this agendum.
The government is the employers of last resort. It provides for the health of its citizens. It is there to right wrongs and make sure that private individuals remain citizens and not uncrowned princes.
To Sassafras points. The feminist politics has taken on an academic tone. Much of it is pseudo-academic. It tosses around 25-cent words and spools up a tornado of bombast, and in the end misses the mark - but God it sounds good . . . but says nothing. It's an ivory tower language that is both daunting and ultimately confusing. It leaves the roots of feminism and leaves most readers cold.
Much of post-modern feminism rejects basic feminist principles.
Second wave feminism is about equality. Men and women are equal. A person's sex or gender should not matter in the workplace or in the eyes of the law, Government has been much better at integrating women into its structure than has corporate America and leaves most religious denominations in the dust.
If equality is moral, and I say it is, then the government has done a superior job in being moral.
In the early 1960's, I was a Republican. We parted company when the religious right infiltrated the party starting around 1962. By 1968, I left because these conservatives were "God fearing" and anti-black, anti-civil rights, anti-women, anti-gay, and xenophobic.
Their platform was that government was inefficient and "Communistic." That government has no role in equality and that making things equal went against nature because by the very nature of man, no two beings are identical - including twins and clones.
This is where the great debate turns - not on privacy. It turns on equality. And to Sassafras point, again, the feminist academicians all too often spent their intellectual capital suggesting women, as a class, are different from men.
Replacing the patriarchy with a matriarchy is not the answer. Arguing about "deconstructionism" and all that mumbo-jumbo obscures the basic message that equality under the law will not be abridged based on sex.
And that's a moral stance the state must make, because the church does not take that stance - at least not most churches. Most church dogma says men and women are not equal and most women cannot rise to any meaningful positions of authority. Marriages are between "unequals" and not "equals." That, when you scrape away all the persiflage is what the anti-marriage talk is.
Anti-marriage? Yes. The church with its religious view - and not the egalitarian state - decides who can marry whom.
I am rambling a bit, but it is boiling down to what media girl said - and then I add my own thoughts about the role of the state as a source of moral authority
Moral acts and acting responsibly do not need a priori a "God." They do not need to have, a priori a "religion."
The state has an obligation to its people, not to corporations. Corporations are a necessary evil. They take on projects larger than individuals can take on and spread the risk. They employ people and thus create taxes and wealth that is in the best interest of the people and the state.
Concentrating power in corporations where inequality is practiced and where discrimination takes place should not be allowed by the state. The church is a corporation which at times is operating against the interests of the state and the state needs to take a moral stand against that.
Progressives need to take a moral stand about groups who claim to have a monopoly on morality and an internet connection direct to God.
The feminist battle is not against the patriarchy, or men, or those who want to take away privacy. Our issues, in my view, have to do with equality and fairness.
I began this ramble by suggesting Ronald Reagan had sold Americans on the ineffectiveness of government. He said government has never created anything - only the people had.
Well, Reagan simply turn Marx on his side, because that's what Marx said about capitalists who never created anything - it was the workers.
So irony of ironies, Reagan was against Godless Communism and offered in its place a state of Godless Capitalism. And in Godlessness, he took out most of the moral conscience that most governments operate within.
The next step has been to fill that vacuum in with Christian views which are anything but egalitarian. The Ten Commandments being displayed in government buildings? "Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image"
These are the folks who want their rules placed in government buildings, but will churches display the Bill of Rights?
The whole affair is lopsided and has lost focus - and maybe this ramble has, too, but until progressives stand up and say enough of all this self-congratulatory talk about moral values come from a house of worship, we will be on the defensive.
We have got to get the church out of government. Our progressive leaders might do well to revisit the language of Roosevelt and Kennedy and others who understood the government and the President must lead in moral leadership - not turn that over to churches, because churches simply are not good at setting moral agendas, despite their self-righteous rhetoric.
To turn both Reagan and Marx on their sides, "churches have never created moral values - its always been the people." And in that, the state is our best hope for setting a moral agenda of charity, equality, and keeping religious zealots out of our homes, our lives, and wombs.