I have been puzzling over some of the terms quoted in the recent article, “Keeping the Faith: Asheville Clergy Offer Wisdom in Election Aftermath” [Dec. 7, Xpress], namely “the godless, atheistic progressive agenda” and “biblical values.”And I find myself wondering: How did the term “progressive” come to be associated with atheism and godlessness? And, what exactly are “biblical values?”
What I understand is that progressives want what the founders of this country wanted for its citizens — “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” In other words, people should have what is necessary for life: adequate food, shelter, clothing, medical care, money, education, etc. And they should have the freedom to be themselves and live in ways that bring them happiness. Progressives work for policies that will create prosperity for the country and help everyone to benefit from it. I don’t see how this can be considered “godless” or “atheistic.” Seems like God would certainly want these things for his “children.”
I have read a fair amount of the Bible, especially the New Testament, and as far as I can see, “biblical values” are those that Jesus taught: Love your neighbor — even your enemy — feed the hungry, care for the sick, visit those in prison, comfort the oppressed and so on. Some say this is a Christian country, but, if so, we do not do very well at following Jesus’ teachings.
In fact, some who call themselves Christians seem to be working toward opposite ends — cutting food stamps, cutting funds for education, letting people go without medical care and so forth. This I do not understand. And then there are the Ten Commandments, which are regularly disregarded. Are there other “biblical values” that are more important than these?
— Susan A. Stone