Republican Deadly Sins
Much of what is wrong in America today has been caused by greed. This is not surprising since the three branches of our Federal Government are now controlled by Republicans, and greed is fundamental to the Republican philosophy, though other frame words are usually substituted, like “gain”, “profit”, “enterprise”, “return on investment” and “reward for risk taking”.
Republicans look upon an idle heir who invests some of the inheritance in the stock of a startup in the hopes of doubling the money in one year as a heroic “risk taker”, but they are blind to the heroism of the single mother who struggles to get by on a minimum wage job at Wal-Mart, taking the risk every day that her car might give out, her rent might be increased or her kids might get sick before the minimal Wal-Mart health plan kicks in. Capital and labor are both necessary means for economic production, but Republicans always value capital and discredit labor. It is in their bones.
Greed is one of the seven deadly sins, those failings which are fatal to spiritual progress, and it is the number one failing of Republicans. It is greed which makes the Republican party reactionary, wanting to return to the halcyon days of the robber barons. The party panders to the religious right on hot button issues in order to get people elected who will carry out the real Republican agenda of enhancing the wealth of the rich. In spite of lip service paid to moral values, the Republican party is not seriously interested in spiritual progress.
Gluttony is manifest in Republican party members as their second failing. They are not concerned that the US consumes an obscenely high percentage of the earth’s resources. They are not shocked by the exorbitant compensation paid to corporate CEOs, even when those officers are proven to have been crooks. Republicans drive Hummers and are proud of it. In fact pride, “the sin from which all others arise”, is the third fundamental sin of the Republican party. These are people who act as if everything they have came from their own hard work and enterprise, while downplaying the contribution of grace received from their professed God.
A fourth deadly sin, anger, often comes to the fore when Republicans discuss issues. Political disagreements engender hard feelings from all sides, but Republican wrath is often uniquely devoid of any feelings of genuine love and concern for those who disagree. This is why the term “compassionate conservative” is essentially an oxymoron.
Envy plays a lesser role among Republicans. The greedy man always envies the man who has had more “success” with his greed. Scholarly Republicans envy the vast domain within academia staked out by Democrats, hence their criticism of “liberal college faculties”. Those traditional practitioners of the corporal works of mercy, many of whom embrace the Democratic party platform, must give rise to envy in those few Republicans who are sincerely interested in making progress in those areas of their spiritual lives.
Sloth and lust are not failings of a significant number of Republicans. Some in the heir, investor and CEO categories can afford to be physically lazy. More Republicans are probably spiritually lazy, either wanting to avoid confronting the real applicability of their faith to the issues facing this country, or else blindly accepting whatever view their pastor dictates. Lacking much passion for people, a true Republican lusts more for the thrill of having things rather than the pleasures that can be afforded by another person.
George W. Bush is not a typical Republican. Though greed is among his top three failings, it only ranks third. Pride definitely is tops for him. Vanity is his essence. But what makes him most different from other Republicans is that sloth is number two on his list. George is also different in that gluttony seems only second tier for him, perhaps indicating the influence of Midland and Laura. Anger is not a major failing; the real Bush anger seems reserved only for sycophants who cross him. If Bush does envy those who are smarter and more sincere than he is, he seems to have relegated it to being one of the reasons behind his smirk - “You’re smart and sincere, but I’m President.” Bush has a lust for power, but that is part of his pride. Sexual lust seems non-existent to the point it makes some people wonder about his sexuality.