As I watch the shenanigans being played by the Republican party, I find myself asking over and over, “what values does the GOP stand for?”
There are two behaviors going on simultaneously, that are being displayed by the MAGA Republicans and the so-called conservative, traditional Republicans.
The MAGAs are continuing to spread their truth – which includes “The Big Lie” about the 2020 election having been stolen, and the traditional Republicans are being silent about what is going on and are therefore complicit.
As I was growing up, I heard nothing if not about the commitment to “family values” supported by the GOP. I never looked into what those values were, but I supposed they were much like the values my parents supported, including being honest, studying hard, being supportive of others and helping those less fortunate, getting married, and going to church, among other things.
The conservative “Focus on the Family” initiative (https://www.focusonthefamily.com) pushed their pro-life stance and supported prayer in schools. There were definitely some “values” with which I did not agree, but the core belief that keeping families healthy and whole was not different from the beliefs held by Democrats.
But now, MAGA adults are either participating in or being silent about such behavior as stalking parents of children who were murdered at Sandy Hook. As the call to ban assault weapons grows in light of continued mass shootings, some Congresspersons have taken off their US flag pins and replaced them with AR-47 pins. (https://time.com/6253690/ar-15-pins-congress/)
Some have created Christmas cards showing their families all holding assault weapons. (https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/christmas-card-guns-lauren-boebert-thomas-massie-start-new-culture-ncna1285709)
Members of the MAGA wing of the GOP are pushing for books to be banned, and are working to make it impossible for women who are in need of abortions to get them (https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/republicans-block-bill-protecting-women-travel-states-abortion-rcna38301) and have even gone so far as to allow smoking in the Congressional chamber. (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/smoking-capitol-house-republican-majority-b2261232.html) .
So, what “family values” are we talking about? And if other GOP members do not agree with what is being said and done, why are they so silent about it? Their silence indicates complicity and it is sickening to observe.
I keep wondering, as they talk about ending Social Security and Medicare how they can be so unconcerned about the plight of people who have worked all their lives and depend on Social Security to live out the remainder of their lives. I wonder if they even think about the elderly people who need both Social Security and Medicare to have quality of life. My most basic question is, “What about the old people? What are your “values” as concerns them?” And I cannot understand why they have so little regard for the lives of children born into poverty. Medicaid enables poor children to get necessary medical care – as we as their parents – but these Republicans – who loudly say they are “pro-life” – seem not to care.
To add flavor to the cake they are making, they do all of this under the name of Jesus the Christ, and I keep wondering whose Christ do they honor? Certainly not the Jesus of the Bible, who taught love, community, and justice for all. Some actually say that support of social justice is anti-Biblical. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCDEjDs3Gr4 ).
All of this is disturbing on its own, but the fact that those in the GOP who do not agree are silent is even more disturbing. Where or what are their values? Why are they allowing this to go on, apparently mumbling behind the scenes but being silent in public? (https://people.com/politics/gop-lawmakers-privately-expressed-outrage-over-trump-after-jan-6-book/)
What I have come to believe is that the values they espoused were never the values I had. The family values to which they adhere do not include the lessons and principles of Jesus. The values they hold dear include oppression of the very “least of these” that Jesus taught us all to receive and care for. They are either participants in the abrogation of the rights of. all people, or silent as racism, sexism, Xenophobia, homophobia, poverty, and destitution guide their behavior.
MAGA Republicans and traditional GOP politicians are really no different because if one cannot speak up and speak out against injustice, it means that they fear the loss of power and control more than they value the lessons of Christianity.
I guess “family values” aren’t the same for all of us after all.
A candid observation …
2 thoughts on “What Happened to “Family Values?””
My husband and I were actually Republican until President Obama, when we began to more clearly understand some of these issues you name. Since then, it seems as if the party has only become worse. This is difficult for us to fathom – that folks still remain part of this party system. Thank you always for writing. I become additionally informed each time.
May God bless you and keep you!