For years I’ve been saying the only path to human prosperity and survival is through evolution of conscience and consciousness.
If our thinking and perceptions don’t evolve, they narrow and withdraw from reality. We’ve seen this demonstrated by the Party of Trump and their leader.
The Washington Post chronicles a unique exception to conservative stultification of the mind’s conscience and consciousness. Even a conservative Mormon like Orrin Hatch has shown some progress amidst all the bigotry and regression embraced by the Party of Trump.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), a socially conservative 84-year-old Mormon, was long one of the most outspoken critics of gay people in Congress.
In 1977, as a freshman, Hatch said gay people should never be allowed to teach in public schools because they have a “psychological deficiency.”“I wouldn't want to see homosexuals teaching school anymore than I'd want to see members of the American Nazi Party teaching school,” he told a group of students.
In 1988, he referred to Democrats as “the party of homosexuals.”
In the 1990s, he championed the Defense of Marriage Act – which prohibited the federal government from recognizing same-sex unions and barred couples from receiving benefits.
When the Supreme Court struck down the law in 2013, Hatch ripped the justices for relying on their “personal opinion.”
But the times, they are a changin’.
-- Hatch, retiring after 42 years as the longest-serving Republican senator in American history, appears to have had a change of heart. In honor of Pride Month, Hatch took to the Senate floor on Wednesday to send “a message of love” to “my LGBT brothers and sisters.”
“These young men and women deserve to feel loved, cared for and accepted for who they are,” the senator said in a heartfelt speech. “I don’t think they chose to be who they are. They’re born the way they are. And we ought to understand that. They deserve to know that they belong and that our society is stronger because of them…
“No one should ever feel less because of their gender identity or sexual orientation,” he continued. “LGBT youth deserve our unwavering love and support. They deserve our validation and the assurance that not only is there a place for them in this society, but that it is far better off because of them. These young people need us—and we desperately need them. We need their light to illuminate the richness and diversity of God’s creations. We need the grace, beauty and brilliance they bring to the world.”
-- These comments are especially notable because President Trump and Vice President Pence have pointedly declined to acknowledge Pride Month. After Barack Obama issued proclamations all eight Junes he was in office, the White House chose not to do so last year or this year.
-- Against this backdrop and his own history, Hatch pleaded with his fellow conservatives to not just tolerate, but love, those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. “Mr. President, ensuring that our LGBT friends feel loved and accepted is not a political issue,” said Hatch, who as president pro tempore is third in line to the presidency. “We all have a stake in this. We all have family or loved ones who have felt marginalized in one way or another because of gender identity or sexual orientation—and we need to be there for them. … Regardless of where you stand on the cultural issues of the day—whether you are a religious conservative, a secular liberal or somewhere in between—we all have a special duty to each another. That duty is to treat one another with dignity and respect. It is not simply to tolerate, but to love.”
Good for Hatch. It took Obama time to accept marriage equality too.
The question remains when the Party of Trump recognizes this about not only the LGBTQ community, but with liberals, Blacks, Muslims, and immigrants. As long as they are the Party of Trump this consciousness and conscience will be suppressed.
The road is long, and obstructed by the rubble of far Right propaganda, and bridges are far too few. It offers only a slight glimpse of hope when the only Republicans who show truthfulness and compassion are no longer running for office.
We are only at the beginning of the evolution of moral courage and compassion for the modern American Right. For them to continue on this path, they need to turn Left.