The pursuit of life, liberty, and liberality…
Hello there from the West Coast Universe.* This summer I’ve been blogging using the occasional series I’ve called “Hospital Food for the Mind,” which was based on the simple idea that I was writing short pieces during lunch from the dining room of the hospital where I work**.
It has long been recognized by all sorts of -ologists that regionalisms run deep in the cultural genetic structure of the country. In the years since the National Media began using the Red State/Blue State concept for their political and election broadcasts, the visual impact of those disparities have been accentuated. Added to that, the recent constant media chatter about “The Beltway” referring to the “alternate reality” of Congress and the Administration inside the Beltway highway ringing Washington, DC, the term kept popping into my mind. The more I thought about it the more I liked it and I decided to try it out in place of Hospital Food (admittedly, which still gets a bad rap even though my hospital has a classically trained chef running the kitchen).
I had to have a more evolved operational definition for WCU (see, it shortens nicely, too). After giving that some consideration I came up with the tag line: The pursuit of life, liberty, and liberality.
Yes, it’s a twist on the phrase from the Declaration of Independence: “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” I want to convey, however, a new twist, a XTO twist, so to speak, with a not so subtle reference to being liberal. In many parts of the country, being labeled a Liberal is the equivalent of being labeled a dirty pinko commie (the fact dirty pinko commies no longer exist is largely irrelevant to those who do the labeling. They know one when they see one).
I chose the term “liberality.” For one thing, it conveys a different sense of what being liberal is. Those who find it necessary to sneer when they are forced to say the word out-loud will have to really work at extending that to liberality. And for those who religious beliefs are welded to modern fundamentalist conservatism, they will be faced with the discomforting fact that the very concept of liberality is rooted deeply in biblical theology.
The Hebrew prophets, Jesus Christ, and the Apostles of his Gospel made it clear: liberality toward the care of our neighbors is the highest calling set out by God. There is not, I assert, even one prohibition in scripture for the role of government—a government of, by, and for the people in particular—to care for those very people and for the taxes of those people to be used to provide that very care (in the sense of loving one’s neighbor as oneself).
To those who think they can challenge my knowledge of the Bible in this regard, let them try.
So, I’m offering my thoughts from here in the West Coast Universe, a place where those who are progressive and liberal in their politics live and thrive. It is a land of patriots who are proud to be Americans without apology or compromise, unbowed by the radical Right.
We see our Inalienable Rights as the pursuit of life, liberty and liberality. That’s the essence of the West Coast Universe, at least here at Extreme Thinkover.
*I can’t take any credit for coining the term “West Coast Universe.” A Google search came up with just over 260 hits of the phrase used in one form or another from a variety of sources around the world. I can offer the disclaimer that my use is not affiliated with anyone else’s and is solely for the purpose of commentary on Extreme Thinkover and under fair use not intended as an infringement on any copyright or trademark.
**The SMS policy of my hospital prohibits naming it unless I provide a disclaimer on every single thing I write as being my opinion and not necessarily theirs. Since I find this policy ludicrous and an infringement on my 1st Amendment Right to free speech, I refuse to list the organization by name in any of my online sites. It’s their loss, really. I like the organization otherwise, and would write all sorts of nice things about it.