Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

December 21, 2012

Guest Commentary: Texas looking good for some

By Jim Burgess
Guest Commentator

— Every year in December I make the pilgrimage to Seattle for my corporate budget meetings. I am always aware of how liberal the state of Washington is (after all I am from Oregon) but this trip was historical. During the course of the past year the good people of Washington voted and passed legislation legalizing both same-sex marriage and the use of marijuana.

Perhaps I should not have been all-together shocked when I entered my hotel room and found small bits of marijuana on my toilet seat lid. I was seriously considering calling the hotel manager when I discovered the morning edition of the Seattle Times newspaper on the foot of the bed. The headlines immediately caught my attention: “ELECTION HAS SOME THINKING OF TEXAS.”

It seems as though some of the more conservative Christians (yes, they’re living there also) are worried their state has lost their moral compass and losing its way like pagan Rome.

According to Carol M. Ostrom, Seattle Times Staff Reporter, “In the wake of Washington’s historic votes to legalize both same-sex marriage and marijuana use, some longtime conservatives say they’re contemplating moving to more like-minded states – say, Texas.”

The Washington news service bombarded the public with coverage of same-sex couples getting married and all sorts of people lighting joints in the streets. The voters who voted “no” feel themselves missionaries in a heathen world.

“I feel like I’m living in pagan Rome,” said Dan Kennedy, CEO of Human Life of Washington. “I just couldn’t believe we had gone that far.”

Maybe because I am from Texas I did not find it so surprising. After all, Washington voters previously gave approval for abortions and physician-assisted aid in dying.

To David DeWolf, who teaches law at Gonzaga University, a Catholic institution in Spokane, the votes reflect individuals disconnection from the rest of society, “elevating the desires of the individual over the needs of the community.”

DeWolf sees the votes as “sort of a reversion to a less developed way of living. The impulse here is a kind of selfish me-oriented way of not wanting to think about the impact my behavior might have on the rest of society.” He, too, thinks of ancient Rome. “The introduction of Christianity was the introduction of a way of understanding ourselves that says we’re capable of real charity and concern for one another and living a life of virtue.” He believes these Christian virtues were ignored in this election.

Steve Beren, a Christian conservative political consultant from Seattle states, “I feel bad for those people, because they’re celebrating what they’re doing wrong.”

Finally in the article Kennedy, of Human Life, says friends have been talking seriously about moving to more conservative states, such as Texas.

During my stay in Seattle I had one stranger ask me how I felt about people moving to the Lone Star state to escape the “out-of-control liberalism” (their words, not mine).

I explained to him that Texas would welcome them, it is the kind of people we are, but inside I was laughing hysterically. One pre-qualifies to be Texan by toughness. You see, I knew one summer in Texas would send them back to the Emerald City with their tails tucked between their legs.  

I am proud of Texas and like the fact that others look to us for their moral bearings.

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Submitted by Jim Burgess