No prize for the answer to this one, but in today’s climate, it is an eye-opener to realize these words were spoken by an earlier generation’s, “severe conservative.” Unlike today’s crop, this man was always respected for his integrity and the strength of his convictions:
“I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in ‘A,’ ‘B,’ ‘C’, and ‘D.’ Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of ‘conservatism.’” – Sen. Barry Goldwater, Sept. 16. 1981.
From Richard Brenneman’s blog, eats shoots ‘n leaves: http://richardbrenneman.wordpress.com/