A recent study released by the Baptist Journal of Behavioral Science concluded that conservatism is not a choice, but rather a genetic trait.
Dr. Quack is quoted as saying: "For centuries, liberals have imposed their views upon science, insisting that being a conservative was a lifestyle, a choice made by an individual. Now, beyond a shadow of doubt, we have proven that conservatives are simply born that way."
The scientific announcement sent shockwaves throughout the country. Church ministers were among the first to dismiss the study.
"The Bible is clear about this issue," said Rev. DoGood. "Engaging in conservative issues is just so unnatural. Why, even Jesus tells the rich young conservative ruler to give everything to the poor, and then to follow Him. The problem is that conservatives refuse to read the Bible literally."
When questioned about the numerous incidents of conservative bashing taking place within the church, Rev. Dogood shot back: "Look, I'm no conservaphobic. Some of my best friends are conservatives. I just love the sinner, but hate the sin."
For years, organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union have led self-help courses to get conservatives to renounce their evil ways and embrace liberalism. They would force the attendees to read The New York Times and expose them to tax-and-spend fiscal policies.
For those who appeared hopelessly lost to conservatism, coordinators applied tough love by tying them to a chair and making them watch countless hours of former presidential candidate John Kerry's campaign speeches. But most never renounced their conservatism. In fact, many just started dating each other. "This was disappointing," said Ms. Loveless, a coordinator with the ACLU. "It just proves how these types of people cling to their wickedness, refusing the truth of liberal policies."
Others insist that one can still be a conservative and a Christian. A handsome young man with a long and thick mustache who was interviewed for this survey refused to give his name for fear that it would devastate his very liberal parents.
He said: "In Jeremiah, God says that He knew us in our mother's womb. God, who predestines everything, made me a conservative, and that should just be OK." His companion, with whom he has engaged in several profitable joint ventures, went on to say: "The church constantly taught that being a conservative was a sin. Man, I felt that it was the only thing the Bible ever spoke about. I finally came to believe that as long as I did not engage in social issues, I was not sinning. But now, with this new study, I am free from the guilt trip placed on me by the church."
One mother, who took her child for counseling after discovering photos of Cheney and Rumsfeld under his bed mattress, was relieved. "I always blamed myself," she said. "His father was very domineering, and I refused to work outside the home. I felt so guilty for creating an environment that led him to become a conservative. But now I realize it's not my fault. God made him a conservative and I must learn to accept that."
She now plans to join the local chapter of the Friends and Family of Conservatives, a support group that teaches liberals to accept their conservative children.
But much work still needs to be done, especially in academia. "We expect to keep the liberal in a liberal arts education," said president Smart of Leftwing U. But students at that college are beginning to organize to fight what they say is an unjust bias. "I've had students lean out of car windows and call me a 'Bushie.' It was so humiliating."
Some students have spent years petitioning the school to allow them to begin the Conservative/Liberal Alliance. "They finally gave in," said a founding member of the student-run organization, "but they still insisted that the president of the alliance could not be a conservative."
When we consider that one in seven individuals have had a conservative experience, the release of this study can have profound effect on explaining human behavior.
"OK," said one of the study's researchers. "It's true. One election day when I was very young I got drunk and voted for Reagan. I felt so dirty and ashamed afterwards. But that youthful indiscretion shouldn't label me a conservative for life!"
A local minister, who refused to give his name for fear it might lead to a split at the church, confessed that every so often he wakes up in a cold sweat--having had a fantasy dream about Pat Buchanan.
Experiences like these appear more common then most are willing to admit.
But the study raises some profound questions that can have a long-term impact upon the overall culture. Specifically, can conservatives legally marry?
Miguel A. De La Torre is director of the Justice & Peace Institute and associate professor of social ethics at Iliff School of Theology in Denver.
Order Miguel De La Torre's book Reading the Bible from the Margins now from Amazon.com