Op-ed submission by Project 21

Our nation’s current political battle about same-sex marriage reminds me of the film “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” in which rivals fight it out in a cage to chants of “two men enter, one man leaves!”

I also recall Tina Turner’s song from the film. She belts out: “We don’t need another hero. We don’t need to know the way home.”

Conservatives might take Turner’s lyrics to heart. Look at liberals these days. They championed Barack Obama as a superhero, but have discovered the cape doesn’t fit. Conservatives need not repeat the liberals’ folly.

Obama recently revealed his “evolving” opinion on same-sex marriage evolved into support of it. It instantly created a clear division with conservatives he probably wanted to keep muddled for until after the election. Conservatives, to the contrary, have long maintained that marriage should only be defined as a legal bond between a man and a woman.

But this sudden and clear distinctions on the definition of marriage is not the point. Americans want a life beyond what politicians are offering.

Americans yearn for a simpler time when everyone knew everyone else’s name but not all of their business. Perhaps it’s the fault of so much social networking, tweeting and round-the-clock news. It seems that someone always has the answer, or can at least bluff so convincingly that it appears they do.

Americans are concerned that we are in a real-life political Thunderdome, one that makes our union fragile and headed for trouble. We need a world beyond the Thunderdome of class warfare, legislative immorality and financial ruin.

Turning back the clock to the time of our founders is not an option. Who can ever really go back home again anyway?

Like Turner’s song, we should realize we don’t need to be told the way home in 2012. What we need most is to find a way back to ourselves so we may figure out who we are and where we stand.

We are so distracted and overwhelmed with ideological diatribes and identity politics on both sides that we have lost touch with a basic understanding and appreciation of morality.

All of this drowns out the voice of our Creator, who helps us determine right from wrong and the way home.

We need to realize we don’t need hope and change from a leader in Washington.

We don’t need to rely on what a politician thinks about two men or two women buying a house and shacking up, just like we shouldn’t care about what they think about heterosexual couples doing the same. Individuals are responsible to their Creator for their life choices — not someone in the White House.

Welcome to freedom!

Conservatives would be wise to define their values — beginning with a strong appreciation for individual responsibility. For example, I will not make a list of moral right and wrongs for others. I will let their consciences be their guide.

It’s time to get this country thinking again. It’s time for people to be responsible for their choices and accept the consequences.

But as long as we are still arguing and disagreeing so vociferously, like Thunderdome, we take up all the space needed for the sort of self-reflection that empowers people to turn inward to their own responsibility and away from noise of the world.

Maybe Turner’s song is wrong. Maybe we do need another hero, and maybe we do need to know the way home. But it’s more complicated. The hero is beyond this world, and the way home offers a unique direction for each one of us that only He can give us.

We’ve mistakenly tried to find our home and our hero in government.

We need to look no further than Obama’s ill-fitting cape to realize our mistake.

Lisa Fritsch, a member of the Project 21 blackleadership network, is the author of “Obama, Tea Parties and God”. Her personal web site is located at www.lisafritsch.com.