~"You just like going against the grain."
~"You better stop tryin' to impress those white folks at your church."
I'd like to make it clear for those who are truly wondering what is wrong with me and I would like to set other closet conservatives free to express and be what they believe. I'm still the same nice guy that most of my Facebook friends have come to know and love I've just realized something with age. Are you ready for the single biggest factor in kicking me out of my conservative closet? Here it is.
I'm not even referring to abortion or traditional marriage right now. As a matter of fact, when I was still in the closet I would actually tell people that "you can't let those two factors alone dictate your vote." I won't even say that you can't be a Christian and Democrat/Liberal the way some of my friends do. (Though I will say you have some praying to do) I do believe however that if you allow your faith to fully inform your politics you will also come to the conclusion that progressive liberalism and Christianity are wholly incompatible. I have found the intersection of my faith and my politics.
I've had liberal pastors lecture me on how their faith compels them to vote Democrat. They tout that Jesus would have us to care for the poor. They lament that Jesus doesn't want us going to war. They are right. Where they are wrong is how the poor should be helped and who should do it. They are also wrong in their understanding of evil. A fundamental flaw in progressive thought is the notion that mankind is inherently good and somehow can be perfected through the effort, innovation and ingenuity of mankind. They believe that if the right people are in charge they can fix everything. They think that man's flaws are due to flaws in his environment and it is their mandate to perfect everyone's environment. Progressives say things like:
-When someone is poor it is because they weren't afforded the right opportunities.
-If someone is a criminal it is because they lacked proper education.
-If one is a TERRORIST it is because his people were oppressed by greedy imperialistic societies.
-All cultures, societies, religions etc. are equal and of equal good and importance and we are all connected. There is no place for nationalism or individualism. They just breed resentment.
All of this sounds great and noble. The problem is that my Bible and history have taught me that man is perfectly incapable of solving his problems. There are some hard truths that are true as a result of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden-
-People will always die
-Everyone will not make it.
-People will always lie.
-People will always steal.
-People will always disagree. There will be wars
-There will always be poor people.
-People will almost always ultimately work in and for their self interests even to the detriment of others.
Most Conservatives understand that mankind is fundamentally flawed and fatally limited by these flaws. Thomas Sowell calls this a constrained view of mankind in his book Intellectuals and Society. These flaws will not be fixed no matter how well meaning and smart we are. Many children, most adolescents and Liberals have an unconstrained view of mankind. They think that they are perfectly capable and are generally incredulously willing to try anything their whimsical little hearts can cook up when they are striving for world peace or trying to eradicate hunger... or childhood obesity.
As I stated, these are often noble aims that are undertaken by truly noble and benevolent people. I have just come to realize that much of their ideas are simply misguided and therefore ill fated. They may show up front success and effectiveness but the inevitable unintended consequences often leave things worse than they started. Welfare, Democratic Socialism and Pacifism are all seemingly harmless and beneficial ideas that come to mind that have had as much or more catastrophic long term side effects than whatever the immediate benefits have been.
Please understand, It's not that I don't care about issues such as poverty, hunger, oppression the environment etc. Most true Christians care about these issues. I fundamentally disagree with most progressive ideas for solving them. I find that too many offer a quick band-aid but fail to address or even understand the fundamental causes of calamity in the world. I care deeply about these issues but I have grown to realize that they need a far more holistic and fundamental approach than many Progressives and Liberals have the stomach for...