Sunday, November 28, 2010

Why This College Educated Black Man Became a Republican

A better title for this post could be Why this College Educated Black Man Came Out of the Closet and Stopped Being Ashamed of His Conservatism. That's just too long though... I want to try and make this as concise as possible. Many of my friends and many new adversaries have not been shy about giving me their opinion as to why I am suddenly so "political" and pro GOP.

~"You just like going against the grain."

~"You're brainwashed."

~"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.

Yup, that's it. I can practically hear heads exploding already. When I say I am a Christian I don't mean I am one of these folks that attends church sporadically as a duty to help me be a better person. I believe every word of the Bible. I believe that Jesus Christ was dead, buried and risen on the third day.  I believe that Jesus Christ my King is coming and is coming soon. I also believe that He is the ONLY way to heaven PERIOD. We need Him because mankind is fatally flawed and marred by sin and is in desperate need of a Savior.

SO if you believe these things as well, please read on, if not, the rest of this post will just frustrate and quite possibly infuriate you and make you like me less so please stop.

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...


  1. Truth is truth no matter who speaks it!

  2. Great post! Thank you for sharing your story! I've been following you on Twitter and really appreciate the perspective you share.

  3. Thank you for taking the time to post this. As a Conservative, as a Christian, & as a Black man I am the trifecta for being hated. I've been blessed with the road less traveled. While I didn't choose to be Black, which comes with its own set of challenges, I piled on top of it a Christian Conservative view. I thank God for all who have chosen to walk (or even run) this road less traveled before me.

    Liberals, like the masters from Plantations, have tried discouraging me not to leave the safety & security of their slavery... telling me that the road to freedom I seek actually leads to pain, loneliness, & most assuredly death. Well the truth is, Satan is a liar.

    Thank you for proving it by the witness of your life and the life expressions of many others.

  4. I love this post! Herbert, you have a gift for words, and you have made your point very eloquently. As a Christian, and a conservative, I too have come to the conclusion that true Christianity is the source of conservative principles. I'm glad you quoted Thomas Sowell's book, it's the one of his that I read most recently. I'd like to read all of his eventually; brilliant man.

    I agree with all you said; I've listened to many ministers in large metro churches who are as liberal as can be. Like you said, we are called to help the poor, to share and be generous with our own blessings and abundance, but NOT through government.

    God bless you for your courage in speaking out. Christians are indeed a fair target these days, as are conservatives. As a black man speaking out against liberalism, you will face attacks for that too. I admire you, and support you and will say a prayer for you. Thank you. God bless you.

  5. I liked your post so well I had to link to it at my blog tonight.

  6. came over here via conservative pup....
    Loved the entire post...and the last paragraph pretty much stated it for us all.
    Thank you.

  7. My husband is in the same situtation as you, but to even add to it is that I am white. Believe me that has presented it's own challenges.

    You need to be true to your own voice as you are the one that has to live with the results, no one else.

  8. What a blessing to read this post!
    God bless you as you walk in Christ "in Whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge". (Colossians 2:3)

  9. EXCELLENT! We moved from ATL 2 ATX in 09. Daughter still in ATL. Went to Church of Apostles w/ Dr. Michael Youssef. His radio ministry is:, & his blog site I think u might like I sure enjoyed reading this blog. Blessings to you from Krissy in Austin.

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  11. Found you through twitter. Thanks for the post. I relate even though I am a white conservative female. My family and background is unionized Democrat to the core.

    I believe we care about the same issues as the Progressives. Part of the difference is that we understand God holds us personally, individually responsible to help the poor etc. He does not advocate for us to lobby the government to do the work we should be doing.

    God moved from working with Israel as a nation to dealing with us, Jew and Gentile, as individuals. So we too, need to work as individuals.

    I have come to love the sensible logic of Thomas Sowell. He has done a lot to help me restructure my understanding of economics.

    It is tough when family and friends oppose you and become antagonistic toward you because of your political views. Relationships are fine and loving when we agree with them, but not so much if we become "radical." Your post encourages me. Thank you and God bless you.

  12. I think that your characterization of progressivism is inaccurate in many ways, and I am no progressivist, but I have grealty enjoyed your blog, and I hope that you start posting again.

  13. Dear Brother, I share your views completely. The founding fathers said that government is a necessary evil. Jesus asked " Even though you're evil, you know how to give good gifts to your children. So how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him? Matt 7:11 (GW) Paul reminds us all have sinned, finally Solomon adds "Certainly, there is no one so righteous on earth that he always does what is good and never sins." Eccl 7:20 (GW)
    Liberals believe that man is good, only environment or upbringing make them evil. I agree with God. Personal responsibility and Christian charity have and are far more effective and helpful to those in need. Government programs give benefits without requiring responsibility, thereby creating dependency instead of dignity and self-sufficiency. This biblical philosphy made me very unpopular with my liberal minded brethren. They confused government cofiscation with christian charity and political lies with love. Like many, thier wisdom ends where thier benefits begin. The "error of Balaam" stops them from seeing that God is our source of blessing not the government or any political party. Please continue your blog and giving free thinkers a place to vent.

  14. I would like to share and present somethings not presented or addressed in your article that give people a different understand of how to understand government that is completely from a Biblical prospective. I agree with almost everything you have said, but I still get a different result. God has instituted 3 institutions in which to work thorough. The Family, The Church, & The Government. God has not changed his M.O. throughout all of time. From the beginning to the end of the Bible there are those 3 institutions in which God works through. The government is not bad, or a necessary evil, it is in fact one institution that we are assured of that is controlled and used by God for carrying out his work. Both Old & New Testament. Generally when the family and the Church (or God's chosen people Israel in the Old Testament) failed to do as instructed God used the government to accomplish his will.
    Also to many conservative worship Democracy & Capitalism (the free market) as if it was holier, more sacred, and Biblical then all other forms of governments and market systems. This is not to be found in the Bible. The Bible shows God's people under all systems, and it is the people that dictate by their obedience to God's instruction how the system affects them.
    When the family and the church fails to do its duties God will use the government.
    There are those of the faith that are poor, that the family and the church are not taking care of, & because of this God will and has used the government to take care of his people.
    Saints so often forget mercy and grace. We want to hold people to standards that if God held us to we would be in the gutter. Sometimes personal responsibility is realized through mercy shown, grace extended.
    I believe man is completely and utterly wicked. Any good we do is not by personal responsibility but by the Grace of God. Those of us with faith can not even boast in our faith, it to was a gift. Yet we boast in taking personal responsibility. Imagine if God required us to take personal responsibility for our sins, but he doesn't he provided us with Grace and Mercy, through Christ Jesus. I am neither Conservative or Liberal, but I am wholly convinced that they both have it completely mixed up. The government has expanded because the family and the church has failed in doing their job. The saints have stopped doing their job. Lastly let us not forget that many saints went into debt, and over spent during the Bush years, during the Clinton years, during America's years of plenty saints spent, instead of saving, they indulged in vanity, they lived in pleasure instead of sowing seeds, saving, being modest, etc. We bought bigger houses, fancier cars, more expensive vacations, etc. Imagine if the saints had set a different model for America. So the Christian "Conservatives" need to start blaming government expansion on themselves and not on the Liberals. It will not be the saints votes that change America it will be are walk, our obedience, our sacrifice. We want everyone else to take responsibility and sacrifice but we refuse to take the lead.
    I pray and hope that the saints again take the lead in obeying God, in leading in love, mercy, grace, service, peace, hope, joy, etc.
    Grace and Peace