Thursday, December 01, 2005

Trying to right the Right

In some of my recent posts to this blog, I've been quite critical of the political Right, and specifically the self-described social conservatives.

Let me give the reasons for this:
  1. When I criticize social conservatives, I'm not challenging their moral views. I understand that social conservatives truly believe in Biblical moral teachings and that we would have better society if everyone lived as they do. With that said, what I am taking exception to is the idea that it is proper to impose those views on the whole via majoritarian politics. The question is whether it is fair and proper for the faithful to expect the unfaithful to live as if they are part of the faithful. From my understanding of the Bible, it is not fair, and in fact, we (the faithful) shouldn't expect the unredeemed to live as the redeemed. My criticisms is my effort to show them the error of their ways.
  2. I'm convinced that all this moral posturing in the political arena isn't good for Christianity and its mission to bring the Gospel to the masses. Social conservatives need to understand that religion, including Christianity, hasn't always acquitted itself well throughout the annals of history. Ordinary folks, many religious themselves, get nervous when they see other religious people combining religion and politics into one orthodoxy. They begin to see you as zealots, and zealotry combined with government power is a dangerous thing in their minds. In short, the moral political crusades of the social conservatives may make them feel good, but it's turning others who fear moral political crusaders against Christianity.
  3. I'm also convinced that the moral objectives of the social conservatives are detrimental to the long-term political prospects of the Right. Many centrist, moderate voters like the conservative policies of low taxes, strong defense, limited government, and the free market economy. But most are not enthralled by the social policies espoused by the social conservatives. They see it for the religious orthodoxy that it is, and it flies in the face of freedom of religion as they see it. In other words, they are reluctant to hand the reigns of power to people they regard as religious zealots.
  4. Lastly, I'm convinced that the "morals" laws already on the books have led and continue to lead to massive amounts of injustice in our country. These laws receive wide bi-partisan support because religious people support these laws without question. As mentioned above, it's wrong for the redeemed to expect the unredeemed to live a holy life. The morals laws (vice and drug laws) currently in force are not fair to the unsaved and brings the power of the state to bear on these people unjustly. Christians should be hard at work trying to bring redemption to the sinner, not jailing them for not living like Christians. Christians, of all people, should not be the source of any injustice, especially to sinners.

So there you have it. I'll be going into these themes in more detail in future posts. I want the libertarian Right to be successful politically, but I believe it won't be as long as the social conservatives remain intransigent in their moral crusades, driving away the moderates of the Left and Right. I also want Christians to be successful in helping their fellow Americans live a better life via moral persuasion, and forego the improper use of government and the stick that it carries.

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