Some claim that relativism is dying and needs only the status quo to end it’s messy march completely. While I’m not completely certain this is accurate, I’d at least agree that it’s control on our culture is being supplanted by other ideologies that must be addressed in their own way.
Helen Rittelmeyer, writing in the American Spectator, makes this argument and postulates that the newest, biggest ideological problem is one that, like relativism, has it’s enticements. From her description I can see how I myself have fallen prey to the idea of Utilitarianism, the idea that there must be a measurable and scientific reason behind any moral claim.
The great attraction of this new utilitarian mindset is its certainty—the fact that answers to such questions are not just a matter of opinion (and therefore, not relative)—which is why continuing to demonize the old enemy only makes the new one more appealing. Conservatives should be pleased, maybe even a little proud, that Americans are in the market for moral claims they can make with authority, but now it’s time to worry about which authorities they choose to trust. Economics can tell a country how to satisfy its desires efficiently, but not which desires are noble. Sociologists can put out a survey asking whether people are happy or fulfilled, but can’t give them the moral vocabulary they need to make sense of the difference between happiness and mere contentment, or between fulfillment and shallow self-regard. Some social-scientific studies make claims that turn out to be false, and others make claims that are correct on their own terms but not in the messy world of the human soul.
Among those brothers and sisters who claim the name of Christ as their redeemer and Lord there are as many social ideas and political persuasions as there are sequins on a glam rockers vest. Or more.
Anybody who thinks all professed Christians believe a certain way about nearly any subject, even many subjects central to the faith, is misinformed or worse. They may be correct in believe that professing Christians ought to believe certain ways, but they are sadly mistaken if they think they actually do.
Especially in recent years, as traditionally more professedly secular ideologies have come to recognize the power and persuasion of faith-based arguments, no one political party or social movement or cultural idea can claim to be leading most Christians in it’s way.
However, there are many social ideas and political ideologies that Christians ought to agree on, and at least basically agree on their importance in the grand scheme of ideas.
First, we must agree that all aspects of life are related. That words mean things, that ideas have consequences, that actions are the outward manifestations of inward ideas, though they can be easily controlled and manipulated to give a wrong impression, positive or negative. We must agree that out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks. We must agree that what one does in private is the truer measure of who they are than what they claim in public. We must accept that dishonesty in one part of a life will mean that person cannot be trusted in other ways either. This doesn’t mean we only accept perfection. It means, more than anything else, that we only trust God for those things that are rightfully His to do.
Second we must agree that there are standards of right and wrong, and they are not situationally or culturally defined. When Jesus said He was the only way to the Father, He wasn’t leaving options open. If you don’t believe Jesus is the only way, you’re very welcome to call yourself anything you please, except a Christian. We use labels to mean things and allow useful and necessary classification in order to function as a normal, healthy society. Co-opting a label that has meant one thing for centuries to mean something completely different is to no ones benefit except the deceiver. And referencing to point 1, such deception in more indicative of your own heart issues than any intolerance true Christians may or may not hold.
The same goes for other truths that are defined in human nature and through the Word of God. Killing of innocents is always unjust and immoral. It doesn’t matter if you’re all in a life raft and starving and the weak ones wouldn’t survive anyways. It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to live with the consequences of your actions. It doesn’t even matter if the choice was taken from you and forced upon you by evil people doing evil actions. Taking a life never expunges the memories or heals the wounds. It only adds to the pain and grief and lays actual and real and deserved blame on yourself. Abortion is murder. There is no argument that can change that plain and simple and very obvious fact. And to subscribe to and support any ideology that holds otherwise is to accept a huge burden of responsibility for the ugly truth that is our societies acceptance of this hideous and unconscionable act.
Third, we must agree that in order for God to justly judge the actions and intentions of each and every person, each and every person must be allowed the maximum use of their own abilities to do with as they please. Acting according to conviction or spite, or duplicity or compassion, or cynicism or malice or justice or pleasure, it is each and every one of our prerogative what we shall do with our own resources, got by our own hand, multiplied by our own skill, maximized by our own discipline. If the government or any other group takes from the able to distribute to the needy, they are removing that able person’s ability to show their own character and quality to God and man. And they are, more often than not, removing a powerful motivator for the needy to raise themselves up through honest and accountable charity and use of those resources they do have. A system of mutual dependency removes the onus of responsibility both from those who have and those who need.
I subscribe to conservative social and political beliefs not because I want America to return to its roots as a Christian nation. I don’t hold to my standards and ideas because I hope to create a wondrous theocracy here in the United States of America. Useful theocracies perished with the coming of Christ. At that point the theocracy moved to the heart of each and every man and woman and child. The responsibility is no longer with the nation but with the individual how they will go and who they will serve. The nation bears responsibility for maintaining an atmosphere most conducive to individual expression of their own faith, preventing such beliefs from infringing on others beliefs, and punishing where such infringment occurs. The individual bears the responsibility for using what freedom they have to serve whom they will in what manner they deem best.
The philosophies and ideas our Founding Fathers used to build such a nation were predominantly those derived from the Christian worldview. Because God does not want automatons but people who have freely and willingly chosen Him, He give to us complete choice and builds a framework, a worldview that is most conducive to such freedom while accounting for the human predilection for sin. It is the Christian government that is most conducive to all religions coexisting as peaceably as they may.
I am not Christian because I am conservative. No, political ideas can only at best be results of deeper things. I am a conservative because I am Christian. To be Christian is a deeper thing.
Republican candidate Scott Brown is now Senator-elect Scott Brown, filling the vacancy left when Senator Edward Kennedy shuffled off his mortal coil.
Winning with 52% of the vote so far (as of 9:30 CST), Brown will deny Senate Democrats they’re 60th vote for health care. Now if we can shore up the ranks by shaming Ben Nelson (D – Nebraska) into coming back to his real principles.
While health care has passed the Senate already, the bill in the House must be reconciled with the bill passed by the Senate in conference. The big vote sold to Mary Landrieu and Ben Nelson was only to settle the Senate’s version. House Democrats don’t like the Senate bill as it stands, but because of the loss of the Massachusetts seat, their only chance of passing any health care socialization is to accept the Senate bill as it stands. Any edits they make would require the Senate to reexamine the bill and vote on it again.
So the Tea Party movement and the backlash to President Obama’s, Harry Reid’s, and Nancy Pelosi’s ugly ideology have won this battle. The problem is, there is still a war to be fought.
We have won this battle mainly due to a strong upheaval in the populace continuing from the waves of the Tea Parties. But if there’s one thing I know about people who live conservatism, it’s that they just want to get back to their homes and families and work and lives.
Will this victory last? Will we dance back to our houses, clapping each other on the shoulder and then go to bed and sleep the sleep of a clean conscience and then awake and forget what has transpired?
I hope not.
What needs to happen now is education.
We need to talk in our workplaces, in our social clubs. Get in discussions at church and in restaurants. During the half-time shows and at the bar.
We need to cash in on those myriad relationships which make up our broader lives, using the fact that we have credence with our friends based on our friendship to cause them to think. Even a little thought, properly motivated and directed, can go a long way towards straightening out the skewed thinking of so many.
We need to strike at the cult of celebrity which surrounds our current President and demand substance and truth in candidates along with their rhetorical skills.
It’s not that we need to talk politics, we need to talk ideology. Ideology is much easier to talk about because it applies to so much more of life. Politics is just one small corner of the extent of our lives. Politics wants to control more of life, but it belongs in the corner.
Ideology is the big “Why?” of our life. Our worldview informs our entire perception of life, and as such, you can talk about it from any perspective.
How do you respond to a medical emergency? Do you call the government or do you drive to the hospital?
If you see a promotion opportunity at work, do you try to make yourself the better candidate?
Is the government the best source for your pursuit of happiness?
Would you rather the professor gave some of your high grades to the slob in the back row of class so he can pass too?
And most important: Is Jesus a liar, a lunatic, or our Lord?
After all, if our friends haven’t got the bedrock of their life philosophy connected and rooted in the most accurate explanation for the entirety of life, nothing they believe will really match reality. And that’s what conservatism is, the most political philosophy that most accurately corresponds to the true nature of humanity and the world.
So congratulations America, you’ve forestalled oblivion yet again. But what happens tomorrow? And the next day?
Do you forget and go on with life, accepting the tranquil bonds of servitude until you awake yet again and find you’re no longer allowed to amass political power to right the ship again?
Or do you start making changes on all fronts, attacking the lies of our world at every turn. Each time maneuvering, like a chess master always circling the opponents king, to touch the heart of the matter.
We’ve been harmless as doves long enough, now let’s become shrewd as serpents.
It is a right to potential, not a promise to payoff.
And any government or organization or person who takes away my right to try it denying me the basic dignity of humanity.
Obama, his philosophy, and his government, are trying to do just that. The socialist doesn’t believe in the right to struggle. They are many people who believe that pain never accompanies merit and that the stench of sweat never surrounds the worthy man.
I would rather be left free and die trying, than to perish slowly in the ignominy of a cage designed of good intentions and built with hope and change.
It isn’t cold-hearted Republicans trying to take kill Grandma. It’s the Liberal Ideology and it’s domestic partners, Euthanasia. Their love child, President Obama is their Messiah.
In the It’s None Of Their Business category:
“Consumer protection” groups are encouraging new government bureaucracies to oversee hidden costs and predatory behavior on the part of evil corporations trying to stiff us for out money. The Democrats love it, of course. The Republicans don’t, of course.
The Reuters headline has more truth that it probably realizes itself:
Concise yet cogent argument to the plain fact that we are responsible for ourselves.
The real question shouldn’t be if the government is going to look out for us in this way, too. It should be, why aren’t you using the tools available to you, the glut of information waiting to be perused, to make yourself as knowledgeable as you need to be regarding your own financial situation?
While I love the witty yet pithy videos on PJTV (yes, watch that video, it’s great), I’ll admit most people I’d like to convince of their accuracy of the philosophy they espouse would be bored by them.
Maybe I should take up video editing? I’d have to revise my vocabulary. A lot.
And finally, from the Here It Goes Again and Will We Ever Learn and It’s Obvious They Just Want The Money files: