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Topic: How Do Christians Become Conservatives?

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Subject: How Do Christians Become Conservatives?
Date Posted: 5/12/2010 4:46 PM ET
Member Since: 4/26/2008
Posts: 1,669
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Subject: One answer from a Christian conservative...
Date Posted: 6/20/2010 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 12/25/2008
Posts: 79
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Interesting article, but I think the author makes a false dichotomy.  Most  christian conservatives I know do not characterize conservatism as "government should help the rich" as opposed to the liberal idea that "government should help the poor".  Most conservatives (myself included) think that government fundamentally should not be about redistributing wealth or stimulating the economy.  Government exists in large part to "bear the sword (Romans 13:4); in other words, to provide for the common defense as well as justice.  My conservatism leads me to believe that the idea of a powerful state that the citizens hold responsible for running the economy, providing for the poor, and generally regulating all aspects of our national life opposes Jesus' commands about individuals and communities caring for the poor.  As I understand the gospels, it is my responsibility as a member of the Body of Christ to care for the poor.  I shirk my duty if I am content to pay the government to do it, because the government does not do it in Jesus' name, and the government does not care for the poor in a biblical way.

Romans 13:4: "[government is] a minister of God to you for good.  But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil."

That said, my conservatism doesn't make me a mindless follower of the Republican platform, nor does it cause me to believe that I and my fellow christian conservatives are immune to the charge of hypocrisy when they do not look after the poor as a sacred calling for all believers.

Date Posted: 6/27/2011 7:17 PM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2008
Posts: 550
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There are so many ways to follow the teachings of the Savior, that I'm surprised one article can cover it with any justice. Really, in our church, we are commanded by God to serve and succor others. Especially the poor, the widowed, the orphaned, etc. We also are often cautioned about the dangers of becoming rich, we don't think that if a person is rich they automatically deserve it. The article seemed to say that at one point.

The biggest reason for me as a Christian to be fairly conservative is that we believe in moral agency. We must be free to make choices ourselves. A big government takes so much of that away.

To cover more of the gamut, I am considered conservative by some, strangely siding with liberals in a few other things, and somewhere 'out there' in other views I have. It's not that you land in any one spot when you're a practicing Christian- you end up looking like a lot of things. Which, in a way, is what Jasus did. He looked like a lot of things to a lot of people- he was even accused of being a demon.

Date Posted: 2/8/2012 11:14 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Well said Chris yes

One good choice might be to avoid Huffington Post...it's liberal, anti-Christian, and strongly biased.  In fact, isn't it a liberal political commentary website?  No idea how they re-packaged themselves as 'news'. 

Date Posted: 1/18/2013 5:43 AM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2013
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I don't think it's a false dichotomy at all. It's not just "most christian conservatives" who "do not characterize conservatism" as the article outlines... most rank and file conservatives do not recognize conservatism for what it actually is: the support of aristocracy. This is by design... conservatism only survives in today's world by convincing people that it is other than what it is. Conservatism has been so successful at this that conservatives reading an article like the one in question attack its plain presentation of conservatism as inaccurate. 

If you want to learn more about that, you can read this essay Conservatism and What is Wrong With It. It can be hard for those with a conservative bias to read, and I'm not sure that's not intentional. You kind of have to be the kind of person who can at least stomach the perspective presented to get through it without dismissing it in a huff :) 

The government cannot help but impact the distribution of wealth or what happens with the economy. The economy is a social construction that is inevitably shifted one way or another by the amounts and kinds of regulations in place or not in place. The question isn't, "should the government play a role in these things"—government playing a role is unavoidably a given—the question is, "what role should the government play?" 

In attempting to answer the first question with a "no", rank and file conservatives are fooled into answering the second question with support for policies that support aristocracy in exactly some of the ways the HuffPo article mentions. Support for "less regulation" actually turns into policies that result in corporate welfare, crony capitalism, redistribution of wealth toward the top, etc.