Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What About Those "Social Conservatives"?

Some would have it that the (R) Party should jettison the 'social conservatives'--the "bitter clingers" of Obama-in-San-Francisco fame.

But not this guy.

I’m hardly the most religious guy you’d ever want to meet. My last church service was my wedding, some four years ago. And that was a Unitarian service. Really, my main concern in politics is maintaining my freedom. And, in practical, definable terms, the daily threats to my liberty are not being pushed by religious conservatives. It wasn’t religious conservatives who’ve told me I’m breaking the law if I light up in a bar. It wasn’t religious conservatives who’ve forbidden me from buying food made with trans fats. It wasn’t religious conservatives who pushed speech codes on our college campuses and dictate hate crimes laws. It wasn’t religious conservatives who’ve made it a bureaucratic journey to buy a gun to protect my home and family. It isn’t religious conservatives I see trying to revive the fairness doctrine to specifically silence their political opposition. It wasn’t religious conservatives to gave us “campaign finance reform”. It isn’t the religious conservatives who have told me that I have to separate my trash, even to the point of removing individual trashcans in my office building.

Put bluntly, I can’t help but feel I’m being sold a bill of goods here. Progressives, with the full consent of moderates,…chip away consistently and unabashedly at my freedom. All the while, telling me how scared I should be of the religious conservative bogeyman hiding under the bed. Do I think there’s some religious conservatives who go over the top? Sure. But, marginalizing the religious conservatives en masse is a surefire way to empower just those religious conservatives who do go over the top. Moreover, I’m getting a little more than tired of being told to be scared about the threat to my liberty posed by my allies by people whose own behavior tells me they want nothing more than to restrict my freedom.

Quoted by CrankyCon.


Steve Burri said...

Fears a bogeyman theocracy less than the reality of the progressivocracy.

road warrior said...

You are being sold a bill of goods. But so is the american people. And it will only get worse once the liberal illuminati get Obama in the white house. The bottom line is that politicians are going to tell you what they know you want to hear and then do whatever they want. that's how it is these days.

Amy said...

The bottom line is that politicians are going to tell you what they know you want to hear and then do whatever they want. that's how it is these days.

Only if you let the government get away with it, road warrior.

I intend to fight. And so do many other people.

Join us.

Anonymous said...

We've allowed the gummint to get away with all sorts of crap over the last 8-16 yrs, why take a stand now?

Disgruntled Car Salesman said...

Simple, anony.

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed with the blood of patriots and tyrants from time to time."

-Thomas Jefferson

Anonymous said...

While its true that progressives are trying to restrict our freedoms in many ways, those from the religious right are not blameless here. In fact, I would argue that they might specifically be to blame for setting up the government power and influence that progressives take advantage of today (though that's certainly debatable).

Who first pushed for prohibition? Religious conservatives. That was repealed, but was called for again for drug bans... which are morphing into smoking bans and now bans on certain foods.

Speech codes that many progressives call for started with bans on profanity, and overarching power by the FCC. In fact, I think it was Dodd who said that if we can ban profanity on the radio, then why can't we bring back the fairness doctrine?

Why should anyone care whether I gamble on the internet? Many religious conservatives have a problem with that.

The larger problem is then also... creating the system where these bans are possible. You may think that banning pornography, gambling, drugs, etc. is perfect acceptable. But in order to enforce that ban, you have to create a government infrastructure to do it. But what happens when your party is no longer in power? The infrastructure is still there, but you're no longer in control of it, and the party that now controls that infrastructure is free to turn that system on things they'd rather see banned... which are things you like.

This is why I, as a Libertarian, fight endlessly against laws that not only prevent me from doing things I want to do, but also things I don't want to do.

Dad29 said...

You forgot "blue laws" forbidding retail activities on Sundays...

Way down, under the covers, Nick, there's a difference.

Religious conservatives base their 'prohibitionist' tendencies on the 10 Commandments, reasoning that if the Creator of the universe sees those commands as 'good', then they are, in fact, good.

OTOH, secularist prohibitions are not necessarily based on the Big 10; in fact, secularists have (explicitly or implicitly) declared themselves independent of the Creator in their rule-making.

Thus, their rule-making, unhinged from right order (the definition of the 10 Commandments, along with the Golden Rule), cannot and will not long remain anchored in "what is right."

Your difference with the Christians is simple; while Christians argue (explicitly or implicitly) that 'good Government allows/encourages man to be good,' you argue, in effect, that you are the arbiter of 'good,' and want Gummint to just shut up.

Of course, that also means anarchy.

I am happy to admit that there is such a thing as "over-governance" from Christians (your examples are fine for starters.) But not ALL Christians thought that Prohibition was a good idea. (Catholics were opposed...)

Porn, however, is something we'll disagree over. It's a cancer, like drugs. Gambling ain't all that much better ("flipping housing, anyone?).

Back to the main point: legislation either is, or is not, founded on the Creator's roadmap.

If it is not, there is nothing which cannot be prohibited--and nothing which cannot be compelled.

Anonymous said...

Then I would argue that you should quit complaining when someone else is voted in and is doing the compelling. After all, when someone else is voted in, at least we can argue that the compelling is done behind the fascade of democracy. You only seem to agree that the compelling is just when under the rule of a theocracy.

Normally I wouldn't throw out the T word... but you seem to beg for it, by justifying blue laws, gambling, etc. because its based on the "creator's roadmap".

By forcing compliance with morality though government b/c your religious beliefs call for it... well... that makes morality meaningless, for you have no choice but to be moral.

I argued about the importance of God's gift of free will to man, as it relates to government, last year. It sums up my argument pretty well.

Dad29 said...

From Dreher, Dallas Morning News, on the same topic--politics/religion (more or less).

Saw this before your last riposte, which I'll address soon.

This is the result of a radically individualist culture that views ethical truths as little more than statements of preference. What we've lost is, to use a philosophical term, a teleology - that is, the belief that our actions are all geared toward a final goal, and must be judged by whether or not they lead toward, or away, from this goal. Absent a shared teleology, however general, our politics become even more fractious and combative, as rational argument - which democratic deliberation requires - becomes all but impossible.

Dad29 said...

You seriously mis-read my post if you think I approve of "blue laws," or if you managed to infer that I favor a theocracy.

(Your link, by the way, also has a major flaw: that 'inborn' sense of right/wrong IS there, contrary to your assertion...)

But you remind me that I did not mention 'the common good' in making a case against (e.g.) gambling--or prostitution--or drug-use.

So: Good Government, besides allowing/encouraging man to be good, also strives for the Common Good. Those purposes should be congruent in most cases.

Since we know that drug-usage (nasty stuff like H or coke) is inimical to the Common Good, as is gambling and prostitution, such activities should be discouraged.

But as the post mentions, "trans-fats," "hate crimes," and 'gun-purchase [folderol]' are not necessarily "common good" prescriptions. In fact, a lot of the Left-o-Foolishness is not even based on some empirical or scientific evidence.

From there on, Dreher's words above should be considered carefully.

Anonymous said...

The problem of course with any blue law, is that the majority of crime that relates to the already banned "immoral" behavior has nothing to do with the behavior itself, but rather the black market regulation of the behavior, which your ban created.

In other words, most drug crime is not caused by a coked out criminal going on a rampage. Most drug crime is created by gangs who are attempting to control the black market to sell drugs.

Most crime and nasty diseases that result from prostitution stem from the black market in such, which makes it easier to abuse prostitutes, and creates an unsafe environment for them to sell their wares.

The exact same happened with alcohol. While alcohol abuse (like drug abuse) causes bad societal issues (drunk driving, aloholism, etc)... the banning of alcohol created worse problems... binge drinking in underground bars, toxic/poisonous alcohol, Chicago crime gangs.

Same goes for gambling. Nobody gets their knees broken in during the World Series of Poker (above board event). However, much crime can occur in an underground gambling hall. When banks are not allowed to participate in transactions for online gambling, people use less reputable money changing facilities where fraud is mroe likely. In other words, the ban creates more crime than it solves.

Dad29 said...

Granted all of that, so what?

As you've stated, there is free will. Crime will exist no matter the law. You imply that more crime exists BECAUSE of law; I doubt that.

Following that logic, deleting statutes against robbery would result in LESS armed-robbery.

Society accepts the cost of crime-prohibition for the common good. That's an acceptable trade-off.

By the way, responding to an earlier post of yours: yes, I AM entitled to complain about bad laws enacted by "the other guys."

Just as you get to bitch about laws enacted in the Judaeo-Christian tradition.

Advocating anarchy doesn't exactly make you a member of even a small minority.

Anonymous said...

Of course there is a significant difference between using/selling drugs and armed robbery... which is why black markets exist in drug use, and not in armed robbery.

In drug use (prostitution, gambling, etc), there are is a willing buyer and a willing seller in an economic/contractual relationship. When that transaction is outlawed, neither of the previous parties are willing to report the other of breaking the crime, because they both wanted it anyway.

In armed robbery, murder, rape, etc., one of the parties is not a willing participant. This is the difference.

But of course... you already knew that. I am not suggesting anarchy, or the removal of all laws. I am suggesting that the laws which exist should only prevent actions upon people in which they are not willing participants.

Dad29 said...


You are arguing that people have the right to do what is wrong. "Willing" is not an amelioration of wrong--it's only an affirmation of original sin (or the mis-use of free will.)

Nobody has the right to do what is wrong; that is not "freedom." Freedom is the liberty to do what is right.

And the State should not "allow" people to do what is wrong.

There is plenty of room for discussion of 'what penalties should be provided' for X Y or Z wrongdoing; but sanctions are required.

Anonymous said...

The problem with that attitude, is that it then allows for multiple definitions of "what is wrong" based on who is elected into the majority...

In other words, your freedoms are subject to whims of other people. Things which you do, which only affect you should only be subject to your own whims.

After all... not everyone is a Christian, and therefore should not be subject to your personal morals. Only you should be subject to your own personal morals.

Or would you be perfectly willing to bans on all pork products as well?

Dad29 said...

Ah...but they are NOT "personal morals" (and don't accuse me of being overly moral, either...)

It's not very hard to find the 'moral absolutes' that are common to ALL worldwide religions (Hindu, Xtian, Jewish, Moslem, etc.) and to extrapolate 'universal norms' from there.

Pork-bans, to my knowledge, only affect (practicing) Orthodox Jews and the Muslims.

If you wish to defend the position that one HAS a right to do wrong, go ahead.

And yes, "right/wrong" will always be contended. I expect to continue that, as will you.

But your ideal seems to be that there should be NO Gummint definition of right/wrong.

You're back to anarchy.

Anonymous said...

I think our biggest disagreement here is on the definition of anarchy.

Allowing people to do what they want to themselves in the privacy of their own home, or to engage in actions with consenting adults is not the business of government. Allowing that to occur, no matter what the activity, is not anarchy.

Allowing those activities does in fact not prevent government from interceding when one person takes unwanted action against another, or when one party to a previously agreed upon contract renigs on that legal contract.

Enforcing those laws, and those interactions between people is the actual role of government. That is not anarchy. That is freedom.

Your definition of freedom is the ability to do whatever YOU think is acceptable. You can have any color you like sir, as long as it's black. That is not freedom.

Dad29 said...

Allowing those activities does in fact not prevent government from interceding when one person takes unwanted action against another, or when one party to a previously agreed upon contract renigs on that legal contract

Yes, and I'm inclined to consent to a 'laissez-faire' State.

However, your "consenting parties" rule does not take into account the "common good" imperative.

The State cannot allow 'consenting transactions' which endanger the common good. Prostitution, (some) drugs, and gambling simply DO endanger that 'good,' for obvious reasons: disease, bankruptcy, (and for drugs), lack of 'mind over matter.'

Actually, the disagreement is not over "anarchy" per se; rather, it's over a mis-conception of "ownership" of one's life (or body, as an analog.)

But that misconception can lead either to anarchy OR to totalitarianism, no matter whether 'church-influenced' or 'secular-influenced.'

The trick is to find the appropriate balance which furthers both the common good AND personal "good," which, of course, entails eschatology (final ends) while not impinging on legitimate personal freedoms.

Anonymous said...

"Actually, the disagreement is not over "anarchy" per se; rather, it's over a mis-conception of "ownership" of one's life (or body, as an analog.)"

That's an interesting, if not very vague statement. I would find it interesting if you would expand on that thought further. If I may do so in your absense... is it safe to assume, given the conversation so far, that you believe that one's life (or body as the appropriate analog) then belongs to (or is owned by) the state?

That is a very scary thought, and one to which I will never subscribe.

Dad29 said...


God is the Author of life, period.

Life(body) belongs not to the State, nor to the individual.