Monday, March 29, 2010

Why I am a conservative part 1

It seems to me that the modern Christian movement (or post-modern “whatever”) has recently been using the conservative philosophy as a punching bag. What used to be the dominant worldview in not only churches but our country has now been vilified and shunned in a few dramatic years. So now I am a conservative in exile, but a conservative nonetheless.
You see I never adopted this world view because it is prominent. In fact in my relatively short lifespan the predominant world view has shifted back and forth but has been steadily shifting to the left or the progressive worldview. I am much better at writing than I am at debating (my ADHD kicks in and my mind goes two thousand directions and then has a meltdown). So I thought I would blog a series on why I hold this worldview.
For my first entry I hold this worldview because it is the one that has worked. Everyone gets so upset that the US has so much. This is most likely going to change very soon. But the reason the US has so much is that the concept of the USA has worked so well. That concept is that every person has the right and ability to work as hard as they see fit to succeed at what they have in their hearts and the government needs to do as little as possible to stand in their way. The government’s role is to help the citizen succeed by providing an climate in which hard work and honesty and compassion are rewarded, and laziness, dishonesty and greed are punished. Greed, as defined as not working hard but rather taking from others, is not an American value, or at least it wasn’t.
Yes the US has had its problems, but is one of the few systems where those problems have worked themselves out because the people put enough pressure on the government and their fellow citizens to make those changes. Our system is one of the few that has given equal protection to everyone. This is was a hallmark of the progressive worldview, yet so many with this mindset can acknowledge that the system our founders put in place is one of the few that has produced so much freedom for so many!
The conservative view also sees reliance for any person on government programs as soul snatching and dignity stealing. A hand-up makes a person grateful and feel part of the human race. A hand-out lulls a person into a pit of indentured servitude. Now many of my progressive friends would disagree with me here, but this is my firm belief. God created us to be creative, to work for something and not receive something for nothing over a lifetime.
Here is something that we as Christians do not want to admit. All the social programs, soup kitchens, food banks and even the work of the Salvation Army has never solved poverty. It has been nothing but a drug to ease the pain. Poverty has only been solved in a person’s life when they have been challenged and encouraged to lift themselves from that poverty. In fact sometimes our good intentions have done more long-term harm than they have good. In the west we have the life-long poor who in many cases struggle with obesity. A little different than in a third world country. In other words, they do not need to work, so why bother? If you are honest you know why. Their souls have been robbed from them.

If we do not add value through our efforts to society we become shells of who God created us to be. Our founders knew this. They knew that government should empower the people by rewarding hard work, not the lack thereof.
So the conservative in me sees a food bank and says, where are the money management classes and the job training seminars to help people never have to return here. A hand-up is a thousand times more valuable than a hand-out. This has been the American way and this view has helped even the least talented among our citizens such as myself live a prosperous life!

"If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen." – Samuel Adams

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