Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Credo 

This isn't a bad statement of conservative faith.

//I understand we disagree with him on a few things, but to make him out as the enemy of conservatism? That is a very confusing development, and it only gets more confusing when you consider that Donald freaking Trump has been lovingly adopted by right at the very moment the pope is cast aside and disowned. What kind of sense does that make?

Yes, it’s true that most conservatives love capitalism and this pope doesn’t, but why does that matter so much? He is far from the first Christian to feel this way. Many great Christian thinkers, especially in the 20th century, have expressed severe skepticism about an economic system that, they believe, consolidates wealth around a tiny fraction of the population. GK Chesterton once said ”the problem with capitalism is not too many capitalists, but not enough capitalists.” I think this sums up the pope’s view on the subject as well, and it about represents the feelings of a large number of wise and godly Christians. Are conservatives in this country just now discovering the Christian criticism of free market capitalism? I’ve been reading similar ideas in Christian writings my whole life. Where have these people been?

Personally, I stridently dissent from the pope and other Christ followers on this subject. I think capitalism is by far the best system to care for the the poor and the downtrodden, and protect the liberty and freedom of us all. I also strongly disagree with the pope’s acceptance of the man-made climate change myth. But do these disagreements – despite all of the areas where the pope is fundamentally and crucially right, despite his evident character and integrity, despite his foundational love for Our Lord, despite his insistence that human society be ordered towards God and Truth, despite his crusade for human dignity — mean he is not on “my side”? Should I cherish Donald Trump more than Pope Francis merely because one spews the “right” talking points on immigration and the economy? Is “conservatism” really nothing more than a secular religion of capitalism and nationalism? Does it have nothing to say about goodness, virtue, dignity, and universal truth? If a man is right about what we should do with our souls but wrong about what we should do with our money, should I “condemn” him?

If that’s what that conservatism is, then I would like to officially declare my emancipation from it. If conservatism is more in line with Donald Trump than Pope Francis, I want nothing to do with it. If conservatism does not see issues of life, dignity, and moral truth as primary, then I am not a conservative. Sure, I like capitalism, I want to close the border, I don’t believe in climate change, yadda yadda and so forth, but I have never seen these as fundamental to my identity. And I have never judged a person as an ideological opponent based only on these issues.

My attitude has always been this: if you are pro-life, if you are pro-family, if you believe in reclaiming the culture for God, if you reject moral relativism, if you are a truth seeker who knows that man’s ultimate goal and purpose is to find everlasting life in eternal union with our Creator, you are on my side. For a long time, I also thought you were on the “conservative” side. Maybe I was wrong about that.//


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