Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What Does It Mean to Be Conservative?

What is conservatism? It is a series of moral, political, economic, cultural and intellectual ideals.

Moral Ideals
Sanctity of Human Life - this is the ideal you get when you apply the doctrine that people are created in the image of God

Sexual Restraint and Marriage - this is the ideal you get when you take the Ten Commandments seriously as a society

Concern for the Poor, the Weak, the Sick and the Elderly - this is the ideal you get when you take the Christian love ethic seriously

Political Ideals
Limited Government - when God is recognized as God the government can not become divinized and there are limits placed on its authority

The Rule of Law - to be ruled by law means the law applies to everyone alike and is made by bodies that operate with the consent of the governed so as to make understandable rules which are made known widely and applied without favoritism

Natural Law as the Basis of Positive Law - when human government makes law it defers to the society's best understanding of the natural law and does not try to go against the natural law

Economic Ideals
Free Enterprise - government regulation should be kept to a minimum so that many people can easily start small businesses and anti-monopoly laws should prevent the formation of monopolies so that competition can flourish

Free Markets - the markets are allowed to set prices, which eliminates "crony capitalism" and benefits everyone by ensuring that the goods and services people want are produced

Low Taxation - governments tax only for the purpose of funding the legitimate functions of government, not every Utopian project that comes along

Cultural Ideals
Family - the traditional family is seen as the pre-political basis of society and is supported by laws and government policies

Morality - objective right and wrong is acknowledged and the fallenness of humanity is taken into consideration as a fact of life

Freedom of Religion - society encourages religion and recognizes the fundamental importance of Christianity to the shaping of our culture, but draws the line at having a state church or coercing anyone to belong to a particular denomination

I think the word "conservative" is a great word and we should not let cultural Marxists take it away from us. The essence of Christianity in the Late Modern West is not to somehow "balanced" between being too liberal and too conservative. It is to be conservative rather than liberal.

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