After the last posting on Will our passion for conservatism result in more liberalism? my sister asked me “So just where should conservatives stand?”
I think it’s exactly the right question to ask, and I’m grateful that she got my head spinning in that direction.
Perhaps we need to clarify what we mean by conservative, liberal, and Christian. More than a year ago I posted some musings on What does it mean to be a Christian; how does someone know that I’m a Christian?
For today’s ramblings it may be worth taking a look back at that, so we can start where those thought end.
When it comes to my views on just how our government does (and doesn’t) work, I’m a Moderate. I look at what is going on and find that there are good ideas and actions happening all over the spectrum.
And there are some pretty rotten things happening all over as well.
I guess my point is that a political Conservative and a religious Christian aren’t necessarily synonymous, any more than a political Liberal and atheism go hand in hand.
Remember that county clerk in Kentucky who feels issuing gay-marriage licenses infringes on her religious beliefs? Well, in the last few days after she went to jail I saw a sound bite of a riled-up supporter who said “They’ve woken up the beast. We Christians just won’t take this anymore.”
I’m a Christian, but I certainly do not feel that I share a lot of common ground with neither the clerk nor her supporter.
You certainly won’t find me standing in a line, holding a sign about how homosexuals are going to hell, while screaming at those holding signs declaring Christians to be bigots.
So, my sister’s question about where conservatives should stand is deeply fundamental to this entire situation.
Perhaps before we can answer that, we need to understand just who we choose to stand with.
Going back to that same sound bite of the county clerk’s supporter, he also made the statement: “We are mad as Hell and we are taking our country back.”
Certainly the implication is that “we” righteous are going to take the country back from “those” sinners who have destroyed it.
After all, religious liberty must be defended at all costs.
And it must be, because without clear religious liberty our nation will quickly fall to a demise of its own making.
But does religious liberty come from stomping out all those “sinners” and keeping them in their place, in the shadows, and piously looked down on?
I choose not to stand with the clerk and her supporters, nor those who keep shouting the ugly anthems intended to damn others to purgatory.
However, I do choose to stand with all of the truly Christian-behaving people across all walks of life, including the sincere Muslim, the devout Buddhist, the humble Jew, the genuine Christian, the compassionate liberal, the caring conservative, and the mediating moderate.
I think that this group of good people, trying to do their best, aren’t interested in trying to “take back” their country from anyone; I think they are desperately trying to preserve religious liberty by “moving forward”, creating a place where we feel free to speak openly without fear of offending, and where others can feel the same freedom of speech without fear of our offense or condemnation.
Yes, but the pure gospel of Jesus Christ is infinitely simple.
That’s exactly what makes it so difficult for us to put into practice; we always tend to throw in our own two cents about just exactly how things should be done. Pretty soon it isn’t pure anymore; but just downright confusing.
Isn’t that where we find ourselves right now? Confused on what our next move should be?
So, now that we’ve worked through identifying for ourselves just who we choose to stand with, why don’t we tackle in the upcoming post on just where we should stand?
Hopefully we can clear a bit of the confusion and see glimpses of simplicity.