Friday, November 07, 2008

Where Is The Faith?

From the comments at Honest Government And Fiscal Responsibility by commenter auh2ogirl:

The fact that prop 8 was voted through, as prop 2 was here in FL, was in large part due to the black and latino vote, yet Obama won FL and CA tells me that the time for candidates to be elected on socially conservative platforms is over.

The GOP is going to get votes because they have convinced people that the R platform is better on reform, liberty, and economics. People can take care of their own souls without the help of government.
Of course Republican Cultural Socialists don't believe that people can take care of their own souls without the help of government.

Oh ye of little faith.

Cross Posted at Classical Values


Tom Cuddihy said...

Libertarians complain in one breath about the backwardness of those conservatives fighting against the advance of the culture war, and then in another breath complain about the coursening of our political discourse and the lack of faith to the constitution, as if those were somehow separate phenomena.

Now we're apparently being slandered as "cultural socialists." Thanks, simon, that's a new one on me, and a particularly vicous and inaccurate label. I thought only the left engaged in that kind of distorted labeling.

Obviously the term is supposed to paint conservatives as using the heavy-handed tools of government to enforce their "own private morality" on every one else.

To the contrary, social conservatives are trying to use the legitimate tools of government to PREVENT a powerful minority and destructive morality from being IMPOSED on the rest of us.

Tell me again, how is resisting the changing of long-standing social mores and institutions in any way socialist? Marxism has maintained from the beginning that the family must be destroyed to complete the revolution. i.e., "it takes a village.."

And somehow the only morality in question always boils down to one thing -- sex. Any social institution or social structure that inconviences the sexual impulse of any individual must be destroyed, no matter what the effects on the culture at large or the health of the society as a whole.

Hey, simon, noticed anything about the demographics of the most socially libertarian societies of the world, in Northern and central Europe? How about Japan or China? Noticed any trends with regard to the progress in individual ecnomic freedom and freedom of speech in those countries? Or perhaps it's a coincidence?

A strong family is the cornerstone of society, the cradle of education for our young, and the necessary precondition for liberal democracy. The breakdown of family life and traditional Roman values caused by vast chattel slavery was the central cause in the breakup of the Roman republic, and the long decline and fall that followed was inevitable thereafter.

No matter what your views on morality, shame on you for using such an invective smear on otherwise fellow travelers, and without cause I might add.

At least backup your terms with logic. Do you assume that all social conservatives are also puritans on the drug and alcohol prohibitions? You're mistaken if so.

M. Simon said...

That was pretty good Tom.

Except I know quite a few Libertarian atheists who are faithful to the Constitution.

OTOH there are guys like Scalia who let their personal preferences in religion blind them to the obvious when it suits them. You ought to read his opinion in Raich and then read Thomas'. Night and day. And Scalia does not look so good in comparison.

And what about the infamous Bork who thought the IXth Amendment was an ink blot. What did he mean by that? It accorded the people too much liberty. And since those liberties were not enumerated they couldn't be protected.

In other words he read the plain meaning of the Declaration and the Constitution and said the rights of the people accorded constitutional protection were only the enumerated Rights. In direct contradiction to the whole idea of limited government.

Give me an atheist who can read over a religious sophist any day.

Of course we will never know how an atheist actually would operate unless we elect or appoint one. Not going to happen.

The closest we ever came to that was the Presidency of Thomas Jefferson. He did OK.

Snake Oil Baron said...

"Republican Cultural Socialists" is a new one on me too but it truly fits. Social conservatives want to use laws and government policies to engineer social behavior as often as liberals do. Government, not patriotism is truly the last refuge of a scoundrel.

Tom Cuddihy said...

simon, snakeoil, look, you're trying to wedge a square peg into a round hole. Conservatism on social issues has literally no idealogical aspect in common with Marxist socialism. It's just rank dishonestly to suggest otherwise. In fact, they are pretty much at polar opposites in their conception of human nature, which is why the vast majority of Democrats are also socially liberal, and the vast majority of Republicans are also socially conservative.

Yes, there are libertarian atheists who believe in the constitution. Just as there are a few strongly religious moralists who are socialist. In both cases you are talking about a minority of the minority, which is why neither major party has either of those minute segments as a base.

Proof is in the pudding.

By the way, Jefferson was not an atheist nor even all that close to one. It takes some pretty squinted-eye research to convert his non-denominational but clearly Christian deism into atheism.

He considered Islam an absolutely barbarous heresy, for example.

And we've had presidents that were much more atheistic in office. Jimmy Carter has publicly admitted that despite a habit of recalling his faith in his 1976 campaign, he lost his faith in office is now an atheist. Not one I'd want to claim.

M. Simon said...


I invented the term myself. Which may be why you never heard it before.

M. Simon said...


Palin shows the way forward.

See my latest post on that. "The Real Stealth Candidate".

And Tom, I don't disagree with your points. However, if we are to fight the wars we need to fight and make America the place it ought to be we are not going to do that with just cultural conservatives. There are not enough of them. Look at the election map. There are no Republican legislators in the North East. For starters.

M. Simon said...

Re: Jefferson,

If he was a Christian he was pretty wishy washy. He wrote a scathing criticism of the Bible for starters.

I'm sure Jefferson's time was no different than our own. If you want a life in politics Americans are more comfortable with those appearing to be Christians. From my perspective I'd say his heart wasn't in it. YMMV.

M. Simon said...


Cultural Socialism.

I did invent it. Alas I checked and some one else invented it first.

RavingDave said...

I have had debates with culturally liberal people before, and I have often found it is not a difference of opinion but a difference of scale. The topic we are commenting on refers to Prop 8 in california. The socially liberal opinion is that of tolerance, but I have found that their tolerence usually only extends to THEIR stomach turning point.

For example, homosexuality is okay, but what about beastiality? Okay with that? What about Necrophillia ? Not a Problem ? Pedastary ? "Give me a hard one" You might say... How about apotemnophilia ? "Well now you're getting a little weird.." Torture ? "Now wait a minute, that violates someone else's rights ! "
Not if you don't share everyone else's attitude about other peoples rights. That buisness about other peoples rights is the result of that lesson having been taught to you. If you haven't been taught that lesson, you will have little regard for the pain of other people. In fact, you might find it "STIMULATING!"

I presume everone here is clever enough to divine my point. Moral relativism is subjective. Your Mileage May Vary from that of other people, and that's why it's extremely dangerous. You might be a relatively good person that sees boundaries as obvious, and others may not see them at all.


M. Simon said...

For me the bright line is consent.

Although animal cruelty might be off limits. Well, except when it comes to eating them.

Any way. It is why we have States.

The Federal Government is way too big and way too one size fits all.

RavingDave said...

Well I agree. That's the way it used to work. Different parts of the country have different ideas about culture and morality and it's silly to impose country bumpkin morality on the big city folks. (Meaning Urban and Rural areas work differently)

Individual states can better decide what they want to tolerate and what they don't. The Federal government should stick to issues of Federalism.

And we need to cut off the Money!

On the Animal cruelty thing... Is not prohibiting animal cruelty imposing morality ?


M. Simon said...

On the Animal cruelty thing... Is not prohibiting animal cruelty imposing morality ?

Yes. And it can work if 99.9% agree or are willing to go along.

When you have 5% or more willing to actively oppose a law you can't enforce it economically or without a huge cost in Liberty. The Drug War is a prime example of that.

RavingDave said...

So you aren't against the concept of imposing morality on others, just the practicality of it ?


M. Simon said...


If it is not practical what is the point?

However, I'm against it on Liberty grounds as well.