Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The Social Issues Fight

The position keeps getting posed that social conservatives of the Republican persuasion should give up on social issues.

Give up the fight on social issues? Not on your life.

Enlist government guns in that fight? Not on your life.


steve poling said...

I'm a Christian Fundamentalist and you've taken pains to deprecate guys like me. That said, I'd like to encourage some subtlety in your thinking: Evangelicals are not a monolithic group.

Ferinstance, I'm completely indifferent about drug laws, porn, prostitution and I oppose pretty much anything you'd call "blue laws." Christians were on the vangard of the fight against slavery and I hope you'll agree that Abolition was Good. However, Christians were also on the vangard of the fight against demon rum, and no doubt you'll agree that Prohibition was Bad.

I could give a theological interpretation why sometimes you'll find Evangelical Christians on the right side of social issues, and other times on the wrong side. It has to do with whether you're saved by God doing a work of grace inside your heart, or whether you're saved by some preacher applying a heavy dose of psychological manipulation. I think those in the second camp have historically been the moralizers that I hate much more than you do. (Because they are heretics!)

The state of your eternal soul is your own business. It can't be the business of the state. Sure, I can warn you that my best understanding of the Bible indicates that deity may be displeased with your actions, but my obligation stops with warning you. It's wrong to constrain your liberty for fear you might use it to your own hurt.

Where there's a potential for sharp disagreement between us is the point of abortion. I think that a fetus is a human being with rights that the state is obliged to secure. If you choose to define humanity more narrowly to exclude fetuses, then you may be sledding on some slippery slopes with Peter Singer. However, you'll note that I frame abortion as a civil-rights issue (like slavery), not a religious one (like demon rum).

If we can tolerate these differences, I see no reasons why we can't cooperate at Tea Parties.

M. Simon said...


I think "saved" is not a good criteria for anything.

I wouldn't allow the "saved" to design bridges if the unsaved did a better job.

The same goes for government.

The social conservatives I object to are those who gave up belief in the Maker for belief in Government. I seem to recall some Jewish guy back a ways had similar objections. He was kind of a radical in his day and his core ideas have not totally caught on. Pity.