23 Nov 2008

The Enemy is the Liberals, Not the Religious Right

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Libertarian Randall Hoven, at American Thinker, sticks up for the social conservative trads.

I agree with him. The threat to liberty these days is not coming from bible thumpers. It’s coming from bien pensant liberals.

Social conservatism is taking a beating lately. Not only did it lose in the recent elections, it is being blamed for the Republican losses. If only the religious right would get off the Republican party’s back, the GOP could win like it is supposed to again. I beg to differ.

I’m anything but a social conservative. In nine presidential elections, I voted Libertarian in six. I am a hard core “limited government” conservative/libertarian; I want government out of my pocket-book and out of my bedroom. Concerning my religion, it’s none of your business, but I’m somewhere in the lapsed-Catholic-deist-agnostic-atheist spectrum; let’s just call it agnostic.

Having said all that, I have no problem with “social conservatives” or the “religious right” and their supposed influence on the Republican party. I base this not on the Bible or historical authority, but on the love of liberty and the evidence of my own eyes.

Who are the true liberty killers?

The most obvious point to me is that it is the do-gooding liberals who are telling us all what we can and can’t do. The religious right usually just wants to be left alone, either to home school, pray in public or not get their children vaccinated with who-knows-what. Inasmuch as the “religious right” wants some things outlawed, they have failed miserably for at least the last 50 years. Abortion, sodomy, and pornography are now all Constitutional rights. However, praying in public school is outlawed, based on that same Constitution.

Just think for a moment about the things you are actually forced to do or are prevented from doing. Seat belts. Motorcycle helmets. Bicycle helmets. Smoking. Gun purchase and ownership restrictions. Mandatory vaccines for your children. Car emissions inspections. Campaign ad and contribution restrictions. Saying a prayer at a public school graduation or football game. Trash separation and recycling. Keeping the money you earned. Gas tax. Telephone tax. Income tax. FICA withholding. Fill in this form. Provide ID.

For the most part, the list just cited is post-1960. Neither Pat Robertson nor James Dobson ever forced any of that on us.

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However, Mr. Robertson and Mr. Dobson do a pretty good job of attempting to ram their intolerant ideas down the throat of American citizens. There is a good reason for no prayer at schools – it’s called the 1st amendment. Both of these gentlemen are also attempting to get “ID” or “Creation Science” into our schools. I certainly don’t want my children to be subjected to pseudo-science. My vote goes to the progressive candidates, not ones who seem to miss the “Beaver Cleaver” days of the 1950s. We as a society do not need to back up.


It isn’t what the religious conservatives have been able to implement, but what a lot of them say they’d like to implement.

I don’t want the government telling me how to live my life, whether it be economically (through taxation to support socialism) or socially (through all whole host of intrusive initiatives involving prayer, abortion, sex, psuedo science ID). Usually the Republicans mess up the latter, and the Democrats mess up on the former. The Republicans failed at both, this last time around.

I have no problem with prayer in schools, so long as it is quiet and unobtrusive. Just as I have no trouble with gay marriage, if it quiet and unobtrusive. Unfortunately, neither side’s advocates are willing it to be quiet and unobtrusive … it has to be “in your face”. I’m a “live and let live” type; what you do behind your own doors is generally none of my business, so long as it doesn’t touch me and mine. I believe some parts of ethics and morality are hard and fast rules, not subjective … but that doesn’t include making someone else follow all of your own religious beliefs, or flaunting yours in their faces. Common decency means we should try to keep our ideosyncrasies to ourselves.

It isn’t all religious conservatives, just like it isn’t all gay couples, … but Republicans need to become a lot more libertarian if they want to regain my support.

And the louder, more vocal religious conservatives haven’t shown themselves to be very libertarian … too much moralistic loud public holier than thou behavior for my taste. They’ve adopted some of the same tactics as the wilder factions of the gay rights movement … to their detriment.

No one in their right mind can say that the religious basis for anti-abortion stance doesn’t turn off a lot of middle of the road voters. A LOT. Right or wrong, it’s the truth. I’m willing to say abortion is a form of murder, but it’s still one choice that is so personal that it should be left to the individual to decide. Trying to choose what happens inside a woman’s body oversteps the power of the state.

In summary, I don’t think the religious right is my enemy. (Yet, anyway.) But they sure are an imperfect ally that comes with a lot of downside, if the goal is to win elections. They probably feel the same way about me. But I have no more desire to live under a “born again” Christian religious dictatorship than I do an Islamic one. Religious zealots of any stripe make me nervous.

Dai Alanye

I’m not a church-goer nor even much of a believer, but I’m plenty tired of these fantasists who see the Inquisition around every corner, and Cotton Mather in every bedroom closet.

Who the devil are the “intolerant” in today’s society? Is it the Christians rioting when school prayer is taken away, or the homosexuals when they lose at the ballot box? Is it Christians who get people fired for their beliefs, or who mob homosexual get-togethers?

The answers are self-apparent.But some people evidently have consciences so tender they can’t stand the idea that someone somewhere views their actions with disapproval. “Send for the thought police! I’m being criticized by someone. Pass a law to make everyone respect me!”

As for the idea that the First Amendment bans public prayer, too bad the Founders weren’t aware of this. Silly them, regardless of any personal beliefs they individually held, they expected to be prayed over in all their public acts. They would have been astounded at what a provision to prevent a tax-supported church has been twisted into during the last forty years.

Abortion is neither more nor less of a religious issue than was slavery. In either case the question has primarily to do with what we consider human.

In the end, it all has to do with how one feels about the arbitrary taking of innocent human life. I’m against that, myself, as any person with an ounce of empathy should be.


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