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Does conservative theology necessarily require conservative politics?

  1. cprice75 profile image83
    cprice75posted 5 years ago

    I have many friends that are conservative theologically.  I tend heavily to that side of the spectrum, as well.  I would classify myself a conservative evangelical.  However, I've found that most of my friends tend to be right-wing conservatives when it comes to politics.  I am with them on some issues, but it seems that much of what constitutes conservative politics has very little to do with Christianity.  So, does it necessarily follow that someone who is conservative theologically has to be conservative politically as many seem to be?  Why or why not?

    1. Cagsil profile image61
      Cagsilposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Which is actually GOOD for the people living in America.

      Last thing this country needs is someone who is bent to turn America into a dictatorship of Christianity.

      If that happened, then all out war would ensue and engulf this country in one of the bloodiest wars to top all wars.

      1. Smokes Angel profile image72
        Smokes Angelposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        I am a Christian as well and really the only thing the Conservative Republicans stand for that I agree with anymore is anti-abortion.  I think we all should vote what the Holy Spirit leads us to vote

        1. Cagsil profile image61
          Cagsilposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Interesting statement. Remind me to shot the next politician who is elected because you think it's okay to rule other people's life.

          1. couturepopcafe profile image61
            couturepopcafeposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Don't be so sarcastic.  If she's Christian, she has a right to her own beliefs.  We all vote for the people who believe the way we do.

            1. Evan G Rogers profile image82
              Evan G Rogersposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              You either vote for freedom, or you don't.

    2. Cassie Smith profile image75
      Cassie Smithposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      It doesn't have to follow all the time but if you are religious you do tend to go towards the right of center. Although I wouldn't be surprised that there are deviations on certain issues. The one you brought up is a good example. Being pro life you would think that Christians would be pacifists, and there are a good many that are. However the people who you consider to be warmongers might say that the defense of the state/country is a separate issue from faith i.e. give Ceasar what is due Ceasar, etc.

      Great question!

      1. pearsonm profile image60
        pearsonmposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Christians are not necessarily pacifists.  We are not commanded to be.  When Christ said to turn the other cheek, he was talking about insults.  A "slap in the face" is, and was then, considered to be an insult not intended to do actual HARM to the person.  Later, when he was telling his disciples to travel and spread the word, he told them to "sell their cloak and buy a sword."  This indicates he had absolutely no problem with self defense or looking out for yourself.

    3. Jeff Berndt profile image92
      Jeff Berndtposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      "does it necessarily follow that someone who is conservative theologically has to be conservative politically as many seem to be?  Why or why not?"

      No, it really doesn't. Why not? 'Cos most of Jesus' teachings are pretty liberal, actually. Sell everything you have and give the money to the poor? It's really hard for a rich guy to get to heaven? Free loaves and fishes? Free wine? Healing the sick? Loving your enemies? J.C. had to be some kind of commie, am I right?

      But we also have to deal with the fact that Paul's writings make up a whole lot of the New Testament, and Paul was kind of an intolerant jerk in many ways. It's pretty easy to find justification for belligerent foreign policy, bigoted domestic policy, screw-the-poor/subsidize-the-already-wealthy financial policy, and hasten-the-end-of-the world environmental policy if you look through the writings of Paul.

    4. Reality Bytes profile image93
      Reality Bytesposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Conservative politics has nothing to do with Christianity.  Two totally separate subjects.  I hold conservative values but I have nothing at all to do with Christianity.

      I would prefer if our politicians keep their beliefs to themselves.

    5. profile image0
      Brenda Durhamposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Theological views should remain parallel with one's political views, yes.
      Why?  Because both areas uphold and encourage the other.  We are what's in our heart, and that normally gets expressed in all areas of our lives.

  2. cprice75 profile image83
    cprice75posted 5 years ago

    I find it interesting that many people I've heard who are pro-life when it comes to a baby are at times some of the biggest warmongers out there.  One needs look no further than some of the conservative talking heads on the radio or the tube.  I do not think that a "theocratic" state run by imperfect men would be a good thing for America or any other nation.  One can see several examples throughout history.   

    I believe that a nation of people who actually took Christianity seriously would be good.  No murder.  No adultery.  No covetousness/greed.  Love for neighbor.  Peaceful.  I even understand Christianity in its primitive form to allow for the toleration of other beliefs, even with its exclusive claims about Christ.   Professed Christians don't follow this ideal in real life, however.  There seems to be a disconnect between what people say they believe and how they actually act. 

    I just fail to see the connection between believing that Jesus resurrected literally and some of the uber-conservative viewpoints.

    1. Cagsil profile image61
      Cagsilposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Try learning more about Christianity. roll

      Approximately 90% or more of the already elected officials are religious in belief and LOOK at what it's done to this country.

      Keep religion in your life, keep it out of other people's life.

    2. couturepopcafe profile image61
      couturepopcafeposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      cprice - IMO, you're right.  If Christians followed the teachings of Christ, we'd all be better off.  In fact, if all religions were followed, we might be better off.  Of course, we'd still be subject to or victims of interpretations.

    3. uncorrectedvision profile image60
      uncorrectedvisionposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Where did Jesus say anything about saving nations or peoples or countries?  Jesus spoke to individual personal salvation.  We are not a corporate organism sharing one soul but many, many individuals who must come personally and individually to our actions and faith. 

      If one reads the history of the Great Awakening on the eve of the American Revolution one will understand more about the impact of religion, individuality, natural law and the Enlightenment(especially the Scottish Enlightenment) on the Founders.

      I have been Catholic my whole life.  I attended Catholic Schools all the way through graduate school.  Conservative political philosophy fits well with Christianity.  I believe it fits better with Christianity than do liberal notions.

  3. cprice75 profile image83
    cprice75posted 5 years ago

    I've studied it extensively for basically my entire life.

    I think it is quite apparent that not everyone who claims to be an adherent of a religion or ideology actually follows the demands of said religion of ideology.

    I also think it would be hard to argue that a society in which people actually loved others as themselves would be a bad thing.

    It's also impossible to keep one's worldview completely separated from who they are.  To tell a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, et al to keep their religion to themselves completely is akin to telling a feminist to keep their feminism to themselves or a radical gun owner to keep their opinions on guns to themselves.  It is dangerous when we limit what people say just because we disagree.  I may disagree with an opinion, but I'm all for the right of people to express it.

    1. Cagsil profile image61
      Cagsilposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Interesting....so have I.

      And, I have no religion.
      Ya think? lol
      That's the problem.....most don't understand their own life, so how can they love themselves. It requires to know one's self before learning to love others.
      Untrue.
      Untrue yet again.
      I'm not attempting to limit what people say, they have their rights...what they lack is the respect to leave other people alone with regards to it.

      1. couturepopcafe profile image61
        couturepopcafeposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        I was thinking the same thing.  We should leave off the part about loving others as one loves himself because some people just don't love themselves.  Some people like to cut themselves.  Just loving others and edifying them would change the world.

    2. Jed Fisher profile image86
      Jed Fisherposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Well, to respond to the initial concept of religion and politics as it concerns Evangelical Christians, it's important to boil down the essence of Evangelical Christianity’s most fundamental idea to its most basic form. It sounds rather silly when expressed in just eight words, but here it is: if God likes you, He gives you Money.
      Politically, that belief leads to the idea that if government hands Money to ‘bad’ people, it’s an affront to God and must be stopped. That’s it in a nutshell, the reason many Evangelical Christians would prefer the Government not hand out Money to those who don’t deserve it. And certainly, taxing the rich would be unholy as well, taking away what God has granted.
      But Money itself is a religion in its own right, a secular belief based on faith in the monetary system that controls every aspect of a person’s life and assigns value to each individual in terms of dollars and cents. Certainly Money is not a pretty thing when seen in that way.
      Money is a necessary evil, apart and separate from religious belief. That is the position of non-conservative Christians. Money is the root of all evil after all, and not an instrument of God in any way.

      1. cprice75 profile image83
        cprice75posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        This definitely seems to be a common idea in American evangelicalism, descended from the Weberian idea of the Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.  I don't have quite so bad a view of money.  It's the love of money that is the root of all evil.  Money itself is neutral and a necessary tool.  It's the constant striving for money at the expense of others that is the problem.   Extreme individualism is not really found in the Bible.

        I don't think that this message of health and wealth would play as well among evangelicals in poor nations.

        1. couturepopcafe profile image61
          couturepopcafeposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Have to agree with you on this.

  4. cprice75 profile image83
    cprice75posted 5 years ago

    How is what I said untrue?  Would you tell a feminist to keep their opinions to themselves just because you disagree (assuming that you did)?  An atheist?  A communist?  A capitalist?  You said people should keep religion out of other people's lives.  Therefore, by your own statement, you are encouraging people to restrict their freedom of speech.  I do not agree with agnosticism, but I won't tell agnostics to shut up.  The idea of free speech cuts both ways.

    I also disagree that it's impossible to love others without knowing yourself.  I confess I don't know myself in all my underwhelming lack of glory.  Regardless, I still have a measure of love for others.  I loved my children as newborns when they could contribute nothing to me other than a lack of sleep.  I put their needs before my own.  That's love.  Imperfect, yet still love.

    1. Cagsil profile image61
      Cagsilposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I take it you're one of the selective reading people?

      Go back and re-read what I said. You respect their privacy, which means you don't get to tell them how to live their life and they will respect your privacy but not killing you because you're invading on their life.

      That's the problem with the religious folk, you people don't know how to mind your own business and butt out of other people's life.

      You cause more conflict than you are of value.

      1. cprice75 profile image83
        cprice75posted 5 years ago in reply to this

        "Keep religion in your life, keep it out of other people's life."

        I don't tell people how they have to live their life.  My telling people that what I believe is not coercive.  If it is, why did respond to the thread?  That's not keeping your opinion to yourself?

        I don't view what I've done here as causing a conflict.  You had a choice whether or not to respond.  If you had not, there would be no debate.  I apologize for being of so little value smile

        1. Cagsil profile image61
          Cagsilposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          The fact that this thread is about politics is why I responded to it, which I want to keep religion OUT of politics, so it stays out of other people's life.
          You're right it's not keeping my mouth shut. And, it's not an opinion. It's about individual rights and I am showing how religious folk seem to over step their own individual authority, through the pathetic subject known as politics.
          I'm not doubting you don't view what you've done as causing conflict, but when you vote for pathetic politicians who use their religion to gain your vote and then get into office, YOU are effecting and affecting MY life.
          Actually, I don't have a choice. I am a people's advocate by choice. And, one of the biggest problems in this country is that people on an individual level don't know how to stay out of other people's life and it's brought on by the pathetic distortion and misinformation tactics of politicians.
          If you hadn't opened this thread, then there would be no need for debate, but actually I am glad you did, because maybe, just maybe you grow in self awareness.
          Religion brings no value to politics. It brings dictatorship which isn't healthy.

          1. profile image60
            geordmcposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Remember the Spanish Inquisition, That is what happens when religion enters politics. Please keep your religious hubs out of the political section. There is a section for you.

            1. Cagsil profile image61
              Cagsilposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              Why don't you figure out what is being talked about before you spout off nonsense. And, I don't have any religious hubs to begin with, but I most certainly do have some political hubs.

            2. cprice75 profile image83
              cprice75posted 5 years ago in reply to this

              It could also be argued that gulags are what happens with atheism enters politics. 

              Actually, the hub is under the "Religion and Politics" section, so it is appropriate.

              I find it somewhat amusing that I actually set up the forum to be a critique of the view that agreeing with far-right Republican views on everything is a litmus test for religious orthodoxy.  Remarks like this only tend to cement the idea that atheists are out to ban religion, rather than starting as serious dialogue.  Hence, it confirms the right-wing fear of some major conspiracy, when that was not my intent at all.

              1. profile image60
                geordmcposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                I'm NOT out to ban religion, Believe what you want . I just don't care to hear about it from people who say they believe then go out of their way to push their belief on me! You say your a believer but do you go out of your way to help people who need help or do you only pay lip service? Which is what I find most of.

    2. couturepopcafe profile image61
      couturepopcafeposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      The biggest problem with these religious and political forums is that they almost always cross over for some reason which is annoying.  And for the record, HP forums in general are deteriorating, IMO.  I'm on several forum groups at other sites and there are strict rules about respect and behaviour in comments. There is zero tolerance for bashing, intimidating, sarcasm.  The forums are intelligent and polite with good exchanges of ideas among disagreement.  This is the only site I belong to that has and allows this thorougly disrespectful commenting.  And it's always the same people who respond first with sarcasm, then with their opinion, which according to them, is always better than the next guys.

      1. Cagsil profile image61
        Cagsilposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        They cross over because people vote for politicians based on religious beliefs more than views on bettering society, which is more of a problem than people want to admit and that makes them dishonest.

  5. cprice75 profile image83
    cprice75posted 5 years ago

    If we were to use your standards, the vast majority of Americans would neither be able to vote or run for political office, as between 85-90% of Americans have some sort of religious belief.  Regardless of your arguments to the contrary, what people believe undoubtedly impacts their entire view of life.  Your lack of religious belief most likely makes Rick Perry an unacceptable choice.  Therefore, your opposition to those who use their religion for political gain is also affecting the election and other people's lives. 

    For the record, I voted for no incumbents in the last election, and do not employ a religious litmus test for voting.  I would vote for an agnostic, Mormon, Jew, Christian, moderate Muslim, etc., if they lined up with my views (including the right for me to say and think what I wanted).  I personally have a major problem with people voting for someone just because they say they are Christian.  That's the reason I opened the thread.

    By the way, I I am fairly self-reflective, hence my questioning of things.  I do have a problem with people assuming that Christians should automatically leave all of their beliefs at the door when they vote.  Thomas More: Christian who had a problem with autocracy.  Same for Erasmus.  Many of the early critics of the excesses of industrial capitalism were Christians.  Many Christians opposed slavery on Christian grounds--although I will concede that there were professing Christians who defended the institution on religious grounds.  Religion does not necessarily bring dictatorship.  Freedom from religion does not necessarily bring about liberal democracy, either.  The world is much more complicated than that.

    1. profile image60
      geordmcposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Fine, but remember that when these lying cheats start to raise taxes, If they are so religious then we shouldn't be lied to as much as we are. I find that the most religious are the biggest Hippocrates.

      1. couturepopcafe profile image61
        couturepopcafeposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        So are they doctors?

        1. profile image60
          geordmcposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Sorry, spell check was wrong. the word is hippocrits

          1. couturepopcafe profile image61
            couturepopcafeposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Just having a little fun.

            1. HattieMattieMae profile image68
              HattieMattieMaeposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              I think being a Christian all my life, I understand Cagil. It's not so wrong we have a faith, but if you don't live by the example, and stop forcing it on others you are only truly hurting yourself and starting wars. I've been accused, by my own Christian brotheren of being a Lone Ranger Christian, because I rather have my own personal relationship with God, than sitting in a church with people that say one thing, but never do what they preach about. I came into a situation a few years back, and was attending this small church, and wonderful to know we can put friendly faces on, act like friends, but when something tragic happens, no one is around, or gives you call, or even lends a hand. Think that is going on so much in churches today, and found others like myself the past year that truly believe in letting others make their own choices and paths instead forcing them to believe something they don't believe in, or choose to believe in. You can harm people more by insisting your right and there wrong. Which leads to the wars between nations. Imposing your own set of rules, regulations, beliefs etc on another. Who says we are right in politics. Other countries have more peaceful communities than ours. They have lower crime rates, and better policies to take care of their people. I never have voted for a politician by their labels, but more what they stand for, example, and really can't stand listening to them in debates, because they are usually all full of shit, and you can tell through the last few decades they haven't really improved to much.

  6. TMMason profile image71
    TMMasonposted 5 years ago

    Of course not. A lot of Catholics, strict and other-wise, are usually very Liberal and Left.

    1. uncorrectedvision profile image60
      uncorrectedvisionposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      The liberalism of Catholics is contingent on many factors well beyond religious understanding.  Culture and familial experience are a better indicator of political views than religion.

      1. couturepopcafe profile image61
        couturepopcafeposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        He must be talking about new generation Catholics.  None of the Italian Catholic pseudo mafia, everybody's a cousin people I know are liberal.  You eat what they put on your plate.  Double meaning intended.

        1. gmwilliams profile image82
          gmwilliamsposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          To couturepopcafe: I like that-it is cute!

        2. uncorrectedvision profile image60
          uncorrectedvisionposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          That doesn't drip with bigotry at all.

      2. TMMason profile image71
        TMMasonposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        I am not sure of that, UV.

        My fathers side of the family were all strict Catholics from the 40s 50s 60s and 70s, and their parents, Catholics all... and their shift from Conservative to Liberal voting, was wholey influenced by the paradigm shift within the Catholic Church for the last several decades toward a more liberal philosophy.

        So maybe with the younger generations you are correct... but it seems to me,  the old guard strict Catholics were bound to the church for their vote.

        1. uncorrectedvision profile image60
          uncorrectedvisionposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Speaking as a life long Catholic with over 16 years of education in Catholic institutions and Grand Parents who were straight from the boat Irish Catholics -  I couldn't disagree more.  The Catholics from labor union households were often more likely to vote Democrat than Catholics who operated their own businesses, just like non-Catholics.  Catholics are not unique in their political expression rarely differing by any significant percentage from the voting behavior of non-Catholics.  Despite the official position of the Catholic Church on abortion, Catholics still voted for Obama by the same percentage as the general voting population over all.

          As for the Church owning their vote - this is either ignorance on their part or reflective of an overall anti-papist strain in some opinions.  Reminds me of the attitude toward Kennedy in the 1960s or Romney today.  Most Americans leave their religion at the factory gate - or the voting booth curtain.

          1. Jeff Berndt profile image92
            Jeff Berndtposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            "Most Americans leave their religion at the factory gate - or the voting booth curtain."
            I hope you're right.

            1. uncorrectedvision profile image60
              uncorrectedvisionposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              I wonder why that is a hope considering the deplorable state of societies that reject religion.  There are social-psychological aspects of faith in America that have kept this a vibrant and prospering society all the while Europe has drifted away from religion and toward society wide morbidity.

              1. Jeff Berndt profile image92
                Jeff Berndtposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                "There are social-psychological aspects of faith in America that have kept this a vibrant and prospering society all the while Europe has drifted away from religion and toward society wide morbidity."

                Nonsense. According to the Legatum prosperity index, the US ranks 10th in the world for overall prosperity, while seven countries in Europe are doing better than we are. So are Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. These countries aren't exactly officially atheist, but they aren't as Bible-thumping as the US tends to be, either.

                The societies of Norway, Australia, Denmark, etc, are hardly in what I'd call a "deplorable state."

                1. uncorrectedvision profile image60
                  uncorrectedvisionposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  As you wish.

          2. cprice75 profile image83
            cprice75posted 5 years ago in reply to this

            uncorrectedvision,

            Thanks for the input.  It does seem, however, that conservative Christians are avoiding Romney like the plague.  I could also mention Huntsman, but it seems basically everyone is avoiding him like the plague (I actually think he's a fairly intelligent and experienced guy--the whole working for Obama isn't helping him with the conservatives, religious or not).

            1. uncorrectedvision profile image60
              uncorrectedvisionposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              Conservatives - that is political conservatives are avoiding Romney and Huntsman - for a reason.  Neither man's political instincts are conservative.  That is why Huntsman flounders in the low 3% range and that every alternative to Romney that pops up gains instant foot hold.  Each has been the anti-Romeny.  Political conservatives do not want another squishy liberal Republican as the nominee regardless of what the party wants.  That is why Romney is unable to break the 25% threshold.

              Romney is so unpopular among conservatives that a media whore like Newt Gingrich is awarded instant credibility.  Crazy Ron Paul is even benefiting from the Romney Repulsion.

  7. gmwilliams profile image82
    gmwilliamsposted 5 years ago

    Of course it does.   The average person with conservative religious beliefs are conservative politcally just as people who are liberal religiously subscribe to liberal political beliefs.   However, there are exceptions to that rule- there are some conservative religionists who are liberal politically i.e. Roman Catholics who believe in gender equality and are pro-choice.

  8. knolyourself profile image60
    knolyourselfposted 5 years ago

    What is conservative theology?

    1. cprice75 profile image83
      cprice75posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      People that look at the Bible as more literal than metaphorical/allegorical.

  9. Mitch Alan profile image86
    Mitch Alanposted 5 years ago

    Jeff,
    You stated "No, it really doesn't. Why not? 'Cos most of Jesus' teachings are pretty liberal, actually. Sell everything you have and give the money to the poor? It's really hard for a rich guy to get to heaven? Free loaves and fishes? Free wine? Healing the sick? Loving your enemies? J.C. had to be some kind of commie, am I right?"
      The concept of "sell everything" and "rich guy" having a hard time getting into heaven are relating to whether an INDIVIDUAL puts more weight in their wealth than in Christ, not that someone with riches CAN'T get into heaven.  It was a teaching to show that you can only serve one master.
      As to the "free loaves and fishes" etc...That was an individual giving and not a governmental confiscation and redistribution.  There is a clear difference.

    1. cprice75 profile image83
      cprice75posted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I do find it interesting that lower and middle class individuals are more likely to give freely than the wealthy to charitable causes when the percentage of their income is measured.  There are wealthy people who are very generous.  There are poor people who are stingy with what they have.  But these statistics are nonetheless a barometer of what average people think and do.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/22/magaz … wln-t.html

 
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