It is hard for me to understand why our supposed conservative leaders are not able to articulate what conservatism actually is. They dance all around the meaning, listen to criticism, and change it to suit the opposing side. I once thought that many of our leaders positioned themselves on the side of the conservative ideals, but it seems that most of them tend to go with the media’s idea that people do not care about or understand what conservative-based government really means.
To me, conservatism means truth and empowerment. Think about that for a moment. Would you not want to be empowered by the truth? Empowered to do whatever you want within the confines of the law? In the Bible, Jesus empowers true believers with power over evil by invoking his name. The same is true about conservatism. Conservatism invokes a belief that a person has free will to do what they want within the boundaries of society’s set of rules with a set of standards governed by the truth, and, if articulated and implemented correctly, can empower a whole nation.
Conservatism also means accountability; accountability for you, for me, and your government. Jesus also requires of us to account for and be responsible for our own actions. While conservatism aligns itself with Judeo-Christian values, it does not exclude a person who does not believe. After all, God gives us all free will; and conservatism encourages free will while accepting consequences of our own actions, good or bad.
Conservative ideas do not shun others for different beliefs; on the contrary, it includes all no matter what their beliefs or ideology are because Christians are to love all the same, no matter the differences, as long as these ideas are based on truth and society as a whole benefits. We reserve the right to discern right from wrong, and we are encouraged not to judge because we let God and the laws do that.
Having said that, I wonder why many of our dear leaders watch and stand by while conservatives and Christians are bullied, made fun of, or legally challenged on every issue that comes across the table. Most of our leaders say that there must be compromise, and that is true. But we must not compromise on freedom or the truth.
While Jesus did say “turn the other cheek”, I do not think he meant to just sit idly by and be forced to go against our beliefs legally or otherwise. In Luke chapter 4, Jesus reads from the book of Isaiah and tells the Pharisees in the synagogue the truth about himself. And they hated him for it; but still, he tells them the truth while trying to convert them as he stood up and did not back down. So to me, this means that sometimes you have to take a stand by using the truth as your armor.
Many people came to know Jesus as their savior while He was on earth because He spoke the truth. They tried intimidation and bullying to stop Him and His many followers from teaching the truth; but they could not contain it, so they killed him and his disciples. But you know what? No matter what they did or who they killed, Jesus and the disciples managed to get the truth out to just about every country in the world (without television or a computer.) And converts are still carrying that message of truth and conservative ideals because the truth is infectious, and people are eager to hear it.
Conservatism allows for you to stand on your beliefs, to take hold of your life, and be the best you can be without intimidation or fear (and, if properly applied, can spread like wildfire just like Jesus did with the gospel.) Evil knows this to be true as well, and that is why evil fights conservative values and the truth every day.
I have read the Bible from cover to cover, and I know that God’s word is true and that he is coming back for us someday. But until then, I would rather say to God on judgment day “yeah, I was hard headed and stood on my principles instead of turning the other check (I am sorry for that), but at least I told the truth.”
Photo credit: CR Artist (Creative Commons)