Why a theistic conservatism is the only way to save America

Alan Roebuck has forwarded his latest comment in the thread Mangan’s. In it, he argues for the practical value of supporting a theistic conservatism.

Thrasymachus said

“One of [the] paleocons’ favorite pastimes is deciding who is *really* a conservative.”

Anyone who has strong, reasoned convictions about a vital issue will naturally and properly seek to clarify his understanding and to distinguish it from other theories. When it concerns conservatism, which has to do with resisting the liberal juggernaut that is bent on destroying our nation, this enterprise of clarification takes on even greater urgency.

Speaking of clarification: “Conservatism” is currently an extremely elastic term, since anyone who expresses any opposition to the liberal status quo, regardless of his overall convictions, will be called a conservative. It’s therefore important to distinguish conservatism in the sense of disagreement with one of the basic beliefs of liberalism from conservatism in more complete sense of a comprehensive program for protecting and renewing a properly ordered American society. It is conservatism in this more complete sense that will require an authority that the average man finds compelling.

Most Americans believe, in some sense, in the God of the Bible, whereas most of them do not find the atheistic/materialistic/Darwinian worldview to be compelling. It is for this basic reason, which is highly unlikely to change, that a theistic conservatism is the only kind that has a realistic chance of being able to foster a renewed American society. Practical-minded atheistic conservatives ought therefore to support a theistic conservatism, even as they reserve the right privately to disbelieve.

Here is Mr. Roebuck’s latest comment at Mangan’s which he has sent:

Since conservatism, most fundamentally, has to do with the order of society, the question is, what worldview (i.e., comprehensive philosophical system) will serve as the basis of this order? There has to be a system of thought that is generally acknowledged as being true and therefore authoritative for determining the order of society. Right now America and the rest of the West is in transition from the Christian worldview to a liberal worldview as the ruling system. [Liberalism mostly rules, but there is a vestige of Christian-based social principles.]

There will always be a ruling system, and it will always need to claim to have authority, and therefore science is not enough. Conservatives who are serious about renewing American society will therefore have to choose what this additional authoritative element is to be, and failing to choose is tantamount to endorsing the existing authority, which currently is the pseudo-religion of nondiscrimination-worshipping liberalism.

Chuck says

I laugh when I hear theists say that religion has some moral authority or that it’s morally absolute. Christians can only say that for the Christian God. They can’t say that for the Muslim Allah because they offer different codes to live by…So I’d be interested to hear, from theists, what Moral Code they live by?

Until liberalism began promoting a different morality (with its acceptance of homosexuality and abortion and its elevation of nondiscrimination to Commandment Number One), there was relatively little disagreement over the basic features of morality. Societies differed one from another mainly with regard to which people were considered “one of us,” to be treated well, and which were “outsiders,” toward whom relatively little was owed. There still is little disagreement outside of the liberal morality I mentioned above. The real dispute is over the basis, over the foundation, of this morality: Is morality objective, or is it only our creation, in which case we can change it any time we like? And if morality is decreed by God, what is the nature of the god who decrees?

Pointing to the disagreements among the various religions and sects does no good. If your evolution-based moral system cannot be the authoritative ordering principle of society, then something else, as distasteful as you may find it, must be used.

Chuck also said

… didn’t Jesus say that we don’t have to live by “The Law” anymore? The only path to eternal life is through him. Sounds like Leninism to me.

Jesus did not nullify morality. He only abolished the ceremonial law, because He had fulfilled that toward which it pointed. The moral law is still binding, but we are righteous through repentance and faith in Christ, not by fulfilling the law perfectly. That most so-called “Christians” don’t know this only shows how poor a job the institutional church is doing. It is not a defect in the religion of Christianity.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 17, 2009 01:23 PM | Send

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