Tuesday, December 1, 2020


I realize this post has nothing to do with taxes – but this is a very important issue.
A sad development over the past few decades is the take-over of the conservative movement and the Republican Party by the “Evangelical” political movement.  In today’s political discourse, conservatism is wrongly aligned with the anti-gay, anti-abortion and other Evangelical political policies.
The political agenda of the Evangelicals and the Religious Right is contrary to true conservative philosophy and politics.
The most basic principles of conservatism are to Protect & Maximize Individual Rights and Ensure a Limited Government.  In "Five Principles of American Conservatism" at THE COLLEGE CONSERVATIVE Matthew Dragonette explains principles -
“Individual Rights
First and foremost, society has a duty to protecting the fundamental individual rights of its members. In American politics, this means permitting individuals to pursue their interests and enjoy freedoms that do not infringe on the rights of others.
Limited Government
In the same spirit as individual rights, conservatives must commit to a limited government. In the American context specifically, this means a commitment to constitutionally-assigned government responsibilities. The scope of government must be narrow for two reasons. First, a narrower scope maximizes individual rights and prevents government from dominating its own people.”
Conservatism holds high the rights of the individual citizen and calls for minimal involvement by the government in the personal and business life of the citizen.  The Evangelicals of the Religious Right want the government to tell citizens how to live their lives by legislating their specific religious beliefs.
In terms of the Supreme Court, the Republican Party does not want true “conservative” judges.  What it really wants is “evangelical” judges.
The Evangelical agenda is also contrary to the separation of Church and State that is a cornerstone of the Constitution.  
Freedom of religion and the separation of Church and State are among the basic cornerstones of America, American values and American “philosophy”.  Every American has the right to worship and believe as he or she so chooses – or to choose not to worship or believe.  The government cannot force anyone to choose one religion and set of beliefs over any other, or to choose any religion or beliefs.  No specific religion or church can dictate government policy or legislation.  The Evangelical political agenda calls for ignoring this basic Constitutional freedom. 
Iconic conservative Barry Goldwater, the politician often credited with sparking the resurgence of the American conservative political movement in the 1960s, explained decades ago -
I am a conservative Republican, but I believe in democracy and the separation of church and state. The conservative movement is founded on the simple tenet that people have the right to live life as they please as long as they don't hurt anyone else in the process.”
And warned us –
Religious factions will go on imposing their will on others unless the decent people connected to them recognize that religion has no place in public policy.”
Ronald Reagan explained -
We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever.  Church and state are, and must remain, separate.  All are free to believe or not believe, all are free to practice a faith or not, and those who believe are free, and should be free, to speak of and act on their belief.”
Acting on your belief refers to your specific individual behavior.  If the religious beliefs of your chosen sect or religion tells you that abortion is wrong – don’t have an abortion.  If the specific religious beliefs of your chosen sect or religion tells you that homosexuality and same-sex marriage is wrong – don’t practice homosexuality and do not marry someone of the same sex.  But you cannot force someone with different religions beliefs, or no religious beliefs, to act in accordance with the specific religious beliefs of your chosen sect or religion - most definitely not via legislation.
Unlike “love and marriage”, politics and religion do not go together.  A bumper sticker I saw a while ago says it all – “The last time we mixed politics with religion people got burned at the stake.”

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