Christians and Conservatives let God be God
Christianity changed science forever. The Judeo-Christian tradition let God be God. Contrast that to a world view where nature is filled with the little gods of air, water and earth. Christianity took the many gods out of nature. Today we are told that religion and science don’t mix, but the historic change brought by Christianity inspired us to look at and understand nature rather than worship it. Suddenly, the way the natural world worked was seen as regular, knowable, and yet filled with depths of mystery. Coming to know and understand the world took more than obedience to religion. It required us to let go of the magical world of superstition. We had to see the world as it is.
Political conservatism serves that role today. Conserving freedom requires that we take the god out of government rather pretend government has magical powers. Politicians are not little gods, though many act like they are. The political process is not divine. Politicians have a nature as certainly as air and water have theirs. Voters have a nature and character as well. Pandering politicians promise us anything so they can remain in power. We voters allow ourselves to be seduced into believing the impossible: that we can have something for nothing. Political conservatism asks us to see politics as it is.
Pandering politicians have other plans.
- You and I want fairness, and pandering politicians tells us they can make the world fair. The politician is never asked to show us where that actually worked. Sure the politician can make things “fair”.. by making us all equally poor. The exception is the politician and his friends who grow rich.
- We resent exploitation. A politician says it is greedy for us to keep the money we earned, but not greedy for a politician to take from us and give to his friends.
- We have an innate sense of responsibility and accountability. Corporations can’t be trusted, but a politician asks us to take on faith that bureaucrat we can’t fire will treat us fairly. Ask a small business owner how that worked out.
- We don’t like being manipulated. A politician says that big corporations will try to control us and limit our choices. That is why we need big government to control us and limit our choices.
- We know we make mistakes all the time. We need government because we can’t possibly make good choices.. but it is a great idea for a politician who can’t back up her own e-mail to control our future.
- We hate being cheated by powerful people. Companies will collude and act together to screw the little guy.. but it is OK when politicians take huge campaign donations from special interests and then pay off their friends with our tax dollars.
- We know there are better ways to get things done. Yet, somehow, a government notorious for waste and corruption is going to give us what we want at a great price.. without screwing someone else to get it. If you believe that lie then I have some “free” healthcare for you.
- We want to feel special, and a clever politician tells us we are. In fact, that nice politician said we could all have a pony because he loves us.. and that other politician who said that all of us can’t have a pony is a mean man.
- We want to feel good about ourselves. Voters not only want to believe they can have something for nothing.. but a cynical politician tells us it is noble to take what we want from someone else.
Look, I understand the desire to take other people’s stuff. I really do. What I don’t understand is the level of dishonesty to claim envy is a virtue. Cynical politicians learned the lessons of carnival fortune tellers; forget the truth and just tell the voters what they want to hear.
Giving up superstition is hard. Christianity let us see the world as it is. Political conservatism asks us to see politicians and government as they are. Saying that this election will be different is a lie as sure as saying that education will be free. This election will only be different when we resent the impossible promises of politicians. This election will only be different when we are tired of being played as suckers.
That is up to you. Please make it happen. Listen harder. Register to vote.