Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Picking and Choosing Political Ideologies

Some people might look at my position that abortion should be outlawed by the federal government and speaketh ill of me, considering that people like me are usually not for government control over people's lives. However, in being a Christian, this world is not my home, and I am not bound to conform 100% to these earthly ideologies of government control or freedom from government or whatever. I do not pick and choose from the Bible (or try not to, anyways). I DO pick and choose from political ideologies, as I see appropriate from what the Bible says.

The following passage is Acts 4:32 - 35

32All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that
any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33With
great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord
Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 34There were no needy persons among
them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought
the money from the sales 35and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was
distributed to anyone as he had need.

Now, you read this and you will likely think socialism or communism. However, I don't believe the text indicates any sort of authoritarian coercion. This is what I believe could be called ideal conservatism; no coercion, but people are taken care of because of the generosity of the population. However, I will conceded that money from real estate *was* put at the apostles' feet in order to be distributed. So maybe socialism isn't to be 100% condemned. After all, Christianity cannot be contained in one political ideology. Anyways, some random paragraphs follow:

Christian Democracy
I agree with a lot of the points here. However, I don't know how far the average Christian Democrat advocates the social solidarity bit (i.e. welfare, high tax on the rich, etc). I'm all for reducing poverty and getting people off the streets. Regarding welfare: the government should not give free hand-outs to any low-income person who asks. After all, "If a man will not work, he will not eat." That's a Bible quote, for those who don't know. Regarding high taxes on the rich: again, ideally the rich will be generous with their money, thus alleviating the necessity of taxes.

Crunchy conservatism
For anyone that does not know, crunchy conservatism puts family, social conservatism, and environmental-friendliness into one lifestyle. Overall, these would probably be the people more likely to attend church regularly, have large families, buy organic groceries, vote Republican, and homeschool. If I'm wrong, someone please correct me. The person to first put the ideology in one manifesto was Rod Dreher, although the lifestyle has been around for longer than his book. Speaking of which, I enjoyed his book; I did not, however, like the part of his book where he said that a crunchy conservative would naturally gravitate towards "classic" religion like Catholicism and Orthodoxy. I am Church of Christ and have never felt any pull to go towards "classic" religion (no offense intended to Catholics/Orthodox). And I might not agree with crunchy conservatives on death penalty and war (no I would never spit on soldiers/marines/airmen/sailors or do anything like that), where they (on average) traditionally side with the Republicans.

Consistent Life Ethic
This says that all human life is sacred. I haven't read too much on this one. Anyways, I haven't totally been able to reconcile some of my views and choices on the consistent life ethic subject. For example, I work for a company that makes high-tech gadgets that could be responsible for lots of loss of life, but I am opposed to taking human life. I work in somewhat of a supporting role and am not directly involved in the things that could take human life. Just because I work to support some high-tech projects doesn't mean I can't have a consistent pro-life ethic. If you think about it, all of us who pay taxes to the government have funded wars in one way or another. So the only way to avoid such a thing would be to not pay taxes, which is against the law of the land, which the Bible says we should obey. I haven't totally figured it out myself, folks. Convictions on complicated issues like this aren't built in a day.

This, I believe, is "liberalism" in the true dictionary sense of the word, not the current political definition. If I wanted to hold to a consistent political ideology, I'd choose this one. However, I tend to disagree with libertarianism on social issues like legalizations of abortion, prostitution, gay marriage, and the like, since the Bible does not look favorably on these sorts of things. Given a choice between leftist and libertarian, I'd vote libertarian. At least they'd keep their hands off of me, my family, and my family's sustenance (a.k.a. the money I earn).

I don't swear oaths, because my yes is yes and my no is no. Um....there's not really anything political about this, nor do I know of any political ideology that shuns oaths. Which is why I've linked to a religious group instead of a political one. I've only had to invoke this conviction once, and that was when we were getting our marriage certificate. Harmony and I "affirmed" that all of the information on the application was correct.

Where the Bible is clear on things, you bet I am completely close-minded! No viewpoint but the Bible on those sorts of things. However, where it unclear or silent, there's room for open-mindedness. If you think I'm crazy on any of these points, please feel free to let me know.

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  • Myfriendconnie

    Hi, I first saw you at The Common Room, and I just saw you at Life in a Shoe. I have enjoyed looking around your blog.

    We are also Bible believing, homeschooling, aliens and strangers, members of the church of Christ.