More Opinion by The Springboard

THE UPRISING OF THE AMERICAN PARTY "Clearly the voters are engaged right now, at least for sure on the republican side, and what they have concluded is that the republican party has not done their job. Thus, Donald Trump gets their vote."

Friday, December 11, 2015

Being An Atheist Does Not Bar Me From Being A Conservative

Let me start off by saying that this blog post is a response to a comment I received on Facebook, and that while my response to it is both tongue and cheek and serious, the comment I am responding to was entirely tongue in cheek. Let me also, for the sake of the record, state a couple of other noteworthy things here just so that it is clear how I am coming down on any of my positions here.

  • Up until 2005 I was a card carrying member of the Republican National Committee. Since the beginning of my cognitive life I had sided with conservative and republican values.
  • I am currently a registered republican.
  • I have financially contributed to the campaigns of Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, John McCain for president, Mitt Romney for president, Mike Bost for Congress, Paul Ryan, Ron Johnson, and a number of other republican candidates campaigning for certain political elected positions.
  • I am an atheist.
Let me also state for the record that, in my view, my last bullet point does not bar me from the republican party, does not preclude me from being labeled a conservative, and does not mean I hold no moral values—conservatism does not have a single thing to do with theology, but rather has everything to do with common sense values, views, and political posturing.

I am a republican. I am a conservative. Nothing about my views, beliefs, or political posture suggest otherwise on the whole.

We talk all the time about radicals and extremists. Certainly these terms apply to Christians, Muslims, and atheists alike. I am not an extremist or radical atheist. I am for Judeo-Christian philosophy for example, as a founding principle of our government, our Constitution, and our system of laws, and our fundamental beliefs about human rights throughout the world, and the spread of democracy and freedom.

Considering the holiday is right around the corner, I am an atheist who is conservative enough to appreciate the religious freedom of those who celebrate Christmas for religious reasons and am FOR saying Merry Christmas. I am also for the spirit of giving whether or not it be tied to Jesus, God, or any other religious reason. Again, it is to my mind just the right way to think as a HUMAN BEING.

I can think of no common sense human quality that would suggest that people should be disrespectful, rude, or selfish.

So what if I do not believe in God? So what if I do not believe that Jesus was His Son? (Note that despite my core beliefs I STILL capitalize where it is appropriate and am respectful to do so, and when referring to any religious aspects have ALWAYS done so.) Is religion even necessary to be good? Is it necessary to be moral even though the definition of morality is theological in nature? Is religion necessary to do decent things, and understand fundamentally that the pain and suffering of others is bad? That it is inhuman and inhumane? Is religion necessary to appreciate life, and to underscore the very fact that no matter where we come from, or what end we will face, that while we are here on Earth life, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness is precious, that it must be appreciated, and that it must be PROTECTED? Is religion necessary to know that persecution is bad, murder is wrong, and oppression and infringement on personal freedom is cruel and unjust?

In a word, no. And again, the way I see it that is just simple common sense.

So, I suppose I should cut to the chase and get to the comment before I get too far ahead of myself. This could turn into a rather long winded post. Now I finally understand why many in the past have called me a windbag.

"After sitting here thinking about your discussions we have had in times past...I've decided that since you believe in Jesus being a real person but not who he says he was, that you are a liberal Christian. Many liberal Christians are also democrats as well.
Ergo you're a democrat! Congrats on your new found party, The DNC!"
Now, just to be fair let's take one single statement here for the purposes of initial analysis. When did Jesus ever say he was "who He said He was?" Nowhere in any official record did Jesus Christ ever claim to be the Son of God? He never did. His actions may have suggested it. The story may have suggested it. But He never said it. The "fact" that Jesus was the Son of God was a suggestion by His disciples and the men who chronicled the story after His death.

By the way, did I mention that I am atheist? At the very least, even liberal Christians believe that Jesus was the Son of God. I do not. Liberal Christians very simply have a different view of "What would Jesus do?"

What am I for?

  • I am for marriage between a man and a woman.
  • I am pro-military.
  • I am pro-life.
  • I am for smaller government.
  • I am for lower taxes.
  • I am for free markets and capitalism.
  • I am for sound immigration policy and reform and securing the border.
  • I am for the Constitution.
  • I am for freedom of religion.
  • I am for free speech.
  • I am for the 2nd Amendment.
  • I am for minimalist regulation.
  • I am for school vouchers.
  • I am for welfare reform.
  • I am for strong national security.
  • I am for military action where it is deemed necessary and beneficial.
  • I am for spreading of freedom and rights to religion, and the pursuit of happiness.
  • I am for PROTECTING the right to religion, and the pursuit of happiness.
In fact, the only area where I disagree with the total free market system is when it applies to globalization and trade policies which disadvantage American businesses, particularly in manufacturing. I am actually FOR a zero percent corporate tax rate, believing that taxes should be collected at the point of sale of raw goods, the point of sale of finished goods, and labor should be taxed. These are not necessarily republican or conservative beliefs, but they are mine. And even these beliefs are FAR REMOVED from ANY liberal or democratic belief. So, even if some of my beliefs are removed from conservative values or republican party values, they are also removed from liberal or democratic values.

No democrat would be for a zero percent corporate tax rate. No democrat would be for labor bearing the bulk of taxes collected. Liberals and democrats would prefer that the rich and the corporations would pay everything and leave the rest of us untouched.

The bottom line here is that nowhere in my bullet points did I describe a tenet of liberal or democratic belief. Furthermore, many of my bullet points also defy liberal Christian tenets. For example, liberal Christians are for gay marriage and for tighter gun control legislation. Many liberal Christians also oppose war.

Therefore the only logical conclusion I can come to, if I believe the comment was made genuinely, is that the person who made the comment does not understand the values of either party, does not know what values make one a conservative or a liberal, and does not understand the core definition of a liberal Christian. I am still scratching my head a bit on how the I's were dotted and the T's were crossed in coming up with this analysis by the commenter because on the whole it doesn't make any sense at all considering my positions.

Clearly the comment was tongue in cheek. Knowing the guy who made the comment, I give him much more credit for being intelligent than his comment suggests. If I am to take his comment with any seriousness, I have serious concerns about him entering a voting booth. So we'll just leave it at that.

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