bombstar
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Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2000 9:37 am

Conservativism/Christianity

Tue Feb 05, 2002 4:18 pm

There seems to be a relation between the two. I have seen it on these forums as well from time to time.
Generally a lot of conservatives seem to believe that certain things having to do with christianity (e.g lords prayer) should be excersized in school, and other things like that.

So, my question is, is conservativism a belief for christians? (or people of faith?)
 
Guest

RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Tue Feb 05, 2002 4:58 pm

I am a Christian, as such I can only speak for myself as a Christian. I don't, however, think that prayer should be explicitly or implicitly forced in school. For one, I realize that a prayer time in school would inevitably lead to some form of discrimintaion against either those who don't do it or those who do. Two, I don't particularly want some teacher that doesn't beleive in prayer leading a prayer. Three, what kind of prayer should there be? One to Allah? One to Christ? One to ? Saying that we should just make a generic prayer, results in no prayer at all, becuase ALL religions are either explicitly or implicity exclusive by nature.

Abortion, it is legal now. I can excericise my right to vote to make it illegal. That would be a legal means and a moral means of me expressing what I want changed. Failing that, I have no right to take justice into my hands by violating a law that doesn't force me to commit an act that is immoral. If the government said I must have an abortion, then I could violate that law, but it doesn't.

Homosexuality, they have human rights. I don't believe they have homosexual rights. I don't have the right to mistreat them personally verbally or physically. I have the obligation to treat them as my neighbor, co worker , and if they are my friend as a friend.

Any other issues?


 
Marco
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RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Tue Feb 05, 2002 11:25 pm

Conservatism is linked with Christianity IMO. I am a Christian and I believe that the Bible does teach us to be somewhat conservative. Most religions teach that too.
Proud to be an Assyrian!
 
JetService
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RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Tue Feb 05, 2002 11:52 pm

First, 'Conservatism' is a very vague and general term. But, if you just mean right-wingers, I beg to differ. Look at Catholics and Black-Americans. Catholics are split down the middle as far as Democrat and Republican and Black Americans are largely Democrat, yet as a group, they are among the most religious and Christian people in America. I don't see the relationship in religion and ideology.
"Shaddap you!"
 
heavymetal
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RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Wed Feb 06, 2002 12:15 am

Perhaps a more thought-provoking question...was Jesus a conservative...or liberal?
 
JetService
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RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Wed Feb 06, 2002 12:21 am

Well, He voted for Dole

I would guess a compassionate conservative Big grin
"Shaddap you!"
 
Superfly
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RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Wed Feb 06, 2002 3:24 am

JetService:
Well, He voted for Dole

You're right, they were born at the same time. Big grin

Bring back the Concorde
 
DE727UPS
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RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Wed Feb 06, 2002 4:16 am

It seems that there are some really conservative Christians on this board such as Q400/Alpha 1/Twotterwrench. The not so conservative Christians, like myself, don't often bother getting involved in the heated discussions that lead you to believe all Christians are conservative...these types of threads often just lead to spite and hate....and what does that accomplish?

Jesus was neither conservative nor liberal.....he simply followed God's agenda and let the chips fall where they may......
 
JetService
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RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Wed Feb 06, 2002 4:17 am

Superfly, heh heh, right! I was going to make fun of Strom's age, but I figured too many people here would start freaking out beyond recognition.
"Shaddap you!"
 
CPDC10-30
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RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Wed Feb 06, 2002 5:38 am

In Canada, Catholics as a group overwhelmingly vote for the Liberal party.
 
Guest

RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Wed Feb 06, 2002 6:14 am

CPDC10-30 wrote: "In Canada, Catholics as a group overwhelmingly vote for the Liberal party."

Traditionally they did, though I suspect that more of them are becoming 'swing voters' who have no particular allegiance to any one party, much like the blue-collar vote which is now split between the Liberals, New Democrats and Alliance.

As for evangelical conservatives, they have a much smaller population base to work from: evangelical Christians only make up about 10% of Canada's population, compared to about 25% in the U.S. And they keep backing self-destructive candidates: Bill Vander Zalm, Stockwell Day...



 
CPDC10-30
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RE: Mcdougald

Wed Feb 06, 2002 6:16 am

Well, all my Catholic relatives are still following through with the old tradition, but its good to hear it is changing.
 
pba_durst
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RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Wed Feb 06, 2002 6:43 am

Conservativism is much too broad of a term to try to determine if Christians fit into that mold. In reality, Christianity is also quite broad, as Christians come in many varieties and from all areas of life, too. There are non-conservative Christians. Thus, I believe that the answer to the question above would be "No, conservativism is not a core belief of Christianity."

There is a very good small research firm that does try to define the attitudes of church-attending Christians, run by George Barna (Barna Research, I believe, at www.barna.org .) You can get some statistics from them.

There is also a newer book which discusses and defines (among other things) the differences between the "religious right" and a "conservative Christian." I'm not recommending the book, but it does have a different, good definition for both, and looks at conservativism in the larger Baptist denominations. It is Soul Freedom: Baptist Battle Cry.
Paperback - 144 pages (June 16, 2000)
Smyth & Helwys Pub; ISBN: 1573123358 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.31 x 9.03 x 6.05 by Grady C. Cothen and James M. Dunn
($16 USD at a large on-line bookstore.)
 
Guest

RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Wed Feb 06, 2002 7:05 am

Guys,

You could really split the issue down the middle. The more conservative christians are very right wing whereas the more liberal christians seem to be a bit lefty.

Certainly you can equate strict christians with conservative parties - but still it's a bit rich in that department. The 'true' christians, and I mean the good people of the suburbs who devote their time to good causes and helping others are usually lefty.

One thing I have found is the more extreme christians on this board tend to be very conservative and American. Has anyone seen a Brit / Aussie / Canuk that is like this?

Cheers,

mb

A new star is born..
 
ctbarnes
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RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Wed Feb 06, 2002 7:25 am

I'm forced to disagree. Part of the problem is that Christianity has an unfortunate tendancy to be subsumed into political ideology. The result is that both the left and the right feel able to justify themselves by thinking that God is on their side. This is little more than using religion to justify a particular political stance, which is not what religion is about.

Jesus was ultimately put to death because he was perceived as a threat to the political and religious status quo. He went out of his way to shun the political movements of the day, and even criticised their small mindedness, as it prevented them from seeing the truth because they were so preoccupied with their political games. This irked a number of powerful people, and the rest is history.

Christianity, in short, transcends political ideology. It is not enslaved to it. We should concentrate on our own relationship to God and how we ourselves fall short in that relationship instead of trying to use God to push a political agenda. God cannot be put into a box. In fact, the attempts probably cause him great amusement.

Charles, SJ
The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
 
Guest

RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Wed Feb 06, 2002 7:44 am

Charles,

Very well put compared to the jumble of words coming out of my mind.

I'm sure god would be very amused too.

mb

 
Guest

RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Wed Feb 06, 2002 3:59 pm

A really good book on the subject is


"What in the world are we doing"

Or "What on earth are we doing"


Anyways, it's by JOHN FISCHER

It talks about the role of Christians in society and the mistakes we make when we are coming from the wrong directions.
 
Guest

RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Wed Feb 06, 2002 4:25 pm

CtBarnes, nice post. I agree, in part. But if Jesus were alive ( as in walking around as a member of the society) in the US, would he not use legal means to achieve good? Would he vote to ban slavery? See we can vote, and that is a legal means and a morally acceptable means by which, we as Christians can affect the good or right the wrongs in our society. This is opposed to illegal means ( blowing up abortion clinics) and morally unacceptable means such as coercion or revolt.
 
heavymetal
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RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Wed Feb 06, 2002 11:05 pm

But if Jesus were alive ( as in walking around as a member of the society) in the US, would he not use legal means to achieve good?

I doubt it. Jesus life wasn't about using cultural infrastructures to strengthen his message. It wouldn't be long before he'd be preaching to 15 or 20 people in a field and a young aggressive Christian marketing punk would get in his face and say "Why waste your time here when you can fundraise tax free, buy low priced late night cable time, and reach more consumers, reinvest your dividends, establish your own cable system, again as a tax free religious entity, reach more people, use your money to gain influence in Congress and rewrite broadcast regs to REQUIRE your programming be given air time, and before you know it you're sitting on top of a billion dollar Christian media franchise with your own publishing, record label, movie production house (How bout them 'Left Behind!' sequels!?).....hell, who knows, we smack "Christian" on the side of a 737 and we might have something!"

And the FIRST time this gentle country woodcrafter stood up publically and denounced the industry that his words fertilized.....

...he'd be labelled "anti-Christian."
 
Guest

RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Wed Feb 06, 2002 11:42 pm

Thanks for the exercize in hyperbole. I agree with you heavymetal, but your attacking a straw man if you think that was an attack on my post.
 
heavymetal
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RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Wed Feb 06, 2002 11:45 pm

Everything's "attack" with you. What's up with that?

Are your convictions that tender?
 
Guest

RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Wed Feb 06, 2002 11:52 pm

You quoted my post, than misconstrude my intent. I don't think you did it intentionally. That is all. Just clarifying that I agreed with the sentiments expressed in your post, but they are not what I was stating in mine. You were obviously attacking something? Just a casual glance, and one can infer that. My beliefs aren't tender or ill thought out, I welcome truth in all forms. I put my beliefs on the line daily and if they are proven wrong, I change them. No hard feelings, I don't dislike you if that is what you think. I'm sure you are a nice person, and I have no reason to think otherwise, if I gave a different impression, please accept my apology.
 
heavymetal
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RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Thu Feb 07, 2002 12:12 am

I don't think I misinterpreted your intent. You mentioned the systems Jesus might work in in modern day America. I offered the notion he'd ignore them, because too often they're cynically designed and rife with agenda that has little if anything to do with the life of Christ. You seemed to agree.

In any case it wasn't meant to be an affront on your comment. I'm sure you and I might differ on the exact variance of the "good" Christ might work towards, but we probably don't disagree that it would be quite a thing so see him walk the streets of modern America!

That would be something! To watch his genius cut through the clutter of this mass media society.....would we listen? Or become bored and tune over to Seinfeld re-runs?

 
ctbarnes
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RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Thu Feb 07, 2002 12:41 am

It's tough to speculate what Jesus might do if he were alive and preaching today. We know so little about Jesus the man that we cannot begin to speculate how he would act. This is because although the Gospels are a rich source of Jesus' teachings, they cannot be relied upon as biographies in the sense we understand them. The gospels were written about 40-60 years after Jesus' death and resurrection. During the intervening time the stories were passed along by word of mouth. When that happens, things change, get embellished, and interpreted for the needs of the early Christian communities for whom they were written.

What is relevent, however, is that we as Christians are the inheritors of his teachings and his desire to bring about the kingdom of God, and so we have the duty first and foremost to live the gospel for ourselves, and not worry about how others are or are not doing so.

As an aside, an atheist once asked the Christian poet and writer Kathleen Norris how it was she could be part of a church that was so hypocritical. She responded simply: "I am the only hypocrite I have to worry about in the Church."

Charles, SJ
The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
 
Guest

RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Thu Feb 07, 2002 12:48 am

The gospels were written about 40-60 years after Jesus' death and resurrection. During the intervening time the stories were passed along by word of mouth. When that happens, things change, get embellished, and interpreted for the needs of the early Christian communities for whom they were written.


Actually, most scholars, even the athiestic ones don't share this view. The new testament is the defacto standard of historical writings from antiquity. We have more copies (around 5,000) and they are in more agreement textually than any other. In fact the various manuscripts differ in only one half of one percent. No other book comes close. Only 40 some lines from the New Testament are actually in dispute. If you want sources, I will reply tonight from work.
 
heavymetal
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RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Thu Feb 07, 2002 12:56 am

Mr. Barnes, it is people like you that help keep my faith alive.

Is there no greater feeling than a living relationship with the wisdom of Jesus? No explanations, no pep rallies, no clever bumper stickers. You & Him, baby! Always there, never abrupt, constantly reminding you what is good in a weary world...and looking back at you with lovingly raised eyebrows when you know you're in the wrong.

How could I begin to market my relationship to others? Why would I want to? "Are you a Christian?" I'm asked. Sure...you got about 85 years for me to elaborate? And even that won't be long enough.

Love each other and that which made you. It is the most amazingly simple and infuriatingly difficult command ever expressed.

By yourself, desperately attempting to fulfill that chore, you personally are spreading the gospel more than a billion years of late night cable televangelists could ever dream of.
 
ctbarnes
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RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Thu Feb 07, 2002 2:32 am

Toadpipe:

Are you arguing from a fundamentalist perspective? If that's the case I can understand where you are coming from. Catholics are not fundamentalists, and historical criticism (as theologians like to call it) is widely used by Catholic and other non-fundamentalist protestant scripure scholars.

Still, I'd be interested to hear what you're reading, and I'd be willing to share the same. I took a class on the Synoptic Gospels last year, and a Christology course last Fall, so your perspective would be interesting.

Thanks!

Charles, SJ
The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
 
prebennorholm
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RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Thu Feb 07, 2002 4:16 am

"Give God what belongs to God".
"Give the Emporor what belongs to the Emporor".
(Maybe not correct quotation, I have no English Bible, it's translated from my Danish one).

It means that Christianity is not a political religion.

There are several good ways to politically organize a society. The very major qualities are:

1. Society is organized in accordance with the will of the population.

2. Opportunities to create a good like for everyone, also for "weak" members of society (physically/mentally disabled, former criminals, etc.)

Good liberals, good conservatives, they are equally compatible with Christianity.

Christianity is, of course, totally incompatible with insane politics (Hitler, Stalin, Saddam etc.), but that's another story.

Regards, Preben Norholm
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
redngold
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RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Thu Feb 07, 2002 7:40 am

Not necessarily true that all Christians are conservative. Some Christians are really into "social justice" which is considered a tenet of liberalism.

I tend towards conservatism, but I am also into social justice as well. So where am I? It depends on what topic.

redngold
Up, up and away!
 
N400QX
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RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Thu Feb 07, 2002 8:34 am

I agree with Don (DE727UPS) that you cannot, nor should you, try to label Christ as a leftist or a rightest. He didn't think (or, shall I say, act on anything) in terms of politics or anything worldly for that matter-- His work was soley for God.

Anyway, I also agree with the crowd that says you can't call Christianity either leftist or rightist, but I do believe it tends to lean slightly right of left, if that makes any sense. i.e., "resistance to tyrrany is obedience to God;" helping people, not throwing money at them; etc.

But as for myself, I attend a conservative church, I interpret the Bible as it is written (more literally than some, I would assume... but I don't know how you cannot read it literally..), and lie to the right/far-right on the political spectrum.

Overall, I don't think the Christian church should be very politicized.
 
Guest

RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Thu Feb 07, 2002 3:05 pm


Well, I suppose I'll throw my two bits in.

I don't believe that religion is necessarily a function of political preference, or vice versa. For example, there are many conservatives that are non-religious, and, there are many Christians that tend towards the political left. The religion to which I adhere makes it a point to not get politically involved, unless there are serious moral issues being discussed, but urges it's members to respond to the civic duties, and to use discretion in voting.
 
Guest

RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Thu Feb 07, 2002 4:24 pm

Contrary to popular opinion, there are various divisions within the Catholic Church, there are fundamental catholics, charismatic catholics, evangelical catholics, liberal catholics, etc.. The problem isn't protestant-centric.

Sources: Jacob Kreiemer- Die Osterevangelein- Geschichten um Geschichte, 1977 pp 49-50.
John A.T. Robinson, The Human Face of God, 1973
William Lane Craig, Assessing the New Testament Evidence for the Historocity of the Ressurection of Jesus, 1989.
Norman Perrin, The Ressurection According to Matthew, Mark, and Luke, 1977 pg.80
F.W. Hall, Manuscript Authorities For the Text of the Chief Classical Writers.

There are more if you want them, The best ones are a series of debates by William Lane Criag vs. John Dominic Crossan and Gerd Ludemann.

What am I? I am a Christian, I believe in th Bible as the Word of God, I am evangelical. I believe in free will and the soveriegnty of God, and I also believe in salvation by grace through faith alone. I don't believe faith is a work. I believe Jesus alone accomplished the work of atonement for all on the cross, and it is our choice to accept or reject this fact. I don't believe in the prayer to or the calling of anybody father, but God, as is explicitly stated in the Bible. I don't believe that any images of God or any other god should be prayed to or worshipped, once again as explicitly stated n the Bible. I don't believe in the infallbility of the Pope when he speaks ex cathedra ( which he has only done 2 times). I believe in sola scriptura not papal authority.
 
ctbarnes
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Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2000 2:20 pm

RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Sat Feb 09, 2002 1:17 am

Toadpipe,

Sorry for the delay, I had to prepare for a class presentation yesterday.

While it is true there are many flavors of Catholics, there are documents and beliefs, all of which are based upon scripture, which we subscribe to and from which we are able to forge our identity. It is also true we as a church have become very polarized in the last 20 years over ideological battles and what these documents actually mean. Very sad, in my book.

I would, however, point out that we Catholics do not believe in the dualistic notion of either fath or works. Rather we believe in faith and works, that it is our faith that motivates us to work for a more just world, relieve suffering, and so forth. The scriptural basis for this is in James 2:14-26

I too believe free will is important, and we do indeed have the freedom to accept or reject God's call, and God, in his infinate love for us, will honor our desire. God's grace, mediated by the Holy Spirit, is indeed at work in our desire to love and Follow God in the person of Jesus Christ, thus the concept of the Trinitarian God.

Infallibility is a concept which is frequently misunderstood, even among many catholics. The first way, as you point out, is the pope speaking ex cathedra, which you correctly say, has only been done twice in the last 150 years, thie first regarding the immaculate conception, the second regarding her bodily assumption into heaven. While in theory the Pope can make the pronouncement alone, in practice, the pope must take into account the belief of the Church in making his pronouncement. This is why both Popes made their pronouncements only after extensive consultation among the bishops in order to guage whether this is a belief which is widely held.

The second way in which infallibility is practiced is by ecumenical council, whereby the pope and bishops meeting in conclave make pronouncements after debate and democratic vote. The most recent example of an ecumenical council is the Second Vatican Council in the early 60's.

Getting back to the original question, the things I have been reading in my Scripure and Christology classes are:

Jesus: A Gospel Portrait by Donald Senior, 1992.

Ancient Christian Gospels by Helmut Koester, 1990

Interpreting the New Testament, and the Sacra Pagina commentary on Matthew's Gospel, both by Daniel Harrington

Plus a number of articles by Rudolf Bultmann and Vincent Taylor.

Hope this rather long-winded answer helps. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

Charles, SJ
The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
 
heavymetal
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RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Sat Feb 09, 2002 2:10 am

Charles...

Just curious...I see you're from Chicago....did you know or had you met Cardinal Bernadin?

To me he was a great hope for progressive Catholic thought and an honorable counter to the conservative
clerics on the East Coast. Plus, IMO at least, his courage in the face of disease and forgiveness in the face of false scandal were examples of Christ's life at work.

A great man....no?
 
ctbarnes
Posts: 3269
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2000 2:20 pm

RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Sat Feb 09, 2002 2:15 am

Heavymetal,

Sadly, I was not in Chicago while Bernadin was alive, and I was living abroad during the time of the accusations and his battle with cancer. He was a wonderful man, doing so much for the Church in Chicago.

BTW, have you read his book "The Gift of Peace?" This was a wonderful autobiography of the last three years of his life, and what introduced to me who he was and the legacy he left behind.

Charles, SJ
The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
 
heavymetal
Posts: 4442
Joined: Fri May 08, 2015 3:37 am

RE: Conservativism/Christianity

Sat Feb 09, 2002 2:53 am

"The Gift of Peace" occupies a very special place on my book shelf.

I page through it from time to time to remind myself there's no room in my world for self-pity and vindictiveness.  Wink/being sarcastic

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