(In preparation for the upcoming election cycle – with an eye toward “where faith and politics intersect.”
when I discuss the “contraception mandate” or the “gay agenda”, I specifically use the term “leftist” instead of “liberal.”
I’ve heard the question asked again and again, “why can’t we reach a compromise?”
I believe the answer lies in the “rise of the wings” – classic liberalism and classic conservatism had much in common. When the “wings” – right wing and left wing – move further and further apart, compromise becomes more difficult.
Classic conservatism and classic liberalism had, more or less, the same goals. Left wing politics and right wing politics do not.
One problem is that modern politics don’t use Biblical meanings. Christianity stresses personal responsibility, while the following thoughts on political conservatism stress societal responsibility. Liberal politics stress individual rights, but not responsibility.
A couple of basic definitions:
Conservative: A traditional conservative will support any social institution (public or private) that promotes and maintains social order and public good. A traditional conservative will emphasize the social/societal (both social responsibility and social benefit) over the isolated individual. (link)
Liberal: When the term “liberalism” (from the Latin word liberalis, meaning “pertaining to a free man”) first emerged in the early 1800s, it was founded on an unwavering belief in individual rights, the rule of law, limited government, private property, and laissez faire economics. These would remain the defining characteristics of liberalism throughout the liberal epoch, generally identified as the period from 1815-1914.
I’m looking for a simple comparison between “conservative” and “right wing” – which will be useful. But for time being, here is a short comparison between “liberal” and “leftist:”
Similarly, a liberal believes in and defends our Western heritage, while desiring to make it more egalitarian. A leftist is instinctively hostile to the Western heritage, regarding it as fundamentally unequal and therefore bad, and only redeemable through radical change. link
we are seeing it more and more, most publicly in both the “gay marriage” debate (you WILL celebrate the gay, or be sued) and the Hobby Lobby decision (Leftists are getting ever more open about wanting to eradicate religious liberty.)
And so it begins.