Conservatives vs Progressives

liberalconservativeI think I’ve worked out why conservatives think progressives are hypocrites for supporting the rights of Muslims… and why progressives cannot see it.

Conservatives: We want to use our government to make moral choices for others. If people with a different morality to our own gain control of our government they will force everybody to have their morals. Therefore, we must make sure that people with different values to ours are never given a voice otherwise they will take away our way of controlling people and use it to control us. Give more power to the good guys so they can protect us from the bad guys.
The best way to stop other people from controlling what we do is to control what they do.

Progressives: We want to use our government to ensure that everybody has their basic needs met and is able to participate in society. There are people in our society who want to dictate to other people what their morality should be. Some of them are closer to our moral code than others, but all of them need to be prevented from gaining the power to control all of us. Give more power to the people so that we don’t have people forced into a situation of having to be good guys or bad guys.
The best way to stop other people from controlling what we do is to remove a social mechanisms for control and create a society where people are empowered toward self expression to the extent that they don’t use that to control others.

To the progressive, the conservative approach to human rights is heavy handed, short sighted and counterproductive. It is giving excessive power to the government to control people without consideration of the consequences when the government cannot be controlled by the people.

To the conservative, the progressive approach to human rights is naive and inconsistent. How can you support protecting the rights of somebody who doesn’t respect your rights? How can you be on the side of women’s rights while also being on the side of a religion which marginalises women?

I don’t have the answers yet, but I think I may be slightly closer now to understanding the question.

One thought on “Conservatives vs Progressives

  1. It seems that Christianity has many different levels (some would say divisions) fundamentalist / conservative / progressive / liberal. These stages or phases are all important however, they all come with very real challenges (at both ends of the spectrum). Spiritual maturity ideally would take us to a worldview (and that’s what each of these views are) that is integral of integrated where the earlier stages are not rejected but transcended.

    The biggest challenge by far for conservatives is this inherent dislike (in many cases hatred) of all change and furthermore the Church has a very high number of people with this propensity (the mere fact that we still hold very strongly to a theology that was much more at home in 1517 than 2014 is one such example). Change is much easier for some of us than others.

    It is problematic when the way we see life/ God/ Christianity is always something that needs to be defended even more so when we are convinced (as many fundamentalist / conservatives are) that the way they see things is the same way God sees them. The earlier stages are always myopic where we take the text (Bible) and narrow it down to its smallest possible meaning or interpretation thereby setting it in concrete,

    Ps: I have may have missed the point here…if so forgive me.


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