Which right wing Canadian party would you rather vote for?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Conservatives Vs Christians

POLITICS/RELIGION - It used to be that Conservative government meant you believed in a small government. The idea is relatively simple, there are basically three types of government sizes:

1. Dictatorship, a government so small that its basically just the leader giving orders to his/her underlings. Dictatorships are typically rife with corruption and even brutal military actions. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

2. A small "conservative" government which tries to run things more efficiently by having less people and less bureaucracy. In theory it is more efficient, but runs the risk of corruption and nepotism. If there is corruption ideally they must also be accountable for their actions.

3. A large bureaucratic government in which there's lots of forms to fill out and issues are debated constantly in order to prevent nepotism and corruption. Corruption can still happen, but the bureaucracy is there to try and keep it in check.

In recent years the word Conservative however has been co-opted by the Christian right-wing. Today the words Christian and Conservative tends to go hand-in-hand and its reached a point where its becoming both annoying and distressing.

For me, when I tell people I am a Conservative I usually have to stick a Progressive in front of it in order to differentiate myself from Christian wackos. I myself was raised a Christian, I do celebrate Christmas/Easter/etc., but I don't attend church and I also celebrate Halloween (which is considered to be a pagan holiday and forbidden by the more "orthodox" Christians), and I haven't read a bible in years.

I don't have any problem with people believing in god, the god or even a multitude of gods. You can believe in reincarnation for all I care. Your choice, not mine.

What I find distressing is the growing number of Conservative Christians in politics. George W. Bush, Stockwell Day, Stephen Harper, John McCain, Sarah Palin just to name a few. These are people who actually BELIEVE in Adam and Eve.

Even I, a born and raised Christian, doesn't believe in the existence of Adam and Eve. Oh sure, I'm sure there's a first man and woman who could be considered the first humans ever, but it was the result of evolution. I'm not going to get into the dynamics of whether there's such a thing as divine evolution so lets just say I believe God is a divine creator, who created the universe and everything in it, and in doing so also created evolution. God being all-knowing and wise likely has a very good reason for creating evolution and its probably something to do with survival of the fittest.

The point I am trying to make is that Conservative Christians actually believe all the things they read in the bible. They believe in Adam/Eve, that Jesus really walked on water and performed miracles, and they also believe in the Apocalypse.

And its the Apocalypse aspect that scares me. These are people who don't just believe in the Apocalypse, they're waiting for it to happen. Take a look at the number of Christian gun clubs there are in the United States and Canada. You know what they're training for? A religious war. A Jihad. The Apocalypse. Call it what you will, it all amounts to killing people of a different faith just because they call their god a different name like Allah or Jehovah or Dios.

I stuck the Spanish word for God "Dios" in there because thats all it really is, a linguistic difference. Allah is the Arabic word for god and Jehovah is the Hebrew word for god. Same god, different languages and slightly different religions.

And I say slightly for a reason. Islam and Christianity are so ridiculously similar its amazing they fight back and forth. Islam also has Jesus Christ (he's considered a prophet), Abraham, the Great Flood, Adam/Eve, the Commandments, etc. Judaism also has many of the same stories, except for Jesus who they believed was a charlatan.

I consider myself a god-fearing Christian, and by that I mean I am expected to do good in the world or else I will punished in the next. Killing people in the name of my religion doesn't seem very good to me. I don't care what lies we tell ourselves, its still murder and inherently wrong.

What disturbs and worries me is the percentage of people online who claim they're in favour of lining up Jews, Arabs, Homosexuals and basically anyone they don't like and shooting them all. Thats the kind of dictatorship sentiment you'd hear from a Hitler-wannabe. They would never admit it publicly, but they'll say it online just to piss people off or promote their racial/religious views.

And that is not Conservatism. Its fascism. It has nothing to do with small government that takes responsibility for its actions and is accountable.

Lets take an issue like abortion. This is not a Conservative issue, its a women's issue and a religious one too. On one side we have religious folks who think its wrong (they argue it counts as murder) and that it should not be allowed, and on the other side we have women/men who think its up to the woman to decide for herself because there's no proof a fetus is alive at early stages of pregnancy (it has no brain or heart of its own). Nothing to do with small government, everything to do with personal beliefs.

Lets take another issue like free health care. In Canada this is a no brainer as both conservatives and liberals support free health care, and indeed so does much of the industrialized world. The United States is the only country in the Americas or Europe that DOES NOT have free health care. There are those in the USA who say they should adopt an European/Canadian style of health care. This doesn't have anything to do with small government either.

The real reason why these Christian right-wingers profess to be Conservatives is because they know small governments are closer to dictatorships and are more easily corrupted. They think if they can just get enough pro-lifers or anti-free-health-care people into the Conservative government then they can control the moral direction the country takes.

But thats not how government or society works. People want their freedom and they deserve free health care. If we deny them something it will backlash in our faces and we will see liberalism, large bureaucratic governments and fiscal irresponsibility.

Conservative governments are about being small, fiscally responsible and accountable. Its not about forcing people to worship Jesus. End of story.