Christian Conservatism and Individualism

Is it true that Christian Conservatism Is Inherently Hypocritical? If you look at the world through a collectivist lens, you might think so, but you’d be wrong.


Note: This Picture is Included for Levity

Despite the fact that God commands us to “fear not” 365 times throughout the Bible, conservatives’ vote for Trump was informed and guided by fear – fear of the changing economy, fear of immigrants, fear of Muslims. The Christians who voted for him on one isolated issue (usually abortion) and ignored all of Trump’s flagrant affronts to their religion were simply using abortion as an excuse for voting for the party that they probably grew up voting for.

Claiming to know the motivations of American Christian conservatives seems more than a bit presumptuous. Speak for yourself.

In my opinion, most Christian conservatives simply vote for Republican candidates because they grew up believing that they were Republicans. Their religion and political affiliations have become so integral to their identities that they cannot accept that there is obvious dissonance between the two.

The first is almost certainly true for some American Christian conservatives. The second statement does not follow.

One obvious example is that Jesus makes it clear in Mark 12 that it is every Christian’s job first to love God, and then to love our fellow humans, just as we love ourselves. In 1 John 4:20, the Bible then states, “If a man says, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” In that sense, you cannot love God without loving your neighbor just as you love yourself. How then do Christian conservatives justify turning their backs on Syrian refugees, who are literally running for their lives?

The commandment to love your neighbour applies to you personally loving other individuals. If your neighbour is a Syrian, you should love him or her. The commandment says nothing about the law or how your government deals with refugees from other countries. Jesus also said that he did not come to change the law of the Torah, and under that law, the nations of the Syrians (AKA Canaanites) were to be destroyed. Don’t pretend that Jesus meant “elect officials who will allow refugee immigration” when he said “love your neighbour”.

How can they justify tearing apart families and deporting immigrants who left at best bleak and at worst treacherous situations in order to build a life in this country?

Again, you confuse the government with the individual. Also, Conservatives aren’t advocating that the government deport immigrants who came legally. They argue that criminals who are not citizens should be deported, and those who enter a country illegally are by definition criminals.

In Proverbs 31: 8-9, the Bible commands that we “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy,” yet most Republicans make no effort to do so.

Yet Conservatives give more to charity. Do not confuse what the government does with what the individual does.

In addition to this, conservatives generally have outspoken contempt for welfare and free healthcare programs, despite Jesus’ penchant for giving to the poor and healing the sick (for free!).

Jesus gave his own money to the poor. Conservatives do the same. Government programs are not charity. They are funded by taxes, which are involuntary.

Conservative Christians argue that they need to vote Republican in order to protect the sanctity of life. “All life is precious!” they claim, as they vote to expand capital punishment, reduce gun control, and restrict healthcare, and as they contemptuously shout down the people of color who protest police brutality against their communities.

No Conservative votes to restrict health care. Anyone is free to purchase healthcare. Many conservatives would like to remove regulations that prevent people from buying healthcare from whomever they want.

Jesus never claimed that life was only precious while inside the womb.

But I’m fairly certain that Jesus would have claimed that life was precious while inside the womb.

Republican lawmakers are consistently against improving education programs, particularly in impoverished areas.

Government education programs are terrible, yet so called progressives are against allowing parents to choose their schools.

Conservatives have a newfound contempt for experts and scientists, even though the Bible praises the benefits of knowledge.

Government and academic scientists often bring their political agenda to the table. That, and not their knowledge, is what people hold in contempt.

If you claim that Jesus would hold a progressive political agenda if he were alive today, you don’t understand his message. Jesus wanted people to focus on themselves, to become good individuals. He wasn’t interested in changing the laws of Judea, or having the state interfere in peoples lives to force them to follow his teachings.


About jimbelton

I'm a software developer, and a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and I blog about movies, books, and philosophy. My interest in religious philosophy and the search for the truth inspires much of my writing.
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