Saturday, May 7, 2016

Conservative vs. Christian

A moderately humorous look at how a Christian
might see the conservative player in
 today's discussion.

Conservative - those who hold a traditionalist viewpoint and associated values.  
The conservative is cautious about change, perhaps especially in regards to politics and religion. The conservative resists government involvement in life and business, property and wealth. Critical values are liberty, property, and autonomy.

Christian - those who follow Jesus, the son of God who is Father of us all.  
The Christian is focused on right relationship, with God (first) and with others.  Critical values are justice, mercy, truth, and service.

Conservatives vs. Christians: grouped by life behaviors according to critical values (US demographic, only) ...

The Conservative life effort (not talk, just actions) focuses largely on having.  
Carson offers insight into why government often has difficulty
addressing real-life issues with simplistic solutions.

It's not about money.  Money by itself is
 much too small.

  • Preparation for employment through education
  • Career defined by income and advancement
  • Accumulation of:
    • (1st) survival requirements, 
    • (2nd) comfort, lifestyle, and status requirements
    • (3rd) additional wealth (unearned, partially or fully) through investment (wager)
      • stocks for growth and dividend income
      • bonds for interest income
      • gold and silver for an income cushion against inflation
      • real estate for resale or rental income
      • tax avoidance

The Christian life effort (not talk, just actions) focuses largely on relationship and serving.

  • Preparation for life through education
  • Career defined by hard work and opportunity for service
  • Living with generosity, and having only for the purpose of helping and providing
    • Intelligent involvement - helping without hurting is a skill not a virtue
    • Committed participation by giving - not just a sop for today's tender conscience
    • Investment where it makes a difference - 
      • I can send a kid to college, or I can have a bigger TV; they cost about the same ...  
      • I can buy a bigger house, or I can sponsor some families and all their children and school and community improvement projects and maybe another ten families
    • Investment in what's needed - If I'm pro-life, that means I am also: 
      • pro-education and development, 
      • pro-health care, pro-nutrition, 
      • pro-shelter, safety, and security, 
      • pro-opportunity and mobility

Christian values (as compared to conservative values) make no place for being obscenely wealthy and continuing to be so at the expense of others.  The median western household is in the world's top 1% for wealth.  If you're above average, you'll make more in a year than most folks will in a lifetime.  Don't gloss over that.

Conservatives and big business:  twenty years of removing market safeguards (at the purchased insistence of the finance industry) gave us the collapse in 2007-8.  Derivatives and predatory lending made mega-billions for the wealthy.  Regulators turning a blind eye made billions for the perpetrators.  The government bailout provided billions in profits and bonuses for the monied participants.  Around the country, regular folks lost homes, savings, and security.  Around the world, regular folks suffered and the poor starved.  More than a million died in the first year due in part to the Great Recession.  

So what did Jesus say about such wealth and behavior?
Can someone like that enter the kingdom?  
Have we finished making excuses for ourselves yet?

Giving money at church isn't the solution, but it perhaps could be a good starting place, a first step.  Once we learn to give joyfully, we've begun to understand.  Giving of ourselves, our lives, and all we have is the honest second step in a rather long treck.  That's the calling of a Christian and completely missing from the conservative agenda.

Just my opinion, of course.  Feel free to disagree.
I suspect we're all less than perfect, me included.
This article was written to provoke my own thought and perhaps
a review of how I spend my own life.  I'm open to ideas.
You might appreciate - The Helper for some perspective.  Or Change Makers.  :)