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The Fallacy of Being Economically but Not Morally Conservative
Townhall.com ^ | March 2, 2014 | Michael Youssef

Posted on 03/02/2014 2:06:40 PM PST by Kaslin

Regular readers of my column know that I usually don’t use the words “conservative” and “liberal.” Why is that?

Because those words in today’s lingo—like the words “love” and “democracy”—can mean almost anything you want. Unlike past times when precision in meanings was important, we have now produced a generation that no longer understands the historic or political meaning of those words.

Within the population of the confused, however, my greatest disappointment is held for those who describe themselves as economically conservative, but socially liberal. But do they even know what that means?

On the economics side, this is what I think they mean:

• They believe in capitalism and the free market economy.

• They believe in hard work and accomplishing (financially, at least) the American dream.

• They believe in smaller government and private enterprise.

• They believe in fewer taxes and more opportunities for creating jobs.

On the social, or moral, side, I think it normally boils down to two issues:

• They believe in abortion-on-demand.

• They believe that homosexual marriage should be equal to heterosexual marriage.

However, there’s a major problem in trying to fit those two sides together. In God’s economy, total acceptance of Judeo-Christian morals has usually accompanied true blessings and economic prosperity.

As American history has shown, when people are committed to God and His moral laws, they become fully blessed. Likewise, a review of God’s history with the Israelites reveals this principle: Obedience to God’s moral absolutes brings about economic prosperity, but ignoring them brings economic disaster. The two are intertwined.

Scripture shows us a glaringly obvious trend—when God’s people dismissed His moral absolutes, the scourge of violence by the Assyrians, Babylonians, and Persians was their fate.

Sometimes the judgment wasn’t immediate. God is patient and long-suffering, and He would sometimes wait a long time for them to turn away from their foolishness. But eventually the judgment would come.

Make no mistake about it, God is consistent. He will not bless a nation that sheds the blood of innocents and shakes its fist at His purpose for the gift of human sexuality.

Of course, such a tight correlation may prompt one question: How can countries like China and Japan prosper without even a thought of God?

The answer is the same as to why God judged His people more strictly than the pagan empires of the time—His people should have known better. To be in covenant with God and then disregard that covenant carries a far greater judgment than not knowing God at all.

For America, the $100 trillion unfunded liability and the soon to be $20 trillion debt is only the beginning of the judgment we have brought upon ourselves. We have bought the fallacy that we can be economically-oriented without regard to God’s moral laws, and we will have to pay the price.

We should have known better.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: morality; socialconservatism; usdebt

1 posted on 03/02/2014 2:06:40 PM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

So which is it economic or moral -

Exporting jobs and causing a recession?


2 posted on 03/02/2014 2:12:07 PM PST by ex-snook (God is Love)
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To: Kaslin
Scripture shows us a glaringly obvious trend—when God’s people dismissed His moral absolutes, the scourge of violence by the Assyrians, Babylonians, and Persians was their fate.

That had more to do with failure to keep the Sabbath for the Land than anything to do with morality.

3 posted on 03/02/2014 2:25:26 PM PST by Carry_Okie (Islam offers us three choices: Defeat them utterly, die, or surrender to a life of slavery.)
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To: Kaslin

There never were clear definitions of “conservative” and “liberal”, or of any similar term. Precision in meanings never was. People are too varied.
If you want a thorough survey of what “conservative” has meant in the US, I recommend starting with Russell Kirk.

All such are fuzzy concepts, and they mutate. At best they define sets with their centers at some distance from other sets.
I don’t disagree with the desiderata in your ideal conception of conservatism, but let’s be real.


4 posted on 03/02/2014 2:26:13 PM PST by buwaya
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To: Kaslin

Social liberalism creates liberal voters and larger government, conservative economics require social conservatism among the voters and in the culture.


5 posted on 03/02/2014 2:31:07 PM PST by ansel12 (Ben Bradlee -- JFK told me that "he was all for people's solving their problems by abortion".)
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To: Kaslin

I’ve noticed that a lot of, not all, but a lot of folks who say they’re fiscal conservatives and social liberals end up sucking at the fiscal end as well.


6 posted on 03/02/2014 2:32:06 PM PST by RichInOC (Palin 2016: The Perfect Storm.)
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To: Kaslin

It really boils down to this:

Do you really think that someone who believes (morally) that anything goes - that you can smoke your brains out, have an abortion for any reason and at any time, give lots of free welfare to anyone who asks for it, sex with anyone means nothing and equate the LGBT lifestyle to just another another “normal” way of life...

is really going to

have ANY kind a fiscal discipline or say no to any kind of spending?


7 posted on 03/02/2014 2:35:55 PM PST by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: Kaslin

Bum for later


8 posted on 03/02/2014 2:40:16 PM PST by RaceBannon (Lk 16:31 And he said unto him If they hear not Moses and the prophets neither will theybe persuaded)
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Less than $2.7k to go!!

Make Today, Day 61 the day!

9 posted on 03/02/2014 2:43:33 PM PST by RedMDer (May we always be happy and may our enemies always know it. - Sarah Palin, 10-18-2010)
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To: Kaslin

No what they mean is financially conservative and at the same time willing to help the widow and the sick.

Anyone who believes abortion is ok is evil.


10 posted on 03/02/2014 2:49:33 PM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Kaslin

and homosexual relationships are forbidden by God


11 posted on 03/02/2014 2:50:10 PM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Kaslin
Scripture shows us a glaringly obvious trend—when God’s people dismissed His moral absolutes, the scourge of violence by the Assyrians, Babylonians, and Persians was their fate.

Uhh, the Persians rescued the Jews from oppression. There is no record in the Bible of oppression by the Persians. There is the partial exception of the Book of Esther, but the Persians wound up in practical terms on the Jewish side.

12 posted on 03/02/2014 2:58:53 PM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: Carry_Okie

Actually, God judged Israel because they did not keep the Sabbath rests, which were to be every 7th year, in which the land was to be allowed to rest, debts were to be forgiven, slaves were to be set free, etc. They functionally kept the Sabbath, but only in form, and not with their heart. The reason they had 70 years of bondage and dispersement to Babylon was because the the 70 Sabbath rests they had never kept from the time they entered the Promised Land, as God had told their leaders. Daniel explains this.


13 posted on 03/02/2014 3:06:46 PM PST by Shery (in APO Land)
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To: Shery
Actually, God judged Israel because they did not keep the Sabbath rests, which were to be every 7th year, in which the land was to be allowed to rest, debts were to be forgiven, slaves were to be set free, etc. They functionally kept the Sabbath, but only in form, and not with their heart. The reason they had 70 years of bondage and dispersement to Babylon was because the the 70 Sabbath rests they had never kept from the time they entered the Promised Land, as God had told their leaders. Daniel explains this.

I wrote a whole book on the topic. Your understanding, although conventional, is critically incomplete.

14 posted on 03/02/2014 3:08:45 PM PST by Carry_Okie (Islam offers us three choices: Defeat them utterly, die, or surrender to a life of slavery.)
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To: Shery

BTW, I believe you are thinking of 2nd Chronicles 36:20-21, where Ezra cites Jeremiah. The Sabbath for the Land is not specifically mentioned in the book of Daniel.


15 posted on 03/02/2014 3:16:52 PM PST by Carry_Okie (Islam offers us three choices: Defeat them utterly, die, or surrender to a life of slavery.)
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To: Kaslin

The whole idea of conservatism had been linked to traditional moral issues, and only in the past couple decades has it been delineated as fiscal or moral or both. I agree with this writer. You cannot divorce the moral values from fiscal conservatism and it continue to be considered conservative for very long before the immoral values of the person corrupt the whole. One of the reasons I had for quitting the libertarians was for this reason. They espoused fiscal issues and the Catholic writers were great writers on many conservative issues, but when it came to actually supporting traditional values, the libertarians vote with the Communists....all the way down the line. Their argument was that the “state” should not be having anything to say or do with moral issues, which I totally could agree with except for this one fine point: Once the state has already ruled on an issue, how does one get it back to just the local states to deal with, unless you bring the issue to vote and overturn the immoral law? They could NOT ANSWER that for me. Once the State (federal government) has its say, then they were unwilling to do ANYTHING to help undo that horrific law. ONe would have to conclude that they are okay with abortion, same-sex marriage, and any number of sins that have become prominent. I cannot go back to supporting libertarians again. The difference between them and Communists is one issue alone..that one being fiscal conservatism. They might as well say they are fiscally conservative Communists.


16 posted on 03/02/2014 3:22:29 PM PST by Shery (in APO Land)
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To: Kaslin
However, there’s a major problem in trying to fit those two sides together. In God’s economy

The majority of the people on this planet do not look to the same God you do to know that they are right or wrong.

You judge everything by what you believe that your version of God said, wants, and expects.

Others have a right to set their own standards according to what they believe or do not believe. You have a right to believe as you will but your rights stop completely just short of imposing them on others. That is why we have laws.

Living in a christian theocracy would be no better than living in an islamic theocracy. I refuse to be ruled by religious zealots no matter what flavor they are.

17 posted on 03/02/2014 3:37:34 PM PST by oldenuff2no
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To: Kaslin
"On the economics side, this is what I think they mean...

On the social, or moral, side, I think it normally boils down to two issues..."

You think? You think? Is basic reportorial research too much to ask for before commentary? Worthless.

18 posted on 03/02/2014 3:40:12 PM PST by muir_redwoods (When I first read it, " Atlas Shrugged" was fiction)
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To: oldenuff2no

I will point out to you that if any deity exists at all, then it does matter.

Your post assumes atheism as a given.

You can’t get there any other way.

For you to have any intellectual merit here at all, you will need to prove the non existence of a creator God. Even agnosticism is not enough here. You have attempted to imply that categorically there can be no being with the authority to impose standards on its creation.


19 posted on 03/02/2014 4:02:43 PM PST by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: Shery

You are generally correct.
Conservatives of the last century often weren’t economic liberals. Chesterton and his circle advocated semi-socialist policies, and of course we Catholics have Rerum Novarum and its later teachings. 19th century conservatives were even less libertarian. If you will recall, Bastiat’s most famous work is a response to Thiers, who supported high tariffs. Thiers was the man who crushed the Paris Commune.


20 posted on 03/02/2014 4:25:57 PM PST by buwaya
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To: Shery

You are generally correct.
Conservatives of the last century often weren’t economic liberals. Chesterton and his circle advocated semi-socialist policies, and of course we Catholics have Rerum Novarum and its later teachings. 19th century conservatives were even less libertarian. If you will recall, Bastiat’s most famous work is a response to Thiers, who supported high tariffs. Thiers was the man who crushed the Paris Commune.


21 posted on 03/02/2014 4:28:52 PM PST by buwaya
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To: buwaya

All of which just goes to show that when you attempt to equate modern political position to those of the past you are constantly tripping over your own feet. At least if you are willing to recognize the realities of history instead of just projecting present-day concerns into the past.


22 posted on 03/02/2014 5:04:22 PM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: yldstrk
No what they mean is financially conservative and at the same time willing to help the widow and the sick.

Maybe some do. How many of those social liberals also accept that government is the source of charity and as such must take from some and give to others such charity? To go even further, how many social liberal believe government can create special rights that when imposed by government tend to limit god given rights?

The U.S. Constitution limits the Federal government both fiscally & socially and as such, to limit government, conservatives must be both fiscally & morally conservative.

The Left rarely promotes its policies based upon saving money or reducing government; the left almost always talks social issues. IMHO it's called a culture war instead of a fiscal war for a reason. From my perspective in this war, the fiscal only conservative crowd are simply bystanders as the Left amasses power & imposes it's 'social' will upon the people. In essence the fiscal only conservative crowd are at best irrelevant & at worst actually helping the Leftists.

23 posted on 03/02/2014 5:10:59 PM PST by DBeers (†)
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To: DBeers

exactly, they always want to raise taxes because they are stealing


24 posted on 03/02/2014 7:06:47 PM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: MrEdd
Your post assumes atheism as a given.

First you need to learn the difference between an agnostic and an atheist.

Second no one can prove a negative so the burden of proof that your selected god exists is on you.

Third all of this is a straw man argument. My comment was to the absolute numerical fact that most of the world does not believe in your god. You want to change that discussion. I stand by that statement 100%.

25 posted on 03/02/2014 7:41:04 PM PST by oldenuff2no
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To: Kaslin

Strawman setup to fill up his blog.


26 posted on 03/02/2014 7:49:06 PM PST by SgtHooper (If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.)
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To: ansel12
Social liberalism creates liberal voters and larger government, conservative economics require social conservatism among the voters and in the culture.

Exactly. They are joined at the hip, you cannot have one without the other....When you remove the traditional family, Government will fill the void.

27 posted on 03/02/2014 7:52:05 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: yldstrk
Anyone who believes abortion is ok is evil.

Tens of millions of "Americans" endorse in the strongest possible terms the right of, if not themselves, then of their hapless neighbors to kill their unborn children. It's the way Americans are wired these days, and so shall they remain.

28 posted on 03/03/2014 5:56:00 AM PST by Theodore R. (Alas: TX Republicans to endorse Cornball and George P! Stay tuned March 4)
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To: Theodore R.

I feel extremely lonely and have a hard time circulating among all the pagans


29 posted on 03/03/2014 6:11:48 AM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: yldstrk

That’s what we have, pagans, many of whom are too uninformed even to define the word.


30 posted on 03/03/2014 12:22:33 PM PST by Theodore R. (Alas: TX Republicans to endorse Cornball and George P! Stay tuned March 4)
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