Conservatism Versus Progressivism – Religion and Politics

I’m often moved to write what I do as a result of things posted on social media. For all their ills, the various social sites out there are excellent sources of ideas that help to drive the writing of at least some of us who make it a practice to try to better understand our world.

Some of the things about which I write are in opposition to things posted. Some are in agreement. Yet others are divergent or expound on what was said in a given post.

One post I recently tried to take the time to analyze, spoke about a sort of dichotomy between the concepts of conservatism and progressivism, and I think I need to make a couple of points for the sake of clarification on my thoughts when I read what was written.

To begin with, I need to make it plain that as far as I’m aware from the very beginning where the United States is concerned, there were those largely in pursuit of one set of ideals, and those who were chasing entirely another.

Neither the title “conservative,” nor the title “progressive” is really a good fit for either group.

That said, one of the two groups was essentially conservative, and I’ve a feeling the other side of that debate mostly considered itself progressive.

There’s something I find interesting though.

Initially, it appears that for the most part, both groups were primarily comprised of Christians of one sort or other. I think one would be hard-put to argue that either started in much of any other place.

That said, it appears the conservative folks have generally stuck with the idea that there’s a God at the very least.

I’m not trying to make the argument that those on the conservative side are all either Christian, or even all believers in any type of God. I think it’d be reasonable argue many of them are Christians, and among the remainder, most at least have a belief in a Higher Power.

The ones who have no belief in an overarching deity are somewhat an anomaly, since they still seem to have a preference for the values that have long been in place. This is the case even though they have no commandments from on High to which they may ascribe the strictures upon which those values are based.

There are also those who appear to be in direct contradiction to the things Christians hold as foundational, while at the same time, largely supporting the conservative platform.

Some support the underlying values, some just seem to appreciate the fact that, where those on the right may disagree with them, they don’t generally attack or cancel them.

They may state disagreements and make arguments against what the outliers support, but they don’t beset or otherwise bedevil them for what they believe. They just register disagreement and hold to what they count reasonable and proper.

Among those on the side that now is routinely labeled progressive, there appear to be myriad positions.

Some seem to hold with the idea that those in the conservative movement may count themselves Christian, but they say the actions and statements of those claiming to be of that ideology are signs of their failure to grasp the meaning of “true Christian behavior.”

To be fair, there are those on the conservative side of the aisle, who feel much the same where their brethren on the progressive side of things are concerned.

Simply put, the people on each side who count themselves Christians, tend to believe those on the opposing one, have mistaken the calling to which they account themselves drawn.

I can’t speak to the numbers, but there are also those who have no belief in any being of greater power or authority than man.

For these folks, the simple reality is, since man is the strongest, smartest, most advanced thing there is, humans must make the rules. That means if the rules made to date are flawed in some fashion, it’s incumbent on man, and him alone, to correct the wrongs or ills that exist.

It seems there’re some who are in a sort of in-between state. They largely appear to be of a mind there are some sort of natural laws. Those folks seem to believe that there’s some mechanism that controls things.

I suppose these are the people I would term true progressives.

My reason for this distinction, is that those who believe man is the ultimate authority, must also believe that we’re the ones who make and change the rules. Where one could count those changes to be progression, since there appears to be no external standard, the application of the term is questionable at best.

Those who hold that some other thing has sway (probably the majority under the progressive label, though I have no facts to support that), must assume they need to “progress” in ways that move them closer to what the controlling entities require. Whether that’s something that’s intelligent, or some simple sort of “rule engine” is, I’m somewhat convinced, irrelevant to anyone but the person holding that view.

In the end, I’m not entirely convinced the basis for either side to do as they do is always a simple matter.

Whether those who hold a particular view are correct or incorrect in what they believe, it’s likely the case that they’re driven forward by those beliefs.

All this said, it seems to me the first order of business, is to get as many people as we’re able, to a place where they realize the faults in what they believe. For my part, that would seem to be a matter of pointing them toward God, and allowing Him to do a transformational work in their lives.

Before that happens, I don’t have a great deal of hope that unity of purpose can be achieved.

Concluding, I get that there are essentially three types of people, those who are conservative, those who are progressive, and those who don’t fall neatly in either camp. My assumption being that the third group is not a large one. The conservatives are largely motivated by a desire to keep things as they are, making changes as and where needed. The progressives feeling things need to be changed for more than one set of reasons. I don’t see how anyone can know about the third group.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

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