"At its most basic level conservatism is a respect for history and tradition, including traditional moral principles. I do not believer that I am more moral, certainly no better, than anyone else, and conservatives who act "holier than thou" turn my stomach. So do some elite liberals. But I do believe in a few timeless and unchanging truths, among those is that man is fallen. This world is not perfect, and politicians will never make it so. This, above all, is what informs my pragmatic approach to politics.
We don't trust utopian promises from politicians. The role of government is not to perfect us, but to protect us--to protect our inalienable rights. The role of government in a civil society is to protect the individual and to establish a social contract so that we can live together in peace."
--Governor Sarah Palin
Going Rogue page 385-386 (emphasis added)Following the horrific and ineffably saddening shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday, "gun control" advocates have redoubled their calls for stricter "gun control" laws This is a part of a larger liberal pattern--governmental control leading to "perfection" of a fallen citizenry. As obesity rates rise, liberals call for governmental bans on soda, sugary foods, and salt. When there are above average temperatures, liberals call for government imposed carbon taxes and increased regulations to help curb what they see as anthropogenic global warming. When an individual makes a lot of money, liberals assume greed of the wealthy punishable with increased taxation. In other words, liberals believe government's role is to "perfect" us--to try to mold their constituents into their version of "perfect".
The idea that government can "perfect" us stems from an ideology that looks at problems from the perspective of fruit, rather than the seed. For liberals, the gun is the problem, not the hatred in someone's heart, which is the real seed of violence. The unhealthy food itself is the problem, not the seed of an individual's lack of self-control or poor understanding of healthy living that contributes to obesity. To the liberal, the solution for "global warming" is envirostatism-- essentially a punishment for carbon consumption. The liberal solution for the problem of the "greed" of the rich is to confiscate and redistribute what they earn, so the wealthy are punished for greed they may or may not have in their heart. In essence, to the liberal, government is god--capable of casting judgment and punishing "wrongdoing".
Conservatives look at problems from the perspective of the seed. A seed of hatred can drive someone to murder regardless of whether their weapon of choice is a gun, a knife, or their own two hands. A seed of a lack of personal responsibility can lead to behaviors that contribute to unhealthy weight.A conservative rejects the arrogance that we have the power to affect the climate, but still recognizes the value of being good stewards of the natural resources to which we have access.The conservative believes that the seed of greed is capable of growing in wealthy or poor soil, and it is up to the individual to plant or not to plant it. Conservatives believe that God is God, and government is not. The government is not responsible for creating their own value system so that they can punish those who reject their system.
When government becomes god, the true God gets pushed to the margin and personal responsibility is cast as an archaic idea. I am not an advocate for using the Bible as a political science manual. Rather, the Bible is God's inspired word intended to tell the story of God's grace and faithfulness, guide Christians how to live their lives, and show churches how to function. However, our society's rejection of those guiding words has enabled our electorate and subsequently our elected officials, to turn government into god, serving as both moral arbiter and provider. The Bible advocates sowing the seeds of love not hatred, personal responsibility not blame casting, stewardship not negligence, and generosity not greed. The recent seeds our society has planted has yielded a bad crop of fruit. Only when our society and our government realizes that we are planting the wrong seeds will our crop improve. This only happens when we let God reign, and government takes its proper place as what Thomas Paine called, "but a necessary evil".
Crossposted here and here.