You Might Be a Paleo Evangelical If…

You Might Be a Paleo Evangelical If… June 4, 2013

Over at The American Conservative, my new Baylor colleague Alan Jacobs wonders if he is really a conservative (my short answer is yes), even though he declines to affiliate with the Republican party, doubts that corporate capitalism is the answer to all our social ills, and opposes “military adventurism” and nation-building.

Jacobs centers his own political convictions on three principles: being “consistently” pro-life, embracing “subsidiarity” (the idea that entities such as family, church, and voluntary organizations are better capable of meeting people’s needs than national bureaucracies), and learning from the wisdom of our ancestors.

Last fall I wrote “Paleo Evangelicals as Reluctant Republicans,” in which I explained why so many evangelicals, in spite of media stereotypes, find themselves ill at ease with the Republican party. And it is not because they are too liberal for the Republicans, it is because they are honest-to-goodness conservatives (“paleo” conservatives). Jacobs is making similar points here.

I would add that many evangelicals feel uncomfortable with the kind of American civil religion promoted by evangelical and Republican boosters. And while the Republican party remains our best option on very important issues to paleo evangelicals, including religious liberty and the right to life, many Republicans also seem the most eager to get us involved in overseas military escapades, and the most determined to derail even the most modest reforms that would deal firmly but compassionately with our tens of millions of undocumented immigrants.

In any case, read Jacobs’ whole piece – it may help you paleo evangelicals understand why you grit your teeth when you enter the voting booth.

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  • John Turner

    Thanks for the link. Politics aside, Alan’s final point is quite relevant for all of us historians, who jointly share a commitment to anamnesis.

  • Josh Lowery

    Darn. I was hoping this was going to bash Evangelicals who are doing the Paleo diet.