The four ways liberals think about conservatives

Gerard Alexander, associate professor of politics at the University of Virginia, has studied the phenomenon of how the left has a habit of simply dismissing conservatives–not taking their ideas seriously even when they are presented with factual evidence, condescending to non-liberal voters, and refusing to learn from conservative successes.  He found that the liberal worldview is governed by four narratives that determine their assumptions and rhetoric about conservatives

The first is the “vast right-wing conspiracy,” a narrative made famous by Hillary Rodham Clinton but hardly limited to her. This vision maintains that conservatives win elections and policy debates not because they triumph in the open battle of ideas but because they deploy brilliant and sinister campaign tactics. A dense network of professional political strategists such as Karl Rove, think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation and industry groups allegedly manipulate information and mislead the public. . . .

But, if conservative leaders are crass manipulators, then the rank-and-file Americans who support them must be manipulated at best, or stupid at worst. This is the second variety of liberal condescension, exemplified in Thomas Frank’s best-selling 2004 book, “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” Frank argued that working-class voters were so distracted by issues such as abortion that they were induced into voting against their own economic interests. Then-Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, later chairman of the Democratic National Committee, echoed that theme in his 2004 presidential run, when he said Republicans had succeeded in getting Southern whites to focus on “guns, God and gays” instead of economic redistribution. . . .

The third version of liberal condescension points to something more sinister. In his 2008 book, “Nixonland,” progressive writer Rick Perlstein argued that Richard Nixon created an enduring Republican strategy of mobilizing the ethnic and other resentments of some Americans against others. Similarly, in their 1992 book, “Chain Reaction,” Thomas Byrne Edsall and Mary D. Edsall argued that Nixon and Reagan talked up crime control, low taxes and welfare reform to cloak racial animus and help make it mainstream. It is now an article of faith among many liberals that Republicans win elections because they tap into white prejudice against blacks and immigrants. . . .

Finally, liberals condescend to the rest of us when they say conservatives are driven purely by emotion and anxiety — including fear of change — whereas liberals have the harder task of appealing to evidence and logic. Former vice president Al Gore made this case in his 2007 book, “The Assault on Reason,” in which he expressed fear that American politics was under siege from a coalition of religious fundamentalists, foreign policy extremists and industry groups opposed to “any reasoning process that threatens their economic goals.” This right-wing politics involves a gradual “abandonment of concern for reason or evidence” and relies on propaganda to maintain public support, he wrote.

Read the whole article, which details and accounts for each of these paradigms. Watch for them. They even show up in our discussions on this blog.

via Why are liberals so condescending? – washingtonpost.com.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • fws

    i could substitute the word liberal where conservative appears and conservative for where liberal appears in this article and it would still ring true to me. so where does that observation lead one to think?

  • fws

    i could substitute the word liberal where conservative appears and conservative for where liberal appears in this article and it would still ring true to me. so where does that observation lead one to think?

  • http://manringen.blogspot.com Edward Manlring

    These “condescending” attitudes fail to take into account that the conservatives might just be right. Why should we give up on the social issues of the day to prop up economic problems. To me, life issues are not just some flotsam to be ignored. Some of the ideas of conservatives deserve serious attention.

  • http://manringen.blogspot.com Edward Manlring

    These “condescending” attitudes fail to take into account that the conservatives might just be right. Why should we give up on the social issues of the day to prop up economic problems. To me, life issues are not just some flotsam to be ignored. Some of the ideas of conservatives deserve serious attention.

  • http://jen-lehmann.livejournal.com Jen

    I second what fws says. I don’t know if I can point to media examples as eloquently as this article, but I’ve been a part of many a conversation whose basic tone was “If those voters had been intelligent enough or cared enough to actually look at the positions of the candidates, they wouldn’t have voted for Obama.” Just the other day, a discussion in my office included the statement, “I think people just felt bad and saw this attractive black man running for President.” And it doesn’t get much more condescending than Rush.

  • http://jen-lehmann.livejournal.com Jen

    I second what fws says. I don’t know if I can point to media examples as eloquently as this article, but I’ve been a part of many a conversation whose basic tone was “If those voters had been intelligent enough or cared enough to actually look at the positions of the candidates, they wouldn’t have voted for Obama.” Just the other day, a discussion in my office included the statement, “I think people just felt bad and saw this attractive black man running for President.” And it doesn’t get much more condescending than Rush.

  • Winston Smith

    Although I have identified as conservative ever since my teens (I campaigned for Reagan in 1980 but couldn’t vote for him), these days I don’t even know what “conservative” means anymore. Conservatives still claim to believe in the original meaning of the Constitution, with its limited powers and checks and balances, but they can’t seem to agree on the practical implications. There is a fundamental split between small-government conservatives like Ron Paul and big-government Republicans like George W. Bush, who gave us No Child Left Behind and the prescription drug entitlement, as well as the two biggest federal boondoggles, George and Dick’s Excellent Adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    In addition, there are neocons (ex-Trotskyites) and Christian Dominionists/theonomists, both groups who have no problem with relying on a massive, overbearing federal government to do their heavy lifting.

    For me, it makes more sense to think in terms of small-government and big-government folks, rather than conservatives and liberals.

  • Winston Smith

    Although I have identified as conservative ever since my teens (I campaigned for Reagan in 1980 but couldn’t vote for him), these days I don’t even know what “conservative” means anymore. Conservatives still claim to believe in the original meaning of the Constitution, with its limited powers and checks and balances, but they can’t seem to agree on the practical implications. There is a fundamental split between small-government conservatives like Ron Paul and big-government Republicans like George W. Bush, who gave us No Child Left Behind and the prescription drug entitlement, as well as the two biggest federal boondoggles, George and Dick’s Excellent Adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    In addition, there are neocons (ex-Trotskyites) and Christian Dominionists/theonomists, both groups who have no problem with relying on a massive, overbearing federal government to do their heavy lifting.

    For me, it makes more sense to think in terms of small-government and big-government folks, rather than conservatives and liberals.

  • Orianna Laun

    This takes place in religion as well as government. I don’t know how many times I’ve been told by those with a liberal bent to “think for myself” both in political and religious realms.
    Maybe it’s true that both sides have the same view of each other as being either subversive or lemming like, but one also has to ask which ideology is more prevalant in our schools, media, and churches? I know that when I was in public high school the ideology touted was not conservative. I could tell you stories, but I don’t want to take up that much space.

  • Orianna Laun

    This takes place in religion as well as government. I don’t know how many times I’ve been told by those with a liberal bent to “think for myself” both in political and religious realms.
    Maybe it’s true that both sides have the same view of each other as being either subversive or lemming like, but one also has to ask which ideology is more prevalant in our schools, media, and churches? I know that when I was in public high school the ideology touted was not conservative. I could tell you stories, but I don’t want to take up that much space.

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    As a ghastly outsider ;) , I second fws.These are the ways most people think of their political opposition, irrespective of their political positions. I saw this game in SA, and I see it here in Canada.

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    As a ghastly outsider ;) , I second fws.These are the ways most people think of their political opposition, irrespective of their political positions. I saw this game in SA, and I see it here in Canada.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Conservatives essentially favor established social institutions and mores and economic freedom. They, also, favor careful incremental change as opposed to major or revolutionary change, except in such cases as the American Revolution, which was really an attempt to maintain established freedoms that were increasingly jeopardized by British king and Parliament.

    Edmund Burke, a classic conservative, noticed in the 18th Century that radical liberals in Britain and France favored social and political revolution based on supposedly enlightened thinking. Many of these liberals then, as now, tend to disdain the ideas of those whom they regard as moss-back conservatives. Pres. Obama would be a garden-varietyexample of a contemporary with similar disdain.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Conservatives essentially favor established social institutions and mores and economic freedom. They, also, favor careful incremental change as opposed to major or revolutionary change, except in such cases as the American Revolution, which was really an attempt to maintain established freedoms that were increasingly jeopardized by British king and Parliament.

    Edmund Burke, a classic conservative, noticed in the 18th Century that radical liberals in Britain and France favored social and political revolution based on supposedly enlightened thinking. Many of these liberals then, as now, tend to disdain the ideas of those whom they regard as moss-back conservatives. Pres. Obama would be a garden-varietyexample of a contemporary with similar disdain.

  • Jerry

    We often overlook the Puritanical roots of the liberal movement in America. Their view of conservatives is not just condescending, but judgmental and legalistic. However, conservatives as far as they also are legalistic can be just as condescending. The answer of course is a world-view based on the gospel of Christ.

  • Jerry

    We often overlook the Puritanical roots of the liberal movement in America. Their view of conservatives is not just condescending, but judgmental and legalistic. However, conservatives as far as they also are legalistic can be just as condescending. The answer of course is a world-view based on the gospel of Christ.

  • Winston Smith

    Jerry is correct. A Biblical worldview is an offense to both doctrinaire conservatives and liberals alike. The Bible teaches liberals that there is absolute truth and that morality matters. Abortion and homosexuality are wrong, and capital punishment and war are allowable. At the same time, the Bible admonishes conservatives that Christ is the ultimate good, not “family values” or the United States of America. It reminds law-n-order conservatives that mercy triumphs over judgment, and pro-business conservatives that making money isn’t the only thing in life.

  • Winston Smith

    Jerry is correct. A Biblical worldview is an offense to both doctrinaire conservatives and liberals alike. The Bible teaches liberals that there is absolute truth and that morality matters. Abortion and homosexuality are wrong, and capital punishment and war are allowable. At the same time, the Bible admonishes conservatives that Christ is the ultimate good, not “family values” or the United States of America. It reminds law-n-order conservatives that mercy triumphs over judgment, and pro-business conservatives that making money isn’t the only thing in life.

  • Carl Vehse

    Here’s four ways conservatives should think about the actions of liberals (leftists):

    1. Murder, e.g., for liberals’ pro-abortion efforts in the genocide of 50 million unborn Americans.
    2. Theft, e.g., for liberals’ socialistic efforts in stealing the nation’s economic wealth from the current and future generations of Americans.
    3. Lies, e.g., for the liberal party’s nomination of idiots in the last three presidential elections, for the propaganda of the liberal media, and for liberals’ promotion and celebration of moral perversion.
    4. Treason, e.g., all of the above, and for the liberals’ other efforts in weakening and disarming U.S. military strength and sovereignty and giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

    Furthermore, conservatives should also be thinking about bringing such liberals to justice.

  • Carl Vehse

    Here’s four ways conservatives should think about the actions of liberals (leftists):

    1. Murder, e.g., for liberals’ pro-abortion efforts in the genocide of 50 million unborn Americans.
    2. Theft, e.g., for liberals’ socialistic efforts in stealing the nation’s economic wealth from the current and future generations of Americans.
    3. Lies, e.g., for the liberal party’s nomination of idiots in the last three presidential elections, for the propaganda of the liberal media, and for liberals’ promotion and celebration of moral perversion.
    4. Treason, e.g., all of the above, and for the liberals’ other efforts in weakening and disarming U.S. military strength and sovereignty and giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

    Furthermore, conservatives should also be thinking about bringing such liberals to justice.

  • Carl Vehse

    Here’s four ways conservatives should think about the actions of liberals (i.e., leftists):

    1. Murder, e.g., for liberals’ pro-abortion efforts in the genocide of 50 million unborn Americans.
    2. Theft, e.g., for liberals’ socialistic efforts in stealing the nation’s economic wealth from the current and future generations of Americans.
    3. Lies, e.g., for the liberal party’s nomination of idiots in the last three presidential elections, for the propaganda of the liberal media, and for liberals’ promotion and celebration of moral perversion.
    4. Treason, e.g., all of the above, and for the liberals’ other efforts in weakening and disarming U.S. military strength and sovereignty and giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

    Furthermore, conservatives should also be thinking about bringing such liberals to justice.

  • Carl Vehse

    Here’s four ways conservatives should think about the actions of liberals (i.e., leftists):

    1. Murder, e.g., for liberals’ pro-abortion efforts in the genocide of 50 million unborn Americans.
    2. Theft, e.g., for liberals’ socialistic efforts in stealing the nation’s economic wealth from the current and future generations of Americans.
    3. Lies, e.g., for the liberal party’s nomination of idiots in the last three presidential elections, for the propaganda of the liberal media, and for liberals’ promotion and celebration of moral perversion.
    4. Treason, e.g., all of the above, and for the liberals’ other efforts in weakening and disarming U.S. military strength and sovereignty and giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

    Furthermore, conservatives should also be thinking about bringing such liberals to justice.

  • John C

    A significant number of Republicans believe in the Rapture. They want intelligent design taught in schools and they say the earth is less than 10 000 years old. They think Obama is a follower of Islam and not an American citizen. Furthermore, the President is a socialist, a communist and a fascist who believes in death panels.
    It is almost impossible for a Liberal to conduct a serious conversation with these people — there is no common ground. It is Bush and Rove’s legacy.

  • John C

    A significant number of Republicans believe in the Rapture. They want intelligent design taught in schools and they say the earth is less than 10 000 years old. They think Obama is a follower of Islam and not an American citizen. Furthermore, the President is a socialist, a communist and a fascist who believes in death panels.
    It is almost impossible for a Liberal to conduct a serious conversation with these people — there is no common ground. It is Bush and Rove’s legacy.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    @fws
    That’s exactly what I was thinking!

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    @fws
    That’s exactly what I was thinking!

  • Gil Franke

    One need not read many of the comments to the Washington Post article to realize that any bipartisan action in congress or honest dialog in our land is impossible! “East is east and west is west, and never the twain . . . !” Until we start having respectful conversations with those whose views are quite different from ours, we will all continue to be condescending and smugly couched in our attitudes, and sacrificed on the horns of our own altars! This is true in a political sense in matters of both church and state. I appreciate and commend you, Gene, for hosting matters of this nature on your blog where, hopefully, such dialog might begin. Thanks!

  • Gil Franke

    One need not read many of the comments to the Washington Post article to realize that any bipartisan action in congress or honest dialog in our land is impossible! “East is east and west is west, and never the twain . . . !” Until we start having respectful conversations with those whose views are quite different from ours, we will all continue to be condescending and smugly couched in our attitudes, and sacrificed on the horns of our own altars! This is true in a political sense in matters of both church and state. I appreciate and commend you, Gene, for hosting matters of this nature on your blog where, hopefully, such dialog might begin. Thanks!

  • Kandyce

    @ #9 Winston
    Amen! I very often feel that I don’t have a political party. I cannot vote for a Democrat because of the party platform on abortion and because I disagree with their solutions to social problems, mostly because I am a small government individual at heart. I also have problems with the Republicans, mostly because I am pro-small government again. I thought I should become a Libertarian for a while, but they are a pro-choice party, and I disagree with their view of the current military conflicts. I hate the condescension from all sides, and many times I want to withdraw from participating in politics completely. Yet I have a responsibility to my community to pay attention and to vote. I just wish one time I could vote for a candidate, and not feel like I am picking the lesser evil.

  • Kandyce

    @ #9 Winston
    Amen! I very often feel that I don’t have a political party. I cannot vote for a Democrat because of the party platform on abortion and because I disagree with their solutions to social problems, mostly because I am a small government individual at heart. I also have problems with the Republicans, mostly because I am pro-small government again. I thought I should become a Libertarian for a while, but they are a pro-choice party, and I disagree with their view of the current military conflicts. I hate the condescension from all sides, and many times I want to withdraw from participating in politics completely. Yet I have a responsibility to my community to pay attention and to vote. I just wish one time I could vote for a candidate, and not feel like I am picking the lesser evil.

  • Dan Kempin

    Jen #3,

    Rush Limbaugh is one of the very few members of the broadcast media who does NOT condescend to his audience. He assumes that his listeners understand humor and he trusts them to distinguish when he is illustrating absurdity with absurdity.

    It’s true. You should listen some time.

  • Dan Kempin

    Jen #3,

    Rush Limbaugh is one of the very few members of the broadcast media who does NOT condescend to his audience. He assumes that his listeners understand humor and he trusts them to distinguish when he is illustrating absurdity with absurdity.

    It’s true. You should listen some time.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kudos to the foregoing commenters for largely not taking the bait on this one. What a ridiculous article. It decries smugness and condescension, but feels free to wallow in same. It says that what we need is dialogue, yet offers diatribe instead. Fie.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kudos to the foregoing commenters for largely not taking the bait on this one. What a ridiculous article. It decries smugness and condescension, but feels free to wallow in same. It says that what we need is dialogue, yet offers diatribe instead. Fie.

  • Kandyce

    tODD,
    I find that today it appears that my contemporaries make rather impulsive political decisions and use ridiculous arguments to back them up on both sides of the aisle. i.e., I will say that I disagree with government-run social programs because I believe them to be an inefficient use of resources and I often find them oppressing those they are supposed to benefit. What I will hear as I reply is, “Well, you don’t believe in evolution, so you are an idiot head!”
    I wish dialogue was a possibility, but how can it be in an environment of “I’m right and you’re wrong”?

  • Kandyce

    tODD,
    I find that today it appears that my contemporaries make rather impulsive political decisions and use ridiculous arguments to back them up on both sides of the aisle. i.e., I will say that I disagree with government-run social programs because I believe them to be an inefficient use of resources and I often find them oppressing those they are supposed to benefit. What I will hear as I reply is, “Well, you don’t believe in evolution, so you are an idiot head!”
    I wish dialogue was a possibility, but how can it be in an environment of “I’m right and you’re wrong”?

  • kerner

    At the risk of sounding like the kid in the school yard caught fighting, and saying “He started it!”, I understand that liberals and conservatives are starting to sound the same. But liberals, did, in fact, start it. Here’s why I think so.

    When you read the the writings of the economic political and philosophical writings of the 19th century founders of big government, secular humanist theory, you notice a few things. The theory of evolution was developed by Darwin about the same time these me were writing. Never mind what you think of Darwin as a scientist for a minute. My point is that people like Marx and Nietzsche and a lot of others latched on to evolution and applied it to their work on sociological matters. You routinely read that, for example, societies evole from feudalism, to capitalism, to socialism, to communism. Or that they evolve from animist polythism to monotheism to enlightened humanist atheism.

    The point of these writings is not to present themselves as simply different points of view or to suggest that they are subject to compromise, but to claim that these processes are evolution, or “progress”. For a society to become socialist or atheist is for it to evolve into something better, and for it to do so is as inevitable as man’s assent from the neanderthal stage. Anyone who resists this progress is as ridiculous and dangerous as someone who would try to keep people from walking upright on two legs.

    This prejudice has seeped into our language, as humanist statists are called “progressive” (i.e. moving toward the shining future) while those who resist them are “conservative” (one who conserves is, by definition, trying to hold onto something which he will inevitably lose). Many older conservatives (Bob Dole types) bought into this idea, and so didn’t try to stop the process, but only tried to slow it down.

    In Europe, the process has largely gone according to expectations. Europe is a pretty atheist, statist place. But the USA has remained more committed to religion (if not always to Christianity) and to freedom from state central planning. This is why progressives care so much what Old Europe thinks of us. Old Europe is what liberals wish the USA was: secular and socialist. That the USA has become an economic and military super power by ignoring liberals is absolute heresy to them. It must be a) corrected and b) explained away as a fluke as quickly as possible.

    So, yeah, John C., @11, I believe in the Second Coming (the distinction between this and the “Rapture” is probably irrelevant to liberals) and intelligent design. And I believe (quite accurately) that the economic policies of the Obama adninistration resemble in many ways the economic policies of Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, or more recently, Peronist Argentina.

    But if we have no common ground, it isn’t the legasy of Bush and Rove. It’s because belief in the evolution of society into statist humanism (and believing that’s a good thing) is a left wing article of faith that I just don’t share. Everything liberals call progress seems mostly to be tyranny to me, or in the spiritual realm, it is pretty much unbelief. But you’re right about one thing. What do statist or atheists and people like me have to discuss?

  • kerner

    At the risk of sounding like the kid in the school yard caught fighting, and saying “He started it!”, I understand that liberals and conservatives are starting to sound the same. But liberals, did, in fact, start it. Here’s why I think so.

    When you read the the writings of the economic political and philosophical writings of the 19th century founders of big government, secular humanist theory, you notice a few things. The theory of evolution was developed by Darwin about the same time these me were writing. Never mind what you think of Darwin as a scientist for a minute. My point is that people like Marx and Nietzsche and a lot of others latched on to evolution and applied it to their work on sociological matters. You routinely read that, for example, societies evole from feudalism, to capitalism, to socialism, to communism. Or that they evolve from animist polythism to monotheism to enlightened humanist atheism.

    The point of these writings is not to present themselves as simply different points of view or to suggest that they are subject to compromise, but to claim that these processes are evolution, or “progress”. For a society to become socialist or atheist is for it to evolve into something better, and for it to do so is as inevitable as man’s assent from the neanderthal stage. Anyone who resists this progress is as ridiculous and dangerous as someone who would try to keep people from walking upright on two legs.

    This prejudice has seeped into our language, as humanist statists are called “progressive” (i.e. moving toward the shining future) while those who resist them are “conservative” (one who conserves is, by definition, trying to hold onto something which he will inevitably lose). Many older conservatives (Bob Dole types) bought into this idea, and so didn’t try to stop the process, but only tried to slow it down.

    In Europe, the process has largely gone according to expectations. Europe is a pretty atheist, statist place. But the USA has remained more committed to religion (if not always to Christianity) and to freedom from state central planning. This is why progressives care so much what Old Europe thinks of us. Old Europe is what liberals wish the USA was: secular and socialist. That the USA has become an economic and military super power by ignoring liberals is absolute heresy to them. It must be a) corrected and b) explained away as a fluke as quickly as possible.

    So, yeah, John C., @11, I believe in the Second Coming (the distinction between this and the “Rapture” is probably irrelevant to liberals) and intelligent design. And I believe (quite accurately) that the economic policies of the Obama adninistration resemble in many ways the economic policies of Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, or more recently, Peronist Argentina.

    But if we have no common ground, it isn’t the legasy of Bush and Rove. It’s because belief in the evolution of society into statist humanism (and believing that’s a good thing) is a left wing article of faith that I just don’t share. Everything liberals call progress seems mostly to be tyranny to me, or in the spiritual realm, it is pretty much unbelief. But you’re right about one thing. What do statist or atheists and people like me have to discuss?

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Well, let’s look at an example: the recent Supreme Court ruling throwing out the McCain-Feingold restrictions on political speech by organizations. Immediately, what I read from its critics was not so much disagreements over the interpretation of the Constitution (though I eventually found some of that). Rather, it was rhetoric about American corporations running the country! The Supreme Court packed by Republicans is repaying its corporate masters! (Shifting away from the interest-group organizations the ruling dealt with to the evil capitalist multi-national corporations.) Jumping immediately to these four explanatory paradigms rather than considering the details of each issue is what is so frustrating and so reductionist.

    Look at John C’s comment above: He disagrees with the article because, in his mind, conservatives ARE stupid, and it’s all the doing of Bush & Karl Rove.

    It is true that Conservatives may have similar “narratives” against liberals. Carl offers some. I’d be glad to hear of others. But the article is about how liberals view conservatives, by a well-credentialed political scientist, who also traces these “narratives” back through much of the last century.

    tODD, are you saying that these four themes are not to be found in liberal rhetoric? Look at the Huffington Post and its commenters for an abundance of examples. Do you think that these folks are taking conservative ideas seriously, even as they disagree or refute them? Or are they dismissing them out of hand on the basis of one or more of these four paradigms?

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Well, let’s look at an example: the recent Supreme Court ruling throwing out the McCain-Feingold restrictions on political speech by organizations. Immediately, what I read from its critics was not so much disagreements over the interpretation of the Constitution (though I eventually found some of that). Rather, it was rhetoric about American corporations running the country! The Supreme Court packed by Republicans is repaying its corporate masters! (Shifting away from the interest-group organizations the ruling dealt with to the evil capitalist multi-national corporations.) Jumping immediately to these four explanatory paradigms rather than considering the details of each issue is what is so frustrating and so reductionist.

    Look at John C’s comment above: He disagrees with the article because, in his mind, conservatives ARE stupid, and it’s all the doing of Bush & Karl Rove.

    It is true that Conservatives may have similar “narratives” against liberals. Carl offers some. I’d be glad to hear of others. But the article is about how liberals view conservatives, by a well-credentialed political scientist, who also traces these “narratives” back through much of the last century.

    tODD, are you saying that these four themes are not to be found in liberal rhetoric? Look at the Huffington Post and its commenters for an abundance of examples. Do you think that these folks are taking conservative ideas seriously, even as they disagree or refute them? Or are they dismissing them out of hand on the basis of one or more of these four paradigms?

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd, It decries smugness and condescension, but feels free to wallow in same. It says that what we need is dialogue, yet offers diatribe instead. Fie.

    Prof. Alexander’s article raises a salient point. Doctrinaire liberals, of whom Obama is one, routinely regard conservatives as moss-back fools who defend the obviously corrupt status quo. Liberals are clever at finding fault with the present reality that fallen men have built and wish to punch through such radical reforms as Obama-Care, Cap and Trade, and trying unlawful enemy combatants in civilian courts.

    Conservative men, including Paul Ryan, who, with his sensible reforms of taxes, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid that preserve individual responsibility and a free economy, are regarded by the “liberals” as some sort of anti-social fools who don’t care about the “little” people.

    Obama and his elitist liberal buddies received their dubious ideas from such places as Harvard, which long ago shoved the Christian religion, Western Civilization, and true democracy aside, replacing it with the manifest pieties of a forced secular religion. Obama is a déclassé parody of such thought.

    Meanwhile, such secular liberals as Todd, whatever his pretension to be an orthodox Lutheran, rail against conservatives who have such quaint ideas that disfavor abortion, homosexual marriage, and a free economy.

    The truth is that there are serious differences between liberals and conservatives; most conservatives are willing to listen to liberal ideas, while most liberals, as Prof. Alexander suggests, simply dismiss conservatives as troglodytes who scarcely deserve a hearing.

    Edmund Burke, writing many years ago, understood that modern”enlightened” liberals were about destroying orthodox religion and the virtue, however, fallen, of traditional communities. The parlous history of the 20th Century is strewn with the results of the radical, utopian ideals of the liberals.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd, It decries smugness and condescension, but feels free to wallow in same. It says that what we need is dialogue, yet offers diatribe instead. Fie.

    Prof. Alexander’s article raises a salient point. Doctrinaire liberals, of whom Obama is one, routinely regard conservatives as moss-back fools who defend the obviously corrupt status quo. Liberals are clever at finding fault with the present reality that fallen men have built and wish to punch through such radical reforms as Obama-Care, Cap and Trade, and trying unlawful enemy combatants in civilian courts.

    Conservative men, including Paul Ryan, who, with his sensible reforms of taxes, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid that preserve individual responsibility and a free economy, are regarded by the “liberals” as some sort of anti-social fools who don’t care about the “little” people.

    Obama and his elitist liberal buddies received their dubious ideas from such places as Harvard, which long ago shoved the Christian religion, Western Civilization, and true democracy aside, replacing it with the manifest pieties of a forced secular religion. Obama is a déclassé parody of such thought.

    Meanwhile, such secular liberals as Todd, whatever his pretension to be an orthodox Lutheran, rail against conservatives who have such quaint ideas that disfavor abortion, homosexual marriage, and a free economy.

    The truth is that there are serious differences between liberals and conservatives; most conservatives are willing to listen to liberal ideas, while most liberals, as Prof. Alexander suggests, simply dismiss conservatives as troglodytes who scarcely deserve a hearing.

    Edmund Burke, writing many years ago, understood that modern”enlightened” liberals were about destroying orthodox religion and the virtue, however, fallen, of traditional communities. The parlous history of the 20th Century is strewn with the results of the radical, utopian ideals of the liberals.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Mea culpa. In the above para four it ought to have been …and a statist economy.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Mea culpa. In the above para four it ought to have been …and a statist economy.

  • dave

    Wow, you ask a bunch of conservatives what liberals think and what do you get? I guess what you just posted.

    Of course if you could ask me instead of a bunch of conservatives who make money caricaturing liberals and their ideas.

    But asking me won’t get you the nice narrative that often animates this website.

    One hopes you are not as sloppy with characterizing the Lutheran Confessions as you have been here characterizing liberals.

    We’ll see won’t we?

  • dave

    Wow, you ask a bunch of conservatives what liberals think and what do you get? I guess what you just posted.

    Of course if you could ask me instead of a bunch of conservatives who make money caricaturing liberals and their ideas.

    But asking me won’t get you the nice narrative that often animates this website.

    One hopes you are not as sloppy with characterizing the Lutheran Confessions as you have been here characterizing liberals.

    We’ll see won’t we?

  • kerner

    I posted something, but it idin’t show up. What happened?

  • kerner

    I posted something, but it idin’t show up. What happened?

  • Joe

    “We’ll see won’t we?” what is that supposed to mean? we’ll see what and when will be see it?

  • Joe

    “We’ll see won’t we?” what is that supposed to mean? we’ll see what and when will be see it?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dr. Veith, I cannot believe you are falling for this framework. It’s part of the time-honored partisan myopic tradition of comparing the cherry-picked worst of Them against the best of Us and finding — quelle surprise! — that We end up looking better than do They. That Alexander then has the chutzpah to further wrap this in a “They are so condescending” — you know, those mean, stupid, liberals! — is just pathetic. But he doesn’t even stop there! No, he even goes on to say that what we really need is “dialogue”, but They don’t want that. No, They won’t engage in such high-level dialogue as perhaps best exemplified by the cherry-picking finger-pointing that is this article written by one of Us.

    Given all that, I marvel that you think that “are you saying that these four themes are not to be found in liberal rhetoric?” — the Huffington Post, no less! — is an appropriate response. Of course one can find examples of this out there, especially on the Internet. But is that the point of the article? That some liberals, especially on that blog over there, say some stupid stuff? No. Let’s review his thesis sentence, as it were:

    But American liberals, to a degree far surpassing conservatives, appear committed to the proposition that their views are correct, self-evident, and based on fact and reason, while conservative positions are not just wrong but illegitimate, ideological and unworthy of serious consideration.

    See? Liberals are wrong! Oh, sure, there are a few wrong conservatives here and there, but the liberals are worse! Far worse! And they started it! If only they could be like we conservatives, who apparently do not think we are better (go ahead, make that make sense)! And oh, this country needs more honest dialogue!

    I mean, what if I’d initially responded to you: Dr. Veith, are you saying that these four themes espoused by liberals are not to be found in conservative rhetoric? Are you saying there is no use of wedge issues, no racism, no fear-mongering to be found among conservatives, their fans, and their blogs? Shall I judge you and all of conservatism by, say, every cherry-picked bleating of Glenn Beck?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dr. Veith, I cannot believe you are falling for this framework. It’s part of the time-honored partisan myopic tradition of comparing the cherry-picked worst of Them against the best of Us and finding — quelle surprise! — that We end up looking better than do They. That Alexander then has the chutzpah to further wrap this in a “They are so condescending” — you know, those mean, stupid, liberals! — is just pathetic. But he doesn’t even stop there! No, he even goes on to say that what we really need is “dialogue”, but They don’t want that. No, They won’t engage in such high-level dialogue as perhaps best exemplified by the cherry-picking finger-pointing that is this article written by one of Us.

    Given all that, I marvel that you think that “are you saying that these four themes are not to be found in liberal rhetoric?” — the Huffington Post, no less! — is an appropriate response. Of course one can find examples of this out there, especially on the Internet. But is that the point of the article? That some liberals, especially on that blog over there, say some stupid stuff? No. Let’s review his thesis sentence, as it were:

    But American liberals, to a degree far surpassing conservatives, appear committed to the proposition that their views are correct, self-evident, and based on fact and reason, while conservative positions are not just wrong but illegitimate, ideological and unworthy of serious consideration.

    See? Liberals are wrong! Oh, sure, there are a few wrong conservatives here and there, but the liberals are worse! Far worse! And they started it! If only they could be like we conservatives, who apparently do not think we are better (go ahead, make that make sense)! And oh, this country needs more honest dialogue!

    I mean, what if I’d initially responded to you: Dr. Veith, are you saying that these four themes espoused by liberals are not to be found in conservative rhetoric? Are you saying there is no use of wedge issues, no racism, no fear-mongering to be found among conservatives, their fans, and their blogs? Shall I judge you and all of conservatism by, say, every cherry-picked bleating of Glenn Beck?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter (@19), apparently thinking there wasn’t enough anti-liberal smugness and condescension out there, decides to merely provide his own entries into the fray. Let’s see if I can summarize his comment here:

    “They think we are stupid. But they are stupid! They are stupid for thinking we are stupid, when in fact they are the stupid ones!”

    Yes, I think that sums it up nicely.

    Peter also decided to remind you Lutherans out there that he still has no clue whatsoever about the doctrine of the Two Kingdoms (“Todd, whatever his pretension to be an orthodox Lutheran”), much less orthodox Lutheranism, having once again confused it with the Right-Wing Culture War. Criminy, Peter, do you want my pastor’s phone number? Shall you ask him if I’m a member in good standing? Do you want to tattle on me and say that I suggested a liberal-bashing column was kind of ridiculous, and isn’t that grounds for burning at the stake or something?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Peter (@19), apparently thinking there wasn’t enough anti-liberal smugness and condescension out there, decides to merely provide his own entries into the fray. Let’s see if I can summarize his comment here:

    “They think we are stupid. But they are stupid! They are stupid for thinking we are stupid, when in fact they are the stupid ones!”

    Yes, I think that sums it up nicely.

    Peter also decided to remind you Lutherans out there that he still has no clue whatsoever about the doctrine of the Two Kingdoms (“Todd, whatever his pretension to be an orthodox Lutheran”), much less orthodox Lutheranism, having once again confused it with the Right-Wing Culture War. Criminy, Peter, do you want my pastor’s phone number? Shall you ask him if I’m a member in good standing? Do you want to tattle on me and say that I suggested a liberal-bashing column was kind of ridiculous, and isn’t that grounds for burning at the stake or something?

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd, as the lady did in Hamlet, you reveal yourself by protesting too much, or to put it rather more crudely pigs tend to squeal at little provocation. You and your liberal confreres of late, having suffered from the felicities of St. Obama, tend to be a bit oversensitive.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Todd, as the lady did in Hamlet, you reveal yourself by protesting too much, or to put it rather more crudely pigs tend to squeal at little provocation. You and your liberal confreres of late, having suffered from the felicities of St. Obama, tend to be a bit oversensitive.

  • dave

    @Joe ““We’ll see won’t we?” what is that supposed to mean? we’ll see what and when will be see it?”

    It basically boils down to this: When the people that are guardians of confessional teaching within my denomination stand up and tell me things that are false, when they turn and teach the confessions, I begin to doubt them too.

    This is exactly what’s been happening to me. It started when one of my pastors interjected a false statement about environmental regulation into one of his bible classes (which I did not object to –but should have).

    Obviously pastors can’t be perfect and my faith cannot depend on them, but when they say something that is false in other areas, I suddenly stop trusting what they say on matters of faith.

    I wish it didn’t happen, but it has.

    You want a Republican Lutheran Church Missouri Synod? You are getting one and this is one way you help create it.

  • dave

    @Joe ““We’ll see won’t we?” what is that supposed to mean? we’ll see what and when will be see it?”

    It basically boils down to this: When the people that are guardians of confessional teaching within my denomination stand up and tell me things that are false, when they turn and teach the confessions, I begin to doubt them too.

    This is exactly what’s been happening to me. It started when one of my pastors interjected a false statement about environmental regulation into one of his bible classes (which I did not object to –but should have).

    Obviously pastors can’t be perfect and my faith cannot depend on them, but when they say something that is false in other areas, I suddenly stop trusting what they say on matters of faith.

    I wish it didn’t happen, but it has.

    You want a Republican Lutheran Church Missouri Synod? You are getting one and this is one way you help create it.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    To sum up Peter, again (@26): “Perhaps no one will notice that I’m not actually replying to you if I quote Shakespeare. Also, you liberal pigs are stupid.”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    To sum up Peter, again (@26): “Perhaps no one will notice that I’m not actually replying to you if I quote Shakespeare. Also, you liberal pigs are stupid.”

  • Kandyce

    I can’t believe this. Well, I can, but it still bothers me. The internet wins again.
    There are commenters on this blog who have different points of view, I appreciate that, I wouldn’t read the comments otherwise. Far too often, though, certain commenters come into these discussions already defensive and then the sarcasm and fighting flows. Yell at me all you want for censuring you, but everyone on this blog who starts with the rudeness and the fighting claims to be a Lutheran in fellowship with me, and you are fighting in public. Your tone is unChristian and needs to stop. If you cannot form an answer without your emotions, sarcasm and defensiveness carrying you away do not post.

  • Kandyce

    I can’t believe this. Well, I can, but it still bothers me. The internet wins again.
    There are commenters on this blog who have different points of view, I appreciate that, I wouldn’t read the comments otherwise. Far too often, though, certain commenters come into these discussions already defensive and then the sarcasm and fighting flows. Yell at me all you want for censuring you, but everyone on this blog who starts with the rudeness and the fighting claims to be a Lutheran in fellowship with me, and you are fighting in public. Your tone is unChristian and needs to stop. If you cannot form an answer without your emotions, sarcasm and defensiveness carrying you away do not post.

  • dave

    Kandyce,

    The country has split down ideological lines. As a parallel, LCMS has largely become the Republican/conservative denomination, ELCA, the Democratic/Liberal one. No, it’s not 100%, but they aren’t 50% either.

    The basic fact is that more and more, both sides simply don’t understand each other. The worldviews are so different that perhaps they can’t understand each other. I’m not sure how people are polite discussing things anymore. When the worldviews are this different every statement of importance denies the other side’s worldview. There’s no sugar coating that.

    But I do have experience on both sides: I volunteered for and was enamored of the Republican party when I was in my late teens, especially Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. However, what repelled me from them was meeting conservatives (there weren’t many where I lived) when away from home on school trips and many fellow young conservative males spewed such hateful rhetoric against liberals, minorities and nonChristians (things I knew were NOT true because though I was Christian and conservative, I was raised with strong morals from family and teachers and some church members who were avowed liberals). The wrongness of the rhetoric used in those gatherings made me take a second look, a more critical one, of what I was in leagues with by supporting conservatives. I liked it less and less.

    I’ve been inside both sides and I know where I heard more hate and it’s not the side I’m on (though it has its share).

  • dave

    Kandyce,

    The country has split down ideological lines. As a parallel, LCMS has largely become the Republican/conservative denomination, ELCA, the Democratic/Liberal one. No, it’s not 100%, but they aren’t 50% either.

    The basic fact is that more and more, both sides simply don’t understand each other. The worldviews are so different that perhaps they can’t understand each other. I’m not sure how people are polite discussing things anymore. When the worldviews are this different every statement of importance denies the other side’s worldview. There’s no sugar coating that.

    But I do have experience on both sides: I volunteered for and was enamored of the Republican party when I was in my late teens, especially Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. However, what repelled me from them was meeting conservatives (there weren’t many where I lived) when away from home on school trips and many fellow young conservative males spewed such hateful rhetoric against liberals, minorities and nonChristians (things I knew were NOT true because though I was Christian and conservative, I was raised with strong morals from family and teachers and some church members who were avowed liberals). The wrongness of the rhetoric used in those gatherings made me take a second look, a more critical one, of what I was in leagues with by supporting conservatives. I liked it less and less.

    I’ve been inside both sides and I know where I heard more hate and it’s not the side I’m on (though it has its share).

  • Joe

    Hey dave – Thanks for the response. I really just was not understanding your comment. as for your question:

    “You want a Republican Lutheran Church Missouri Synod? You are getting one and this is one way you help create it.”

    Nope, I don’t identify as a Republican and I have no interest in the LCMS having any connection to any political party.

  • Joe

    Hey dave – Thanks for the response. I really just was not understanding your comment. as for your question:

    “You want a Republican Lutheran Church Missouri Synod? You are getting one and this is one way you help create it.”

    Nope, I don’t identify as a Republican and I have no interest in the LCMS having any connection to any political party.

  • Kandyce

    dave,
    I get that certain worldviews are not compatible. But I disagree about basing political views on emotions, whether it’s how you feel you’ve been treated, or you feel like treating someone else. Hate is not a political stance (in most cases), and even if someone is terribly rude and hateful, they can still be correct. I view politics as problem solving. First, we have to agree on the problems we are addressing, then we have to come up with a common ground solution. When worldviews collide, sometimes these things become very difficult or even impossible, but it is part of our responsibility to try to understand others worldviews in the political arena. Personally, I attend graduate school on a small campus in a theologically and socially liberal environment. My ethics class last week ended up discussing politics for most of the class. I never try to advocate for my own political beliefs or worldview in these instances, I do not want to commit academic suicide. Rather, I advocate for people to step out of their own shoes and look at the situation from another point of view. People end up knowing that I care about what they feel is important, they may not know that I disagree about what to do from here.
    It is very easy to paint one party or another with a broad brush, but I believe it is more important to know what you consider to be important issues and why and then listen to others to find out why they support a certain party, rather than completely dismiss them.
    I am not standing up for anyone here. You already saw me call out the behavior I see on this blog as ridiculous, and I mean that of virtually everyone here. As Christians, we need to treat others with charity, how everyone else acts is up to them.

  • Kandyce

    dave,
    I get that certain worldviews are not compatible. But I disagree about basing political views on emotions, whether it’s how you feel you’ve been treated, or you feel like treating someone else. Hate is not a political stance (in most cases), and even if someone is terribly rude and hateful, they can still be correct. I view politics as problem solving. First, we have to agree on the problems we are addressing, then we have to come up with a common ground solution. When worldviews collide, sometimes these things become very difficult or even impossible, but it is part of our responsibility to try to understand others worldviews in the political arena. Personally, I attend graduate school on a small campus in a theologically and socially liberal environment. My ethics class last week ended up discussing politics for most of the class. I never try to advocate for my own political beliefs or worldview in these instances, I do not want to commit academic suicide. Rather, I advocate for people to step out of their own shoes and look at the situation from another point of view. People end up knowing that I care about what they feel is important, they may not know that I disagree about what to do from here.
    It is very easy to paint one party or another with a broad brush, but I believe it is more important to know what you consider to be important issues and why and then listen to others to find out why they support a certain party, rather than completely dismiss them.
    I am not standing up for anyone here. You already saw me call out the behavior I see on this blog as ridiculous, and I mean that of virtually everyone here. As Christians, we need to treat others with charity, how everyone else acts is up to them.

  • dave

    @Joe

    Hi Joe, the “you” I wrote in that statement was like an instruction, “you want X, you do A and you get X”.

    I don’t want anyone to think that you, Joe, or anyone else wants a Republican LCMS. In fact, I think even the idea would give a lot of conservatives within our denomination pause.

    Nevertheless, I managed to find an LCMS congregation where the 2008 election was tolerable for me and where I could escape politics.

    But folks should understand it’s not so much the taking of political positions that has affected my feelings towards my church, it’s when I hear political things that I know are provably wrong. What I found is that becomes a distraction and a source of doubt on all the other things we are not supposed to disagree on.

    That our clergy is apparently 90% Republican means this is not just happening to me. Of course, most of my peers hit the doors long ago, going through those doors to other churches or going through them to no church at all. In any case, I think when adiaphora in political matters ends up troubling someone enough to start interfering with teaching them confessions and core beliefs, then it is becoming problematic to the purpose of the church.

    If I know that going to church for communion and preaching of the word, but I am dreading being completely outnumbered and bombarded with political stuff while at church –I’m not going to want to go. I liken it to crossing a picket line to get somewhere, or walking through Critical Mass to get home.

    Sometimes the noise of things that are less important than the confessions drive people away from those same confessions.

    That’s my point.

  • dave

    @Joe

    Hi Joe, the “you” I wrote in that statement was like an instruction, “you want X, you do A and you get X”.

    I don’t want anyone to think that you, Joe, or anyone else wants a Republican LCMS. In fact, I think even the idea would give a lot of conservatives within our denomination pause.

    Nevertheless, I managed to find an LCMS congregation where the 2008 election was tolerable for me and where I could escape politics.

    But folks should understand it’s not so much the taking of political positions that has affected my feelings towards my church, it’s when I hear political things that I know are provably wrong. What I found is that becomes a distraction and a source of doubt on all the other things we are not supposed to disagree on.

    That our clergy is apparently 90% Republican means this is not just happening to me. Of course, most of my peers hit the doors long ago, going through those doors to other churches or going through them to no church at all. In any case, I think when adiaphora in political matters ends up troubling someone enough to start interfering with teaching them confessions and core beliefs, then it is becoming problematic to the purpose of the church.

    If I know that going to church for communion and preaching of the word, but I am dreading being completely outnumbered and bombarded with political stuff while at church –I’m not going to want to go. I liken it to crossing a picket line to get somewhere, or walking through Critical Mass to get home.

    Sometimes the noise of things that are less important than the confessions drive people away from those same confessions.

    That’s my point.

  • fws

    Dave @ 30

    Don´t you give up dave. The problems with both the LCMS and the ELCA is a deep theological one.

    Lutherans have drunk the koolaid on sanctification being something we can get better at with practice. That means then that informally we are saying being a christian is faith + our behavior, even if we formally say faith alone, we are losing the truth of what it´s implications are.

    we have become followers of John Calvin on sanctification is what I am saying. We say that sanctification needs to be preached and exhorted, and the way to do this is by defining the 3rd use of the law as John calvin did and not as the FC article VI does (which basically says there is no 3rd use except to tell christians there is no special “christian ” use of the law just for them).

    Sanctification =new birth= putting on christ. period. we in our sanctification do good works like christ did in the incarnation. That is exactly what that means. So christ needed law school or exhortation to be good? jeepers.

    “Try harder” is not sanctification. it is mortification. Guess who needs mortification (to be killed and reined in)? Yup. the old adam ALONE in us and in pagans. in the same way and by the same methods. Holy Spirit applying threats and carrots of the Law. continuing to force it out of our old adam just as the HS did before we were born again.

    Calvin felt christians and pagans could be reformed and bettered this way. looks like sharia law doesnt it? Old adams need to die. mortification is bandaid. never cure.

    Where do you hear tbis made clear in the lcms and elca. you don´t.

  • fws

    Dave @ 30

    Don´t you give up dave. The problems with both the LCMS and the ELCA is a deep theological one.

    Lutherans have drunk the koolaid on sanctification being something we can get better at with practice. That means then that informally we are saying being a christian is faith + our behavior, even if we formally say faith alone, we are losing the truth of what it´s implications are.

    we have become followers of John Calvin on sanctification is what I am saying. We say that sanctification needs to be preached and exhorted, and the way to do this is by defining the 3rd use of the law as John calvin did and not as the FC article VI does (which basically says there is no 3rd use except to tell christians there is no special “christian ” use of the law just for them).

    Sanctification =new birth= putting on christ. period. we in our sanctification do good works like christ did in the incarnation. That is exactly what that means. So christ needed law school or exhortation to be good? jeepers.

    “Try harder” is not sanctification. it is mortification. Guess who needs mortification (to be killed and reined in)? Yup. the old adam ALONE in us and in pagans. in the same way and by the same methods. Holy Spirit applying threats and carrots of the Law. continuing to force it out of our old adam just as the HS did before we were born again.

    Calvin felt christians and pagans could be reformed and bettered this way. looks like sharia law doesnt it? Old adams need to die. mortification is bandaid. never cure.

    Where do you hear tbis made clear in the lcms and elca. you don´t.

  • fws

    dave 32

    to be lutheran is to have your attitude. study the confessions and this sermon of Luthers. You have a basis to argue that some of us need to become more Lutheran than we are.

    http://www.godrules.net/library/luther/129luther_e13.htm

    excerpt (preamble)

    “The difficult, great, and lifelong task of internalizing this one thing is the entire art of being a christian. It will make him honest and give him eternal life. The study of this thing that alone makes one a Christian will consume him so that he will not need to ever find something new or higher or better to learn.
    The theme of this Gospel reading is a great and important article of faith. This article is called “The Forgiveness of Sins”.
    Internalizing this one article is the art that ALONE makes one a Christian. It is his most difficult, important and all consuming lifelong task. He will never have time to find something new, higher or better to learn. It will make a Christian honest and give him eternal life.
    It is necessary then, to teach this article diligently and relentlessly in the Christian church, so we can learn to understand this article clearly, and distinguish it clearly from what it is not.
    The difficult, great, and lifelong task of internalizing this one thing is the entire art of being a christian. It will make him honest and give him eternal life. The study of this thing that alone makes one a Christian will consume him so that he will not need to ever find something new or higher or better to learn.
    The theme of this Gospel reading is a great and important article of faith. This article is called “The Forgiveness of Sins”.
    Internalizing this one article is the art that ALONE makes one a Christian. It is his most difficult, important and all consuming lifelong task. He will never have time to find something new, higher or better to learn. It will make a Christian honest and give him eternal life.
    It is necessary then, to teach this article diligently and relentlessly in the Christian church, so we can learn to understand this article clearly, and distinguish it clearly from what it is not.
    The difficult, great, and lifelong task of internalizing this one thing is the entire art of being a christian. It will make him honest and give him eternal life. The study of this thing that alone makes one a Christian will consume him so that he will not need to ever find something new or higher or better to learn.
    The theme of this Gospel reading is a great and important article of faith. This article is called “The Forgiveness of Sins”.
    Internalizing this one article is the art that ALONE makes one a Christian. It is his most difficult, important and all consuming lifelong task. He will never have time to find something new, higher or better to learn. It will make a Christian honest and give him eternal life.
    It is necessary then, to teach this article diligently and relentlessly in the Christian church, so we can learn to understand this article clearly, and distinguish it clearly from what it is not.
    But to understand this article that alone makes one a Christian, and not lose it, we must know something else as well. We must know that there are two kinds of true or God pleasing righteousness or two powers. We must also then learn how to skillfully tell the difference between the two.
    [So what are these two kinds of righteousness or powers that are so very important to know about and tell the difference between?]
    There is a righteousness that is here on earth. This righteousness is willed and ordered by God and is included in the second table of the ten commandments. This is called “man´s righteousness” or “the world´s righteousness”. The only purpose of this righteousness is to help us live together and enjoy the gifts God gives us.
    It is God´s desire that our present life be kept under restraint, and lived in peace, tranquility and harmony. God here wants each person to attend to his own affairs and not interfere with the business, property or person of anyone else. Because God really wants this, He has even added a blessing in Leviticus 18:5: “Which if a man do, he shall live in them” which means that whoever men see is honest, will enjoy a good and long life.”

    Luther then goes on to demonstrate how to teach this kind of righteousness to christians and then goe on at length about the invisible Righteousness of faith. where he says “the heavenly kingdom is ONLY about faith. why? because EVERYTHING else is included in that earthly kingdom of visible righteousness.”

  • fws

    dave 32

    to be lutheran is to have your attitude. study the confessions and this sermon of Luthers. You have a basis to argue that some of us need to become more Lutheran than we are.

    http://www.godrules.net/library/luther/129luther_e13.htm

    excerpt (preamble)

    “The difficult, great, and lifelong task of internalizing this one thing is the entire art of being a christian. It will make him honest and give him eternal life. The study of this thing that alone makes one a Christian will consume him so that he will not need to ever find something new or higher or better to learn.
    The theme of this Gospel reading is a great and important article of faith. This article is called “The Forgiveness of Sins”.
    Internalizing this one article is the art that ALONE makes one a Christian. It is his most difficult, important and all consuming lifelong task. He will never have time to find something new, higher or better to learn. It will make a Christian honest and give him eternal life.
    It is necessary then, to teach this article diligently and relentlessly in the Christian church, so we can learn to understand this article clearly, and distinguish it clearly from what it is not.
    The difficult, great, and lifelong task of internalizing this one thing is the entire art of being a christian. It will make him honest and give him eternal life. The study of this thing that alone makes one a Christian will consume him so that he will not need to ever find something new or higher or better to learn.
    The theme of this Gospel reading is a great and important article of faith. This article is called “The Forgiveness of Sins”.
    Internalizing this one article is the art that ALONE makes one a Christian. It is his most difficult, important and all consuming lifelong task. He will never have time to find something new, higher or better to learn. It will make a Christian honest and give him eternal life.
    It is necessary then, to teach this article diligently and relentlessly in the Christian church, so we can learn to understand this article clearly, and distinguish it clearly from what it is not.
    The difficult, great, and lifelong task of internalizing this one thing is the entire art of being a christian. It will make him honest and give him eternal life. The study of this thing that alone makes one a Christian will consume him so that he will not need to ever find something new or higher or better to learn.
    The theme of this Gospel reading is a great and important article of faith. This article is called “The Forgiveness of Sins”.
    Internalizing this one article is the art that ALONE makes one a Christian. It is his most difficult, important and all consuming lifelong task. He will never have time to find something new, higher or better to learn. It will make a Christian honest and give him eternal life.
    It is necessary then, to teach this article diligently and relentlessly in the Christian church, so we can learn to understand this article clearly, and distinguish it clearly from what it is not.
    But to understand this article that alone makes one a Christian, and not lose it, we must know something else as well. We must know that there are two kinds of true or God pleasing righteousness or two powers. We must also then learn how to skillfully tell the difference between the two.
    [So what are these two kinds of righteousness or powers that are so very important to know about and tell the difference between?]
    There is a righteousness that is here on earth. This righteousness is willed and ordered by God and is included in the second table of the ten commandments. This is called “man´s righteousness” or “the world´s righteousness”. The only purpose of this righteousness is to help us live together and enjoy the gifts God gives us.
    It is God´s desire that our present life be kept under restraint, and lived in peace, tranquility and harmony. God here wants each person to attend to his own affairs and not interfere with the business, property or person of anyone else. Because God really wants this, He has even added a blessing in Leviticus 18:5: “Which if a man do, he shall live in them” which means that whoever men see is honest, will enjoy a good and long life.”

    Luther then goes on to demonstrate how to teach this kind of righteousness to christians and then goe on at length about the invisible Righteousness of faith. where he says “the heavenly kingdom is ONLY about faith. why? because EVERYTHING else is included in that earthly kingdom of visible righteousness.”

  • fws

    sorry for pasting the first part 3 times…. oops!

  • fws

    sorry for pasting the first part 3 times…. oops!

  • John C

    You’re not paying attention Gene. I did not say Conservatives are stupid.
    There is no doubt that Rove roused the Religious Right on election day and this was an essential part of Rove’s election strategy. The campaign did focus on ‘guns, God and gays’ but I think Rove also exploited a greater fear — the fear of Modernity.

  • John C

    You’re not paying attention Gene. I did not say Conservatives are stupid.
    There is no doubt that Rove roused the Religious Right on election day and this was an essential part of Rove’s election strategy. The campaign did focus on ‘guns, God and gays’ but I think Rove also exploited a greater fear — the fear of Modernity.

  • trust.me.on.this.one

    So John C is it stupid or not stupid to follow this list of positions?

    A significant number of Republicans believe in the Rapture. They want intelligent design taught in schools and they say the earth is less than 10 000 years old. They think Obama is a follower of Islam and not an American citizen. Furthermore, the President is a socialist, a communist and a fascist who believes in death panels.

    What exactly were you trying to say about such folks?

  • trust.me.on.this.one

    So John C is it stupid or not stupid to follow this list of positions?

    A significant number of Republicans believe in the Rapture. They want intelligent design taught in schools and they say the earth is less than 10 000 years old. They think Obama is a follower of Islam and not an American citizen. Furthermore, the President is a socialist, a communist and a fascist who believes in death panels.

    What exactly were you trying to say about such folks?

  • trustmeonthisone

    So are the following stupid or not stupid opinions?

    A significant number of Republicans believe in the Rapture. They want intelligent design taught in schools and they say the earth is less than 10 000 years old. They think Obama is a follower of Islam and not an American citizen. Furthermore, the President is a socialist, a communist and a fascist who believes in death panels.

    What exactly were you trying to say about these positions?

  • trustmeonthisone

    So are the following stupid or not stupid opinions?

    A significant number of Republicans believe in the Rapture. They want intelligent design taught in schools and they say the earth is less than 10 000 years old. They think Obama is a follower of Islam and not an American citizen. Furthermore, the President is a socialist, a communist and a fascist who believes in death panels.

    What exactly were you trying to say about these positions?

  • justme

    So John C, if not stupid, how would you classify these positions?

    A significant number of Republicans believe in the Rapture. They want intelligent design taught in schools and they say the earth is less than 10 000 years old. They think Obama is a follower of Islam and not an American citizen. Furthermore, the President is a socialist, a communist and a fascist who believes in death panels.

    Wow, no wonder we all can’t just get along :(

  • justme

    So John C, if not stupid, how would you classify these positions?

    A significant number of Republicans believe in the Rapture. They want intelligent design taught in schools and they say the earth is less than 10 000 years old. They think Obama is a follower of Islam and not an American citizen. Furthermore, the President is a socialist, a communist and a fascist who believes in death panels.

    Wow, no wonder we all can’t just get along :(

  • Economist Doug

    I’ve got to assume the liberals on here hold these viewpoints as they’ve wasted a lot of words but not addressed the topic at hand.

    Do any of you liberals disagree with the stated perspective on conservatives:
    1) They operate as a conspiracy.
    2) Their supporters are stupid.
    3) They’re racist.
    4) Their positions have no merits.

    Now it’s possible some of the liberals disagree with those perspectives but so far you’ve focused on changing the topic.

  • Economist Doug

    I’ve got to assume the liberals on here hold these viewpoints as they’ve wasted a lot of words but not addressed the topic at hand.

    Do any of you liberals disagree with the stated perspective on conservatives:
    1) They operate as a conspiracy.
    2) Their supporters are stupid.
    3) They’re racist.
    4) Their positions have no merits.

    Now it’s possible some of the liberals disagree with those perspectives but so far you’ve focused on changing the topic.

  • DEH

    This understanding is easily noticed in this letter posted on the International Darwin Day Foundation’s website:

    http://darwinday.org/2010_letter.html

    Dear Supporter,

    Far-right extremists are using every trick in the book to keep the teaching of evolution out of science classes, and to the degree they are successful they are undermining American values of scientific inquiry and integrity.

    Their thinly-veiled religious agenda will have negative effects on our society. Incomplete education about evolution in our classrooms sends the message that not only can the theory of natural selection be sidestepped, but all science can be muzzled if it doesn’t neatly fit within a particular ideology. Failure to provide our children with a first rate science education will create future generations who are scientifically illiterate and unable to compete in the global market of ideas.

    We need our elected leaders to speak out about the importance of scientific knowledge and its contribution to the advancement of humanity, and send a signal that religious infiltration into our science classrooms will not be tolerated. That’s why we’re asking you to sign our petition urging President Obama to recognize Darwin Day.

    Darwin Day, celebrated every year on February 12, is a day in which people gather together to commemorate the life and work of Charles Darwin, who was born this day in 1809. Charles Darwin was the first to propose the scientific theory of evolution by natural selection—a theory that has done more to unify and bring understanding to the life sciences than any other. Darwin Day is a celebration of this discovery and of scientific progress.

    Our petition asks President Obama to issue a proclamation on Darwin Day that honors Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution by natural selection and that calls on all Americans to preserve scientific discovery as a bedrock of our society. It also asks Americans to commemorate the day with appropriate events and activities.

    Sign our petition today to let Obama know that you’re on the side of science and you need him to be, too. If President Obama will issue a Darwin Day proclamation, it will send a strong signal to our elected officials in Congress and in the school boards that the American people want scientific integrity to be preserved.

    So please sign our petition today and let your voice be heard!

    Sincerely,

    Roy Speckhardt
    Executive Director
    International Darwin Day Foundation

  • DEH

    This understanding is easily noticed in this letter posted on the International Darwin Day Foundation’s website:

    http://darwinday.org/2010_letter.html

    Dear Supporter,

    Far-right extremists are using every trick in the book to keep the teaching of evolution out of science classes, and to the degree they are successful they are undermining American values of scientific inquiry and integrity.

    Their thinly-veiled religious agenda will have negative effects on our society. Incomplete education about evolution in our classrooms sends the message that not only can the theory of natural selection be sidestepped, but all science can be muzzled if it doesn’t neatly fit within a particular ideology. Failure to provide our children with a first rate science education will create future generations who are scientifically illiterate and unable to compete in the global market of ideas.

    We need our elected leaders to speak out about the importance of scientific knowledge and its contribution to the advancement of humanity, and send a signal that religious infiltration into our science classrooms will not be tolerated. That’s why we’re asking you to sign our petition urging President Obama to recognize Darwin Day.

    Darwin Day, celebrated every year on February 12, is a day in which people gather together to commemorate the life and work of Charles Darwin, who was born this day in 1809. Charles Darwin was the first to propose the scientific theory of evolution by natural selection—a theory that has done more to unify and bring understanding to the life sciences than any other. Darwin Day is a celebration of this discovery and of scientific progress.

    Our petition asks President Obama to issue a proclamation on Darwin Day that honors Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution by natural selection and that calls on all Americans to preserve scientific discovery as a bedrock of our society. It also asks Americans to commemorate the day with appropriate events and activities.

    Sign our petition today to let Obama know that you’re on the side of science and you need him to be, too. If President Obama will issue a Darwin Day proclamation, it will send a strong signal to our elected officials in Congress and in the school boards that the American people want scientific integrity to be preserved.

    So please sign our petition today and let your voice be heard!

    Sincerely,

    Roy Speckhardt
    Executive Director
    International Darwin Day Foundation

  • dave

    @econ 37

    Yes, I disagree with the “stated perspectives”. I think it’s too broad a brush. This is not to say I think my opponents are disorganized Einstein’s, but I don’t go with the caricature presented here.

    Further, I quite clearly did disagree with being told I thought these things, so did other liberals here.

    How can you watch us take issue with people saying what we think and not conclude that we resent being told we think it BECAUSE WE DON’T THINK IT?

    I mean really.

    But if it floats your boat to have me say “yeah, that’s BS”. You got it.

  • dave

    @econ 37

    Yes, I disagree with the “stated perspectives”. I think it’s too broad a brush. This is not to say I think my opponents are disorganized Einstein’s, but I don’t go with the caricature presented here.

    Further, I quite clearly did disagree with being told I thought these things, so did other liberals here.

    How can you watch us take issue with people saying what we think and not conclude that we resent being told we think it BECAUSE WE DON’T THINK IT?

    I mean really.

    But if it floats your boat to have me say “yeah, that’s BS”. You got it.

  • dave

    @DEH 38

    You have stumbled onto a legal requirement of every liberal child.

    They must at the age of majority, sign the letter you posted, have it notarized.

    If they do not, they forfeit their inheritance of Birkenstocks, Volvo, Trader Joe’s Gift Card and of course, the anti-Christian value plan from Netflix.

    :o)

  • dave

    @DEH 38

    You have stumbled onto a legal requirement of every liberal child.

    They must at the age of majority, sign the letter you posted, have it notarized.

    If they do not, they forfeit their inheritance of Birkenstocks, Volvo, Trader Joe’s Gift Card and of course, the anti-Christian value plan from Netflix.

    :o)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Doug (@37), do you also think “Do you still beat your wife?” is also a clever interview question? If I were given to the kind of thinking DEH espouses (@38), I might say that your comment doesn’t speak well of the reasoning used by all conservatives, but then it would be ridiculous of me to blame all conservatives just for what you’d written, wouldn’t it?

    But maybe that’s too subtle for you. So, along with Dave (@39), I will note that of course it’s not true that all conservatives: Operate as a conspiracy; are stupid; are racist; and hold meritless positions.

    Ooh, but I’ll go further! It’s also false that all liberals: Operate as a conspiracy; are stupid; are racist; and hold meritless positions.

    Oh! And! It’s also false that: There are no conservative conspiracies; no conservatives are stupid; no conservatives are racist; and no conservatives hold meritless positions.

    Oh! And! Just! So! I’m! Being! As! Explicit! As! Necessary! So! As! To! Preclude! Unnecessary! Assumptions!: It’s also false that: There are no liberal conspiracies; no liberals are stupid; no liberals are racist; and no liberals hold meritless positions.

    There, have I covered all the permutations necessary to assuage your assiduous assumptions?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Doug (@37), do you also think “Do you still beat your wife?” is also a clever interview question? If I were given to the kind of thinking DEH espouses (@38), I might say that your comment doesn’t speak well of the reasoning used by all conservatives, but then it would be ridiculous of me to blame all conservatives just for what you’d written, wouldn’t it?

    But maybe that’s too subtle for you. So, along with Dave (@39), I will note that of course it’s not true that all conservatives: Operate as a conspiracy; are stupid; are racist; and hold meritless positions.

    Ooh, but I’ll go further! It’s also false that all liberals: Operate as a conspiracy; are stupid; are racist; and hold meritless positions.

    Oh! And! It’s also false that: There are no conservative conspiracies; no conservatives are stupid; no conservatives are racist; and no conservatives hold meritless positions.

    Oh! And! Just! So! I’m! Being! As! Explicit! As! Necessary! So! As! To! Preclude! Unnecessary! Assumptions!: It’s also false that: There are no liberal conspiracies; no liberals are stupid; no liberals are racist; and no liberals hold meritless positions.

    There, have I covered all the permutations necessary to assuage your assiduous assumptions?

  • dave

    Some of you are managing to wear tODD down. Amazing. He has the patience of saint. :o)

  • dave

    Some of you are managing to wear tODD down. Amazing. He has the patience of saint. :o)


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