Why the Left is Wrong About Everything (or How Conservatives Are the Ones Who Really Care About Poverty and the Environment)

Why the Left is Wrong About Everything (or How Conservatives Are the Ones Who Really Care About Poverty and the Environment) April 10, 2013

There’s a myth that’s circulating in the Church. It is old yet ever-new. I’m sure you’ve heard it. It goes something like this:
“Conservatives and liberals in the Church need to respect each other, because they each get something right. Conservatives are more focused on abortion and protecting the sanctity of marriage and sexuality, which is good, but liberals are more focused on helping the poor and protecting the environment, which is also good. Everyone brings something to the table, and if they would just stop building walls and start building bridges, they could come together and recognize what the other side offers. That way they’ll help a lot more people.”

That’s the gentler way of putting it. There’s a more sarcastic way of putting it from the people who don’t even pretend not to be liberals, which essentially goes like this:
“Conservatives have a two-track mind. The only issues they ever talk about are abortion and gay marriage. They don’t care about starving children and the environment. How ironic that they claim to be pro-life! We’re the ones who really care about people (plus we get brownie points for being green).”
The very first thing that needs to be said here is that abortion should not even be considered an “issue.” Murder isn’t considered to be an “issue,” and abortion is nothing less than murder, so Christians have no right to treat it like some kind of separate, knotty debate that deserves its own little category. The world thinks it’s complex and controversial. It’s not. End of subject.
Secondly, I avoid the phrase “gay marriage,” since it’s an intrinsically nonsensical phrase, like a square circle. Moreover, conservatives didn’t go out and pick a fight with the homosexuals. The homosexuals came to us and demanded that we normalize and bless their relationships. All that we have done is push back.
Add to that that the statement is just false. Conservatives don’t have a “two-track mind,” because there are lots of other human life issues we talk about, like euthanasia, assisted suicide, and embryonic stem cell research. So the “you’re so narrow” argument falls flat on its face to begin with.
Now, with all that out of the way, let’s talk about this “poverty and the environment” business. I want you, my fellow conservatives, to take all the leftist claptrap you’ve ever read on those issues… and promptly flush it down the nearest eco-friendly toilet. Which is really a normal toilet, the kind liberals don’t want you to use because it’s supposedly bad for the environment.
See, here’s what naive Christians need to realize: All that stuff about how liberals care about the poor and the environment and conservatives don’t? Hogwash. Have you ever wondered exactly why people in impoverished third-world countries are still starving and dying? I’ll give you a hint: It has nothing to do with the apathy of rich capitalists or the religious right. And it has everything to do with the left.
In order to have food, you need to grow it. And in order to grow it, you need land. Seems reasonable, right? Not if the liberals have their way. In South America, farmers are unable to clear away the jungle, because according to the environmentalists, trees are more important than humans. In Africa, wild animals roam around on land specially reserved for them, and humans are unable to move where the beasties are, because according to the animal rights activists, animals are more important than humans. In Indonesia, people are literally forbidden to defend themselves against predatory komodo dragons, because komodo dragons are more important than humans. And the outlawing of DDT has caused impoverished people around the world to die of malaria.
Does that sound like liberal policy-makers care about the poor? I’ll let you decide.
But, but…  the greedy capitalists are stuffing themselves with fast food while little children are on the streets of Pakistan begging for bread! We waste enough food to feed the world!It’s true, we are the richest nation in the world. We also happen to be, BY FAR, the most generous. Do you have any idea just how much aid we have pumped into those starving third-world nations over the years? Hint: a lot. But has it made any observable difference? No. And I’ll tell you why. It’s very simple: government. Third-world countries suffer because they are ruled by despotic governments who keep everything for themselves. We send boat-loads of aid, and where does it go? Into the hands of the guys with the guns. Because they’re in charge. I’ll make a bet with you that the next ten activists you see rambling about the plight of the poor won’t even mention the enormous causal role of dictatorial, kleptocratic governments.
See, the world economy is not a zero-sum game. Americans have more wealth than third-world countries because our economic system is dramatically more robust. There is no sense in which we are “stealing resources” from anybody. And the fact that we have more means that we give more—more than any other country in the world by a wide margin.
On the home front, the liberals’ idea of helping the poor is giving them welfare and making everything free (i.e., “free,” because nothing is truly free in this world). The damage these ideas have done cannot be over-emphasized. Welfare encourages people to remain in a state of poverty so they can receive free hand-outs. That does not show compassion for the poor. It hurts them, badly. It also discourages marriage because single mothers receive money for every child they have. One girl having multiple children out of wedlock was documented as saying, matter-of-factly, “My mom tells me I’m the breadwinner.” And making anything free means that you will run out of that thing, given enough time. It’s true for orange juice, it’s true for health care. And where will the poor be when that time comes?
As far as the rich are concerned, liberals’ main goal seems to be to make them less rich. It’s all about the gap between the classes, and if they can narrow that gap by taxing the daylights out of the people at the top, it doesn’t matter if the poor are no better off than they were before. The fact is that without people with capital who can create businesses and jobs, Joe the Oppressed Lower-Class Worker is out of luck. As Rush Limbaugh says, the cause of poverty is the unequal distribution of capital… ism.
Back to the environment, let’s think about a few leftist policies that are supposed to help in that area: Recycling? Well, what do you think all those trucks run on, Coca-Cola? Some liberals even admit that recycling is completely impractical as far as helping the environment is concerned, but it’s all about the psychological feeling of satisfaction it gives to people. It’s a sacrament. Low-flow toilets? Oh yes, did I mention that there are some third-world countries where the liberals won’t allow first-world sewage systems to be installed? Real hygienic and eco-friendly, that. Low-energy light bulbs? Perfect, now we can put mercury into the air. Oh, here’s a good one: We can’t drain the swamps (or, excuse me, wetlands), because it’ll destroy the mosquitoes’ habitat, and mosquitoes are more important than humans (of course). Isn’t that a stroke of genius? Let’s leave the wetlands so that the mosquitoes can breed and breed. If that doesn’t give us a healthy atmosphere, nothing will. And don’t even get me started on the global warming farce (which is just about the nicest word I can come up with to describe it).
The problem is that nobody thinks practically and logically anymore. It’s all about shallow sound-bites and shallow emotional reactions. I’m not saying that there are no well-intentioned liberals among the masses. Yes, some liberals are evil, but some are just confused people who mean well but have regrettably drunk the kool-aid on these issues. The problem is that the group who talks the loudest about poverty and the environment isn’t necessarily the group with the best ideas about how to actually help the poor and the environment. Because they’re just wrong—about everything. They have a stunted conception of human sin and evil. Their thinking is fuzzified by moral equivalency. Their priorities are skewed (notice that in this plug urging people to get involved with an organization called Project 7 and “pick their favorite cause,” not a single cause is related to protesting/fighting the murder of innocent children, disabled and elderly). They don’t understand basic economics. They don’t even understand basic science.
“I’m sure we could solve all the world’s problems if we only cared enough.” That’s their mantra. They think there is a solution for everything: their solution. And if you’re not on board with their solution, you don’t care. (Which is a lie. How many conservatives can you think of who have adopted children, given generously to charities, or become involved with organizations like Compassion International? More than a few.) But the truth has harder edges, because there are no solutions. There are only tradeoffs and compromises.
Unfortunately, some conservatives still want to earn the approval of at least some people on the left. So they feel obligated to say that the left gets something right that the right doesn’t so that they can solemnly lecture both sides about how they need to shake hands and work together. That makes them feel balanced, wise and reasonable. The reality is much less balanced than they think.
So my message to Christian conservatives is this: Stop worrying about pleasing the left. Stop feeling guilty for being a conservative. Stop assuming that everyone has to be right about something. Because some people really are just wrong about everything.

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  • Saved Girl

    Wow. I don’t think I could say any more on this topic. I think you’ve covered it all. Thanks for putting all this down.
    In interests of accuracy, however, I would point out that environmentalists don’t oppose DDT because it kills mosquitoes. I don’t think that the reason they do give is any better, but you just might want to change that. Liberals tend to like to pick up on the tiniest inaccuracy.

  • Okay, I adjusted it. The spirit of the post, obviously, remains intact. 🙂

  • Lydia

    I thought the comment about liberals and mosquitoes and DDT was a pure joke. Hence, not inaccurate, merely funny.

  • Lydia
  • Actually I think when I first wrote it I was under the impression that it was banned because of concern for mosquitoes.

  • Ah, a Thomas Sowell quote I hadn’t heard before! Always so satisfying.

  • Must be great to see the world so simply.

  • Yes indeed. You should try it sometime. It clears the mind wonderfully.

  • Ah, I see from perusing your site that you’re one of those people who still clings to the fantasy that global warming is a man-caused disaster of epic proportions. And the fantasy that evolution is believable and scientifically proven. How quaint. Well, you have a nice day too!

  • Patrick

    LOL @ yankeegospelgirl. Stopped reading when I saw your denial of man made global warming and evolution. Here’s a tip: a single dissenting voice, or even a group of dissenting voices, is not sufficient to undo or undermine a scientific consensus. Put another way, scientific consensus does not require unanimity of opinion.

  • Patrick, I’m sorry that I don’t have time to explain just how thoroughly wrong you are. The depth and scope of your wrongness is that breath-taking. However, I will offer just one quote, from an atheist scientist, my emphasis added: “We should reject, as a matter of principle, the substitution of intelligent design for the dialogue of chance and necessity (16); but we must concede that there are presently no detailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical system, only a variety of wishful speculations.” See Franklin Harold, The Way of the Cell: Molecules, Organisms, and the Order of Life (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), pp. 203-05.
    Francis Crick also said that scientists must constantly remind themselves that what they examine can’t be designed—again, as a matter of principle, not because it really looks like it’s not designed, but because it does. Everything does. Overwhelmingly. And Darwin himself never even claimed to address the origin of life issue (abiogenesis).
    Evolution has not been proven. Not by a long shot. The cumulative case for ID is crushing. Fresh evidence is coming in every day.
    Here’s a tip: Try doing a little more research before you come parading your regurgitated “opinions” like a pompous ass. It just looks bad.

  • ode

    “”Conservatives and liberals in the Church need to respect each other””
    it’s a good ,practical idea, unless we are comfortable with the inevitable result of the lack of abovementioned respect, which is constant inside-church bickering and eventual breakups.
    Maybe in more rural enclaves its possible for church management to go “my way or the highway”, but most people in any decent size cities hold a combination of conservative/liberal beliefs, political and theological. Being socially liberal, I know only a few Americans, all are very old, that are fiscal conservatives /proponents of austerity /government reduction/ border security/antiterrorism measures at the strong level that I am; And virtually every westerner I know is much, much more theologically liberal then myself.
    Love to lament how much I miss a tiny home based church of 9 ..yet their finances and potential will never match the outreach ability of the big ones, and bigger ones mean compromise, compromise, compromise.
    PS YGG, sorry for being dense, are you a part of the new music scribe blog, or you are a sovereign state? Attempting to scale down my overblown RSS reader (so far results are pathetic … 😀 )

  • *shrug* I’m on the outside looking in as far as evangelical church politics are concerned. My community is evangelical, but my church is itty-bitty and Anglican.
    Yes, I am a sovereign state. Nobody asked me to join, and I would have declined anyway because I like having my own space. 🙂

  • Lydia

    Ode, I don’t suppose YGG was recommending spitting on the feet of any fellow church member who is of a different political persuasion. But my own guess is that any church that is being biblically faithful is probably going to drive away real liberals, and that’s a good thing. Take even something like not ordaining women, for example. I think a really committed liberal is going to be bugged by that and is going to leave if you don’t give in on it.
    That’s not _invariably_ the case. You might have a few liberals who have some sort of affection for a church based on the fact that their family always went there or something and who were therefore willing to put up with a church with a male-only pastorate. But I think those are going to be relatively few and far between. And what happens when the pastor refuses to bend on the issue of homosexuality–for example, refuses to have a member in good standing who is an active and proud homosexual? In the end, I have my suspicions that big churches who have both liberals and conservatives as a substantial part of their congregations are probably compromising on something important. I could be wrong, but that’s my guess. Moreover, if the pastor ever does preach on social issues, which ones does he preach on? If he preaches on abortion, that’s going to tick off the liberals.
    Beyond that, what is usually meant by “respect” in the kind of sentences YGG was talking about goes beyond “being able to talk civilly over coffee after church on Sunday morning” or even “being able to be on the church softball team together.” It’s supposed to mean *respecting each other’s political opinions as ideas.” And _that_ is a whole different matter. “Finding a way to get along” is a far cry from “thinking there is probably in X because so-and-so believes X.” It’s the latter that I take YGG to be rejecting.

  • ode

    Yes, I also like the small ones Its Easter Sunday tomorrow at my old homechurch tomorrow,and I surely miss them. Ok, I’ll leave the link intact Lydia, I’m just a Music Blog Hog, currently attempting to consolidate RSS, my backlog of unread articles goes to March now, I’m not here to debate even if I wanted to, time limitations 🙁
    But I answer your 2 questions, as I understand, you want huge church attendee’s perspective:
    “And what happens when the pastor refuses to bend on the issue of homosexuality–for example, refuses to have a member in good standing who is an active and proud homosexual?”
    – Openly gay usually only go where they like the church culture ,and it makes them feel welcome. Unlike job or school, there is no gain in forcible acceptance. We have a few gays, but they are subtle about it.
    “If the pastor ever does preach on social issues, which ones does he preach on?
    – Mega didn’t become such by ignoring marketing trends, they keep their nose in the wind on social issues. When the inside poll revealed that 98% of 16-20 y olds (pastor joked that the other 2% had parents watching over their shoulder) and 79% of those under 30-ty are pro-gay marriage,yet still having a number of older conservatives present, preaching on social issues became all-inclusive and mellow enough to not offend either party. Sr Pastors issued a condemning message about the church disinviting Leroy Butler (foreign readers – google it) the moment news broke.
    Abortion topic ? Everybody agrees its bad. Everybody is openly pro-choice at least in cases of incest, threat to mother’s life, or rape, and that common ground is as far political as preaching in our mega ever goes.
    Hope that answers your questions. Have a wonderful weekend.

  • Hadn’t heard the Leroy Butler story. Am I to understand your church was mad at the other church for disinviting Butler? I would have disinvited him too, but it sounds like typical mega-church politics to say that’s mean and nasty.
    I’ve never understood why incest and rape are considered more difficult cases than any other abortion. The choice is clear in any case: abortion is always wrong.

  • ode

    yes, I meant “a” church. we don’t know which one disinvited him. I need to learn how to master a/the usage 🙂 its the opposite in hebrew, ha (a) is definite article, so I ever confuse it