Confessions Of A Liberal: I Need Conservatives

Confessions Of A Liberal: I Need Conservatives February 7, 2019

Liberals need conservatives; otherwise, things fall apart. Conservatives need liberals; otherwise, things get stuck. Healthy societies, held together by the cultural glue of shared assumptions–the necessary conservative part of life–can also bring in new ideas with lowered levels of fear–the necessary liberal part of life. But it’s easier to push Jesus over a cliff instead. 


Liberals need conservatives


A woman, who had walked away from a tight-boundaried religious community, said recently, “I need a tribe where I can be safe.”

Her comment spoke to a universal human need: we all want to participate in a community of like-minded people. There, people don’t have to use energy explaining themselves, defending themselves, or keeping close watch over everything they say because the common beliefs keep them safe.

Tribes conserve energy.

This is not bad–no condemnation here — just human nature at work.  By definition, tribes are a group of people who share basic assumptions of life. We know the others think the way we do.

Tribes, by nature conservative, make us comfortable. 

Those common beliefs range from economic to political to religious to cultural. For the most part, they remain unexamined and unquestioned. However, let someone, i.e., a liberal, within the community question those beliefs, and the condemnation will heap down. Suddenly safety disappears.

Note how that played out in the fascinating vignette of the beginning of Jesus’s public ministry as seen in Luke, Chapter 4. After his baptism and the blessing of the Holy Spirit, Jesus returns to his hometown. He attends the usual synagogue gathering and is asked to be the reader of the day.

He reads from Isaiah,

 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 
Great, hopeful passage of redemption and freedom, words that the very much oppressed Jews of the day needed to hear. It’s what happens next that caused eyebrows to rise.
And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.  Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 
pushing Jesus over a cliffA few minutes later, after people started to murmur about this inappropriateness of this unimpressive carpenter’s son speaking so boldly, Jesus speaks again:
And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown. But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”

At this point, all hell breaks loose. Jesus’s fellow synagogue attendees try to throw him over a cliff. Seriously.

But why? Because he just said that God, in the name of freeing the oppressed, had a lot more than Jews alone in mind. Those hopeful words included the hated Gentile community as well. In other words, he expected to open the kingdom of heaven to those OUTSIDE the accepted tribal boundaries.

Indeed, Jesus was a social AND religious liberal. He demonstrated that he would break boundaries between clean and dirty. And the people were not happy.


Conservatives keep us safe; liberals transform society

Remember, our tribal boundaries, i.e., our conservative natures, keep us safe. We all need someplace to belong, to be part of a community. Furthermore, most human beings fear change to some extent because changes cost energy, lots and lots of mental and emotional and physical energy, energy needed elsewhere for necessities and perhaps pleasures.

And it’s mostly the liberals who push changes and bring about societal, an/or ecclesiastical discomfort.

Look at some of the radically new, i.e., liberal, ideas that have transformed society for the better. Consider universal public education, clean water for everyone, vaccinations for scourges like smallpox, measles, chicken pox and shingles, antiseptic techniques in surgery, drugs tested for purity and efficacy, child labor laws, the ability to vote for those other than landed white males, desegregation.

Each of these genuinely good, yet liberal, ideas saw strong opposition before finding near-universal acceptance. Nonetheless, healthy societies, held together by the cultural glue of shared assumptions–the necessary conservative part of life–can also bring in new ideas with lowered levels of fear–the necessary liberal part of life.

This state is called “balance.”

Liberals need conservatives; otherwise, things fall apart. Conservatives need liberals; otherwise, things get stuck.

Each new idea named above forced society to examine commonly shared assumptions. These included assumptions about the causes of infectious illnesses, the necessity of a widely well-educated populace, and the nature of democracy when excluding certain people groups from the definition of being fully human and thus endowed with inalienable rights.

In each case, those previously unexamined shared assumptions had to be held to the light to reveal the inevitable flaws. This is a continual process which societies–and religious organizations–must undergo.

Right now, our society and our religious institutions are re-examining assumptions about the nature of human sexuality. The implications of changing those assumptions affect every part of life.


The razor’s edge of grace vs law

As an active pastor, I often reminded my congregation that all live on the razor’s edge where we seek a comfortable balance between law and grace.

With law, we treasure the way we did things in the past and trust that the rules of the past also inform the rules of the future.

With grace, we recognize that God is continually challenging us to live more fully into a world of radical forgiveness, inclusion and the mystery of the unknown.

We are always falling off that razor’s edge, simply because it is impossible for us to stay there. It takes too much energy to maintain our balance.

Tevye, in Fiddler on the Roof, tells us that for balance we must hold firmly to “Tradition!” Tradition! Those traditions, carefully conserved by societies that trust them to keep things stable, provide solid foundations. Until they don’t. They stop working when unstoppable outside forces muscle in or intriguing and attractive new ideas seep in.

Those forces and ideas wreak havoc on formally balanced traditions. New ways of balancing, have to be formed. That how adaptive societies and organizations, secular and religious, endure.


Liberals need conservatives; conservatives need liberals

Now, besides Jesus and his liberal message of inclusion, two primary groups push for societal change. The first are those who sense the call to fight for the oppressed. They tend to be secure enough about both the present and the future to navigate the unsteady waters of change.

The second are those so oppressed themselves that they are desperate for a welcoming space within the formally non-welcoming tribe. The oppressed have nothing to lose by continually pounding on the doors until they break them down.

Let’s picture this dynamic in the current world of conflicted Methodism: Those on the outside, the ones with nothing to lose, i.e., the GLBTQI+ community, along with their liberal defenders, i.e., people like me who feel genuinely called to go to battle for the oppressed, now stand toe-to-toe with those who are fighting to the death to preserve their traditions.

Both positions have the Bible on their side. If operating from a text-only basis, then those engaging in non-heterosexual encounters do deserve death, or at the very least, a consistent reminder that their ways are wicked in the sight of God and humanity. If operating from a larger theological basis, like Luke 4 and Acts 10, then open the doors to the formerly unclean and let them be labeled clean and whole.

The battle was no different when fighting for or against slavery. On a text-only basis, slavery appears to be smiled upon by God or at least not overtly condemned. On a theological basis, it is a grievous wrong to do this to another human being.

Same with women’s ordination: on a text-only basis, women should keep their heads covered, their mouths shut, and their legs open so they can have as many babies as possible and perhaps be saved by childbearing. On a theological level–it’s a whole different story.

The text-only basis serves the conservative community exquisitely well. Small snippets of Scripture are easy to remember and to use as comforting and stabilizing stakes in the ground.

Wider theological thinking serves the liberal community equally well. It gives space for creativity and legitimate justification to fight oppression that has been long silently approved by the unspoken assumptions of the larger community.

We need them both.

We need to acknowledge our often legitimate fears of change. We also need to acknowledge our need to change and the massive discomfort it causes. The more uncomfortable things become, the more most people long for order, often an externally imposed order. That need for order often drives people to embrace some sort of religious fundamentalism, which exacerbates the tension.


Nothing stays the same

The need for religious fundamentalism is NOT BAD. We need our common fundamentals. But without those fundamentals facing the questions that the liberals and desperate outsiders periodically insist upon, we cannot stay alive because change is itself fundamental to life. Nothing remains in stasis.

By Fama Clamosa - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=67001070
The continents before the great geological upheavals that brought about the present continental configuration.

On a recent trip to the Amazon, I heard a series of lectures by a geologist to help better understand the longterm history of the area. His good work reminded me of our physical reality: nothing stays the same; nothing stays stable; we are all in a state of flux.

Some people, some species, survive the changes and become stronger and better adapted to the new realities. Some do not.

It’s the same with institutions. Some adapt and thrive in new realities. Some do not.

Historically, the Methodists have been able to embrace societal changes and still thrive. We no longer support racial segregation; we ordain the divorced and just as readily perform marriages for divorced parishioners; we enthusiastically ordain women.

All of those radical changes faced giant opposition. All were necessary to remain faithful to the Holy Scriptures.


Stop the blame/counterblame game

Can we do this again with the questions of human sexuality?

Yes, we can. But the current rhetoric of blame/counterblame, of condemning people to eternal damnation, or screaming that they are “wrong,” or worse, “unbiblical,” must stop. Right now.

The liberals among us MUST acknowledge the importance of conserving traditions. The conservatives among us MUST acknowledge that the liberals have something legitimate to say.

We are better with each other than we are without each other. It might lower tensions if we splinter into “separate but equal” camps. But it will also certainly lower any hopes of holiness or Christ-likeness if we do.

When the head says to the heart, “off with you!” both die. When the hand chops off the foot, the hand also loses the blood necessary for life.

When I say to those who hold opinions seriously different from mine, “Go away, form your church, free me from having to be in a relationship with you,” then I lose.

I need those opposing points of view. And they need mine.

We can do this. But will we? It’s far, far less safe to stay together. It’s far, far easier and more comfortable to split, to hide behind our tribal boundaries, But it ain’t right.

A split is exactly the opposite of what Jesus proclaimed in Luke 4. But then again, the religious people did try to push him over a cliff.

Easier to get rid of the Savior than to live with radical grace toward one another.


Photo Credits:

© Benjamin Albiach Galan | Dreamstime.com, modified by Christy Thomas

Photo By Fama Clamosa – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

© Andres Rodriguez | Dreamstime.com, modified by Christy Thomas

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Reese

    So, in your logic, Ms. Christy, hemorrhoids, root canals and tax collectors all have a purpose in my life and serve my need for balance? I had not really thought of liberals in that way, but it makes sense, really…

    • Patrick

      Or think of it this way; a right wing and a left wing are equally needed for successful flight.

    • And it is exactly this kind of disparaging rhetoric, when aimed at other human beings, flawed indeed but still in the image of God, that will destroy us.

      • Reese

        Aww, now, you liberals need a sense of humor. Be happy in your battle! You are correct. certainly my banter with liberals nearly equals golf in giving me reason to get up in the morning. Well, shopping at Wal-Mart is up there, too. Anyway, remember smiles are empowering.

        • DDRLSGC

          Without liberals, you conservatives would turn on each other because you would have no one else to make scapegoats for your failures.

          • Reese

            Say, are you enjoying the news from Virginia as much as I am? I’m just red-faced from laughin’ at the black-face. And, then there’s the way the Dems are turning on that poor “Indian” gal

          • Patrick

            News about people being crude, rude, insensitive and/or racist is not enjoyable to most folks, no matter where or from whom it originates. But, to each his own!

          • Reese

            So, how about news which reports a governor who promotes infanticide in new legislation? Democrats have no protest of murder, but want his resignation over a college stunt 35 years ago. Murder is never funny, but liberal’s extreme hypocrisy is laughable.

          • Patrick

            Beg to differ, I don’t think anyone’s hypocrisy is laughable, be they Democrat or Republican. Hypocrisy is dishonorable and contemptible.

          • Iron Mike

            And yet, that’s exactly what we have in Liberals flying to climate change conferences in private jets, lecturing us on our carbon footprint. It is what we have in Liberals who seek to infringe private firearms ownership, while enjoying the safety of armed security. It is the same Liberals living behind gated communities, while refusing to secure the border. Shall we go on?

          • Patrick

            Yes, please continue. Be sure to expound on the conservative hypocrisy for a “fair and balanced” representation.

          • Iron Mike

            Sorry, couldn’t think of any. 🙂

          • Chuck Johnson

            You are lying.
            Infanticide and abortion are two different things.

          • Iron Mike

            Infanticide and abortion have now become one and the same when parents and doctors have a conversation whether a baby born live can be allowed to live. That’s exactly what the Virginia governor proposed.

          • Chuck Johnson

            Whether a baby born live can be allowed to live is a subject well worth discussing. In the future, there will be plenty of such discussions.

            Such discussions are similar to the discussions of whether adults with very serious injuries or defects should be allowed to live.

            Sometimes, decisions are made to take the patient off of life support. Termination of life support can be a good decision.

            hether a baby born live can be allowed to live

          • Iron Mike

            “Whether a baby born live can be allowed to live” is a question asked an answered by the Constitution which provides equal treatment under the law. The same applies to adults with “injuries or defects.” Seriously, who are YOU to judge if an adult with a “defect” should be allowed to live? And what level of defect or injury makes this person no longer protected by the constitution?

            When you are capable of dehumanizing human beings, you can rationalize all manner of barbarism. Nazi human experiments proved that very well. Science without morality is barbaric. It is not worth discussion because that discussion is settled.

          • Chuck Johnson

            You are lying.
            And babbling.

          • Iron Mike

            That’s hardly the level of response I would expect from an advocate of science, but entirely consistent with your amoral assertions and the inevitable results of Liberalism.

          • Chuck Johnson

            You are a troll.

          • DDRLSGC

            America had its own human experiments in the 20th century and no one was punished for it.

          • newenglandsun

            Infanticide and abortion are the same thing. Always have and always will.

          • Chuck Johnson

            Church politics creates a plenitude of liars, such as yourself.
            In lies, all things are possible.

          • newenglandsun

            I lie not. That is Church doctrine. Is the Church not infallible? Yes, it is.

          • D.M.S.

            They are the same, both of them kill innocent life.

          • Chuck Johnson

            So you have been told, and so you believe.
            You are blindly obedient to the politics of liars.
            This corrupts your morality.

          • D.M.S.

            Morality? You can’t concieve what that even means.
            Is it moral to take a life inside and or outside of a woman’s womb?

          • D.M.S.

            I’m blindly obedient with joy to Christ Jesus.
            Praise the Lord.

          • DDRLSGC

            No, conservative extreme hypocrisy is laughable.

          • DDRLSGC

            Yeah I am laughing at how the Republican Party is the laughing stock of the country even though they had control of all three branches of government for the last two years, not to mention how business leaders don’t know how to run a government let alone their own companies.

          • newenglandsun

            In a monarchy, the monarch would be opposed by all–his followers would be his “most loyal opposition”. People naturally distrust monarchs. More than they distrust Trump, ironically. Where are the calls for his assassination? Democracy fails because people are afraid to revolt against it.

          • DDRLSGC

            Yeah, well conservatives are always saying that the 2nd Amendment protects us from a tyrannical government. If that was truth, police corruption and brutality would have been nip in the bud, street gangs and organized crime groups would have never been allowed to exist, striking workers would have beaten the public and private sector police during the 19th and 20th centuries. You don’t see right wing militias in places like New York, Chicago, and Ferguson, Missouri to protect the minorities from the police.

            I agreed with you about the people failing to revolt; however, if there was a strong social and economic safety net plus workers not getting fired and/or blacklisted from their profession for having a criminal rap sheet (which makes it impossible to get a job unless you are a white collar, corporate criminal) because the police arrested them at those protests. then maybe they would not be so scared to revolt.

            I guess the conservatives don’t want to get a visit from the Secret Service if they say something about assassinating Trump compare to all the stuff they mention about getting rid of Obama.

          • newenglandsun

            “You don’t see right wing militias in places like New York, Chicago, and Ferguson, Missouri to protect the minorities from the police.”
            Those places all have stricter gun laws but for some reason, “conservatives” also hold too high a regard for police. I don’t think there is “widespread racism” within public law enforcement for one, but I do think the police need to be restricted which is a violation of mainstream Republican dogma but something inconsistent with traditional conservatism.

            “if there was a strong social and economic safety net plus workers not getting fired and/or blacklisted from their profession for having a criminal rap sheet (which makes it impossible to get a job unless you are a white collar, corporate criminal) because the police arrested them at those protests. then maybe they would not be so scared to revolt.”
            And that’s a problem with democracy. Those standards are followed by employers because the public law enforcement has a legitimacy from the consent of its institution given by the people. Fyodr Dostoevsky, however, revolted against the Tsar and yet became one of Russia’s greatest novelists.

          • DDRLSGC

            The police also have a high regard for conservatives and there is still a problem of racism in the police force nationwide.

            No the problem with democracy is when it is actually a plutocracy with the wealthy people ensuring that the justice, political, and economic system is in their favor.

          • newenglandsun

            “The police also have a high regard for conservatives and there is still a problem of racism in the police force nationwide.”
            Huh? I don’t know of any widespread conservatism within the police. Are you one of those who thinks Republican is synonymous with conservative? It’s not. And who can blame the police for being more and more Republican considering the Democrats want their power restricted and attack them as having systemic racism? But that is not the same as having “high regard for conservatives”. Yes, there is a problem with racism nationwide. That’s what happens when people think the “cure” is to blame and guilt-shame an entire ethnicity in your country as being responsible for the nation’s problems.

            “No the problem with democracy is when it is actually a plutocracy with the wealthy people ensuring that the justice, political, and economic system is in their favor.”
            And how many democratic republics have avoided this fate?

          • DDRLSGC

            Wrong, the police have always been a conservative group in this country and affiliate themselves with other conservatives; otherwise, they would not have been spying, assaulting, and in some cases, murdering left wingers, progressive, communists, socialists, labor, and civil right people. That is a fact. The police was established in America as slave patrol to maintain slavery and racism plus being a private police force for the corporations and wealthy people That is also a fact

            The white people control the country and still do so yes they have been and should be held responsible for creating and maintaining the nation’s problems. They need to settle up, own up, stop creating and maintaining the nation’s problems and fixing them for good.

            Oh, I see you want to give the police more and more unrestricted power like they used to have until various Supreme Court decisions put restraints on their actions and force them to obey the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The Founding Fathers create those documents for a reason.

            Western Europe and Northern Europe avoid this fate because the wealthy people in places like Sweden and Norway during the Great Depression and after World War II finally realizes that they could no longer use military and police force to put down the workers and they wanted to avoid the fate that happen to the French aristocracy and to avoid Communism from taking hold in their countries.

          • newenglandsun

            “the police have always been a conservative group in this country and affiliate themselves with other conservatives;”
            As I stated, IF Republican is synonymous with conservative and it is NOT. There are numerous Republicans who are FAR from conservative. John McCain, Mitt Romney, Phil Baker, Bruce Rauner, Larry Hogan, William Weld, Bill Kristol, Bob Hugin are all Republicans yet NOT conservative. They are liberals. Conservativism is not about political party affiliation. I am an Independent and yet would be considered conservative–farther to the right of those aforementioned. Do you understand the difference now?

            “otherwise, they would not have been spying, assaulting, and in some cases, murdering left wingers, progressive, communists, socialists, labor, and civil right people. That is a fact.”
            WHAT?!?

            “The police was established in America as slave patrol to maintain slavery and racism plus being a private police force for the corporations and wealthy people That is also a fact”
            No. I’m pretty certain the institution is borrowed over from the U.K. and Europe prior to that.

            “The white people control the country and still do so yes they have been and should be held responsible for creating and maintaining the nation’s problems.”
            We had 8 years of a black President. Two of the current administration’s chief staffers are Jews, our current HUD secretary is black, and our Secretary of Transportation is an Asian. In a meritocratic system, ethnicity DOES NOT CARE. Holding current white people responsible for past problems is RACISM.

            “Oh, I see you want to give the police more and more unrestricted power like they used to have until various Supreme Court decisions put restraints on their actions and force them to obey the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.”
            WHAT?!? When did I say that. If you read my comments, you’d realise I was critiquing that view. What I disagree with is your view that widespread racism exists within their ranks. You write like a conspiracy theorist, misrepresent my comments, and are filled with rubbish. Also, you came out against the 2nd amendment in your first reply.

          • DDRLSGC

            As I have stated the police are a conservative group and affiliate themselves with other conservative. Wrong, those politicians you mention are Conservative. if they were liberal, they would have not lasted in today Republican Party because they would not be considered conservative enough and be kicked out because they did not follow the party line.

            Again the police did spy on liberals, civil rights activists, labor unions, communists, socialists and in many cases, murder them.

            No, the police in America was established in the South to keep control and maintain slavery.

            So what about Obama? The Republicans made it clear that they would not work with a black president and publicity stated that they were going to make him a one term president. That is racism. They also have been using various means to suppress the votes of Afro-Americans and poor people. That is both racism and economic class racism.

            Wrong, those people in the current administration are in political appointment positions, not based on meritocratic. The secretary of transportation was once the secretary of labor and she did not do a thing for the American worker. Being a minority doesn’t mean a thing when you are a conservative who is working to keep the rest of the population. White people are still in control of the country so yes they are to blame for what is happening in this country.

            Wrong, my comments are not rubbish and are based on truth.

            You are misrepresenting my comments on the 2nd Amendment. The Southern politicians got the 2nd Amendment pass because they needed an armed force to put down any slave revolts. It has nothing to do with protecting us against a tyrannical government.

          • newenglandsun

            “As I have stated the police are a conservative group and affiliate themselves with other conservative. Wrong, those politicians you mention are Conservative. if they were liberal, they would have not lasted in today Republican Party because they would not be considered conservative enough and be kicked out because they did not follow the party line.”
            So what you are doing is equating Republican with being conservative. Bob Hugin is a pro-abortionist. That’s not conservative. John McCain was a warmongerer. That’s not conservative. William Weld converted to the GOP from the Libertarian party for the sole purpose of trying to oust Trump and become the GOP nominee. That’s not conservative. Charlie Baker and Bruce Rauner are in favor of funding abortion institutions. That’s not conservative. Being GOP is NOT the same as being conservative. The police are NOT a “conservative group” but they are dominantly GOP because Republican politicians boost their power and monetary strength. There is no evidence of widespread conservatism within them. This is the problem with American politics. There isn’t really a conservatism in it. There is one party that conservatives heavily vote for because the other party has decided to wage a war on their ideologies.

            “Again the police did spy on liberals, civil rights activists, labor unions, communists, socialists and in many cases, murder them.”
            When?!? Based on your ignorance about the difference between the Republican PARTY and conservative ideology, I am going to treat your outrageous claims as laughable.

            “No, the police in America was established in the South to keep control and maintain slavery.”
            No. There were police forces in the colonies long before that. There were also police forces in Russia and the U.K. as well. Countries that got rid of slavery without a civil war breaking out. In fact, slavery was abolished in Russia long before those countries even considered abolishing it.

            “So what about Obama? The Republicans made it clear that they would not work with a black president and publicity stated that they were going to make him a one term president. That is racism. They also have been using various means to suppress the votes of Afro-Americans and poor people. That is both racism and economic class racism.”
            Seriously? The Republicans decided they wouldn’t work with a DEMOCRATIC President. There was nothing racist about their refusal to work with Obama because their reasoning was not based on skin color but on party lines. You might better consider it party-politics. And they aren’t suppressing the votes of blacks. They want stricter voter ID laws taking place. A non-partisan study was done recently about voter ID laws by a Harvard professor and a professor from the University of Bologna which revealed that voter ID laws don’t suppress votes. That’s neither racism nor economic class racism. You’re a moron if you think that it is.

            “Wrong, those people in the current administration are in political appointment positions, not based on meritocratic. The secretary of transportation was once the secretary of labor and she did not do a thing for the American worker. Being a minority doesn’t mean a thing when you are a conservative who is working to keep the rest of the population. White people are still in control of the country so yes they are to blame for what is happening in this country.”
            They all went through grueling confirmation processes that took heavily partisan turns because while the Republicans fervently supported Obama’s cabinet appointees, the Democrats made a decision that they would not support any of Trump’s appointees regardless of their qualifications.

            “Wrong, my comments are not rubbish and are based on truth.”
            And yet you think that conservative=Republican and vice-versa when I have demonstrated it does not.

            “You are misrepresenting my comments on the 2nd Amendment. The Southern politicians got the 2nd Amendment pass because they needed an armed force to put down any slave revolts. It has nothing to do with protecting us against a tyrannical government.”
            Actually, you are incorrect about that.
            https://www.theroot.com/2nd-amendment-passed-to-protect-slavery-no-1790894965

          • DDRLSGC

            “Bob Hugin is a pro-abortionist. That’s not conservative. John McCain was a warmongerer. That’s not conservative. William Weld converted to the GOP from the Libertarian party for the sole purpose of trying to oust Trump and become the GOP nominee. That’s not conservative. Charlie Baker and Bruce Rauner are in favor of funding abortion institutions. That’s not conservative. Being GOP is NOT the same as being conservative. The police are NOT a “conservative group” but they are dominantly GOP because Republican politicians boost their power and monetary strength. There is no evidence of widespread conservatism within them. This is the problem with American politics. There isn’t really a conservatism in it. There is one party that conservatives heavily vote for because the other party has decided to wage a war on their ideologies.

            The GOP is conservative and has been that way for a long time. Same thing with the police If these Republican politicians you mention are not conservatives, explain how come they were not expelled from the party? They certainly took advantage of what the right wing conservative party had to offered to them I am going to treated your outrageous claims as laughable.

            “Again the police did spy on liberals, civil rights activists, labor unions, communists, socialists and in many cases, murder them.”
            When?!? Based on your ignorance about the difference between the Republican PARTY and conservative ideology, I am going to treat your outrageous claims as laughable.”

            Police did do all those things against those groups and they were conservatives. Again, I am going to treat your claims as laughable.

            “No. There were police forces in the colonies long before that. There were also police forces in Russia and the U.K. as well. Countries that got rid of slavery without a civil war breaking out. In fact, slavery was abolished in Russia long before those countries even considered abolishing it.”

            Police did not exist in America until 1838. Until then, the police forces in the South were slave patrols back up by the state militia. Again I find your outrage claims laughable.

            “Seriously? The Republicans decided they wouldn’t work with a DEMOCRATIC President. There was nothing racist about their refusal to work with Obama because their reasoning was not based on skin color but on party lines. You might better consider it party-politics. And they aren’t suppressing the votes of blacks. They want stricter voter ID laws taking place. A non-partisan study was done recently about voter ID laws by a Harvard professor and a professor from the University of Bologna which revealed that voter ID laws don’t suppress votes. That’s neither racism nor economic class racism. You’re a moron if you think that it is”

            They made it clear that they would not work with Obama based on him being a Democratic and being an Afro-American and they are suppressing the votes of the blacks and they keep claiming voter fraud even though the federal government investigate the matter under Bush, Jr., and told Junior that they found no widespread voter fraud. That is both racism and economic racism. You are the moron not me.

            “You are misrepresenting my comments on the 2nd Amendment. The Southern politicians got the 2nd Amendment pass because they needed an armed force to put down any slave revolts. It has nothing to do with protecting us against a tyrannical government.”
            Actually, you are incorrect about that.
            https://www.theroot.com/2nd…”

            “They all went through grueling confirmation processes that took heavily partisan turns because while the Republicans fervently supported Obama’s cabinet appointees, the Democrats made a decision that they would not support any of Trump’s appointees regardless of their qualifications.”

            No the Republican fought against a lot of Obama appointees and they would not work with Obama. The Democrats are fighting Trump because his candidates are totally unqualified because of their past records and look at how many of them have quit because of their past sins in private life, the crimes they committed in those government posts, and they can’t stand working with Trump. Even the Republicans are turning against Trump. Trump stated that he picks the best and the brightest; however, those people he pick are the stupidest and dumbest.

            “And yet you think that conservative=Republican and vice-versa when I have demonstrated it does not.”

            You have not demonstrated anything. I find your claims laughable.

            Nope. you are the one that is incorrect: https://www.alternet.org/2017/10/repeal-second-amendment/

          • newenglandsun

            “The GOP is conservative and has been that way for a long time. Same thing with the police If these Republican politicians you mention are not conservatives, explain how come they were not expelled from the party?”
            The GOP has a conservative party platform in principle. In practice, a LOT of its members are leftists. Political parties in the United States don’t expel you for not agreeing with party platform.

            “Police did do all those things against those groups and they were conservatives. Again, I am going to treat your claims as laughable.”
            So you can’t provide when it happened. You just insist it did. Like that lying leech Jussie Smollett.

            “Police did not exist in America until 1838. Until then, the police forces in the South were slave patrols back up by the state militia. Again I find your outrage claims laughable.”
            No. It existed long before that.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_enforcement_in_the_United_States#History
            It used conscription volunteers, watchgroups, and was similar to the militia system. It was based on ANCIENT English common law.

            “They made it clear that they would not work with Obama based on him being a Democratic and being an Afro-American and they are suppressing the votes of the blacks and they keep claiming voter fraud even though the federal government investigate the matter under Bush, Jr., and told Junior that they found no widespread voter fraud. That is both racism and economic racism.”
            You think people are more complicated than they actually are. Obama was opposed because he was a Democrat and that’s how partisan politics work in D.C. There is generally “no evidence” of “widespread voter fraud” depending on whether your side wins. When there is, it is usually because your side loses. Stricter voter ID laws are neither racism nor economic racism. Demonstrate that they are. But you cannot because they are not.

            “No the Republican fought against a lot of Obama appointees and they would not work with Obama. The Democrats are fighting Trump because his candidates are totally unqualified because of their past records and look at how many of them have quit because of their past sins in private life, the crimes they committed in those government posts, and they can’t stand working with Trump.”
            No. Obama’s appointees had overwhelming bipartisan support in their confirmation votes. Each getting in with at least 2/3 of the Senate voting for them which indicates there was definitely strong GOP support in terms of the circumstances. Trump’s appointees are not unqualified. None of them have proved to be unqualified. They are opposed for partisan reasons. I don’t like them all but they are definitely opposed for partisan reasons. Jeff Sessions was exceptionally qualified for AG position having even served as AG of Alabama and under his tenure schools were de-segregated and he was involved in having a member of the KKK executed and yet the Democrats attempted to smear him as a racist. John McCain at the time had to write a letter commending Sessions because of all the lies against his, at the time, senatorial colleague and McCain was certainly no conservative.

            “You have not demonstrated anything. I find your claims laughable.”
            And I have and I have given you counter-examples and examples. You insist and claim that you are telling truth and yet when shown something that contradicts, you throw it away or turn the other way and insist that the moon is just the sun at night and that black is white.

            Your alternet article, BTW, is written by a real genius who claims libertarian theology is destroying the internet I noticed. What exactly is libertarian “theology”? I don’t know.

          • newenglandsun

            And my apologies–the MA governor is Charlie Baker and not Phil Baker. I will amend my previous comments accordingly.

  • Timothy Weston

    Things have split apart so much it is hard to head back to the mindset in the article.

  • Chuck Johnson

    Our world is not especially in need of either liberals or conservatives.
    We are in need of good, honest, useful, truthful ideas.

    Politically conservative people can provide some good ideas, politically liberal people can also provide some good ideas.

    • Iron Mike

      The problem is that “good, honest, useful, and truthful” are subjective judgments made through the lens of political, social, and cultural bias.

      • Chuck Johnson

        The lens that I use is the lens of science.
        Evolutionary biology.

        • Iron Mike

          The problem with a lens of science is it is completely amoral. It can judge “honest, useful, and truthful”, but lacks the ability to judge “good” which requires a philosophical construct. Obviously we do not all share the same philosophical construct, which brings us back to the inevitable tension between conservative and liberal.

          • Chuck Johnson

            When you say these thing, they are true because you say them.
            By definition.
            Your kind of vanity and arrogance is a very low form of morality.
            You haven’t’ a clue.

          • Iron Mike

            I expected better than ad hominem from you Chuck. But I suppose when you have no counterpoint to what is written, then all you can do is attack the writer. If this is how you welcome ideas different from your own, then it seems you have already judged what is “good, honest, useful, and truthful” and are nothing more than a hypocrite.

            The only useful take away is you have brilliantly proved my point. “Good” is a subjective judgment that is shaped and informed, not by science, but the lens of philosophy—political, cultural, and religious. People who cannot tolerate challenges to their philosophical construct and seek to demonize those who offer contrary views, are not capable of the kinds if inclusive compromise this article is calling for.

          • Chuck Johnson

            You are babbling and lying.
            You are trolling.

          • D.M.S.

            Christ Jesus loves you, in case you didn’t know that.
            Peace.

        • D.M.S.

          Then you’ll be happy to know that you can’t even breath on your own without God/Jesus.

          • Chuck Johnson

            You are happy to know that any superstition that you assert is true.
            With lies, all things are possible.

          • D.M.S.

            No lies, just truth. The lost don’t believe the truth of our Lord God.
            And born again Christian don’t believe in the superstition of evolution.
            Peace.

          • Chuck Johnson

            You have been told these things and you believe them.
            Indoctrination into the supernatural promotes the belief of falsehoods.
            You are pretending that you understand things that you don’t understand.

            The lies are coming from you, and they are also coming from the people who indoctrinated you.

          • D.M.S.

            You’ve been indoctrinated by the same world that tried to indoctrinate me.
            I brought up as an atheist.
            Until I found out the real truth of this world in my mid twenties of our Lord Jesus Christ and what He did for the entire world
            I’ll die for our Lord Christ Jesus.
            Blessings.

          • Chuck Johnson

            I was sent to Sunday school and church.
            The supernatural lessons did not then, and do not now add up to logical, sensible stories for me.

            The stories that impress me are the scientific ones.
            Science is verified by empiricism.

            Superstition is verified by written and spoken claims, arguments from authority, emotionalism, traditionalism, and other not-so-compelling sources of evidence.

            I require good evidence, including plenty of empirical proof to satisfy my need to know the truth.

            The emotionalism and appeals to authority were enough in Nazi Germany persuade many Christians that the “bad people” (especially Jews) needed to be eliminated.

            If empiricism had been extensively employed, the exact and detailed nature of who the Jews were, and how those Jewish families were to be eliminated would have been available for all to see.

            If that had been the case, very few Christians would have said yes to the final solution to the Jewish problem.

            Scientific thinking leads to better morality.
            Honesty, truthfulness and empiricism are the keys to this improved morality.

          • D.M.S.

            I was brought up in the science world of the theory of evolution and believed all of it.
            Today I believe ‘ none ‘ of it.
            God/Jesus created this entire world and everything in it, on it, around it, above it, etc.
            Peace.

          • Chuck Johnson

            Yes, giving up on knowledge and complexity does save time and effort.
            Blindly believing in Donald Trump or Adolf Hitler are also shortcuts to a particular style of knowledge, wisdom, and smug self-assurance.

            It’s a simpler road, but the morality is bad and the long-term outcomes are quite negative and harmful to the human race.

          • D.M.S.

            I don’t believe in Donald Trump or Adolf Clinton Hitler:-)

            Christ Jesus is my Lord and Savior.

            Not any man or woman……

          • Chuck Johnson

            Magical Jesus never existed.
            Human Jesus is hardly known at all.
            Reliable historical information is in very short supply.

            So your idea of what Jesus thought and did is a combination of church politics and your own politics.

            Then you put the rubber stamp of authority on those politics by calling them divine politics.

            You are worshiping yourself and the church.
            You were hoping for a God, but what you got is human politics.
            Masquerading as a God.

          • D.M.S.

            Lol….. your god ( Satan ) is liberal manure.

          • D.M.S.

            Magical evolution never existed.
            The Big Bang is bunk.

          • D.M.S.

            Science can’t even exist without God/Jesus.

  • Charles Blackshire

    I cant recall an article I more strongly disagreed with “conservatives” (i.e. Fascists) are not my countrymen

    • Iron Mike

      Yes. That’s part of the problem. When you can only see Conservatives through the lens of your own bias, you only see “Fascists” and not your brothers and sisters in Christ with a different perspective how to approach problems and solutions.

      • DDRLSGC

        Wrong, replace the word “conservatives” with “liberals” and “replace the word “Fascists” with the words “liberals”, “socialists”, “progressives”, and “communists” because it is the conservatives that view them as the enemy, doesn’t treat them as people with equal rights and believe that their perspective is not worth anything.

  • Connie Beane

    I’m sorry, but this is just a feel-good version of “both-side-ism.” Both-side-ism is the illusion that everyone is equally good (or more often, bad) and is based on a person’s refusal to exercise his/her rational faculties to judge (political parties, religious groups, social behavior), for fear of being “unfair.” “Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16 KJV).

    • Iron Mike

      So you probably don’t have one of those silly “COEXIST” bumper stickers on your car, right? 🙂

      • Connie Beane

        I don’t have any bumper stickers on my car. I don’t feel the need to advertise my feelings or interests that way. But “Coexist” stickers don’t offend me. I think it’s an admirable sentiment. I simply judge every person, every religion, every political party by their actions and the results, as well as by their words.

        • jekylldoc

          I think the idea is to set aside judgment most of the time (since it isn’t necessary all the time, contrary to what arguing on the internet indicates) and listen for the part that does make sense in other people’s thoughts. Even more, to listen for the things that are scary for reasons I am suppressing, and try to get insight into my own fears.

          • Connie Beane

            Frankly, I don’t have the time (or the inclination) to psychoanalyze other people so I can give them the benefit of the doubt for their anti-social acts.

          • jekylldoc

            Well, your approach is okay as far as it goes, but the only psychoanalysis I was suggesting was on oneself. Take the beam from your own eye first, etc. I suspect if you have time to comment on the internet you have time to listen to people even if some part of what they are doing or saying is anti-social. Or maybe that’s just me.

          • Connie Beane

            A few weeks ago, a man walked into a yoga studio in Tallahassee and murdered two women and severely injured several others. I am not inclined to “listen” to his personal woes any more than I would have been interested in “listening” to Ted Bundy, who murdered two women and severely bludgeoned four others in Tallahassee in a single night of violence forty years ago. But that’s just me.

          • jekylldoc

            Well, if you think everyone with a different opinion from you is out to murder someone, you have bigger problems to deal with than chatting with me.

          • Connie Beane

            Now, see, that’s where we differ: I don’t feel the need to psychoanalyze other people. I only judge on the basis of how their actions affect others.

        • Iron Mike

          I think your criteria for judgment is valid. We know a tree by its fruit. So when we have a President who implements policies that have a direct impact on lowering minority unemployment to levels never seen in history, are you capable of giving credit where due? Or is he so fundamentally flawed in your view that virtually nothing he OR his supporters can do to be redeemed? Because I suggest the latter is where most Liberals really are.

          • DDRLSGC

            Sorry, but it was the Afro-American Democratic president’s policies that had an impact on unemployment levels and was never given the credit for anything.

            ” Or is he so fundamentally flawed in your view that virtually nothing he OR his supporters can do to be redeemed? Because I suggest the latter is where most Liberals really are.”

            You need to apply that statement to the conservatives who believe that our last Democratic president couldn’t do anything right and was not redeemable. That is where the conservatives are really at.

  • Iron Mike

    Although I see your bias reflected in your characterization of both Conservative or Liberal, I find myself in the unusual circumstance of finding common ground with you in your observation that Conservatives and Liberals need each other. Frequently, we may differ in our perceptions of social problems, solutions, and our Christian responsibilities, but we share a common desire to love and serve God through our love and service to our fellow human beings—all of whom are equally God’s children.

  • jekylldoc

    This seems very wise to me.