Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas is for atheists, too

What a lot of nonsense. The point of cultural conservatism is not to do away with atheism or any other group. I consider myself a social liberal in the context of today's debates, and a cultural conservative, in that I believe in tradition and civilization and not being reactionary....and I see the sort of blustering reactionary talk in this video utterly absurd.

Conservative? More blow-hard than conservative. This talk doesn't represent my conservatism any more than silly atheist activists represent most atheists.

Allahpundit asks: "Um, what exactly is Gretchen saying here? Christianity’s going to disappear unless we … take away atheists’ First Amendment rights?"



Elizabeth said...

What do you see as the difference between cultural and social conservatism?

E.D. Kain said...

Good question. Cultural conservatism (as I see it) is a respect and reverence for the overall civilization one lives in, its traditions, heritage, etc. It is a cautious outlook toward change, individual reason, etc. However, it also accepts that change does and must occur.

Social conservatism, these days, is a belief in orthodox principles and an unwillingness to change, even in light of new scientific reasoning that is, quite frankly, overwhelming--such as homosexuality being a natural trait, rather than a personal choice.

So while I am very traditional, and feel that the best thing for America is strong families and communities, and I am generally hugely skeptical of divorce, believe that humans are monogamous creatures etc. I also have come to believe that gays should be allowed to enter that communion as well, and to raise families, and hopefully to be good parents, have one parent stay home to raise the kids etc. etc.

It may be my own distinction, but I believe in traditionalism and the wisdom of the ages--and I also believe in recognizing a good idea when I see one. All things balanced.

JoefromRhody said...

I like your explanation. Question - do you then think that progressives believe that things must change and they de-value heritage and tradition?

E.D. Kain said...

Good question, Joe. I think progressives run the risk of devaluing tradition, but I don't think it's in any coherent or purposeful manner. Rather, I think we run the risk of doing so by placing too much value on material goods, celebrity worship, gratuitous and meaningless sex and violence in the media, lack of proper education for our youth, a sense of history, etc.