I am conservative. To me this primarily means that decision making should be made at the most local level. When an individual has a need or issue, one’s first line of help should be the family. If the family cannot assist, then the neighborhood/community/church should be next in line. After that, one should look to the local government, state, and finally the federal government. When things (governments or corporations) get too large, they tend to disrupt the decision making apparatus. So, small is good. Ideally, that is how it should be, to me. However, I understand that there are millions of people who have no family, or if they do, it’s not much help. That is reality. So, for many people, government may be the first resort. Let’s be okay with that. Besides decision making, I believe that it’s important that society must value the permanent things of life and culture that have maintained and nurtured humans throughout history. Marriage is one these permanent things, and so also is a belief in the transcendent order, and virtues – prudence, justice, temperance, fortitude, faith, hope and love.
When I look around at our culture, it doesn’t seem that my beliefs are very well represented. Marriage seems to be on the out, faith is discredited, and hope seems hollow. What to do?
Vote our way out of it?
I get the sense that this is what I am being told must happen, especially because it is so close to midterm elections. However, I think that the sorry state of our culture is our fault. And by our fault I mean it’s the fault of the church and individual christians, including myself. The finger pointing needs to stop. It is our fault. If marriage is being threatened in state capitols – I think we have unfortunately already lost that battle. The church has not done its duty to spread the Gospel. We can’t vote our way out of it now. We need to reclaim our rightful calling, which is to spread the Good News. That is our focus. These political issues are not driven by a few activists or elitists but in reality spring from our culture. They have deep roots in a culture that has formally rejected or is simply unaware of its Christian upbringing. Taking back the culture cannot happen unless one builds relationships by nourishing family bonds, reading good books to your kids, becoming friends with your neighbors, being good to your coworkers, being less influenced by media, supporting whats good around you, etc. The family and local environment need a renewal so that local decisions can actually be made. It there is no local life, one must look to government. And, it is at this level – the small level – that permanent things are taught and nourished. What’s good can’t simply be forced upon us from state capitols and d.c.
The focus needs to be primarily just around you.