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On Taking Sides


It occurs to me this morning that term “conservatism” could also simply be: “traditional Biblical wisdom.”

And so if we find a person who is not a “conservative,” we have found a person who does not ascribe value to the Bible, or to Biblical wisdom.

The practical upshot of this is that we find ourselves divided into teams, which we call “liberals” and “conservatives” but the real point of contention is: the Bible

And note that the teams are not teams as the world has historically factioned itself into teams. Usually the split occurs along lines of family, or of historical acrimony, or along lines of economic interest (e.g. The Civil War). Both sides are roughly aware that these lines are idealogical, with one side (the conservatives) thinking that the other is wrong because they don’t accept Biblical wisdom, and with the other side thinking that the other side is wrong because the positively enjoy treating others (blacks, gays, hispanics, gender-confused, women) poorly ‘just because.’

But that premise–that wholly half of the county finds its core meaning in hating others–is absurd. Even the most ardent liberal has to be dimly aware that there is a profound intellectual dishonesty going on here. The cultural wars are not between purely good children of light and purely evil children of darkness. They are between people, and between ideas which people may find either offensive or nourishing.

And that is why you will never actually see the level of rancor which the left claims to experience from the right. It is not that conservatives are good at keeping it hidden, that hate-filled little notes are eaten before the teacher has a chance to catch them, or that the burning crosses are carried away before the police arrive. It is that the ‘hatred’ doesn’t exist. The war isn’t against people–it’s about ideas.