A Conservative in the Atheist World

I meant to write and post this over the past weekend, but, as we all know, “life happens”. I didn’t get to it. So here goes. This is not meant to be a political blog, but since I’ve titled it “Conservative Skeptic”, I thought I should get this out of the way on the first post.

 

I often receive  questions from my fellow atheists and skeptics on why, or even better, how I am able to identify as a conservative. It’s actually pretty easy.

 

I’ve never let my being a conservative define me as a person. All being a conservative means for me is that I want government to be smaller, and in being so, become more responsive to the people that actually pay for government.

 

Where the conservative movement (I hate using that word, but it’s all I can come up with at the moment) became what it is known for today, in my memory, was the beginning of the “Reagan Revolution” during the election of 1980. During that time, a group of self-proclaimed “conservatives” arose: “The Christian Coalition” that hated, yes, “hated” the direction this country was going so much that they spent not only money, but their sweat equity as well to get those Democrats and Republicans (mostly Republicans), elected to office that spoke to the same social agenda. These are the religious right. They have basically hijacked conservative ideology over the past thirty-plus years to try and introduce into our secular society, all those ideals that they believe in. And, as we’ve all seen, they have in some states.

 

I’ve noticed that there are a lot of people that have left their religion, in whatever form and suddenly became, I guess, “liberal”. Does that mean that they had no compassion for their fellow humans before that? Was their humanity before tied to their religion? Sometimes it seems like that to me. Not in all cases, but there are definitely some people that I know that gave up their religious roots for reason and now disdain anyone that calls themselves a “conservative”.

 

What I’ve discovered is that there are few real differences between the so-called “Liberals” and true “Conservatives”.  Everyone that I have come into contact either through our radio show CGIPC or through twitter or my commenting on other blogs, is that most of us are willing to listen to each other. We are skeptics and as long as we can present a reasoned argument  that is evidence-based, then the other person is willing to listen, to debate, and maybe modify their thinking. I know I am.

 

The name of this site is “Skeptic Schism”. When Renee put this together she chose that name because it came mean many things at the same time. We really need to throw out our other “ism’s” when discussing any issue and debate strictly on evidence. That’s what I hope to accomplish here, with your help.

 

5 thoughts on “A Conservative in the Atheist World

  1. “They have basically hijacked conservative ideology over the past thirty-plus years to try and introduce into our secular society, all those ideals that they believe in. And, as we’ve all seen, they have in some states.”

    As someone who operates on the more liberal end of the political spectrum, I’m curious if in future blog posts you’ll go deeper into the foundational basis of your particular take on what conservatism is and how it may or may not differ from the conservatism that people like myself, who openly ridicule and troll the likes of the GOP, Tea Party, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and politicians like Palin and Perry, are exposed to.

    Would you consider yourself a bit of an outsider to mainstream conservative politics in the same way that I would laugh if someone accused me of being a Democrat because I think that party and it’s agenda is a load of crap?

    • Actually, I consider myself “mainstream”. It’s traditional conservatism vs. neo-conservatism. The neo’s have have introduced their special social agenda and have made every effort to drive the rest of us out. Some have given up. I have not. I will continue to voice my opposition to them as long as I have a voice.

      I really don’t intend this blog to be about politics, but I’ll consider a post in the future, delving a bit deeper.

  2. I agree fully with this post, to the atheist conservative, no election is fun, both candidates disagree with our thoughts, so our choices boil down to higher taxes, or more religious backwater hampering our success as a country.
    I’m tired of my tax money being wasted on unnecessary beureucracies, over paid federal programs, or excess tax on any business large or small, in the form of excess red tape.

  3. “All being a conservative means for me is that I want government to be smaller, and in being so, become more responsive to the people that actually pay for government.”

    I have a brother-in-law who use to frequently tell me the same thing. I asked him, and I’ll ask you now, what is the hang-up on small vs. big government? What guarantee is there that small government will be more responsive to the citizens? I am a liberal. The size of the government is not what is of concern to me. I want wise government. I want government that makes quality, evidence based decisions and chooses policies that are based on the same. I also want government that actually does as the constitution demands and provides for the general welfare (found in both the preamble and Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1; And I prefer the more expansive Hamiltonian interpretation of the this clause.) I want a government in which empowerment of the citizens and empathy for those citizens are important factors in the choice of policies. The size of the government seems irrelevant to me in achieving these objective. If you can do this with smaller government, fine. If big government provides this then fine.

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