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Tuesday, September 22, 2020
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Reader’s comment: Christianity underpins conservatism

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In response to Laura Perrins: The Ten Commandments: 1. I am the Lord Your God, Don Benson wrote:

It is perfectly possible to think you are a conservative while having no religious faith at all, especially if you have grown up in a country where the fruits of faith still cascade down the generations from a past time. But no coherent political or economic or social philosophy can be thought through for very long before the fundamental questions of who are we? why are we here? how does the human mind work? how can societies flourish? present themselves – and they have to be answered, at least in broad terms. If there is no narrative which addresses these questions, there can be no intellectual or practical basis on which your understanding of conservatism can rest; you are back to anarchy, barbarism or perhaps the coercive dogmas without which socialism cannot exist.

Those of us who call ourselves Christians do so on the basis that we believe the Christian Gospel is true – uniquely so. And the evidence that Christian societies flourish for the long term in a way that no others do is overwhelming. And so much of conservatism is bound up with those things that are inherently Christian it would be strange indeed to think that a website like this one could be intellectually credible without possessing a natural interest in and affinity to Christianity.

But there’s one thing worth remembering. Christianity, if it has any truth in it, must reflect the way God thinks. And God, as seen throughout the Bible, gave free will to human beings right from the start. So people who live in a genuinely Christian society will not be forced to bend the knee to what they don’t believe, yet they will still be free to benefit from the good things that stem from a well-ordered Christian society; many of us will think that means a society where Christianity underpins conservatism.

That’s why it’s not expected (so far as I know) that you have to be a Christian and you have to agree with every article posted on The Conservative Woman. Every article is likely to have freely expressed dissenting comments underneath it. But it’s clearly unreasonable to expect Christianity to be kept in the closet for fear of annoying atheists – that would be the kind of censorship of truth (and intellectual freedom) for the sake of convenience that has turned today’s Conservative Party into an empty shell.

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