Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I enabled comments on new posts now. I have to enable them on the old posts by hand. There's still some I don't want comments on, but I decided there's no point in not having comments when half of my posts start discussions with my friends anyway. I am a sellout.

Another long rant on politics, religion, personality, and forgiveness

I told some of my friends a few days ago that I feel like I get more conservative every day. It's not based on the beliefs, it's based on the lifestyles and the arguments. I explained that I understand conservatives even when I disagree with them, but I don't understand liberals when I disagree with them. So I have more sympathy for conservatives who say stupid stuff than for liberals who say stupid stuff. My conservative and libertarian friends were happy and my liberal friends were not. One of my liberal friends, who I respect a lot, accused me of confirmation bias. Which is probably true. Everyone's more likely to believe something they already agree with. I also said I like to fit in with people who are like me. Most people are like this. No matter how good liberal arguments are, they won't win me over because I like small towns and I don't drink. Stereotypical, but more true than it should be. And as I've said before, religious liberals have more in common with secular liberals than they do with religious conservatives. I may have liberal opinions on some things, but I have a conservative brain. So conservative arguments make more sense.

My Christian faith makes me more moderate or liberal than I would be otherwise. A lot of my liberal opinions go against what logic tells me. For me, logic supports conservatives more often than not. When I was in college I was both a hardcore Christian and a hardcore liberal, and I was every bit as obnoxious as the Religious Right. I disagreed with the left on a few things but I liked the way they talked. As I explained in a ha-ha-only-serious post on religion and politics last year, liberal arguments are similar to religious arguments. And both groups can slip into self righteousness real easily.

It really bugs me when some secular people, usually secular liberals, try to claim Jesus agreed with them. It bugs me when people claim Jesus was a socialist, a capitalist, a Republican, a Democrat, a Libertarian, a monarchist, etc. I also don't know why someone who rejects Jesus's supernatural claims would follow Jesus's morals. They're not practical at all. There are other moral teachers. It's a lousy attempt to try and win over Christians. I respect other religions and philosophies too much to cozy up to their followers. Too bad not everyone's that way.

For example, I don't understand why so many secular people are so pro-forgiveness. If I left Christianity that's the first thing I'd throw out. I honestly don't understand forgiveness. I never have. I think it perpetrates evil. It prevents evil from being punished. It keeps the forgivers subordinate to the forgiven. I guess I should be glad most people aren't as vindictive as me, but I don't understand it. Non-Christians usually tell me I'm a horrible person. Christians either do the same or admit they have no answer to my questions. I want to be more forgiving, but forgiveness makes no sense!

But once again I have a conservative brain. There's a lot of liberal arguments against Christianity, but very few conservative arguments, and the conservative arguments are the only ones that make sense to me. They reflect the way I see the world, which makes sense to me. And in the US nearly all conservatives are Christian. Whether they follow Christian morals or not is another matter, but they call themselves Christians, so they claim Christian teachings and morals as their own.

There's a book I want to read called The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided By Politics And Religion by Jonathan Haidt. I've read the first few chapters and I like it so far. It covers a lot of the same ground as some of my blog posts, only more positive and from a very different perspective. Haidt is a psychologist. He's also a former liberal turned moderate by his research into morality. Maybe he can help me make sense out of the world. The world looks absurd to me. My own half-baked theories make more sense than most of what I see out there. And when things seem to make sense, they always exclude me and say I can't exist.