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comment by goobster
goobster  ·  146 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The fundamental lie at the base of American Conservatism

Well, no. You gotta dig a little bit.

If you are Evangelical and Pro-Life, you subscribe to two sets of beliefs that strictly curtail the behaviors of other people.

The only way to enforce a person's adherence to a specific set of behavioral standards, is through policing (in one of its many forms). Since both of these things involve both private practice and public actions, you now need a way to inspect how someone spends their private time, as well as their behaviour in public.

Now you need a system for monitoring the thoughts, conversations, and actions of every American, in public and private spaces.

I know you are going to reject this thinking, or write it off as "slippery slope", but these slopes have already been slid down in my relatively short lifetime. It's not difficult to picture them happening again.

Example: A doctor cannot help a woman save her own life, by advising her to abort a tubal pregnancy. She has to suffer and die from her pregnancy. How does the State know the doctor did not inform her about abortion? Because they recorded the exam and interactions between the doctor and patient.

Example: A school teacher informs students that dinosaurs lived 50 million years ago, and is fired because she is mis-informing the students that the world is more than 6,000 years old. (Or the teacher mistakenly brings up Egypt, which has a written record and physical artifacts dating back more than 6,000 years.)

Remember, Evangelical =/= Christian. Evangelical is a proselytizing Christian. A radical Christian, like a radical Muslim. Someone who wants to promote and enforce a specific flavor of Christianity.

Pro-Life is someone actively against the practice of abortion in every circumstance.

That's what these words actually mean. So while there are less-virulent forms of both beliefs, those terms are well-defined and well-understood by the people who wear them proudly in public. They are the Christian version of a burka or headscarf.

wasoxygen  ·  146 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    If you are Evangelical and Pro-Life, you subscribe to two sets of beliefs that strictly curtail the behaviors of other people.

Beliefs alone do not curtail behavior; hence your next sentence mentions enforcement. To repeat my example, I may believe eating meat is unethical. This alone would not curtail anyone's behavior. I might advocate for some kind of enforcement, or I might try to peacefully persuade people that my position is correct, or I might quietly fret and wish the world were a better place.

It seems to me that you are assuming that people who oppose these behaviors must necessarily approve of exercising government power to dissuade or prevent people from the behaviors.

It is hard to have a discussion when you get to define the terms. Don't some pro-life people condone abortion when the life of the mother is in jeopardy?

I think I understand your big idea, and I don't discount your concerns about a slippery slope. I just find your language very absolute and self-righteous, the same characteristics that make it hard to discuss ideas with a religious ideologue. ("You cannot be evangelical and pro-life and support limited government" -- when, again, enforcement of morals would be a very small slice of government activity, and doesn't everyone support a limited government to some extent?)

goobster  ·  143 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think you are reading things into my statement that aren't there.

There are Christians ike yourself, and of several different types, that believe in Christianity and practice it in their way.

Evangelical Christians are a specific subset that PUSH the beliefs onto other people. Imposing the belief system upon everyone is the definition of evangelical.

You are one of the more moderate Christian flavors that does not champion the imposition of Christianity upon all people.

I'm simply saying that a government based upon the idea of forcing all residents into a specific belief system is going to require an enormous security/surveillance apparatus to measure people's adherence to these beliefs. Therefore it is cognitively dissonant (or willfully ignorant) to believe that evangelism is compatible with the goal of "small government".