I learned in my political science class that there are standard definitions of the words “liberal” and “conservative,” beyond the subjective opinions often tossed around.  I was taught that liberal, in reference to political feelings, generally indicates willingness or desire for reform or progress (change), however you define those.  I was taught that conservative, in reference to political feelings, generally indicates willingness or desire for what has been or currently is (no change).  

So when, on I-5 through Chehalis, I saw a billboard that said basically, “Keep America great the way it is!” I was reminded of good old poli-sci class.

Then, this morning on the radio, the topic of discussion was the expression of patriotism.  Is it patriotic to say that America is great the way it is?  Is it patriotic to do things that you believe will change America for the better?

Extend the discussion beyond the politics of the United States.  In people, organizations, and communities, is it most loyal to encourage change or to encourage what is already?  

I am not into politics, despite 6th grade plans to be the first female president of the US. There are a few issues I have really strong feelings about (e.g. babies should get to live), but I have no fondness for endless discussions of this candidate or that.  I should probably care more.  

For today, I’m coming back to the conclusion that change is inherently a part of life, but that it can be either positive or negative in effect.  In a culture that values what is new, fresh, and young, I do not want to change things for the fun of it.  (I don’t actually think that change is always usually fun anyway!)  I value a willingness to consider change, though.

I’m not sure how to peg myself/my view of the world, and honestly, I don’t feel a need to.  Neither change nor labels are the point of my life.  May the will of God be done on earth as it is in heaven, and may His Kingdom come.  


2 thoughts on “liberal?/conservative?/neither?/both?

  1. I think that liberalism now is often
    1.A change to socialism. ie universal health care by the goverenment. Who is going to pay? It doesn’t work in Canada. Swedes pay some 60% taxes and can’t get the care.
    or 2. Let the government do things for you because they know better how to run your life, raise your children. take care of the poor.

    Conservatism is work hard, make a go of it, take care of your self and your neighbor.

    Thoughts from the sideline as I see it.

  2. I feel very comfortable being a conservative. And part of that is in line with what Wayne says and part is Biblical, the idea that we ought to provide for our families and use wisely the resources God provides. When I see a government that seems to have an insatiable desire for more of our stuff (both money and control of our land), it looks much different than what was set up by our founding fathers. Who also by the way, thought that they were incapable of leading properly without the guidance of our Heavenly Father.

    When I see a judiciary that seems more interested in throwing out the will of the people than holding to a constitution designed to protect the will of the people, I must admit that liberalism seems to draw all toward a low common denominator, rather than encouraging all to strive to be better.

    All of this tempered by the fact that Jesus certainly didn’t act like a typical conservative, not being pleased or satisfied with the status quo. It seems likely he was seen as a liberal teacher. He came to seek and to save the lost, not leave them in their hypocritical state. May we have a desire to follow where he leads regardless of what it is called!

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