Christian democracy

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Sometimes I'm liberal, sometimes I'm conservative and sometimes I'm Christian Social.
Angela Merkel[1]

Christian democracy is political ideology based on Christian humanism and Catholic social teachings. While generally socially conservative, Christian democrats inch toward an economic model of social markets or social democracy, especially where the political spectrum is leaning towards the left. They can therefore be categorized as centrist, and are found mostly in Europe and Latin America.

The line between Christian democrats and secularism is relatively thin; while most favor human rights over theocracy, the goal of Christian democracy is a democratic society inspired by Christian teachings, especially in an ethical dimension.

The morality plays[edit]

As social conservatives, they of course don't like same-sex marriage and abortion all that much. While Christian democratic rhetoric revolves around family, community and Christian values, Christian democrats are generally not fundamentalist, yet concerned about a societal breakdown or overuse of what they consider to be immoral.

Most make a difference between legislation and culture, something American conservatives have their problems with. Comparisons can be made with paleolibertarianism, as they believe that just because something is legal, it still doesn't mean you should do it, or if something is illegal that doesn't mean it's wrong to do it if nobody is harmed. Another big difference with other conservatives is that Christian democrats are not completely blind towards social change – even though they may not be particularly enamoured with it they may still embrace it (e. g., supporting single families instead of nuclear ones).

Christian democratic parties are also the home of religious minorities, the latter because of the heavy overlaps in conservative Christianity with Judaism and Islam.

The economic balancing act[edit]

While most Christian democrats don't think highly of a command economy and democratic socialism, they do not demonize it as much as libertarians or American conservatives do. They generally favor universal health care, state-run unemployment insurance and welfare states, as they see all of this not only to be ethically right, but also as a strength to the community.

In some countries Christian democratic parties also stand for environmental issues. A prominent example is the CDU in Germany, which has adapted many policies from the Greens.

In America[edit]

In a European context, Christian democrats would still be more pro-business/right-leaning. Take them to the US and they'll be filthy commies.

Many Democrats could be labeled as Christian democrats, with those reluctant towards gay rights considered DINOs.

Political position[edit]

Usually, Christian democracy is often regarded as a center-right ideology. In fact, many European Christian democratic parties tend to be 'center-right'.

However, christian democracy has a much wider position, with its weak liberalism, its focus on social conservatism, and its combination with right-wing populism makes it a right-wing to far-right ideology, and when combined with social democracy or socialism, it becomes a center-left ideology. In the former case, it is similar to the Christian right in the U.S., and in the latter case, it is only trying to realize socialism from Christian values, but it is also socially liberal, so it is friendly to same-sex marriage and abortion.

Since Christian democracy is the ideology of mainstream politics in reality, it is hard to conclude that it is a certain tendency mechanically because it has a wide position and various tendencies within Christian democrats. What is common, however, is that they place moderate emphasis on Christian values under a secular liberal democracy.

A representative political party[edit]

  • Germany: Christian Democratic Union of Germany
  • France: Democratic Movement
  • Austria: Austrian People's Party
  • Chile: Christian Democratic Party
  • Hungary: Christian Democratic People's Party
  • Ireland: Fine Gael
  • South Korea: Party for Democracy and Peace
  • Hungary: Fidesz

References[edit]