Conservapedia:How Conservatism is Essential to the Future of Christianity

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Andrew Schlafly has placed an essay on his blog entitled "How Conservatism Is Essential to the Future of Christianity." In this essay he makes a great number of absurd claims. In fact, he succeeds, throughout the essay, in not making one claim with any merit to it, in that they are all either incorrect or hypocritical.

In this side-by-side comparison, we address each claim in turn.

Point Counterpoint

Conservatism exposes the misuse of science, economics and medicine against Christianity better than churches do.

In other words, Mr. Schlafly is sore about the fact that most of the larger church bodies have not embraced young earth creationism.

But at any rate, what Mr. Schlafly considers "conservatism" has been responsible for more misuse of science in aid of making Christianity look worse than it is.

Many people care more about politics (and money and jobs) than about religion, and when there is a conflict they choose politics over religion.

cp:Bible Retranslation Project

Politically motivated corruption of religion is anticipated and blocked only by conservatism.

The list of counterexamples to this point would require a book the size of a telephone directory.

Only conservatism exposes and debunks liberal deceit.

What this one has to do with religion, we cannot fathom, but it is one of Mr. Schlafly's favorite talking points.

Only conservatism exposes liberal bias.

See the response immediately preceding.

Conservatism is more powerful in preventing drug addiction, because conservatism emphasizes law-and-order and exposes the illogic of drug use.

This point was added after most of the others, and it exemplifies Mr. Schlafly's pattern of argument and thought: he has evidently run out of actual points to put in here, so he has started repeating himself (see the point on addiction below) and also veered off-topic (he does not say what this point has to do with religion; maybe he is implicitly referring to Alcoholics Anonymous, which loosely relates religion to addiction).

Liberals control education, and its effect on Christian faith cannot be underestimated.

Lib-burr-ruls will control education on the day that Liberty University is closed down, right-wing private schools are required actually to educate their students instead of pumping them full of YEC twaddle, and homeschooling is banned. Unfortunately for Mr. Schlafly's point, and the Union, none of those things have happened.

Many people, such as former abortionist Dr. Bernard Nathanson, convert to Christianity only hearing conservative principles or witnessing conservative protests.

On the other hand many people convert to atheism upon reading the Bible, or upon realizing that the Bible is very much incompatible with certain liberal principles (or "conservative" principles, for that matter).

One's level of conservatism is highly correlated to how often he engages in Christian prayer.

There are a great number of right-wingers worldwide who, not being Christians, do not engage in Christian prayer at all. In the U.S., prominent examples include Dennis Prager (Jewish) and Michael Savage (Universalist).

Conservatism, like Christianity, focuses on the future; liberals, like atheists, focus on a (false) view of the past.

To which we can only reply: Mr. Schlafly must have by mistake transposed the phrases "conservatism, like Christianity" and "liberals, like atheists" in that sentence. See also Psychological projection.

Alternative interpretation: Since Mr. Schlafly believes Rapture is bound to happen, he and other conservatives are working towards making the present world hell for the non-believers. Non-believers, on the other hand, never want to be "saved," so they are not focusing on the future of salvation. To this interpretation, we reply: No extrabiblical evidence that the Rapture will take place has ever been recorded; doesn't it seem like a high-risk investment?

Politics is the tool liberals use to pull teenagers away from their faith, and it takes conservatism to counter that effectively.

Could Mr. Schlafly be any more obvious about hinting that liberals like to engage in homosexual recruitment?

But, seriously, this one makes one wonder how Mr. Schlafly defines "effective." If conservative views are all that is needed to counter lib-burr-ruls effectively, why is a complete blackout of non-conservative views needed on Conservapedia?

Several big threats to faith postdate the King James Bible, such as pornography and gambling.

Sure, Mr. Schlafly; in your dream world there was no smut[1][2] or gambling[3] before 1611. Or are you saying that the King James Version is a lib-burr-rul translation that caused those "big threats to faith," and that we should go back to the Latin Vulgate? There was plenty of porn (see Pompeii) before then but it wasn't considered bad. The world's first law criminalizing pornography was enacted by the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 1857 in the Obscene Publications Act. Bloody Victorians. (Probably wouldn't have as much internet if it didn't exist though)

Politics is pushed on the public through television and radio shows in unavoidable ways, which erode people's faith if left unrebutted.

Or, in other words, Andy has found another way to whine about lib-burr-rul media bias and how other points of view inconveniently debunk his own.

The dynamic nature of conservatism prepares and encourages people to adapt and defend against changing threats to their values.

Mr. Schlafly's brand of conservatism is so "dynamic" that he declines to accept hundreds of years worth of science because it falsifies a few verses in a 3,000-year-old tome.

Conservatism is pro-education, and drives people to higher levels of learning and thereby aids them in combating atheistic falsehoods.

If conservatism had won the day back in Thomas Jefferson's time, we would have very little formal education at all. And it has been well-established that Mr. Schlafly is not interested in teaching his students facts (indeed, his favorite weapon against inconvenient facts is a burn and block), but instead in indoctrinating them, and he does not even do that very well.

Churches no longer teach the adversarial nature of life (as in the devil), but conservatism emphasizes it (including self-defense).

On the question of the "adversarial nature of life," Mr. Schlafly should try to listen to the sermon when he goes to church; favorite subjects for sermons are "battling Satan's temptations" or "battling worldly temptations."

On the question of self-defense, we seem to recall an incident in which Ted Haggard's megachurch was stormed by a nut with a gun, who was shot by a parishioner there in self-defense. This parishioner was the recipient of much honor and praise from the evangelical community.

Churches are often easily influenced by the media; conservatives are not, recognizing how liberal the media is.

If conservatives were not influenced by the lib-burr-rul media, Conservapedia would not exist! (And Mark Foley would probably still be in office, not having been influenced by the media's exposure of his pederastic tendencies.)

Modern government, and the threats it poses to Christianity, did not exist when the Bible was written, so nothing in the Bible that directly addresses it.

The Christians around the time the Bible was written faced a hostile pagan empire that demanded they worship the Emperor, declared Christianity religio illicita, and fed Christians to lions in the arena. On the other hand, with most governments today, candidates pretty much have to espouse some form of Judeo-Christian religion to get elected. St. Paul wrote of the government of his time, "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God" (Romans 13:1). Christians today have it very easy.

The Bible prohibited creating images in the likeness of humans, modern society ignores that ban, thereby necessitating conservatism to combat modern media.

It is not just "modern society" ignoring that ban. If Mr. Schlafly would look around his own church occasionally, he would see countless images in the likeness of humans, including but not limited to some of Jesus himself.

Modern work and entertainment schedules limit church to once-a-week and sometimes less for most people, while conservatism is 24x7.

Has Mr. Schlafly even bothered to read the Fourth Commandment, much less keep it? That working schedule ain't exactly modern...

Public schools did not exist when religion developed, and conservatism is needed to counter them and provide the truth to students.

Uh, right; Mr. Schlafly must not be considering the gymnasia of ancient Greece, or the fact that many of the teachers or grammatici in ancient Rome were on the government payroll, with many lectures being open to the public. So "public schools" were quite certainly around before Christianity developed! Even the Aztec Empire had compulsory education, albeit how to kill people on top of a pyramid.

Unless addictions are banned -- an approach taken by only a few religions -- conservatism is needed to combat addiction.

Christianity is one of the religions that does ban them (which can be clearly seen in, i.a., the characterization of gluttony as a deadly sin), so conservatism is obviously not needed for this!

Seriously, however, conservatism did not help the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Ted Haggard with their respective addictions. On the other hand there are those with more left-wing views, such as Johnny Cash, who have quite successfully overcome addiction.

The pernicious effect of politics on religion helps explain the changing position of European Catholics on the death penalty.

When one of said Catholics happens to be the man in the big miter, who is (according to Mr. Schlafly's religion[4]) infallible, one wonders why he views this as a problem.

The pernicious effect of politics on religion helps explain the decline of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The Southern Baptist Convention has been declining, to be sure, but liberals have had nothing to do with it; this is the same Southern Baptist Convention that has been on a very long rightward march, the same Southern Baptist Convention whose churches expel people who voted Democratic. The very article that Mr. Schlafly cites to support his position has SBC leaders claiming that the convention's decline is to do with the decidedly conservative position of not targeting the expanding black and Latino populations.

The pernicious effect of politics on religion helps explain the lack of young people in church. (Later qualified only to cover "most MAINLINE churches;" the criticism remains the same.)

Young people are not to be found in church; in other news, the sun rises each morning, the moon waxes and wanes once every month, and gravity still makes things fall down.

But, if there is a political reason for this, a more accurate statement would be that the pernicious effect of conservative politics on religion is the cause.

Liberals use politics to exploit a literal interpretation of a phrase in the New Testament that God chooses the political leaders. Under this interpretation Christians should respect, honor and obey a political leader no matter how liberal or anti-Christian he is.

Can anyone say "irony meter alert"? This is the same Mr. Schlafly who is a Young Earth Creationist! Obviously he is just fine with taking the Bible literally unless it disagrees with his politics, at which point he makes lame excuses not to follow the Bible when it says, "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers."

References[edit]

  1. They didn't have any Playboys in ancient Greece, but they made do quite nicely with plates.
  2. Also for the record, erotic pictures existed long before the KJV Bible, and also laws regarding making those pictures. It's the laws regarding looking at the erotic pictures that didn't come along till the Victorian era.
  3. For the record, gambling with dice can be traced to as early as third millennium BCE. Oh, wait; maybe that gambling was all washed out by the global flood...
  4. Unless he has secretly effected his very own microcosm of a Protestant Reformation, in which case he will be hailed as much as Martin Luther on Conservapedia.