A week ago, a friend of mine posted an open question to conservatives: “how many conservative positions must one hold on the issues in order to be considered a conservative?” But in order to answer that question, one must first define what a conservative is.
The conservatism I believe in is a combination of lower taxes, less government spending, freer trade, freer markets, individual liberty, personal responsibility, and a strong anti-communist foreign policy.
I believe there are two forms of conservatism – fundamentalism and true conservatism. I see fundamental conservatism as a recent dogma; having become popular with the rise of the Christian Coalition and the religious right in the mid-80s. Now, while I am a religious person, I do not adhere to all of their dictates. Religion has been used as a weapon all throughout history. This is especially true with the case of slavery here in the United States.
Many have asked me how I can be gay, yet call myself a Republican or a conservative. To them, I say the answer is easy. It’s similar to answer I give to those who pose the same question about me being black and Republican. A long time ago, I looked at the issues on both sides of the political spectrum. While there are a few on the left I agree with, there are many more on the right that fit my belief structure.
To those who ask the black/Republican question, I ask, is it racist to say that all blacks look alike? I’ve yet to encounter one who says no to that question. I then quickly follow up with ‘then isn’t it equally racist to say we all think alike?’
To those who ask the gay/Republican question, I merely point to a rainbow flag and echo the mantra “strength through diversity.”
When it comes to marriage equality, I simply must repudiate any argument for not allowing gays to marry. If one truly wants to protect the sanctity of marriage, then the government should make it incredibly hard to get a divorce and outlaw annulments all together. If it’s a religious argument, then get the state completely out of the marriage business and only allow churches to marry. Then the state could provide civil unions or domestic partnerships to any who applied – gay and straight alike.
Fundamentalists bloviate because they want everyone to adhere to their way of life, forgetting that this is America where we hold certain truths to be self-evident. Phrases like religious freedom, and separation of church and state don’t fit into their small-minded worlds. They always go back to the Bible – often citing Leviticus, but forgetting passages like Matthew 5:10, John 13:34, and Psalms 129:2.
The Bible says many things, like it’s an abomination to eat shell fish or cut one’s hair. It also allows for man to beat his wife, but that is not acceptable practice today in America. It’s funny how like liberals with the Constitution, fundamentalists like to pick and choose which parts of the Bible to focus on. Yes, the Bible does condemn homosexuality. But I know that God made me in His image. He didn’t create me simply to condemn me to hell from the get go. The Bible also says an eye for an eye. And then there are the Ten Commandments. I recall that when DOMA was being pushed through Congress, the very ones who were vehemently championing the legislation were themselves guilty of violating several of the commandments.
If one truly believes in the foundations of America and our Constitution, and one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all, then one must strive for just that – liberty and justice for all.