Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Joe Carter Takes a Stand against Waterboarding

Joe Carter writes a fine article taking a stand against torture, including the kind known as waterboarding. He asks, rhetorically, "How degraded has conservatism become?" I'll ask, non-rhetorically, "How has conservatism become degraded?" Especially the Evangelical Christian kind? The progression, it seems to me, went something like this:
  1. Social changes in the 60s and early 70s made certain things socially acceptable that Christians found abhorrent.
  2. The Democratic party tended to ally itself with these social changes. Evangelical Christians migrated toward the Republicans as an alternative, even though many Republicans had no interest in the social conservatism of Evangelicals.
  3. Evangelical Republicans began to adopt aspects of economic and foreign-policy conservatism that had nothing to do with the social conservative agenda. In some cases, this involved soft-pedaling other aspects of biblical social policy, such as concern for the poor. Identity as a conservative began to supersede identity as a Christian.
  4. Evangelical Republicans became increasingly swayed by such voices as Rush Limbaugh, who seemed to support the social conservative agenda, but who much more strongly supported other aspects of conservatism.
  5. Opposing the Republican party, especially the conservative wing, on any issue, became considered caving in to the liberals.
  6. Evangelical Republicans threw their support strongly behind George W. Bush, partly because he was also an Evangelical.
  7. Bush defined his presidency as war against terrorism in the wake of the September 11 attacks.
  8. Conservative Evangelical Christians, to be supportive of Bush and in opposition to liberals, adopted the "oppose terrorists at all costs" mentality.

And here we are.

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