You are currently viewing the printable version of this article, to return to the normal page, please click here.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Secular conservatism an empty suit

Story Topics
Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

View results

In the aftermath of this year's elections, there appear to be heightening concern and discussion about the cultural transformation under way in the country. Conservatives flail about, wondering how this can all be reversed so conservative principles might be broadly understood and applied. However, there seems to be something of a chicken-or-egg conundrum. If conservatism itself can't transform the culture, how is the transformation to be realized?

There are very few commentators who will even attempt to discuss our cultural crisis comprehensively in theological terms, thinking that would limit the discussion and be polarizing. This may be true, but the endpoint of all serious discussions must center on faith. Denying or ignoring this fact means we never resolve any argument with the truth. We can all talk endlessly about the excellence of conservative principles, but without the help of faith, it will in the end prove to be nothing but talk.

It must be clearly understood that leftism is, after all, a form of religion. Its beliefs and tenets appeal naturally and delightfully to all the base and self-glorifying tendencies of human beings. Conservatism cannot possibly defeat this with a simple set of empirical propositions. It is a fundamental aspect of human nature that people are religious beings. If pragmatic self-actualization, economic self-interest or some similar formulation is represented as the core of conservatism, it will be impotent. Secular, nontheological conservatism is an empty suit. It will not command deep loyalty without a real and far more profound supporting faith.

Many conservatives seem to think that some simple adherence to the Constitution will save us. Do conservatives understand that the Constitution could not have been written outside of a Christian context? Many churches in our day seem content to be practically doctrine-free entities. They concern themselves mainly with appearing to provide people with golden tickets to Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory in the sky when they die.

If secular conservatives and libertarians think they can transform a culture with principles and morality detached from faith, or with the tasteless gruel of intellectual policy positions, they will never capture the hearts of men.


Montross, Va.

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks
You Might Also Like
  • Maureen McDonnell looks on as her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, made a statement on Tuesday after the couple was indicted on corruption charges. (associated press)

    PRUDEN: Where have the big-time grifters gone?

  • This photo taken Jan. 9, 2014,  shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gesturing as he answers a question during a news conference  at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides. The early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically, according to excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    BRUCE: Bombastic arrogance or humble determination? Chris Christie’s choice

  • ** FILE ** Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    PRUDEN: The question to haunt the West

  • Get Breaking Alerts