Liberalism and Types of Conservatism
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A SHINING CITY ON A HILL is a vision of God's will for Good, Just, and Righteous government done in Wisdom, and it is not a Liberal or utopian ideal for government attempting to a leftist Social Justice, but rather it is a practical, moral vision based on common sense and “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” of Thomas Jefferson and the American founders and as seen in the Judeo-Christian worldview. A SHINING CITY ON A HILL is best summed up as “One nation, under God, indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all.”

Part of the UNDERSTANDING Series:

 

UNDERSTANDING Liberalism and Types of Conservatism

Liberalism always means the same thing, whether it is a religious or secular Liberalism. It means an amoral and utopian self-sacrificial love as the basis of life, religion, government, education, and law. By contrast by contrast “conservatism” has a variety of meanings, some of which are almost the opposite of each other.

The famous and highly respected conservative Russell Kirk once said, The conservative is concerned, first of all, with the regeneration of the spirit and character—with the perennial problem of the inner order of the soul, the restoration of the ethical understanding, and the religious sanction upon which any life worth living is founded. This is conservatism at its highest.”

Without disputing whether this is a good or the best definition of conservatism or not, it is certainly not the only one. In fact, if one listens to most self-described “conservatives” today they usually define their conservatism as being primarily about individual liberty and often even an unrestrained individual liberty of open hedonism and anarchy, that is, a “conservatism” as a radical libertarianism, which one can do if one so desires but this conservatism is by almost any reckoning the opposite of Kirk’s conservatism.  

 

The Two Great Commandments of Scripture

Interestingly, Kirk’s conservatism is completely consistent with the Two Great Commandments of Scripture to love God with all our hearts, minds, and souls and to love our neighbors as ourselves, while unrestrained individual liberty is completely incompatible with not only the Two Great Commandments of Scripture but with moral theory more generally and the Preamble to the Constitution.

This means if one is going to define one’s self as a “conservative,” one should be very clear if one means maximizing individual liberty conservatism or doing the right thing conservatism or if one simply means conserving or preserving what currently exists morally, politically, and otherwise for good or ill. This also means there is clearly a spectrum of meanings for the word "conservative" and at times the word can even mean opposite things. Probably the most interesting concept of conservatism is the “common sense conservatism” currently being advocated by Donald Trump. Why is this?

It is because common sense conservatism represents one’s natural God-given conscience and the natural moral law or the moral Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God of America’s founding Wisely applied in right living and good government. Many people do not yet seem to realize that this is what Mr. Trump is attempting to do as almost no other political figures today whether he can successfully pull it off or not. In truth common sense conservatism consistently applied in good laws, rules and regulations may be the vehicle to restore statesmanship and good government in America today as well as restore the founding vision of A Shining City on a Hill in order to be once again one nation, under God, indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all.