Friday, November 09, 2012


This is getting friendly buzz in some conservative circles:

i) At one level, this is quite reasonable. As a rule, conservatives have a fairly live-and-let-live attitude. As long as you leave us alone, we will leave you alone. That’s a bit overstated, but it’s largely the case.

Liberals are just the opposite. They keep trying to subjugate everyone to their viewpoint. They have a colonial mentality.

The result of their ironfisted policies is to create a predictable backslash. They don’t succeed. Rather, they intensify opposition.

Why force two groups to live together who can’t stand each other?

However, I don’t agree with this proposal:

ii) For one thing, secession isn’t feasible. I don’t see any politically realistic pathway to achieving that goal. And such a cause would divert time and energy away from what we really need to focus on.

iii) Even if it were feasible, I still disagree. For one thing, I think Christians should maintain a missional presence. Be salt and light. I know that’s become a cliché, but it’s a valid cliché. We need to be a witness to a dying world, including our own country–even if that sometimes means feeling like foreign missionaries in the land of our birth.

To absent ourselves from our godless neighbors would be selfish, loveless, and merciless. Are we going to abandon their children to godlessness? Write off the next generation, except for our very own offspring?

iv) In addition, it’s not as if liberals are genetically liberal while conservatives are genetically conservative.

If you could start from scratch with a country that was purely Christian or conservative, it wouldn’t remain purely Christian or conservative. Conversely, if you could start from scratch with a country that was purely liberal or secular, it wouldn’t remain purely liberal or secular. Liberals can emerge in conservative communities while conservatives can emerge in liberal communities. Sealing yourself away in airtight communities doesn’t solve the problem, for the problem has an internal source as well as an external source.

Take the Amish. You can take the Amish out of the world, but you can’t take the world out of the Amish. Amish communities have their own social problems. Indeed, their insularity can exacerbate certain social pathologies.  

1 comment:

  1. I agree, secession is a bit excessive, but I think nullification (principles of '98) might hold promise.

    no more waiting to nullify

    States are beginning to use this power again to protect their citizens from the federal government:

    nullification victories