Am I Getting More Conservative?

Porky asks:

“Would it be true Blair that you appear much more conservative these days?”

If you are talking about personal morals, then the answer is yes.  Part of that was because I became a father and that changed my perspective on life.  But also in June of 2010 I started going to church regularly again after a break of about ten years.  I’d spent those ten years trying to separate my faith from what I saw as a Pharisaical and condemnatory form of morality that I felt was a source of misery and therefore had no place in my life.  In practice this meant being highly hedonistic, and living under what Dietrich Bonhoeffer once called “cheap grace”.  Then I looked at where that sort of lifestyle had got me and the answer I came up with was “nowhere”.

In fact, I lost everything.  I lost my marriage, was embroiled in a vicious divorce, had only supervised visitation with my daughters, had no job, no car.  You could fit all my possessions in a single suitcase, and I was donating plasma just so I could get enough to eat.  I realised that my way of doing things had completely failed, and that in order to make my life work, I had to put my faith in the One who gave it to me.  So that’s what I began to do, and it has had a significant impact on my personal morality and how I see the world.  I wish I could say that I always lived up to those morals, but I have made the step of setting up strong values and boundaries in my life, and it has put me on a slow but steady progress of turning my life around.

Am I more conservative politically?  No, I haven’t changed much in that respect, and I can’t think of any view I’ve held that I have flipped on in the last five years, although perhaps I hold some views more strongly than previously.  Substantially,  I am still committed to reducing the size and role of government, lower and flatter taxes, increasing property and self-defence rights, increasing choice and the role of the private sector in health and education, and ending welfare as we know it.  I am still a Friedmanite.  I consider myself laissez-faire, and what I call a “practical” libertarian, if we are going to deal in those troublesome labels that erstwhile ACToids love to argue about ad-nauseum (to no great effect or purpose either, I might add).

Some people might view my perspective on some social issues as being “conservative”.  I am opposed to laws that allow a transfer of the responsibility for taking one’s own life to other individuals.  I don’t think the government should redefine marriage by issuing marriage certificates to couples that do not consist of one man and one woman.  But I base those views on logic, and my view of what human rights and responsibilities consist of (or more specifically, what they don’t consist of).  They are consistent with, but do not spring from, my personal Christian faith.  And I want to be very clear that I think the focus of many liberal and libertarian activists on these sorts of social issues distract from the far more substantial economic issues which face Western Civilization (TM) at this time.  Our focus should be growing wealth, eradicating poverty, and addressing the inequality of opportunity we see in society.

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