Now We’re Calling You a Radical, a Liberal


Recently, an article at Unreasonable Faith addressed the link between atheism and liberalism. As the article says, obviously the correspondence isn’t absolute, but it does seem like a fair number of vocal atheists are also rather progressive in their views, at least as far as the Internet goes. As some people pointed out when I linked to the article on Facebook, there are also a fair number of atheist libertarians, who tend to combine what would generally be termed right-wing and left-wing views, sometimes rather extreme ones. Where I think the liberals and libertarians find some common ground, however, is in opposition to the current marriage of the Republican Party to the Religious Right. (I wonder if that counts as traditional marriage.) As such, at least in this country, it can be difficult to be a conservative and an atheist, as mainstream conservatism has so thoroughly melded with religion.

Part of it, I think, is an authority issue. While liberals aren’t necessarily anti-authority, I believe we do tend to think authority figures should have to EARN our respect. The conservative view, as I see it, is more that people in power deserve to be in power and we shouldn’t question that. This is taken to extremes by The Family, an organization that supported some ruthless dictators just because they were in power; but I see it in less radical conservative circles as well. Hey, God Himself is supposed to be the ultimate king, and worshipped simply because He’s God, despite the fact that He doesn’t always live up to His own rules. And on an earthly level, we have parents and religious leaders holding up the religious conservative paradigm. When an authority figure doesn’t fall into line with this, like a teacher who dares to mention evolution, the conservative answer is to try to shut them up. Along with this comes a hatred of nuance.

One thing I don’t really get is that the modern Republican Party, in addition to being religious, is also quite selfish. They’ve adopted the ideals of Ayn Rand, presumably without realizing she was an atheist as well. And while the Abrahamic religions are all very much pro-authority, they’re also anti-selfishness and pro-charity. I’m not sure this is something that will ever be addressed to my satisfaction. If you love Jesus so much, why not listen to what he actually said?

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6 Responses to Now We’re Calling You a Radical, a Liberal

  1. This is why I can’t belong to either side. Both sides are so sure they are right they ignore the middle ground and cause rifts that hurt our future.
    The far left is convinced we can only save the world by destroying tradition and morals while the far right is so afraid of change they would take us further into the past if they could.
    I want nothing to do with the extremists on either side. Sadly that leaves me trapped in the middle being called a liberal loony by the right and a religious zealot by the left.

    I hope both parties either grow up or just go away. We need a mixture of both ideals to keep this country going but the current left and right are just causing division.

    • Nathan says:

      How is the far left destroying tradition and morals?

      • The far left is just as dangerous as the far right. When anyone becomes an extremist with their ideals they endanger freedom.
        I don’t have any problem with people on the left or the right who act civil.
        I think it’s self evident how those on the fringe of the left are losing their sense of morality, (sex exploitation, condoning of drugs, the rioters at what are supposed to be peaceful demonstrations) though in my opinion, so are those on the far right who disregard many human rights.

        IUgh I hate politics! They make me feel dirty talking about them, lol. Let’s talk about Oz instead.

      • Nathan says:

        Okay, what does Ozma think of prostitution and drug trafficking? :P I guess her outlawing of magic could be connected to some of these debates in our own country. I remember Zim in Melody Grandy’s Tippetarius saying he used six-leaved clovers for medicinal purposes. One key difference is that the Ozites seem to trust Ozma a lot more than we Americans trust our government.

      • What?! Now you’re just being mean! XD
        I still need to read the Melody Grandy books, I read Forever in Oz but none of the Zim books.
        It’s funny, I would have broken the lawa lot if Ozma’s laws applied here since I’ve found at least a dozen six leaf clovers and picked them. I always stick them in PWG of Oz just for fun.

        I wonder if Ozma is more trustworthy than Obama and the rest of our government?
        I’d certainly trust her far more personally, but even if she has the bests interests of her people in mind she certainly can be rash and unpredictable!

      • Nathan says:

        I’d definitely recommend the Zim books. Forever ran a bit hot and cold for me; I like the story but not what I saw as the underlying message.

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