Political Differences: The Role of Government

Earlier, I wrote about a difference between conservatives and liberals in regards to their views on how taxes affect behavior.  Today, I want to look at a more fundamental difference between conservatives and liberals: the way that they view the role of government.

U.S. Capitol

I think the difference here is pretty simple: equality vs. freedom.  The conservative’s foundational principle is freedom, while the liberal’s foundational principle is equality.

Conservative Viewpoint – Freedom
Conservatives believe in freedom.  Individual freedom.  They believe that the individual should have the ability to do what he wants to do, with very little interference from the government.  From this value of individual freedom flow values like personal responsibility, free markets, and smaller government.

A few examples:

  • Less regulation of business – companies should be allowed to prosper (and fail) on their own.  If they make a stupid business decision, they should be allowed to fail.  This isn’t to say that conservatives believe that ALL regulation should be done away with (though some do).  In general, conservatives are also opposed to bailouts.
  • Fewer government programs – conservatives believe that, in general, the private sector can do a better job than the public sector.  If a private sector company can do something well, then the government should not be involved.
  • Smaller “social safety net” – conservatives believe that the “social safety net” shouldn’t necessarily take care of everyone, or take care of some people with ALL of their needs.  While conservatives may believe that programs should take care of people, this care shouldn’t be free (in most cases), and shouldn’t be long-term.  For instance, conservatives advocated welfare reform in the 1990s, saying that welfare should be short-term help, and shouldn’t completely support someone long-term.
  • More “freedom” – not everything in life needs to be equal or fair.  Each person does what they want to do, and they reap the consequences of their actions.

Liberal Viewpoint – Equality
The liberal viewpoint begins with equality.  Liberals believe that everyone should have equal opportunity, and believe that the government should provide this.  Out of this belief flows a general belief in larger government, and more government control.

A few examples:

  • More regulation of business – businesses take advantage of their employees and customers, liberals say, so there must be extensive regulation to prevent such abuses.
  • More government programs – liberals often advocate for larger/more government programs, because they believe that taking the “middle man” out of the economic process makes these services cheaper for those that need them.  Making services cheaper makes it accessible to more people, which makes people more equal.
  • Larger “social safety net” – liberals believe that everyone, as equals, deserves certain things, and campaign for an ever-increasing list of “rights:” a golden retirement, free healthcare, etc.  They want everyone to have the same security in life as the rich used to have.
  • More “fairness” – my statements on this area might seems prejudicial… liberals want everything in life to be “fair.”  The rich must pay their “fair” share.  The poor must get their “fair” share of retirement income and healthcare services.  This can lead to price controls, which I addressed in a recent post.

I’m sure that there are ways in which conservatives advocate for “equality” and liberals advocate for “freedom.”  For conservatives, however, freedom will often trump equality; and for liberals, equality will often trump freedom.  There are long-term consequences to each viewpoint, and I plan to tease out each of these viewpoints in future posts.

Question: Do you believe that these are accurate foundations for conservatives and liberals?  If not, what would you suggest?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Here’s a very interesting, slightly-related video:


(If you’re having trouble viewing this video in your RSS reader or email, click here to view it)

  • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

    I do have a question for you. How much freedom do you support? For example: Do you agree with Ron Paul’s policy that all drugs should be decriminalized including cocaine, heroine etc.

    • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

      I don’t think I would go that far. But here’s the question: do you
      criminalize the possession/use of cocaine/heroin, or do you criminalize the
      actions that result from their use (i.e. theft, speeding, murder, etc.)?
      And, if you WERE to decriminalize certain drugs, would that
      decriminalization be an indication that our government/society CONDONES the
      use of drugs?

      • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

        No I do not believe it would signal any approval of drugs use or abuse; however I do not believe legalizing powerful mind altering opiates (heroine, cocaine) would NOT benefit society in any way.  However I do not put marijuana in that same group and I think at minimum marijuana needs to be taken off the Category 1 drug list, which means it is listed as having ZERO medical applications.  The potential medical applications of Mary-j has been documented and a viable option for chronic pain suffers and more notably cancer patients who are suffering the effects of Chemo radiation treatments.  Why is tobacco legal but pot is not?
         
        Freedom question number 2: Should Suicide and assisted suicide be illegal?

        • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

          *however I do not believe legalizing powerful mind altering opiates (heroine, cocaine) would benefit society in any way.

        • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

          Why do you think that heroine and cocaine should be illegal (other than the
          fact that they’re “mind-altering”)? Just because there’s “no benefit to
          society in any way”?

          Freedom question number 3: Should murder be illegal?

          Equality question number 1: Should everyone give all their money to the
          government, and the government distribute to everyone equally?

      • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

        No I do not believe it would signal any approval of drugs use or abuse; however I do not believe legalizing powerful mind altering opiates (heroine, cocaine) would NOT benefit society in any way.  However I do not put marijuana in that same group and I think at minimum marijuana needs to be taken off the Category 1 drug list, which means it is listed as having ZERO medical applications.  The potential medical applications of Mary-j has been documented and a viable option for chronic pain suffers and more notably cancer patients who are suffering the effects of Chemo radiation treatments.  Why is tobacco legal but pot is not?
         
        Freedom question number 2: Should Suicide and assisted suicide be illegal?

    • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

      Broc, would you say that freedom and equality are the two foundations of the
      left and right?

      • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

         I think it’s fundamentally simplistic to try and summarize an entire group or party by setting them under two, one word, banners but I don’t disagree that that both freedom and equality are at the core of each group.

    • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

      Sorry, here was my response that got squeezed:

      In any government (that is not run by religious leaders), you necessarily
      have a hierarchy of religious beliefs in a supposedly “free” country. You
      have to decide which of your moral beliefs are morals that the whole country
      should live by, and which ones are ones that really aren’t that necessary to
      a good society.

      As a Christian, then, you have to decide which is more foundational to you:
      your Christian beliefs or your political beliefs.

      I would highly recommend you read a book by Wayne Grudem called “Politic
      According to the Bible.” I think that you would benefit from it.

    • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

      Abortion=immoral, therefore we create laws against it (Principle:
      government restrains evil)
      Murder=immoral, therefore we have the death penalty, to restrain evil
      (Principle: government restrains evil)
      Torture=where did this come from? Torture=immoral, therefore, create laws
      against it (Principle: government restrains evil)
      Homosexuality=immoral, therefore we create laws protecting marriage
      (Principle: government restrains evil, government promotes good)
      Again, I value consistency :)

  • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

    Herione/Cocaine – No, I believe it power of how addictive those substances are that make them so dangerous
     
    Freedom Question 3: Of course murder should not be legal for a long list of reasons not the least of which is because it is taken of others life, I am reading it as a response to my question about suicide so there is debate of whether a person should have the freedom to end their OWN life.
     
    Equality Question 1: No

    • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

      Heroine/Cocaine – Do we make these drugs illegal because of what they do to
      the person taking them, or because of what those people might do under the
      influence of those drugs?

      • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

        Its obviously not the ladder or alcohol would be illegal…

        • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

          But alcohol does damage to a person, too. Alcohol poisoning, liver disease,
          alcoholic addiction, etc. What should be our standard for criminalization?
          What should be our standard for regulation? Do we let people have control
          (or freedom) over what they put into their bodies, but hold them responsible
          for their actions while under the influence? Or, do we let the government
          control what goes into a person’s body? Is the government responsible to
          keep people from making bad decisions about what to put into their bodies?
          And, if so, where does that stop? Does the government then have the right
          to say that you can’t eat junk food? Can it prescribe a certain exercise
          regime for people?

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

            I think that there are substances that are more inherently dangerous than others and with that restrictions on availability of said substances should be tougher…by your statements about freedom and responsibility there would be zero “prescription” drugs, everything would be available over the counter.  You want some more morphine…here you go…want more oxycodone there you go… ahh you have a fever here there is a sale on penicillin.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

            Perhaps a standard for criminalization could be, and I am winging this so I am sure you will blow holes right through it but here goes: Is there a reasonable moderation where the substance in question is not harmful? Alcohol: yes, wine with dinner, a drink to relax, etc. – Tobacco (I dislike tobacco) an occasional cigar I guess, Marijuana, yes medical reasons and relaxation – Heroine, not really – Cocaine, do not think so …Hey honey great dinner…lets do a little line of coke as a appetizer…lol, What do you think?

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            I agree. Or, perhaps, the standard should be… what’s the LIKELIHOOD that
            someone will hurt someone else while under the influence of said drug?
            Maybe there’s a higher incidence of violence associated with drugs like
            heroin and cocaine?

          • Taco42

            Alcohol is highly related to violence…. see domestic abuse, bar fights, etc.  not to mention dui related deaths.  Also, people overdose on alcohol, literally drink themselves to death. 

            I’m thirty-three, while i haven’t smoked pot since college, being in the creative field, i’ve been around it quite a bit. the side effects are mostly laughing and eating. certainly not violence. And no one has ever “over dosed” on pot. So, people smoking weed doesn’t bother me.  filling jails full of stoners is a bad idea, giving money and power to mexican drug gangs, is also a bad idea. 

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Absolutely. Let me say first that I’m not saying that cocaine and heroin
            should be legal. I’m just making the argument. You’re comparing heroin and
            cocaine to morphine and oxycodone and penicillin… but those drugs are not
            illegal; they’re just regulated. Why not do the same for cocaine and
            heroine?

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

            Well because while powerful and potentially harmful morphine, oxycodone and penicillin have medicinal purposes….I cant think of a time when a doctor would prescribe cocaine to someone…outside of Dr. House on Fox I mean…lol

  • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

    Random question: Have you seen the movie “Thank you for smoking”? Its in my top 5.

    • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

      I loved that movie!!

  • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

    So if conservatives are all about freedom, where do you land on LGBT rights? Should gay couples be “free” to get married…The constitution does not prohibit it. What says the libertarian?  My opinion is in my blog post.  http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/2011/02/with-little-media-coverage-il-adopts.html  

    • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

      It’s interesting to see you land on the same side as the libertarians on
      this issue, Broc. Except for a “liberal” reason: you want everyone to be
      equal… equal in their lack of marriage.

      The difference between a libertarian and conservative, in this area (and in
      a lot of areas) is that libertarians fall even further right along the
      continuum of freedom vs. equality, in saying that the government should “get
      out of the business of marriage altogether.”

      I think you run into problems here. First, you have to institute something
      LIKE marriage in order to get rid of government marriage (i.e. you have to
      institute civil unions for everyone). You’re not calling it marriage, but
      that’s what it is. Why have anything at all? That’s easy to answer. We
      want to institute some protections for the partners in the marriage. We
      want there to be legal arms around children who are born inside of a
      marriage–and consequences if one of the partners steps out of that
      marriage. I don’t think that you can discount this.

      Second, you have to answer the question, “How far does government reign in
      morality?” There is a famous British anthropoligist that chronicled the
      historical decline of eighty-six different cultures and found that “strict
      marital monogamy” was central to social energy and growth. Indeed, no
      society flourished for more than three generations without it. If something
      is central to our society’s growth and energy,

      You say that heterosexual marriage is also eroding the moral fabric of our
      society. You issue this statement like, “Since marriage isn’t really
      working for our society, let’s just get rid of it altogether.” I don’t
      think that’s right thinking. Heterosexual marriage is falling short; that
      doesn’t mean that Christians should advocate that we revise the standard so
      that we can somehow feel better about ourselves.

      • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

        On this issue do you not see the importance of equality? In America which is supposed to be based on freedom, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of idea, do you not see how having equal “marriage” rights is important?
        Yes this idea would remove the government’s involvement in “marriage” and replace it will “civil union” but this is not simply of difference terminology. This is a fundamental difference in separation of church and state. For those who would like to be “married” it would still be possible to accomplish this through their church. As you know for Christians marriage is not the documents you get from city hall it is the commitment you make before God. Civil Unions would only be a legal document that would allow property sharing, tax benefits and other partner related benefits. Words are important and so are labels that we put on things. So for everyone Christian and non-Christians who would want to formally and legal commit to a relationship the civil union paperwork would be available to them.
        As far as “strict marital monogamy” goes and its study, I am not aware of any valid study which documents that homosexual “life partners”/marriages/whatever, have a higher separation/divorce/whatever rate that heterosexual couples. My point being that homosexual couples do not cheat more than heterosexual couples already do, so the “strict marital monogamy” might not be affected. However I am sure there are those on both sides of that debate that issue and I will look to find some numbers for us.
        No I am not saying that we should revise the standard I am saying that marriage should be for the church. “Marriage” should not be apart of our government. There would be ZERO marriages with the influence of Christianity. There are ways of allowing the legal protections that currently are attributed to marriage however “marriage” would be a relationship left for those who God designed it for.

        • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

          Broc, I feel like I’ve not started at the foundations. I’ve started
          somewhere down the issue without addressing the fundamental arguments. The
          foundations of this issue are these:

          1. Is homosexuality immoral? Does the Bible say that homosexuality is
          wrong?
          2. If homosexuality is immoral, should the government actively DISCOURAGE it
          (i.e. punish people who are homosexual).
          3. If homosexuality is moral or immoral, should the government actively
          ENCOURAGE it. This is the question that sparks this debate.

          If you answer that homosexuality is immoral, then you can say that there
          should NOT be equality on this issue. If homosexuality is immoral, then we
          should not say that an immoral act (so-called homosexual marriage) is
          “equal” to a moral act (heterosexual marriage).

          If you answer that homosexuality is MORAL, then I would ask that you provide
          evidence from Scripture that supports this, instead of offering a post that
          advocates for homosexual marriage/unions without addressing this issue.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

            1.       Your line of questions is wrong; America can not govern as a free society based off the morality of one religion (even if you and I know it to be true).  To govern a free society the rights of ALL must be upheld.  Some speech is immoral, and TV and movies…morality can not be the law of a free nation.  

            “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

             At what point do you draw the line? Should then other religions be outlawed because scripture teaches they are false gods? What type of nation would that be?
             

            2.       The question is not about our beliefs on morality, the question is, does allowing the LGBT communities the same legal rights as straight couples infringe on their freedoms or does not allowing the same legal rights to the LGBT community infringe on freedom. This does not create new rights it is allowing the same rights to all.  It is sometime difficult to juggle being a Christian and an American, but I thank God every day that I live in a nation that provides a free society that I can practice my religion without persecution.  I don’t have to morally agree with a position to think it is right for America.  

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            My questioning was not wrong. You didn’t read all of my questions. My
            questioning was correct. First, is it moral? Second, should the government
            act on that morality.

            You say, “To govern a free society the rights of ALL must be upheld.” I
            agree fundamentally with this statement, but not in the context in which you
            use it. In the context in which you’re using it, you’re saying that
            marriage is a RIGHT. Or, if you hold that homosexuality is a sin, then you
            are saying that the ability to sin is a RIGHT. I don’t agree with either
            statement. One does not have the right to marry, or the right to sin.

            Secondly, you frame the debate as one of one religion, Christianity, forcing
            its own morals on the entire society, and you say that this is wrong. I
            take issue with you in this: all laws make moral judgments. If you do not
            derive your laws from religion, then where? Where do your moral foundations
            come from, if not from religion? I would contend that you CANNOT make laws
            apart from a religious morality.
            On Sun, May 29, 2011 at 9:43 PM, Disqus <

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

            Of course our morality is the basis for our law but it is to what extent to we allow morality to influence our law. All law is rooted in religion because religion was the original law.  However, if we live in a society that is free, then our moral code should not stop others from practices THIER beliefs when they do not infringe on another’s freedom. That is the line America has established morality of murder, stealing, rape, etc.  these are laws not just because they are moral but because to do these things removes the rights or freedoms from others without choice, by not allowing homosexual couples the same rights as heterosexual couples we are removing their freedom.  How does a homosexual couple getting the same legal protections for their relationship infringe on your own? At what point to stop following religious beliefs to ensure freedom in our society?

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            How far do we go to protect freedom? That’s the fundamental question. And
            it’s what separates conservatives from libertarians, frankly. I think that
            it depends on what issue you’re dealing with. On this particular issue, the
            line of questioning becomes:

            1. Is the institution of marriage fundamental enough to the success of a
            society to garner it special status in our society? Are the benefits of
            marriage to a society worth the government protecting it?
            2. Is marriage something that is a “right” to everyone, regardless of sexual
            orientation? Is equality in this matter more important than morality in
            this matter?

            You can say, “No, marriage shouldn’t be afforded a special status in
            society,” as you’re advocating in your post. I would argue that marriage is
            foundational to our society, and should be afforded a special status in the
            law, as it has been in every society in history. The government SHOULD be
            involved in marriage. In this area, I am different from a libertarian.
            Also, as a Christian, while I value equality in society, I do believe that
            this is an area in which morality trumps equality.

            How would you answer the above two questions?

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

            The question you are asking is about marriage, what of civil unions, should homosexual couples not be afforded legal protections because they are not the same morally.  That is a very interesting stance to take in a society that was founded on religious freedom.   “I do believe that this is an area in which morality trumps equality.” Morality should never freedom, to do so changes the very core of what America is and has struggled to be. 
            1.       The difference between what is going on now and other historical situations is marriage licenses were dealt with by the church, it was the church and not the government that provided marriage status. That distinction showed a direct link between marriage and God.  That is not the situation now. If our government, which is supposed to be apart from religion, is built on the principal of religious freedom then that must trump our individual morality.  Your own video post speak to how a republic is ruled by law, our laws do not prohibit homosexual marriage….what was the phrase you used when speaking about landlords….tyranny of the many?
            2.       No marriage is not a “right” to everyone because marriage is a religious institution, however our government has chosen to provide additional legal protections and benefits for people who chose to commit to each other, and it is those same legal rights that must be extended to all..NOT the title of marriage.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

            34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
             37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
             
            Why draw the morality line here? What about hate groups like the KKK and others, should they not be allowed because they are morality repugnant and violate what Christ has taught as the 2nd most important law to love your neighbor as yourself?   I again reference “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

            Perhaps an example that closely parallels the topic at hand is, should the legal benefits and tax exempt status of other religious institutions be removed because they profess idol gods not the True God, instructing and leading others to violate what Christ taught as the most important law to love the lord our God.

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Hear me clearly: I’m not saying that we should outlaw homosexuality. If
            people want to be homosexual, then that’s fine. We allow people to sin in
            homosexuality just as we allow people to sin by being a part of a hate
            group. There’s a difference between “live and let live” and actively
            encouraging an immoral lifestyle by codifying it into law. While we let
            them choose whether or not to live the homosexual lifestyle, we do not
            encourage that lifestyle by giving them the same societal benefits as we
            give to those who are married.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

            Your position seems to be a rather random line in the sand, what about example that closely parallels the topic at hand is, should the legal benefits and tax exempt status of other religious institutions be removed because they profess idol gods not the True God, instructing and leading others to violate what Christ taught as the most important law to love the lord our God.
             
            By allowing these legal rights to only one part of the population, which by the way is in NO way related to or connected to what makes a Christian marriage; you are establishing a hierarchy of religious beliefs in a supposedly “free” country.  How does that obvious contradiction not cause problems? Is that not tyranny of the many? 

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            In any government (that is not run by religious leaders), you necessarily
            have a hierarchy of religious beliefs in a supposedly “free” country. You
            have to decide which of your moral beliefs are morals that the whole country
            should live by, and which ones are ones that really aren’t that necessary to
            a good society.

            As a Christian, then, you have to decide which is more foundational to you:
            your Christian beliefs or your political beliefs.

            I would highly recommend you read a book by Wayne Grudem called “Politic
            According to the Bible.” I think that you would benefit from it.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

            Up top… too squeezed

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            1. Morality DOES restrict freedom. Every moral law that the government
            makes restricts freedom. You’re saying that I advocate for unbridled
            freedom, which I don’t. Yes, conservatives advocate for freedom, but not
            unbridled freedom.

            2. There is a difference between religious freedom and what we’re talking
            about. Religious freedom is the freedom to practice your religion freely.
            This does NOT imply that there will never be an instance in which morality
            trumps freedom, or where laws will be based upon a moral standard.

            3. You state that, in the United States, there is a separation of church and
            state. The healthy separation of church and state is only in the sense that
            the heads of both institutions are not the same. We don’t separate our
            religious convictions from our political convictions. When you do, you’re
            saying that it’s OK for there to be a double standard in morality. When it
            comes to something as foundational to our society as marriage, I think
            that’s very dangerous.

  • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

    I believe the difference that you are I are having on this issues really relates to whether we advocate for our own moral beliefs or do we advocate for what America’s are or should be. These two things do not and will not always parallel each other.  For example I personally morally detest the protest and speech being poured out of Westboro Baptist Church however I would advocate for there right to do so.  In that same fold I morally do not agree with homosexuality however to withhold equal legal protections on basis of only my own personal morality flies in the face of what America is.  By allowing legal protections, it does not infringe on anyone else’s freedoms nor does it send of message of acceptance, its sends a message of equality.  It says to everyone though we may disagree, this is America and you will be given the same opportunities and protections. 

    On issues where America’s values and your own values do not agree, how do you vote?

    • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

      Broc, I agree with you that there are some things that I would morally find
      wrong, but I wouldn’t make laws about them. However, there are other things
      that I find morally wrong that I WOULD make laws about. And, while it may
      seem arbitrary at times, I think the deciding factor for me is, how
      foundational to our society is this issue?

      I think Grudem has a good matrix by which to judge these things. He says
      that a government that’s talked about in the Bible is one that (a) restrains
      evil, (b) brings good to society, and (c) brings order to society.

      I think that marriage laws are fundamental to the success of a society, and
      having a “traditional” definition of marriage does all three of the above
      things, while not promoting a lifestyle that is morally wrong. Also,
      defining marriage in a traditional sense does NOT remove the rights of
      homosexual people to live their lives in the way that they want.

      To deal with issues that are brought up by the homosexual community–i.e.
      hospital visitation rights, wills, etc.–these issues can be resolved
      without changing the definition of marriage in our society, and without the
      government condoning their lifestyle.

      • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

        I disagree with you that creating laws for legal protections is “promoting” or “condoning” lifestyles, all it would be doing is acknowledging the current inequality that does exist and correcting it, but to use your words, how could you create equality without “condoning their lifestyles?”

        • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

          You don’t create equality in this area. You allow homosexuals to be free to
          live their lives how they want, but don’t allow them to marry. The
          government, in this area, promotes societal good by remaining in the
          “business of marriage,” and by defining marriage in the traditional sense.
          Because marriage is foundational to any society, the government SHOULD be
          involved.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

            Well I am disappointed with your view, your argument while holding to your own moral code, does not hold water when put into the light of what America’s values are.  You support the belief that one group’s morality should supersede the belief system of another. This injustice is the exact type of thing America was founded to fight against. 
             

            Final Thought: If marriage is a Christian institution then why does the government, whose own law states a separation of church and state, issue marriage licenses? This contraction is why marriage NEEDS to be redefined, either it is a religious institution based on a lifetime commitment or its a legal status…since it is currently both this debate will continue in society. 

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            You say this is one group’s morality superceding another’s. I guess that’s
            true. Though the same thing could be said for laws against murder and rape,
            and you don’t have any problem with those laws. I think that you’re having
            a problem seeing that all laws are moral, and all laws are one group’s
            morality over another.

            You also have a bad view of the separation of church and state… and the
            Christian’s role in government. You’re saying that Christian’s shouldn’t
            advocate for their own moral views as a part of law… because that would be
            imposing our own moral code on others. But the fact is, EVERYONE who
            advocates for ANYTHING involving government is advocating it from their own
            moral code, WHEREVER that comes from. People who advocate for universal
            health care, are advocating for this because they believe that it’s a moral
            imperative that everyone has health care.

            But that’s a debate for another time…

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

            I agree that the second part is a debate for another time..lol
             
            “ Though the same thing could be said for laws against murder and rape, and you don’t have any problem with those laws.” No those are not the same thing…as I stated in a early comment

            ”… if we live in a society that is free, then our moral code should not stop others from practices THIER beliefs when they do not infringe on another’s freedom. That is the line America has established morality of murder, stealing, rape, etc.  these are laws not just because they are moral but because to do these things removes the rights or freedoms from others without choice, by not allowing homosexual couples the same rights as heterosexual couples we are removing their freedom….”

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Do you agree that all laws have their basis in morality?

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

            All, no… the majority for the purpose of this debate…yes

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Can you give me an example of a law that’s not based on morality?

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

            Abortion, food safety laws, smoking age, drinking age…want more?

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

            Some local zoning laws,  driving age, emission standards…bush tax cuts (j/k)

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Local zoning laws – Moral principle: we were put here to protect and
            cultivate the earth.
            Driving age – Moral principle: protect your children
            Emission standards – Moral principle: we were put here to protect and
            cultivate the earth.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

            I disagree with your “moral” princples…but instead of watching your stretch morality to cover trade regulation why not just ask….what is your point?

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Trade regulation – Moral principle: fairness, justice

            My point is this: all law has some basis (direct or indirect) on morality.
            Central to your argument is that government ought not to be involved in
            deciding moral issues (like homosexuality), that the government is somehow
            “amoral” while Christianity is “moral.” This is where we differ… I
            believe that everything the government does is somehow founded in morality.
            And, if the government is founded in morality, then as Christians, we have a
            LOT to say about the laws that are passed by our government. In fact, we
            should be encouraging the government to act morally. You believe that
            Christians shouldn’t engage their government, or should somehow put aside
            our own morals when engaging the government, because the government is
            amoral.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

            Gay Marriage: Moral principal –fairness, justice :)
            No I didn’t ever say that Christian should not engage their government, if you chose to cast your vote that way it is fine, but I did say the law of the land should not be based off of one sect’s religious/moral beliefs at the expense of another groups moral beliefs. 

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            My argument is, if all laws are moral (and I believe they are), then why not
            advocate for YOUR moral beliefs being the basis of laws, rather than someone
            else’s? If good moral laws make for a good and healthy society, then why
            not create good moral laws?

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

            Because not everyone shares the same “morality”, and if YOUR morality infringes on the freedoms and equality of another then YOUR morality will have to just be for you not the law of the land.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

            So if I got this right….Abortion-moral, Death Penalty-moral, Torture-moral, Gay marriage-immoral…is that right?

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Abortion=immoral, therefore we create laws against it (Principle: government
            restrains evil)
            Murder=immoral, therefore we have the death penalty, to restrain
            evil (Principle: government restrains evil)
            Torture=where did this come from? Torture=immoral, therefore, create laws
            against it (Principle: government restrains evil)
            Homosexuality=immoral, therefore we create laws protecting marriage
            (Principle: government restrains evil, government promotes good)
            Again, I value consistency :)

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Gay marriage – Moral principle: Do not engage in sexual immorality

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

            I have never stated the government is or should be amoral, you are misrepresenting my arguement.

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Sorry, I didn’t mean to misstate your opinion.

          • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

            Death penalty, The draft, Rendition

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            Death penalty – Moral principle: an eye for an eye
            The draft – Moral principle: protection of one’s country
            Rendition – Moral principle: justice

          • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

            1. Abortion – Moral principle: don’t kill someone, protect our children
            2. Food safety laws – Moral principle: protect our bodies
            3. Smoking age – Moral principle: protect our children
            4. Drinking age – Moral principle: protect our children

  • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

    Im confused we are not on the same page at all…hmmm ok  
     
    Abortion is legal right now – it is on the books and being practiced so how does that jive with morality
     
     
    America also made torture legal with rendition (are you aware of what rendition is) and water boarding – how does that jive with morality 
     
     
    Death penalty which legal in many states has put innocent people to death – how does that jive with morality
     

    • http://bobewoldt.com Robert Ewoldt

      The fact that abortion is legal at the moment does not change the fact that
      the law about abortion is a MORAL judgment. Because I believe that abortion
      is immoral only says that I believe that the law in the U.S. is wrong, not
      that it’s not moral. The law in the U.S. right now about abortion is the
      WRONG moral judgment.

      The fact that America allows extraordinary rendition and waterboarding, and
      you have a problem with it, is evidence that you believe that these laws are
      based on someone’s moral judgment. You believe that they came to the WRONG
      moral judgment, but they came to a moral judgment nonetheless.

      The death penalty is legal in many states, and the people of those states
      have come to the conclusion that it’s morally right. You disagree, and say
      it’s morally wrong. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s a moral issue.

      Morality is the basis of all laws. The question is, where does this
      morality come from? I contend that it comes primarily (or completely) from
      religion. That’s why I believe that it is important for everyone involved
      in politics to have a firm grasp on their religion, their moral foundation.
      If you don’t have a firm grasp on your religion, then you’ll have a very
      arbitrary basis for your political beliefs.
      On Tue, May 31, 2011 at 5:10 PM, Disqus <

  • http://brocmiddleton.blogspot.com/ Broc

    Are you trying to say that all laws SHOULD BE moral?

  • taco42

    I think your analysis is correct… except you are sort of glossing over something…. conservatives have basically “claimed” to want all the things you discuss, while actually delivering the opposite. For example:

    “Fewer government programs”. We both know that when the republicans have been in control, they blew the size of government up exponentially. They spend money like democrats, often times they are worse.  They just have the gall to lie about their intentions.

    “More freedom”. I suppose it depends on how you define “freedom”. The patriot act, warrentless wire tapping on our citizens, the inability for a woman to choose, the inability for gays to get married, would suggest conservatives aren’t necessarily always “pro-freedom”, its freedom on their terms.