I have enjoyed participating on a new blog the last few days, which is worth sharing. It is called Secular Right, and the level of discourse there is outstanding. All comments are moderated, and they regularly bat away even articulate proponents of the Piously Correct Christian Right, when they try to turn interesting secular political discussions into religious arguments. Creationists comments are perfunctorily rejected by the moderators. Thus, they earn their subtitle, “Reality & Reason.” I have added the site to my blogroll, which I intend to keep short and relevant to my own activities.
A new post there this morning sparked my interest; because of a debate I have been having with Orrin at First Principles, over the definition of “conservative.” It included a link to a document called The Sharon Statement, which was meant to be a set of conservative principles hammered out by young conservatives in 1960 at Bill Buckley’s estate. It contains none of the “social issues” considered so important by the the Religious Right today, and even the inclusion of the phrase “God-given free will” barely passed (44-40). I made the following reply to the thread:
I had not seen the Sharon Statement before. Although I am personally godless, and therefore consider it superfluous, the inclusion of “God-given” does not offend me; anymore than the religious flourishes in our founding documents do. If the one word “Communism” could be replaced with “Marxism,” to subsume all of its derivatives, I would sign it today.
Were it universally agreed to be definitional of a “conservative,” I would happily stop resisting the label, and insisting that I am instead a small (L) libertarian. This is precisely what I mean when I say the litmus tests of the Politically or Piously Correct moralists have nothing to do with good government, and those of us who value individual Liberty need to hijack one of the Parties to represent our worldview.
I didn’t leave the Democrat Party in the late ’60s; they left me. I didn’t leave the Republican Party in the late ’80s; they left me. I never joined the Libertarian Party; because they are hopeless purists arguing over minutia, and the game is rigged against third parties. Color me homeless. ◄Dave►
I reckon a lot of small (L) libertarians wish the conservative movement as defined by these folks had survived. Now, I need to make sure Orrin sees this. The whole purpose of his blog is to try to come up with a unifying principle for conservatism. ◄Dave►