The Top 7 Issues Social Conservatives Ceded to the Left – And What To Do About It
Posted on January 5 2011 6:00 am
2. Interfaith Dialogue
The provincialism of social conservatism has been such an obstacle to the movement that we have seen Catholics, perhaps some of the most socially conservative Americans, vote for liberals in every major city. I have personally never met a Catholic who has not made it clear that they weren’t part of the religious Right. Why would a group so devoted to pro-life activism and traditional morality not be an essential part of social conservatism?
The answer is two-fold. The first is because the loudest voices in the social conservative movement have been anti-Catholic, anti-Mormon and more often than not, anti-any religion beside the particular denomination to which they belong. This short sighted bigotry ignores the fact that people of any faith, and even those with no faith at all, can be socially conservative.
The second reason is that we have allowed the Left to define us in the media, academia, and in the popular mind. We have no spokespeople who can effectively stand up to the slanders of the Left and instead have been content preaching to the choir while social conservatism is slowly expunged from America. There are consequences to this disengagement.
Muslim radicalization in this country is partly a product of the alliance of leftist groups and Islamists, using interfaith dialogue campaigns to support Wahhabi take overs of Muslim communities. We often ask, where are the “good” Muslims? But where were we when there was a chance of helping the Muslims who were anti-Wahhabi retain control of their religion? The answer to the first part of the question is that most “good” Muslims are either dead or intimidated into silence by radicals, who are becoming the majority in America through attrition. The second part of the question can be answered only by admitting that we allowed the Left to monopolize the interfaith dialogue campaigns because many of my Christian friends are unwilling to respectfully interact with other religions.
The Sikh community is in many ways socially conservative, and is increasingly under attack by Muslims in our cities. They understand the dangers of jihad, but have we reached out to them? Hate crimes against Jews have spiked in NYC but I have seen little social conservative outreach to the Jews of New York.
In Queens, conservative Dan Halloran was the target of a smear campaign by the Village Voice‘s Steven Thrasher (who even implied I was a neo-Nazi after a lengthy interview with me). The attacks concerned Halloran’s religion – Theodism – and were authored by his Democratic opponent. While local conservatives defended Halloran, Christian conservatives have remained unwilling to defend the ever growing Right-leaning Pagan community from attacks on their religious freedom.
Hindus are an increasingly active part of the anti-jihad movement online and share many of the values one expects of good people of faith, but when was the last time social conservatives made an effort to reach out to American Hindus?
Social conservatism must learn to embrace the shared political, ideological, and philosophical goals of non-Christians who embrace traditional Western values while agreeing that the theological points that separate us should not define our relationships with each other.The Left can no longer be allowed to be the de facto home of any non-Protestant/non-Christian American who shares our basic values.