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Source: (consider it) Thread: Theologically right wing - is it actually left wing?
OddJob
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In recent months I’ve seen a number of Shipmates refer to a theologically ‘right wing’ position on various issues, DH or otherwise. Usually the term indicates a hardline, evangelical stance and/or a literal or dogmatic Biblical interpretation.

For perhaps 35 years I’ve regarded this type of viewpoint as theologically left wing. Of course all political persuasions can be found right across the theological spectrum, but I’ve long noticed the following common ground between the aforementioned theological position and the secular, political left wing:

• Devotion to a radical cause which flies in the face of human nature, in the belief that it benefits the human race. A fear that without the intervention of a higher power, be it God or the State, society would head towards a totally free market and eventually a thugocracy.
• A tendency every few years to become more hardline or ideologically pure, and purge moderate views which are seen as half-hearted
• Scepticism towards authority and hierarchies in secular life or the Church, and a preference for informality
• Comparative egalitarianism within the Church/Party – as long as you hold the ‘right’ views. But anyone is welcome to join, regardless of background, as long as they sign up to the ideology
• A generation ago, a disproportionately large amount of support from men in the 25-40 age range – often with beards, unusual haircuts or other slightly hippy tendencies. A large proportion of the supporters now are the same people. Not the same demographic, but the same people 30+ years older
• A preference to dress casually
• Followers generally work in the public or third sectors

In contrast, I’ve always thought of a theologically right wing position as the High Church, and seen similarities between it and right wing politics by showing the opposite stance in most of the above areas.

Discuss.

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Gottschalk
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While I see the sociological value of your observation, I am not sure it is helpful at all to talk of a theological right-wing or left-wing. It seems to me an importation of a political category into theology. Of course, this is not to deny that it has happened and is still here with us. Rather, I would suggest that it perhaps points to issues regarding the understanding of theology itself. That there is an overlap between the two domains is inevitable, and I wonder whether we can distinguish a christian "temporal" from a secular "temporal", and whether that would be helpful.

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Gottschalk
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lilBuddha
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quote:
In recent months I’ve seen a number of Shipmates refer to a theologically ‘right wing’ position on various issues, DH or otherwise. Usually the term indicates a hardline, evangelical stance and/or a literal or dogmatic Biblical interpretation. For perhaps 35 years I’ve regarded this type of viewpoint as theologically left wing
Right = conservative. Left = liberal. What you describe here is right wing.

[ 27. July 2017, 23:31: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

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lilBuddha
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As to your bullet points, they are a mess. I'll try to address them when I get to a computer, but they are a mix of things which are human nature, regardless of left or right, things which aren't typically liberal and things that are simply messed up.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by OddJob:
In recent months I’ve seen a number of Shipmates refer to a theologically ‘right wing’ position on various issues, DH or otherwise. Usually the term indicates a hardline, evangelical stance and/or a literal or dogmatic Biblical interpretation.

For perhaps 35 years I’ve regarded this type of viewpoint as theologically left wing. Of course all political persuasions can be found right across the theological spectrum, but I’ve long noticed the following common ground between the aforementioned theological position and the secular, political left wing:

• Devotion to a radical cause which flies in the face of human nature, in the belief that it benefits the human race.

You'll have to provide an example, otherwise I've no idea what you are talking about.

quote:

A fear that without the intervention of a higher power, be it God or the State, society would head towards a totally free market and eventually a thugocracy.

Another serious WTF moment.
quote:

• A tendency every few years to become more hardline or ideologically pure, and purge moderate views which are seen as half-hearted

OK, no. This is not a behaviour that is owned by anyone in particular, but is more common in right-leaning groups.
quote:

• Scepticism towards authority and hierarchies in secular life or the Church, and a preference for informality

Finally you've got one right, but it contradicts your first bullet point.
quote:

• Comparative egalitarianism within the Church/Party – as long as you hold the ‘right’ views. But anyone is welcome to join, regardless of background, as long as they sign up to the ideology

Common to conservative groups, as well. Except for the egalitarian part. Not that no conservative group is welcoming, but it is less common than in liberal groups.
quote:

• A generation ago, a disproportionately large amount of support from men in the 25-40 age range – often with beards, unusual haircuts or other slightly hippy tendencies. A large proportion of the supporters now are the same people. Not the same demographic, but the same people 30+ years older

No clue here either.
quote:

• A preference to dress casually

No presence of excrement here, great detective.
quote:

• Followers generally work in the public or third sectors

Yes, because conservative tend to not support those jobs.
quote:

In contrast, I’ve always thought of a theologically right wing position as the High Church, and seen similarities between it and right wing politics by showing the opposite stance in most of the above areas.

Discuss.

Kinda hard until you clarify things.

[ 28. July 2017, 06:09: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Stetson
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Oddjob/Buddha exchange:

quote:
• A tendency every few years to become more hardline or ideologically pure, and purge moderate views which are seen as half-hearted

OK, no. This is not a behaviour that is owned by anyone in particular, but is more common in right-leaning groups.

The trick there was that Oddjob used the word "purge", which is associated with Stalin and other left-wing(to give them the benefit of the doubt) regimes.

But as you Buddha says, such ideological cleansings take place among authoritarian conservative groups as well.

[ 28. July 2017, 07:07: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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mr cheesy
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I think you're muddling up a few things here. I think in political terms, we'd normally say that right-wing means Conservative and left-wing means Socialist, so hard right heads towards fascist and hard left towards Stalinist.

Superimposed onto that, you seem to be saying that it is possible to define theological left and right wing. If I understand you correctly, you are saying that being conservative on DH topics makes you left-wing ie Socialist rather than (as you perceive other usage on this website) right-wing ie Conservative or Republican.

Is that correct? I don't really understand what you've written in the third paragraph onwards.

Now I've written that, I can see it can't possibly be true because it makes no sense. You must be using the terms left and right wing in a way that I don't recognise.

But as a general comment, I've observed recently that if one goes far enough to the political left, it joins up with the far right somewhere around the back so as to be essentially interchangeable.

I don't think that happens with theological positions. Ultra conservatives don't find common cause with ultra liberals in my experience.

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Baptist Trainfan
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No ... but both become extremely intolerant of other positions. I've often posted here on the "illiberality of liberalism" and that is as true theologically as politically. I certainly found that a "Sea of Faith" group of which I was a member for some time said they respected all views but, in practice, weren't even prepared to listen to conservative ones. (Their theology was also, apart from a nodding acquaintance of the "Jesus Seminar" by some, about 50 years out-of-date, but that's a different story!)

Of course there is some theology which is left-wing from both a theological and political perspective: I'm thinking 1960s "liberation theology" here. And, at the other end of the spectrum, we all know about the American "evangelical right".

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
No ... but both become extremely intolerant of other positions. I've often posted here on the "illiberality of liberalism" and that is as true theologically as politically. I certainly found that a "Sea of Faith" group of which I was a member for some time said they respected all views but, in practice, weren't even prepared to listen to conservative ones. (Their theology was also, apart from a nodding acquaintance of the "Jesus Seminar" by some, about 50 years out-of-date, but that's a different story!)

OK, but isn't that the case for any group set up with any position?

I don't know anything about this Sea of Faith, but presumably one could set up a group which says all beliefs are valued and welcomed (or something) - but that's almost inevitably going to exclude people who don't hold that position.

Why would I attend a group where I thought other people were being led by Satan (etc) and why would the group tolerate me telling everyone else that I thought they were going to hell (etc)?

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:

But as a general comment, I've observed recently that if one goes far enough to the political left, it joins up with the far right somewhere around the back so as to be essentially interchangeable.

I think it doesn't help that 'right-wing' encompasses two diametrically opposed tendencies.

There is the Thatcherite, free-market right and there is the nationalist, Marine Le Pen right. One wants to reduce state intervention and favour individualism, the other wants the state to mould society into a unity in its own image, where 'society' includes both public and private attitudes. But using the state to mould society is what Lenin wanted to do too, hence the similarities.

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Grec Man
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Since right wing and left wing are political constructions, it is not really helpful to use them about theology.

Why not just talk about the specific issue at hand without making a categorisation?

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
In recent months I’ve seen a number of Shipmates refer to a theologically ‘right wing’ position on various issues, DH or otherwise. Usually the term indicates a hardline, evangelical stance and/or a literal or dogmatic Biblical interpretation. For perhaps 35 years I’ve regarded this type of viewpoint as theologically left wing
Right = conservative. Left = liberal. What you describe here is right wing.
Left wing is socialist not liberal. Cameron and Osborne are classical liberals.

Speaking as a socialist I think there is a similarity between left-wing groups and low church and Dissenting Christianity more generally.
Historically it also used to be the case that dissenters were more likely to be left-wing. I don't think that correlation is necessarily true anymore.
That said, the OP ignores conservative Roman Catholicism.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
Left wing is socialist not liberal.

Left wing is a blanket term for the liberal, socialist, or radical section of a political party or system. Most of the Left includes social equality and egalitarianism.
quote:

Cameron and Osborne are classical liberals.

Austerity programmes and immigration limits not liberal.

quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
No ... but both become extremely intolerant of other positions. I've often posted here on the "illiberality of liberalism" and that is as true theologically as politically.

The ramifications are very different, though, for each side. Intolerance on the liberal side could lead to people without the unfettered right to express their dislikes.
Intolerance on the conservative side leaves people without rights.

quote:
Originally posted by Grec Man:
Since right wing and left wing are political constructions, it is not really helpful to use them about theology.

Why not just talk about the specific issue at hand without making a categorisation?

When the OP distils the mess of an OP into a concrete issue, then we can. Right now we are arguing over how we interpret what we think he might have been trying to say.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Caissa
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Wikipedia's take on the political spectrum https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_spectrum

Liberals are centrist, imho.

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Doc Tor
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
Left wing is socialist not liberal.

Left wing is a blanket term for the liberal, socialist, or radical section of a political party or system.
It is, but I find it incredibly confusing when someone criticises 'the Left', and I'm sat there thinking, 'but that's not the Left'.

Socialism is certainly more economically authoritarian, in terms of taking taxes and redistributing wealth than neo-liberalist capitalism. Conservatism is also authoritarian, but on a social, as opposed to economic axis: liberalism is its other end.

To then add theology into the mix too, by using the same identifier?

I'd be a socialist-liberal-traditionalist, none of which is contradictory.

[ 28. July 2017, 15:49: Message edited by: Doc Tor ]

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
(Their theology was also, apart from a nodding acquaintance of the "Jesus Seminar" by some, about 50 years out-of-date, but that's a different story!)

The idea of theology needing to be up-to-date strikes the Orthodox ear as screamingly hilarious. Like, who needs to turn on the Comedy Channel when there's this kind of shit for free hilarious.

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churchgeek

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All I'm hearing in the OP is, "Here's two groups I don't like, so I'm going to try to point out their similarities."

BTW, in the US, a lot of nosebleed-high churches are very liberal, at least socially and politically, maybe even theologically; they're just liturgically traditional. You find that especially in major cities.

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
Left wing is socialist not liberal.

Left wing is a blanket term for the liberal, socialist, or radical section of a political party or system. Most of the Left includes social equality and egalitarianism.
The socialist section of a political system may often be liberal; the reverse is not true. The two terms are not equivalent.
Liberalism is a commitment to liberty (from the government); it does not necessarily include any appeal to equality in any substantial sense and may be suspicious of appeals to fraternity/community.

quote:
quote:

Cameron and Osborne are classical liberals.

Austerity programmes and immigration limits not liberal.
And yet the Liberal Democrats were in coalition with them at the time.
The major thinkers of the liberal tradition, pre World War II, were largely against government intervention in the economy. Even Keynes thought government intervention needed to be justified and should be avoided where not justified.
Immigration limits were under Cameron a matter of lip service only. In so far as he had any principles beyond placating the various factions of the Tory Party limiting immigration wasn't one of them.

[ 28. July 2017, 19:42: Message edited by: Dafyd ]

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
(Their theology was also, apart from a nodding acquaintance of the "Jesus Seminar" by some, about 50 years out-of-date, but that's a different story!)

The idea of theology needing to be up-to-date strikes the Orthodox ear as screamingly hilarious. Like, who needs to turn on the Comedy Channel when there's this kind of shit for free hilarious.
Well, the reference to "a nodding acquaintance of the Jesus seminar" leads me to speculate that what Trainfan meant was the awareness of theology was not up to date, ie. they weren't conversant in contemporary theology.

Of course, if you're not aware of contemporary theology, you're obviously not going to subscribe to contemporary theology. But it is possible to think that people should be aware of new ideas, without necessarily thinking they should believe in them.

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Zappa
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quote:
Originally posted by churchgeek:
All I'm hearing in the OP is, "Here's two groups I don't like, so I'm going to try to point out their similarities."

BTW, in the US, a lot of nosebleed-high churches are very liberal, at least socially and politically, maybe even theologically; they're just liturgically traditional. You find that especially in major cities.

Certainly that's my antipodean experience (though generalizations again break down).

In Mother Cantuar International the influential Dio London style Anglo-catholicism was I suppose "authoritarian" in that when Father genuflected all genuflected (except when they didn't, so that really wasn't true ... but take the Incarnatus clause for example, rather than the words of institution, where it would look a bit silly blah blah blah) but extremely libertarian when it came to personal choices about utilization of mammalian wobbly bits. It was a little authoritarian in terms of liturgical imprimatur, but far less authoritarian than evangelicalism when it came to biblical authority and exegesis: meh. Missal believing Christians rule, okay?

It tended to largesse when it came to distribution of gifts for the poor, and political whigism in social policy, et cetera.

So Caissa's link to the spectrum is helpful. But the OP mishmashes a myriad issues, and leaves us I fear in a conceptual fruit salad. If the left right language were to be used at all - and Ricardus' provisos are important, it needs to be used on each of the OP's foci.

At which point we end up with a kaleidoscope of wings. Pretty, but a bit like Psammechinus miliaris on a helium high.

So, if you'll forgive the narcissism, I find myself politically Very Left™, at least in terms of economic authoritarianism and redistribution, a fan of big government and public ownership of amenities, but with room for pecuniary incentivisation in employment and productivity, theologically conservative in the sense of doctrinally conservative (bodily up He goes and all that, interpenetrative persons of the Most Holy and blessed ... you know), sociologically liberal (who sticks their boy and girl bits into whom is their own business as long as they're consulting-consenting adults in a non-exploitative relationship), and Cthulu knows what the fuck else [Ultra confused]

At which point Psammechinus_miliaris explodes across the universe in a myriad meaningless machinations and the Apes take over Mother Earth.

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Aijalon
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quote:
Originally posted by OddJob:
In recent months I’ve seen a number of Shipmates refer to a theologically ‘right wing’ position on various issues, DH or otherwise. Usually the term indicates a hardline, evangelical stance and/or a literal or dogmatic Biblical interpretation.

For perhaps 35 years I’ve regarded this type of viewpoint as theologically left wing. Of course all political persuasions can be found right across the theological spectrum, but I’ve long noticed the following common ground between the aforementioned theological position and the secular, political left wing:

• Devotion to a radical cause which flies in the face of human nature, in the belief that it benefits the human race. A fear that without the intervention of a higher power, be it God or the State, society would head towards a totally free market and eventually a thugocracy.
• A tendency every few years to become more hardline or ideologically pure, and purge moderate views which are seen as half-hearted
• Scepticism towards authority and hierarchies in secular life or the Church, and a preference for informality
• Comparative egalitarianism within the Church/Party – as long as you hold the ‘right’ views. But anyone is welcome to join, regardless of background, as long as they sign up to the ideology
• A generation ago, a disproportionately large amount of support from men in the 25-40 age range – often with beards, unusual haircuts or other slightly hippy tendencies. A large proportion of the supporters now are the same people. Not the same demographic, but the same people 30+ years older
• A preference to dress casually
• Followers generally work in the public or third sectors

In contrast, I’ve always thought of a theologically right wing position as the High Church, and seen similarities between it and right wing politics by showing the opposite stance in most of the above areas.

Discuss.

I think in summary what you're saying is that left wing and progressive used be linked with being a rebel, but recently that has been inverted, and right wing and conservative is now linked with being a rebel. In other words, left wing has become the status quo.

Not that this has changed the general aspect of polar discord whatsoever.

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Albertus
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
Left wing is socialist not liberal.

Left wing is a blanket term for the liberal, socialist, or radical section of a political party or system. Most of the Left includes social equality and egalitarianism.
quote:

Cameron and Osborne are classical liberals.

Austerity programmes and immigration limits not liberal.


The question of whether 'liberal' means Left is rather a Pond thing. Here in the UK, many of us would argue that liberalism can be Left or Right (or I suppose Centre too, however you define that). What all liberals have in common is a belief in individual liberty as a paramount good, usually connected to things like freedom of speech and religion, a belief that the best judge of any person's own best interests is the person themself, and (often, I think) a belief that 'reason' can and should prevail. Left-wing liberals may see these things as 'freedom to', best achieved by a state which guarantees and even redistributes resources so as to ensure that people are not prevented from realising and exercising freedom by social and economic disadvantage: Right-wing liberals will argue that liberty is 'freedom from', best achieved by reducing as far as possible all external (systematic, state) intervention in people's lives. From the latter point of view, austerity can be a liberal project, because it's about shrinking the state and reducing the share of people's resources that they transfer to the state through taxation. Immigration controls aren't liberal and that's why you'll find right-wing liberals arguing against them. (Conservatives and socialists, by contrast, could seek to justify immigration controls by reference to the [perceived] need to safeguard the interests of the existing national community.) Where does this leave us in religion? I think there's no clear correlation. In England and Wales, protestant nonconformists tended to be liberal because they valued freedom of conscience in the face of the Established Church; some became left-wing liberals and then socialists, while others were deeply conservative in many ways and indeed joined the Conservative Party after the Liberals declined after 1916. But whether there was a mapping of theological differences onto that, I couldn't say. Equally there is a socialist- in some cases very socialist- Trad Cath tradition and a right-wing authoritarian one, among others. And the great Fr Ken Leech was very much a man of the Left, very much a liberal on DH issues, and very orthodox in most of the rest of his theology and belief. So I suppose all this is a roundabout way of saying that I don't think there is a positive or negative correlation between theological and political conservatism.

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Martin60
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I think that's the longest paragraph I've ever seen.

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Albertus
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Yes. Bad posting, isn't it? Forgot that on here, unlike some social media sites, you can hit line break without it automatically ending the post. Apols.

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Martin60
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# 368

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Dash it all man. You taking the hit means I've got to read the bloody thing!

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:

Liberalism is a commitment to liberty (from the government); it does not necessarily include any appeal to equality in any substantial sense and may be suspicious of appeals to fraternity/community.

That is Classical Liberalism. Social liberalism isn't the same thing.
quote:

quote:
quote:

Cameron and Osborne are classical liberals.

Austerity programmes and immigration limits not liberal.
And yet the Liberal Democrats were in coalition with them at the time.

Yeah, selling their souls for power. How'd that work out for them, again?
quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
The question of whether 'liberal' means Left is rather a Pond thing. Here in the UK, many of us would argue that liberalism can be Left or Right (or I suppose Centre too, however you define that).

The problem is that liberal is being used without qualifications like the ones you use in the tl;dr post. Labelling social liberalism v. neoliberalism might help.
As for the pond distinctions, I don't think the American conservatives would be caught dead using the term liberal for themselves. Though, as I understand it, they used to have a little more care for the general population. Now, they are running full tilt away from anything but the merest pretence. Practically it used to be that American conservatives were worse than UK conservatives, regarding social issues. The erosion of the NHS indicates that the pond differences in politics are, sadly, shrinking in the wrong direction.

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Kaplan Corday
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# 16119

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George Orwell is an example of someone who was passionately socialist, passionately libertarian and passionately (in his Englishness) conservative.

The most recent good biography of him of which I am aware is significantly titled George Orwell: English Rebel, by Robert Colls.

Was it Emerson who described consistency as "the hobgoblin of little minds"?

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Dave W.
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# 8765

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Close.

"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines."

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wabale
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# 18715

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On a (B &W) television programme I watched - memory fails regarding the date - Sir John Wolfenden was asked something along the lines of what he thought the future would be like. He shocked everyone by saying he thought liberalism would die out. What I think he may have meant was (and I certainly didn’t understand what he meant at the time) was that liberalism meant being willing to listen to other people’s opinions, however unacceptable we might think they are, and be prepared to discuss them. There are of course limits to this, but I actually wonder whether the limits are as wide now as they were in 1957 when his committee published the Report recommending the decriminalisation of homosexuality.
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Albertus
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# 13356

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Dash it all man. You taking the hit means I've got to read the bloody thing!

Oh, I wouldn't if I were you, because it just comes round in a circle and says I don't think there is any correlation. In fact typing it was a dead waste of 10 minutes of my life.

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My beard is a testament to my masculinity and virility, and demonstrates that I am a real man. Trouble is, bits of quiche sometimes get caught in it.

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
Oh, I wouldn't if I were you, because it just comes round in a circle and says I don't think there is any correlation. In fact typing it was a dead waste of 10 minutes of my life.

I read it and thought it made sense.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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que sais-je
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# 17185

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I'm doubtful that a one dimensional whether left-right or liberal-authoritarian is adequate. In the 50s I think some psychologist came out with a 2D version. One scale goes from Authoritarian - Liberal (Authoritarians tend to rules, control, hierarchy etc) liberals ... are the other end. But across that dimension crosses what they called "tough v tender minded".

The hard right (in the UK) is tough minded authoritarian, the hard left tender minded authoritarian. Left anarchism is tender minded liberal. Some American right libertarians seem to be very tough minded liberals etc.

It may no longer be a sensible division but at at least it doesn't assume that one dimension explains everything.

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"controversies, disputes, and argumentations, both in philosophy and in divinity, if they meet with discreet and peaceable natures, do not infringe the laws of charity" (Thomas Browne)

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leo
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# 1458

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quote:
Originally posted by Grec Man:
Since right wing and left wing are political constructions, it is not really helpful to use them about theology.

Because liberation theology, black theology, womanist etc. are all 'left wing' and see jesus as a revolutionary opposed to the Roman Empire.

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Stetson
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# 9597

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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by Grec Man:
Since right wing and left wing are political constructions, it is not really helpful to use them about theology.

Because liberation theology, black theology, womanist etc. are all 'left wing' and see jesus as a revolutionary opposed to the Roman Empire.
Okay, but what about a Christian who subscribes to "modernist"(for lack of a better word, bear with me) views on theology, eg. the miracles in the Bible are metaphorical, the Virgin Birth didn't really happen etc, but holds to standard conservative political views, and certainly does not want things like liberation theology or feminist hermeneutics brought into his church.

Do we classify him as right-wing politically, but refrain from framing his theology on the same spectrum?

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SvitlanaV2
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# 16967

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Oddjob

Your list above seems to emphasise that people who are politically left-wing and those who are theologically right-wing are often demographically similar.

That makes sense in some British settings. The Labour Party is said to owe more to Methodism than to Marxism, and that's because of the working class Nonconformist constituency that migrated towards and helped create trade unionism. One article I looked at said that political activity tended to supplant religious activity for many of the people involved, so you could say that both served a similar purpose for what were basically the same kinds of people.

That history must have been more significant in some parts of the country than in others. You're in the West Midlands, and I do wonder if working class evangelicalism and left-wing political activism in, say, the Black Country, have sprung from similar working class settings and communities in the past, and left a legacy.

Nowadays, the assumption tends to be that British evangelicals are mostly middle class. Moreover, the differences between the main political parties are less profound than used to be the case (Mr Corbyn notwithstanding), so how these evangelicals vote might not say very much about their position on the political Left/Right divide.

And many politicians on all sides seem rather well-heeled these days. I think this is part of the general shift by which many ambitious people have left behind their working and lower middle class origins. What remains of the working class in many parts of the county is too disunited and demoralised for either evangelicalism or political engagement. Neither political parties nor (evangelical) churches are designed to meet their needs.

As for the public sector, I understand that there's a certain evangelical component among schoolteachers, and probably also among nurses. Perhaps they, like others in their line of work, feel that the Labour Party would do more for them than the Tories would.

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Albertus
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# 13356

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
Oh, I wouldn't if I were you, because it just comes round in a circle and says I don't think there is any correlation. In fact typing it was a dead waste of 10 minutes of my life.

I read it and thought it made sense.
Thanks [Smile]

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My beard is a testament to my masculinity and virility, and demonstrates that I am a real man. Trouble is, bits of quiche sometimes get caught in it.

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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Mary Douglas, an anthropologist, came up with a way of categorising different societies according to the degree of freedom members of the society have on one axis and the strength of the bonds between members of the society on the other. An example of a society with high degrees of freedom but strong bonds that is familiar to most Westerners would be Puritan Early Modern Europe and New England. She thought that there was a tension in such societies between social mobility - positions of power are open on the basis of popular acclamation and respect - and the need to play down social conflict to preserve strong social bonds; and that this resulted in hostility towards outgroups and scapegoating (and where appropriate witchcraft beliefs). She noted that a lot of left-wing groups tend to operate in a similar fashion: they try to be both egalitarian and to have strong communal bonds. This she thought resulted in similar social phenomena: in particular where struggles over internal politics manifest as debates over ideological purity, and result in expulsions or ideological splits (as in the People's Front of Judea).

I don't know whether the OP has been reading Mary Douglas.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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OddJob
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# 17591

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OK, some interesting and generally healthy thoughts.

It’s a relief to hear that the overall sentiment is not dissimilar to mine, as a liberal, pragmatic evangelical a generation ago and now, although I accept that the OP was on a mish-mash of levels.

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by OddJob:
In recent months I’ve seen a number of Shipmates refer to a theologically ‘right wing’ position on various issues, DH or otherwise. Usually the term indicates a hardline, evangelical stance and/or a literal or dogmatic Biblical interpretation.

I think there's a difference between the UK and US here, which is the source of some of the differences between what you're saying and what lilBuddha is saying.

When one hears about theological conservatism or liberalism, it's usually the DH topics that is meant.

In the US, con-evo biblical literalists mostly vote Republican, and have done for the last ~40 years, on mostly abortion and anti-gay grounds.

In the UK, abortion has never really been a party political issue, and although historically the Conservative party was slower than the Labour party to move towards a gay rights stance, it has got there. UK con-evos tend to fall to the left of centre on economic issues, and don't have the skepticism of the bigger state that their US brethren have. So I think UK con-evos tend to vote for the leftie parties somewhat more than the UK average.

By comparison, MOTR types in the C of E are more likely to be nice middle-class types who reflexively vote for the establishment Tory.

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Zappa
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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
but what about a Christian who subscribes to "modernist"(for lack of a better word, bear with me) views on theology, eg. the miracles in the Bible are metaphorical, the Virgin Birth didn't really happen etc, but holds to standard conservative political views, and certainly does not want things like liberation theology or feminist hermeneutics brought into his church.

Do we classify him as right-wing politically, but refrain from framing his theology on the same spectrum?

In fact where do we go? I would consider myself a bit scattergun on biblical interpretation, based on the style of narrative at the point discussed (leaning therefore to suspicious-symbolic on nature miracles, open to healing miracles but suspecting psychosomatic or sociological or symbolic origins, conservative as all blimey on the resurrection, trinitarian theology blah blah blah ... and left of Joe Stalin, but in que sais-je's "tender terms," on matters social).

In all that I suspect I'm just one possible mishmash, as I said, of the infinite spectrum of wack-job nuances ...

Maybe Freud was right and we all are just looking for nipples and penises in a celestial supermarket
[Ultra confused]

[ 30. July 2017, 05:05: Message edited by: Zappa ]

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wild haggis
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# 15555

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This is has been fun. Talk about counting angles on a pin head. I am a bear of little brain and this discussion seems to be getting madder and getting nowhere as you are all talking at cross purposes.

If you want a discussion stick to an agreed definition. One of the golden rules in philosophy and theology is before you discuss an issue define your terms.

Right to what? Left to what?
In Theology politics or are we on the stage!!! Are we in Britain, USA or up the creek with a paddleless canoe?

Eeek.

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wild haggis

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Boogie

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# 13538

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Does a circle have angles?

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Baptist Trainfan
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# 15128

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Well, we all know that the globe has four corners ...

But I suspect a typo for "angels".

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leo
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# 1458

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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by Grec Man:
Since right wing and left wing are political constructions, it is not really helpful to use them about theology.

Because liberation theology, black theology, womanist etc. are all 'left wing' and see jesus as a revolutionary opposed to the Roman Empire.
Okay, but what about a Christian who subscribes to "modernist"(for lack of a better word, bear with me) views on theology, eg. the miracles in the Bible are metaphorical, the Virgin Birth didn't really happen etc, but holds to standard conservative political views, and certainly does not want things like liberation theology or feminist hermeneutics brought into his church.

Do we classify him as right-wing politically, but refrain from framing his theology on the same spectrum?

He's just plain wrong!

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My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:

Liberalism is a commitment to liberty (from the government); it does not necessarily include any appeal to equality in any substantial sense and may be suspicious of appeals to fraternity/community.

That is Classical Liberalism. Social liberalism isn't the same thing.
If I'd said 'it does not include any appeal to equality' omitting 'necessarily' I might have been talking about classical liberalism only. I did however use the word 'necessarily'. Nevertheless classical liberalism is a form of liberalism, indeed, the root form of liberalism
This is the first time you've specified 'social liberalism'. The term is ambiguous: it can refer to liberalism heavily influenced by socialist thinking, or it can refer to the belief that the government ought not to legislate on personal conduct where that does not harm others without their consent e.g. on dead horse issues or private religion.
Classical liberalism prior to the twentieth century included liberalism on personal conduct: John Stuart Mill was both an economic liberal and a liberal on personal conduct.
Social liberalism on economic matters is left-wing because of the socialist element not the liberal element.

quote:
quote:

quote:
quote:

Cameron and Osborne are classical liberals.

Austerity programmes and immigration limits not liberal.
And yet the Liberal Democrats were in coalition with them at the time.

Yeah, selling their souls for power. How'd that work out for them, again?
Anyone who thought Clegg betrayed his principles wasn't paying attention to what his principles actually were.
(Similarly some people seem to support Corbyn under the impression he's less of a Brexiteer than May is.)

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Albertus
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# 13356

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Yes. As far as I can see Clegg was and is an authentic Liberal, of a type perhaps more commonly encountered in the Continent than (in recent years) in the UK: economically rather dry but very strongly committed to personal freedom and to institutions that foster it (which is why he's not a libertarian).

In fact, I think one could convincingly argue that under Clegg the Lib Dems, which had for a long time appeared to be a ragbag of more-or-less lefties who for one reason or another didn't want to join Labour, professional awkward squad members, and opportunistic bins & pavements local politicians (the last an exceptionally slippery crowd) did look like a proper philosophically European Liberal party.

They went into coalition with Conservatives, of course, but that's what third parties do in the continental model: they go into coalition and run their own stream alongside that of their coalition partners, accepting the need to support things they'd prefer not to otherwise because that's the price of getting support for some of their things. To anyone in say Germany or the Netherlands that'd just look like grown-um politics and nobody would say for a moment that if you're in coalition with Conservatives or Social Democrats you've sold out to them.
(I don't, personally, like Clegg's politics, or Liberalism in general, but that's neither here nor there.)

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My beard is a testament to my masculinity and virility, and demonstrates that I am a real man. Trouble is, bits of quiche sometimes get caught in it.

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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I think those who think the coalition was bad are forgetting how terrible the Tories are when in power on their own. They Lib-dems made tough choices and had to go back on their principles. But think how much worse it would have been if the Tories had had a majority.

The strange thing for me is that the LDs got punished at the ballot-box leading to the stupidity of the referendum and Brexit. All those LD voters who let this happen by not voting, voting Labour or even voting Tory are at least partly to blame for this mess.

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Albertus
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# 13356

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I think those who think the coalition was bad are forgetting how terrible the Tories are when in power on their own. They Lib-dems made tough choices and had to go back on their principles. But think how much worse it would have been if the Tories had had a majority.


Agreed, To be fair to the Lib Dems(why? well OK then...)they were in a very difficult position in 2010. They had to be prepared to go into government or risk losing all credibility immediately (as the Welsh Lib Dems arguably did when they declined to go into coalition in 2007), and the arithmetic meant that the Tories were going to be the main probability. I suspect, too, that Clegg & others may have felt closer to Cameron's socially (in one sense) liberal Conservatism than they did to Brown;s rather authoritarian Labourism. And they did moderate what would otherwise have been an even worse government.

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My beard is a testament to my masculinity and virility, and demonstrates that I am a real man. Trouble is, bits of quiche sometimes get caught in it.

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