As they try to attract “values” voters, the liberty crowd seems to forget one thing: government’s moral component
Monday, Mar 17, 2014
CPAC 2014 banished its would-be atheist booth, but religion was still a fraught issue among its attendees. While the conservatives of CPAC may have cringed at the evangelizing of American Atheists, it hardly proposed a much sturdier vision of the relationship between Christianity and the evolving American right wing.
Christian leaders at the conference, including CitizenLink’s Tom Minnery and Colorado Christian University Centennial Institute director John Andrews, seemed quick to urge Christian voters to accept and support politicians with patently un-Christian positions on various social issues. But this was no typical call for acceptance of imperfection or mercy on the flawed; it was a calculated political move to try to endear libertarian candidates to erstwhile Republican values voters.
Andrews lamented that the media “are doing their utmost to create divisiveness, fractures, factions, back-biting, family squabbles, between all who believe in liberty, limited government, free enterprise, and traditional Judeo-Christian values,” and urged conservative Christian voters to view their differences with libertarian candidates as a mere “family feud.” According to Minnery, “libertarians can learn from social conservatives about the importance of basic moral principles that create the sense of ordered liberty which is so important to our country.” In other words, the two Christian leaders had in mind a kind of alliance – not unlike the initial marriage of convenience that brought together the Christian right and free market capitalists under Reagan.
But at least when the Reaganite revolution brought Christian values voters and free marketeers together, the profit-driven sect of the Republican Party was willing to campaign for the maintenance of some Christian political principles, such as the sanctity of life and the primacy of the family. CPAC’s message takes the alliance a step further from its Christian commitments by suggesting, more or less, that Christian values are negotiable so long as policies intended to bolster free market capitalism are upheld.