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Is social conservatism dead

Raisor
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7/2/2015 2:01:41 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I recently heard a commentator make the claim that social conservatism is dead, that the label should be retired as it is no longer relevant to the political landscape of the US.

This particular commentator happened to be socially right wing, and his argument was not that the debates on social issues were over or would disappear. Instead he made the point that there was nothing left for the political right to "conserve." The idea of social conservatism is that traditional values are being preserved, maintained, defended from progressive change.

But when we look at what Americans actually believe and how they actually live, it seems that traditional values have already been displaced. In reality a defense of the status quo would be a defense of a dominant culture that embraces "progressive" values.

Some important points:

The rapidly increasing support for gay marriage is well known, with public opinion clearly favoring same sex marriage.

http://blogs.wsj.com...

Most people believe abortion to be morally wrong...

http://www.pewforum.org...

but the public is overwhelmingly against overturning Roe v Wade

http://www.pewforum.org...

Less than half of kids in the US grow up in a "traditional" two family home

http://www.pewresearch.org...

Divorce is overwhelmingly viewed as morally acceptable, as is having a child out of wedlock.

http://www.gallup.com...

The one area where the public remains stalwart in support of traditional values is on the area of religion.

http://www.pewforum.org...

So the question is, given that "progressives" have apparently won the culture war on most fronts, in what sense is the socially motivated right wing "conserving" anything?
thett3
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7/2/2015 3:03:24 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
He is right. All that's left now is the inevitable witch hunt of the handful of holdouts. We've reached the point where photographers and bakers are forced to participate in ceremonies that their religious beliefs prohibit, so any talk about this being a religious nation or one that even respects religion outside of the state sanctioned quasi-faith is absurd.

It's finished, and has been long before the gay marriage decision. I support gay marriage because there is no longer anything sacred about marriage--it's lost it's social significance. That we're having this discussion is a symptom, not a cause. Once marriage is no longer viewed as sacred and immutable, there really is no reason to deny gay people the right to engage in what is now a purely economic union.
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: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
Blade-of-Truth
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7/2/2015 3:20:52 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I also believe he is right, and if it's not completely dead at this point - it will be within the next few generations.
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thett3
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7/2/2015 3:21:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
This account, from a practicing Christian professor at an elite law school who feels the need to keep his beliefs closeted is probably one of the best descriptions of the way our society is going. http://www.theamericanconservative.com...
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: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
Raisor
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7/2/2015 4:16:25 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/2/2015 3:03:24 PM, thett3 wrote:
He is right. All that's left now is the inevitable witch hunt of the handful of holdouts. We've reached the point where photographers and bakers are forced to participate in ceremonies that their religious beliefs prohibit, so any talk about this being a religious nation or one that even respects religion outside of the state sanctioned quasi-faith is absurd.


I think its an open question whether private businesses should be barred from discriminatory practices. There is a big difference between religious speech and expression and the refusal to service members of the public on religious grounds.

There questions of justice and pragmatism that make the question difficult to answer. Personally I'd err on the side of less government intervention, but I'm not solid on where I stand.

The nation certainly respects religion though. The data is clear about that (my links show that there is massive support of religion in government). Navigating a pluralist society while respecting freedom of conscience will generate some very difficult problems, but it is the epitome of hyperbole to proclaim that we have lost respect for our fundamental valuation of religious liberty.

It's finished, and has been long before the gay marriage decision. I support gay marriage because there is no longer anything sacred about marriage--it's lost it's social significance. That we're having this discussion is a symptom, not a cause. Once marriage is no longer viewed as sacred and immutable, there really is no reason to deny gay people the right to engage in what is now a purely economic union.

I somewhat agree that marriage has lost its social significance. But I dont think the social significance it had is anything like what the right tries to make it out to be. The history of marriage in the US is one laden with gender iniquity, political maneuvering, and questionable consumerist values. I think marriage ought to be critically evaluated and altered as our understanding of human behavior and psychology and society expands. At the same time I don't think our society's image and valuation of marriage and family is in a good place right now.

There are economic shifts that underlay the change in "family values" more than any sort of secular attack on religion. And the refusal of conservatives to engage in conversation about what the new social significance of marriage ought to be is a missed opportunity help reinvigorate and rebuild a more meaningful institution.

Anyways the state has no business engaging in things that are "sacred and immutable." If the state is involved in marriage it should only be insofar as there is an economic or legal union. It is further absurd to suggest that the only way for marriage to have value is if it is understood within the lens of christianity. There are hundreds of cultures with traditions of marriage just as rich and meaningful as the Christian tradition; it is just denying the facts to refuse to acknowledge that alternate conceptions of marriage can be just as valuable as the particular Christian conception in 20th century America. What "conservatives" are missing is that they can still work toward preserving the core values of marriage even as the shape of the institution shifts.

I actually think that some of the anti-gay marriage arguments make some really good points about what the nature of marriage is; I just think they all universally fail to prove that these central features necessitate pairing between a man and a woman.
thett3
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7/2/2015 4:37:39 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/2/2015 4:16:25 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 7/2/2015 3:03:24 PM, thett3 wrote:
He is right. All that's left now is the inevitable witch hunt of the handful of holdouts. We've reached the point where photographers and bakers are forced to participate in ceremonies that their religious beliefs prohibit, so any talk about this being a religious nation or one that even respects religion outside of the state sanctioned quasi-faith is absurd.


I think its an open question whether private businesses should be barred from discriminatory practices. There is a big difference between religious speech and expression and the refusal to service members of the public on religious grounds.

Maybe so. But the point is that it shows that the culture war is over by being an issue. This would've been unthinkable not that long ago. That's my only point.

There questions of justice and pragmatism that make the question difficult to answer. Personally I'd err on the side of less government intervention, but I'm not solid on where I stand.

The nation certainly respects religion though. The data is clear about that (my links show that there is massive support of religion in government). Navigating a pluralist society while respecting freedom of conscience will generate some very difficult problems, but it is the epitome of hyperbole to proclaim that we have lost respect for our fundamental valuation of religious liberty.

That isn't the way things are going, certainly not in the dominant progressive culture. There will be witch hunts, the account of the law professor I linked earlier is very instructive.

It's finished, and has been long before the gay marriage decision. I support gay marriage because there is no longer anything sacred about marriage--it's lost it's social significance. That we're having this discussion is a symptom, not a cause. Once marriage is no longer viewed as sacred and immutable, there really is no reason to deny gay people the right to engage in what is now a purely economic union.

I somewhat agree that marriage has lost its social significance. But I dont think the social significance it had is anything like what the right tries to make it out to be. The history of marriage in the US is one laden with gender iniquity, political maneuvering, and questionable consumerist values. I think marriage ought to be critically evaluated and altered as our understanding of human behavior and psychology and society expands. At the same time I don't think our society's image and valuation of marriage and family is in a good place right now.

There are economic shifts that underlay the change in "family values" more than any sort of secular attack on religion. And the refusal of conservatives to engage in conversation about what the new social significance of marriage ought to be is a missed opportunity help reinvigorate and rebuild a more meaningful institution.

I agree on this, which is why I don't really have an issue with gay marriage. The history of marriage in the U.S. has been a history of decline. It's just another offshoot of the states subjugation of the family. This has been a very, very long process (as in predating the formation of the United States) but how we view family, marriage, the whole lot of it is fundamentally different from how it once was and the viewpoints these institutions evolved to enshrine. Like I said, it's a purely economic union now like so much else.

Anyways the state has no business engaging in things that are "sacred and immutable."

Easy rhetoric but hard to practice. By sacred I mean culturally sacred, not religiously.

If the state is involved in marriage it should only be insofar as there is an economic or legal union. It is further absurd to suggest that the only way for marriage to have value is if it is understood within the lens of christianity. There are hundreds of cultures with traditions of marriage just as rich and meaningful as the Christian tradition; it is just denying the facts to refuse to acknowledge that alternate conceptions of marriage can be just as valuable as the particular Christian conception in 20th century America. What "conservatives" are missing is that they can still work toward preserving the core values of marriage even as the shape of the institution shifts.

I never said that it only has value in the context of a religious tradition /:

What I mean is that it only has non economic value in the context of a social tradition that places value on it. This is a truism, and the social value and importance of marriage has declined significantly. The value can come from religion but it typically came from societal sanction and this goes to show social conservativism is dead. Out of wedlock childbirth, considered the height of dishonor only a few generations ago, is now considered moral. I'm not making value judgements on if this is good or bad. It just is.

I actually think that some of the anti-gay marriage arguments make some really good points about what the nature of marriage is; I just think they all universally fail to prove that these central features necessitate pairing between a man and a woman.
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"Don't quote me, ever." -Max

"My name is max. I'm not a big fan of slacks"- Max rapping

"Walmart should have the opportunity to bribe a politician to it's agenda" -Max

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"You fit the character of Regina George quite nicely"- Sam

: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
ironslippers
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7/2/2015 4:52:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/2/2015 2:01:41 PM, Raisor wrote:
What a wackey post. Social Conservatism is not dead. Just because those that may be conservative allow acceptance of those in their society that are on the fringes does not polute one's conservative ideals.
Everyone stands on their own dung hill and speaks out about someone else's - Nathan Krusemark
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Raisor
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7/2/2015 8:06:07 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/2/2015 4:52:45 PM, ironslippers wrote:
At 7/2/2015 2:01:41 PM, Raisor wrote:
What a wackey post. Social Conservatism is not dead. Just because those that may be conservative allow acceptance of those in their society that are on the fringes does not polute one's conservative ideals.

I mean the sources I posted seem to pretty conclusively show that what you refer to as the "fringes" is actually the mainstream.

That's the heart of my post, if the moral majority is not in fact the majority then in what sense is the right "conserving" culture
ironslippers
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7/2/2015 10:26:22 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/2/2015 8:06:07 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 7/2/2015 4:52:45 PM, ironslippers wrote:
At 7/2/2015 2:01:41 PM, Raisor wrote:
What a wackey post. Social Conservatism is not dead. Just because those that may be conservative allow acceptance of those in their society that are on the fringes does not polute one's conservative ideals.

I mean the sources I posted seem to pretty conclusively show that what you refer to as the "fringes" is actually the mainstream.

I think there is transference, a conservative will more than likely be touched by the fringes in someway or another. Say if my brother is gay, I would be hard press not to be supportive of his needs, but that would not change my own personal doctrine (though many would judge me liberal).

That's the heart of my post, if the moral majority is not in fact the majority then in what sense is the right "conserving" culture

I share your concern. I think conservatives lack a unified voice and credible representation in and out of office. We haven't gone anywhere. We live our lives as representation of our values, we need not parades and riots.
Everyone stands on their own dung hill and speaks out about someone else's - Nathan Krusemark
Its easier to criticize and hate than it is to support and create - I Ron Slippers
1Historygenius
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7/2/2015 11:56:35 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I think some matters like gay marriage issue will die, but for abortion I don't think so.
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anonymouse
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7/7/2015 5:54:10 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Slowly but surely, all social conservatism movements of today will die. It doesn't matter whether its right or wrong, they will die eventually. The only ones that wont die will deal with immigration as it will continue to stress nations. But issues like Abortion, Gay Marriage, Evolution will largely shift leftwards.
Geogeer
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7/8/2015 12:59:52 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/2/2015 3:03:24 PM, thett3 wrote:
He is right. All that's left now is the inevitable witch hunt of the handful of holdouts. We've reached the point where photographers and bakers are forced to participate in ceremonies that their religious beliefs prohibit, so any talk about this being a religious nation or one that even respects religion outside of the state sanctioned quasi-faith is absurd.

Definitely correct. Just look at what happened to the CEO of Mozilla. Social conservatives are currently being run out of every position of authority. Ceasar demands his pinch of incense and social conservative will have to decide whether capitulating on their morals for earthly success is warranted.

It will however only last a limited amount of time. As Margaret Thatcher stated: The facts of life are conservative. The seeds of our destruction have already been sown and those who will emerge from the other side will be predominantly conservative.
RoyLatham
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7/8/2015 2:51:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I think it is true that abortion and gay marriage are now settled issues. What's key is how the left settled them. Only 11 states voted democratically in favor of gay marriage. If there was a prolonged process of convincing states on the merits of the issues, there would have been a chance of working out problems. Some state would be holdouts and some would adopt modified forms of marriage. For example, one study showed that married gay men have an average of eight extramarital affairs per year. To me, that implies that there should be differences in the gay marriage contract from the heterosexual contract. But the left does allow discussion or alternatives. They prefer that courts, executive orders, and bureaucracy to impose what they want uniformly on everyone.

Don't think for a minute that the left will consider the social issues "done." Polygamy is probably next. A larger attack on religion is certain. How did that religious couple get away with only a $135,000 fine for refusing to bake a cake? They'll need jail time in addition. The government said in the gay marriage arguments before the courts that religions will face issues about what the religion can say and do. Look for religious schools and charities to be effectively banned. There will be more protected classes. I once had a job applicant tell me that discriminating in hiring on grounds of education and competence was illegal. It wasn't at the time, but it will be. Rules requiring work for welfare payments are now gone, but they need to be fought to oblivion. Free speech is pretty much dead on liberal campuses, but the left needs it to be abolished everywhere.

One interesting thing is that liberals used to put the bedroom off limits to government control. No more. Recent rules and laws are requiring explicit contractual consent to each romantic advance. "I'd like to hold your hand ... sign here." Part of that is overturning the concept of innocent until proven guilty.

There is a long way to go. I don't know how it's going turn out. Massive civil disobedience seems to me more likely than ever before.
Vox_Veritas
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7/8/2015 3:49:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/2/2015 2:01:41 PM, Raisor wrote:
I recently heard a commentator make the claim that social conservatism is dead, that the label should be retired as it is no longer relevant to the political landscape of the US.

This particular commentator happened to be socially right wing, and his argument was not that the debates on social issues were over or would disappear. Instead he made the point that there was nothing left for the political right to "conserve." The idea of social conservatism is that traditional values are being preserved, maintained, defended from progressive change.

But when we look at what Americans actually believe and how they actually live, it seems that traditional values have already been displaced. In reality a defense of the status quo would be a defense of a dominant culture that embraces "progressive" values.

Some important points:

The rapidly increasing support for gay marriage is well known, with public opinion clearly favoring same sex marriage.

http://blogs.wsj.com...

Most people believe abortion to be morally wrong...

http://www.pewforum.org...

but the public is overwhelmingly against overturning Roe v Wade

http://www.pewforum.org...

Less than half of kids in the US grow up in a "traditional" two family home

http://www.pewresearch.org...

Divorce is overwhelmingly viewed as morally acceptable, as is having a child out of wedlock.

http://www.gallup.com...

The one area where the public remains stalwart in support of traditional values is on the area of religion.

http://www.pewforum.org...

So the question is, given that "progressives" have apparently won the culture war on most fronts, in what sense is the socially motivated right wing "conserving" anything?

Not really. What it needs is a name change to "Social Reactionism".
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dylancatlow
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7/8/2015 3:57:16 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/8/2015 2:51:27 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
For example, one study showed that married gay men have an average of eight extramarital affairs per year. To me, that implies that there should be differences in the gay marriage contract from the heterosexual contract.

I agree with the rest of your post, but this stuck out. Even if that figure is right, the government should not be in the business of deciding which contracts "make sense" for couples to enter into and which contracts don't. If it's really an issue, then the government should just offer a less stringent marriage contract which both gays and straight could choose to opt for. There are plenty of faithful gays and cheating straights, so any policy which treats all gays as if they are more promiscuous than all straights and all straights as if they are less promiscuous than all gays is going to be needlessly inefficient at accomplishing any goal worth pursuing.
xXCryptoXx
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7/9/2015 2:45:31 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I imagine that it seems that way because the left has been steam rolling over the right in recent years, but I think the actual population of social conservatives in America is larger than you think.
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wrichcirw
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7/10/2015 2:38:17 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/2/2015 2:01:41 PM, Raisor wrote:
I recently heard a commentator make the claim that social conservatism is dead, that the label should be retired as it is no longer relevant to the political landscape of the US.

It's not dead. Donald Trump is the Jesus of social conservatism. /s
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?