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This is the conclusion of a three part essay on conservatism, liberalism, and their relationship to NeoPagan spirituality. Part I described what liberalism and conservatism have been historically and philosophically and argued there is considerable truth in both views. Part II explored their relationship to Christian and Pagan spirituality and how Pagan insights enabled us better to understand their competitive but ultimately symbiotic relationship.  Now, Part III examines why neither, but especially conservatism, resembles what they have been historically and why those Pagan insights are so critically important to everyone today.

           The argument is more complex than the preceding two, but I hope you will bear with me. I am happy to elaborate points that seem undeveloped in the discussion to follow. Exceptions exist to much of what I am arguing, my larger argument is that the exceptions are minor themes today.

A valid conservative criticism of liberalism

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  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    They will empower me to eliminate your nastiness and rudeness from this blog, probably Monday. Had you any integrity you would no
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    I have asked that you be banned from this blog.
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Of course you did. Liberal talking points and insults can't tolerate contradictory opinions. Its all "good" only when inside a v

        Part I of this essay was needed so we can know what liberalism and conservatism have meant historically and begin to grasp how they are changing. In addition, to understand their relations with one another and with the world I added a third pole, Power, and claimed we can understand neither liberalism nor conservatism without it.  We can now delve more deeply, and begin to appreciate how Paganism can deepen our understanding and appreciation of both liberalism and conservatism.

Despite its now being almost always defended in purely secular terms liberalism is more in keeping with Jesus’s teaching that all are equal in God’s eyes  than is any other modern ideology. John Locke derived human rights from his Christian belief that we were God’s creations and in His eyes equal. Consider Matthew 25:34-40.

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

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  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Thank you Jamie. When I began writing a manifesto was pretty far from my mind, but as I puzzle the pieces together I think one is
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. diZerega, Thank you for writing a Pagan political manifesto of such depth. Frankly, I agree with every word. It was well wort
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    By this you must mean the corporate and banking military industrial complex. Yes?

As my readers know, this column frequently has a political orientation.  Some people object a religious site should not have political content.  But historically spirituality has never been purely private except when viewed from a secular perspective that relegates it to the purely subjective, like preferring chocolate ice cream over vanilla. Interestingly, this secular outlook imports powerful monotheistic assumptions under the surface.

However to say that religion has unavoidable political implications is not to make the next jump and say that religion leads to One Right Way politically. This totalitarian conclusion has roots in religions dominating societies and also claiming there is only One Right Way. Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism are tragic examples. By contrast, religions emphasizing sacred immanence, that divinity is within the world wherever else it might be, generally recognize many valid spiritual paths, and more easily live at peace with a diverse political landscape. 

I want to explore how these Pagan observations shed new light on the great ideological conflicts rending America today: conflicts usually described as liberalism vs. conservatism. I will argue both liberalism and conservatism have important spiritual insights and both are transformed in a good way when viewed from a Pagan perspective rather than from their original Christian origins, or attempts to ground them in secularized reasoning rooted in transcendental monotheism.

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  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    We have come almost full circle about Liberalism over the past couple hundred years. Liberal started out as someone favoring Libe
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Greybeard- You will never understand this or the following columns if you think of them treating liberalism and conservatism as a
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    So much has changed politically, even since the 1970s, that the U.S. mass media's notions of 'liberal' and 'conservative' don't ev

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