This post is in memory of my father, who died six years ago today. He was very liberal in many of his views and politics, but also religiously conservative in the end, and his views challenged and informed my own in many ways. I miss our discussions. #cdnpoli 1/9
My father struggled with his own beliefs and his faith asked him to accept things that his instincts ran against. I would call those ideas baked into the religion from ages past - things we should let go of. He would say you don't get to pick and choose that way. #cdnpoli 2/9
My father's strongest argument was that you either believe in a higher power, and an absolute right and wrong, or you don't. The challenge to believing in a higher power is that sometimes you run up against things you don't immediately agree with. And that's hard. #cdnpoli 3/9
There's also an extreme cost to not believing in any higher power. If right and wrong are really just products of our current values - if there's no higher code to appeal to - then as soon as common beliefs change right and wrong change also. And that's terrifying. #cdnpoli 4/9
Values will shift - they always do. It's impossibly arrogant to believe what's right and wrong now is somehow finally timeless. So what happens when your values are outside the majority one day? What happens if most people believe something you simply can't stomach? #cdnpoli 5/9
Essentially, my father would say you pick your challenge. Submit to a higher, timeless authority where right and wrong are fixed, or submit to a shifting, changeable authority where what's right today may be wrong tomorrow and vice-versa. You can't have it both ways. #cdnpoli 6/9
My father was a product of the 60's as well as deep religious faith. I think of him when I'm looking for the good in conservatism. He wasn't conservative in the end because he lacked empathy or compassion. Quite the opposite. He believed those values are timeless. #cdnpoli 7/9
To believe in timeless values is to believe in higher authority. However vague or specific your doctrine, that's how you know you're right even when surrounded by a society that's turned against those values. Great acts of courage and humanity have come from this. #cdnpoli 8/9
It's easy to dismiss conservative religious values as inherently regressive. Religion certainly can be misused. But belief in absolute right and wrong isn't a weakness - it's a strength and a challenge. I respect anyone who wrestles with it fully, as my father did. #cdnpoli 9/9
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