Speaking of Being Conservative and/OR Religious

I'm going to pull from my favorite writer's book to explain being conservative and/or religious. In fact if you've never heard of Dinesh D'Souza or read his book Letter to a Young Conservative, you need to order a copy from Amazon TODAY. Seriously. It's a short, easy-to-read, well worth your money (though you can get it for practically nothing on Amazon) book that was hailed by Jonah Goldberg an "intellectual Swiss Army knife" for conservative-minded people. I find a lot of time people know what they think but struggle to explain WHY they think the way they do. If you identify with this, D'Souza's book is your answer.

From chapter one:

The conservative virtues are many: civility, patriotism, national unity, a sense of local community, an attachment to family, and a belief in merit, in just desserts, and in personal responsibility for one's actions.

For many conservatives, the idea of virtue cannot be separate from the idea of God. But it is not necessary to believe in God to be a conservative. What unifies the vast majority of conservatives is the belief that there are moral standards in the universe and that living up to them is the best way to have a full and happy life.

From a personal standpoint, I identify wholeheartedly with this last statement. While I am not a particularly religious person -- and by that I mean I am not a faithful churchgoer, nor do I consider what any particular religion would "tell me to do" under certain circumstances. But I have always believed in God and -- since I went to Catholic school and am raising my children Catholic -- have attended umpteen Masses in my 41 years. That said, I'm much more likely to turn to a mental health professional (but only because I know a great one) before a man of the cloth if I need outside help.

My point is that there are many conservatives in the world who are not religious, per se. I think the media do everything they can to label conservatives as religious, but this is not an accurate assessment of what it means to be conservative.

And that's all I have to say about that.

2 Responses to “Speaking of Being Conservative and/OR Religious”:

  1. I have read Dinesh D'Souza's book "What's so great about America". I see on his website that he has at least eight other books:


    Which book are you referring to?

  2. Oh, sorry! I'll add that info. I was referring to Letter to a Young Conservative.