winston churchill said, “if you’re a conservative when you’re 20, you have no heart; if you’re a liberal at 40, you have no brain.”
i just turned 40 this year and his comment pretty much describes my political and philosophical journey over the years. i grew up in the midwest where many are politically conservative without necessarily professing a religious flavor of conservatism (unlike new jersey where conservative political values have a high correlation with conservative religious values). in fact, i grew up with candace — same hometown, same church.
when i got to college i was exposed both to a wide variety of political views (going to school with 46,000 of your closest friends can do that to you) and a more liberal version of christianity than what i grew up with. it was all very compelling, and i embraced it, in part because of the embarrassment i felt at being labeled a conservative christian. (we don’t tend to get great press.)
i’m still probably more of a moderate/centrist than anything. i don’t think that any one thing in particular redirected my politics in a more right-ward direction, but growing older, getting married and having children, being a midwesterner in exile, and continued reading/learning about and (maybe most importantly) paying for real-life stuff have all changed me. i believe in limited government, personal property rights, self-determination and personal responsibility. i believe in loving your neighbor, but also know that sometimes what seems loving isn’t (and vice versa). i also adhere to the ronald reagan school of political thought: “the most dangerous words in the english language are ‘i’m from the government and i’m here to help you.'” incidentally, i also believe that most conservatives are not bat-s*&$ crazy and that it is possible to be a thoughtful conservative christian. or, to put it more bluntly, i don’t think i’m the spawn of satan that the media would make me out to be.
i’ve also found over the years that people tend to have more in common with each other than they initially think, and that more conversation is almost always better than less. hence, the blog.
and candace is funny and cool, which is why i’m blogging with her. (that, and it was her idea!)