Adam Graham
Social conservatism is fiscal conservatism #1: Introduction
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By Adam Graham
May 12, 2010

If you want to cause eyes to instantaneously roll on a conservative forum, raise a social conservative issue. In the midst of a heated discussion that will assuredly follow, someone will be sure to say, "Can we talk about real issues? We've got a national debt to worry about and Obamacare..."

The popular thought of the day is that social conservatism is an accessory item to fiscal conservatism. It's like an optional sun roof, a pretty good idea if you're driving in the South in the winter, but a really bad idea if you're in Maine in the fall or winter.

Even some advocates of limited government believe that religion is outmoded. A Libertarian group made news after the Kelo decision, when it wanted to have the house of Justice David Souter seized by eminent domain and turned to the hotel. The group promised not to place Gideon Bibles, but instead give patrons a copy of Atlas Shrugged.

However, in its broadest sense, social conservatism is the engine that makes limited government possible. John Adams declared, "We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

Strong houses of worship and strong families are more vital to the nation's welfare than a strong dollar. The welfare state has waxed strong, while family, faith, and community has waned in influence as the government has taken on an even greater role in efforts like the War on Poverty programs of LBJ and all the continuing "reforms" that were added.

Unless faith, family, and community are restored and renewed, limited government is really a pipe dream. To dream of a return of constitutional liberty without a renewing of the essentials of religion and morality is like dreaming of losing weight while living a sedentary life and eating a steady diet of cake and ice cream.

© Adam Graham

 

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Adam Graham

Adam Graham was Montana State Coordinator for the Alan Keyes campaign in 2000, and in 2004 was a candidate for the Republican nomination for the Idaho State House... (more)

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