I’m an Anabaptist Christian Liberal Independent Voter

Labels make my head hurt, and thus I rarely use them on myself.  But I realize that it can at times be confusing for people reading my blog to get a clear read on who I am.  There are times where people state feeling confused by what appear to be contradictory views, or times when an assumption is made that I clearly am (A) when in truth I’m closer to (B).

So I will try to clear the waters.  Perhaps I’ll only muddle them.

In any case, I’ll try to be clear.

I am an Anabaptist Christian.  My parents were Mennonite, my grandparents a mixture of Mennonite and Amish and my family tree, tracing back, goes straight to the Anabaptist Reformation.  I am proud and jealous of my heritage and wouldn’t have anyone take it from me.  It does still apply to who I am- not just in doctrinal beliefs but in lifestyle.  While I as a person don’t dress the way conservative Mennonite women do, I still home cook meals, I stay at home with my kids, I keep a tidy house and my husband and I live very small and simply.  This is who I am.

I am politically Liberal, which may seem like a contradiction to the above.  Is it, really?  I don’t think so.  While I would caution Christians to live a lifestyle of holiness and righteousness (because of who I am religiously) I also believe that Freedom is the greatest gift of America, and I jealously guard that as well.  We are all afforded civil rights, and the government becoming overly involved in legislating personal behaviors is a dangerous and horrifying prospect.  I believe that women should be afforded choice, that gay people should be able to marry, and that industry should be regulated. Why do I believe these things?  Because while I may have a personal theology and morality that dictates my life and my choice, not everyone shares it, and those who don’t believe as I do should still be given autonomy so long as no one is hurt.  Laws are about protection and preservation- not morality.

I also believe that without the commons (those things that belong to everyone- police, fire departments, roads, security) society falls apart.  The taxes we pay are what make this great country possible.  I think that government has failed us, by and large, by not maintaining that which needs to be maintained and harboring false priorities.  Which is why I’m an independent voter- because neither party has been fully responsible or taken responsibility for their failings.  Both parties are guilty of back room politics and finger pointing and trying to shift blame, and neither can win my full affection.

So that is that.

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5 thoughts on “I’m an Anabaptist Christian Liberal Independent Voter

  1. I like the straight forwardness in your writing, no muddle at all! Have to agree with you re the commons, without them then society would fall apart, governing ourselves is not an option just yet, chaos will reign. Each country is different though, our commons in SA are corrupt and therefore practically non existent – I don’t vote now at all, there is no point until an independent other than a political party called KISS (not kidding) comes in with some fresh ideas. Great post again 🙂

  2. Lindsey,

    Ok, I hear what you’re saying, you’re socially liberal, I get that. But can you explain a little bit more how regulating industry equals freedom, because I (honestly) don’t see how that jives. Maybe you need to define HOW MUCH regulation for me to understand. If you mean FCC-style regulation of public broadcasts, ok; but if you mean controlling how much profit a company can make (like the Dems want to do to Oil companies), then that is the opposite of freedom, in my opinion.

    While you say laws are not about morality, we do have laws against murder, which almost anyone would consider morally wrong. Laws themselves were once based on a moral code as their foundation, it deemed what was right and wrong. Now, I understand AND AGREE that it is dangerous for government to regulate personal behaviors – which is why I find social liberals who are also political liberals so confusing! Political liberals would love to control the kind of car I drive, they’re trying to control the kind of light bulbs I can buy, they’re trying to end home-schooling in California, they’ve already begun controlling the kind of oil restaurants can fry with… just a few of many examples. Freedom, huh? Liberalism may cry “FREEDOM!!” in its best William Wallace impression, but once a liberals have power they try to make us follow their definition of freedom. Just something for you to think about.

    Finally, you say laws are based on protection and preservation, but why does that not include the protection and preservation of the lives of the unborn? (“…they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are LIFE, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”) I just don’t understand how a woman’s “choice” supercedes a child’s right to live, and I never will. Not unless that choice is her life or the child’s anyway, but those are only a TINY percentage of the 1,000,000+ abortions per year in this country alone.

  3. Regulating industry doesn’t equal freedom, but it can equal protection. That’s why there’s rules about monopolies, right? Because if a small group of people control an entire industry, they can price gouge or bully smaller business owners out of town. So while it’s not freedom for the larger industry, it is freedom for the common man.

    Or take tariffs as an example- if a tariff is charged to discourage Wal-Mart (random example) to stop buying t-shirts made in Indonesia and this results in American based printing companies receiving better contracts, it’s not freedom for Wal-Mart, but it is protection for American workers.

    And as for being Pro-Choice, I am, but not completely. Allow me to explain. I don’t want abortion abolished overnight. I know a girl who had her boyfriend kick her in the stomach until she miscarried. I would rather a girl that desperate have a safe, sterile procedure than put her body at risk. That doesn’t mean I’m “for” abortion as I feel it is not always a safe procedure and can have tremendous emotional impact on the mother, but rather than overturning Roe Vs. Wade I’d rather legislators focus on creating programs that make it easier for troubled girls to get the help they need to be able to physically, mentally, and economically carry a child to term. Especially young women who are not Caucasian and may have done drugs or alcohol early in the pregnancy- as these women are rarely able to put their children up for adoption and the foster system is overrun.

    I hope this helps you understand me more?

  4. I’ve always understood that the belief that the government should be less involved in the private lives of it’s citizens to be a conservative one. Smaller government influence is by definition a “conservative” viewpoint. The fact that people who now believe as you do believe themselves to be liberals, a political viewpoint that has traditionally expanded government with more social programs heavier regulation, and the general belief that it’s a government’s responsibility to act as an umbrella for it’s citizens, is testament to how backwards the Republican party has become.

    Government regulation of capitalist enterprises is a tricky thing to me. Corporations have money, governments need money. When governments start deciding what and how to regulate corporations then corporations can use their money to influence the governments to regulate in favor of the ones that give them more money. This furthers monopolisation of the corporations while bringing government and a single wealthy corporation closer and closer together until you have a government that looks out for the corporation’s interest before the interests of it’s citizens, which is a huge problem we’re seeing in the U.S. today. When one corporation has all the power and the government is in bed with it you essentially have communism, one corporation that has all the authority of the government behind it.

    I’m not saying regulation is a innately bad thing, however it’s not being done properly in the states these days and that needs to change.

  5. Your anabaptist faith gives you a very good grasp of Christian ethics. Too many churches, I feel, seem to advocate a very right wing agenda, which I don’t see in the Bible at all. I am not an anabaptist, but am impressed by the tolerance and liberal thought of anabaptists I have known.

    It is not always easy, or even possible, to use the Bible as a guide in determining which politician to vote for. On some issues, the Bible would lead us down a left-wing or radical path, whilst on other issues the Bible might lead us towards a more conservative policy. And on other issues, there might be considerable scope for coming to our own conclusions at election time.

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