How a Conservative Can Be An Atheist

People inquire of me all the time as to how I can claim to be both an atheist and a conservative. Aren’t the two diametrically opposed?

I don’t believe so and you probably know where I am going with this post already. We all agree that atheism is the proposition that there is no proof of existence for any god or gods. That’s all it is. It has nothing to do with any political or social ideology, even though there are some that might attempt to convince you otherwise.
Being a conservative, for me at least because I won’t attempt to speak for a conservatives, means I want the right to self determination. I don’t want government dictating to me how much salt I can put in my food, how large a soda I can drink, how much trans fat I can eat.
They tell us that they’re just looking out for our health, but isn’t that our own responsibility? If the government is going to dictate what we cannot do in these small areas, what’s next? Yeah, I’m going to use the slippery-slope argument but in this case, I think it’s fair. Smoking is incredibly unhealthy. It causes heart disease, which is the number one killer in the U.S., as well as cancer. Should government ban all tobacco products? What about alcohol? It causes liver disease among a few others and also contributes to deaths on the road from drunk driving. How about fast food? Burgers, pizza, fried chicken. Lots of fat content which contributes to coronary artery disease. I could of course go on and on with examples. I hope you’re seeing the point here though in that once we allow government to tell us what we can eat and drink, what’s next? We already have these crazy neo-conservatives still, after forty years, trying to ban a woman’s right to chose.
So what’s the difference between what I call a conservative and a neo-conservative? Well, I’m an atheist and I have no religious beliefs that instruct me as to how we all should behave. That’s what neo-conservatives are. Just listen to any “conservative” talk radio show, or watch a “conservative” opinion show on television and count how many times you hear the word “god” during the program.
And it annoys me to no end to hear elected officials at all levels, and all parties by the way, invoke their book or their god and say that’s what guides their decisions.I don’t have a problem with anyones religion, but keep it out of the public discourse. Go to your church, temple, or mosque as much as you want, but when you come to work to represent all of your constituents, leave that at home. There’s the difference between myself and those of like mind, and what the press regularly labels as conservative. Like some liberals, they too want to dictate things in your life, but based on their religion. They want to tell you who you can marry, and what you can do with your own body among a great number of other issues.
Another thing. I don’t mind government. I’m not an anarchist as some might want you to believe. There does need to be some amount of regulation for basic health and safety.
I am all for the government having regulations on prescription and over-the-counter drugs. As well as food inspections and making sure our roads are kept in repair, etc..I don’t even mind taxes, because I don’t believe I should receive the benefits of my society without having to pay for them.What I would like is a fairer tax system. I would actually like to have a flat tax. I’ll write a post in the future on how I see that might be implemented.
Most people however believe that carrying the label “conservative” means that we want to destroy government. As I’ve just indicated, real conservatives have no such intentions. What we want is good government. A non-interfering government that “promotes the general welfare”, but does not dictate our day-to-day lives.

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