confusedOne of the websites I write for is The Imaginative Conservative, and if I have to take any kind of label, then it would be “conservative”. I’m conservative because, by instinct and upbringing I’d rather put my energies into conserving the best from the past rather than innovating for the future.

Somebody has to do it.

But that’s about as far as I go in claiming the conservative label. Although I write for that website I’m not happy to be “a Conservative”.

If there were a website called The Liberal Conservative I’d happily write for it.

Here’s why:

  1. both Conservatives and  Liberals speak truth and I’m for truth wherever it appears.
  2. both Conservatives and Liberals have blind spots. They don’t know what they don’t know.
  3. I abhor labels, pigeonholes, clubs, gangs, parties, sects and holy huddles of all kinds.
  4. Belonging to a party, a gang, a club or a holy huddle encourages you to blame “the other side” for your own problems
  5. When you join a gang you need an enemy gang. Attacking them becomes your raison d’être. That’s dumb.
  6. Attacking the enemy gang re-inforces your prejudices. It doesn’t challenge them.
  7. Recognizing the good in Liberals stands conservatism on its head.
  8. Recognizing the good in Conservatives stands Liberalism on its head. I’m for Standing on My Head.
  9. Avoiding labels keeps people guessing. Guessing is another form of thinking. Thinking requires an open mind. That’s good.
  10. I’m Catholic.

The final reason I eschew both the Conservative and Liberal labels is because I’m Catholic. Catholicism transcends political labels. Catholicism seeks truth wherever it is found and claims that truth as its own.

What kind of Catholic am I? I have a reputation as a conservative Catholic. However, I’d prefer the name Faithful Catholic.

In other words, all I aim to do is be faithful to the historic Catholic faith once delivered to the saints and apply it the best I can as a priest here where I am–doing what I can with what I have where I am.

The rest is hogwash.

Down the years on my blog I’ve been proud of one thing: that both the Conservatives and the Liberals have attacked me.

I don’t always get it right. I’m a human being. I have limited sight. I have prejudices and blind spots. I have passions and hates.

But the fact that Conservatives and Liberals have attacked me (often for the same post) makes me hope I’m on the right track.

Image Creative Commons via Bing