Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Digression, About This Blogger

I must be conservative, right?

This blog is on Urban Conservative's list of 'Best Conservative Blogs,' and I've been referred to as 'some conservative guy.'

If "conservative" means an American who is not liberal, and not 'moderate,' then I'm conservative. That definition depends, however, on there being only three possible philosophical positions: four, if you count disinterested.

In some respects, particularly regarding the subject of this blog, I resemble an American conservative. I:
  • Think that America is, materially, a better place to live than many others
  • Do not think that
    • America is to solely to blame for
      • The global economic crisis
      • Islamic terrorism
      • The extinction of the dodo
    • America is a racist country
  • Regard the American armed forces as a group of intelligent, (self-) disciplined people with a sense of duty
  • Think that war is
    • Exquisitely unpleasant
    • Sometimes the less unpleasant option
  • Think that personal responsibility exists
    • And is a good idea
'Obviously,' by some standards, that makes me a conservative.

By the standards of contemporary American political philosophies, I may be more nearly similar to a typical conservative, than I am to a typical liberal.

And I'm certainly not, I trust, a 'moderate.'

But there are issues on which I am not so clearly a contemporary American conservative. This lack of conformity to cultural standards comes from my beliefs, and the views which arise from them. I am a convert to Catholicism, and have continued the study of Catholic beliefs and practices which led me to that conversion.

Not all Catholics see the world quite the way I do - which is a topic for another blog - but I try to form my views as closely as possible to what the Catholic Church teaches. (More about that at "Conservative? Liberal? Democrat? Republican? No, I'm Catholic, A Catholic Citizen in America (November 3, 2008). )

'Real' Catholics are Pacifists! / The Catholic Church Causes Wars!

Someone, in an online discussion thread, expressing shock and surprise that a Christian could be anything but a full-bore pacifist, asked, "wasn't Jesus a pacifist?" Apparently, that person wasn't aware of, or overlooked, that incident with moneychangers in the Temple.

Other people earnestly believe that religion is bad, particularly Christianity. It doesn't take much of a push, and that view would have it that without the Catholic Church, Europe would have war-free zone until 1776, when America started causing wars.

It's not easy to justify a war while following Catholic beliefs, but it is possible. The Catholic Church does not require predominantly Catholic countries to be overrun, until non-pacifists come and rescue them. (More, again, in "About the Just War Doctrine," (June 7, 2009), which is mostly an introduction to someone else's work: "Just War Doctrine," Answer Guide, Catholic Answers.)

Want Simple? Watch Television

If that sounds less than simple, welcome to my world. I didn't become a Catholic because it would let me stop thinking.

And now, back to my views on the War on Terror:

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.