Conservative Hypocrisies

by | Feb 12, 2006

John Q. Conservative is a small businessman and lay-minister at a local church. On Sunday he gives a sermon at church. “The Bible tells us we must sacrifice for others,” he tells the congregation. “Sacrifice and doing good to others is the essence of morality and the sure path to heaven. If we succeed in […]

John Q. Conservative is a small businessman and lay-minister at a local church. On Sunday he gives a sermon at church. “The Bible tells us we must sacrifice for others,” he tells the congregation. “Sacrifice and doing good to others is the essence of morality and the sure path to heaven. If we succeed in this life, it is only justified by the help we are able to offer those less fortunate than ourselves. Our first consideration should always be what we can do for others.”

On Monday, John appears before the City Council to argue against new taxes and regulations to be enacted against his business. “Why should we be made to sacrifice?” he asks the council. “There are other businesses better able to pay these taxes. Why not start with them?”

Next Sunday, John is back in church delivering a new sermon. “Faith is the true path to salvation. Human reason is impotent and fallible. We must shut our reason, let God into our hearts and let him lead us according to his plan.”

On Tuesday, back in his office, he has a meeting with a consultant his business has just hired. “I’ve reviewed your plans for restructuring my business, but I need you to fill in more details for me. It seems like you ‘re expecting me to take you on faith. There’s money at stake here, so I’m going to need more facts. I need you to be reasonable.”

Next Sunday, John is back in church delivering a new sermon. “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven.”

On Wednesday, back in his office, he has a meeting with his investment counselor. “Your portfolio is doing great. You’ve had really significant growth in all sectors and you’re on target to hit your goals. You’ll be a millionaire before you are forty!”

On Sunday in church, John tells the congregation, “We should love our enemies and turn the other cheek. Who are we to judge others? Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

On Thursday, back in his office, John meets with his lawyers to discuss a lawsuit against a business competitor. “We’re not taking any prisoners, gentlemen. They’ve wronged us and I want them all in jail. Let’s crush them, take over their business and sell it off for a profit.”

On Sunday in church, John tells the congregation, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”

Friday at work, John hears a news report about a terrorist attack in Iraq. “To hell with compromise and negotiations,” says John. “We should bomb those bastards back into the Stone Age.”

Next Sunday in church, John tells the congregation, “Marriage is a sacred covenant with God. Pornography is a threat to marriage and the family. The government should censor it in the name of family values.”

On Saturday evening, exhausted after a long week, John meets with his mistress at a local motel, where they have sex and then watch a pornographic movie.

The next morning in church, John tells the congregation, “Conservative values are the foundation of America and the bedrock of this community. America was created as a Christian nation and built on faith and self-sacrifice. I’m proud to call myself a Conservative.”

A few weeks later, urged by his wife, John attends a lecture at the local college. A young intellectual says, “American culture contains a deadly contradiction: the politics of freedom and individual rights–versus the ethics of duty and self-sacrifice. If this contradiction isn’t resolved, it will tear our souls and our country apart. Any attempt to justify and defend wealth and rights by reference to altruism and self-sacrifice will fail. Freedom and individual rights are the consequences of consistently applying the principles of reason and self-interest to the problems of politics and social life. If one were to consistently apply the Christian principles of faith and self-sacrifice to politics, you would end up with Communism. If you want to be both a Christian and a Businessman–and to practice both consistently–you will find that being true to one makes the other impossible. And if you don’t wish to practice both consistently–that leaves you a bankrupt businessman–or a hypocritical Christian.”

As John leaves the lecture hall with his wife, he tells her, “I have no idea what he was talking about.”

David Gulbraa is a writer in Orange, California. His latest book is the short story collection The Boy Who Got Hit By Cars.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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