6. Liberal and Conservative
Loose and Tight are knee-jerk responses to the “other;”
Liberal and Conservative are values-based responses.
The Liberal response is based on moral grounds.
It is offered as the right thing to do,
to bring in the poor, the displaced, the oppressed.
Liberals believe that the current culture
will be strengthened, spiritually if not economically,
by including the “others;”
and they believe that the “others” will be strengthened
by their inclusion.
The Conservative response is also based on moral grounds –
the primacy of preserving and protecting the existing culture.
Conservatives value the culture as it is,
and believe that including the “others”
will weaken, distort, pollute, and potentially destroy the culture,
while diminishing the value of their own position within the culture.
Liberals and Conservatives oppose one another.
The opposition is often intense
since each stands on firm moral grounds.
7. The Pure.
Some of us are pure Liberal,
firm in our conviction that making room for the “other”
is clearly the right thing to do;
while others of us are pure Conservative,
equally firm in our conviction that preserving our culture
is the right thing to do.
8. The Conflicted.
Many of us experience ourselves as Liberal or Conservative…
yet at times find ourselves conflicted.
We experience ourselves primarily as Conservative,
yet at times, find ourselves welcoming and feeling generous toward the “other.”
Others of us experience ourselves primarily as Liberal,
yet at times find ourselves judging and rejecting the behavior of the “other.”