If you are a self-proclaimed Conservative or a self-proclaimed Liberal I believe you are not so different.
First, the Liberal Party in Australia are Conservative, not liberal in the traditional term. So, don’t get confused.
The Liberal Party believes in Economic Liberalism not society’s liberalism.
Politics are like church denominations created by the devil to separate us, or to divide us.
However, the one thing they both have in common is that they care enough about our country to be engaged in the issues.
Here it is
Follow me - protesting against the Government’s Climate Change Policies or protecting the rights of the unborn, both are united by the fact they give up their time to participate in important issues governing our country.
But what if the only difference was just the emphasis, or the individual, or the collective?
The main differences between Conservatives and Liberals
Both agree that both sides want to improve society, that should be enough to get both sides to sit together at the table.
However, the core difference is how they do it.
Conservatives believe the improvement in society lies in the moral improvement of the individual by dealing with their own moral failings.
Liberals believe that the key to a better society is by dealing with society’s moral failings or in particularly what they believe to be society’s moral failings.
That is why you often see Liberals fighting issues that plague society such as racism, homophobia and sexism.
Because Liberals believe they need to change what they believe is a flaw in society, Politics becomes the vehicle in which they achieve it.
Since Conservatives believe that change occurs by changing the individual one person at a time they understand that change becomes gradual.
It’s why you often see Liberals believing that Australia has a racist issue.
Conservatives believe there are racist elements, but that change will come by changing the individual one person at a time.
It’s why you often see Conservatives oppose fundamental change in our country, such as changing the date of Australia Day and same-sex marriage.
They don’t need to change what they fundamentally hold dear, rather they just need to see individuals have empathy towards those issues.
It’s why you see Liberals using vehicles like schools to legislate for ethics, mindfulness and safe schools.
It’s why in New Zealand you are starting to see schools teach students about climate crisis, activism and eco-anxiety, it’s all about fixing society’s flaws, while not enough is being taught on our own flaws.
New Zealand’s Climate Change Minister, James Shaw, told The Guardian back in January, “The emphasis is on talking how the students are feeling about these issues.”
The Problem with that reasoning?
You see, when we start legislating based on how we feel, we become run by our emotions.
Our emotions are temperamental and are not based on any reasoning.
When we start to replace Character Education with Social issues, we start to build an opinionated culture with a lack of respect.
You can’t fix society without making its people better.
So they are not so different because
They all want society’s people to improve. How about we work together by slowly reflecting the love for our neighbour, our care for our neighbour, by working to improve the moral character of every individual.
You see, you could legislate change in our fundamental values but if its people are not changed then the change is not lasting.
To see lasting change, we really do need to Pray into the hearts and minds of our people because it’s only through God that we can see the change that we need. A perfect God who is above all our flaws.
Ben Kruzins is the Campus Pastor of The Hub Baptist Church in Ocean Shores on the North Coast of New South Wales. He is also a Journalism graduate who has written articles in The Canberra Times and The Sydney Morning Herald.