From John W:

Dear Mr. Huckabee, read your newsletter every day and am a huge fan. I agree with almost all of your opinions except in one subject, and it is the point of my inquiry. Is it possible to be both a conservative and an atheist? I fully support freedom of religious belief for other people as it is written in our Constitution, and I am pro-life, a believer in free markets, I strongly support President Trump, and I believe in strong moral values. I just do not find scientific evidence for a belief in a deity. It makes things confusing at times when I am surrounded by other like minded thinkers as all my conservative friends are religious and all my atheist friends are liberal!

 

From Laura Ainsworth (staff writer):

I know this letter was directed to the Gov., and he may choose to comment on it himself, but as you pose questions that I find especially interesting, I thought I would answer, because, hey, I just really wanted to.

 

One thing that is certain: yes, it is possible to be a conservative and not have a belief in God. It might be useful here to differentiate between “atheist” as it is popularly defined (someone who is sure there is no God) and “agnostic” (someone who doesn’t know but who lacks a belief in God). It seems to me that being an atheist requires just as much of a leap of faith as being a...say...Presbyterian. Science has answered a lot of questions and will continue to close gaps in our knowledge, but so much remains unresolved that, to me, atheism assumes too much.

 

When I think of a conservative, I mostly imagine someone who values the freedoms outlined in our Bill Of Rights and doesn’t want to stray too far from them. Some of the founding fathers were deeply religious, but others were agnostic or struggled with their faith. Some were Deists, believing the world had to be created by something but imagined a force that sort of “wound a clock” and let it go.

 

The founders’ concept of “natural law” supposedly was given to us by God. Even if you aren’t sure that this literally happened, you can still revere the Constitution every bit as much AS IF IT DID, for the earth-shattering brilliance of it and for the kind of life and promise it brings to our society. Even if you lack a belief in God, you can think of the Constitution itself as a sacred thing, something to be honored and valued and preserved.

 

I don’t think most non-religious people get this (of course, they haven’t been taught it), which is why a club of non-religious conservatives could probably hold their meetings in a phone booth. My  husband and I used to belong to a skeptics organization, a pro-science group that debunked such things as alien abduction and astrology. As far as we knew, none of them believed in God; in fact, most of them definitely believed there is no God. Almost all of them were very liberal Democrats as well, and, like many on the left, they wrongly stereotyped conservative Republicans as holy rollers. I regret not ever giving a presentation at one of our monthly meetings to set them straight about this, but that was when I was a “closet” conservative. It probably would have been my last skeptics’ meeting, but then, we eventually left the group, anyway, mostly because our meetings got to be like meetings of the DNC and I just couldn’t take it. (This was over ten years ago; imagine how insufferable those meetings would be NOW!)

 

Since you strive to be a moral person and are pro-life, I’m sure you disagree with the religious teaching that morality comes only from worshiping God. It’s true that that there are reasons to want to be moral other than having the Bible or a church tell you to. But our most basic ideas about what is moral still come from Jewish and Christian teachings. You might not intellectually believe in God, but you ACT as if you DID. (If this is ringing true, I recommend the writings of Dr. Jordan Peterson, such as “12 RULES FOR LIFE: An Antidote to Chaos.” And tell your atheist friends to read him, too, though he is famously un-PC and will make them furious.)

 

I’d like to add one aside, since you mentioned being pro-life: I find it strange and even nonsensical that people who don’t believe in God are so cold about abortion. If existence is merely random, the odds of our ever being conceived are almost astronomically against us, and if we are aborted, we don’t go “back to God” but back into oblivion. How could we choose to snuff out a new life and send it into nothingness? Whether one believes in God or not, there are strong arguments to be made against abortion. But I only hear them being made on the religious side. I can only conclude that a lot of self-identified intellectuals aren’t nearly as smart or “freethinking” as they think they are.

But, again, the short answer to your question is, yes, you can be conservative without being religious!

 

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Comments 1-12 of 12

  • nascarccmgrlfan

    04/29/2019 01:15 PM

    I have a secondary Twitter account and follow a seemingly non-religious conservative with that 1. He's a Chinese guy about 23 years old and he believes in Fate, it seems, as in "I don't care if Fate itself has my date of death written" or some words to that effect he once said on his YouTube channel. Though he may just be a Fate-ist, he likes fast cars, video games about car racing, anime and guns, so his interests include things that seem to indicate he's more right than left. Btw, my primary Twitter started as a way to follow some music artists I like, but I've added other people. A guy I used to know when he was a youth pastor at my family's church, a company and some car race loving people joined my following list.

  • Alan Doud

    04/22/2019 05:30 AM

    If I remember right the bible speaks of these things, keep in mind I am paraphrasing and these are not exact quotes: 1. There are good people that won't go to heaven because they have not accepted the Messiah. 2. The bible mentions a people that are not a people (could be aliens or angels would be considered aliens to earthings since they are from Heaven. I am not supporting abducties claimers, but merely pointing out there are things in the bible for us to ponder, such as a wheel in a wheel describing what may be a flying vehicle, or how about a chariot of fire. I don't think we should place limitations on our God.

  • Paul Bonanno

    04/21/2019 02:18 PM

    For those who believe in evolution, think on this. The evolutionist claims natural selection is the cause of life and everything that comes along with it, including consciousness, intelligence, and creativity. It doesn't really make sense. Selection requires a decision. Does nature have a consciousness to make a decision? If nature can select, you are saying nature is intelligent. Nature is the designer. The evolutionist’s god is nature. They want a god they don't have to answer to. Let's see if I can make this clearer and more simply. Take a painted portrait of a man. The portrait was painted by an artist. He used paint, brushes and his knowledge, skill and creativity to render this portrait. It did not form itself. This is creation.
    Now if you were to take all the colors of paint, put them on the brushes and keep stroking them on the canvas, how long would it take to create the image of a man? Ten hours, ten years, ten billion years? I assure you no matter how many billions of times you put that brush to canvas you will never get the image of a man. The artist, the creator forms the picture. Without the artist you just get mud on a canvas, no matter how many times you try. This is evolution.

  • Michael Kreisel

    04/21/2019 08:42 AM

    Thanks Laura for sharing your views, and thanks Doug of your observation of the universe. God performs miracles every day all day long. Just take a look in the mirror. God doesn't make mistakes, and we were made perfect in His image. The building blocks of life itself are more than science can comprehend, and then look at an intelligent, free thinking human life. To me, there can only be one explanation and that there is a creator, we call Him God, and as a Christian His name is Jesus.

  • Cat Smith

    04/21/2019 08:31 AM

    I'm trying to figure out how it's possible to be conservative and Christian in 2019 because currently everything conservative is decidedly not Christian!

    How can a Christian say "all lives are created equal" while supporting policies that separate families?I

    https://www.thisamericanlife.org/673/left-behind (the episode isn't yet available online, but will be later this evening)

    I heard this episode on the radio yesterday and "The Sudden Departure" story is everything I need to know that the Trump administration and anyone who supports them are not Christian .

  • Elizabeth Wagner

    04/20/2019 10:25 PM

    I, too, am a non-religious conservative. I am agnostic, but I vigorously defend the rights of Christians. It pains me to see Christian symbols desecrated and destroyed, and Christians attacked and ridiculed. I believe the bible does lay out a good basis for morality, whether it be the true word of God, or just a brilliant instruction manual.

    I haven't experienced much difficulty being a non-Christian conservative. I don't think that one thing depends on the other. Socially, I've managed to steer clear of political and religious discussions with people on either end of the political spectrum who presume it necessarily does.

  • Doug Morgan

    04/20/2019 05:23 PM

    In response to John W., I genuinely respect that you find "no scientific evidence for the belief of a deity." However, here are some scientific facts that provide enough evidence to convince me to believe that God exists.

    Consider the Universe and it's vast size and contents. Who/what designed something as gigantic as the Universe with billions of planets and/or stars and this planet called Earth that we live and survive on is but a tiny speck. But lets just look at the management of just this tiny speck called Earth. The Earth's rotates once every 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds. The additional 3 minutes and 56 seconds needed to make up a 24 hour day is gained by the earth’s traveling approximately 578 million miles around the Sun. In other words, our orbital travel around the Sun plus the rotation of Earth produces an average of 24 hours between sunsets. Just that scientific fact of such precision that has operated that way for eons is enough to convince me with my small brain that there is something or someone who started it, keeps it operating and is in control of all of the Universe.

  • Jay R Ufer

    04/20/2019 04:56 PM

    A Bio-ethical argument against abortion without mentioning the Bible. Remember S.L.E.D. for the slippery slope....
    Size is a four year old less of a human being than Shaquille O Neil? NO, so size does not determine what is a human
    Level of Development - Is a 7 year old female without breasts fully developed less of a human than an 18 year old female? NO,
    Environment- Is someone inside a house less of a human than someone outside of a house? NO so inside the womb does not matter.
    Dependency- Is a 90 year old in need of assistance to survive less of a human than someone 80 who does not need assistance? NO

  • Richard Payne

    04/20/2019 04:29 PM

    Mike, if there was no Easter, Christmas would not matter.

  • dave allen

    04/20/2019 03:32 PM

    the Bible is the most trustworthy document (scientifically and historically trustworthy) of all antiquity. check it out yourself, esp new testament. you don't have to be a believer to be a conservative, but why not be both :-) and i hope you're not being fooled by all the lies that are parading around as science, like evolution, which must disregard 200 years of science, a lot like believing the world is flat. "the heavens declare the glory of God." how else can you explain the universe? dna? the workings of a cell? accident? take some time and have another look...

  • Allen M Swatsworth

    04/20/2019 01:32 PM

    Dear Laura Ainsworth, Thank you for this wonderful article. Your points were all on point. I had never thought of the conception and abortion concept you laid out. That the odds of conception are astronomically against us and if aborted we "don’t go “back to God” but back into oblivion." What a horrible thought. That statement will stick with me and if I have to discuss abortion with a pro-choice people I will use it to see where their minds are. Again, thank you for this article.

    A fellow Christian and conservative.

  • Lewis Blinn

    04/20/2019 11:19 AM

    John W You are not alone. Many times it is almost impossible to convince people that I believe there are no Gods.