What if “conservative” did not just mean emphases on traditional morality, small government, and lower taxes? What if conservative also meant doing the right thing in compassion issues like Jesus did: healing the sick, feeding the hungry, appreciating the “lilies” (God’s creation), and freeing the oppressed? What if believers were also enthusiastic for the furtherance of science and rigorous training in rational debate? What if conservatives were not only patriots but also valuable contributors as citizens of the world?
In his book A NEW KIND OF CONSERVATIVE, pastor, author, and conservative spokesman Dr. Joel C. Hunter provides a field manual for the next generation of conservatives. In today’s geopolitical climate, the United States, indeed the entire world, will be judged by our ability to cooperate with others who are very different from us. Whether we are conservatives or liberals, believers or secularists, we tend to define ourselves by suspicion of the other side. What if there was a way to increase our identity and our intensity for right by associating in common causes with “the enemy”?
A NEW KIND OF CONSERVATIVE offers an intriguing alternative to the angry rhetoric associated with the extreme Religious Right. While Dr. Hunter is uncompromising on issues such as abortion and the redefinition of marriage, he urges conservatives to expand their agenda to include other biblical concerns: poverty, social justice, AIDS, and the environment.
“Being compassionate doesn’t mean that we surrender our distinctive characteristics or stop spreading the good news,” Hunter states. “Today, Christians in the United States have a unique opportunity in history. We are a nation that was formed by differences. There are many widely agreed on improvements that people of all faiths want to make in this world. Ad hoc cooperation between or among a church, synagogue, mosque, or government agency doesn’t require partnering in a spiritual sense. We can cooper