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Freedom of Conscience & the Conservative Movement

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Will Conservatives Allow Their Brethren the Right to be Wrong?

It seems the Right finds it hard tolerating genuine dialogue on timely issues. Therefore, important topics receive a prefabricated “correct position,” or are simply avoided, instead of being addressed by principled debate. Any deviation is treated with utter suspicion, or outright contempt. This ought not be, and must change if Conservatism hope to reassert preeminence. This presumes a movement based upon a core of sacrosanct principles, of black and white areas, but also much gray zones demanding debate.

Today’s article was suggested over reception of a previous essay—last week’s piece stating the US should have given Osama bin Laden a trial instead of simply shooting him unarmed. The piece elicited bitter denunciations, as if there was only one possible “Conservative” position. While exhilarating to receive such emotional responses, no genuine debate emerged. The experience revealed how we lack a basis for dispassionate argument—being education, experience in principled disagreement, and the foundation for genuine dialogue—a spirit of charity. This is the topic of today’s piece.

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