Thursday, February 7, 2008

Expanding on my metaphor

I wrote yesterday of my growing impatience with the Republican party, asking why myself and other independently minded conservative Republicans are encouraged and expected to continue to expend our efforts in saving the Republican party as a vehicle for conservatism. As I implied in the post, I can go along with the program for awhile, but my patience is wearing mightily thin at this point.

In the aforementioned blog post, I used the church as a metaphor to the Republican party asking the following question:

At what point does the congregation rise up and demand adherence to the principles of orthodoxy on the threat of leaving the church en masse?

John Savage picks up on this theme commenting on my choice of metaphors:

John writes:

If Terry’s metaphor to a church is right, then it should be apparent that the Republican congregation is quite subservient to authority — probably more like the Catholic laity than a Protestant congregation. Or to venture a different metaphor, pundits like Frum view themselves rather like the board of directors of a business, where they can determine the direction the business is going, and the ordinary stockholders have no real say. The best we can do to protest is not vote for their candidate, in which case we get apoplectic cries of “Traitor!”

While I really wasn't expecting anyone to address the church metaphor directly, I was pleasantly surprised to read that John had done so over at his blog because it gives me a good opportunity to exand upon the thought, since I was pressed for time yesterday when I wrote that.

Though I've never really applied the metaphor to the Republican party in particular that I can recall, I have, nonetheless, used this same metaphor before in relation to our form of government and how in its original design there was a unique balance struck between the several forms of Western style democratic government, and how this relates to, or is derived from, the various forms of church government, each of which has its own principles for distributing authority between the congregation and the church hierarchy.

When John concludes from my metaphor that the "Republican congregation" is obviously quite subservient to authority, he hits the nail pretty well on the head in my opinion. However, being inclined to think at least a little more highly of the Republican congregation than I am of the Democrat congregation, and considering it (the Republican congregation) as being comprised of somewhat more independently minded folks than is the other, my appeal was directed more to that element of the Republican congregation that we might denominate adherents to a proper balance between the various forms of church government, who, when the time is right and the church hierarchy begins to yield to itself more authority than is proper, shaping church policy in open defiance of the boundaries of orthodoxy, and of the congregation itself, will arise and assert its ultimate and final authority over its "leadership" in a way in which cannot be mistaken or misunderstood.

While I'd really like to say a lot more on this, I am again pressed for time, so I'll conclude for now by saying that I'm reminded once more of the immortal words of Mr. Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence:

Prudence indeed will dictate that governments [political parties] long established should not be changed for light and transient causes. And accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind is more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable than to right themeselves... But when a long train of abuses and usurpations pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty to throw off such government...

I don't say emphatically that the Republican party has reached that critical point as yet, but all indications seem to me that it is rapidly headed in that direction, as I indicated before.


Call Me Mom said...

Mr. Morris,

You are already aware of my opinion on the matter. I have one vote. I will cast it for the person I believe is the best candidate even if I have to write him in. (Which is what I will do at this point.)

If the church has left the preaching of the gospel, it is time to leave the church.

Vanishing American said...

Terry, good post.
I liked John Savage's extension of your original metaphor, which was a good one.

And I have to say I agree with 'call me mom' above; the last sentence sums it up nicely.