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The New Right and its 'Masculinity'
For Christians, seeking to compel virtue through a top-down centralized scheme of coercive government is not masculine, it's cowardly.
It’s really interesting how, when you look at certain factions of the New Right who have an obsession with an overly “masculine” view of Christianity in their politics, they really just want an easy life. They don’t want to evangelize or win over hearts and minds. They don’t want to deal with sacrifice or face persecution like Christians have done and will do (as minuscule as it really may be today, seeing as we live at the peak of human flourishing and freedom by any objective measure).
They don’t want to face people who think differently than they do—they don’t want to debate or convince or foster virtue. They want the state to do the work of virtue for them and coerce their views upon others, instead of doing the work of living a virtuous life and trying to lead others toward such a life within an order set on law and liberty.
That’s hard work, that’s Christian labor, and they want none of it.
This differs from those of us who are Christian and conservative and value freedom and liberty—who value our constitutional order and the ability to foster virtue in our families and communities. We know this comes with much sacrifice and hard work in a society such as ours, but we believe in freedom, ordered liberty, republican virtue, and the value of the work and sacrifice that comes with it—fundamentally Christian values harmonized with a free society.
Just like the progressive left, the New Right does not want to have to deal with the sacrifices and struggles of living in a pluralistic society or one that gives personal agency to freedom. They want the easy way out—they want compelled virtue, rather than evangelizing and cultivating virtue in our communities and amongst our circles of influence. They want the easy way out—forcing others to conform to their views of faith and morals and removing those with whom they disagree, rather than face difficult issues head-on. They want the easy way out.
What they want is not masculine—it’s cowardly and weak. Freedom conservatives and those like us know that living a life of virtue is not easy and that it may look different for others—that living in a society such as ours requires you to man up, work harder, and make peace with those who do you no harm but pray differently than you or don’t pray at all. It requires prudence and restorative order, not reactionary destruction and regime change. We know that life is not always easy and that standing up for principles sometimes comes at great personal cost.
That’s difficult. That’s hard work. That’s conservative.
André Béliveau is a political theorist and policy analyst based in DC. He is a graduate of Marist College, where he studied History, and is currently studying for his Master’s in Government at The Johns Hopkins University. @TheRealBeliveau
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