April 11, 2006


Young voters beat a path toward a politics of morals (Ari Pinkus, 4/12/06, The Christian Science Monitor)

The majority of college students view key political issues through a moral lens, according to a poll released Tuesday by Harvard University's Institute of Politics. [...]

One sizable bloc of college students, which the researchers dub the religious centrists, cares deeply about the moral direction of the country, supports universal healthcare, and opposes legalizing abortion. Observers are paying special attention to this ethnically diverse group, which participates in elections. They don't fit into the standard liberal and conservative categories, and in 2004 they split nearly evenly for President Bush and Democratic challenger John Kerry. [...]

Indeed, on an individual level, religion is an important part of students' lives. Previous surveys have shown that Generation Y (those born between 1978 and 2002, according to the broadest definition) identify less with specific denominations than baby boomers did, but have a high interest in spirituality. The Harvard poll found that college students said they have become more spiritual since they started college. Collectively, the Sept. 11 terror attacks have shaped their political worldview. They are more focused on other people and many are involved in community and community service, says Mr. King.

Perhaps the difference between America and what used to be the rest of the West is just so massive that folks can't process it.

You can take the Political Personality test yourself:

IOP Political Personality Test

You are a Religious Centrist. Religious centrists like you tend to be:

* Strongly supportive of affirmative action.
* Supportive of environmental protection.
* Concerned about the morality of gay marriage.
* Likely to believe religion should play a more important role in government.

Guard recruiters try realism and succeed (Kris Axtman, 4/12/06, The Christian Science Monitor)

Reasons for the Guard's national turnaround are many, including its significant signing bonuses, the beefing up of its recruiting staff, and enticements for those already enlisted to recruit others.

But most important, say experts, is the Guard's new honesty about its mission. This honesty is especially resonating with those who want to serve their country, even in war, but on a part-time basis only.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 11, 2006 7:28 PM

Yeah, the test called me a Traditional Conservative, and I'm not sure there IS such an animal.

Posted by: John Barrett Jr. at April 11, 2006 7:49 PM

Traditional Conservative here, too.

Posted by: David Cohen at April 11, 2006 7:58 PM

T.C. all the way, baby!

Posted by: Matt Murphy at April 11, 2006 7:59 PM

Religious Centrist.

Posted by: The Wife at April 11, 2006 8:21 PM

Another distraction from a real discussion. Is this the new right/ left, conserve/ lib, dem/ rep, up/ down , inside/ outside, whatever/ whatever? Will we be asked to take this seriously too?

Posted by: exclab at April 11, 2006 8:25 PM

Looks like I fall into the Traditional Conservative ranks.

Posted by: Brad S at April 11, 2006 8:26 PM

Looks like I fall into the Traditional Conservative ranks.

Posted by: Brad S at April 11, 2006 8:26 PM


No, it's the same. There are just two groups at the end of the day, those who favor security over freedom (predominantly females) and those who favor freedom over security (predominantly males).

Posted by: oj at April 11, 2006 8:33 PM

I was right. Bunk. All you have to do to be a trad con is mark 3 ( don't care either way) and you get to be in the company of William Buckley.


Posted by: exclab at April 11, 2006 8:52 PM

Well, be definition if you want to keep things the way they are you're conservative.

Posted by: oj at April 11, 2006 9:08 PM

Just another traditional conservative. I think answering that jobs were more important than the environment was the giveaway.

Posted by: Patrick H at April 11, 2006 9:13 PM

Somehow, a secular centrist.

Posted by: Bill at April 11, 2006 9:33 PM

Patrick: I agreed with that one (protecting the environment should be as high a priority as protecting jobs) and still was a tradcon.

Posted by: David Cohen at April 11, 2006 9:36 PM

None of these questions makes any sense outside of circumstances. Yes I am a relativist. And I think every one else is one too.

Posted by: exclab at April 11, 2006 9:37 PM

Nice play on the other thread, oj. By the way, I followed a link you posted yesterday to a post on the huffington blog. Truly remarkable, I keep seeing it played out over and over again.

This is the one I mean:

Posted by: Bill at April 11, 2006 9:38 PM

David, I agreed with that one two, but the description at the end said that I'm not as big a supporter of the environment as the average college student.

Posted by: Bill at April 11, 2006 9:39 PM


No, you don't. You depend on their being Judeo-Christian moralists.

Posted by: oj at April 11, 2006 9:43 PM

Traditional Conservative, and proud of it.

Posted by: Mike Morley at April 11, 2006 10:06 PM

Secular Centrist, but I disagree with over half of the attributes it claims I possess.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at April 11, 2006 10:28 PM

traditional conservative?

Posted by: tony martin fan at April 11, 2006 10:35 PM

Judeo-Christian Moralists are relativists. The long and glorious march of history confirms this. Judeo-Christianity is a tradition based on consensus and circumstance. Its fungible and changable. Finally, it is relative. It has always been so.

But thats not so bad. That, I think, is the true test of a moral being - forging the soundly made choice in the hot little furnace of the soul - without the comfort of believing someone has already decided what is right and what is wrong. That is not a choice.

Believing christians and the others are equally challenged and equally brave.

Christianity doesn't actually cut anybody any slack. Nor are the aethiests or anyone else excused. So if we do these moral decisions in company, and we often do, if I need the Judeo-Christian moralists, so they do indeed, need me. And they are welcome.

Posted by: exclab at April 12, 2006 1:32 AM

exclab -- elaborate on what *exactly* has changed about Judeo-Christianity?

Christians are very tolerant of others nowadays, but that has nothing to do with Christianity -- it's because our next door neighbors aren't currently scalping our wives.

Posted by: Randall Voth at April 12, 2006 2:38 AM


Because you know people will generally follow Judeo-Christian morality in your society you can live in a fair amount of freedom--the most of any society in human history. Or, as de Tocqueville put it: "Despotism may govern without faith, but liberty cannot."

Posted by: oj at April 12, 2006 7:15 AM

Religious centrist? By the description, that sounds more like a Unitarian.

Posted by: LC at April 12, 2006 7:30 AM

Luddite Arian heretic.

I guess I really should get out more.

Posted by: Peter B at April 12, 2006 9:32 AM

Secular Centrist here, but like AOG, I don't agree with the interpretation. Among other things, I don't believe the guvmint should be the business of protecting jobs or the environment, nor do I believe it should be in the gay marriage business which the analysis said I support. I don't support gay marraige, nor do I support legislation against it.

Posted by: erp at April 12, 2006 10:54 AM

Traditional Conservative.

Posted by: Mikey at April 12, 2006 11:02 AM

They have me listed as Traditional Conservative.

Since many people here disagree with half the statements claimed about their supposed category, we can agree the test is flawed and bogus.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at April 12, 2006 1:10 PM

No, people just don't like to have it pointed out who they're similar to. David likes to point out that I'm a Leftist, imaging I'll mind, but the Ownership Society and the WoT indeed realize the ends of the Left.

Posted by: oj at April 12, 2006 1:14 PM

Of course Christians are tolerant. As you say, they are relativists. Thier moral chioces are circumstantial. Remember also that Christians invented scalping. And the idea of cutting off limbs in the congo; a practice well followed in West Africa today. So they have thier good spells and thier bad spells. Situational ethics.

I am not denying that societies need faith. But any social faith is relative. It is the way it must be.

Posted by: exclab at April 12, 2006 1:47 PM

No, Jews and Christians are intolerant, that's the key to our success. You depend for your behavior on that fact. If we plunked you down in a relativist society you'd curl up in a fetal ball and beg for mommy.

Posted by: oj at April 12, 2006 1:54 PM

No, old boy. The Christians can float with the best of them. The Bible is a grocery stores of moral options and Christians take full advantage.

Posted by: exclab at April 12, 2006 2:11 PM

Remember also that Christians invented scalping...

Harry lives!!!!

Posted by: Peter B at April 12, 2006 2:12 PM


Odd how their animus towards religion always prevents the Rational from reasoning about it.

Posted by: oj at April 12, 2006 2:18 PM

Being called to holiness doesn't really remind me of a grocery store.

Posted by: jim hamlen at April 12, 2006 2:36 PM

If you are a Christian do not take offense. I am not Christian myself but would certainly support prayer in schools .

I also do not see why the breadth of a religion should necessarily be a mark against it. I do not see contradiction and ambiguity as barriers to spirituality. However when I am told that I or anyone else has a latent social reliance on Christian morality because I do not have the moral or spiritual fiber that Christians have, I am obliged to point out the problems with Christian social thought.

The idea that Christians exist as a kind of assuance responsible social life is patronizing and not considerable. A person's moral value doesn't get any extra 50 points for being Christian.

Posted by: exclab at April 12, 2006 5:09 PM


It has nothing to do with moral fiber, just moral basis. Yours is Judeo-Christianity.

Posted by: oj at April 12, 2006 5:29 PM

OJ: I don't think that you mind when I point out that you're a leftist.

Posted by: David Cohen at April 12, 2006 7:35 PM

Traditional Conservative. Something's amiss with their typology. Not laughably off, though.

Posted by: ghostcat at April 12, 2006 8:17 PM