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Labeling Extreme Movements as “Far Right” is Intellectually Dishonest and These Movements Have No Ties to Conservatism

by | Feb 23, 2024 | Opinion, Politics, Racialism, Religion, Social Justice, Social-Issues, The Church, US | 0 comments

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In a recent tweet, Neil Shenvi, a self-described apologist who attends former SBC president, JD Greear’s Summit Church in Raleigh, NC, raised an alarm about the “radicalization” of young, white men by the far-right, suggesting a toxic influence from Critical Race Theory (CRT) on our racial discourse. But this remark opens up a Pandora’s box of contentious debate, touching upon the sore spots of extremism, political labeling, and the ensuing fallout on true conservatism. The invocation of terms like “white supremacy” and “neo-Nazism” conjures up the darkest specters of extremism, often hastily branded as the exclusive domain of the “far right.”

In the ensuing frenzy to address these legitimate concerns, a narrative has emerged, particularly from the left, that seeks to marry these abhorrent ideologies directly to the doorstep of conservatism. This leap of association isn’t just a leap too far, it’s a calculated dive into a pool of misconception designed to muddy the waters of political discourse. Interestingly, Evangelical figures like Neil Shenvi, who identifies as conservative, along with numerous Evangelical pastors and leaders, rarely, if ever, express the same level of alarm towards radical left ideologies like the push for abortion on demand, the aggressive promotion of LGBTQ indoctrination, and the escalating attacks on freedom of religion and speech—issues that are directly tied to leftism.

This selective concern raises questions about the consistency and priorities of such “conservative” voices in the face of ideologies that fundamentally challenge Christianity. By focusing predominantly on the dangers of what they label “far-right extremism” without equally addressing the radical ideologies actually emanating from the left, there’s a missed opportunity to address the real elephants in the room. And, sadly, people like Shenvi have bought into this purposeful attempt to disfigure the conservative movement. This not only narrows the scope of discourse but also contributes to the polarization of the conversation around ideological extremism. The attempt to paint conservatism with the same brush used for white supremacy and neo-Nazism isn’t just intellectually lazy—it’s strategically malignant. And it’s a tactic that has been weaponized to delegitimize and discredit the conservative movement, casting a shadow over its principles and adherents.

This narrative, however, crumbles under scrutiny. Conservatism, at its core, champions such ideologies as individual liberty, moral responsibility, and the sanctity of human dignity—principles diametrically opposed to the ideologies of actual “white supremacy” and “neo-nazism”—distinct movements within their own right. The conservative movement has been at the forefront of advocating for a society where freedom and justice are not just ideals, but lived realities for all, irrespective of ethnicity or other inherent and arbitrary genetic factors. To conflate this with actual ideologies that teach racial or ethnic superiority is not only ill-conceived but a disservice to the intellectual and moral fabric of conservatism.

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To be clear, such extreme ideologies do exist. But it is important to distinguish between actual racist ideologies, which are rare and condemned, and what the left has absurdly labeled as “white supremacy”—conservative values, such as good work ethic, individual responsibility, etc. The reality is that leftists want to tie these good, conservative values to these extreme ideologies, which actually have no connection at all, neither historically nor ideologically, and abolish them all, leaving us with a society defined by the values of “progress” that devalue human life and send people on a death spiral into total moral collapse and sexual anarchy. That is the goal.

Further, the argument white supremacy and neo-Nazism are exclusively “right-wing” phenomena ignores historical and contemporary evidence to the contrary. Take, for example, the case of former Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, a Democrat, whose past racialized actions and use of “black face” stirred controversy and demonstrated that adherence to such ideologies can indeed cross political lines and even influence political policy. Northam’s actions, which are tied directly to white supremacy and neo-Nazism, illustrate clearly that the impulses underlying such ideologies can manifest across the political spectrum, challenging the narrative of exclusive right-wing affiliation. It’s the same with Biden marching with and eulogizing a former KKK leader.

The insistence on tethering these extreme movements to conservatism overlooks the fundamental tenets of the conservative philosophy. Conservatism is grounded in the belief in inherent human dignity, the rule of law, and the principles of democracy and liberty. It advocates for the preservation and enhancement of institutions that safeguard these values, promoting a society where individuals are judged by their character and contributions, not by their race or other superficial characteristics.

The tactic employed by the left, and unfortunately, many compromised self-described conservatives, to tie these ideologies to the right-wing, and by extension, to biblical Christian values, is not just intellectually dishonest—it’s a strategic assault on the fabric of our public discourse. By branding conservatives and Christians as merely a lesser form of the “far right” or sympathetic to extremist ideologies, they aim to marginalize and silence voices that challenge their own radical agenda. This strategy of intimidation, bolstered by the specter of “cancel culture,” seeks to quash dissent and discussion, creating an environment where fear rather than freedom dictates the bounds of acceptable discourse.

In this climate of fear and silencing, it’s imperative to stand firm in our convictions and challenge the narratives that seek to divide us. The conflation of conservatism with extremist ideologies is not just an attack on conservative and Christian values but an attack on the very principles of dialogue and democracy. We must resist the temptation to paint with a broad brush, recognizing instead the tactics employed by the left to disguise their own hate-filled ideological movements.

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