The world is an interesting place at the moment. A real battle has broken out in so many areas of society of the political left versus the political right.
I usually only pay mild attention to such things, but it’s been really thrown around more than usual of late - almost every paper you pick up, or online news site, has an article about left wing this or right wing.
It’s so much so that I have become curious what it is all about, and where would I place myself at this intersection.
So what are these political ‘wings’ and how do they relate to us?
Left vs Right
After a bit of reading, it turns out the political terms ‘Left wing’ and Right wing’ were first used in the French parliament during the French revolution of 1789 to 1799 and referred to seating arrangements in the French parliament.
The original ‘Right’ in the French parliament was created in reaction against the left and was supportive of the old ways.
The following is quoted from Wikipedia which describes it quite well:
The left–right political spectrum is a system of classifying political positions, ideologies and parties, from equality on the left to social hierarchy on the right. Left-wing politics and right-wing politics are often presented as opposed, although a particular individual or group may take a left-wing stance on one matter and a right-wing stance on another; and some stances may overlap and be considered either left- or right-wing depending on the ideology. In France, where the terms originated, the Left has been called 'the party of movement' and the Right 'the party of order'.
The general feeling, after reading up on the history of left- and right-wing views, makes me realise the definitions are actually quite loose, and vary significantly in an individual’s ideology of a time period and geographical location.
To make things slightly confusing, the ideology of a person who considers their
views left-wing 100 years ago based on what was happening at that time, is very different to a current persons left-wing views. A modern left- or right-wing view combines political, economic and social dimensions.
An example of the social dimension of left vs right is that of a male who “identifies” as a woman and their right to use a toilet of choice. A person who is left-wing would say they are free to use whichever toilet they feel comfortable using – an opinion which is considered “inclusive” for the individual.
A person on the right would state that the person is biologically a male, and potentially a predator posing as a woman, in order to access a woman’s bathroom – putting women and girls at risk.
My opinion of this example is a person’s safety is always first priority – especially that of my wife and daughter. I would not be comfortable with a man posing as a woman entering a female toilet after my daughter had entered, regardless of a person’s feelings.
I also think at the end of the day, it’s going to a toilet. Not joining the fire brigade, not the police force, and they should just use the toilet they are biologically allocated to use. The cubicles are isolated regardless which one you use.
From my impressions based on what I have read, the left embrace inclusiveness - like multiculturalism, but tend to have tunnel vision.
Their reasoning, “A country was founded on migrants, so everyone should have the right to migrate.” Yet they will accuse our ancestors of “invading” Australia while currently pushing for immigration.
The right would oppose multiculturalism based on history of other nations and to the degree that it affects the safety of their region – screen peoples backgrounds, as not all people have good intentions.
The far left and far right seem to be more angry and aggressive versions of the left and right.
So as a Christian, what would I consider myself? I kind of agree on points from both sides, but everything I decide on is weighed in according to what is essentially the right and wrongs laid out in the Bible - which I feel in my heart is the right way.
After some more reading, I discovered the view of ‘Centrist’ which I had not heard of previously.
Wikipedia describes it best:
In politics, centrism—the centre (British/Canadian/Australian English) or the centre (American/Philippine English)—is a political outlook or specific position that involves acceptance or support of a balance of a degree of social equality and a degree of social hierarchy, while opposing political changes which would result in a significant shift of society strongly to either the left or the right.
Centre-left and centre-right politics both involve a general association with centrism combined with leaning somewhat to their respective sides of the spectrum.
Various political ideologies, such as Christian democracy, can be classified as centrist.
This sat better with me as I like balance without control by one exclusive group. Such control by one side ends up with bad results, like played out by Hitler and Stalin.
Currently, it seems, both sides – even though in disagreement on most things – tend to keep the end result somewhere in the middle.
So would I consider myself a centrist? After much thought, I’ve decided to forgo a title of an imperfect worldly system and maintain the title of Christian.
Michael Dahlenburg is an electronics technician currently working in the commercial transaction IT industry. He is non-denominational and has previously been involved in church plants and assisting those in ministry. His interests include; enjoying family, home DIY, gardening, and most things tech-related and driving his wife crazy with a constant stream of inventions! He lives with his wife Michelle and three children in God’s own land of Southern Adelaide, Australia.
Michael Dahlenburg’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/michael-dahlenburg.html
Michael Dahlenburg is an electronics technician. He is non-denominational and has previously been involved in church plants and assisting those in ministry. His interests include; enjoying family, home DIY, gardening, most things tech-related and driving his wife crazy with a constant stream of inventions! He lives with his wife Michelle and three children in God’s own land of Southern Adelaide, Australia.Michael Dahlenburg’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/michael-dahlenburg.html