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Conservatism and Church and State
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The popularity of Fred Thompson seems to keep growing as a probably Republican Presidential nominee. Anecdotally I know of people here in Louisiana who support him in large part because he is probably the most conservative of the candidates. I've also heard a desire for a greater mingling of religion with the government, and while I understand it on the one hand, on the other it seems antithetical to traditional conservative ideals.

One of the tropes of conservativism is that whatever the Federal government does is going to cost twice as much, take twice as long, and be half as good as something done in the private sector. Traditional conservatism also seems to favor the idea of the government staying the hell out of their business.

So wouldn't this naturally imply support for a strong separation of church and state? Wouldn't most conservatives basically want the government to leave them alone, and let them proselytize and worship at the local level?

Stuff like the government partnering up with religious organizations to try to solve everything from drug abuse to teenage pregnancy just sounds like a recipe that most conservatives would typically find undesirable.

On the other hand, its understandable that most christians want their ideology to permeate as much of the culture as possible, and for it to be endorsed by the countries leaders, but ultimately isn't that hypocritical to conservative ideals?

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