By Daniel Hong
I welcome you to our website. My colleague (George Coyoy) and I are grateful for this opportunity to engage our culture and society with this blog. We are a couple of Americans who care deeply about our nation and the tumultuous times we live in. Our desire is to simply be a part of the improvement instead of just passively watching the continuous decay and degeneration. Who we are and what we believe can be seen more in our about us section. In this column I would like to briefly introduce myself and explain my worldview. I also give you the utmost gratitude in choosing to spend some of your precious time on our website. I hope to be able to serve you to the best of my ability.
I am first and foremost a Christian who believes in the Bible as the very Word of God and its central message the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the very foundation of what I believe, what I do and in which I center my identity on. The gospel message that is so fundamental to my life states that God is the Supreme Being who created this world and humanity to reflect his image and glory. Humanity fell into sin which as a consequence brought the wrath of God as a holy and righteous judge. Catastrophe and brokenness in the world are also a result of this fallen nature. However, the good news of great joy is that Jesus Christ the Son of God, in his deity and humanity died on the cross for the sins of the world taking upon himself the just punishment of God. Through, repentance and faith in that savior anyone no matter who they are can receive the gift of salvation. Repentance also leads to restoration and reformation. It starts with the individual then to society and the world. Therefore, my mission of utmost importance is to fulfill the great commission from the Lord himself to make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:18-20) sharing this very same gospel message, but also to do good works along with that central mission for I am his workmanship (Eph. 2:10). This very message is why during these times I can hold on to hope. Hope one day that I will be reunited with my Lord and Savior in heaven, and hope in this world not for a utopia but a better future.
This message is not all there is to Christianity (a column for another day) but it is the very starting point and the foundation. As a Christian I started to realize that I held on to principles from the Bible that guided my life. I also realized it was instrumental in building many great societies in the West throughout history (Note to the critics: yes there are many controversies that have come about as well that should not be ignored but again it will be an article for another day). I soon began to realize that I was labeled a Conservative. I was at first dismayed and confused as to why. The term Conservative as I understood it at the time was solely a political one. One that is equated with one of the two major parties in America, the Republican party. After much research and study throughout my life in the archives of past Republicans like former president Ronald Reagan, former Senator Barry Goldwater, and popular political and cultural commentator William F. Buckley I began to understand what Conservatism stood for. Events such as the rise of the Christian Right under Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson also shed more light. However, it is not until I read the book The Conservative Mind by Russell Kirk that gave me a profound understanding of Conservatism. In it I discovered a figure whom many call the father and the first Conservative Edmund Burke.
A book review is in order someday but the main point that Kirk drove home with Burke as an example is that Conservatism was not an ideology or systematic set of ideas like religion but a way of life a habit of mind in which time tested truths, traditions, ideas and principles were upheld and incorporated into personal lives and the broader society. Therefore, the importance of Conservatism was not so much liberty (both on the individual and societal level) but an order and discipline that made liberty possible in the first place. It really took the enlightenment principles that I grew up with in the public schools in this country and turned it upside down.
As I took all of that in, I realized why my Christian faith was so compatible with Conservatism because so much of the origin seeking and upholding nature of it is what a Christian does. The Bible has withstood the test of time, a Christian seeks to conserve that. It also clarified to me that though Conservatism has its importance in politics, it is also a cultural term. In fact it can be argued that it places a deeper importance in culture and community than politics. After all, the goal in starting this website was not to be another website that focuses on political commentary (We have a recommendations page if you are interested in that arena), but to engage in the realm of ideas since ideas have consequences. Consequences in our personal lives, culture, and society at large. Right ideas bring about the right actions and vice versa. Though, the main focus is not on politics it is nonetheless an arena that reflects the many problems in our culture today and it is honestly how I have gained many insights into today’s culture. I believe the disintegration we see today from politics, to entertainment, to media and the overall culture is the reason why some are drawn into and believe that the answer lies in having the right politicians elected and the right policies enacted which is not necessarily wrong but it will never happen unless hearts and minds change within the nation and that is the fundamental change that needs to occur. The challenge is not to strive to engage the culture and change hearts and minds for the right political consequences to occur, as a means to an end. Instead the goal is to seek to change hearts and minds as an end itself, because of a true love and respect for our neighbor. The logic is that the right policies and politicians will arise naturally from a more virtuous nation overall.
That is our goal and the reason my colleague and I decided to start this new endeavor. I personally hope to always strive for excellence and virtue in my own life lest I fall into hypocrisy and I also hope that it will foster the same in all of you as well. Once again no matter where you come from and whatever your background is I genuinely and humbly welcome you and appreciate any support you give our website.