[quote=RSiscoe]I’ll give you my “long answer” to the question. To do this, I will need to also add the “liberal” to my response.
The devil has been very successful in our day in dividing society into liberal, or “progressive” and conservative. The liberal movements seeks to “liberate” man from God’s rule. He has does this by emphaszing man’s “rights”, and "dignity, to such an extent that he eventually claims that man has a “right”, based on his “dignity” to act contrary to God’s law. When you really examine liberalism, it is simply an attempt to liberate man from the authority of God. Liberals are also called “progresives” since their manner of behavior continually “progresses” in that direction.
The is a counter movement to the “progressives”. These are known as “conservatives”. Conservatives do what the name says: they seek to “conserve” what has been; whereas the progresseves seek to “progress” away from what has been.
We sometime hear the term “new world order” (you will find this term on the back of the dollar bill, in Latin). The liberals seek to bring about a new ordering of the world. And it is this new ordering which they “progress” towards. The “old world order” (which the new world order seeks to replace) is the Catholics Church with the state united to it, so that both Church, state, and individuals are ordered towards God as their center and summit. The “new order” (Novus Ordo) seeks to replace that, by ordering everything to man as its center and summit. The following quote would describe the mentality of this “new order”: “Believers and unbelievers agree almost unanimously that all things on earth should be ordained to man as to their center and summit” (Vatican II).
So, in society we have the two “forces” the progressives (or “liberals”), and the "conservatives. And we also have what is known as the “center”. The conservatives are those on the political “right” of center, while the liberals are those on the “left”.
But what happens over the years is that the “center” moves further and further “left” with each passing year, so that eventually the liberal thinking of yesterday becomes the “conservative” thinking of today. For example in the 1930’s it was only the extreme liberals in society who believed in birth control. Today, it is accepted by even the conservatives, while those who rejecte birth control are looked at as “out of the main stream of society”. We see the same today with abortion, which at first was promoted only by the extreme liberal, yet today is accepted by many “conservatives” in society.
Dennis Prager, the “conservative” radio show host said a few years ago: “I am a Kennedy liberal. I have not changed any of my beliefs. Yet today these same beliefs are considered conservative”. He is right. Because the liberal ideas of yesterday become mainstream and then accepted by the “conservatives” tomorrow.
So, we have the liberals, the conservatives, and the center. With each passing year the center gradually moves left, as the “progressives” progress in their error and the “conservatives” trail behind. The conservatives are like an anchor that slows the progress of the “progressives”, yet it never stops, nor reverses the trend.
A conservative and a liberal are required, by society, to remain within a certain distance from the “center”. If one becomes too progressive, they are considered “extreme” (at least until the center catches up with them a few years later). In the same way, if a conservative does not remain within the “allowed” distance from the center (if he does not progress in his thinking), he too becomes an “extremist” even though his views were mainstream only 20 or 30 years ago.
Next we have another group: These are known (at least within Catholicism) as “traditionalist”. This group is considered very “extreme” since they still believe what the Church has always taught, and still reject what the Church has always rejected. This group is “politically incorrect and socially unacceptable”, since they are not within the politically correct bounds of the center, which is necessary remain within the “main stream”.
These “radical traditionalists” still believe, for example, that “there is only one true Church outside of which there is no salvation” (ex-cathedra dogma of the faith). They don’t praise heretics (Martin Luther for example) but detest them; you will never find a traditionalist kissing the Koran, but you may find them burning one. They will never invite pagans to their Church and ask them perform a pagan ritual (Assisi),
Assisi? Are you impling St. Francis? Ah! He’s my favorite St.!