Glad you asked all the questions. I will attempt to answer them all. But first a few comments to pave the road to our destination.
Comment 1: You said, " I don't trust anyone who is for big government control." Okay, that's where you are at and I'm glad you are upfront about it. Just know this: by your own admission, you can't trust me. I am for big government in many aspects. My main gripe with big government these days is the part of it that is located in a five-sided building and has a disturbing propensity to take actions that result in the demise of many other people. But I digress---If I had my druthers, I'd be sipping my cup of Joe in Sweden right now.
Sadly, if you can't trust me, it will be hard for us to have an honest conversation. I'd like you to reconsider your statement and consider trusting me temporarily, at least until you read to the end of my post. I'd even like to ask you to reconsider your stance on trust. Sure, we can't trust everyone, but to baldy state that you refuse to trust anyone who holds a different political viewpoint from you seems extreme. Shouldn't trust be granted based on a person's proven character?
Comment 2: You say that you and your dad are both ready to testify that the world's morality has gone downhill. That statement seems rather bold. Are you really certain that you have a perspective on the entire world? We are talking about 6,865,343,578 people who speak perhaps 6,000 different languages. Are you absolutely sure the morality has gone downhill in every ethnic group in the entire world? Are you even certain that morality has gone downhill in the largest ethnic group in the world, the Han Chinese? That's a judgment I'm not ready to make.
Comment 3: You say, "We have made some headway in things like racism, treatment of women, conservation, but the moral values have declined." I agree with the first part of your statement. We have made progress. But I am puzzled by your "but." Aren't things like the eradication of racism, improvement in the treatment of women, and the conservation of the environment all moral values? If they are not moral values, than what are they?
Your statement seems to imply that the real moral values are things like ______ (fill in the blank with stopping abortion, gay marriage, divorce, and fornication), while things like equality and fair treatment are just minor issues that don't even count as morality.
Q. "Where have you been?"
A. Geographically speaking, I've been right here in Incheon, South Korea for the past six years. Before that I was in Dallas, Texas for a couple years. Also spent some time in Greece, Israel, Egypt, Thailand, the Philippines, and China.
But I guess you didn't mean to ask my geographical location. If you mean to imply that my head has been stuck in the sand for some time, just replace the word "sand" with the word "book" or "newspaper" and you'd be right on.
Q. Don't you come from a conservative background?
A. Yes, I do. My conservative background is impeccable. As you know, I am a pastor's daughter and I was raised in a Bible church. For those of you who aren't up on denominational differences, Bible churches tend to stress a literal reading of the Bible and are considered to be solidly on the fundamentalist end of the Christian spectrum. (Great video games could be made pitting Bible church members against Episcopalians--sort of "Moral Kombat vs P.C. Universe.)
Not only that, I was homeschooled K-12 using only Christian curriculum. My science books were strong on young earth creationism. My history books were all about manifest destiny. My economics books weren't about small government--they were about gnomish government.
If anyone else thinks he has reason to put confidence in his conservative background, I have more: a Bible camp leader from the eighth grade, of the people of Otis Orchards Bible Church, of the tribe of the far right, a homeschooler of homeschoolers; in regards to the Bible, a prolific memorizer; as for zeal, a passionate evangelist; as for legalistic righteousness--I didn't even listen to any non-Christian music.
Q. Is God conservative, liberal, or somewhere in-between?
A. God is love. God is not conservative, liberal, or somewhere in-between. "I am who I am" is who he is and no label can define him adequately.
Q. Was Jesus morally conservative?
A. By the standards of his day, I'd say Jesus was quite progressive, though not exactly flamboyant. That answer may not satisfy you so let me put it this way: I could see Jesus going down to the local gay bar to minister to people by loving and accepting them, but I don't see Jesus popping ecstasy, getting trashed and bringing a man home with him.
Q. How would you describe yourself morally?
A. Well, I'm not sure what you mean by this question. I wouldn't dare describe myself morally. If you mean to say, "What is your views on ______?" then go ahead and ask that in the comments.
But my views on moral issue X, Y, or Z do not describe myself. There are plenty of people, perhaps as many as 6,865,343,578 people, whose moral viewpoint and actions are at odds. If I say, "I oppose murder" but then I vote for someone who invades other countries without just cause and causes the deaths of many innocents, am I really without guilt? Being able to spout off all the right moral answers is hardly proof that I am morally pure. Thus, I decline to go down that road.
Q. Do you believe that things are morally right or wrong?
A. Sigh. Yes. Some things, anyway.
Q. Do you believe in what the Bible tells us about what is right and wrong?
A. You tell me what you think the Bible says and I'll tell you if I believe it. I'm not trying to avoid the question. What I'm trying to avoid is the regrettable viewpoint that holds that "the Bible" equates "the American right wing agenda."
Q. What do you use as your moral guide for life?
A. The life of Jesus. Also the lives of people whom I have known and admired. And the "Communist Manifesto." (Totally kidding about the last one.)
Q. Do you use the 10 commandments as a moral guide?
A. No, I don't. I've never found the 10 commandments to be very helpful. Not much there that I would even be remotely tempted to do anyway, regardless of whether I were a Christian or not.