Tuesday, January 16, 2007

On religion or not in the conservative movement
Eunomia’s Daniel Larison (a true palæo?) seems to challenge both the neocons and the libertarianism and classical liberalism I like, or ‘is Christianity true or merely useful?’ The last is the modern view as Dr Frank Senn has explained (‘be a productive worker and good citizen; go to a church, any church’, a 1950s-ish view), which I’ll try saying among the left has changed from faith into political correctness (Christianity without Christ with all the blowback of good intentions). Of course I don’t deny it’s true but unlike other traditionalists fall back on religious liberty as a relative good to defend it in a free society. (I think Reasoning Repaired would disagree.) I like to think that 50 years ago I would have been the kind of churchman who, though disagreeing with them very much on their unbelief or indifferentism in religion (by then the damage was done; if I’m not mistaken lots of the élite left and right thought like that), would have happily worked with secular common-sense conservatives like Barry Goldwater and his fans.
When Cal Thomas started singing the praises of secular modernity after 9/11 (as if to show you that he was no religious fanatic like those people), you could take it as a given that religion, and specifically the great significance attached to Christianity even by some old Moral Majority hands like Thomas, was potentially expendable for a lot of conservatives when supposedly more important things (such as the fight against “medievalism” and for “women’s rights” and “tolerance”) were at stake.
Gotta love the irony and in Baathist Iraq as long as you weren’t a threat politically (of course it wasn’t perfect) you more or less had those rights. Not now.

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