Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Secular not secularist
Conservatives who are mostly, but not exclusively, Christians insist that the United States was founded as a Christian nation and that the founders wanted religion to be supported by government at every level. Liberal secularists point to the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom, the lack of an official state Church, and various ambiguous comments by the early statesmen to claim that religion should have no role in public life.
The country’s founding fathers were deists.
Steven Waldman, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of... Beliefnet.com, says both positions can find some support in the historical record. But each fails to account for the “radical new three-part creed” that early Americans actually hashed out. According to Waldman, figures such as Ben Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and especially James Madison believed that “religion is essential to the flourishing of a republic,” that “to thrive, religion needs less help, not more, from the state,” and that “God gave all humans the rights to full religious freedom.”

“The Founding Faith,” summarizes Waldman, “was not Christianity, and it was not secularism. It was religious liberty — a revolutionary formula for promoting faith by leaving it alone.”
The really scary part of Barack Obama’s and Jeremiah Wright’s worldview is nothing to do with colour.
I am confident that we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth.
— Obama

The bland, meaningless and unthreatening religion of the ruling class
A standard liberal article that makes several good points. The answer of course is neither permanent revolution (including Wright’s racial hatred and the class warfare it’s modelled on, as in liberation theology) — Jesus (today is ‘Spy Wednesday’ in many churches) came to fulfil not abolish the law — nor the travesty of religion criticised here.
For “true” religion, according to Limbaugh, is all about love, and sweetness, and making goo-goo eyes at everyone. “True” religion is nice, and bland to a degree that renders religion offensive to precisely no one. “True” religion is utterly unthreatening. It shouldn’t upset anyone, but offer only comfort and succor.
A religion his kind, and the state, can use. Just like the Modernists and New Agers his fans might make fun of they believe they not God call the shots.

There are these two strawmen — Limbaugh’s and Arthur Silber’s distortions of Christianity — and then there’s Catholicism, which Chesterton found more mind-blowing than the most outrageous heresies he could make up.

Silber’s also noticed the bowdlerisation of MLK — the man who spoke against the Vietnam War is now used by the establishment so kids think his day is about sending care packages to soldiers in Iraq.

From Rational Review.

No comments:

Post a comment

Leave comment