Posted by Joseph Knippenberg
That’s the title I gave to my latest Culture11 piece. The editors gave it a different one, which is why they’re paid the big bucks. It’s all about Republicans, Democrats, faith, and reason. In about 1,000 words, no less.
Another conservative quoting Buckley! Dolce far niente! And a Buckley cliché. It is enough to make Knippenburg a modern Mamurius. Best to go after those elite atheists using Buckley, whose vocabulary was a cumbrious cumene, a leguminous enfleurage, and thus surely a patois for the troglobiont ‘joe’s’ alluded to in Buckley’s phone book and no doubt employed to wash his sailboats. Less than a thousand words – not an oersted more for those non- profluent suburbicarians.
Your article spoke to the hubristic belief in one's own capacity to remake the world, and the ability to recognize the error into which they can fall. Hmmm, I wonder who that should apply to more than the democrats? Rather than scolding the 'theologically problematic' left, maybe you should start praying for repentance and forgiveness for having supported Bush for all these years.
There's a Baby in that Bath Water!
Professor Knippenberg's fine essay deserves better responses than it has received so far on the Culture 11 site and here. Both responses at NLT seem to start with the premise that the essay targets secular liberals for their intellectual hubris. While this belief is admitted in the opening paragraph and raised later by employing the familiar Buckley "rather be governed by the first 2000 names in the phone book than Harvard faculty" line, I find a very different emphasis in the concluding paragraphs.
Conservatives, the author suggests, should recognize that a number of intellectuals and university institutes nurture their own perspectives. Recent Palin rally returns to Nixon-era denigration of intellectuals ignores some of their most articulate members. Even more, the essay concludes, the conservatives cause is not well-served by agreeing to the split between reason (Dems) and faith (Rep). As Democrats try to catch up on faith language, Knipp highlights the importance of a more nuanced combination from his associates.
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