Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Deneen on Obama

Turns out Patrick Deneen has his own reasons for agreeing with Jonah G. about Obama. In his critique, he invokes the shade of Augustine against the shades of Dewey and Croly, two figures who loom large in J.G.’s "devil’s dictionary."

But Patrick reminds us that there’s a realist tradition that doesn’t come out of the Enlightenment and that doesn’t regard religion in either an instrumental or inimical way.

If you want more, Jon Schaff has it.

Discussions - 2 Comments

At least McCain has a chance against Obama, unlike Mitt. Could a powerpoint presentation stand against the passions that Obama riles up?

We should not be mistaken though, Obama would be very tough. I'm still holding out that Hillary will pull it off, although she's no pushover. After the way Huckabee has been treated, Obama could easily tap into evangelical and downscale Republicans in November. The Creation Museum has a whole room dedicated to William Jennings Bryan. Americans are quite susceptible to progressivism, particularly when packaged in religious rhetoric. All progressives who packaged their message in religion were successful. Progressive politics only failed electorally when it became so hubris that it decided to only talk about man and not God. Then regular people who are humble and don't see themselves as great felt that guys like Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, and Kerry were holding themselves out as superior men. If a candidate who is progressive is smart enough to talk about God enough that he seems pious, the Republicans had better bring their A+ game to have a chance...I'm doubting that any GOPer can match that in 2008. We'll just have to pray...that Obama isn't nominated or that he forgets God along the road to the White House.

I can't help it. I love that Obama, whatever his politics and because of what he is, not who he is, is where he is. That pleases me like anything.

If American churches, much less politicians, are to be called to task over their embrace of the theologically squishy, nearly all would be in trouble. If there was some church authority that enforced an orthodox faith, refuting the ancient heresies that crop up all the time in in modern faith - we wouldn't be America. Freedom of conscience means the freedom to be wrong there, too, or nearly right, or whatever. If each man is to know God for himself, the opportunity and scope for error is vast.

I set out to understand the heresies a few year back (arguing about Deism in early America) and once I knew what they were, I was truly impressed to hear them expressed all about me. Modalists, Anomoeans, Arians, Montanists fascinating modes of theological thought even within my own little church. No one knows this, nor particularly cares. It is interesting to think how this sort of personal theology plays out in our politics, but politically, does it really matter? Does it matter, save as a marker to identify and categorize political thought?

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