July 1, 2012

"Aggressive, rude, and hegemonic"

What Would Father Richard Say? - George Weigel - National Review Online:

...Neuhaus’s third point in The Naked Public Square was closely linked to his second: The secularism of late modernity (and, now, post-modernity) would not be neutral, civil, and tolerant, but aggressive, rude, and hegemonic. It would demand, not a civil public square in which the sources of all moral convictions would be in play in a robust debate, but a naked public square — a public square in which secularism would be de facto established as the national creed (or, perhaps better, national moral grammar). The new secularism would not be content to live and let live; it was determined to push, not only religion, but religiously informed moral argument, out of public life, and to do so on the ground that religious conviction is inherently irrational. And of course it would be but a short step from there to the claim that religious conviction is irrational bigotry, a claim implied by the Obama administration’s refusal, in defiance of its constitutional responsibilities, to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act in the federal courts....

There will probably be a bit of relief if the Republicans win in November. But this is the trend. It won't go away.

John 15:18-21... If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.

Which is one of the reasons that I in some ways welcomed the coming of the Obama regime. Because the worse they make things, the bigger the crash they cause... the greater the chances that people will wake up from their stupor and abandon various bad policies and ideas.

And of course this is yet another vindication of the founders' belief in limited government. Especially Federal government. They believed in Original Sin. They just knew that any institution can become corrupt and tyrannical.

Posted by John Weidner at July 1, 2012 9:46 AM

Somewhat related:

Is Meritocracy a Sham?

Especially after about the halfway point when the author, Walter Russell Mead of "the Blue Social Model" fame, shifts gears and starts looking at how "the elites" seem to have forgotten the idea of "Original Sin".

Posted by: Hale Adams at July 1, 2012 6:55 PM

That's great. I'd missed that piece. Thanks!

...Finally, the Christian meritocrat must live in the light of the doctrine of Original Sin. Often seen as some dark, dismal dogma of the bigoted and the misanthropic, this idea may be the single most necessary piece of mental equipment a successful person needs to lead a genuinely constructive life in America today.

Original Sin is the idea that human beings, despite all their talents and capacities, are deeply and hopelessly flawed. Like water flows downhill, we are constantly turning toward our own selfish goals. We are vain, jealous, petty, self-seeking. Our judgement twists away from what’s right to what benefits us and our side. We can’t keep our fingers off the scales.

It’s not just our moral choices that go awry. Our thinking isn’t straight. What we think is logic is often self interest. When our interests and our passions are engaged, we lose all mental clarity just when we need it most.

At the collective level, this explains why meritocracy cannot in itself be an answer to the political problems of the human race. There are no Platonic philosopher kings, no unmoved movers, who will judge all things and all men clear and true...

"the single most necessary piece of mental equipment" Yes!

Posted by: John Weidner at July 1, 2012 8:54 PM

Interesting, isn't it, that both traditional Christians and Progressives see that mankind is deeply flawed, isn't it?
In comparison to what?
Christians have a good answer to that question. The state of man before his Fall. Progressives trust a reference equally outside of man's will -- history. No individual's will can alter history, can it?

Posted by: Terry at July 2, 2012 12:43 AM

Terry writes:

Progressives trust a reference equally outside of man's will -- history. No individual's will can alter history, can it?

Why does a quote from Nineteen Eighty-Four come to mind?

If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say of this or that event, it never happened — that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death?


And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed -if all records told the same tale — then the lie passed into history and became truth. "Who controls the past," ran the Party slogan, "controls the future: who controls the present controls the past." And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. "Reality control", they called it: in Newspeak, "doublethink".


The past, he reflected, had not merely been altered, it had been actually destroyed. For how could you establish even the most obvious fact when there existed no record outside your own memory?

(Courtesy of Wikiquote)

Posted by: Hale Adams at July 2, 2012 6:50 PM

Better-worse stratagem can be too clever for its own good--you risk Lenin.

Read November 1916. The Russian liberals were hoping for better-worse too.

Posted by: Gian at July 3, 2012 8:58 PM

Personally, I use the judgment of the Gods of the Copybook Headings. They are brutally honest and consistent.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at July 4, 2012 5:07 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Weblog by John Weidner