Tuesday, October 30, 2007

When the monolithic theocrat cracks

~very amusing piece from Fr. Neuhaus in First Things where he skewers the idea of the evangelical crackup proposed by Time.
The bubble-babble of the Times is not without its charms. A couple of months ago, the lead article in the Sunday magazine was an extract from Mark Lilla’s book The Stillborn God. (There is more on the book in a forthcoming issue of First Things.) On the cover of the magazine is this: “We in the West find it incomprehensible that theological ideas still inflame the minds of men, stirring up messianic passions that can leave societies in ruin. We had assumed that this was no longer possible, that human beings had learned to separate religious questions from political ones.” If you are not among the imperial We in that assertion, be put on notice that you are most decidedly among the threatening Them.

But back to “The Evangelical Crackup.” As a scout in enemy territory, Mr. Kirkpatrick is given a certain leeway. After all, he has to show a certain measure of sympathy with the enemy in order to ingratiate himself into their tribal councils. But, decent fellow or not, the Times pays his salary. And so it is not surprising that his article ends with a less than complimentary image of the dreaded “religious right.”

He talked with an evangelical pastor by the name of Fox who lost his leadership of a megachurch over what was viewed as his excessive political partisanship. He now preaches to a much smaller congregation that meets in rented space. Mr. Fox says that liberals should not start gloating over the evangelical crackup. “Some might compare the religious right to a snake,” he said. “We may be in our hole right now, but we can come out and bite you at any time.” The inference to be drawn is that the Times will extend Mr. Kirkpatrick’s assignment to keep an eye on the snakes.
Read the whole thing.

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