- Civility & Rhetoric (24) : Discourse, Persuasion, Respect
- Activism & Revolt (13) : Making Change
- Family (1) : The Family
- Government, Law, Politics (44)
- War & Peace (25) : War & Peacemaking
- Journalism (9) : All that's fit to print
- Education (8) : Scholarship and Pedagogy
- History (9) : History and Method
- In/Tolerance (14) : Living With Differences
- Church & State (25) : God & Country
Richard John Neuhaus on America said...
First Things 107 (November 2000): 69-88.
One reason American history is no longer told in terms of redemptive purpose is that we no longer think of history itself as having a purpose. History is a matter of this happening and then that happening and then the other thing happening, and who is to say what it all means? As the man said, "History is just one damn thing after another." The very idea that history should have a meaning strikes many of our contemporaries as highly improbable, maybe even nonsensical. If there is no purpose, there is no meaning. There is, although perhaps only on the surface, something attractively modest about this way of thinking. Especially when it is contrasted with the pride, presumption, and delusions of divinely ordained power that sometimes attended talk about "Christian America."
Forbes ASAP, October 2, 2000.
You would not believe the number of sensitivities that have to be kept in mind in public discourse. I once got mad at some Texas legislators over a spectacularly pea-brained stunt and referred to them as "a bunch of droolers." I was promptly served with pamphlets from an outfit called the Society to Prevent Cruelty to Those Who Involuntarily Drool. (Very sad, actually, people who have had strokes often drool involuntarily.) People make fun of political correctness, but if you're running for office, left-handed lesbians of Czech descent are out there, and they are touchy.
All Too Human (Back Bay Books: 2000)
Because I believe in original sin, because I know that I'm capable of craving a cold beer in a village of starving kids, because I know that selfishness vies for space in our hearts with compassion, I believe we need government. A government that forces us to care about the common good even when we don't feel like it, a government that helps channel our better instincts and check our bad ones. I don't think government is good, just necessary.
Thomas Sowell on War said...
One of the most fashionable notions of our times is that social problems like poverty and oppression breed wars. Most wars, however, are started by well-fed people with time on their hands to dream up half-baked ideologies or grandiose ambitions, and to nurse real or imagined grievances.
Arthur Koestler on War said...
Even a cursory glance at history should convince one that individual crimes committed for selfish motives play a quite insignificant part in the human tragedy, compared to the numbers massacred in unselfish loyalty to one's tribe, nation, dynasty, church, or political ideology, ad majorem gloriam dei. The emphasis is on unselfish. Excepting a small minority of mercenary or sadistic disposition, wars are not fought for personal gain, but out of loyalty and devotion to king, country or cause. Homicide committed for personal reasons is a statistical rarity in all cultures, including our own. Homicide for unselfish reasons, at the risk of one's own life, is the dominant phenomenon of history.
"Is the Religious Right Finished?" in Christianity Today (September 6, 1999), pg. 44
The reason, I think, is that politics itself has failed. And politics has failed because of the collapse of the culture. The culture is becoming an ever-wider sewer. We are caught up in a culutrual collapse of historic proportions, a collapse so great that it simply overwhelms politics.
"Is the Religious Right Finished?" in Christianity Today (September 6, 1999), pg. 58
In 1947 Carl Henry published The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism and led Christians back into the American mainstream. What really galvanized them, however, was the liberal victory in Roe v. Wade. In one swoop, the Court struck down abortion laws in all 50 states, turning around an entire culture on the most crucial moral issue of the day. The lesson was not lost on moral conservatives: they concluded that top-down political action was the most effective means of cultural transformation. If liberals could do it, so could they.
"Is the Religious Right Finished?" in Christianity Today (September 6, 1999), pg. 47
Frustration at slow progress in the political arena is understandable. But my advice to my friends in the pro-family movement is this: Do not be discouraged. As Reinhold Niebuhr once observed, "The arc of history is long, but it curves towards justice." This road is often long and hard. But it has always been so. The antislavery movement began petitioning Congress in the 1830s, and did not see slavery abolished for 30 years — and that required a bloody war. The NAACP was founded in 1909, but it did not even gain support in a national party platform until 1948, and it did not pass landmark civil-rights legislation until 1964. The suffragist movement gathered at Seneca Falls in 1848, and women did not gain the right to vote nationally until 1920. The same will be true in the pro-life and pro-family movements. The gradual and incremental nature of our progress and victories is not unusual in the history of social-reform movement in the United States. It is the norm.
Is the Religious Right Finished? Christianity Today, September 6, 1999, pg. 48
Politics is not the answer to our national spiritual salvation. Only personal evangelism, marriage enrichment, the rebuilding of a child-centered culture, and spiritual revival can do that... But surrendering politics would essentially condemn future generations to the failed policies of the Left. And make no mistake: without our check, there would be no balance. Our withdrawal would condemn millions in this nation who otherwise might have struggled to maintain our culture. It would send countless more unborn to their premature deaths. It would consign too many children to lives without hope or opportunity in the inner city. It would mean a crushing burden of higher taxes that weighs too heavily on the middle-class families struggling to give their children a chance at the American dream. This we cannot and must not do.
Cal Thomas on Preaching Politics said...
"Is the Religious Right Finished?" Christianity Today (September 6, 1999), pg. 49.
Preachers should not be known for condemning others. If God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, what gives them the authority to condemn? If the ordained believe "the king's heart is in the hand of the Lord; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases," they have a biblical mandate not to trash a President they don't like or mawkishly support one they do admire.
Popular in Books
- Boston College's MA Philosophy Reading List
- How People Poison Everything
- Librarians' Top 100 Novels of 20th Century
- What's So Great About Christianity
- Faith of the Fatherless
- Oxford Handbook of Skepticism
- The Persecuted Atheist?
- Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics
- The Victory of Reason
- What Is a "Scientific Fact"? Won't Plain Ol' Facts Do?
Popular in Quotes
- Lt. Col. Mervin Willett Gonin DSO on the Holocaust
- Friedrich Nietzsche on Fighting Monsters
- Fyodor Dostoevsky (as Ivan Karamazov) on Evil
- Karl Marx on Religion
- J.P. Moreland on Postmodernism and Anger
- Mark Twain (as Huck Finn) on Ethics
- John Stuart Mill on Fallibility and Free Speech
- J.P. Moreland on Postmodernism
- Angus Menuge on Inference to the Best Explanation
- J.P. Moreland on Rival Worldviews
Popular in Papers
- The Euthanasia Debate: Understanding the Issues
- Aquinas versus Locke and Descartes on the Human Person and End-of-Life Ethics
- Utilitarianism and the Moral Life
- Philosophical Apologetics, the Church, and Contemporary Culture
- Scientific Creationism, Science, and Conceptual Problems
- Is Science a Threat or Help to Faith?
- Argument from Consciousness
- Complementarity, Agency Theory, and the God-of-the-Gaps
- Scientific Naturalism and the Unfalsifiable Myth of Evolution
- The Indispensability of Theological Meta-ethical Foundations for Morality