Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Kersten: It's me and God and screw the rest of you! II

If we turn away from God, we're Frenchmen and collectivists

Part one is here.

You know that Katie is serious when she hauls out the epithets (second definition) "Frenchman" and "collective."

America was founded on the belief that God is the source of [liberty and equality].
The political philosophy that inspired our nation's democratic revolution was very different from the Continental European philosophy that produced the French Revolution. 
That bloody tradition grounded its political thinking in autonomous human reason. America's founders, on the other hand, looked "to the sovereignty of God as to the first principle of its organization," as the theologian John Courtney Murray [link is mine] has written.
The brief article at the link reveals that Murray was a Jesuit -- the Jesuits are, in fact, the big thinkers (seriously) in the Catholic Church -- and that he was clearly a "natural law" guy:
[Murray] was an American Jesuit priest and theologian, who was especially known for his efforts to reconcile Catholicism and religious pluralism, particularly focusing on the relationship between religious freedom and the institutions of a democratically structured modern state.
But I don't think that Murray said, as Kersten suggests, "Well, we have the French Revolution on the one hand, and the American Revolution on the other." That's a little sleight of hand on Kersten's part; you will note that the quote is only the second part of the sentence.

As we all know, Katie got a minor in taking quotes out of context.

Kersten tells us that the "left" and the "opinion-making elite" don't like religion because:
First, they don't like the idea of truth -- the idea that there is, in the nature of things, a blueprint for human flourishing. They don't like the notion of moral parameters that limit our actions on matters such as cloning, stem cell use, abortion or marriage. They believe that man can make himself: that there is no "floor" to the universe. 
Second, our elite's fundamental political impulse is toward collectivism. They believe the state holds the solution to every problem, and that wise social engineers can be trusted to do what's best for the rest of us.
I've observed before that Katie wants to make God in Katie's own image, so that God will hate the same people she does, kind of a theological transference.

"Collectivism" is the dirtiest word that Katie knows. She -- and her tag team partner Jason Lewis, too -- hurl it much as an adolescent might shout, "Your mother wears combat boots!" It is laughable to think, much less say, that believing that we should not be ruled by a priestly class is "collectivist."

Using your religious background, and whatever other moral or ethical teaching you have received (perhaps by ancient philosophers, mystics, or other religious traditions) to inform your political opinions is a good thing. (Update: But it's another to think it is actually the law of the land.)

But it is mean and rotten and foul to write a polemic to beat people over the head with a cross on Easter Day.

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