Quote For The Day

More

To this day, religion and politics remain “braided together in my head,” Wieseltier added, “but as a matter of conviction I endeavor to keep them apart. The universal ideas that I learn from my tradition must be transposed into a common American idiom if they are to influence anyone other than me. Anyway, I do not value religion chiefly for its morality. There are moral religious people and moral secular people, immoral religious people and immoral secular people. And the union of religion and politics inevitably injures them both."

This is a very pithy summary of a view of politics and religion that I share and that Leon helped me appreciate and understand. The quote is an hors d'oeuvre before the main course, however, which is this essay: clear, stringent, restrained where necessary, vicious when warranted ... and, well, humane. It's an important essay because within it, there pulsates a whole slew of vital issues where some level of contradiction and tension is far more defensible than their opposites: being a Jew and an American, being a conservative who can see the role of liberalism in the West (and vice-versa), and being a secular citizen with profound respect for and engagement with religious truth.

I think it's the best thing Wieseltier has written in memory - and reminds me of what an immense and powerful talent he remains.

Jump to comments

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving Money?

The US is particularly miserable at putting aside money for the future. Should we blame our paychecks or our psychology?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down