Fighting for Conservatism
The shift of Republicanism from a small government, "leave-us-alone" coalition to big government religious fundamentalism has accelerated in recent years. I don't think the trend can be reversed until the traditional conservatives fight back not just on the political but also on the religious front. The key issue is not just the role of religion in politics but the kind of religion we believe in. There's a big spectrum within Christianity, and there's an holy alliance between an uncomprehending left and a fundamentalist right to define "Christian" as something represented entirely by people like James Dobson and Rick Santorum. There are many other varieties of sincere Christianity and Catholicism: less overtly political, less imbued with a sense of certainty, more tolerant of others, and more humble about what any of us can really know for sure. The most important thing about John Danforth is that his own faith represents this eclipsed, but critical, Christianity. And only a more unapologetic defense of it can hold back the fundamentalist and sectarian take-over.