Quote for the Day II

"Frankly, I'm unsure what to conclude from this little debate. I will simply note how perplexing I find your own concluding remarks--about how my construal of the liberal bargain is dangerous because it might vindicate those "Christians and secularists alike" who have contended that there is a tension, sometimes requiring that a choice be made, "between Christ and the republic, between God and Caesar." Funny, I thought it was Christ himself who pointed to just such a tension at the core of the human condition.

Why is it that you, like the theocons I examine and criticize in my book, seem so terrified of the American republic falling short of Christ-like perfection? Why is it not enough that the United States be a good and decent country among good and decent countries? Why is it not enough for you and other pious Christians to enjoy the freedom to worship and pray and proselytize in peace? Why, despite your own better judgment, do you so steadfastly resist seeking your salvation outside of politics? Why do you insist on identifying the fate of your soul with the fate of your country?

You may well be right that, at least at this moment in our nation's history, you have more of our fellow citizens on your side of this dispute than I have on mine. But that is precisely the problem - for American religion no less than America's politics," - Damon Linker at TNR, debating Ross Douthat.

Linker nails it in these few paragraphs, but Douthat is, to my mind, easily the best defender of theoconservatism out there, and his arguments are worth reading as well.