I suppose it is worth noting that Sam Brownback's recitation of the "All for Jesus" line is a quote from Mother Teresa that he apparently deploys in his stump speech regularly. It isn't his original formulation but he uses it to describe his political motivation. It is the core of his political message. In a religious context, it is a vulgar but completely legitimate expression of faith. In a political context in a secular society, it is a toxin that will eventually corrode civil discourse into sectarian warfare. Which is, of course, what the Christianists want. They have the biggest sect, after all.
Yes, indeed: Today, 15 percent of the vote at the Iowa Straw Poll; tomorrow, majoritarian theocratic tyranny. (Hitler came to power by democratic means, you know ...)
I would go on, but it would just be the usual tedious argument about how Andrew misunderstands American history, American religion, and the intersection thereof, and how he's trying apply a continental model of faith and politics to a context where that model has never applied, and so and so forth. Instead, I'll punt to Larison:
Sullivan’s larger point is worth keeping in mind: so long as it remains nicely separated from anything involving real life, confined to an irrelevant private sphere of “religion” that need never include venturing outside beyond the front door, religious faith is fine, albeit a bit crude for the high-minded doubt-filled pundit, but once it moves into the public sphere it is poisonous and vile. Devotion to the Lord, once it escapes the safe environs of the closet, becomes an acid that destroys the bonds of the political community. That is what Sullivan and other such “skeptical” conservatives believe about religion. Religious conservatives would do well to remember this whenever they are tempted to entertain sympathy for the appeals of the “skeptics” to reason and moderation.
I would only add that I think the sentence "it is a vulgar but completely legitimate expression of faith," with its snobbish overtones and arm's-length distaste for Mother Teresa (!), is the most unfortunate - and revealing - part of the whole post.
Update: A bit more - okay, a lot more - here.
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