Thursday, March 22, 2012

Christianity and American Conservatism

An intriguing historical analysis. (Via Joshua Snyder.)
The loss of religion’s formerly privileged place has led believers to confront a difficult choice. Now that we can no longer count on the state to promote and subsidize religion, we either need to convince government to take it seriously once more and act again as its patron, or we must find a new way, free from the state’s blessing, to understand the significance of faith.

Over the last 30 years, born-again Protestants have overwhelmingly backed Republican candidates in the belief that for religion to matter, it must influence not only what people do when they gather for worship but also what they do every other day of the week. Faith must reach beyond the walls and fellowships of churches into the halls of power. From secularists and liberals who fear a return to theocracy—as if even Old Testament Israel was run by the Aaronic priesthood—to the Religious Right, which thrives on complaints about a “naked public square,” arguments for taking religion seriously in politics have coincided with the resurgence of the Republican Party since Ronald Reagan. (Read entire post.)

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