Sunday, April 09, 2006

Significant Summation of the Theocons' Predicament

Ross Douthat, an editor of the SWNID favorite Atlantic Monthly, today for the Wall Street Journal offers a remarkably insightful estimate of the state of affairs for religious conservatives, i.e. "theocons." Douthat provides insightful historical perspective and cagy contemporary advice.

We urge gentle readers to follow the link and read the whole article, but for the impatient, here's a quote:

Reform isn't a word you often hear associated with the religious right, of course--and the people who decide such things decided long ago that religion mixed with conservatism yields the scent of brimstone. But contemporary "theoconservatism" is best understood as an heir to America's long line of Christ-haunted reform movements--the abolitionists and the populists, the progressives and the suffragettes, the civil-rights crusaders and even the antiwar activist of the middle 1960s, among whom Richard John Neuhaus (now the "theocon in chief" to his enemies, but then a man of the religious left) cut his teeth.

Like the Victorian reformers who strove to mitigate the worst consequences of the Industrial Revolution, religious conservatism, at its best, is a response to the excesses of the sexual revolution--the fatherless children and broken homes, the millions of abortions and the commodification of human life. The eras aren't parallel, but there are similarities: The Victorian reformers passed the laws against abortion that "theocons" yearn to restore, and waged war against the same kind of crude, politicized Darwinism that's associated with the contemporary culture of death.


Kevin K said...

Did you forget to include the link?

RIV said...

Kevin K said...


Anonymous said...


Enough of these current events. Will you or will you not report the "BIG" story at your institution? We in the UCC are waiting with baited breath.

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

As I stated in the first posting on this blog, I will offer "no 'inside information,' as that would be inappropriate" (

We have with this blog spawned significant misunderstandings at least twice, in both cases by commenting on specific events in churches or related institutions. We are now therefore endeavoring to observe more assiduously the pragmatic boundary about such things that we laid out at the beginning.

Further, at my institution, there is no "big story," save that Jesus the crucified has risen from the dead.

N.B. also that we will revise the original posting here to include the "missing link."