Over at National Review Online, the indispensable George Weigel assesses the state of things after last week’s election and dismantles one of the more common reactions to Obama’s re-election – that it was nothing more than a preservation of the status quo, that nothing has changed. Weigel refutes this mistaken notion, explaining why what happened is very much of consequence for the country, the culture, and the Church.
The American culture war has been markedly intensified, as those who booed God, celebrated an unfettered abortion license, canonized Sandra Fluke, and sacramentalized sodomy at the Democratic National Convention will have been emboldened to advance the cause of lifestyle libertinism through coercive state power, thus deepening the danger of what a noted Bavarian theologian calls the “dictatorship of relativism.”
Religious freedom and civil society are now in greater jeopardy than ever, as what was already the most secularist and statist administration in history will, unfettered by reelection concerns, accelerate its efforts to bring free voluntary associations to heel as de facto extensions of the state.
Echoing Pope Benedict XVI, Weigel warns of the danger posed by a culture of relativism, a culture whose ideals of narcissism and hostility to traditional morality are actively promoted by the administration that was just re-elected and re-affirmed in its goals by a majority of the American public. With the culture in this state, and with those principles we cherish under such attack, Weigel offers the basic parameters of what our mission must be going forward:
It takes a certain kind of people, living certain indispensable virtues, to make the market and democracy work so that justice, prosperity, and human flourishing are the net results of freedom. That elementary truth — recognized by the Founders, ignored by the newly reelected administration, and avoided by libertarians and Republican campaign consultants — has to be at the center of the conversation about the American future, and about playing good defense during the next four challenging years.
There is more to Weigel’s article, all worth your while.