Turning Up the Cards?

Conrad Black, this morning, at National Review: “Santorum did not, to my knowledge, and probably would not, put it in these terms, but the confluence of his campaign with what Pope Benedict XVI specifically described as this administration’s ‘radical secularism’ brought this country a long way closer to a showdown, a turning-up of the cards, between the continuators and apostles of a materialist age of reason, the plenitude of the Enlightenment, and those who believe that the United States is a country that tolerates dissent equably, but is fundamentally and profoundly based on Judeo-Christian principles.”

This may be the single most disturbing thought with which you could start your morning—not the question of whether Santorum’s campaign is the primary device by which it was all brought out into the open. That seems to me implausible and, anyway, not worth arguing over. But the idea that the cards have been turned up, that we now finally have in this country a political party of faith and a political party of secularism: If true, that would be the moment when Tocqueville’s vision of America would be finished.



  • Marsha

    Not everything is black and white. There is color everywhere. 90+% of all people are good people with good intent regardless of their religion or their political party. Let’s not make the mistake of believing otherwise. Let’s not judge a person’s character by their beliefs but rather by their actions. Even actions that go against our deepest beliefs very often have very good intent behind them even if we’re not able to recognize it.

  • Teej

    One tendency that we have to be on guard against (and which is not done in the above post, but happens often) is to too quickly jump to the conclusion that those with whom we have strong disagreements are unabashed secularists in religious garb while we are the bearers of the true faith. My sense is that there is no conspiracy and those with whom we disagree more often than not sincerely believe that their public identity as a religious person is more authentic than those of a more ‘conservative’ bent. Perhaps, in the eyes of God, they are not… but then again, perhaps in the eyes of God ‘conservative’ Catholics are not always right either… but I do think that it is better to start from a position in which we assume the sincerity of those with whom we are debating rather than dismiss them as heretics, Catholycs, or some other pejorative term. Doing the latter generally only serves to feed into many of the divisions that undermine attempts to engage in effective dialogue. I don’t think the time has yet past for that.

  • Paul C

    I doubt very much that the Democratic party will declare themselves as the secular party. While it is true that it is the more secular of the two parties, there are still many people of faith in the Democratic party that the leadership can not alienate by making its secular goals too obvious.



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