that faith & values thing

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jul 12, 2006

Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those whom we cannot resemble. -- Samuel Johnson

At the Democratic National Convention in 1988, held in Atlanta, the traditional red, white, and blue bunting was replaced by the designer colors salmon, cream, and lilac, because the Dems' media consultants assured them it came off better on television. It came off instead as ridiculous, and in so doing showed the gap between policy-making liberals and the rest of the citizenry. Those for whom patriotism is a distasteful ritual enacted under compulsion only once every four years find it hard to counterfeit, and it's not surprising that when they try to fake it for the cameras they can't get it right. Fr. Neuhaus had some fun the other day spoofing E.J. Dionne's clumsy defense of his fellow libs: "the progressive and the reformer have a problem with what passes for unadulterated patriotism." It's hard to convince others you share a value you sneer at.

We see the same salmon-cream-lilac obtuseness when Lefties try to talk religion. They live and move and have their being in a secular elite culture that has nothing but disdain for Christianity and Christians; at best they regard piety as a childhood disease. Only the coarsest political necessity obliges them to take notice of believers in the first place, and their discomfort at feigning an interest in faith is obvious. Still, like a drooling guy trying to convince a ballerina he "really digs Profokieff," the liberal lust for votes won't help them get the words right. Mark Tooley reports on Jim Wallis's pathetic teach-in for Dems on the make:

[Howard] Dean shared hope for America as a "moral nation," with national health care, an increased minimum wage, and a protected estate tax. "The folks in this church are ones who live their faith through works -- that is the mark of a real Christian," he assured his audience.

A protected estate tax. That'll impress the Christian voter. But while you're laying this line on her, Howie, try not to stare so hard at her legs.

The sad futility is evident in another column by E.J. Dionne, where the liberal Catholic journo is gushing about the liberal Christian pol Barack Obama:

And if you think this sounds preachy, Mr. Obama has an answer: "Our fear of getting 'preachy' may also lead [progressives] to discount the role that values and culture play in some of our most urgent social problems."

They've both got it backwards. Religion is about ends, and genuinely religious people are not flattered when you point out how well their religion serves as a means. Christian charity may be useful in alleviating homelessness, but to praise its utility is to demean it. A politician not constitutionally allergic to faith might have written, "Our fear of getting 'preachy' may also lead progressives to discount the importance of urgent social problems in the personal decisions that religious persons consider matters of their salvation and damnation." Hint: don't look for many changes in Campaign 2008.

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  • Posted by: - Jul. 19, 2006 4:07 PM ET USA

    I surmise that for some this life is more important than the next and all post-birth life is more important that all pre-birth life. "I want mine now."

  • Posted by: - Jul. 13, 2006 2:31 PM ET USA

    It is ironic that liberal protestants are now preaching the very thing that their founders accused the Church of - relying on works at the expense of faith in Christ.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 13, 2006 1:23 PM ET USA

    Di and Phil, I recommend this op-ed to you: "Senator Barack Obama’s errors in theological analysis are symptomatic of the Democratic Party’s misunderstanding of faith and its relevance to so many Americans."

  • Posted by: - Jul. 13, 2006 1:27 AM ET USA

    Mr Roberts and Mr Alito are not doctrinaire pro-lifers, regardless of their affiliations, religious or political. Mr Bush could have chosen any of seven(by my count) candidates, firmly pro-life in all aspects-he chose not to do so. When he chose Mr Gonzalez as his AttyGen, precisely the same thing occurred. Mr Bush has shown that he is a luke-warm friend of the pro-life movement. Nor is he a fiscal conservative; look at the federal debt over the last six years(the war not withstanding).

  • Posted by: - Jul. 13, 2006 1:18 AM ET USA

    Ross, we in the GOP have the same problem with the 'moderate' branch of the party; the Schwarzenggers, the Guillianis, the Condoleezas, who advocate anti-life positions. What we truly need is an independant organisation whose programme encompasses all life issues. For as long as we pro-lifers remain in the party, they will continue to take advantage of us. Why is it that our own esteemed president considers it gauche when one brings up abortion in his presence?

  • Posted by: AnthonyP - Jul. 12, 2006 11:15 PM ET USA

    "Religion is about ends, and genuinely religious people are not flattered when you point out how well their religion serves as a means. Christian charity may be useful in alleviating homelessness, but to praise its utility is to demean it." This quote is right on the money and the gist can be found in Deus Caritas Est. It's all about Love. The "non-religious" can not understand this level of Love (agape). They just don't get it. Secular approachs can only reach to the lower level.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 12, 2006 9:49 PM ET USA

    Ah yes, the rugged invidualists masked as Catholics... the only concerns are birth, sex and death crowd.... everything else is relative. One longs for the day when Catholics had something resembling a conscience and didn't hide behind right-wing extremist politics.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 12, 2006 7:36 PM ET USA

    Convert 1994, The Democrat Party will never be the same again. Not with the likes of the Witches of the East and the Witches of the West not to mention Hollywood at its' best. They are all riding with the dark forces, the body parts industry,ugly arts and crafts, perverted sexual protectors promoters of sacrilege and blasphemous acts all under the guise of the First Amendment. Revisionists of tradition and history and insisting that they are telling the truth when they are bald-faced lying.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 12, 2006 7:31 PM ET USA

    Ross, you've said it very well. If someone insists on denying the most basic of rights, the rest don't really mean or matter very much. Ask one of the aborted babies what he or she thinks of the Democrats' welfare plan or Social Security reform ideas. Please don't hold your breath waiting for an answer.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 12, 2006 2:44 PM ET USA

    Exactly, Ross! I went from being a conservative Protestant Democrat to conservative Catholic Republican! (I was never a liberal, even as a Democrat.) Their support for abortion and euthanasia bursts their "we care about the least among us" bubble. I would totally respect the Democrat Party again if they became officially pro-life.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 12, 2006 12:57 PM ET USA

    I cannot and do not listen to any Democrat Party politician, because as far as I am concerned, they have nothing to say that is worthwhile..The Democrat Party has "Abortion" on their "Platform" so their do-gooder attitude is actually phony and that is what makes me sick. It is a given, that people who allow or promote "Abortion" have no Wisdom or Love. I do not care how filthy rich they are, or what they say. The Democrat Party, at this point and time, is a disgrace to the human race.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 12, 2006 12:46 PM ET USA

    gushing about the liberal Catholic pol Barack Obama Obama's website says he attends Trinity United Church of Christ. I guess that qualifies him as a liberal Catholic.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 12, 2006 12:15 PM ET USA

    "But while you're laying this line on her, Howie, try not to stare so hard at her legs." :-D Also, we should excoriate them for talking about "values" and Christianity in the same sentence. See "Good Scouts Don't Have Values":

  • Posted by: - Jul. 12, 2006 10:53 AM ET USA

    This needs to be circulated among those priests, religious and assorted laity who think that the Gospels were successfully amended and finalized by the likes of John Dewey, Eleanor Roosevelt, the Hugh Hefner Choir, and with special gratitude to the biblical scholarship legacy of Marx and Engels, et al.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 12, 2006 10:46 AM ET USA

    For liberal secularists, salvation comes from the Government and its multitude of programs paid for by taxes. For Christians, salvation comes from God; government and its programs are only good if they are seen for what they are --- consequences of God's mercy.