Rod Dreher describes what happened at a conference sponsored by First Things on the future of religion in the public square. In the course of doing so, he describes a current controversy among conservative Catholics: The “Murrayites” believe that Catholicism is compatible with American-style political and economic liberalism. (Not so much liberalism as left-wing ideology, but the ideals of liberty, democracy, and free-enterprise economics.) Against this view are the “radical Catholics” who believe that this liberalism is incompatible with Christianity.
Read the remarks after the jump and click on the link to Patrick Deneen’s article on the conflict. Substitute “Christian” for “Catholic.” Do the points still hold for Christianity in general, or does the debate hinge on specific tenets of Catholicism? Can there be a “Murrayite” Protestantism vs. a “radical” Protestantism? Or is Protestantism intrinsically connected to liberalism? How about “Lutheranism,” or does the doctrine of the Two Kingdoms work for any society?
I’m curious too what the alternative is for the “radicals.” Some kind of authoritarian regime? The Pope at the head of an Emperor, as in the Middle Ages?