Liberalism of the left & liberalism of the right

The well-regarded ethicist Stanley Hauerwas reviews a new book by John Milibank, of “radical orthodoxy” fame.  Entitled The Politics of Virtue, Milibank argues that both today’s liberals and conservatives are essentially liberals.  Both sides are fixated on “freedom,” whether sexual freedom or economic freedom, to the exclusion of other things needed for a good society (such as virtue).  Milibanks goes on to argue for a “post-liberalism.”

Read Hauerwas’s discussion and interaction with the ideas after the jump. [Read more…]

CNN caught feeding debate questions to Clinton

Donna Brazile is a Democratic operative who landed a gig as a commentator at CNN.  The Wikileak trove of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s e-mails includes Brazile giving him a question that would be asked in the CNN-hosted Town Hall debate.

Earlier Wikileaks seemed to indicate that she was leaking questions in earlier debates, but Brazile and CNN both strongly denied it.  But there is no question about what this e-mail says.

So CNN and Brazile have severed ties. [Read more…]

How Hillary treats her underlings (including those who protect her)

You can tell a lot about a man, according to an old saying, by the way he treats his servants.  Hillary Clinton has the reputation of often being vicious to those who serve her.  And she is often downright abusive to the officers who have sworn to give their lives to protect hers.

So says Deroy Murdock in the (anti-Trump) National Review, giving examples and quotations from numerous sources. [Read more…]

“God punishes wicked subjects by wicked rulers”

Luther did not actually say the words attributed to him, that he would rather be ruled by a wise Turk than a foolish Christian (HT: Carl Vehse).  Though we might wish a wise Turk were running.  All we seem to be getting are foolish Turks.

But here is a political observation that Luther did say, from Treatise on the Ban (1520) paragraph 16:   “God punishes wicked subjects by wicked rulers.”

I quoted this in a previous post, but it’s worth thinking about and discussing for its own sake.  So, assuming that Luther is right and that both of the candidates have their own kind of “wickedness” (keeping in mind that maybe they don’t or will be changed), what did we do to deserve whichever candidate wins the presidency?

I’ll start with some reflections about how God punishes societies after the jump. [Read more…]

The candidates and the Two Kingdoms

I’ve been studying the Lutheran doctrine of the Two Kingdoms, which has some interesting applications to our controversies today.  Christian defenders of Donald Trump are saying that his sexual transgressions show that he isn’t a saint.  But he is well-suited to the pragmatic, rough-and-tumble world of secular government, and that’s what we need in a presidential candidate.

Well, according to the doctrine of the Two Kingdoms, God’s spiritual Kingdom is ruled by the Gospel, but His earthly Kingdom is ruled by the Law.  That is to say, morality does apply precisely to secular government.

UPDATE:  Specifically, the first use of the Law, the civil use, which curbs external vices.  Though it cannot justify or get at our internal sinfulness, it restrains the outward expression of that sinfulness.  Such restraint and self-control can be practiced, to a certain extent, by all members of society, which depends on some kind of moral order.

[Read more…]

Keeping our promises

First Things editor Alexi Sargeant says that “Trump’s policies, such as they are, usually come down to America breaking its promises.”  Read the argument after the jump and say what you think of it.
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