My plan to work, work, work, today is being interrupted by a family situation that needs attending-to (nothing awful, but important, nonetheless) so here’s some interesting stuff I meant to respond to or comment on. Now, you’ll have to do it!
I’ve wondered several times over the past five years whether some Americans are allowing their ideologies to become their idols. I’ve never quite had the answer, but thought it was an important question, nonetheless. Today Mr. Dalrymple asks the question, too, but perhaps more skeptically than I have, and looking for evidence of same. He uses “Americolatry;” I like Ameridolatry a little better:
1. When does patriotism pass over into idolatry? How are you defining these terms: Americolatry, Christianism, civil religion or America-worship? What is the difference between loving, honoring, venerating, and worshiping America? We need more finely drawn categories before we can measure whether these claims are true.
2. What are the healthy (if there are any) and unhealthy ways of mixing politics and religion?
3. Finally, what is your evidence that conservative evangelicals have fallen into any of these things? Sessions, for one, accuses Beck of dealing in hysteria, caricature and shadowy innuendo. Perhaps he is right about Beck; I have not watched him enough to know. Lest these writers engage in the same thing, however, they need to be very clear about their accusations and they need to produce the evidence. They owe it to the accused, and they owe it to their readers.
Joe Carter, writing at First Things, looks at the beliefs of the founders:
The leaders during the revolutionary era may have subscribed to a Judeo-Christian view of morality, but few of them were orthodox believers. The majority subscribed to a religious view that we would nowadays classify as Unitarianism. A rejection of Trinitarianism clearly puts one outside the bounds of orthodox Christianity. We should not claim that a historical figure is a Christian when he held heretical views of the central Christian dogma .
However, while we Christians can claim few founding fathers as fellow believers, the atheists and secularists can claim none. Not one of the significant leaders was an atheist, much less subscribed to the modern idea of secularism.
Glad to see others realizing that Environmentalism has become a religion, and we’re being over-proselytized. And as we all know, that’s bad.
Is the American Dream Dead?: Not dead, sirrah, but wounded, and clearly in need of redefining. Our fixation on the material may be better off for the current shaking-up we’re experiencing, but liberty is not a material item, and Paul Krugman’s idiotic assertions don’t seem to take that into account. I wonder how he’d feel if his enjoyment of (and claims upon) his cozy Caribbean beach getaway were considered as engendering within him “a belligerent sense of entitlement.”
“We Can Absorb Another Terror Attack”. It will be spun and spun, but I largely agree with Ace that this is just a rehash of John Kerry’s 2004 campaign notion that terror attacks should be something we look at as “nuisances” rather than acts of war, or something. Me, I’ll never forget watching the loop of the planes hitting the WTC and Tom Brokaw’s voice solemnly declaring “This. Is. War.” I wonder if he got called on the carpet for that. And I wonder how long it will be before Al Quada tries to test our absorption rate.
I find it refreshing, actually, that the hate is not in hiding. When it is able to hide, it has the upper hand. But in the meantime, they do give a measure of succor and protection to the president. Funny, that. When the president had an R after his name, they were all about “afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted”.
Andrew Cuomo: same as he ever was, a guy I can never vote for.
Did Katie Couric and the rest feel a little stupid when Castro was more objective about Cuba’s failings than they were?. We’ll never know.
Ruminating on what will be this year’s October Surprise.
Probing Christine O’ Donnell’s spending. Appropriate questions should be answered, as per vapid senator, above. We do not need more mediocrity or questionable expenditures, that’s for sure.
What Do You Really Believe? Patheos wants to know what you really believe happens when we die. This is the opening question of a continuing series asking ordinary people from all faiths what they “really” believe. The Catholic side is a little slow to respond, as I am still a little backlogged, but this introductory question is for the first two weeks, so hopefully I’ll have something up soon!
Metaxas, btw, is one of the contributors to Disorientations; How to Go to College Without Losing Your Mind; his essay is on Relativism. You can read one of the essays-in-ful, Peter Kreeft’s thoughts on Progressivism, here.
I just got my Amazon copy of Disorientation in the mail, btw, so those of you who ordered it, it should be hitting your mailboxes, soon!
Guilting people into Accepting Obamacare?
I never did understand this constituency
Richard John Neuhaus’s remarks on the 20th anniversary of his reception into the church. This is a must-read.
Sigh: I do sometimes think that Benedict XVI is the unluckiest pope, ever
Speaking of the Bible: Jimmie Bise wishes the NY Times wouldn’t, without reading it, first.
Is the New American Bible problematic for Purgatory?
NunNews: Our Passionist friends latest newsletter is really excellent, and so is the one just released by our Summit Dominicans (who just elected a new prioress) and I really, really like this blog post, by a Carmelite Sister from Los Angeles, about a recent communion breakfast her community sang for:
8:30 a.m. Cardinal Mahoney stands to introduce the guest speaker, Archbishop Timothy Dolan. I have heard many beautiful things about him, and I was expecting a powerful presentation, but I was not prepared for what I am now hearing. Strong, humorous, logical, authoritative, humble, in short, truly virtuous. What are his three points? First, we should view the Church as our supernatural family. Catholicism is in our very DNA. Second, there is a need to revive authentic apologetics. This does not mean brutal argumentation, but rather the art of defending the faith with steady, humble, cheerful confidence. And lastly, there is the essential need to admit the sinful side of the Church. There is a definite connection between the wounded side of Christ and the Church which was drawn there from. It is not by accident that the first thing Christ did after His resurrection was show His wounds to His followers. The Body of Christ will always have wounds. As Archbishop Dolan speaks I am captured by the truth of his words and deeply moved, strengthened in my love for the Church which is weak and broken like me, but outside of which I would be completely lost.
Great stuff, all around!