Tag Archives: Religious politics

Defining a Place for the New Atheism

I’m moving to Brooklyn! With no internet. Hence delays.  Andrew Sullivan, with Bryan Appleyard, together question the value of the “new atheism,” which they define as a belief system devoted to the absolute eradication of both religion, and its influence on mankind. Appleyard: By “neo-atheism”, I mean a tripartite belief system founded on the conviction […]

Obama and Antiochus: the Modern Persecution Complex

Michael Stokes Paulsen, reported in Ben Domenech’s Transom, attempts to draw a shaky parallel between a campaign of oppression carried out by the Hellenistic king Antiochus IV Ephiphanes on his Jewish subject, and the Obama administration’s mandate that church-affiliated organizations cover contraceptives as part of their employees’ health plans: The story does not have an especially […]

The Populist Case for Tradition

At RedState, that wretched hive of scum and villainy, one poster manages to, between an incomprehensibly wrong argument against the Ninth Circuit’s recent decision on Proposition 8, say something interesting. I recommend you skip over everything but the last two paragraphs, reproduced below: As I’ve written before, democracy, free markets, tradition and the rule of written […]

Speaking to Your Enemy

Matt Taibbi’s polemical piece on the self-anointed prophet of tea part evangelism, Michele Bachmann, is worth a read, but suffers for its tone. If half of the facts he’s dredged up about Bachmann are true — multiple, abortive attempts to turn the machinery of state into a proselytizing organization, for example — then the thing […]

Can Legislators Properly Consider God in the Decisionmaking Process?

I’ll preview the conclusion: if it’s outcome determinative… no. Disgraced former Senator Rick Santorum grabbed headlines yesterday by saying he was “frankly appalled” by President Kennedy’s “radical” statements during the 1960 campaign, which amounted to the following, now sadly somewhat controversial but succinct statement of a basic, foundational principle: “I believe in an America where […]

Glenn Beck’s Christmas Paean to the Constitution

WordPress won’t let me embed the video, and thank God; I’d rather not profane our pages, anyways. But please don’t miss this video of his, describing, four days before Christmas, the “birth of the Constitution.” The timing and phrasing of it all suggests a not-so-subtle dog whistle to devotees of obscure quasi-historian Cleon Skousen, Beck’s […]

Theologies of Governance

Conservative websites justly criticize Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) for the bold assertion that fiscal conservatism requires “social conservatism,” by which he means a dedication to God, by regulating society to conform to and mirror his subjective idea of what religious righteousness requires. Setting to one side the arrogant assumption that Jim DeMint, and the Republican […]

Our Sharia

Although the protections afforded Jews and Christians by Islamic law were, in many ways, ahead of their time, this grace, such as it was, had its limits. According to the Pact of Umar, which defined the relationship between the Peoples of the Book, [Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians] shall not build, in our cities or in […]

Facts on the Ground

There’s a large police presence in downtown Manhattan today — but comparatively fewer protesters. Most of them, too, are marching in support of Cordoba House. It’s actually quite refreshing. Someone put up sheets to note, and presumably discuss, reasons to support or oppose the center. Who doesn’t want a swimming pool? I talked to one […]

“One Nation Under God”: Co-opting the Fringe Narrative

For as long as I’ve been politically conscious, the line, “One Nation Under God,” a new adornment to our currency and a belated addition to the Pledge of Allegiance, has been pushed by the Christian right as proof that, in opposition to both the constitutional text and any fair reading of American history, we are […]