April 18, 2014

Fr. Neuhaus’ review of ‘The Democratic Virtues of the Christian Right’

The Wall Street Journal this week published the late Fr. Richard John Neuhaus' review of "The Democratic Virtues of the Christian Right" by Jon Shields. In the review, Fr. Neuhaus gives Shields, a political scientist at Claremont McKenna College, high marks for "an excruciatingly careful study, studded with the expected graphs and statistical data—but not to the point of spoiling its readability—in the service of probing the curious permutations in contemporary political alignments." The book is scheduled for release on Feb. 19. The pro-life movement is a movement for change, indeed for what some view as the radical change of eliminating the unlimited abortion license. "Meanwhile," writes Shields, "the pro-choice movement is a conservative movement defending the status quo. Pro-choicers have little to gain from engaging their opponents and from the deliberative norms that facilitate persuasion." And, of course, they have the establishment media massively on their side. The head … [Read more...]

Fr. Richard John Neuhaus — May his memory be eternal

Fr. Richard John Neuhaus

Roman Catholic priest Fr. Richard John Neuhas died yesterday after a protracted battle with cancer. Anyone familiar with Christianity in the public square will recognize Fr. Neuhaus as one of the first to sound the alarm that a public square stripped of religious values would lead to a culture stripped of benevolent morality. In his seminal work "The Naked Public Square," Fr. Neuhaus argued that "moral neutrality" was anything but neutral and would lead to a society in which moral universals would be overthrown in favor or utilitarian interests. What did he mean by this? He meant that once religion has been relegated to a private interest (you believe what you want to believe, I will believe what I want to believe, it really doesn't matter), the universals by which men govern themselves would erode, and society would becomes susceptible to, and finally shape itself around, an ethic drawn from the decisions of elites. The pressure on Christians to privatize their faith Neuhaus … [Read more...]