Is The Anti-Religion Pendulum Swinging?
I have not been a big fan of Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, as this previous C-SM post shows:
This is one of the most important, uplifting times in history, as the US tries to change the course of world history by introducing democracy to the Middle East.Meacham might be stuck in the 60s, but it's definitely not the 1760s. Despite his inability to see any nobility in our war on terror efforts, he is not an automaton of separation of church and state Left-speak, as evidenced by his new book, God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation.
But you'd never know it if you were Jon Meacham, the managing editor of Newsweek. Asked by Tim Russert on Meet the Press about the most important story of 2005, he said it was Iraq, and especially the negative aspects of it -- prewar intelligence, competency of the leadership. Then he said:But there's not the good part which happened in the '60s. There's not a civil rights movement. There's not a race to the moon, where things are-- show what government can do in a positive way, and I think this has been a difficult year for government as an idea.Really? Did Meacham miss the purple fingertips in Iraq? The aforementioned burning desire for freedom among a suppressed people? The cessation of Kaddafi's nuclear program?
An article by Matt Kaufman in Citizen (not yet on line), Kaufman says Meacham ...
... has pulled together a load of information on the role faith has played in our history -- a lot more information than the common reader picks up in the average public school.Not bad for a liberal journalist who's no fan of the Christian Mr. Bush and his efforts to defend -- or establish -- freedom abroad.
"For the Founders," Meacham writes, "religioius freedom was not equivalent to a public life free of religion."
Meacham zeroes in on the Founders' overriding concern: As descendants of an era that had seen some bloody religious wars, they worried over how to have a peaceful republic with varying church denominations and degrees of piety. How could the people be held together?
Their solution, Meacham says, was what Benjamin Franklin called "public religion," which reflected some broad areas of agreement among Americans of varying religious stripes. Public religion looked toward God as the source of both human liberty and moral order. It stressed "the sacred origin of individual rights, the virtue of the populace -- virtues that require constant cultivation -- and the American sense of duty to defend freedom at home and, at times, abroad."
In the same issue, Citizen sets up for the coming Chistmas ... er, holiday ... season, and the expected attacks from the ACLU and their ilk. The conclusion:
The good news is that the organization most responsible for what's been dubbed 'the war on Christmas' the American Civil Liberties Union has been misfiring a lot lately, as more and more judges are recognizing the discrepancy between this manufactured doctrine and the actual meaning of the Constitution.Last year I tracked assaults on Christmas in a series of posts called Putting the [Blank] Back in [Blank]mas. Maybe there will be less to post about this year. Maybe the pendulum is doing what pendula do ... swinging back.
Related Tags: Christmas, ACLU, Founding fathers, Separation of church and state, Meacham