Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

FIRST THINGS and Politics

Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

FIRST THINGS and Politics

Article excerpt

A few friends are frustrated that First Things is a conservative journal, often speaking of the views "we" hold. Isn't faith greater? Doesn't faith transcend partisan differences? Isn't American conservatism in many ways at odds with a Christian or Catholic (or Jewish or Muslim) view? Shouldn't the magazine avoid taking sides, letting its religious and moral witness speak for itself?

Yes and no. Yes, of course people of faith - and for that matter of moral seriousness and goodwill - can come to different conclusions about public policy. And of course the first thing of all first things is our obedience to God, which has a profound interior and ritual reality that is corrupted if we equate or reduce it to politics. But as I read the signs of the times, modern progressivism has become profoundly antagonistic to moral and religious authority. Whether we like it or not, men and women of faith in America are on the political right now, at least when it comes to social issues.

As Midge Decter once said, "There comes a time to join the side you're on." Quite right. Our faith may not be political, but it has political implications. …

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