The Native Tourist
reformed/biblical observations on Christianity and culture
Friday, November 09, 2007
The Myth of Neutrality Redoux
We return to Doug Wilson's critique/review of DG Hart's A Secular Faith. Wilson summarizes Hart's reasoning on why we shouldn't be concerned about the religious convictions of political candidates:
...All a man's convictions about what is to be done or not done in the public sphere [and by extension all other cultural endeavors] are his private convictions. And when an official acts in the "national or public interest," by what standard does he make these decisions? There is no such thing as a national or public decision made by an impersonal decision-making "locus" that is outside an individual who will answer to God for the decision.
Wilson then quotes Hart:
"Despite the prominence of religion throughoug the history of American politics, the national or public character of government decisions has generally been the accepted norm" (p. 161).
Hart's naiveté at this point is stunning. Does he really believe that their is a "national" or "public" way of thinking that somehow rises above religious and ideological commitments.
Wilson nails it, when he concludes:
There are many aspects of my identity that are not essential to my standing in Christ. For example, I am a husband, an American, a conservative, a lover of the blues, a submariner, a son, and a minister. There are many fine Christians who are, to the contrary, wives, Englishmen, libertarians, jazz-lovers, aircraft carrier men, daughters, or laymen. This is why the hyphen must not set up a horizontal dualism, but rather point to a hierarchy. Whatever aspect of my identity exists in distinction from the legitimate identity of others must nevertheless be an aspect of my identity that is in submission to Christ. There is not one part of my life where Christ rules and another part where the "national character of public decisions" rule. I must only go with the national character of the decision if Jesus wants me to.