CHRISTIANISM AND THE LEFT

The emergence of Christianism in this country – a political movement founded on evangelical doctrine – is arguably the most significant political development of the new millennium. And what’s critical about this new movement is its relationship to government: there’s nothing Christianists like more than active, interventionist government to right wrong, police private lives and uphold their version of morality. Now take a moment to ask yourselves: who do they resemble? This busy-body, moralizing tendency was once the province of what we once called the left. Like the old left, Christianism puts virtue before freedom, even if its idea of virtue is very different than those in the old left. But the usual facets of leftism – massive public spending and borrowing, growth in regulations, tampering with the constitution for political ends, use of churches for political campaigns – are now just as powerfully represented on the Christianist right. Eventually, it was inevitable that they would join forces in a common cause – and the environment is one of them. What’s interesting here is not whether the policy proposals have merit; but the confluence of these two interventionist, big government philosophies. Some parts of the environnmental movement – the loopy parts – are very similar to eschatological religious phenomena in any case. Their fusion is a sign of our new politics – where bigger and bigger government and less and less freedom is now the ruling consensus.

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