“A year ago, I asked [Irving] Kristol after a lecture whether he believed in God or not. He got a twinkle in his eye and responded, ‘I don’t believe in God, I have faith in God.’ Well, faith, as it says in Hebrews 11:1, ‘is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’ But at the recent AEI lecture, journalist Ben Wattenberg asked him the same thing. Kristol responded that ‘that is a stupid question,’ and crisply restated his belief that religion is essential for maintaining social discipline. A much younger (and perhaps less circumspect) Kristol asserted in a 1949 essay that in order to prevent the social disarray that would occur if ordinary people lost their religious faith, ‘it would indeed become the duty of the wise publicly to defend and support religion.'” – Ronald Bailey, Reason. (Hat tip: Derb).

Re-reading the theocons for my book on conservatism, I have been struck by how, in recent years, they have come to a consensus that in order for their political-theological project to be coherent, they may have to undermine Darwin and evolution. This political Pope may help provide cover. You cannot restore Aquinas as the central figure for the West’s understanding of its own politics without dethroning Darwin. For the neocons, this will present a real challenge: to say things they know are untrue in order to promote a political reordering that they approve of. Some will balk, like Krauthammer. But others will find a way to be tactically silent, or worse. Power is at stake.

THE MILITARY VERSUS TORTURE: The internal revolt against the Cheney-Rumsfeld policy gains momentum. Honor is not dead in the American military and CIA. Far from it. It is just dead in the White House.

A TWOFER: Among Republican and conservative blog-readers, I’ve won two prizes. An Honorable Mention for “Most Annoying Left-Of-Center Blogger” (ahead of Juan Cole!); and a clear win for “Most Annoying Right-Of-Center Blogger.” Shucks. I do what I can.


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