Monday, April 17, 2006
# Posted 9:53 PM by Ariel David Adesnik
Dick Myers: C. Generals in uniform always support the President and the Secretary of Defense. Retired generals don't have much credibility when they dutifully insist that frank criticism is welcome within the Pentagon, so retired generals don't need to speak out.And now for the hosts:
Russert: A. I assume he strongly supported the idea of a roundtable on faith, or perhaps even came up with it.See ya next week! (4) opinions -- Add your opinion
I will never understand why some religious types are so willing to abdicate their responsibilities to the government to do the work of Jesus using money collected by Caesar. Last I heard that would have flat 10% tax (can I get a refund on the rest, are the rich closer to God since they are obviously doing more of God’s work, compulsory or not?). If the church is abdicating their role to government, why in the hell should they even exist in the first place?
RE: Meet the Press. It was a great show, but I came away with a different impression of the panelists. Maybe it is my intense dislike of Neuhaus, whom Andy Sullivan calls king of the theocons, maybe it is the degree in political theology, but I thought he was smug. He looked as if he'd fallen asleep at one point. And while he never stated it, his disdain for anything outside of his narrow interpretation of Christian tradition was always lurking. I particularly found his "read your Catechism!" quip ridiculous. His discourse on why bishops must chide pro-choice pols was both paternalistic and -- ironically -- eerily reminiscent of southern anti-Kennedy propaganda.
While all I got out of Lerner was a desire to sell books, I did think Sister Chittister came off rather well in the exchange. I'm not sure I would call her liberal, either. Her point was less about politics, and more about the necessity of a dialogue within the Church (well done on getting Neuhaus to almost concede this). This conversation has recently been muted and one sided, and the effect has been to exclude large groups of people (homosexuals, divorcees, people who have gotten abortions, etc...). My impression was that Chittister's emphasis on life as the Church's sine qua non value, as opposed to Neuhaus's categorical paternalism, made her look like everyone's favourite grandmother.
The real winner, though, was Joel Osteen. I've always just assumed he was the more telegenic 21st century Oral Roberts. I couldn't have been more wrong. He certainly wasn't the most involved panelist, but that worked for him. By rising above the fray and emphasing the Church as a non-political, all embracing community, I think he reached a note many Americans want to hear.
"I will never understand why some religious types are so willing to abdicate their responsibilities to the government to do the work of Jesus using money collected by Caesar."
Because Christian theology holds that moral agency can only rest in individuals, never governments. Read your Augustine or Neibuhr.
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