You'd have to live in a cave not to realize we've entered with gusto the political season. The trek toward 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has begun and in earnest.
Many (too many in my view) are looking to Donald Trump as the means by which this country might make a much needed comeback.
Some are putting their hopes in Ted Cruz. Still others in Marco Rubio. I'm personally looking closely at Carly Fiorina, John Kasich and Ben Carson though they each have their flaws.
On the other side of the equation, many think Hillary will continue the 'progress' made by the current occupant of the White House. And Bernie Sanders seems to be gaining some steam though I doubt seriously he has any staying power. Either would be disastrous in my view.
Bottom line is that again, we're looking to change the country by changing her leadership at the top.
Which brings us to the reason for the post.
Anthony Lilles has written a piece likely to set some people off, likely to cause many to turn away, because he's thinking counter-culturally, he's thinking there's a different way to rediscovering the land of the free and the home of the brave.
As it abandons Christianity, America is diminished under the weight of bad religion. Religion vulnerable to the latest cultural and political fad denigrates the worship of God, making it into a means to an end, rather than an end in itself. It imposes myths that appeal to the imagination in order to raise false hopes about prosperity and security. It takes advantage of those who think that they can keep their faith pure without the authority of the Church. It wants piety locked behind the doors of a Church and kept within the confines of our private lives.
The altar of such political avarice can only bind us to all kinds of heartless programs of social reengineering.
Only the Truth provides the solid ground on which alone human dignity stands. This is the ground on which the authority of the Church rests too. This is why the Church must speak out whenever human dignity is on the line. Anything else is just a slippery slope. Because it offers only a slippery slope, bad religion is always dehumanizing.
All too often, our leaders refer to God with manipulative sentimentality, cloaking their hidden agendas with pious jargon. What is more, our branches of government usurp the very place of God, desecrating the most sacred institutions of human existence, declaring not as blessings but as burdens the dying, the unborn and the stranger. They have rendered marriage, motherhood and family life vulnerable to the latest whims of the politically powerful, while scoffing cultural thugs shame us into silence.
Everyone is afraid of being labeled intolerant even when the most tender truths about human existence and freedom are on the line. The greatest sin in America today, however, is not intolerance. Indeed, intolerance toward Christians is heralded as a great social virtue. Such bigotry toward people of faith is presumed so righteous and sophisticated that not to hold it is regarded with surprise and dismay. So blinding is this deadly prejudice that, even as Christians forgive their murderers and bury their martyrs, national figures cannot see this growing evil for what it is. They ignore, redirect and spin, but refuse to confront this grave social evil whether within our borders or beyond them.
Since bad religion has gained the upper ground in the United States, people of faith who dare to question the wrong cultural conventions are deemed anathema. To dare to defend the integrity of marriage or the sacredness of human life is an unforgivable social crime. It is considered a threat to all civil discourse to suggest that there is another standard in such matters beside the whims of the elite. Because Christians propose otherwise, they have become the special targets of social hatred.
Lilles goes on and I think you should go on with him.
Trump's not going to save this country. Neither will Cruz or Rubio. And I'm convinced that Fiorina, Kasich or Carson aren't going to do the trick either.
Though I think electing someone with conservative principles will help slow the decay the country's facing, the fact is that it's going to take more to actually halt and reverse it.
Mr. Liles makes that point and he does so effectively.
Read his piece and pass it on.
Crossposted at Wizbang.