Sunday, January 20, 2008

Anti-Christian Nation Speak From the Right:

Just a reminder that the notion that I posit on my blogs -- that America is not a "Christian Nation" in a public/civil sense -- is compatible with a variety of different political ideologies, including some very traditionalist conservative ones. At Claremont, Richard Reeb reproduces an email from Bob Sasseen, former president of the University of Dallas, explaining why America's Founding principles rest chiefly on a natural law/natural rights, not a "biblical" foundation (meaning the United States, in principle, was founded more so on reason as opposed to revelation). A quote:

The theology of the Declaration is a natural theology grounded in both the laws of nature and the laws of nature's God. [The latter "laws" could be a reference to Revelation and the laws knowable only by Faith ( e.g., in "The Gospel of Jesus Christ"). But I doubt it. More probably it is a reference to the fact that the natural law is not morally obligatory if not rooted in Divine command (which is law to his creatures), or in what St. Thomas [Aquinas] called "the eternal law."] I believe that the Declaration's principles and argument refute the claims of the Secularists who would kick God out of our politics, laws, and customs. Nor do they support the claims of those Christians who proclaim that our regime is founded on the Gospel or its Christian principles. Compatibility is one thing; identity is another.

Our regime does not recognize a triune God whose essence is love. Our regime is ordered to freedom and justice, not to the advent of the Kingdom of God. Nor does our regime command either love of God or love of neighbor as does the Gospel. Finally, Christ founded a Church, not a polity. Salvation is to be found only in Christ and through Christ. It is not to be found in politics, or through politics, or through the founding or reconstitution of the political and social order. That belief is idolatry.

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