The Corner

The one and only.

Re Derb and Ramesh on God and Conservatism


The Paul Johnson thesis names “belief in a benificent God” as one of the six core principles of conservatism. The reason I know this is because the Australian cabinet minister Senator Santoro quoted it in his introduction to a speech I gave in Canberra last night (Wednesday, that is: not sure what day you’re on in Eastern Time). Various Aussies in the crowd raised their eyebrows. And one of the Senator’s fellow ministers scribbled the quote down on the back of a card and then passed it to me with the one-word query: “True?” Fortunately I passed out in the excellent Tasmanian beer before I could answer. To split the difference, I think a conservative ought to be at least deferential toward religion, whether or not a believer himself.