The Corner

Debating Derb

Rich, I’d (broadly) agree with you that that the “Religious Right” has been identified with the rise of a more conservative, anti-government GOP, but times are changing. On the whole, I think it is fair to say that much of the Religious Right’s earlier agenda (if you can really speak of one unified agenda – which I doubt) could be described as defensive – many people of faith felt (a) that the state had gone too far in telling them how to live their lives; and (b) that they were being shut out of the national debate (“national debate”, yeuch: apologies for the NPRspeak). Those were fair points. Now, things are different, and as full participants in that national debate, the Religious Right, like most other political groupings, are pursuing a more active agenda. Emboldened by electoral success, they too are trying to set rules for everyone else. They are fully entitled to try to do so, just as those who disagree are fully entitled to shove back – that’s democracy. Derb’s point (if I have this right, John) is that we should no longer assume that this agenda is automatically opposed to big government. It’s not. Derb is right – and he is right to be depressed.

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