The Corner

Not So Fast

Over at his blog, David Kuo is calling on “Christians” to “fast” from politics for two years. Or at least conservative Christians: Kuo sometimes writes as though they’re the only kind of Christians around, which is a bad habit. He writes that over the last generation,

we’ve had almost everything we wanted politically. But things are hardly better. Social statistics are largely unchanged. Divorces are rampant and more and more children are growing up in a home with just one parent. Nearly a million-and-a-half abortions are performed every year. There are more children in poverty today than 20 years ago. A greater percentage of Americans lack health care than ever before. Educational achievement is hardly soaring. Millions of Americans live in what seems like utterly intractable poverty.

Some of this strikes me as too gloomy, and the rest of it will disillusion only those who have wildly excessive hopes for politics. Abortion and illegitimacy rates have dropped, in part because of policy changes that conservative Christians’ political efforts helped to make possible. And it’s not wise to expect politics to save your marriage.

Kuo suggests that Christians continue to vote, but do no more than that politically. “Instead of sending letters to Congress and engaging in political arguments with friends and listening to political talk radio and canvassing door to door for candidates and volunteering for campaigns, let’s spend our time in different ways.” This sounds a little less like self-sacrifice than like taking a break from some onerous work that others will have to continue to do.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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