The Corner

Religion in America

Piano players have an expression: “When in doubt, go Gershwin”.  George and Ira have written some song to fit every mood, and it’s almost always excellent.

Tocqueville performs a similar function for writers on American democracy.  James Poulos quotes the man on the development of religion under conditions of democracy.  It reads as if it were written this morning on an Apple MacBook:

Not content with the discovery that there is nothing in the world by one reaction and one Creator, he is still embarrassed by the primary division of things and seeks to expand and simplify his conception by including God and the universe in one great whole. If one finds a philosophical system which teaches that all things […] are only to be considered as the several parts of an immense Being who alone remains eternal in the midst of the continual flux and transformation of all that composes Him, one may be sure that such a system, although it destroys human individuality, or rather just because it destroys it, will have secret charms for men living under democracies. All their habits of mind prepare them to conceive it and put them on the way toward adopting it. It naturally attracts their imagination and holds it fixed. It fosters the pride and soothes the laziness of their minds.

Of all the different philosophical systems used to explain the universe, I believe that pantheism is one of those most fitted to seduce the mind in democratic ages. All those who still appreciate the true nature of man’s greatness should combine in the struggle against it.

Read the whole post, including most usefully the comments by the always-interesting Razib, who runs the amazing blog Gene Expression.

Jim ManziJim Manzi is CEO of Applied Predictive Technologies (APT), an applied artificial intelligence software company. Prior to founding APT, Mr. Manzi was a Vice President at Mercer Management Consulting where ...

Most Popular

Film & TV

A Film for All Christians

‘The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts,” wrote George Eliot in Middlemarch, “and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.” The passage provides the title ... Read More
Film & TV

A Film for All Christians

‘The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts,” wrote George Eliot in Middlemarch, “and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.” The passage provides the title ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The FBI’s Corrupt Cops

White-collar criminals should hope for one thing this Christmas: that they get to live under the Horowitz rules. Michael Horowitz has testified that he found no evidence of political bias on the part of the decision makers who, under the Obama administration, relied on hilariously implausible “evidence” ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The FBI’s Corrupt Cops

White-collar criminals should hope for one thing this Christmas: that they get to live under the Horowitz rules. Michael Horowitz has testified that he found no evidence of political bias on the part of the decision makers who, under the Obama administration, relied on hilariously implausible “evidence” ... Read More
Elections

An Election Too Important to Be Left to Voters

The Democrats believe that the 2020 election is too important to be left to the voters. It’s obvious that President Donald Trump withheld defense aid to Ukraine to pressure its president to commit to the investigations that he wanted, an improper use of his power that should rightly be the focus of ... Read More
Elections

An Election Too Important to Be Left to Voters

The Democrats believe that the 2020 election is too important to be left to the voters. It’s obvious that President Donald Trump withheld defense aid to Ukraine to pressure its president to commit to the investigations that he wanted, an improper use of his power that should rightly be the focus of ... Read More