Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Constitution vs Moralistic Therapeutic Deism as Civil Religion

Most tea partiers view the Constitution as a secular covenant whose terms the citizens and institutions in our republic are bound to honor. As Professor Randy Barnett argued in his 2004 classic, Restoring the Lost Constitution, we observe the meaning of the words in that document, as they were written. We are “originalists” and consider proponents of “a living constitution” to be usurpers of that original intent.

A more modern variation of the “living constitution” school was presented in a 2009 New Republic article by Damon Linker, who argued that “moralistic therapeutic deism,” which he called “theologically insipid,” is perfectly suited to become our new civil religion. In effect, Linker called for this philosophy to replace the Constitutionalism to which the Tea Party movement and the rest of America adheres.

You can read the rest of the article at Broadside Books here.

1 comment:

Georgia said...

I am concerned about this 'Moralist Therapeutic Deism' I've heard about. Is it something to do with Pan-Deism? I've heard a lot of people talking about Pan-Deism lately, and it seems to be a very complex argument that's hard to work around.