Stoic News

By Dave Kelly

Monday, August 28, 2006

Sin, Theodicy & Politics

"In fairness, it must be conceded that modern American conservatism has little of the Niebuhrian spirit itself. Ronald Reagan, the most successful conservative the country has ever known, was at heart a cockeyed optimist, and his untroubled confidence in the limitless possibilities of American civilization was untouched by Niebuhrian reservations. The fact that Niebuhrians fare badly at either end of the political spectrum suggests that, for most Americans, the politics of original sin is an alien notion.

"Maybe that offers a useful lesson. Maybe all Augustinian Christians—which Niebuhr certainly was—need periodically to remind themselves that even in the (relatively) good earthly dwelling that America provides, we have here no abiding city."


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