Thursday, October 13, 2005

More than Fellow Travelers

What in the world are they? (I will take it as given that they agree that abortion is an abominable crime and that marriage is a relationship of opposite sexes (propositions set out with some clarity at Vatican II); beyond that?)
Rick Allen

Didn't mean to be cryptic, but I started that post counting on having the text on-line. Now I have the article with me:

The closest connection is via Fr. Neuhaus. Wills quotes Time from February, 1991 (when Bush as Gov. of Texas):

When Bush met with journalists from religious publications last year, the living authority he cited most often was not a fellow evangelical, but a man he calls "Father Richard," who, he explained, "helps me articulate these religious things."

Neuhaus, it seems has developed "an evangelical-Catholic coalition" with Charles Colson, of Watergate fame, which in 1994 produced "Evangelicals and Catholics Together," a document that outlines points of agreement between the two groups, at least as seen by Colson and Neuhaus. Interestingly, Wills notes that by 2004, evangelicals had a higher favorable opinion of Pope John Paul II than Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson.

Wills also points out that Neuhaus has championed the "reinjection of religion into politics" since 1984. And:

Rove knows that Neuhaus, while being more subtle about it, has the crusading spirit of [Gen. William "Jerry"] Boykin. Neuhaus has endorsed Samuel Huntington's "clash of cultures" thesis, defended the historical Crusades as "probably justified warfare," and answered a caller on C-SPAN who said that Islam was an implacable enemy with the warning that we must "be very sober about the possibility that this really is the only Islam that is going to present itself on the world historical stage for the rest of this century." It is a more sophisticated form of Boykinism, and it informs the evangelical-Catholic support for the war in Iraq at a time when a majority of Americans have come to think it was a horrible mistake.

Gary Wills, "Fringe Government, The New York Review of Books, Vol. LII, No. 15, October 6, 2005, pp. 46-50.

The rest of the connections Wills draws are in similarity of governance from positions that are no more than marginal within the institutions (America; the majority opinion of American Catholics).

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