Plato, Jimmy Carter, David Brooks.

So here are two confessions to rock your day. I was a Philosophy major in college and I voted for Jimmy Carter. Philosophy is on my mind because of Steve Wilken’s “Good Ideas from questionable Christians and Outright Pagans (foto right),”
a good basic primer on the big questions and ideas that drove a lot of us to Philosophy in the 1960’s.

The Jimmy Carter part is a little more complicated and I understood it better after reading Stephen Carter’s “Culture of Disbelief.” One of his arguments was that during civil rights and until abortion, the Democrats spoke the language of the Old Testament Prophets with some integrity. Like abolition, the civil rights movement was fueled by Christians concerned about equality and justice and finding plenty of language in Isaiah and Jeremiah to lend it weightiness. With abortion the secular left parted ways with the religious left, lost the high ground of biblical tradition and wandered into the immoral folly of incessant grace without truth.

I was reminded if this in reading today’s NYT editorial by David Brooks
in which he discovered essentially the same phenomena after reading David Chappel’s “A Stone of Hope.” Titled “One Nation, Enriched by Biblical Wisdom” among the points Brooks cites are these: “Chappell argues that the civil rights movement was not a political movement with a religious element. It was a religious movement with a political element,” AND, “Whether you believe in God or not, the Bible and commentaries on the Bible can be read as instructions about what human beings are like and how they are likely to behave. Moreover, this biblical wisdom is deeper and more accurate than the wisdom offered by the secular social sciences.”

Lord knows we need wisdom and it does not surprise me that we are turning to ancient wisdom to find it–

Remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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