The Atlantic

Resist the Lure of Theological Politics

Instead of applying religious certainty to public debates, Americans need to take a different lesson from their faith traditions.
Source: Mike Segar / Reuters

There is something corrupting not just about the struggle for power through politics but about politics itself. Philosophers and pundits have long condemned the political as both profane and belittling, the near opposite of the pure and higher spiritual pursuits. In his valediction for the great, controversial scholar Edward Said, Christopher Hitchens wrote: “Indeed, if it had not been for the irruption of abrupt force into the life of his extended family and the ripping apart of the region by partition and subpartition, I can easily imagine Edward evolving as an almost apolitical person, devoted to the loftier pursuits of music and literature.”

Recently, Andrew Sullivan that in losing religion, Americans have more and more sought to satisfy their search for meaning publicly rather than privately. In his response, ’s Graeme Wood how we might desacralize politics and points to Japan as an alternative, if still flawed, model of lower-stakes competition. Countries that have experienced fascist rule or military defeat, or both,

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