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  • bemildred (2242 posts)
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    Angst in the Church of America the Redeemer (Bacevich)

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    Praying at the Altar of American Greatness

    In terms of confessional fealty, his true allegiance is not to conservatism as such, but to the Church of America the Redeemer.  This is a virtual congregation, albeit one possessing many of the attributes of a more traditional religion.  The Church has its own Holy Scripture, authenticated on July 4, 1776, at a gathering of 56 prophets.  And it has its own saints, prominent among them the Good Thomas Jefferson, chief author of the sacred text (not the Bad Thomas Jefferson who owned and impregnated slaves); Abraham Lincoln, who freed said slaves and thereby suffered martyrdom (on Good Friday no less); and, of course, the duly canonized figures most credited with saving the world itself from evil: Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt, their status akin to that of saints Peter and Paul in Christianity.  The Church of America the Redeemer even has its own Jerusalem, located on the banks of the Potomac, and its own hierarchy, its members situated nearby in High Temples of varying architectural distinction.

    This ecumenical enterprise does not prize theological rigor. When it comes to shalts and shalt nots, it tends to be flexible, if not altogether squishy. It demands of the faithful just one thing: a fervent belief in America’s mission to remake the world in its own image. Although in times of crisis Brooks has occasionally gone a bit wobbly, he remains at heart a true believer.

    In a March 1997 piece for The Weekly Standard, his then-employer, he summarized his credo.  Entitled “A Return to National Greatness,” the essay opened with a glowing tribute to the Library of Congress and, in particular, to the building completed precisely a century earlier to house its many books and artifacts.  According to Brooks, the structure itself embodied the aspirations defining America’s enduring purpose.  He called particular attention to the dome above the main reading room decorated with a dozen “monumental figures” representing the advance of civilization and culminating in a figure representing America itself.  Contemplating the imagery, Brooks rhapsodized:

    “The theory of history depicted in this mural gave America impressive historical roots, a spiritual connection to the centuries. And it assigned a specific historic role to America as the latest successor to Jerusalem, Athens, and Rome. In the procession of civilization, certain nations rise up to make extraordinary contributions… At the dawn of the 20th century, America was to take its turn at global supremacy. It was America’s task to take the grandeur of past civilizations, modernize it, and democratize it. This common destiny would unify diverse Americans and give them a great national purpose.”

    http://www.atimes.com/angst-church-america-redeemer/

    Koko, broiles like this
    It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.

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  • Koko (2650 posts)
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    1. I have a couple of friends who read David Brooks… Religiously

    and think he’s an ultimate “Truth Teller.”  I shake my head and try to be quiet about him, just to keep the peace of the friendship.

    ———

    A Snip From the Article and the Rest is a Good Read!

    David Brooks of the New York Times is a gifted columnist.  Among contemporary journalists, he is our Walter Lippmann, the closest thing we have to an establishment-approved public intellectual.  As was the case with Lippmann, Brooks works hard to suppress the temptation to rant.  He shuns raw partisanship. In his frequent radio and television appearances, he speaks in measured tones.  Dry humor and ironic references abound.  And like Lippmann, when circumstances change, he makes at least a show of adjusting his views accordingly.

     

    • bemildred (2242 posts)
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      2. I thought the Lippmann comparison was apt.

      A mediocrity with a modest grasp of English and a modest talent for blandishments and invective. A tool.

      Bacevich was very eloquent, and it shows he knows his history.

      There is no point in arguing with people, they just get defensive.

      It ain't the things you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that ain't so.