By Richard John Neuhaus
Christians are through their nature a humans misplaced. Their real house is with God; in civic lifestyles, they're alien electorate “in yet now not of the world.” In American Babylon, eminent theologian Richard John Neuhaus examines the actual fact of that ambiguity for Catholics in the United States today.Neuhaus addresses the basic quandaries of Catholic life—assessing how Catholics can hold their heads above water within the sea of immorality that confronts them on the earth, how they are often patriotic even supposing their real nation isn't during this international, and the way they may reconcile their tasks as voters with their dedication to God. Deeply discovered, often combative, and continuously eloquent, American Babylon is Neuhaus’s magnum opus—and should be crucial examining for all Christians.
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He is a master of subtlety in analyzing the desires, both rightly and wrongly ordered, of the human heart. ” It is the sensibility of the pilgrim through time who resolutely resists the temptation to despair in the face of history’s disappointments and tragedies, and just as resolutely declines the delusion of having arrived at history’s end. ” It is a way of being in the world but not of the world that is finely expressed in The Letter to Diognetus. The letter was written by a Christian, possibly toward the end of the first century, to Diognetus, a pagan who was curious about the way Christians thought of their place in the world.
Lippmann in his day was viewed as a national sage of a stature not matched by any public intellectual of our time. In that book, he described a circumstance—before the civil rights movement, before Vietnam, before the cultural and sexual revolutions, before Roe v. Wade, before wave upon wave of critical theory and deconstructionisms—not entirely unlike our own. He worried that America was losing its story and was therefore increasingly incapable of engaging in moral discourse and decision. That was a long time ago.
And that is because they are the bearers of the true story of the world, whether the world wants to know it or not. The title American Babylon will likely puzzle, and even offend, some readers. There is in America a strong current of Christian patriotism in which “God and country” falls trippingly from the tongue. Indeed, God and country are sometimes conflated in a single allegiance that permits no tension, never mind conflict, between the two. I would be disappointed if readers did not recognize that this book is animated by a deep and lively patriotism.