Monday, October 15, 2007

Church & state

Tim Rutten in the LA Times writes a long review of the latest Garry Wills book, Head and Heart. Wills is a splendid writer, a Catholic trained by the Jesuits, and an adept observer of the American political and social landscape. I have enjoyed many of his books in the past and own two or three. According to Rutten, Wills in his latest book looks into the idea that this country was founded as an explicitly Christian enterprise. Rutten writes, in part:
Beginning with the Puritans, whose views and turbulence he outlines with great clarity -- and at great length -- Wills moves through the Great Awakening of the early 18th century and the Enlightenment backlash that followed it. Speaking indirectly to the assertion of McCain and others about the Constitution's purportedly Christian origins, Wills points out that at the time of the founding, historians estimate that only about 17% of Americans professed formal religious adherence, a historic low point. The framers were deists, who believed in a divine providence knowable only through reason and experience and not prone to intervene in the affairs of men.

Read the rest of the review here. Apparently that bipedal bucket of pus, Karl Rove, comes in for many deserved lumps for pushing the idea on the First Moron that this presidency should be presented as a manifestation of divine will rather than judicial chicanery from the Supreme Court. I'll be watching for this book in VPL.

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