Duke Professor Norman Wirzba, in his Feb. 27 column “Let’s declare end to ‘Christian America’,” harshly judged today’s American political scene. In the world of the university, where judgment is often disallowed, that is an achievement.
Methinks the controversial idea of a “Christian America” most essentially involves the historical reality that our nation, somehow and confusedly and imperfectly, understands itself to be held accountable to a broadly defined Judeo-Christian moral vision. The Civil Rights Movement is a compelling, historical example.
To be sure, as Wirzba made clear, the United States often is found wanting of what is morally highest and best. But is the answer to America’s moral problems to cut the nation free of its moral resources? That would allow the nation to descend into a destructive nihilism that has no bottom.
At least now there is a sense of moral accountability, as Wirzba demonstrated.
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Paul T. Stallsworth