Resurrecting the Idea of A Christian Society

Resurrecting the Idea of A Christian Society

eBook - 2016
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Taking his cue from T. S. Eliot's famous essay The idea of a Christian society, Reno analyzes how and why he feels America has grown away from being a Christian society and makes the argument to again work toward that ideal.
Publisher: Washington, DC : Regnery Faith/Regnery Pub 2016
ISBN: 9781621575658
1621575659
Branch Call Number: Overdrive eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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dennismmiller
Dec 30, 2016

In Resurrecting the Idea of a Christian Society, RR Reno maintains that the current class crisis, as chronicled in books like Coming Apart, Our Kids, and Life at the Bottom, is fundamentally a crisis of values. Western elites have rejected a traditional value system while embracing a therapeutic culture that replaces "good" and "bad" with "healthy" and "unhealthy". Unfortunately, while the well-off have the resources necessary for the treatment for vicious "unhealthy" habits and the amelioration of the consequences of "unhealthy" actions, the poor do not, and have become trapped in a failed culture. As a result, in the twenty-first century the "preferential option for the poor" demands a renewal of traditional values.

In addition to the moral imperative, Reno argues that religion is indispensable for a healthy liberal state for a number of reasons. By promoting community engagement, religion builds solidarity, fighting the selfishness fostered by meritocracy. Likewise, by strengthening social ties, religion promotes localism, beginning with the family. By asserting a source of authority higher than the state, religion serves as a guard against tyranny and complacency. Most of all, as Chesterton observed, religion guarantees true freedom, liberating man from "the degrading slavery of being a child of his age."

It is this last, Reno proposes, that ultimately ties religion to the drive for individual liberty which is at the heart of American culture. Radical individualism alienates man from himself, dooms him to dissatisfaction, and leaves him defenseless against the evanescent fashions of ideology. Only by committing himself to eternal truths can he find a living freedom that empowers him to swim against the tide.

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