above doctrinal truth, the second stagernwith the denial of doctrinal truth altogetherrnfor achieving political goals.rnRichard John Neuhaus provided usrnwith a classic example last year. His magazinernFirst Things printed a long manifestornsigned by prominent Protestantsrnand Catholics. In page after page, itrnchronicled our troubles with familyrnbreakup, crime, declining respect for authority,rngrowing permissiveness towardrnsexual deviance, the public schools, etc.rnThere was truth in much of it. But thenrnthere was a surprise ending, and some ofrnthe signers claim to have missed it. Thernsigners pledged themselves not to engagernin “sheep stealing,” that is, proselytization.rnYet there are real differences betweenrnCatholics and Protestants, and they arernlarger than mere subjective preference.rnNo social crisis should be allowed torndrive either side to promise, for example,rnnot to bring up the nature of the Eucharist.rnIf we do put aside essential beliefsrnto improve, it is said, the social order,rnwhere do we draw the line? Shouldrnwe agree with “socially conservative”rnMuslims not to discuss the divinity ofrnChrist?rnPoliticization has had an especiallyrnpernicious effect on the Catholic faith.rnIn our times, the problems began withrnVatican II. Its documents were highlyrnpolitical, and they precipitated threerndecades of liturgical and theological disaster.rnWhy didn’t conservatives protest?rnSome did. But many more did not, onrngrounds that they wanted to support HumanaernVitae, Paul VI’s letter on abortionrnand birth control. Conservatives hungrnonto this document for dear life. Eventually,rnthe Catholic right came to focusrnon the single issue of abortion, and developedrnan enormous industry to do it.rnDuring the welfare debate, Republicansrnfaced some fierce opposition to thernidea of cutting off subsidies to womenrnwho have children out of wedlock. Initially,rnthe opposition came from the left.rnBut it was National Riglit to Life, in conjunctionrnwith the bishops, that defeatedrnthe idea. The reasoning was that thernwomen might abort their children if theyrnwere not paid to have them.rnThe Family Research Council desperatelyrntried to explain that cutting off subsidiesrnwas an essential precursor tornchanging the lewd culture that governsrnthe inner city. But National Right to Lifernmerely expressed shock that any pro-liferrnwould disagree on welfare for singlernmothers. With that, it became clear thatrnthe pro-life establishment had joined thernforces of socialism.rnOne wonders how far they will takernthis. Suppose someone introduced legislationrnto have the federal governmentrnpay $100,000 for every live birth. Wouldrnpro-lifers support that too? Thirty yearsrnago, no. They would have understoodrnthere were other principles at stake. Butrntoday, they are afflicted with such myopiarnthat they would surely sa) yes.rnThe Catholic bishops, too, mix theirrnpro-life agenda with leftism, speaking,rnfor example, of their duty to defend thern”unborn and the undocumented.” Inrntheir recent “statement on Political Responsibility,”rnthe bishops pledged themselvesrnto the “continued defense of humanrnlife as the ‘preeminent humanrnrights issue of our day,’ strongly opposingrnabortion and euthanasia.” They went onrnto call for a ban on “anti-personnel landmines,”rnan end to the death penalty,rnmore affirmative action, more governmentrnjobs, more environmentalism,rnmore Food Stamps, and more socializedrnmedicine that “respects life.” They alsornoppose “anti-immigrant sentiment,”rn”isolationism,” abortion, and handguns.rnIn his recent address to the United Nations,rnJohn Paul II called on the organizationrnto “become a moral center where allrnthe nations of the wodd feel at home andrndevelop a shared awareness of being.”rnBut didn’t Christians once believe thatrnthe moral center of nations, and thernshared awareness among all people, wasrnthe Church itself?rnIn her speech before the United Nations,rnMother Teresa took a differentrnroute. She related how often people askrnher how they can do what she does. Sherntells them: Don’t do what I do. Do whatrnyou are supposed to do. Be a good fatherrnand worker. Be a good mother to yourrnown children. Be responsible for those inrnyour care.rnThat is advice the Church needs asrnwell. Christians do not need to leave politicalrnactivism, although some leaders ofrnthe prominent groups represent as greatrna danger as any secular opponents. ButrnChristians should not proclaim themselvesrnas religious people tired of sittingrnin the back of the bus, and follow RosarnParks in demanding their rights as a special-rninterest group.rnAlready, our religious leadershiprnseems more interested in press conferencesrnthan defending the faith. Conservatives,rnat least, need to recognize thatrnthe essence of their faith cannot bernfound in the public square, for it is notrnthe source of good families, good theology,rnauthentic liturgy, and loving neighbors,rnnot to speak of eternal life. Conservativesrnmust not pretend to establish arnChristian-friendly official culture inrnWashington, or get government to startrnsubsidizing religious schools as opposedrnto public schools. Nor can Christiansrnhope to impress the governing elites withrnthe fruits of their religion, except to thernextent that they fulfill the designs of thatrnelite. Neither can they hope to gainrngreater tolerance for the expression ofrnChristian values from a regime that isrnimplacably hostile.rnInstead, Christians should hoe theirrnown spiritual row, avoid the temptationrnto become part of the Leviathan state,rnand refuse to follow those who would usernthe faith to curry favor with the centralrngovernment and the official culture.rnIf Christians have a special interest, it isrnnot prime-time news coverage, butrnsalvation.rnLlewellyn H. Rockwell, jr., is editor of thernRothbard-Rockwell Report inrnBurlingame, California.rnEvangelicals on thernDurham TrailrnbyD. G. HartrnWhat do Billy Graham and StanleyrnFish have in common? Accordingrnto most assessments of the ongoingrnculture wars, the answer is an emphaticrn”not much!” With the exception of arnfew inconsequential details—both arernolder white men living in North Carolinarn—little seems to unite these two figuresrnor the movements for which theyrnhave become figureheads. Graham is, ofrncourse, the patron saint of Americanrnevangelicalism, the one who as an objectrnof admiration or scorn determines whatrnit means to be an evangelical. And Fish,rnprofessor of English at Duke Universityrnof deconstructionist, postmodernistrnfame, has become one of the principalrncheedcaders for efforts within the academyrnto make the literary canon specifically,rnand the humanities more generally,rnmore inclusive and less oppressive. Identifiedrnin this way, the constituencies tornwhich Graham and Fish speak would ap-rnAPRIL 1996/39rnrnrn