An etherealgirl's Adventures in Cyberland

Monday, April 25, 2005

reading niebuhr instead

Scott Korb at Killing the Buddha has revisited Reinhold Niebuhr, A Christian realist for the reality-based community:

There is no question that The Irony of American History is dated, but its datedness is, indeed, Irony’s great value. Now suddenly Niebuhr’s Missouri -- among many other places comprising 2.5 million square miles of America -- has issued what the Bush administration calls a 'mandate,' one that rewards and lauds as American virtue the very inflexibility and messianic pretensions that seemed so frustrating in our 'idealistic' enemy for over forty years. American fundamentalist evangelicals have given up on Niebuhr. Our place in the drama of history now threatens to be without the awe, modesty, contrition, and gratitude that Niebuhr identified in his Christian realism. And he worried that this might happen, that Americans might lose their faith, and America its ironic place in history. “For if we should perish,” he concluded, “the ruthlessness of the foe would be only the secondary cause of the disaster. The primary cause would be that the strength of a giant nation was directed by eyes too blind to see all the hazards of the struggle; and the blindness would be induced not by some accident of nature or history but by hatred and vainglory.”

~~~Scott Korb

Posted by etherealfire :: 3:17 AM :: 0 Comments:

Post / Read Comments