Sunday, August 23, 2009

David Horowitz Writes..

August 22, 2009

The so-called “liberal establishment” today is a leftwing establishment. Unlike Buckley, I identify with 50s liberals like John F. Kennedy, whose politics in my view were identical to Ronald Reagan’s. My political enemies today — Ward Churchill, bell hooks, Cornell West, Nicholas DeGenova, the editors of the Nation – have views of the capitalist and individualist West that are identical to those of the cold war “progressives” who supported the Communist bloc and its cause and who have absolutely nothing in common with JFK or the liberal establishment at Yale in the 1950s whom William F. Buckley opposed. Mattson treats Buckley as the avatar of the conservative rebellion and I share that view. But I have never embraced a theo-centric conservatism such as that common to Buckley, Kirk and Whittaker Chambers. These three anchor their conservatism in a religious faith. I do not. I am an agnostic. I have outlined my own conservative philosophy in The Politics of Bad Faith - a book Mattson also has not read. My conservatism is conceived as an effort to defend the principles of the American Founding. It is true that according to the Founders we derive inalienable rights from “Our Creator.” I agree that rights have to be derived from a source other than human will. If Mattson has another way to ground rights that are inalienable without invoking a “Creator,” I’m all ears, but until then this agnostic will defer to the Founders

As an agnostic conservative myself, and yes there are many of us, I can identify with what Horowitz writes. My exception would be that I recognize that our core principles as conservatives come from the Judea Christian values that our country was built on. Most of our laws are derived from the ten commandments. I accept that and I accept those values as the basic building block to our society. I think the founding fathers appreciated this fact and even though they came from a mixed theological perspective, they appreciated that we should conform our lives to this sort of natural law.

However, to deflect to the Founders completely misses something. Socialism is tied to atheism, and liberty to, at least, the remote possibility of the existence of God. It is where the agnostic differs from the athiest. Agnostics are not prone to proselytizing and trying to enforce their lack of faith on others. They are open to idea of God and see the shortcomings in any humanistic basis to governance.


  1. Well reasoned argument. I am somewhere between agnostic (although your particular definition is not exactly as I understand it) and just being a bad christian. Or a questioning christian.
    But I agree very much with most of what you said.

  2. **between agnostic (although your particular definition is not exactly as I understand it)**

    How so?