Monday, July 31, 2006

Damon Linker v. Fr. Neuhaus - Response & Commentary

See also our compilation of reviews and discussion on Fr. Neuhaus' Catholic Matters: Confusion, Controversy, and the Splendor of Truth (Basic Books. March 2006)]

  • "The Christianizing of America" - Without a Doubt, by Damon Linker. The New Republic March 24, 2006.
  • Response: The Dangerous Neuhaus, by James M. Kushiner. Mere Commments March 24, 2006.
  • Response: TNR on Fr. Neuhaus, by Rick Garnett. Mirror of Justice March 25, 2006.
  • Discussion of Fr. Neuhaus, Damon Linker, et al. @ Amy Welborn's Open Book March 29, 2006.
  • Joining the Conversation The American Scene March 30, 2006.
  • American Theocrat, by John Wilson. Christianity Today May / June 2006.
  • $160,000! - Rod Dreher muses on Damon Linker's hatchet job on Fr. Neuhaus. The number refers to the advance given to him by his publishers, as relayed by Fr. Neuhaus in the latest First Things "Public Square":
    A few weeks later, [Damon] told me he was thinking of writing a book about First Things and its editor in chief. He explained that the book would be a critical appreciation of the achievements of the magazine. I said I would be happy to cooperate with such a project but I didn't think there would be enough interest in the subject to elicit a large advance from a publisher. Moreover, this would be a first book by a relatively unknown writer. In early December, he told me that several publishers had indicated intense interest in the book he was proposing and that Doubleday had offered an advance of $160,000. He wanted to leave at the beginning of 2005 to start writing. Surprised but pleased by his good fortune, I congratulated him and renewed my offer to be of assistance wtih the book. I then said it might be helpful in that connection if I could see the proposal he had submitted to publishers. At this he blanched and, with obvious embarrassment, said that would not be possible. This was the first indication that he had agreed to write what in the publishing business is knowns as an "attack book," which, unfortunately, is the genre to which "The Theocons" belongs.
  • Theocracy, Theocracy, Theocracy, by Ross Douthat. First Things 165 (August/September 2006): 23-30. A review of American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century, by Kevin Phillips; The Baptizing of America: The Religious Right’s Plans for the Rest of Us, by James Rudin; Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, by Michelle Goldberg, and Thy Kingdom Come: How The Religious Right Distorts the Faith and Threatens America: An Evangelical’s Lament by Randall Balmer:
    This is a paranoid moment in American politics. A host of conspiracies haunt our national imagination, and apparent incompetence is assumed to be the consequence of a dark design: President Bush knew about the attacks of September 11 in advance, or else the Israelis did; the Straussians took us to war in Iraq, unless the oil companies did; the federal government let the levees break in New Orleans, unless it dynamited them itself.

    Perhaps the strangest of these strange stories, though, is the notion that twenty-first-century America is slouching toward theocracy. . . .