The Ghost of Francis Schaeffer

As the shock waves from the Supreme Court decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby spread yesterday, I couldn’t help but think how proud the founding fathers of the Christian Right, who opportunistically seized on abortion as a galvanizing issue for alienating the faithful from secular society, would be. Not only had they succeeded in inculcating an extremist position on abortion (defining it as including the prevention of implantation of a fertilized ovum in the uterine wall) that made compromise impossible, but they had managed to convince millions of the faithful to believe themselves victims of secular persecution even as they identified with powerful corporations against their workers.

My latest TPMCafe column is from this broader perspective about the secularization of conservative Christianity into a militant political and cultural force that cannot be satisfied or even placated. The ghost of Francis Schaeffer must be very happy.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.