Karl Kappler wrote a peculiar letter to the Rocky Mountain News:
As our nation increasingly turns away from God, we are seeing the tragic results of our infidelity (“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people,” Proverbs 14:34.)
God is the one who bestows blessings on a nation. The proposed economic stimulus package is not the answer. We need to turn back to God if we want to see his stimulus plan unfold. And it’s free!
But what is the mechanism by which “God’s stimulus” is supposed to work? I take it he won’t drop manna, or oil, or power lines from Heaven.
Usually, when one claims a particular cause for something, this is followed by some explanation of how the cause functions. For example, when I claim that the primary cause of the modern economic recession was political meddling in the economy, I point to easy-money Federal Reserve policies and other federal encouragements of risky mortgages (and other investments). But Kappler suggests a cause without explaining how it’s supposed to work.
At least “LetsThink” does add some sort of causal theory in the online comments: “Humanists (John Dewey, etc.) took over our educational system, and taught Evolution theory (there is no God) to our youth for several generations. Their strategy worked. There has been an frightening explosion of crime, sex before marriage, homosexuality, pornography, abortion, gambling, and teen suicide.”
With respect to crime, “LetsThink” is simply wrong: crime rates generally have fallen. But, even if the other trends are as stated, what does that have to do with the economic recession? Apparently there’s a general loss of responsible action, which would feed into irresponsible lending and political decisions.
I actually think “LetsThink” is on to something. Obviously there are deeper ideological roots to the mortgage meltdown; why is it that politicians thought it was a good idea to try to manipulate the economy in certain ways? I do think that a breakdown of education has a lot to do with why so many people greet Obama’s grand claims with credulity.
However, notice that America’s left has essentially proposed a secular version of religious altruism. It is our duty to serve our fellow man, both lines posit. They merely differ in the details on how to promote that end.
It is a common error of Christian apologists to point to naughty atheists and pretend that they represent atheism. But atheism is not a positive philosophy; it rules out supernaturalism without suggesting a replacement. John Dewey — whose religious views I won’t attempt to summarize — is as much my enemy as is the religious right.