Quodlibet

Terminal Niceness

by S. M. Hutchens

I recently read a piece by a conservative in mainline Protestantism whose brand of conservatism is too open and unmilitant to sustain orthodoxy, even that which survives in denominations like his. His article brought to mind my liberal college professors in the early seventies. On the whole I liked them and got along well with all but one, who was a particularly aggressive radical. But that old-fashioned live-and-let-live liberal, who was then in the majority, had no way to stop the coming generations of glassy-eyed ideologues who also, like me, profited from his openness, but regarded conservatives as immoral, which justified persecuting them.

In like manner, folks like the writer I'm referencing here, on the basis of the liberality born of decency and hope, cannot defend their terminally Nice churches against those who will liberalize them at any cost. He also fails, in his kindly consideration of errorists, to give due weight to the association of "liberalism" (or "the moderates") with pure Evil and thus the attempt to destroy orthodox Christianity and orthodox Christians—a tireless application of lies by deceit and manipulation that must be clearly, forcefully, and with equal tirelessness, identified in all our dealings with those who have fallen for it, and not treated as just a "difference of opinion." There should not be even the hint of offering it the smallest degree of quarter. (Those who are following the French–Ahmari controversy will see clearly from this comment which side I am on.)

S. M. Hutchens is a senior editor.

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone


more on liberalism from the online archives

17.4—May 2004

Supremely Modern Liberals

The Unhappy & Abusive Marriage of Liberalism & Modernism by James Hitchcock

33.2—March/April 2020

How It Happens

Easy Descent on an Unguarded Road by S. M. Hutchens

31.5—September/October 2018

Liberalism Occupied

The Rise of the Gnostic Liberal State After Christianity by Andrew Latham

• Subscribers: Manage your subscription account here.


• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!


personal subscriptions

Purchase
Online Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!


RENEW your online subscription

Purchase Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!


RENEW your print/online
subscription

gift subscriptions

GIVE Print &
Online Subscription

Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for the reduced rate of $29.95. That's only $2.50 per month!


RENEW your gift subscription

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

kindle subscription

OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)

Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.


more from the online archives

31.2—March/April 2018

Reason Takes Up Arms

How Best to Face the Total War of the Anti-Culture by R. J. Snell

14.6—July/August 2001

The Transformed Relics of the Fall

on the Fulfillment of History in Christ by Patrick Henry Reardon

16.10—December 2003

Calculating Christmas

on the Story Behind December 25 by William J. Tighe