Partisan Debauchery by S. M. Hutchens

Quodlibet

Partisan Debauchery

by S. M. Hutchens

The conversation as to how to fulfill the whole Law could once be carried out in this country, when all parties to it based their arguments upon biblical principles—for example, the question of which foreign nationals could properly be designated refugees from oppression and cared for as such, or which monetary policies were forms of theft and which represented righteous attention to the needs of one's neighbor. (Consider William Jennings Bryan's "Cross of Gold" speech against hard money and FDR's confiscation of personally owned gold.)

Opposing forces within Christianity often congealed along party lines, so that in my early days as a voter I could and did vote for Democrat candidates in United States elections. But the corruption of political argument from morality has gone so deep in that party that the roots of its convictions and actions must be sought in very different places than they used to be. This is, I believe, the reason the culture war now represents an unbridgeable chasm, essentially between those who believe in the truth of the eternal Torah, however well they find themselves able to conform to it, and those who have consciously willed to reject it and put something else—ideological or, increasingly, merely appetitive—in its place.

The lowest forms of partisanship combine at an appetitive root—at unreasoning lust: the debauched Republican and his Democrat counterpart have no principles, even bad ones, and want the same thing—the satisfaction of a chaotic and insatiable ego—while the Marxist and the Randian Objectivist who hates him, at home in the far reaches of left and right, may be morally insane, but retain in that insanity a memory of the divine order.

S. M. Hutchens is a senior editor and longtime writer for Touchstone.

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!

Online
Subscription

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

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.

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.


more from the online archives

29.1—Jan/Feb 2016

Wilberforce for Good

on Marriage, Moral Corruption & the Christian Duty of Witness by Regis Nicoll

35.4—Jul/Aug 2022

The Death Rattle of a Tradition

Contemporary Catholic Thinking on the Question of War by Andrew Latham

30.2—March/April 2017

The Cross of Least Resistance

Our Path to Holiness Runs Straight Through Calvary by Robin Phillips

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

00