Who Said That?


I recently heard a re-run of a Bill Maher interview on NPR over his film “Religulous.” (Side-note: the film was part of the Michael Moore Summer Film Festival in my hometown of Traverse City, MI. TC is where Moore’s offices are now permanently located. He jets between TC and NYC. I consider myself one of the most generous people I know, what with letting others live the life I was supposed to have.)
In the film he faults former would-be GOP Veep Sarah Palin for practicing witchcraft. According to him, going through a ceremony in order to hedge one in from witches is a pretty good definition of witchcraft. I agree. The problem, though, was that Maher was calling foul on how this relates to one’s fitness to hold public office. Ironically, Maher shows that he is every bit as Constantinian as Al Mohler or Richard Land who warned us against electing poor Mitt Romney to office. Maher, Mohler and Land all seem to agree that one’s theological devotions have something to do with one’s ideological efforts.
Anyway, it all got me to thinking about more sane dispositions when it comes to politics and religion. Quoth he:

“Liturgical Protestantism offers a way around this impasse. A different way of putting it is to say that liturgical Protestantism represents a way for Protestant believers to support the wall between church and state. By looking for religious significance not in this world but in the world to come, liturgical Protestantism lowers the stakes for public life while still affirming politics’ divinely ordained purpose. The public square loses some of its importance but retains its dignity. It is neither ultimately good nor inherently evil; politics becomes merely a divinely appointed means for restraining evil while the church as an institution goes about its holy calling.”

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6 Responses to Who Said That?

  1. Bryan Peters says:

    Gotta be D.G. Hart, yes?

  2. Machiavelli says:

    What does ‘liturgical protestantism’ actually mean? I never heard of it and neither does the source of all worldly knowledge (aka wikipedia)

  3. Zrim says:


    You’re no fun.


    Read “The Lost Soul of American Protestantism.” or, for now, just read the larger context of the quote.


  4. Machiavelli says:

    Ah, plain ol’ good confessional protestantism as we know it on the continent

  5. Bryan Peters says:

    Come on, you used a quote about “liturgical protestantism” and “a way for Protestant believers to support the wall between church and state”… only the absence of a cigar reference left any doubt.

    BTW, thanks for link to the context. Good stuff.

    Oh, and I humbly disagree with your assessment of my conviviality quotient. You should see me at wild liturgical Protestant parties.

  6. Zrim says:


    You got me. In my defense, though, predictability is a Presbyterian virtue.

    You’re welcome.

    You should see me at regular parties, and Catholic-WASP family reunions. Actually, there’s nothing to see. I’m a bore.

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