Joseph Loconte

Back on January 2nd, Joseph Loconte had a piece chastising Liberals for using the language of faith in his “Nearer, My God, to the G.O.P.” which ran in the New York Times. Loconte, in an attempt to teach a wider lesson about faith and politics argues that “When Christians – liberal or conservative – invoke a biblical theocracy as a handy guide to contemporary politics, they threaten our national discourse.” This sounded perfectly sensible - until I did a bit of background Googling and discovered that Loconte is the same man who rallied support for the Iraq war by writing: "That’s why Jesus talked a great deal about punishment… a kind of ‘pre-emptive strike’ or judgment against evil might even be required." (NYT 1/28/03) I’m sorry, but you can not rally people for the war by arguing that Jesus requires us to punish Iraq and then start complaining when Democrats reach out to religious progressives to gain support for economic policies or environmental protections. Debating differing interpretations of God’s ideals for human behavior does not threaten our national discourse – it is our national discourse.