by Eric Rauchway
When the ancient Hebrews broke their covenant they suffered a loss of identity and brought disaster on themselves. Our burden too is covenantal....
Because this president's subversion of the Constitution outdoes anything that has gone on before, and as it has created large social constituencies ready to support the flag waving ideals of an incremental fascism, we're called upon to step forward to reaffirm our covenant like these exemplars from the past.
The philosopher Richard Rorty has suggested in his book Achieving Our Country that the metaphysic of America's civil religion is pragmatism and its prophets are Walt Whitman and John Dewey "The most striking feature of their redescription of our country is its thorough-going secularism," says Rorty. "The moral they draw from the European past, and in particular from Christianity, is not instruction about the authority under which we should live but suggestions about how to make ourselves wonderfully different from anything that has been."
To temporize human affairs, to look not up for some applied celestial accreditation, but forward, at ground level, in the endless journey, to resist any authoritarian restrictions on thought, suppression of knowledge that is the public good--is the essence of our civil religion.here