Unsurprisingly, Neuhaus in his last years became a target for those who saw him at the center of a theocon
conspiracy to break down the separation of church and state and put an end to secular politics in America.
," The New Republic (December 30, 1996); Michael Novak, Robert George, and Jacob Heilbrunn, "Neocon v.
McDonald loads an awful lot on this apparently one-time reference, referring again and again to Harper's theocon
agenda and implicitly equating it to something close to Iran-style theocracy.
For Linker, these qualities make the theocon
ideology more potent than that of the rest of the religious right.
In his influential 1984 book, The Naked Public Square Linker calls it the theocon
"manifesto"--Neuhaus argued that the American "experiment in ordered liberty" is premised on religious assumptions about the freedom and dignity of the human person.
When Linker actually describes the methods employed by the theocon
conspiracy, it turns out that they consist principally in encouraging Christians to vote for conservative politicians who will use legislation, referenda, constitutional amendments, and court appointments to frustrate the secularist agenda.
On a more general level, November 3 gave the religious right little to boast about, despite all the efforts of the Christian Coalition, with its 36 million "voter guides," James Dobson, Gary Bauer, and other theocon
Not a member of the Conservative Party," he writes, "not a neocon or a theocon
, not a Thatcherite or a Reaganite--but a conservative nonetheless.
Completing a theocon
triumvirate are Michael Novak, another '60s radical turned conservative, and George Weigel, author of a 1,000-page hagiography of Pope John Paul II.
Let us hope that both the American people and Catholic bishops assess the theocon
view for what it is and let us hope they do this before the 2008 election.
Linker knows them well; for three and a half years, he was an editor of the flagship theocon
journal, Neuhaus' First Things.
And do not take it back in an effort to bless your brand of politics the way conservative theocons