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.
: An Exchange," The New Republic, February 3, 1997, 28-29.
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.
Richard John Neuhaus, now editor of the "theocon
" journal First Things, wrote what might be considered the pro-church movement's canonical work, The Naked Public Square, which appeared in 1984; Yale law professor Stephen Carter published his influential book The Culture of Disbelief in 1993 and recently came out with a new polemic, God's Name in Vain.
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."
Meanwhile there's a growing "theocon
" contingent interested in reviving Europe's Christian roots, but much of that energy is fueled by anti-Islamic anxiety.
Whatever its short-comings, this is an important book, brimming with insights into some key but neglected figures in the "theoconservative" or "theocon
Today, bishops threaten politicians with the Eucharist, a "theocon
" priest plays adviser to a president (see review, Page 3a) and the loudest Catholics, who would have us believe their orthodoxy is papally certified, haven't met a war they didn't like nor a free market initiative they couldn't coat with some justification from the Christian scriptures.