*Posted by Winston Hottman
As Republicans scramble to make sense of the significance of the 2012 election, Matt Anderson offers some insightful thoughts on the implications for socially convervative Christians. After suggesting that social conservatives may be pressured to “take a back seat” among political leadership, he reminds us why we should not be discouraged:
It’s not going to be an easy season for social conservatives, especially for those who are younger. The pressures from the most natural party for us, from our peers, and from the media to switch and soften positions are going to be very strong. And as people no longer share or understand our first principles, our ability to make our case in public is going to be much harder.
But none of this is reason for discouragement. Or if it is, it is also a reason for hope, that virtue which Chesterton aptly said arises when the situation is hopeless. Or take this bit from Tolkien, which was going around the social networks last night:
”I am a Christian…so that I do not expect ‘history’ to be anything but a ‘long defeat’ — though it contains (and in a legend may contain more clearly and movingly) some samples or glimpses of final victory.”
It’s hard to find a posture that is more fitting. We need not worry about being the party out of power. If anything, we should get used to it. The challenge is becoming the sort of people whose witness endures beyond our own generation, and making the sort of case in public that can have an impact long after we are dead. We need, Alan Jacobs said recently, a modern day Augustine. I have often thought the same thing. But it was not at the height of Roman glory that Augustine wrote, but its decline. Just as it was at the beginning of the decline that Plato and Aristotle wrote. The victories in this life will be few. But that means that our efforts must not be aimed toward them, but toward that—and Him—which will outlast our political orders and outlast us all.