Schaeffer and Obama

from The Constructive Curmudgeon

Years ago, Francis A. Schaeffer argued that “modern men” (as he put it then) had fallen into a “divided field of knowledge.” Having given up on reason to deliver meaning, they instead put meaning into an “upper story” immune from argument, proof, or disproof:

Upper story: meaning, universals, faith, values, religion
Lower story: reason, evidence, history, facts, science

(For the development of this thesis, see Escape from Reason [1968] and The God Who is There [1968]. Nancy Pearcey has further applied these ideas wonderfully in Total Truth [2004].)

Many considering the presidential election are held captive by a similar dichotomy:

Upper story: “hope,” Obama as savior figure
Lower story: Obama’s actual policies, track record, (in)experience

There is no good reason, no evidence from his life, beliefs, associations (think: Jeremiah Wright, NARAL endorsement) or voting record, that Obama can deliver hope (based on a coherent policy or presidential resume) at home or abroad. All he presents is an “upper story” mysticism sans logic, reason, or evidence.

America, wake up! Romantic and irrational idealism is not the stuff of American politics in a post-9/11 world. Don’t take a leap of political faith. Think through all the issues rationally. Pursue political knowledge.


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