Secondly - and perhaps more importantly - Neuhaus was well grounded in both Protestant and Catholic perspectives. This understanding facilitated his ability to build political bridges between socially conservative Protestants and socially conservative Catholics. His passing leaves a void that is not easily filled.
Neuhaus struck me as a radical in search of a revolution to lead. After being part of 1960s far-left movements agitating for possibly violent societal change, by the 1980s he had moved towards, and then became part and parcel of the fringe-right movement of neoconservatism. And as his politics changed, so did his view of faith, going from mainstream Lutheranism to a form of orthodox Catholicism that was intolerant of dissent. While his political outlook changed, his strident nature did not.
I never rejoice at the passing of political opponents. I hope he has finally found peace. Looking beyond the life and work of Richard John Neuhaus, as a Catholic and a liberal, I think we will be better off when Catholic neoconservatism too passes away.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Frank Cocozzelli on the Passing of Richard John Neuhaus
The entire post is worth reading. I think the alliance of conservative Catholics and Evangelicals that Neuhaus represented and championed will be see by the long view of history as a mistake.