19 October 2017

Thoughts on Dr Kirk and the Constitution

My current political reading is The Conservative Mind, From Burke to Eliot, by Russell Kirk, and The Portable Conservative Reader, also edited by Dr Kirk.Today, 19 October, would have been his 99th birthday.

He died in 1994 at the age of 75. As I read the pæans he heaped upon the US Constitution as a 'conservative document', I wonder if he would write the same words today? He, of course, saw the murder of the unborn declared 'constitutional', but what would he think of the moral cesspit that is now considered acceptable under that 'conservative document'? In his discussion of Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 'The Conservative Mind' he says, 'Conservation of our moral order must be paralleled by conservation of our political order. The Church (of which Christianity, "a fortunate accident," is one form, but is not identical with the Idea of a Church itself) lives not merely in partnership with the State, but with it constitutes a unity. Upon considerations of expediency and convenience, we may separate the actual operation of government and of churchly authority; but at bottom, Church and State are forever united. Society cannot subsist unless both of its constituent elements thrive.'

Kirk, Russell. The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot (Kindle Locations 2379-2384). David Rehak. Kindle Edition.

Given the unceasing attacks on 'the Church', i.e. basically all forms of organised Christianity, which are consistently upheld by the Courts under that Constitution I wonder if he were yet alive, would he still consider it to be a 'conservative document'?

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