Editor: Bill Watson, a theocrat? Not hardly. But he recalls being charged as such, in the context of reflections upon how Christian citizens in America should balance their aspirations to liberty and virtue, a topic explored by Kevin Miller at CCU on 8/28 (marginally favoring liberty) and by Greg Schaller on this blog 8/30 (marginally favoring virtue). Here’s the Watson piece:
To what degree can we force virtue on those who care not for God’s virtue?
Two years ago while debating at Oxford the renowned atheist Peter Atkins (who was interviewed in Ben Stein’s movie Expelled) I was accused of trying to institute a theocracy, for advocating that not just Darwinism but also its shortcomings be taught in schools. I assured those present that the West had little chance of sliding into a theocracy. We are rooted too deeply in freedom.
Victor Davis Hanson explained what made Classical Greece different from the Persian Empire: “the West, ancient and modern, placed far fewer religious, cultural, and political impediments to natural inquiry, capital formation, and individual expression than did other societies, which often were theocracies, centralized palatial dynasties, or tribal unions.”