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St. Francis Counsels GOP Christians

He's not looking forward to the next Values Voter Summit (Image taken from the cover of the Image Classics version of Chesterton's bio of St. Francis of Assisi)

As Donald Trump’s campaign reaches its terminally suicidal phase (putting the Breitbart chief in charge of the campaign is a move that makes The Onion read like Grant’s Interest Rate Observer), it will be clear to politically engaged conservative Christians that they have reached a dead end with the jackassification and ruin of the Republican Party. Be of good cheer! G.K. Chesterton, in his stunningly wonderful biography of St. Francis of Assisi, has some words of wisdom taken from the life of the late medieval holy fool and radical ascetic:

In so far as even the secular authorities and hierarchies, even the most natural superiorities and the most necessary subordinations, tend at once to put a man in his place, and to make him sure of his position, the man who has seen the human hierarchy upside down will always have something of a smile for its superiorities. In this sense the direct vision of divine reality does disturb solemnities that are sane enough in themselves. The mystic may have added a cubit to his stature; but he generally loses something of his status. He can no longer take himself for granted, merely because he can verify his own existence in a parish register or a family Bible. Such a man may have something of the appearance of the lunatic who has lost his name while preserving his nature; who straightaway forgets what manner of man he was. “Hitherto I have called Pietro Bernardone father; but now I am the servant of God.”

Now is a time for clarity among Christian conservatives regarding their relationship to the GOP. “Hitherto I have called the Republican Party father; but now I am the servant of God.”

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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