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Luke Coppen's Catholic Herald Blog

Obama’s Nobel speech was theologically dubious, says critic

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James Kushiner of Touchstone magazine finds Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech theologically troubling.

In particular, he’s disturbed by the President’s claim that “we do not have to think that human nature is perfect for us to still believe that the human condition can be perfected”.

He writes:

Clever, this. Yes, no one believes human nature is perfect. But can it be perfected? He’s not saying it can be. He’s saying the general human condition can be perfected. So who’s going to do that?

The only way to do this is for some arrangement of human affairs and institutions that in the aggregate allows for a perfection of condition in which imperfect human beings can live without spoiling that condition. And the only way for such a condition to be arranged is for people who are specially gifted to make those arrangements on the behalf of the imperfect, people who see and understand the complexity of the issues, wiser men whom we can trust. Mark well: “The human condition can be perfected.” If that isn’t a utopian dream, I don’t know what is. Those who disagree are obstacles to utopia and will be treated as they have been in the past.

This is an elitism that leads not to the abolition of war by a man of peace, but to the abolition of Man, which violates the Golden Rule, to put it mildly.

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Written by Luke Coppen

December 14, 2009 at 7:20 pm

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