Joe Carter’s column this week coins the term “X-Cons,” the conservative subset of Generation X which takes great pains to distinguish itself from the Baby Boomer mindset. Carter provides a compelling sketch of what to look for in an archetypical X-Con, including, among many other points, the religious worldview of the group:
X-Cons tend to be extremely religious in a “mere Christianity” sort of way. Although our political views are often shaped by our theology, we are willing to cross theological lines to forge political alliances. We’re the children of the Moral Majority; we tend to be either Catholic-friendly evangelicals or evangelical-influenced Catholics. We can’t understand why conservative Protestants and Catholics fought each other rather than with the true enemy: godless liberalism.
George Weigel’s column points convincingly to the danger of viewing Osama bin Laden’s death as a mere practical victory in the battle against jihadism. But there are many problems bin Laden’s death will not solve, making it all the more important to view it primarily as a freestanding act of justice.
As usual, Rutgers University’s James Turner Johnson got it exactly right: bin Laden’s death was “an execution of justice, plain and simple, carried out under the authority of the one who can properly use bellum (war) in the service of good.” And why is it important to grasp this? Because if soft-minded and ill-informed religious leaders and intellectuals succeed in gutting the just war tradition and loosening our public culture’s grasp on it, the only alternative will be a raw pragmatism that justifies any end and any means.