Tag: Sohrab Ahmari

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Our friends at the Freedom from Religion Foundation, that paragon of easygoing menschitude, have filed a complaint against Judge Tammy Kemp, who presided over the recent trial of Amber Guyger. At the trial’s close, Kemp started a conversation with Guyger, then handed her a copy of the bible. Courtroom cameras captured Kemp reading aloud from […]

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The Real Difference Between Ahmari & French (I think…)

 

I thought I was taking a risk by ignoring the ongoing “debate” between Sohrab Ahmari and David French over the last few months. After watching their recent debate at Catholic University, I feel much better about my willful ignorance.

Warren Buffet often says the challenge with investing is to wait patiently for the right pitch to come, even when people in the stands are yelling,”swing, you idiot!” My sense is that French is the guy at bat and Ahmari is the guy in the stands yelling in exasperation. I guess the punditry would be like two sports commentators trying to tease out a game strategy based on that guy’s outburst. It was difficult to identify two positions and I think that’s because there weren’t two different views, certainly not competing visions of the future of conservatism.

As bewildering as the debate was, I was able to notice a clear line of distinction about how they view Christian engagement in the public square, and the metaphor of ancient Rome was helpful in bringing that to light. Ahmari has this view that Christianity became a religion for the masses only after Constantine gave it the official sanction of the empire. (I’m intrigued about why he believes this because I find it completely wrong and backwards.) But on this view, he sees his mission as forestalling the Colosseum and its persecution of Christians. Interestingly, Ross Douthat asked at this point whether Ahmari wasn’t just trying to protect its privileged status, defending Constantine. French, by contrast, sees the public square as neutral-to-hostile space in which Christians do their best to influence and change it in light of the implications of the gospel. This was the only clear disagreement I heard in the debate.

To Answer the Challenge of MBD

 

Michael Brendan Dougherty posed a challenge on Twitter:

I objected to his choice of target as I think French is a good ally and we should be grateful for what he’s done. But I’d like to see one critic engage Sohrab Ahmari’s point about how liberal principles, divorced from a pre-liberal inheritance, resolve disputes in one direction. (@michaelbd)

Member Post

 

Sohrab Ahmari’s latest piece in First Things cause quite a stir and rightfully so. I am a big fan of Ahmari and First Things- though both have disappointed in this episode. I appreciate David French, but he is far from my favorite conservative. David’s cultural tastes are different than mine. He likes the NBA, blockbuster […]

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