Coulter’s prose style is reminiscent of exiled National Review editor Joe Sobran who is quoted in the book and thanked in the acknowledgements. Like Sobran, Coulter’s gift as a polemicist is the counterpunch. Responding to Howard Dean’s statement, “I don’t have any objection to someone who is pro-life, if they are really dedicated to the welfare of children,” Coulter responds, “Conversely, I suppose, if you are pro-abortion and you hate kids, Dr. Dean would be cool with that, too.” ~Michael Brendan Dougherty, Brainwash

Michael makes another important point in remembering that Enlightenment liberals and their fellows since the late 17th century have sought to replace traditional religion, which has invariably meant Christianity in their mind, with a vague theism, “rational religion” (which often amounts to rationalism combined with social do-gooding) or a loopy kind of humanistic ethics such as the substitute religion of Positivism or Tolstoy’s watered down gospel of labour and simplicity.

In that light, the persistent effort of our own Freisinnigen to make liberalism their working equivalent of religion is nothing new. Realising this should have consequences for how conservatives in this country understand their own relationship to the liberal tradition, and should drive home why the liberal and Christian heritages coexist so awkwardly in Western culture and within the conservative “movement” as well.

But we should also pause to consider whether the Intelligent Design movement itself is not another sort of this kind of vague theism that may discomfit the dedicated materialists among us but does nothing to affirm the living God Whom liberals have consistently sought to dethrone or displace. The safe, mechanistic God of Deism and ID does not command, does not act and does not love–this is the god of the philosophers, who may serve as a necessary cause, but who relates to his creatures as an engineer relates to a complex structure, and not as the Lord of glory. Aside from the problems of introducing ID into science classrooms, ID as it is conventionally argued concedes the sort of minimal deity that liberals have sought to fashion in the minds of men.