On Tuesday’s episode of “The Andrew Klavan Show,” Klavan talks about Ross Douthat’s column in the New York Times, in which he presents three arguments for why the “collapse of American Christianity” may be “overstated.” Video and partial transcript below:
They’re trying to convince us Christianity [and] spirituality [are passing away]. They are working overtime trying to convince us that it’s passing away. But also in The New York Times, the one guy over there that I really respect, Ross Douthat, has a column where he says [paraphrasing] “You know, not so fast.”
He sounds a little bit like me here saying, [paraphrasing] “I know that fewer people are going to church, but maybe it doesn’t mean what we think it means.”
One of the things he says in this argument — it’s actually a really good argument — he talked about the fact that maybe the Christianity that’s fading away, that the polls show fading away, is the lukewarm Christianity, but an intense belief is still remaining strong.
He also talks about the fact that young people are actually [going to church more] — because young people stop going to church when they go to college, they stopped going to church, and then later, when they start to have children, when they start to deal with reality, when they start to deal with mortality, they go back to church. But young people are actually going to church a little bit more than young people in the past, which bodes fair for the fact that as they grow older, and more serious, more knowledgeable, and more experienced, they may go back to church in greater numbers.
He also points out that really the crisis in Christianity is a crisis in Catholicism, and there’s no question why they’re having that crisis. It’s not just the scandal, but it’s also the liberalization of Catholicism.
So let me end with this: Kanye West. Obviously, you’ve all heard that he’s dropped this new album, “Jesus is King.” I’m in no position to judge Kanye West’s music, it’s not my kind of music…
In some ways, Kanye West may not be the spokesman we want to lean on, but he may be a good representation of American culture because he’s a crazy narcissist. The American culture is a crazy narcissistic culture, and suddenly with his conversion to Christianity — and again, I’m not judging his lyrics or anything — he’s saying a lot of things that make him sound very much like a religious conservative.
WEST: The culture has you focused so much on [expletive] somebody’s [expletive] and pulling up in a foreign [car] and rapping about things that could get you locked up, and then saying you about prison reform, like bro? We brainwashed our here, bro. Come on, man, this is a free man talking. Democrats had us voting Democrat for food stamps for years, bro. What is you talking about? Guns in the 80s, taking fathers out the home, plan B, lowering our votes, making us abort our children. God should not kill.
Maybe not the most articulate argument, but those things go together. He is talking about a different version of human beings than the version that the Left has been selling. When he says this is a free man talking, he’s right. You’re not a free man talking until you understand the reasons why you should be free, which have to do with what a human being is, and those are the arguments we have to start making because again, we’re going to win political victories over time.
We’re going to lose political victories, but overtime, we’re going to lose the argument if we’re not making the argument that we should be making — the real argument about what a human being is.