Over the past few weeks, we have discussed the tension between Christianity and citizenship, sometimes obliquely (the same-sex marriage threads) and sometimes directly (Okie Gardener's brief essay: Christianity and Patriotism).

Rod Dreher speaks to the same question in one of his posts today (although he uses it as a vehicle to go in another direction). Feel free to follow his thread, but I want to pursue the question more directly in this post.

Before I pose the question, another hat tip to Rod D. for resurrecting a great ten-year-old thread (recommended reading) from First Things: The End of Democracy?

Concluding that thread is this collection of "Thoughts" (required reading) on the question of primary loyalty, from primary sources Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King and William Lloyd Garrison.

The question: Can American Christians submit to a secular consensus that promotes the profane over the sacred?

Quoting Rod D. quoting Ross Douthat (in full here):

"To oversimplify egregiously but not, I think, inaccurately, the modern Anglo-American political tradition came into being because Christians were willing to accept the Christianity-lite political settlement offered by social-contract liberalism - and they were willing to accept it because its major premise, that man was endowed with natural and inalienable rights by Nature's God, was broadly congruent with Christian tradition. In a Lockean-liberal society, the law might not do everything that some Christians would like it to do - compel belief, for instance - but neither would it directly violate basic Christian principles."

Summarizing Douthat: Because secularists have abandoned the common ground of Lockean theory (natural rights conferred by Nature's God), the compromise is seriously threatened (see issues like abortion--or our thread on same-sex marriage).

Summarizing Dreher: Liberal Democracy is in its last throes in America.

Any thoughts?