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Reinhold Niebuhr, one of the more brilliant thinkers born in the U.S., is fashionable again. Story here.

Niebuhr's social thought may be summarized as follows. Human sin permeates all social structures and human actions. While an individual has the capacity for the self-transcendance that leads to repentance, social institutions do not. Therefore social change must involve conflict, pressure, and even the use of force. Pacifism is an irresponsible stance in the world because it ignores the need for justice. We must not, however, think that we are absolutely righteous when working for justice. All human actions are infected with sin; even good actions will be mixed with self-interest and complex motives, not all of them good. We must not, as well, think that we will achieve perfection. At best, human action can achieve approximate justice, not absolute justice. Indeed, the delusion that we can create a perfect world leads to monstrosities as we delude ourselves into believing we are absolutely righteous and our cause is absolutely righteous. With such assumptions we justify doing anything for "the cause."

While often thought of as a social "liberal," Niebuhr was fiercely anti-totalitarian against both Nazism and Communism. Theologically, he was "Neo-Orthodox" rather than "Liberal," because of his stress on a reinterpreted doctrines of "Original Sin" and "Depravity" rather than denying these doctrines.

Niebuhr and his "Christian Realism" inform my social thought.
Once more the Left shows us their definition of "diversity." The new panel empowered by Vermont to evaluate the possiblility of same-sex marriage in civil society has no members espousing traditional marriage. It does however, have a member living in a same-sex union. Story here, from Anglican News via The Institution on Religion and Democracy.