United Under God

Celeste Behe
National Catholic Register
September 28, 2012
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Even before one turns the flyleaf of Indivisible, one’s thoughts are sublimed by the cover image of a gracefully windblown American flag against a white background.

The image evokes the patriotism of a simpler time, when schoolchildren would recite Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Concord Hymn opposite a classroom flag and a wall crucifix.

It’s a well-chosen picture, since the message of the book is one of hope for a return to America’s foundational values.

"Our freedom, our way of life and our future are in peril," warn the authors, one a leading evangelical and the other a prominent Catholic. They note that the most pernicious threats come, not from enemies outside our borders, but from our very government, institutions and citizenry.

The prevailing "corrosive ideas and destructive policies" can be tackled only by an alliance of principled and well-informed "Christians, other believers and friends of freedom."

The first step in forming such an alliance is for Americans to recognize both moral truth and economic truth.

To that end, Robison and Richards begin with a thorough and lucid explanation of the natural law, and then they go on to show how free enterprise cannot exist in the absence of morality. They continue with equally sound analyses on a spectrum of issues, among them immigration, property rights, marriage and family, climate change and school choice.

Enlightened by faith and buttressed by scriptural references, their arguments supporting a Christian worldview are accessible even to those with only the most rudimentary knowledge of the issues, and they provide a powerful antidote to the nation-wide blight of muddled thinking.

The authors also identify two stumbling blocks to a Christian transformation of the culture: a lack of individual holiness and a lack of unity.

They exhort believers toward greater personal holiness, which, when joined to public witness, will "preserve the good in our culture, expose the bad, and give guidance to those who are headed for disaster."

The appeal for unity is, for Christians, a call to fulfill Jesus’ prayer "that they may be one."

For Catholic Christians, it is also a reminder of the power of unity in the Mass, when the Church Militant and the Church Triumphant worship together, and graces are freely given to us to "fight the good fight."

Of the authors’ own unlikely alliance, Robison says, "It’s unusual for an evangelical and a Catholic to come together on a project like this, but we hope to provide an example of unity. We haven’t compromised the theological convictions on which we differ, but built on the deep principles that all Christians share."

That is the thrust of Indivisible — that all people of faith must, like Emerson’s "embattled farmers," unite behind their principles for the sake of freedom.

Those who would venture into the fray will find ample ammunition in Robison and Richards’ defense of fundamental truths and of the policies that are rooted in them.