Tuesday, September 7, 2010
I'd like to say a few words about David Brooks' latest entry into the big debates of the day, today he explains that "Americans are moral materialists" but also "spiritualists working on matter"and what these means for the future of the "Gospel of Wealth." The fact of the matter is that the essay is so trivially true and argumentatively incoherent that there isn't that much to say. This column does, however, illuminate Brooks overarching method. He finds someone even more intellectually boring than he is, in this case a 26 year evangelical pastor of a megachurch, who arrives at some obvious conclusion, in this case Jesus wouldn't much care for megachurches and their parishioners, and transforms that obvious conclusion into some unproven, and unprovable because of its broad meaninglessness, insight about America's essential nature, in this case it's the "tension between . . . God and mammon" which he sees as "the central tension in American life" and history," and there you have it.