Religion Is Good for Democracy, but Is Democracy Enough?

For Robert Wuthnow, the purpose of democracy is not to arrive at some perfectly blessed country but instead learn how to contest—not resolve—our differences through organizing, argument, elections, and voting. Fair enough. But that seems too thin a conception of democracy, one that really puts too much faith in the democratic process as such.
Throughout the twentieth century, American evangelicals have neglected the natural law tradition, leaving us without a serious and coherent grounding for our political deliberations and judgments. We need a theologically grounded framework that articulates our principled and prudential convictions, provides us the language with which to deliberate about them amid disagreement, and helps find commonality around real goods. We believe that a revitalized Augustinian natural law theory can help provide such a framework for evangelical Christians.
The prospect of a post-Roe America calls not only for celebration, but also for a realistic appraisal of the road ahead, which will require the pro-life movement to rebuild itself as a movement that goes beyond partisan divisions and that also helps create a social, political, and economic order in which life is encouraged and supported.