The PJ Tatler

What works best? Principles or moderation?

I posted last weekend about a must-read George Weigel piece about a 2001 conversation between Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul with Weigel and Ed Meese as intermediaries.  Weigel has a subsequent piece called “Aggie Catholic Renaissance” worthy of note for a different reason.  While so many modern religions assume watering down their theology will attract new adherents, the opposite seems to prove true.  John Paul II and Reagan both understood this in their separate areas.  In religion, John Paul sought to foster a new spring of evangelization that stayed true to Catholic teaching.  In politics, Reagan unashamedly spoke of core American ideals which were also universal to mankind.  Weigel’s piece on campus faith at Texas A&M provides a message to politicians and religious leaders alike – “The premise that informed John Paul II’s approach to students his entire life—that young people want to be challenged to lead lives of heroic virtue, in which the search for love is the search for a pure and noble love.”  Even Pittsburgh safety and NFL defensive player of the year Troy Polamalu is an example of this phenomena –  where being true to fundamental principles attracts followers, not the opposite.