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Newsweekly Cover Angst: An Oldie But Goodie

Ed Driscoll observes that Newsweek magazine has perhaps rediscovered that maybe God exists after all, with its latest cover on Heaven (see below).  Maybe this is subtle sign that liberals are resorting to prayer in their desperation over the faltering Obama campaign.  Ed reminds us that this represents a reversal from Time magazine’s famous “Is God Dead? cover from the 1960s.

But he’s left one out.  In 1990, Time wondered on another cover, “Is Government Dead?”  I went back and read the two Time “death” stories side-by-side, and recognized that since government is, for liberals, the secular substitute for God, these were essentially the same story.  As I wrote at the time in First Things:

As if. . .

Twenty-four years ago this month, the magazine brought us its Nietzschean fears with its famous red-on-black cover, “Is God Dead?” More recently, apparently, the agnostic editors of Time experienced a crisis of faith over the secular substitute for God, and thus presented the interrogative cover of October 23, 1989: “Is Government Dead?” The irony, which is surely lost on Time‘s editors, is that God and Government are in a doubtful state for remarkably similar reasons. These two cover stories could, without much work, be combined into one treatment. Furthermore, Time is likely to remain oblivious to its role in the executioner’s chorus for both God and Government. . .

Yes, but you won't find it at HHS.

Time rightly perceives that things are in a mess. It is much less clear on the causes of this mess. In the God essay twenty-four years ago, Timenoted that the image of God as a “wonder worker” was a discredited, if not paltry, view of the Deity. Today Government, which at the time of the death of God was celebrated by Time as the omnipotent progenitor of the Great Society, is no better than a “dispenser of largesse.” Government as ersatz wonder worker is dead, too. . .

The complete article, available at the link above, lays out the whole critique.  The final irony here is that the zombie newsweekly magazines don’t get the irony.  There better be a Heaven for the dying legacy media, because Time‘s up.

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