26 Apr 2018

Jonah Goldberg on EconTalk on God

Politics, Religious 10 Comments

Jonah Goldberg is featured in the latest EconTalk, discussing his new book Suicide of the West. It was a very pleasant interview (as these episodes usually are), but there was one thing I found very odd.

Jonah and Russ made several references to God throughout the discussion. (Russ is an observant Jew; I guess I don’t know exactly what Jonah’s beliefs are.) Yet Jonah said he literally opens the book by saying words to the effect that, “God does not appear in this book.” And then near the end of the interview, when the two are discussing whether to be optimistic or pessimistic, Jonah says something like, “Suicide is a choice. There is nothing foreordained about the decline of the West…There is no such thing as a lost cause if people continue to fight.” Jonah also explicitly says more than once during the interview (and in his book) that the birth of liberty in the West was accidental.

I realize this is my Protestant-borderline-Calvinist perspective now shining through, but it seems weird to me that neither of them said, “Of course, since I believe in a loving God, maybe ‘accident’ isn’t the right word, and I’m filled with joy to be alive to see the fruition of God’s plan for humanity.”

10 Responses to “Jonah Goldberg on EconTalk on God”

  1. Harold says:

    It seems a little early to declare it the fruition of god’s plan, even if you are a believer. Everyone at all times could make the same claim. Say, a Roman saying that the Empire was an accident, but maybe accident is the wrong word, and he was pleased to be alive to see the fruition of God’s plan. We don’t know where it is going to end up yet!

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Harold I encourage you to keep reading in the Bible. The ending is pretty dramatic!

      • E. Harding says:


      • Craw says:

        I’m halfway through Matthew. I can’t wait to learn what happens to this Jesus guy.

        • Harold says:

          I am sure it has a happy ending. Maybe with room for a sequel?

          • Transformer says:

            The ending is a revelation!

        • Mark says:

          Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. Gal. 6:7

  2. Josiah says:

    The odd thing is that while Jonah talks about the rise of liberty and prosperity as being an accident, the term he uses in the book to describe it is “the Miracle.”

    • Bob Murphy says:

      I think even atheist men watch “The Miracle of Birth” video with their pregnant wives.

  3. Keshav Srinivasan says:

    Jonah Goldberg is Jewish by birth, but he’s not very religious. He does believe in God, but not much more than that. But he’s said he hopes to have a turn in his life at some point and thereby return to Judaism.

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