In his recent syndicated column “A U.N. for the good guys,” Jonah Goldberg evokes the mindset of seventeenth-century puritanism. This is entirely understandable. Much of what the American left teaches, including its neoconservative element, resembles American Calvinism—albeit in a warmed-over form. In Puritan New England, Congregationalists—the only authorized communicants—were deeply troubled that unredeemed polluted their assemblies. Those who considered themselves visible saints were forced to break bread with those who could not properly prove their divine election. This led to a sectarian split that resulted in Rhode Island’s settlement by breakaway Calvinists disgusted by the toleration of impure religious assemblies in Massachusetts. This determined group of dissenters formed a purified congregation of the saints
In a similar way Jonah is looking for pure souls. He is agitated that Russia and China would not vote for “a fairly toothless U.N. resolution condemning the regime in Syria and calling for President Bashar Assad, the lipless murderer who runs the place, to step down.” Jonah points to a terrible spiritual defect in the governments that opposed the resolution. To him it is an outrage that the UN Security Council assigns seats to countries “because they are powerful, not because they are decent, wise or democratic.” This stems from what Jonah says is a “category error”: “There is nothing in the UN Charter…that says a government has to be democratic or even care for the welfare of its people.” The UN does something even more grievous from the neoconservative standpoint: It serves as a “counterweight to the United States” and allows morally reprehensible countries to thumb their noses at America..