How C. S. Lewis viewed politics: Guest post by David Theroux

Sometimes being a Christian in this country is synonymous with having a certain political opinion. Ross Rohde wrote an interesting post on this topic.

David Theroux is Founder and President of the CS Lewis Society in California. He recently sent me a quote from a lecture he gave on how C.S. Lewis’ viewed liberty:

The Oxford/Cambridge scholar and best-selling author C. S. Lewis was unquestionably and profoundly interested in the ideas and institutions that were the basis for free and virtuous individuals and communities, but he was not at all interested in partisanship or campaign politics. He instead focused on first principles, and public-policy matters were of interest only as they pertained to questions of enduring value. As a result of this focus, whereas the work of most modern scholars and other writers quickly becomes dated and obsolete, Lewis’s work has achieved increasing timelessness and relevance.

Lewis addressed not only the evils of totalitarianism as manifested in fascism and communism, but the more subtle forms that face us on a daily basis, including the welfare, therapeutic, nanny, and scientistic states.

With Christianity, each and every person is “a child of God” or a holy object (res sacra homo) who has free will and is individually responsible for the choices he or she makes.

Lewis argued that a natural moral law is known to all, and this natural moral code is inescapable; it is the basis for all moral judgments. Its foundational truths such as “caring for others is a good thing,” “good should be done and evil avoided,” “dying for a righteous cause is a noble thing”—are understood regardless of experience, just as we know that 2 + 2 = 4.

Does this mean as followers of Christ we shouldn’t have a political opinion?

C. S. Lewis