Joseph Bottum of First Things shares a fascinating historical perspective on Protestantism in America. Having been educated in the limestone tower of Mainline Lutheran (ELCA) academia, much of Bottum's analysis rings true as things I'd known, without knowing I knew. (And apparently I can simultaneously channel Plato and Mr. Rumsfeld). I really like his analysis of American society resting on the three-legged stool of democracy, capitalism, and religion, and his social and economic analysis of civil religion's role in general. As to where that society can be headed on a two-legged stool none of us can say for certain, but neither politics nor economics has a good track record in trying to fill the role of civil religion.