"That religion should be relegated to solitude in such an age is, then, paradoxical. But it is aldo dangerous for two reasons. In the first place, when the modern world says to us aloud, 'You may be religious when you are alone,' it adds under its breath, 'and I will see to it that you never are alone.' To make Christianity a private affair while banishing all privacy is to relegate it to the rainbow's end or the Greek calends. That is one of the enemy's stratagems. In the second place, there is the danger that real Christians who know that Christianity is not a solitary affair may react against that error by simply transporting into our spiritual life that same collectivism which has already conquered our secular life. That is the enemy's other stratagem. Like a good chess player, he is always trying to manoeuvre you into a position where you can save your castle only by losing your bishop. In order to avoid the trap we must insist that though the private conception of Christianity is an error, it is a profoundly natural one and is clumsily attempting to guard a great truth. Behind it is the obvious feeling that our modern collectivism is an outrage upon human nature and that from this, as from all other evils, God will be our shield and buckler.
"This feeling is just. As personal and private life is lower than participation in the Body of Christ, so the collective life is lower than the personal life and has no value save in its service. The secular community, since it exists for our natural good and not for our supernatural, has no higher end than to facilitate and safeguard the family, and friendship, and solitude. To be happy at home, said Johnson, is the end of all human endeavour. As long as we are thinking only of natural values we must say that the sun looks down on nothing half so good as a household laughing together over a meal, or two friends talking over a pint of beer, or a man alone reading a book that interests him; and that all economies, politics, laws, armies, and institutions, save insofar as they prolong and multiply such scenes, are a mere ploughing the sand and sowing the ocean, a meaningless vanity and vexation of spirit." (C. S. Lewis, from "Membership," in The Weight of Glory; emphasis mine)
It's a law of idolatry that the stark staring idol fails to deliver not only the salvation promised by the living God, but also the paltry earthly substitute for which you have carved it in the first place. The libertine grows bored in his lust. The miser so desperately fears the loss of his money that a thief would do him a great grace by unloading him of the burden. What about the worshiper of politics -- or, since thus is the idolatry manifest among us now, the devotee who subjects family life, education, associations of formerly free people, and even speech and thought, to the power of the state? What of somebody who must make his vices public, and publicly celebrated, calling upon the power of the state and its courts to redefine the family to suit his predilections? What of somebody whose idea of education is to inculcate in the young the approved secularist attitudes -- not citizenship broadly conceived, with its basis in the natural virtues of temperance, courage, prudence, and justice, but partisanship?
What will Americans lose as they burn incense at the idol "politics"? The family, and free association, and solitude, as Lewis noted; and then they will lose politics too, the life of a free community sometimes meeting to decide on where the water main should go, but more often not meeting officially at all, but living a common life, with common holidays, a common pantheon of heroes that transcend the partisan and ephemeral, and a common sense of good and evil, of decent and brutish, of the beautiful and the tawdry. When Hillary Clinton signed her name to It Takes a Village, she was not wise enough to see past the grim idol; she could not see that the first thing that such a collectivism would destroy would be the village. I'm not saying that hers is the only politics that destroys the polis; one might venture to suggest that a worship of business for business' sake is a quick way to destroy true industry and thrift among a people.
Still, the choice these days is not between Henry Ford and Hillary Clinton; and indeed, the Henry Fords and Hillary Clintons have learned to get along quite well with one another, and maybe their opposition was long a masquerade anyway. The choice is between those who understand, even if they are poor specimens of Christian devotion, that the very existence of the Christian God must relegate politics to the status of a temporary and at best secondary good, and those who do not understand this, those for whom politics or sex or material status or some poisonous chimera amalgamated from them all -- a creature with the head of a CEO, the claws of a bond trader, and the groin of a streetwalker -- has rushed in to fill the empty niche above the altar.