Nathanael Blake writes for the Federalist about one academic’s disturbing view of Christians.

Liberals don’t know how to fix our broken politics and degraded culture, they just know they don’t want Christians to try.

This was made clear by liberal academic Mark Lilla’s recent New York Review of Books fulmination against postliberal Catholic thinkers. Lilla focuses on the usual suspects — Patrick Deneen, Sohrab Ahmari, Adrian Vermeule — but his specific analysis of their work against political and philosophical liberalism is overshadowed by his apparent conclusion that all Christians should get out of politics.

Lilla grudgingly acknowledges that his targets “get a number of things right. There is a malaise … in modern Western societies, reflected above all in the worrisome state of our children, who are ever more depressed and suicidal. And we do lack adequate political concepts and vocabulary for articulating and defending the common good and placing necessary limits on individual autonomy.” Lilla includes himself in this liberal failure to even provide a conceptual framework for how to address the crisis around us.

Nonetheless, he insists that liberalism’s incapacity does not mean Deneen and company are right, either in their full diagnosis or their proposed solutions. Rather, Lilla declares that they are “just one more example of the psychology of self-induced ideological hysteria, which begins with the identification of a genuine problem and quickly mutates into a sense of world-historical crisis and the appointment of oneself and one’s comrades as the select called to strike down the Adversary.” Whatever liberalism’s struggles may be, its postliberal critics are losing themselves in apocalyptic delusions of grandeur.

This may be a reasonable charge to level at a small, radical movement prone to rhetorical bombast and with a penchant for alienating potential allies. There is plentiful space for reasonable praise and criticism regarding the ideas, methods, and personalities of the Catholic postliberals. But Lilla instead concludes by haranguing them for their supposedly unchristian pursuit of political power, and he does this in a way that may be applied against any Christian involvement in politics.