“Personal moral values”
Despite their differences, Brooks thinks liberals and conservatives can get along because the values they share (fairness, compassion) have to do with “social morality,” while the things they disagree about (authority, loyalty, purity) are “personal moral values.” It’s a facile distinction, and an odd one: Don’t respect for authority and group loyalty belong to “social morality”? Many Christians, myself included, believe that our sexual wasteland is a product of a societal decision to shunt sexual morality off to a realm where individual choice is sovereign. He makes his distinction of social/personal morality sound like a procedural rule, but by placing sexual morality in the sphere of private morality, he takes a side in our central cultural battle. In my judgment, it’s the wrong side. To heal our sexual pathologies, Brooks prescribes more of the disease. I may be wrong, but I’m not inclined to sign on to a proposal that defines my convictions out of public debate.
Peter Leithart, What Arthur Brooks gets wrong