To paraphrase Cornelius Van Til: “If there is no autonomy then only theonomy.” Though Dr. Van Til had the philosophical issue of neutrality in mind rather than ethical dispute, he makes an eternally valid point that has affected many thinkers of this persuasion.
When Judge Alito answers the Judiciary Committee and with all seriousness says that his religion has nothing to do with his judging, then this is the first sign of autonomous thinking. Man by inclination always objectifies his reasoning on the basis of himself as standard. The absurdity of such thinking is that though they may believe God, at the same time they claim themselves as gods. Van Til’s point is that only God is the author of reason and only God establishes patterns of thought and logic. This is the reason political stupidity is rampant in Washington: because they are all gods of their own. And when their “godness” is the authority then why need a religion? Religion serves only to fill gaps of guilt and blame. So autonomy and political stupidity are closer than one may think. After all, “the fool says in his heart there is no god,” but the politician says in his heart I am god.