Let’s not also forget that religiosity isn’t quite an on/off switch. The range of attitudes — and political postures of appeal to a divine order or to spiritually ideal propriety — reaches broadly from exclusive faith to more general faith to particular belief (that may not command particular imperatives) to blanket or case-specific agnosticisms and finally the anti-theism that is directly hostile to religious conviction and intolerant of persuasion predicated on God.
In other words, neither conservatives nor conservatism can be neatly cleft into “pro-God” and “anti-God” camps. Or, to be more precise, the “pro-God” tent encompasses — and has encompassed throughout key sequences of American political history — a vast territory of the spirit, from Madison to Jefferson to Lincoln and, of course, beyond. There are plenty of issue-points even within its ambit for generations of political conflict, and this is proof that a conservative’s stance toward God does not solve or resolve in advance the questions of economics, politics, and culture that stand at a degree of remove from questions of religion.
Mac Donald insists, I think, that either this is a fact objectively or should be kept custom in argument — and that those who think economic, political, and cultural questions are bifurcated by faith into correct and incorrect answers needlessly manage at once to complicate and constrain our discourse.