Critics of Religion
Ross Douthat wants more candor from religion’s critics and detractors:
It may seem strange that anyone could look around the pornography-saturated, fertility-challenged, family-breakdown-plagued West and see a society menaced by a repressive puritanism. But it’s clear that this perspective is widely and sincerely held.
It would be refreshing, though, if it were expressed honestly, without the “of course we respect religious freedom” facade.
If you want to fine Catholic hospitals for following Catholic teaching, or prevent Jewish parents from circumcising their sons, or ban Chick-fil-A in Boston, then don’t tell religious people that you respect our freedoms. Say what you really think: that the exercise of our religion threatens all that’s good and decent, and that you’re going to use the levers of power to bend us to your will.
There, didn’t that feel better? Now we can get on with the fight.
This may be overstating things a bit. I don’t know what circles Ross Douthat frequents, but I can say that whenever I examine religious objections to contemporary secular morality, such as in my previous two posts, the critical responses I receive are mostly facade-free, perfectly frank moral objections to the religious teachings on the table.
For good or ill, some of the world’s religions cling to old moral frameworks and principles, notably in matters of sexuality, putting them at odds with some contemporary moralities on a few key hot button issues. Hence the conflict of values I like to analyze. The critics of religion in my circles are not shy about saying what they really think. Certainly not here at the League, where religion gets praised for its benefits by some and by others accused of obstructing moral progress and causing moral and physical harm.
Maybe we’re just especially cool around these parts.