27th June 2008

“The process of democratic secularization is so powerful that once begun it has never been significantly reversed. No strategy which the theocons devise can stop modern secular liberalism.”

Gregory Paul

8 Responses to “27th June 2008”

  1. Taboo Tongue Says:

    Definitely true. And I love to say it… “Atheism FTW!” (For The Win)

  2. John Sutton Says:

    Not in the UK. At least, not recently. Our erstwhile grinning god-botherer of a PM has enacted laws which will enable many more “faith” schools at taxpayers expence. Also, we are about to see our care system handed over to self serving religious groups. Government is regularly gives way to a vociferous, minority religious lobby.

    From a point where religion was, rightly, an embarrassing private matter it has become acceptable, public and in your face. We must not be complacent because, clearly, the secularisation of this state is being reversed.

  3. Chris Says:

    It sounds like the UK is becoming the battleground that America is beginning not to be. Take heart! After being callously and cynically used by the republican party for the last 20 years, the religious right seems to be slinking back to their hole, embarrassed by the likes of Falwell and Hagee and a rogues gallery of conservative politicians who’ve had their sexual (and homosexual) scandals and financial misdeeds paraded before the country. Religious believers of good will, that I believe constitute and overwhelming majority, have now realized how poorly their interests have been served by their “leaders” and are starting to concentrate on their faith rather than pushing their faith into politics. This can’t help but be a positive development because most “christian” faiths are doctrinarily, if not in practice, in opposition to the hateful positions of the hard right. This disagreement, long papered over, is starting to show some strain.

    I’d like people’s opinion on the assertion that the secular liberalism mentioned in the quote is the child of religious pluralism. I think that pluralism, first enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and adopted broadly elsewhere was maybe the first great engine secularism because the absence of a state religion contributed to a profusion of faiths an which no one view dominates – a balance of power if you will. Thoughts?

  4. Critic Says:

    Chris, I’m not sure. The overall acceptance of xian religious hooey in the US has made it seem that we have a national religion. But, it is true that when push comes to shove, the government usually goes with the non-religious edicts of the constitution (I’m thinking specifically of school prayer). As I think through this more, perhaps I’m being swayed by your argument. I could envision someone who is religious, but tolerates other religions, having an easier time tolerating the non-theist.

    Of course we are talking about educated and open minded folk – not the hardcore fundies recruited from the lowest rungs of society.

  5. Chris Says:

    You’re right to point out that any consideration one might give this requires the person not be a moron. I wasn’t thinking so much of tolerance, although this is an least outwardly embraced by all but the lunatic fringe. What I was thinking of was fear of other faiths. If the government, god forbid, ever instituted a state religion it most certainly wouldn’t be YOURS. Dim wits may not realize this but the leaderships do. Lately, every time they’ve overreached they’ve gotten spanked decisively not just by the courts but also by public opinion. They did a lot of overreaching in the last 8 years. The sensible center is tired of their shit. Our best weapon? Ridicule and derisive laughter. 6000 years old…bwahahahah. I LOVE the word “theocon”. It is now in my personal lexicon.

  6. Chris Says:

    Something to illustrate the point:


  7. Chris Says:

    One final note on tolerance –

    “As I think through this more, perhaps I’m being swayed by your argument. I could envision someone who is religious, but tolerates other religions, having an easier time tolerating the non-theist.”

    It’s funny but there are an enormous number of people that don’t know what an atheist is and mistakenly think it’s some other kind of faith. So to the degree that’s true, tolerance in society works in our favor.

  8. Wilma Wiggins Says: