Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Rise of Secular Religion

The Rise of Secular Religion - The American Interest:

Fascinating article:

Today’s American liberalism, it is often remarked, amounts to a
secular religion: it has its own sacred texts and taboos, Crusades and
Inquisitions. The political correctness that undergirds it, meanwhile,
can be traced back to the past century’s liberal Protestantism.
Conservatives, of course, routinely scoff that liberals’ ersatz religion
is inferior to the genuine article.

Joseph Bottum, by contrast, examines post-Protestant secular religion
with empathy, and contends that it gained force and staying power by
recasting the old Mainline Protestantism in the form of catechistic
worldly categories: anti-racism, anti-gender discrimination,
anti-inequality, and so forth. What sustains the heirs of the
now-defunct Protestant consensus, he concludes, is a sense of the
sacred, but one that seeks the security of personal salvation through
assuming the right stance on social and political issues. Precisely
because the new secular religion permeates into the pores of everyday
life, it sustains the certitude of salvation and a self-perpetuating
spiritual aura. Secularism has succeeded on religious terms. That is an
uncommon way of understanding the issue, and a powerful one.

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