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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Ideological Secularism

Rise of the Seculars [Jonah Goldberg]

Paul Waldman has a very interesting article over at the Prospect pondering whether liberal secular Americans will become as "tribal" as evangelicals. He writes:

Whatever the answer is, the possibility does seem real for secularism to achieve a new awakening of its own as a political and social movement. Non-believers can now claim their first publicly open member of Congress (Pete Stark of California), and they even have their own lobbying group (a modest enterprise, admittedly). Greater visibility makes it easier for the tribe to reproduce itself: The more we wear our tribal identity on our sleeves, the easier our fellow members are to spot, and the more likely we are to define membership as one of our primary criteria in mate selection and thus pass on our identity to others. And, indeed, there are multiple atheist dating services on the web.

John Podhoretz responds:

So why not a secular tribe? Secularists believe they are smarter, wiser, and better for America and the world than the religious people who are, in their view, pulling America backward into a nightmarish past. A conviction like this, widely shared, is a perfect basis for a present-day movement.

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