Evolution may favor religious diversity, but the tail does not wag the fish.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Roberts's Faith: Time to Speak Up

Why It's Right to Ask About Roberts's Faith: [Washington Post]
"Conservatives typically praise religious activism on abortion and homosexuality but dismiss liberal clerics who offer theological insights on economics or social spending. Liberals love preachers to speak out for civil rights and economic justice. But they see 'a church-state problem' the instant anyone in the clergy speaks out for vouchers or against abortion and stem cell research."
E.J. Dionne, Jr. writing an editorial for the Post notes that there is a contradictory squeamishness about raising one's religious beliefs in the public sphere. Typically, the duplicitousness is OK, if it helps you or if it can be used against your opponents, but not if the tables get turned.

Frankly, it makes perfect sense to me that one ought to be able to "make an account of the hope within you" without the necessary expectation that this will make you "win." Religious views ought not to be the sword we use to slay the infidel, nor the albatross that drags down, or the club that is used to beat an opponent. A truly appreciative listening and deliberation of one's beliefs ought to be tolerated and respected for the insight it offers into a human being and his or her perspective on their own human condition.

Clearly, a secular Left, a materialist capitalist nation, or triumphalistic Right is incapable of understanding that measure of insight and civil decency. And thus, under cover of religious belief or as far as we can distance ourselves from it, we make more and more obvious how inept and hypocritical we are. Issues of conscience are not simply to be protected by the silence of privacy. They are also supposed to be celebrated publicly by the measure of respect and serious consideration we give them.


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