Thursday, October 11, 2007



This is one reason -- probably the reason -- that whatever the electoral politics of the matter, it's probably not a great idea to encourage politicians to "talk about faith" more. For America to work as an enterprise you need people with deeply held but mutually inconsistent religious beliefs to all work and live together peacefully. Rubbing everyone's noses in the precise implications of other people's beliefs (Christians think Jews shouldn't exist, Jews think Christians are worshipping a false messiah, Protestants think Catholics worship idols, etc.) isn't really helpful.

Well, yes, this is the point I've been trying to make for a very long time. I think the country has made great strides in the "put the genie back in the bottle" direction when it comes to religious disagreement. The "make politicians talk about their faith" stuff threatens to uncork it again, unless "talking about faith" means mumbling meaningless banalities which to me seems to be insulting to believers and nonbelievers.

Maybe it wouldn't be all that bad to have a full public debate about who is or isn't going to hell due to their allegiance to the false church in Rome, or whatever. It might be a bit more honest than the de facto alliance of "believers" (pan-Christian) versus the rest of us. But it probably wouldn't do wonders for the reasonable if certainly imperfect climate of religious tolerance we have in the country, even it means if it means heathens like me are supposed to shut up and take our lumps.