Monday, November 28, 2005

The Godless Constitution - Final Thoughts

Just read an article by Patrick Hynes called "Time to Rethink the Religious Right Stereotypes." In it Mr. Hynes lists off the benefits of going to church; apparently people who go to church are healthier, happier, and wealthier. Then he explains that being Christian means you voted for George W. Bush. Specifically he notes that 65% of the people who go to church more than once a week voted for President Bush, while only 35% of those voted for Kerry. Or, to make a long story short, to be religious in America in 2005 is to be Conservative.

Hynes' nominal target in this piece is Hollywood; they need to start portraying Christian Conservatives in a more positive light. The actual target is Christian Conservatives, and the message is "Gosh, you guys are great. And anybody who questions you is probably an elitist bigot."

I suppose if I were a Christian Conservative I would like that message. I know that I occasionally laugh at the posters at Free Republic for example, which is more or less the same thing. People who disagree with me are stupid. It's very comforting.

But it's a guilty pleasure, isn't it? Because the whole point to bothering with a Democracy is that there isn't one right and obvious answer to all the nation's problems (if there was, then Bush is right, a Dictatorship would be a lot easier). Good-hearted, intelligent people can disagree on the best way to handle our problems. As comforting as it might be to draw a line through the country and put all the people who agree with me (or who agree with Patrick Hynes, for that matter) on the good side and all who disagree on the bad side, such a division would not only be stupid. It would be dangerous to our democracy, because it essentially ends conversation.

At any rate, I heartily recommend The Godless Constitution: A Moral Defense of the Secular State. It's well written, interesting, and not overly long.

No comments: