Monday, November 4, 2013

The superficiality of secular political cries

Why do I even bother clicking on links at anymore?

The title of CJ Werleman's new piece Atheists can't be Republicans caught my eye and I got my hopes up, expecting a good challenge to my views. I thought it would go along the lines of what I wrote about last year piggybacking Andrew Sullivan's calls for gays to avoid the Republican party. The GOP treats both groups poorly and Sullivan argued they don't deserve their votes, even if they agree on economic issues.

Instead, what I got from Werleman was a collection of left-wing talking points and a statement that secular people should support his solutions to them. In all cases, the political points were shallow and his solutions were left unexamined. Here's a typical example:

Atheists like to talk about building a better world, one that is absent of religiosity in the public square, but where are the atheist groups on helping tackle the single biggest tear in the fabric of our society — wealth disparity? They are nowhere. Its absence on the most pressing moral issue of our time makes it difficult for the movement to establish meaningful partnerships with other moral communities.

At several points Werleman calls income equality the biggest issue of today, a dubious and myopic position. At no time does he make a strong case for why left-wing solutions are the correct answer. Instead, he preaches to the choir and insists that people like me don't care about the suffering of others.

This isn't as bad as last month's Salon piece about a 10 year old Zelda game, but this is bigger than one cranky website. As a secular conservative I'm constantly berated with these perfunctory and glib recitals of left wing views. As Jonathan Haidt put it, there's a lot of locker room talk where everyone assumes they are on the same page.

I'm not demanding that secular people change their views or drift to the right, but I don't think they realize just how pig-headed they are being when political issues come up. Maybe if they bothered to learn what people like me actually think they wouldn't considered every political issue settled and resolved.

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