Secular Hope: What the Religious Right Really Wants and Why Liberal Democrats Should Support Them
Different understandings of the word secular are at the root of Americas domestic and international political conflicts. Academics and legal professionals, by failing to heed Harvey Coxs 1965 warning to distinguish between secularism as a closed ideology and secularization as a healthy cultural process, are inadvertently fuelling fundamentalism and the culture wars. SECULAR HOPE starts by first articulating the philosophic assumptions of monotheism, and then distinguishes between Romantic, Rational, and Postmodern Secularism. Postmodern Secularism, as the champion of tolerance, is explored in particular detail because of its conflicting assumptions with monotheistic religions. The United States was founded on faith in secularization; the belief that only individuals can morally reconcile their religious and rational understandings of their own personal experiences. Deviating from this idea, which is deeply embedded in all monotheistic cultures, cannot be done lightly even when coming from the best of intentions. By comparing Canadian and American constitutional approaches to secularity, it is shown that while Americas unique path is more contentious it is ultimately more hopeful. A postsecular constitutional vision is offered that will safely bring down the Western wall of separation that currently is preventing America from moving beyond the Cold war and realizing its full potential as a global leader. SECULAR HOPE provides a historical, yet practical, understanding of what it means to live respectfully in a secular society today.
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Adams American Aquinas articulated assumptions Canada Canadian Catholic Christianity church citizens civil civil unions conflict constitutional corruption cultural decision Deists democratic diversity ensure equality faith freedom of conscience Frye’s GLBT global God’s Habermas Harvey Cox Henry human rights Ibid individual Islam Islam and Secularism issue John Rawls Jürgen Habermas kings legitimate liberal liberal democracies libertarians means metaphor modernity monotheism monotheistic monotruism monotruistic Muslims myth of monotheism mythical mythos neutral Northrop Frye Obama’s objective truth one’s Paul Weyrich percent personal experiences philosopher kings political Postmodern Secularism private beliefs protection quotation Rational Secularism reason reconcile reject religion religious beliefs religious resurgence religious right Republican respect role Romantic Secularism Saba Mahmood same-sex marriage scriptures Secular Hope secularists sexual social spiritual Supreme Court tolerance traditional tuition fees U-shaped plot understanding universal moral truth universal truth values wall of separation Western YAHWEH