May 13, 2005

The First Amendment MUST be preserved against fundies

Kevin Drum appears to think progressives should be more compromising on issues such as state-sponsored religious displays, public prayers, and such on the grounds that 98 percent of the battle has already been won.

See the original Matt Yglesias post that got Kevin started here.

This is one of Kevin’s, and Matt Yglesias’, dumber ideas.

The fundies want to reverse that 2 percent and aren't in a mood to compromise. The “silent majority” is clueless on that and will be rolled as to what is acceptable on public religious displays if compromise is the name of the game.

When does idealism compromise with pragmatism, then?

I face this from a highly personal angle, too. My dad is, I mean was, a minister in the main conservative Lutheran denomination. His sister is a Lutheran parochial school teacher. Their one grandfather was a minister. My oldest brother is. My No. 2 brother is a music director and works at denominational headquarters in his day job. My brother-in-law is a minister, after a young sister said years ago she'd never marry one.

I said “was” of my dad because he died a week ago and I’ve played hypocrite for a week. HE KNEW, and so did his sister, and my sister, but none of my brothers, nor dad's second wife, nor most other people at the funeral did.

In most ways, I’m more absolutist on this than freedom of the press — and I’m a newspaper editor — precisely because the other side, the fundamentalist part of the “other side,” at least, is not in a compromising mood. It's not holding on to the “last 2 percent” of the school prayer battle, Kev, it's keeping that from being changed to 20-30 percent being lost again.

Update, May 14:
Kevin continues to fight the battle with this post. Which leads to further response from me.

Religion in America has greatly evolved in the last 200 years. Many moderate to liberal Christians recognize the “Judeo” fig leaf within the phrase “Judeo-Christian heritage.” If Muslims don’t already outnumber Jews, they soon will. Can Hindus and Buddhists be that far behind?

So what then, Kev? Do we post verses from the Quran, the Bhagavad Gita, or the Pali Canon on courthouse walls?

Do you see any fundies raising their hands to vote for that one?

And no, don’t give me Scalia’s “civic religion” bullshit either.

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