Sunday, October 16, 2016

Conservatism without Religion

Ross Douthat:
America needs a religious right. Maybe not the religious right it has; certainly not the religious right of Carson and Falwell Jr. But the Trump era has revealed what you get when you leach the Christianity out of conservatism: A right-of-center politics that cares less about marriage and abortion, just as some liberals would wish, but one that’s ultimately far more divisive than the evangelical politics of George W. Bush.

When religious conservatives were ascendant, the G.O.P. actually tried minority outreach, it sent billions to fight AIDS in Africa, it pursued criminal justice reform in the states. That ascendance crumbled because of the religious right’s own faults (which certain of Trump’s Christian supporters amply display), and because of trends toward secularization and individualism that no politics can master; it cannot and should not be restored.

But some kind of religious conservatism must be rebuilt, because without the pull of transcendence, the future of the right promises to be tribal, cruel, and very dark indeed.
I have had similar thoughts. What would America be like without the preaching of forgiveness? I fear it might be angrier, even more vindictive, and a lot more Trump.


G. Verloren said...

The right relies on religion to motivate them to human decency. The left doesn't require religion, because it's motivation IS human decency.

pootrsox said...

I firmly believe in doing good without gods.

In fact, I believe secular humanists and a-theists of all sorts are *more* ethical and *more* moral than believers.

After all, we secular humanists et al have no external carrots and sticks to affect our morality-- we do what is right because it is right, not to avoid hell or gain heaven.