Mary Eberstadt, one of the most acute and creative social observers of our time, (Francis Fukuyama) shines a much-needed spotlight on a disturbing trend in American society: discrimination against traditional religious belief and believers, who are being aggressively pushed out of public life by the concerted efforts of militant secularists.Read more...
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Mary Eberstadt, one of the most acute and creative social observers of our time, (Francis Fukuyama) shines a much-needed spotlight on a disturbing trend in American society: discrimination against traditional religious belief and believers, who are being aggressively pushed out of public life by the concerted efforts of militant secularists.
In It s Dangerous to Believe, Mary Eberstadt documents how people of faith especially Christians who adhere to traditional religious beliefs face widespread discrimination in today s increasingly secular society. Eberstadt details how recent laws, court decisions, and intimidation on campuses and elsewhere threaten believers who fear losing their jobs, their communities, and their basic freedoms solely because of their convictions. They fear that their religious universities and colleges will capitulate to aggressive secularist demands. They fear that they and their families will be ostracized or will have to lose their religion because of mounting social and financial penalties for believing. They fear they won t be able to maintain charitable operations that help the sick and feed the hungry.
Is this what we want for our country?
Religious freedom is a fundamental right, enshrined in the First Amendment. With It s Dangerous to Believe Eberstadt calls attention to this growing bigotry and seeks to open the minds of secular liberals whose otherwise good intentions are transforming them into modern inquisitors. Not until these progressives live up to their own standards of tolerance and diversity, she reminds us, can we build the inclusive society America was meant to be."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-06-20
- Reviewer: Staff
Eberstadt passionately argues that secularism is a religion of its own whose orthodoxy of diversity ironically demands the exclusion of traditional Christians. In her telling, the permissive attitudes of the sexual revolution have hardened into the only acceptable public position, and anything opposed to them cannot be tolerated. Claiming that secularists are engaging in a moral panic and a witch hunt, she outlines various means (including legal cases, public scorn, and critiques of homeschooling) whereby they attack traditional believers in the United States and Europe. Casting believers almost entirely as innocent victims without any political or cultural power causes the work to lose some nuance, as does her assertion that Western secularism places Islam off limits for critique. For traditional Christians, Eberstadt provides a language to defend their position, a comforting sense that their persecution is real, and a view of the irony of progressives curtailing freedom. The work is unlikely to gain converts from secularism, but the final chapter's call to attend to rhetoric and avoid generalization powerfully makes the case for more civility in the midst of intense disagreement. (June)