Carol Platt Liebau

Monday, December 20, 2004

Jeff Jarvis argues that the "debate" over Christmas has been overblown -- that's there's no "religious war" in America, and that the religious and the secularists should just "get over it" in effect.

He couldn't be more wrong. NO, there's not a "war" in America. But there is a struggle over what will be the character of America's shared civic life . . . whether Americans will forget our Christian roots, heritage and shared experience, and give in to the ever-greater demands of the secularists that all traces of faith be erased not only from even the most tenuous connection with government, but from the public square, as well. For years and years, the religious have allowed secularism, bit by bit, to creep into American culture, to the point where it's easy for the MSM to caricature believers as some kind of backwoods living, knuckle dragging nutjobs.

And it's time that believers called them on it. Of course, toleration is key; but that toleration should run both ways. And to my mind, a lot more of it has been coming from the people of faith over the last 40 years than from the secularists.

Jarvis' advice to "get over it" sounds like the jaded admonition of a laid-back baby boomer or Gen-Xer. "What's the big deal? Just get over it." It may feel cool to get to hand out that kind of advice, but it's lazy thinking, and ultimately misses the crucial values that are at stake in the struggle over whether any kind of faith will be tolerated in the public square in the years to come.

If the people of faith stop having their say, well, things like this become more and more likely.

2 Comments:

Blogger jchess said...

"If. . . people of faith stop having their say"?

I must, sadly, inform you it's already happening within the United States of America, in the form of the Lehman Communications Corporation (Colorado), which makes no effort to hide its contempt, prejudice, and bigotry towards faith, specifically Christianity.

4:45 AM  
Blogger Phil Schwarz said...

The secularists state that Christian values do not belong in the public discourse, schools, or anywhere else, and that we should have values-free schools and society. What they really mean is that secular values are OK, and anyone who has other views should not have access to the public forum. First amendment, anyone?

2:07 PM  

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