Sunday, March 4, 2012

"Silly attacks on religiosity"

James Q. Wilson, from Dec. 24, 2004, on the incoherence of professing tolerance while attacking the liberties of those who profess faith. From "James Q. Wilson: Excerpts from His Writings in The Wall Street Journal":
Those who are alarmed by the extent of religious belief in this country have roused themselves to make the so-called wall of separation between church and state both higher and firmer.... They would be well advised to let matters alone. We have been a free country even though "In God We Trust" is printed on our dollar bills, even though sessions of Congress begin with a prayer, and even though chaplains paid for by our tax dollars are part of our military forces. Our freedom does not depend on eliminating these acknowledgments of the power of religion; it relies instead on the fact that for many generations we have embraced a secular government operating in a religious culture.

That embrace will be weakened, not strengthened, by silly attacks on religiosity, stimulating the spiritual to question the seriousness of people who profess a concern for civil liberties.