Thursday, October 11, 2012

The other side

Any war has to have two sides or it isn't a war. The "Religious Right" is the side of the "culture war" that has received the most attention. What about the other side? Christianity Today interviews George Yancey, one of the authors of What Motivates Cultural Progressives?: Understanding Opposition to the Political and Christian Right. The book examines the results of surveys of some 2,500 "cultural progressives." From the interview, some observations:
.... Their main values are rationality, progressive politics, and a fear of religion having too much influence in both politics and society in general. These values both define them and unite them. While I say that rationality is a central value for them, that doesn't mean that they are more rational than other people. Rather, this is a way in which they justify their activities and their purpose in society. ....

Many of our respondents expressed fear that conservative Protestants are trying to take over the country and establish a theocracy. Cultural progressives aren't necessarily against religion, though many of them view it as foolishness; rather, they just want Christians to keep it in their churches and homes. It's as if they are saying that people with religious beliefs should let "rational adults" rule the world. It's not religion, per se, that they organize against, but rather any social influence of religion. ....

I was very surprised by the intense animosity that many of the respondents expressed. Here are people who are highly educated, which most people assume would make them more enlightened, but many of their statements were flat-out hateful. They spoke against prejudice, but they themselves expressed deep levels of religious prejudice. To give one example, one of the respondents found out that his friend had a born-again experience, and he ended the friendship solely for that reason. .... [more]
The Other Side of the Culture War | Christianity Today