On the other hand, secular public space wins!

Free markets favor the religious because they can keep their flocks together and decide how they want to operate their societies with less imposition from the government. So the market is looking more secular than ever before. From Job Henke:

‘m simply not persuaded by the argument that there is a burgeoning “Theocracy” in the United States. You can tell the Social Conservatives are losing by the very battles they are fighting. Almost without exception, they are doing rear-guard duty. I mean, we’ve got partial nudity on prime-time television, and gay marriage on the radar.

That’s one hell of a long way from the 1940s-50s, where even married TV characters had separate beds, and the question was not whether homosexuals deserved marriage, but whether they deserved a lobotomy. We may feel strongly about arguments like the 10 Commandments statue, Intelligent Design in schools, and Janet Jackson’s nipple, but the fact that we’re arguing about these should indicate just how secular our government has become. 50 years ago, we were putting God into the Pledge of Allegiance, Intelligent Design would have been a big step forward for (creationism-dominated) science classes, and TV stations would have refused to show Janet Jackson from the forehead down.

Josh especially, read the whole thing.


6 Responses to On the other hand, secular public space wins!

  1. oh boy says:

    i read the whole thing and i am not convinced. the pattern of the 1950s was a huge reaction to the hedonism of the 20s and 30s and the austerity of the war.

    you also have to remember that in the 1950s anything that smacked of nonconformism or nontraditionalism was accused of being communism, and people lost their jobs and their lives were ruined.

    by pimping this article, are you implying that the economic growth of the country in the 50s was worth the paranoia, the conformism and the homogeneity? because you’re really not convincing me now.

    it was not a good time, alex, for people who liked to take drugs and dress up in costumes. yet again you impress me with your total schizophrenic method when it comes to balancing your political beliefs with your cultural patterns.

    tangentially related: for whom are you going to vote in the 2008 republican primary? jeb bush? bill frist? condi rice?

  2. Josh, my point is that what has changed since the 50’s is that the public space has become more liberal, allowing/encouraging private spaces to become more particularized to compensate.

    The same freedom that allows a bunch of weirdos to get together in the desert, dress up, etc. is the one that allows a bunch of evangelicals to organize a god-fearing community.

    Your sense that there are certain people who don’t belong at burningman or haven’t yet become acculturated is not particularly different from their sense that certain people who come to SmallTown don’t actually belong or have not yet become acculturated.

    The costumes and rituals are different. The social behavior is not.

  3. ooghe says:

    interesting that Burning Man gets brought up, as I was wondering earlier whether my involvement in the Temple of Atlantis would have qualified me as a religiously strict churchgoer in the 2004 presidential exit poll.

  4. oh boy says:

    how exactly did i say that some people don’t belong at burning man?

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