Friday, February 09, 2007

Thought For The Day

Arnold Kling has a post on "conservative Libertarians" that I largely didn't agree with even though I consider myself one. But he had an interesting thought:
The Left's religion often comes dressed up as science. Marxism is one example. The eugenics movement of the early twentieth century is another. The Global Warming crusade is probably another.
This led me to ask, "Is socialism then the Left's form of theocracy?"

This also ties in with something I've been wondering of late, about the character of the civil rights movement. It was started by abolitionists in the 19th century, who were explicitly and devotedly religious people; not exclusively, but primarily. Up through the mid-20th century, especially again in the works of Martin Luther King Junior, it was always an appeal to the fundamental religious character of the American people, a call to live up to the ideals we had set for our nation.

It worked because it was moral suasion. Most Americans are decent people and their sense of morality can be appealed to. It's why the gay rights movement is slowly gaining ground; fewer people oppose equality before the law for gays than ever before.

But in the "post-Civil Rights era," to label the time since the late Sixities, as the Left has slowly purged religion from its character, the sense of the civil rights movement has moved from a religious appeal to political argument. Yes, many black leaders in the civil rights movement are preachers, but their rhetoric does not have the moral tug of Dr. King. It's just political debate. It's no longer "How do you live God's commandments in your life?" but "The law's the law."

I think that's why there's the perception that civil rights is faltering. It's not about a seat at the table any more, but making sure no one gets more mashed potatos than you do. So to speak.

Yeah, I know, an atheist bemoaning the lack of religion in public life. It's non-sensical, I'm sure.

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