Lindsay's caught another fine thread of comments over at Majikthise. This one, prompted by her own observations on the matter, is on the asymmetries of right wing uses of religion vs left wing treatment of religion. I am satisfied enough with the perception this thread called forth from my experience to repeat my comment here:
There are some assumptions so wide spread and taken so much for granted that they seem to bias perceptions across the political spectrum.
One of these assumptions appears to be that pro-religious statements, which includes everything from affirmations of Christianity as one's fount of charitable social "values" to very narrow definitions of "life" to be enforced on all citizens...what ever is said in the vein of "this thinking is brought to you by my religion" are either assumed to be hypocrisy or felt to be oppression by the jaded audience our body politic has become. Who wore them into this state it is fruitless to determine. Why so many let them selves be this jaded a slightly more fruitful investigation.
The other side of this assumption or bias that affects this nation's consumption of news and opinion regarding religion and its place in civic life is that denouncing things religious, i.e. anti-religious statements are always given and taken in dead earnest. The atheist is taken at her word and not accused of not really believing her own statements or of failing to act according to the claimed moral compass of her own words. The statements, for instance, dismissing or discrediting bans on abortions or gay marriage as policies fit for every human in the country, are regarded as meaning all they say and more, rather than positions some convention or pro forma political rhetoric require.
There is more to develop on the idea that the issues only seem beyond civil discussion because many people have mouths and keyboards and unexamined emotional attachments but few have more than the rhetorical equivalents of "blunt instrument" in their kit:
- Ad hominem confusion of person with position
- Confusion of non-religious stance with anti-religious stance.
- Mild to severe group paranoia, believing your own press releases.
- Cynical zeitgeist, categorical believability of various kinds and contexts of statement.
- "he hit me first!" [no sh_t, this is a huge derailer of dialog]
Do go read.