Quote: Religion in the American Public Sphere

What would happen if religious ideas were subjected to such a debate? I want to conclude with some speculations. A robust, critical discussion of religious ideas might encourage popular faiths more consistent with modern standards of plausibility, more conscious of the historicity of all faiths, and more resistant to the manipulation of politicians belonging to any party.  The long moratorium on sustained, public scrutiny of religious ideas has created a vacuum in which easy god-talk flourishes. Religion has no monopoly on foolishness and ignorance, but our convention of giving religious ideas a “pass” has made religion a privileged domain for wackiness in the United States.

pg. 14

Hollinger, David A. “Civic Patriotism and the Critical Discussion of Religious Ideas.” In Debating the Divine: Religion in 21st Century American Democracy, edited by Sally Steenland, 9-15. Centery for American Progress, 2008.