Southern Religion

‘Going Muslim’ down the slippery slope into the black box of religion

Jeremy Walton coments on Tunku Varadarajan’s Going Muslim column in Forbes. Walton explains how secular culture substitutes “the black box” of religion” for understanding:

When confronted by actions or motivations that defy explanation, the mouthpieces of secular political culture are content to attribute these actions or motivations to religion and then rush to criticize them as such. While so-called Islamist violence is a particularly frequent object of this type of black box rationality, one also encounters it in less spectacular contexts. Contemporary homophobia in the United States, for example, is typically linked to Evangelical Protestantism and Christianity more generally in public discourse, in spite of the fact that many devout Christians eschew bias based upon sexual orientation and many prominent homophobes have only marginal religious credentials. This is not to deny that some individuals do understand their own violent actions or prejudices as religiously-motivated. However, this fact does not imply that public commentators on religion should take this self-understanding at face value. This is especially the case in politically-charged times, when the attribution of individual causes too easily becomes a blanket description of entire communities and traditions.


November 22, 2009 - Posted by | Cultural | , , ,

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