Only Kathryn Lopez would introduce an interview with one of our favorite authors, who has a new book coming soon, with a comparison of Hillary Clinton. who, in a remark that has religious liberty advocates concerned, has urged religions to change their tenets and adapt to her beliefs, and Mary Magdalen, the saint! But Kathryn does just that:
There’s a third woman who is trying today to bridge the gap between Mary Magdalene and Hillary Clinton. Or, perhaps, to create a multi-lane highway — someplace where two religions can coexist. Mary Eberstadt, in her new book, It's Dangerous to Believe (which will be published later this month by Harper), describes “secularist progressivism today” as “less a political movement than a church.”
Mary (Eberstadt!) explains:
The so-called culture war, in other words, has not been conducted by people of religious faith on one side, and people of no faith on the other. It is instead a contest of competing faiths: one in the Good Book, and the other in the more newly written figurative book of secularist orthodoxy about the sexual revolution. All of this exegesis is necessary to depict the combat.
I recently heard Mary speak on the forthcoming book, and I wish I could just tell you all she said because it was important stuff. But I don't trust my memory. Still, I can tell you that this is a book you want to read and urge you to order it.
To whet your appetite, here is a nugget of Kathryn on Mary:
Eberstadt continues: The sexual revolution, as we have already seen, is the centerpiece of a new orthodoxy and new morality that elevates pleasure and self-will to first principles. This has become, in effect, a rival religion. That is what explains the outsize hostility toward believers who have been minding their own business, or trying to educate their children, or expressing their faith in public forums — or otherwise behaving in ways that once invited no penalties, and now do. Ubiquitously. Because we are talking about competing religions replete with the passionate conviction that attends first principles, what’s going on out there can look a lot like Salem — including the fact that it can take very little to find oneself accused and cast out these days.
Salem? Witch trials? Isn’t this going a little too far? Well, consider Brendan Eich, the former CEO of Mozilla, for one example of someone who was quickly punished for his transgressions. You see how people who do not believe that anything goes when it comes to gender and marriage are having a theocracy imposed upon them. Just ask the Little Sisters of the Poor. The Sisters serve the elderly poor who might otherwise be cast aside. Meanwhile, they are fighting a years-long court battle against this tyrannical impulse from progressives in power. In her book, Eberstadt says that “from a public relations perspective, taking on the Little Sisters should have been the political equivalent of slapping babies.”
The irony is, of course, that this is exactly what more traditional-minded people — including many religious leaders, especially the ecumenical coalition that has come together to defend religious liberty — have been accused of. In the midst of nuns in court and raging bathroom wars, It’s Dangerous to Believe is an opportunity for everyone to take a deep breath, sit down, and consider what’s been going on, why, and what can be done about it. Some of Eberstadt’s most compelling evidence details the damage being done to charities by liberal secularists’ imposing their faith, as it were, on other kinds of believers. Eberstadt’s plea is to “spur all people of goodwill” to see that things have gotten out of hand. She hopes that “tolerant and open-minded people, especially . . . secular and progressive fellow citizens,” will work to find a better way.