Monday, October 29, 2012

Religion talk

We talk about religion amid modern political-religious tensions in bizarre and incoherent ways. It would take a special sort of blindness to believe that, as (ostensibly) under US law, all religions are equally legitimate and respected in practice: note not only the well-documented phenomenon of e.g. Islamophobia (which helped our country wade into a decade-long pair of wars), but also the fact that to be a recognized "religion" rather than a despised "cult" is largely a matter of popularity and collective perception (Mormonism, for example, is currently somewhere between "cult" and "religion" in the eyes of most Americans). Notice, too, the mutual-disdain held between liberals like yours truly and the Evangelical Right.

In America today, religions are 1) powerful, 2) contested, and 3) importantly different from one another.

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