… but I suppose the answer is “Yes, I will have to write on this subject again, just as I have before.” This time around, I am writing in response to what Patheos rather breathlessly describes as a "constitutional horror": Justice Thomas' assertion that, the "establishment" clause notwithstanding, States still have the right to designate certain religious / denominations as "official". As usual, and as is customary with all matters religious when people are given a breadth of audience that far exceeds their depth of knowledge, the hysteria is altogether overblown and unnecessary, due to an absence of working knowledge about the history of the subject – in this case, the interpretation of the “establishment” clause of the First Amendment. The whole point of what follows is a matter
“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” – Matthew 5:48 (KJV)
Anyone who has read any of my “Skeptic’s” columns, especially those published after the last disastrous presidential election, will know that one of my favorite targets is a group I refer to variously as “boutique progressives” or “liberal purists”, the latter term borrowed from Bill Maher, who has the same grievance against progressives. What (Bill and) I mean by that are liberals, left-wingers, progressives who insist that a political candidate, in order to be worthy of our support, absolutely must conform to every principle, every jot and tittle, of progressive ideology, without exception. They must, in other words, be ideologically perfect, i.e., the kind of perfection demanded of Chri
In a recent “Skeptic’s Collection” column I gave examples of beliefs that represent the principle that “A little learning is a dangerous thing”. The examples I cited were derived from physics, psychology, and literature. But history is no less susceptible to warped beliefs than other disciplines. A recent issue of the Washington Post Magazine contains such an example of warped history. Problem is that the Post writer, while doing a sterling job of debunking the beliefs of lovers of the Confederacy, fails to note that liberals and progressives, in their zeal to repudiate such atavisms, fail equally to take into account their own myopia, and end up with a view of history – Civil War history in particular – that is equally warped, just in the opposite direction.
The article compri