In my experience, most Christians – on the left no less than on the right – believe in whatever kind of God they want, or often need, to believe in. Fine. Fair enough. But in that case, neither left nor right can claim the name “Christian” and, at the same time, cite the Bible as, in any sense, being authoritative. If you are playing tennis, then you must abide by the rules of tennis. Therefore, you cannot play tennis and simultaneously claim to have defeated your opponent with a score of 5 under par. I.e., you cannot claim to worship God according to the dictates of your own private, idiosyncratic conscience, however enlightened such may be, and simultaneously play the “Christianity-game” by the rules of the publicly examinable document known as the Bible. If, as you claim, the Bible
On Christmas Day of 2017, Peter Wehner, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, published an op-ed in the New York Times in which he argued on the basis of Jesus’ teaching that, while faith and doubt are complementary, faith is nevertheless superior to doubt as a guide to life, thought, and morality. As a corollary, Wehner argues that faith is consequently also superior to both doubt and reason for such purposes. For the purposes of this reply, I will assume that Wehner intends for his argument to apply to both comparisons synonymously: faith vs. doubt, faith vs. reason. This equivalence is justified by Wehner’s own argument. The problem with Wehner’s argument is that it undermines itself if we attempt to apply it in contexts other than the purely individual and idios
It occurs to me that, despite the time and effort I have expended over the years of writing this column ranting against monotheistic religion, I have never actually published anything summarizing in a single column my objections to monotheism, and why monotheistic religion is fundamentally incompatible with any classically liberal, constitutional, Enlightenment-founded, latitudinarian, pluralistic, rights-centric socio-political order.
Now, by the term “monotheistic religion” I understand any system of religious belief which (a) envisions the world as the product of the creative activity of a single Deity Who is (b) possessed of a strong moral bias in favor of certain kinds of conduct and against certain other kinds, and Who (c) is willing to intervene in human history to enforce th