A very modest short-range extrapolation of recent events makes it quite reasonable to predict that, in the near future, France’s zeal to stand athwart the supposed Saracen tide ostensibly menacing European civilization will lead the French Senate and National Assembly to punish Muslim women who refuse to remove their burka-like beach- and swimwear by deporting them to some small, Third World country. But even if that possibility never materializes, the whole burkini prohibition does illustrate the difference between religious liberty as it exists in the US and as it exists in France, and in the process exemplifies the differences the European Enlightenment assumed in both places. It should also caution us left-wingers / progressives that, when conservative evangelical Christians critique “
I understand what it means to adopt an unpopular stand and to say unpopular things – things that could possibly cost valued relationships and reputations – purely on the basis of conscience, as you have elected to do in your decision to either refrain from voting altogether or to vote for Donald J. Trump. I would only ask you to reflect on the particular building blocks that together make up the foundation of such a choice. The question to be borne in mind as you do so is very direct and very simple: Given your decision to support – if only by default – the candidacy of Donald Trump, will your conscience also accommodate the principles that go into that decision? (This is really just an updated phrasing of that hoary old maxim in ethics "If you will the end, then you must will the
Progressives need to grow the hell up.
What they need to outgrow is a certain prominent feature I have noticed in the political psychology of progressivism, especially – though certainly not exclusively – religiously grounded / motivated progressivism. Progressives, both religious and secular, entertain a certain, usually more or less implicit, nostalgia for perfection ... the perfect political candidate in particular. Sometimes they think they actually find such a candidate ... Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, etc. ... and become over-the-top enthusiastic for the candidacy of that person. Sometimes that candidate ends up being elected. But then -- as is bound to happen -- the progressive favorite, once in office, fails in addressing some issue especially close to the hearts of progres