Strengthening the hand of the theocons

Jeff Sharlet has some of the same qualms I have about Nussbaum on religion and freedom.

More worrisome are those liberal defenders of religious equality such as Nussbaum and Waldman, who actually do know better and yet strengthen the hand of the theocons by underestimating and even minimalizing the scope of the Christian nationalist challenge…The overlapping consensus model extends an assumption of good faith to all parties. That’s fine. But it fails when it rests too easily on assumptions about just what good faith is.

Precisely. That’s exactly what Nussbaum does – she backs up these assumptions about just what good faith is by citing easy examples, like Quaker non-violence, instead of hard ones, like raising girls to be subordinate and marrying them off at 14. By doing that, she minimalizes the scope of the problem with, for instance, closed fundamentalist sects that subordinate women and don’t allow them to leave. Not that she supports such things, but by talking about Quakers rather than Mormons on Bill Moyers’s tv show, she gives a distorted picture. That’s worrisome.

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