10/14/2008--I’ve just seen that next August the Netroots Nation Convention will be held in Pittsburgh. This is very exciting. The face of—mostly—young progressive politics.
I have looked at the Agenda and I have a suggestion. One important question for the political left is the question of religion and secularism. I don’t just mean the separation of church and state, though that is part of it. I mean, what is the role of religion among a mostly secular political group.
There will be progressive believers at the convention, of course. There is even a session entitled, “Whatever Happened to the Religious Left”. The more aptly named session would be, “Must We Continue to Pretend We Care About What Happened to the Religious Left?” [The answer to that question is yes, because otherwise word would get out.]
What, if anything does religion have to teach people who are not religious? The honest answer right now by most progressives would be nothing. But is it the correct answer?
This is the question of the future of secularism. Can a genuinely secular politics be sustainable? Marxism was not really secular. Its religious roots were just disguised. Classic liberalism was an Enlightenment philosophy and thus assumed Christianity as backdrop. We don’t actually know whether a secular politics can work.
Hallowed Secularism aims to fill the gap between religion and progressive politics. It represents religious belief without dogma and hierarchy. But it would still be too religious for many.