11/10/2012—I guess this is obvious, but should be said. This past election demonstrated that the fundamental commitment of Hallowed Secularism—its understanding of where society is headed—was vindicated last Tuesday, with the success of same-sex marriage initiatives and the failure of the religion-based long-term strategy of the Republican Party. Here is the quote from today's New York Times: “This election signaled the last where a white Christian strategy is workable,” said Robert P. Jones, chief executive of the Public Religion Research Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and education group based in Washington.
For years, I have been saying that the secularization thesis has in fact not been discredited, despite many claims to the contrary, and we now see that this is correct. Especially among the young, religion, organized religion anyway, is in rapid retreat (though still quite formidable). This is why I said in the superscript of the book, addressing my children, “you will see a secular world.”
I take no satisfaction in this (well, maybe a little). It doesn’t mean that society is headed to a good place.
We now also have to think about the meaning of the post-secular, which is also touted today. The post-secular was meant to replace the secularization thesis. But it does not. What I now see it means—and I will have to expand on this—is the combination of my first book, American Religious Democracy, and Hallowed Secularism. That is, religion is not confined to the private sphere. It is everywhere in public and private life. But, in addition, more and more people resist it, are indifferent to it and reinterpret it.
This just shows that our categories are too limited. Religion is something that concerns all of us, especially the secular. Hallowed Secularism was my first attempt at fusion.