Liberalism contemplates a society that accommodates diversity but in which people with radically different aspirations need not be wholly opaque to one another. Freedom of speech provides the opportunity to narrow the “gulf that separates class from class and soul from soul,”48 as Shaw’s Henry Higgins put it. Public discourse creates a field of mutual transparency in which people can participate in the creation of the culture that constitutes their lives.

    This project is demanding. In a free society we will inevitably encounter ideals we judge to be evil. Some of them will in fact be evil, and will nonetheless appeal to us in ways we ought to resist. The capacity to cope with that—to understand the sheer variety of human ideals, their origins, and how to engage with them critically and sympathetically—is a necessary virtue of citizens in a diverse society. The imperative to cultivate that capacity should be familiar to conservative Christians.

A bit muddy IMO, but it touches on some thoughts that I have had. In short, liberals erroneously think they own not a moral high-ground, but an even purer humanitarian neutralism, that is pretty much the same bullshit when scrutinized.


johnnyFive:

I think part of the problem, from a religious standpoint, is that those of us who profess more "leftist" (that word gets blurrier than usual when it comes to theology) social values from a religious starting point tend not to want power.

One silver lining, I think, to Trump's victory is that it shows that people are willing to vote for someone who isn't polished and bland, and whose every public statement hasn't been analyzed and focus-grouped to death. Maybe this will allow the kind of rhetoric that the author discusses.


posted by mk: 499 days ago