Home/Rod Dreher/We Had Better Start Getting Religion

We Had Better Start Getting Religion

… in the sense of understanding religion. So says Damien Thompson of The Spectator, who contends that our leaders’ ignorance of religion, and how religion works, puts them at a great disadvantage in an age in which around the globe, politicized religion of all kinds (Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist) is giving rise to conflicts, the religious dimension of which we in the secularized West only dimly perceive.

Thompson is himself a religious believer of the conservative sort, and makes the important point that if we impose our own simplistic categories of “democrats” and “fundamentalists” on believers, we run the risk of misunderstanding them. He also says that religion’s strength — the social cohesion and sense of moral meaning it provides — can also “provide potent moral support for violence.” He singles out “ordinary believers who tell pollsters they ‘reject violence,’ but keep quiet when it’s perpetrated.”

Read the whole thing. It is not an anti-religion screed — far from it! He laments how the crude anti-religious bigotry of Ditchkins reduced those intelligent men to “spluttering incoherence.” Thompson is rather calling for us to get smart about religion, so we can not only understand what is happening in our own countries, but also overseas, and respond wisely.

 

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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