R. R. Reno is the editor of First Things, and his recent lecture at Hillsdale College on “Religion and Public Life in America” is not to be missed. Reno’s analysis of the current landscape may be the best that I’ve ever seen. I won’t summarize the entire article. I will leave it to you to take the time to read the whole thing. Just to give you a taste, however, here’s the intro:
RELIGIOUS LIBERTY is being redefined in America, or at least many would like it to be. Our secular establishment wants to reduce the autonomy of religious institutions and limit the influence of faith in the public square. The reason is not hard to grasp. In America, “religion” largely means Christianity, and today our secular culture views orthodox Christian churches as troublesome, retrograde, and reactionary forces. They’re seen as anti-science, anti-gay, and anti-women—which is to say anti-progress as the Left defines progress. Not surprisingly, then, the Left believes society will be best served if Christians are limited in their influence on public life. And in the short run this view is likely to succeed. There will be many arguments urging Christians to keep their religion strictly religious rather than “political.” And there won’t just be arguments; there will be laws as well. We’re in the midst of climate change—one that’s getting colder and colder toward religion.
A big hat-tip to Patrick Schreiner for highlighting this article. Highly recommended.