There is a big difference between pluralism and secularism.

In the context of head coverings:

Pluralism: wear whatever you want
Secularism: no "religious" wear (i.e. you must dress like a white Protestant)
As people from non-Christian backgrounds/traditions/cultures keep telling everyone, the western idea of a "nonreligious" society is a white Christian society with the serial numbers filed off.
and it's funny, because every white New Atheist dudebro out there arguing that non-Christians need to drop their "superstitious" and "primitive" cultural practices and dead certain that he can distinguish between the "religious" and the "secular"...
...suddenly understands that there are religious practices that hold cultural meaning even for people who don't believe in the divine, or he wouldn't be arguing for keeping Christmas around.
But while he'll argue tooth and nail that wearing a wedding ring, even though it's something that came into Western culture through Christianity, is secular and therefore should be kept, he'll argue that wearing a Magen David is "religious" and should be stopped.
And their vision of what a "secular" society looks like is based on Victorian attempts to apply Darwin's theories to how societies develop. (In which white European society, or possibly white American society, was the pinnacle of evolution, natch.)
The idea was that humanity evolved from "primitive" animism to polytheism to monotheism to Christianity specifically and then to a post-Christian secular society.

But Christianity isn't more "advanced" than Judaism, and Judaism isn't more "advanced" than Hinduism.
There's nothing inherently more enlightened about Christianity or more inherently primitive about animism.
And as @JustSayXtian noted in the tweet I quoted to start off this thread, the very concept of "secularism" is itself based in a Christian worldview. Other cultures have other formulations of the interaction between belief and non-belief.
And ultimately, you're not going to be able to remove mythos from a society entirely, nor is it healthy to do so. Human beings crave ritual, and if your ritual isn't intentional, it will end up being unintentional. But it'll happen either way.
And when you attempt to completely eschew "supernatural" framings that give meaning to existence and offer organizing principles, you get other, just as irrational ones, like conspiracy theories.
And at some level, most of your New Atheist types know this, which is why they don't have the same sort of problem with, say, staid and almost tacit, long-established Christianity, like we see in a lot of the Nordic countries.
I mean, don't get me wrong, most of the reason they like it is because it's white and familiar.
But at some level, I think, they can look at cohesive, established cultural norms for a society and go okay, this cultural Christianity provides stability and order and most people don't really believe or prioritize belief in Jesus anymore, so this is "advanced."
And they're not entirely wrong there, but just because it's tacit doesn't mean it's not Christianity, and doesn't mean that it's inherently better than any other religious heritage that's similarly backgrounded.
When you get down to it, what they *don't* like is the messy, visible process of working out a pluralistic society. It's easy to have Christianity fade into a homogeneous, stable, quiet background when everyone's a white Protestant.
But when identities and belief systems come in contact with different identities and belief systems, they become visible.

And that's where a lot of the parallels between evangelicalism and New Atheism come into play.
They're both ultimately reactionary movements, in that they were birthed by the discomfort of white Christians at having to reckon with a pluralistic society, with people who were different from them gaining rights and visibility...
...and with the attendant pressure to realize that their identity and culture *was* identity and culture, and just one of many.
So if their identity isn't just The Norm, but one of many, then it must be the BEST one, the one everyone should aspire to, until it's The Norm.
All of which is to say, pretty much everyone who's not a member of the dominant religion can get together on the idea that government should be secular, that a particular religion shouldn't hold power over nonadherents.

A secular gov allows for a pluralist society.
But a pluralist society with a secular government (that is, a society that actually protects freedom of religious belief and practice and doesn't privilege any belief or nonbelief) is different from a secular society, which attempts to eliminate any religious expression in public
Because the truth of the matter is, religion has been intertwined with human culture for so long that you can't extricate its traces without getting rid of most social norms.

You can empty them of contemporary religious meaning, but they still have their history.
So any attempt to *remove* religion from the public square ends up being an attempt to homogenize society to a "nonreligious" norm.

But there is no cultural norm that is nonreligious, so it ends up being what the dominant culture considers "normal."

I.e. white Christianity.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Jessica Price

Jessica Price Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @Delafina777

26 Mar
I don't know why we have to keep explaining that it can both be true

that we need more female leaders

and that not every single one of them is going to be better than male leaders
like any argument against this basically just boils down to "men should be in charge by default"
it's amazing how many male "leftists" keep responding to calls for more female leadership by being like MARGARET THATCHER HILLARY THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND

okay, status quo defenders
Read 5 tweets
24 Mar
here's a thought, Dan (and fellow cis people in general):

cis people don't get to decide what is and isn't transphobic (and you should know that intent doesn't matter)

if a bunch of trans people are saying you've done/said transphobic shit, you've done/said transphobic shit
And, like, I'm not going to police how trans people talk about transphobia, but it seems like when cis people get accused of transphobia, we jump immediately to "I am not a transphobe," rather than talking about whether we *said/did* transphobic things
And making the conversation about whether or not you fit in the binary, absolute category of "transphobe" makes it really easy to shift the conversation away from what it really should be about, which is behavior.
Read 7 tweets
24 Mar
and also for the 90th time

Jews for Jesus/Messianic "Judaism" isn't Judaism, it's literally a Christian movement started by the Southern Baptist Convention and designed to be a Trojan Horse that eliminates actual Judaism
Like I don’t know how to make this any clearer: there is no branch or version of Judaism that worships Jesus.

Full stop.
And for the most part, it attracts mostly Christians who was to cosplay as Jews (Jews for Jesus with so much as a single Jewish grandparent are in the minority) because it tends to be very HELLO FELLOW KIDS
Read 10 tweets
23 Mar
Thread. Even someone making $400,000 a year has a lot more in common with the rest of us than someone with $10 million.

We also really should talk about how there's a LOT of play in the term "millionaire."
A lot of people seem to throw around the term "millionaire" to mean "anyone with a million dollars."

Which, okay.
You know how much a million dollars in savings gets you as annual income when you're retired?

ah yes, the princely sum of <checks notes> $40,900.
Read 4 tweets
18 Mar
Why Are TTRPGs Like This? (March edition)

1. So, yesterday got off to a banner start with Paizo doing a St. Patrick's Day promotion that was all about booze and featured a monstrous and evil-looking Irish-coded humanoid. Image
Now, IIRC that's the leprechaun art from one of the bestiaries, and not meant to suggest an actual Irish human being, but sans context, that's not at all clear.

And look, I have Irish ancestry and family in Ireland, but I generally don't talk about anti-Irish bigotry...
...because 9 times out of 10, when people DO talk about it, they're trying to use it to shut down discussion of anti-Black racism, & it's not the same thing at all.

That said, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist, isn't wrong, doesn't have an ugly history, & doesn't harm people.
Read 17 tweets
16 Mar
I mean, I'll ask again why so many Christians' faith *requires* Jewish villains.
I was listening to the excellent You're Wrong About series on the book "Michelle Remembers," which sparked the Satanic Panic...
Read 7 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!