There is no argument on The Corner that Jonah can’t jump into and make an interesting, and by “interesting” we mean “pulled out of his butt“, observation:
Atheists and Agnostics [Jonah Goldberg]
I think JPod’s point is basically right, but I think it misses an aspect of the American political landscape worth emphasizing. While the numbers of people who identify themselves to pollsters as agnostics and atheists is demonstrably small â€” as John demonstrated â€” I think the number of people who are closet agnostics is probably much larger. I also suspect that a very large number of people suffer from cognitive dissonance and think they believe in God but at the same time live their lives on a daily basis as if they do not. I don’t have evidence handy at the moment, but I’m pretty sure I’m right. And I think this reality results in a lot of people disliking or resenting authentically religious people for a constellation of reasons, high among them envy. And that has very real consequences on our political debates even though, according to the polls, our culture wars are between God-believers of the left and God-believers of the right.
Now I agree that with Jonah that there are probably a lot of people who are “closet agnostics” because our society isn’t exactly welcoming to the non-believers but, as an atheist, I can’t say that I have ever disliked or resented a deeply religious person out of envy.
- Sanctimony? Sure.
- Hypocrisy? You bet.
- Religious busybody trying to foist their beliefs on me because they feel called to witness for Jesus by the voices in their head? Hell, yeah.
- Wouldn’t have premarital sex, much less allow over-the-bra groping, because of religious beliefs? Color me guilty.
- Envy? Not so much.