Plumb Lines

September 17, 2009

The Left and Organized Religion

Filed under: Uncategorized — Matthew Schmitz @ 6:11 pm

In this month’s issue of the liberal journal Democracy, Ethan Porter makes a left-wing case for organized religion (registration required):

If we are to emerge from the current morass as not merely a prosperous nation once again, but a better one, we will have to confront the crisis underlying the economic crisis: one of meaning, of which the economic crisis is but a symptom. We have shirked the most profound questions for the sake of a vulgar materialism. To the extent that it can restore a sense of meaning and begin to chip away at the hollowness of our shared lives, organized religion may be an ideal candidate to step into the breach.

It’s great to hear an argument from the left in defense of institutional, organized religion, but what Porter goes on to propose sounds like more of the same old thin gruel of “ethics” and “spirituality”:

Insofar as religion has an important social role to play, especially at the present moment, schools with exceptionally large endowments should be required to expend a certain proportion of those endowments on religious and ethical instruction.

-Matthew Schmitz

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