Tuesday, October 18, 2005

# Posted 9:22 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

AND YOU THOUGHT THE GUYS AT OXBLOG WERE NAIVE OPTIMISTS: The haircut alone says that Malcolm Gladwell is an optimist. But it's hard to beat this quotation, from a roundtable on technology in the current issue of Time:
One of the big trends in American society is the transformation of the evangelical movement and the rise of a more mature, sophisticated, culturally open evangelical church.

Ten years from now, I don't think we're going to have the kinds of arguments about religion that we have today. Even the fight over intelligent design, to me, is a harbinger of a trend, which is that the religious world is increasingly willing to put its issues on the table and discuss them in the context of the secular world.
Go back to Gladwell's first sentence for a moment. How often do you hear a Blue State intellectual use the words 'mature', 'sophisticated' and 'open' in the same sentence as 'evangelical'?

On the other hand, what Gladwell's saying is that right now, all of the trouble America has with religion is because evangelicals are immature, unsophisticated and culturally closed. That sort of condescending generalization almost makes me wonder whether secular Americans might in some small way be responsible for the conficts we have about religion.

Anyhow, let me counter Gladwell's optimism with some of my own: I predict that there will fewer arguments about religion ten years from now because secularists will become increasingly respectful, patient and socially generous. Cool, huh?
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