It's Dangerous to Believe: Religious Freedom and Its Enemies

Mary Eberstadt. Harper, $25.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-06-245401-0
Eberstadt passionately argues that secularism is a religion of its own whose orthodoxy of diversity ironically demands the exclusion of traditional Christians. In her telling, the permissive attitudes of the sexual revolution have hardened into the only acceptable public position, and anything opposed to them cannot be tolerated. Claiming that secularists are engaging in a moral panic and a witch hunt, she outlines various means (including legal cases, public scorn, and critiques of homeschooling) whereby they attack traditional believers in the United States and Europe. Casting believers almost entirely as innocent victims without any political or cultural power causes the work to lose some nuance, as does her assertion that Western secularism places Islam off limits for critique. For traditional Christians, Eberstadt provides a language to defend their position, a comforting sense that their persecution is real, and a view of the irony of progressives curtailing freedom. The work is unlikely to gain converts from secularism, but the final chapter's call to attend to rhetoric and avoid generalization powerfully makes the case for more civility in the midst of intense disagreement. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/20/2016
Release date: 06/01/2016
Genre: Religion
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-247197-0
Ebook - 192 pages - 978-0-06-245403-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-5047-3459-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-5047-3460-8
MP3 CD - 978-1-5047-3461-5
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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