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Camille Paglia in Romney's Religion Speech

December 12, 2007 07:20 PM

The atheist was not offended:

Romney's move may have been tactically necessary to counter evangelical Protestants' rejection of Mormonism as a cult, but the speech wasn't as conceptually developed as it should have been. As an atheist, I wasn't offended by Romney's omission of nonbelievers from his narrative of American history. On the contrary, I agree with him that the founders of the U.S. social experiment were Christians (even if many were intellectual deists) and that our separation of church and state entails the rejection of an official, government-sanctioned creed rather than the obligatory erasure of references to God in civic life.

But what does Romney mean by the ongoing threat of a new "religion of secularism"? The latter term needs amplification and qualification. In my lecture on religion and the arts in America earlier this year at Colorado College, I argued that secular humanism has failed, that the avant-garde is dead, and that liberals must start acknowledging the impoverished culture that my 1960s generation has left to the young. Atheism alone is a rotting corpse. I substitute art and nature for God -- the grandeur of man and the vast mystery of the universe.

Amen, Amen.  Or something like that.  If you can't believe in God, at least believe in art and nature.*  This sixties secular humanism crap has got to go.

*How's that for pathetically typical Anglo-Episcopal evangelism?


I love Camille Paglia's columns. She is always entertaining and thought-provoking, whether you agree with her or not, and I like her wide range of topics.

Interested Observer   ·  December 12, 2007 09:45 PM

I completely agree. In the same column I linked to, she has some choice words about global warming. I wish more liberals were like her.

NBS   ·  December 13, 2007 09:05 AM

In general, I agree. I just wish she weren't so Camille of Arabia-ish about Iraq.

I don't suppose it's any use pointing out to her that the "grandeur of man and the vast mystery of the universe" might have a divine origination behind them?

Robbo the Llama Butcher   ·  December 13, 2007 10:42 AM

I think the key word there is "might."

Interested Observer   ·  December 13, 2007 11:01 AM

Indeed, Robbo. Indeed. Why anyone thinks that it is all more likely to be A Big Coincidence, rather than a divine plan, is a mystery to me. Camille Paglia is a brilliant woman. I don't believe she'll die an atheist.

NBS   ·  December 13, 2007 11:21 AM

NBS, next to Mencken Paglia is my favorite atheist, always a joy to read. I agree with you she won't die an atheist and I will go further out on a limb to predict, should she get religion she will become a Roman Catholic. Paglia strikes me as one who embraces life to the fullest. I would expect her to do the same with faith.

The Bovina Bloviator   ·  December 13, 2007 02:15 PM

Of course, with a name like Paglia she may already be a Catholic, albeit lapsed. She'll come back.

The Bovina Bloviator   ·  December 13, 2007 02:22 PM

Well here's hoping she doesn't get hit by a bus in the meantime.

Anonymous   ·  December 13, 2007 03:27 PM

Yes, because you know, God is so egotistical and petty that he/she/it would require faith and praise directed at him/her/it or else you get eternal damnation. Get real.

Interested Observer   ·  December 14, 2007 11:06 AM