Of course, when the writings of Sam Harris do become a topic of widespread conversation in the Islamic world he is more likely to be the target of a nasty beheading courtesy of Hezbollah than a rude missive courtesy of Hotmail. And that beheading is more likely than hate mail to prevent future First Amendment expression.
Christianity is indeed flawed because of Christians like me who fail to live up to the ideals of the religion. But Christianity simply cannot be characterized as the religion most hostile to free expression. That contention is simply absurd.
Sam Harris contends that his primary purpose in writing Letter to a Christian Nation is to “arm secularists in our society, who believe that religion should be kept out of public policy, against their opponents on the Christian Right.” That is as dishonest a statement as I have read in quite some time.
Were Harris to seek to preserve the Establishment Clause by keeping one particular faith from becoming the “official” state religion his goals would be laudable. Were he to seek to keep religion “out of public policy” altogether his goals would be laughable. But none of this is relevant because Sam Harris seeks neither of these outcomes.
Instead, Sam Harris seeks to make Secular Humanism the “official religion” of each of our fifty United States. And he seeks to turn our public schools into houses of worship for the Secular Humanist religion with compulsory attendance for children funded with compulsory offerings by adults.
And he seeks to do so in a decidedly anti-intellectual manner. I plan to use the next several columns to respond.