Thursday, November 27, 2008

Secular Right

Via Andrew Sullivan, I just came across a group blog called Secular Right. It appears to have launched less than a week ago. From my initial visit, I'd say this is a good one to watch, if for no other reason than the feeling of relief provoked by seeing hardcore conservatives making every effort to separate themselves from the fundies. Also, this seems like a good place to go to check the pulse of the thoughtful Right, a much more substantive alternative to what passes for thinking from the likes of Bill Kristol, Rush Limbaugh, Jonah Goldberg, Bill O'Reilly, and most of the cretins on The Corner.

Several of the recent posts feature some of the site's bloggers outing themselves; i.e., after having begun blogging under pseudonyms, they have revealed their meatspace identities. I don't know why, but there it is. In any case, we can now say that among the group are Walter Olson, Razib Khan (aka David Hume), and John Derbyshire (aka Bradlaugh).

Derb also outed himself in a different venue, by announcing the launch of Secular Right on The Corner. Derb posted, on Secular Right, some of the reactions to this announcement. I liked this exchange:

Reader C:

Dear John — Is your blog limited to atheists and agnostics or will it take in believers who think God is more worried about the next world than how government should work in this one?

[Me]  That’s nicely said. As usual with enterprises of this sort, we haven’t really worked out the limits yet. We are definitely hospitable to apatheists (i.e. no opinion about God & couldn’t care less) as well as agnostics (not sure) and atheists (sure not).

Here's a good post to get you started: Derb dissing Dinesh D'Souza, an endeavor I'd like to see happening far more often.

Here's a link from the blog's second post: a letter to David Frum, penned by James Charles Wilson, a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Denver. Well worth reading.

These cherry-picked recommendations notwithstanding, I don't expect that I'll always agree with these guys. In fact, I expect not to agree with them much of the time. And that's a good thing.

I'll be adding Secular Right to my blogroll momentarily (hope their servers are up for it!). And while I'm at it, I'll be adding Daniel Larison's Eunomia and Andrew Sullivan's The Daily Dish. (oops -- already there, under T -ed.) I hope Jon Swift won't be too upset that he's no longer the sole reasonable conservative listed.


Anonymous said...

I take it you don't think only secular conservatives are the only people on the "thoughtful right"?

--Bobby G

bjkeefe said...

Note that I distinguished Kristol, Goldberg, et al, from "the fundies."

Nonetheless, yours is still a fair question. Strictly speaking, no, I don't think that to be a "thoughtful conservative" one must also be "secular conservatives." However, there is a good chance, in my mind, that an American conservative commentator who is at all known, who frequently puts a religious gloss on things, is not someone I'd consider thoughtful. And by "good chance," I mean "near certain."

Note that I am not including every conservative who happens to have religious beliefs. I am talking about the ones who won't shut up about it, particularly the ones who seem to speak of their faith for two reasons only: to insist that others must live according to their wingnut interpretation of the Bible, and to take offense at anyone who speaks against this program.