From comments

A sampling of comments of potentially wider interest among the many posted so far:

  • I love the Corner and am thrilled you’ve started this blog. I think ‘Religious Based Values’ will lose the party more elections. However, please note, one can be a secularist and still believe in God…. Ryan K., from Politics & God
  • …I wish my fellow religious conservatives were not so anti-reason. Glad you are blogging. –Braden Bell, from What is the Secular Right?
  • Thanks for the blog. I knew I wasn’t the only secular conservative, but it’s nice to have it confirmed. I am an anomaly to friends and acquaintances all along the political and religious spectrums. When all is said and done, I definitely feel comfortable with religious conservatives; and they are comfortable with me as well, though they find it hard to square my atheism with conservatism. As I have explained to them, I am not anti-religion, just non-religious. As a secular conservative, I feel a greater burden to understand and justify my conservatism (particularly on social issues) since I do not have a “specific set of supernatural claims” to fall back on. — Baldy, from What is the Secular Right?
  • …I am a Christian who opposes using the power of the government to further any religious agenda. It’s a simple proposition really. Following the laws of a government is not the same thing as following the laws of God. The results may be similar, but it is the intent behind them that matters. If I choose not to kill someone because Jesus said we should love our neighbor as ourself, from a religious perspective, that is wholly different than not killing someone because I may go to prison…. — Jonathan Schafer, from The H.L. Mencken Club
  • Finally! I think I emailed Derb suggesting this very idea several times. I have been a National Review and Commentary reader for decades and, though enjoying and agreeing with most of the political stuff, I always felt turned off by the subtext implying that, as a reader, I could be assumed to be religious. It always bothered me also that, though the logic behind a particular article might be impeccable, it was bundled together with other pro-religious stuff that was laughably weak and credulous.

    So: three cheers for this website. Let’s not cede the intelligent skeptical community to the Left.

    By the way, though an atheist, I am pro-Life. This is a question of morality, not science. I would be interested to know what proportion of other readers share this particular narrow segment of the population. — John, from Open thread for suggestions, etc.

  • While I agree that NRO and elements of “conservatism” are too overtly religious, I’m not sure I follow the logic that suggests an “unbeliever” conservatism. Derb introduced this as “Godless Bloggers” on NRO. Why? Isn’t there a way this could be framed so a discussion of “conservatism” takes center stage, and the role of faith and religion simply takes a subordinate role? — Don in Tucson, from Open thread for suggestions, etc.
  • I’ll follow this blog for a while, but I’m afraid it will turn, inevitably, into the usual snickering at Creationists and God Botherers. For the record, I am conservative and a lapsed Methodist. I’m still a believer, though. — Mesquito, from A note on civility
  • Scott: I have a suggestion for members of the secular right: become Democrats. Republicans don’t want you. They are very happy replacing their politics with theology. They fundamentally reject the idea of a division between church and state.

    Guess what? I’m a Republican because I agree with them on the overwhelming majority of issues. I don’t particularly care whether or not they don’t see much of a division between church and state, as that’s not a huge issue for me. Unlike so many atheists, and you apparently, I make my decisions over a wide range of issues, not just one. … — Andy, from A Note on Civility

  • …I advocate a grand treaty on the Right: Christians don’t quote the Bible in arguing politics, just argue your values and their implications for policy; and secularists listen to what’s actually being said rather than assuming that Christians are out to impose a theocracy. — russab, from The H.L. Mencken Club
  • To stray away from the other commenters here, I’d like to express my hope that this blog will not delve into a Dawkins-Dennett-Hitchens kind of anti-religious forum. As an atheist conservative who could not care less about the modern pop-God debate, I’d just want to see a site that focuses primarily upon what we would call conservative conclusions arrived at via logical reasoning and empirical evidence. I like religion and religious people, but it is so difficult to find a place where there is no space wasted on those arguments. — A Milder Despot, from Open thread for suggestions, etc.

Sorry about the formatting problems, still in the shakedown phase of site design.

About Walter Olson

Fellow at a think tank in the Northeast specializing in law. Websites include Former columnist for Reason and Times Online (U.K.), contributor to National Review, etc.
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5 Responses to From comments

  1. Revenant says:

    As a conservative/libertarian atheist, I’m glad to see a secular conservative blog. I look forward to seeing what you’ve got to say.

  2. Gerry Shuller says:

    As one who’s already brought up Dawkins, I resemble that remark!

    Going for the daily double, can anyone here explain Hitchens? He (Christopher, ironically) is a staunch proponent of evolutionism and argues that religion has impeded the progess of mankind.

    OK, so how did religion evolve (and thrive) in homo sapiens if it’s a handicap?

  3. torrentprime says:

    From your post on NRO, where someone asked about the creation of this blog, “Why can’t you make those points in The Corner, where you can debate them civilly and intelligently with smart people who disagree with you (and other smart people who agree with you)?”
    In a universe where there is a K-Lo who responds to news about marriage rights being extended to same-sex couples with the post, “Connecticut rules against marriage.”
    That’s why.
    You may (and many do) disagree with gay marriage. You may disagree on religious or secular grounds. You may have public policy or procreational reasons, or historic or traditional or dozens of other honest, heartfelt, non-bigoted reasons for doing so. But no one can reasonably or “civilly” or “intelligently” claim that opening the institution of marriage to allow others inside, those who have fought so hard to be allowed inside, is a ruling “against” marriage. I repeat, THAT’s why there needs to be a blog called “Secular Right.”

  4. beb says:

    I’m not sure at this point of the necessity of this blog for me. I’m non religious and centrist but read a lot of conservative commentary (and all my liberal friends call me conservative), but I’m putting it on my daily reading list just to give it a test drive.

    What I hope is that this does not devolve into a factional issue for conservatives, with secularists vilifying religious conservatives and vice versa. Although I am not religious, I respect those that are and even admire their faith. I would never want to be part of something that was focused on ridiculing religious beliefs. I save that for my friends.

  5. Grant Canyon says:

    “OK, so how did religion evolve (and thrive) in homo sapiens if it’s a handicap?”

    The short answer, in my opinion, is two-fold: 1) the ability to discern agency and patterns in nature (even when they aren’t there) provided a survival advantage to prehistoric humans, which created the innate sense that there is something else “out there” (spirits in rocks and wind, god, etc.); 2) the social-bonding effect of story telling and similar socialization skills among small bands of humans (which provided a survival advantage through, among other things, the transmission of knowledge and information).

    Religion or the components of religion were selected for due to their survival advantage to pre-technological humans living in small bands of hunter-gatherers. This provided the seed bed for more elaborate religions as the memes became self-replicating and became useful for rulers in the heirarchy to protect their social status.

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