Social conservatism & religious conservatism

The New York Times profiled this website today. Dan Riehl responds:

This article is a lot of hogwash and it causes me to wonder if these specific views of Heather Mac Donald and Razib Khan aren’t driven more by a reactionary response to organized religion, or a God concept, than by a clear understanding of conservatism.

As a child, Razib Khan spent several weeks studying in a Bangladeshi madrasa. Heather Mac Donald once studied literary deconstructionism and clerked for a left-wing judge. In neither case did the education take. They are atheist conservatives — Mr. Khan an apostate to his family’s Islamic faith, Ms. Mac Donald to her left-wing education.

“A lot of religious conservatives say, ‘You can’t be conservative because you don’t believe in God,’ ” said Mr. Khan, 34, who was raised in New York and Oregon but whose grandfather was an imam in Bangladesh. “They say I am logically impossible, and I say, ‘Well I am possible because I am.’ “They assert your nonexistence, and you have to assert your existence.”

Saying one has to be a social conservative to be conservative is not the same thing as saying one must believe in God. Social conservatism is an appreciation of what will happen to the civil society in the face of a collapse of traditional institutions and values. Invariably, the society declines. We see it in single-mothers, otherwise broken families, crime and individuals unwilling to take responsibility for themselves and elsewhere.”

Dan Riehl just assumes that religious conservatism and social conservatism are identical. I said religious conservative for a reason. As I told the reporter for The New York Times, the reason that Secular Right exists in part is because too often right-wingers who are not religious are assumed to be libertarian. We are not necessarily libertarian. I have broad sympathy with many aspects of social conservatism personally, and daresay some of us here at Secular Right are more vigorous in our skepticism of diversity, multiculturalism, and mass immigration than  many religious conservatives.

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