We have a kind of faith in the nature of people that we do not have in the botanical processes of nature itself–and I use the word “faith” in its full religious force. We really do believe that all human beings have a natural telos toward becoming flowers, not weeds or poison ivy, and that aggregates of human beings have a natural predisposition to arrange themselves into gardens, not jungles or garbage heaps.
This sublime and noble faith we may call the religion of liberal humanism. It is the dominant spiritual and intellectual orthodoxy in America today. Indeed, despite all our chatter about the separation of church and state, one can even say it is the official religion of American society today, as against which all other religions can be criticized as divisive and parochial.
Irving Kristol, “Thoughts on Reading About a Number of Summer-Camp Cabins Covered with Garbage,” The New York Tims Magazine, Nov. 17, 1974, p.38.
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