Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Secularist Censorship in the USA

Tony Carnes, Publisher & Editor, A Journey through NYC religions ( kindly gives me permission to reproduce the following long excerpt from his latest message to subscribers:

"Last summer, high buzz was generated in the city's literary circles with the publication of Alfred Kazin's journals. Kazin, who held forth at The New Yorker & elsewhere as the most powerful reviewer in America, had a secret life that was now going to be made public. The unexpurgated sections of the journals revealed that Kazin's hidden life was...religion.

"'From adolescence onward, Kazin was engrossed in a spiritual and sometimes mystical inner life that he never talked about, 'wrote the reviewer for New York Review of Books. 'None of his friends or lovers seems to have been aware of it.' It was far more hidden than his sex life.

In the late Twentieth Century, secularity in the city was so powerful that even the powerful hid their religious impulses. Whenever Kazin dared to write on his religious notions he did so pseudonymously through others. "Much of what he had to say in his essays about other people's religion was secretly about his own...The journals make clear that his long introduction to The Portable Blake (1946) was disguised self-portrait, with Blake's Christianity standing in for Kazin's Judaism."

We have stumbled forward out of that secularist stupor, but we still have a long ways to go. Perhaps, one reason A Journey strikes a chord with many people is that it allows people to explore hidden inner religious impulses that they can't do among their friends. For some A Journey is a place to heal from bad religion without giving up hope for good religion. Some of our secular friends see A Journey as an antidote to "secularism" that is a sort of illness of the intellectual faculties that make one unable to realistically and empathetically understand "religious others." Sphere: Related Content

1 comment:

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