As noted in my last post, it was proposed (from the Introduction to The Closing of the American Mind) that the Founding Fathers believed:
From the earliest beginnings of liberal thought there was a tendency in the direction of indiscriminate freedom. Hobbes and Locke, and the American founders following them, intended to palliate extreme beliefs, particularly religious beliefs, which lead to civil strife. The members of sects had to obey the laws and be loyal to the Constitution; if they did so, others had to leave them alone, however distasteful their beliefs might be. In order to make this arrangement work, there was a conscious, if covert, effort to weaken religious beliefs, partly by assigning ... religion to the realm of opinion as opposed to knowledge.
Going forward, it seems that Mr. Bloom is proposing (at least in the introduction) that the current problem of relativism can be traced to minority groups wanting to remain distinguishable from a conforming mass of people under the Constitution as designed in the quote above.
Granted, I haven’t finished the book (or even the introduction), but there seems to be an inherent problem here. It is turned on its head. Relativism would be the result of “assigning ... religion to the realm of opinion as opposed to knowledge”, not the other way around.
The result of core sets of beliefs being converted into simple opinions of equal value would then give rise to every minority group (defining minority not by race, but by any belief whim) wanting their agendas to be given equal value.
Because there may be real resistance, eventually, this want becomes a demand, causing chaos - such as we are witnessing today – to the extent of again turning things on their heads: unorthodox beliefs being demanding acceptance as knowledge/fact, and traditional beliefs being regulated to the dustbin at best and outlawed at worst. (It is clear that in the current climate the simple acceptance of a coexistence of the homosexual/transgender/etc. agenda is not enough. Beliefs opposed to these agendas, even if held privately or by a church, will not be tolerated in any form.)
Is the constitutional republic as we know it inherently unworkable in the long term, or is it a function of other influences at this particular time in history? Would returning things to a previous order of beliefs under the same constitutional system simply repeat the process?
More on this later, including possibly some thoughts (by Russell Shaw) peculiar to Catholicism in American from the book American Church.
Oremus pro invicem!