Kristoff: Retreat By The Religious Right?

Nicholas Kristoff has a strange column today. He concludes his column with:

Now that the Christian Right has largely retreated from the culture wars, let’s hope that the Atheist Left doesn’t revive them. We’ve suffered enough from religious intolerance that the last thing the world needs is irreligious intolerance.

I’m afraid I just cannot see where he draws this conclusion from the rest of his column. Sure there are a couple of recent books out by atheist writers, such as The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris’s Letter to a Christian Nation. Neither of these books advocate using the political process to enforce the beliefs of the authors among others, which is the prime objection to the conduct of the religious right.

My real question is how he comes about the claim that “the Christian Right has largely retreated from the culture wars.” Are we to take it that there will be no more attempts to restrict abortion rights, prevent federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, or to teach creationism in the schools? If this really happens, then I’ll believe that the Christian Right has really retreated. We’ll probably see the first sign than this is not occurring when George Bush vetoes the next bill to fund embryonic stem cell research with the approval of the religious right.

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