Heather Mac Donald talks to Razib at GNXP about atheism, conservatism and the reaction to her much-talked-about American Conservative symposium contribution.  My comments on the Mac Donald article, the ensuing online brouhaha and other Mac Donald defenses of ”skeptical” conservatism are here, herehere, herehere and here.  There’s a lot in the interview that deserves some response, but I am pressed for time today and cannot go into the interesting and annoying bits just now.  Read the whole thing, and I’ll be back next week with my take.

Update: Okay, one quick note before I get ready to go to the symphony.  Ms. Mac Donald cites, with understandable frustration, the glib invocation of American religiosity as a reason for our superiority over Europe on the one hand and the daft claim by Mr. Bush that freedom is God’s gift to humanity on the other.  The first is the sort of trite thing that professional pundits write because they know it will play well with the crowd and can be set aside here.  On the second point, she is quite right to find this sort of rhetoric not only worrisome but actually opposed to Biblical truth.  That is an important part of what I was trying to argue in my TAC article on this very topic.  How Mr. Bush’s strange and unorthodox notions of some sort of divinely mandated revolution indict all Christianity or all religion continues to elude me.  In my view, Mr. Bush’s God-talk is the thin gruel offered to religious conservatives by people steeped in a very different, fairly unholy secular ideology.  If we count the invasion of Iraq against traditional Christianity, let’s say, or take it as some proof against the existence of God, we may as well endorse atheism on the grounds that Robespierre, too, believed in a Supreme Being and he also did terrible and despicable things. That strikes me as rather silly.