Wlady, you are quite right that Christians would have a different view of historical fact than somebody like Heather Mac Donald has. If not, there would be no such thing as a non-Christian.
However, if I understand her correctly, her key complaint is that Christians make debate and discussion impossible by involving theological ultimacies. I simply think she is wrong about that.
I can talk about the Virgin Birth and she can make the case against it and I can respond. The fact that we can’t wrap up a nice agreement in a paper bag doesn’t mean this type of dispute is uniquely intractable. I imagine I could have a similarly unresolvable debate with certain people over affirmative action!
I suppose the bottom-line for me is that some people want to divide knowledge into religious knowledge and secular knowledge and argue the religious stuff isn’t fit for public consumption. I think that’s quite wrong. There is scientific knowledge, which I think we are bound to accept when it has good provenance. Then, there is everything else and that is where we get into justice, compassion, mercy, equality, utopian aspiration, and yes, religion. Most of politics actually takes place in this latter, non-scientific area. It really makes no sense to excise the religious and act like we are now only talking about stuff that is REAL. We live and breathe non-empirical concepts. We just pretend the religious folks are the only ones out on a limb.
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