Andrew Sullivan praises Martin Scorsese's latest, Silence, which in "its very complexity and subtlety gave me hope in this vulgar, extremist time" of Trump. Sullivan goes on to take a gratuitous (or obligatory?) shot at secularists:
For some secular liberals, faith is some kind of easy, simple abdication of reason — a liberation from reality. For Scorsese, it’s a riddle wrapped in a mystery, and often inseparable from crippling, perpetual doubt.... Faith is a result, in the end, of living, of seeing your previous certainties crumble and be rebuilt, shakily, on new grounds.... Those without faith have no patience for a long meditation on it; those with faith in our time are filled too often with a passionate certainty to appreciate it.
It seems to me that for most secular liberals religious faith, while indeed an abdication of reason, is even more so an easy, simple inheritance of sectarianism. There is a reason Boston is populated by Catholics and Riyadh by Muslims, and it's not dumb chance. For one to behold as a personal discovery the universal truths of one's ancestors, dutifully passed on from generation to generation through childhood indoctrination (which has always struck me as unusually cruel), is for some a proud tradition; to others, it's an unexamined life.
Sullivan also seems to repeat the conceit that faith is privileged as the sole sufferer of "crippling, perpetual doubt." This conceit has become so socially accepted that even secular liberals fall for it. Why, I don't know. Personal as well as movement histories of artistic, philosophical, political and literary agonies are legion; in these disciplines there have been crises of belief every bit as profound as faith's agonies.
Finally, Sullivan's observation that "those without faith have no patience for a long meditation on it" I find puzzling. Has Sullivan, absent a faith in it, not long meditated -- and often quite well -- on secular liberalism? Are secular liberals not deserving of the same acknowledgement?