Says who?

Joel Belz has a good reminder in the most recent edition of World magazine to not accept the presupposition that religious views should not be publicly aired or discussed in polite company.  Belz uses the recent spat over Brit Hume and the “politeness police” to question this conventional wisdom that we can debate practically anything in polite society, except religion.  Because a topic might touch upon deeply felt beliefs mitigates toward sensitivity and tact, however, deeply felt emotions are not a basis for excluding something from discourse.  To the contrary, nothing should be more important and relevant for a free and civilized people to openly debate than questions of ultimate meaning and purpose.  Belz is correct, we should challenge the assumption.  I’m afraid that too often those that waive the banner of sensitiviy for purposes of limiting religious dialogue are more interested in suppressing religious dialogue and public analysis.