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They cannot, that is, just appeal to divine authority when they come to your door or come to the public square. What is sacred to them must be re-conceived in reasoned discourse as secular.
Dillon has found that pro-change Catholics use theological arguments to claim their legitimate social identity.
“The Catholics I had studied,” she says, “were clearly grounding their emancipatory claims for greater equality within religious reasoning.
She found that the bishops made sociological claims about the effects of divorce on women, children, and society.
They did not just invoke their own authority, nor rely on Catholic moral teaching.
They translate their message linguistically and culturally.
As a religion that prioritizes proselytization, Witnesses put tremendous effort into reaching people who are different than themselves.“Habermas was saying, let’s reassess how we have often marginalized religion,” Dillon says. If someone’s religion is emotional, or traditional, or grounded in personal experience, it is disallowed.Though he sounds like he’s pushing for an act of inclusion — against, for example, “the blinkered enlightenment which is unenlightened about itself and which denies religion any rational content” (An Awareness of What is Missing 18) — it is also an act of exclusion. It seems right that, as Dillon says, the burden of translation is exclusionary.More than that, though, the translation proviso makes exclusion the default.Religious citizens are kept out of the public discourse, unless and until they can prove their reasoning is sufficiently translated. The starting assumption is that religious people will be fundamentally unable to speak to those who don’t share their faith.It’s not even clear that it would be right to speak of these religious forays into public discourse as involving “translation.” The idea that divorce in Ireland or same-sex marriage in the United States will hurt families is not the secular equivalent of a religious idea.The sense, rather, is that religious teachings are relevant to human flourishing.But why start with the assumption that translation will be a problem?Dillon, in her work, has looked at Catholic bishop’s arguments against legalizing divorce in Ireland.To the general public, these claims seem wrong, but not radically indecipherable.Habermas, even after his new openness to the religious, holds that religious reasoning is entirely different from and incomprehensible to non-religious reasoning.