I think what I and most other sociologists of religion wrote in the 1960s about secularization was a mistake. Our underlying argument was that secularization and modernity go hand in hand. With more modernization comes more secularization.
I’m sure Putnam is right that there’s been a decline in certain kinds of organizations like bowling leagues. But people participate in communities in other ways.
Even if one is interested only in one’s own society, which is one’s prerogative, one can understand that society much better by comparing it with others.
When certain branches of the economy become obsolete, as in the case of the steel industry, not only do jobs disappear, which is obviously a terrible social hardship, but certain cultures also disappear.
To be afraid is to behave as if the truth were not true.
Martin Luther King, with whom I worked very closely, became very distressed when a number of the ministers working for him wanted him to dismiss me from his staff because of my homosexuality.
A healthful hunger for a great idea is the beauty and blessedness of life.
Since Israel is a democratic state surrounded by essentially undemocratic states which have sworn her destruction, those interested in democracy everywhere must support Israel’s existence.
My activism did not spring from my being gay, or, for that matter, from my being black. Rather, it is rooted fundamentally in my Quaker upbringing and the values that were instilled in me by my grandparents who reared me.
So I think one can say on empirical grounds – not because of some philosophical principle – that you can’t have democracy unless you have a market economy.