Perhaps a helpful comparison could be drawn to other disciplined community traditions, say, the hard sciences. Daniel Sarewitz has an article up on Slate that piqued my interest in this regard: Lab Politics: Most scientists in this country are Democrats. That's a problem. Here's the final paragraph:
...there is clearly something going on that is as yet barely acknowledged, let alone understood. As a first step, leaders of the scientific community should be willing to investigate and discuss the issue. They will, of course, be loath to do so because it threatens their most cherished myths of a pure science insulated from dirty partisanship. In lieu of any real effort to understand and grapple with the politics of science, we can expect calls for more "science literacy" as public confidence begins to wane. But the issue here is legitimacy, not literacy. A democratic society needs Republican scientists.Similar dynamics are going on in the Church in America, which Hunter explores in-depth. How's this for a revision for comparison?
...leaders of the [Church in America] should be willing to investigate and discuss the issue [of partisan politics shaping the imaginations of Christians]. They will, of course, be loath to do so because it threatens their most cherished myths of a pure [religion] insulated from dirty partisanship. In lieu any real effort to understand and grapple with the politics of [Jesus], we can expect calls for more ["Christian literacy"] as public confidence [in the Church] begins to wane. But the issue here is legitimacy, not literacy.Is the scientific community in America at risk of becoming marginalized in the imaginations of the broad public, as the Church has over the past century? Is this necessarily a bad thing? For the Church, the Anabaptist critique of Constantinianism says "No," this is actually an opportunity. Could it be an opportunity for the hard sciences to become more self-reflective about their Enlightenment philosophical sacred cows, thereby becoming less beholden to American-political discourse?
How might this interdisciplinary/interfaith discussion be carried out?