Turning Muslim in Texas

There’s an interesting documentary on Google, Turning Muslim in Texas, about a number of Southern Baptists converting to Islam, often because they don’t think Christianity is conservative enough.

It’s one of those things that feed my suspicion that moral critiques of conservative religion have an element of futility about them. The submission, the strictness, the stifling sense of pre-determined order—those things that grate on liberal sensibilities are also exactly what are attractive to large numbers of people. On top of it, religions are extremely flexible, so there’s a faith out there that is bound to fit any moral sensibility; you just have to shop long enough to find it. So just exactly what is a secularist moral perspective supposed to end up criticizing? Faith as a kind of intellectual sin? Maybe, but that’s bound to be even more futile than denouncing the oppressive aspects of conservative religion.

About Taner Edis

Professor of physics at Truman State University

  • Anonymous

    For some reason this trend reminds me of the Stockholm Syndrome, where people at the mercy of hostile forces form an emotional bond with them and identify with their interests to try to survive. The U.S. government and the media have propagandized us for the past 5 years about the dangers of radical Islam, so it looks like a few individuals who can’t handle the constant anxiety have decided to switch religious allegiances to the people allegedly threatening us.

  • Anonymous

    It seems to me that a good number of people adopt a religion more because of the social roles and power it gives, than because of any real faith. These Southern Baptists were unfulfilled, not by the message of their god, but by what they felt was a too lax social order. They simply adopted a new faith that was more attuned to how they view the world, rather than trying to change themselves according to faith.

  • Anonymous

    It seems to me that a good number of people adopt a religion more because of the social roles and power it gives, than because of any real faith.

    But why would Texans convert to a religion explicitly identified with enemies of the United States?

  • Anonymous

    Well, I wish I could answer that with something more that base speculation. Perhaps Bush isn’t conservative enough for them (whuh?) and they are raging aganist the machine, to coin a phrase.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X