Feb. 18: Two Prominent Writers to Debate ‘American Religious and Sexual Identities’

Rod Dreher, senior editor at The American Conservative and author of the New York Times bestselling The Benedict Option; and Dr. Andrew Sullivan, editor of Same-Sex Marriage Pro & Con: A Reader,” present a free, public discussion entitled “American Religious and Sexual Identities: Coexistence or Cold Civil War?” on Tuesday, Feb. 18 in the Elaine Langone Center’s Forum. The two prominent writers will debate conflicting claims of secular sexual identities and religious freedoms, and whether that cultural divide precludes consensus on American identity today, as part of the “Questioning American Identities” series by the Bucknell Program for American Leadership and Citizenship.

Religion, sex and politics are all topics of potential controversy — often deemed too controversial for polite discussion at the dinner table. These two prominent writers model civil disagreement on them, exploring conflicting claims of secular sexual and religious identities and freedoms. Does that cultural divide preclude consensus on American identity today? Rather than re-litigate old issues, Dreher and Sullivan will focus on current situations in 21st-Century America, as two online “frenemies” who have blogged and commented on each other’s different views for years.

Dreher is a former film critic for the New York Post, editor at the National Review, editorial writer at The Dallas Morning News, and publications director at the Templeton Foundation. His forthcoming new book, based on interviews with dissidents from communist regimes, focuses on the rise of cultural totalitarianism in the West.

Sullivan is the author and editor of six books, including Virtually Normal: An Argument About Homosexuality, and Same-Sex Marriage Pro & Con: A Reader. A former editor of the New Republic, he has written regularly for The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, and New York Magazine, and was a columnist for The Sunday Times of London. His blog The Daily Dish was called one of the most influential voices in America in supporting the campaign for same-sex marriage and acceptance of gay rights.

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