One word which has unexpectedly returned to fashion is blasphemy. It is commonly defined as “irreverence toward holy personages, religious artifacts, customs, and beliefs.” The idea was supposed to be nearly extinct in the secular West. That is, if you believe the West is truly secular. But there are indications that blasphemy, far from being dead letter, is alive and well. Wikipedia, in discussing the subject, warns the reader to also consult the entries for “hate speech”. That is now the alias the blasphemy lives under and it certainly has that effect among modern true believers. Recall that when Larry Summers, then the President of Harvard “said during an academic conference that the innate differences between men and women might be one reason fewer women succeed in math and science” a singular event took place.
Nancy Hopkins, a biologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, walked out on Summers’s talk and later said that if she had not, she would have “blacked out or thrown up.”
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