The Secular Right & prayers for H. L. Mencken.

By Razib Khan | November 25, 2008 10:29 am

Since the Right is roiling with faction, I thought I’d point you to a new weblog, Secular Right. No need to explain what it’s about, the title says it all. John Derbyshire recounts an interesting experience at the H. L. Mencken Club:

Well, so there I was sitting down to dinner on the first evening of this Menckenfest. Seeing a plate of salad in front of me, I applied some condiments and started eating. In between the second and third mouthfuls I heard an amplified voice coming from the speakers’ tables: “All right, everybody, we shall now say Grace. Bless us O Lord and these thy gifts …” I felt as if I’d been caught picking my nose on live TV.
Somewhat later I got into conversation with the lady who had given out the Grace. She was very charming and friendly, and had been instrumental in getting the conference organized, so is obviously very capable. It emerged, however, in the course of our conversation, that she is a Young Earth Creationist!

In case you don’t know, H. L. Mencken was the basis for the skeptical reporter in Inherit the Wind. Aside from being an infamous atheist, Mencken was also a lion of the Old Right, explaining the fondness many conservatives have for him today.

  • toto

    They posted a link to <a href=" piece. I’m glad I read it. From media coverage you’d think that American conservatives are entirely composed of evangelicals, neo-conservatives and anarcho-capitalists.
    Is there any public persona today among US conservatives that exemplifies this kind of refreshing rationality? Looks like poor old John McCain was the closest thing to it. Shame about the timing.

  • Vijay Rao

    I did not really read in depth, but a gut-reaction against labelling makes me comment on your blog. At the end of the day, this labelling does make us take our eye off the target and focus on a label, and gradations that occur.
    What target? I dont know. I have gotten tired of the reflexive classifications. Sometimes the right is right, sometimes the right is wrong. I myself might be a leftie.
    Right refers to a broad brush and makes it harder to address an argument for an idea on its merits.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    … we shall now say Grace.
    Alas, old Henry Louis M. must be spinning at supersonic velocities at such selective remembrance.

  • The Ridger

    But in this case they’re labeling themselves.

  • Don

    Vijay: Short list of the rightest of the Rights recent rights?


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Gene Expression

This blog is about evolution, genetics, genomics and their interstices. Please beware that comments are aggressively moderated. Uncivil or churlish comments will likely get you banned immediately, so make any contribution count!

About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at


See More


RSS Razib’s Pinboard

Edifying books

Collapse bottom bar