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American’s Misguided Gender Missionaries

Martha Bayles

As citizens of a nation shaped by prophetic religion and Enlightenment faith in reason, Americans have long been prone to messianic visions of a future day when our society, and that of the world, will be, if not perfect, then considerably better than it is now. Even during hard times, the American “religion of progress” has been sustained by the nation’s steady, at times spectacular, record of scientific-technological and material achievement. Recently, however, it appears that America’s messianic days are over. The religion of progress, deconstructed by academic historians, is now judged a mere pretext for imperial hubris and…

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