E.J. Dionne gets himself into an uncharacteristic huff:
Secularists, who never liked Catholicism in the first place, want us to leave the church, but so do Catholic conservatives who want the church all to themselves.
I’m sorry to inform the [secularist community] that I am declining its invitation to quit.
It's O.K., E.J. Really, it's O.K. You are your own man. Yet I'm sorry to inform you that organized religion in the civilized world is going the way of the Didus ineptus. Its extinction won't come today, or tomorrow, and for all I know its effective extinction may always be less than total. But it's coming, totally or nearly totally, as the impersonal god of science disseminates its increasing, naturalistic understanding of the universe--and there's no way to prevent it.
I hasten to add that I also have no way of knowing if organized religion's extinction will be, overall, a good development for humankind. Although I belong to no organized religion myself, and indeed I find its elaborate pretensions to universal truths insufferable, I've too much in me of the conservative wariness of unintended consequences to issue a (characteristically) rash, premature opinion. It may very well be that humankind's assorted beliefs in an invisible High Judge of individual humans' eternity have, after all, been a force for good, rather than mere excuses to justify evil against others deemed less good. I just don't know. Unlike Christopher Hitchens, I can't know. And the judgment of history shall remain out on that, probably for several millennia.
But in the meantime, E.J., I do believe I'm safe in my assumption that organized religion--which, I also hasten to add, has absolutely nothing to do with the actual existence or possibility or varying probabilities or non-probabilities of a cosmic Supreme Being--is approaching its expiration date.