This discussion is becoming an interminable argument over whether
"free-thinking" is a simply descriptive or a specifically negative
qualifier in Eliot's essay.
It might be instructive to compare and contrast "free-thinking Jew"
with "bezrodniy kosmopolit" ("rootless cosmopolitan"). With a
disagreeing nod in W.V.O. Quine's direction on translation and
synonymy, the latter is ostensively the same as the former.
"Bourgeois cosmopolitan" had another connotation in that society
(equally but differently negative). Had "rootless cosmopolitan"
gained its currency a decade and a half earlier, at the time of
Eliot's essay, it might have simply referred to, say, "Trotskyites" -
i.e., international revolution rather than socialism in one country.
The usage in the late '40's/early '50's was specifically as a
negative description of "Jew". In either time, the connotation of
the usage would have paralleled Eliot's usage as a negative
descriptor - a lack of rootedness in the particular society held as
"Secular humanist" today has much the same flavor; while apparently
simply descriptive, the usage determines that the qualifier is
strongly negative, *or* positive. That such attack language is
sometimes modified into a self-chosen "brag" by the group so
described is quite common. Consider "Black" in the '60's, turning a
previously negative descriptor on its head coming out of the "Black
is Beautiful" movement. Similarly, more recently, the usage around
Hell, some people are even proud of being rootless cosmopolitans.
And yet, are very choosy about who they *allow* to call them
"rootless cosmopolitans". Ditto, "free-thinking".