Another Guardian Angel
Now you knew I would have to pitch a fit about this. So here, have a fit.
Western liberal democracy owes much to the Christian view that all have equal worth before God, which in our political system reads as democracy and equality before the law; and those ideals have often been applied because of religious faith, not in spite of it.
No it doesn’t. Or at least no one knows if it does or not. That’s just that confusion of correlation with causation again. The ‘Christian’ (and not exclusively Christian, and not thoroughly Christian either, given how many exceptions Xianity always managed to find to its supposed ‘view’ over the years) view that all have equal worth before God, and the idea of democracy and equality, just happened to be around in the same part of the world now and then. That doesn’t mean Xianity caused it. And really, is it likely? Has Xianity really been all that egalitarian all this time? Hardly.
The anti-slavery movement had religious motivations of the evangelical persuasion that Buruma fears.
We’re always hearing that – but slavery was justified by Christians in good standing for centuries before the abolitionists even existed, let alone got a foothold. So how much is that supposed to count for? Not all that much, I would say.
Simply bemoaning the fanatics and mourning the demise of liberal democracy gets us nowhere…Faith is important to many.
Yes it does get us somewhere. And anyway what are we supposed to do, applaud the fanatics and cheer the partial retreat (not demise) of secular liberal democracy? And faith is important to many – really?! Who knew? That changes everything.
But Buruma is wrong to regard evangelicals as fundamentalists, because he equates that term with fanaticism and intolerance rather than with trying to apply orthodox Biblical doctrine to today’s world.
Well there’s a distinction without a difference. Trying to apply ‘orthodox Biblical doctrine’ to today’s world is fanaticism and intolerance. What else would it be? Has this guy ever read the dang Bible?
Christianity and Islam – the two faiths Buruma mentions – motivate believers to share their world-views with others. That means they will always want to be in the public square, engaging in the debates of the day.
Yes, we know. Like Iqbal Sacranie, flailing around in his search for a rationalization for his dislike of gays, and falling back on the fact that it is what he learns from his ‘faith’ – as if that makes his nasty nonsense better instead of worse. It’s this wanting to be in the public square arguing for political views that have no justification whatever except the arguers’ ‘faith’ that is so damn dangerous. That, oddly enough, is why secularists oppose religion in the public square.
Yet another to add to the Guardian’s list of slobbering-on-religion articles. And just as lame and vacuous and stale as all the others. I’m beginning to think that people of ‘faith’ just really don’t have anything of value to say on the subject.