All? Really, All?

Weird statement for the day:

Of your first point, however, ___, the same cannot be said of the secularists. They were all on the side of the outrages committed in the French Revolution, in Stalin’s Soviet, and Mao’s China. They were all pushing the secular vision of progress.

‘The’ secularists – that’s an odd usage right there. As if secularism were a team, or a movement, or a club, or a party, or a faction. As if it were safe to assume that secularists act as a body. But the next sentence really takes the biscuit. Excuse me? All of ‘them’? They were all on the side of the outrages committed in Stalin’s Soviet Union and Mao’s China? Dang, that’s news to me! I could swear I know of some secularists who weren’t one bit on the side of not only the outrages but the whole shebang – Bertrand Russell leaps to mind. He thought the Bolsheviks were dreadful right from the start, and said so, loudly. But I must be wrong, I must be misremembering, because all secularists were on the side of those outrages.

There are times when I just can’t believe what I’m reading. I blink, and look again, and blink some more, and look some more. I think I must have missed a word – a ‘not’ or a ‘nearly’ or a ‘some’…but no. ‘They were all on the side…’ There are no qualifications or negatives there. I keep thinking I can’t be surprised any more, and then…

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