Secularism, Mark Steyn and the Daily Fishwrap

Amongst my multiple levels of galactic angst, I’m reading Mark Steyn’s excellent book America Alone. So far it is outstanding. He writes likes he’s sitting at your kitchen table sharing a cup of coffee.

One gem:

…There’s no market for a faith that has no faith in itself.

One reason why the developed world has a difficult job grappling with the Islamist threat is that it doesn’t take religion seriously. It condescends to it. In Europe’s wholly secularized environment, the enduring religiousity of America is not just odd, but primitive. It puts Americans in the same category as remote tribes in Africa or cargo culters in the Pacific – anthropologically fascinating, but nonetheless backward….

…And yet even those who understand very clearly the nature of Islam are complacent about Europe’s own structural defects. Oliver Roy, one of the most respected Islamic experts in France, nevertheless insists “secularism is the future.” Almost by definition, secularism cannot be a future: it’s a present-tense culture that over time disconnects a society from cross-generational purpose. Which is why there is no examples of sustained atheist civilizations. “Atheist humanism” became inhumanism in the hands of the Fascists, Communists and, it’s less malign form in today’s European Union, a kind of dehumanism in which a present-tense culture amuses itself to extinction. Post-Christian European culture is already post-cultural and, with its surging Muslim populations, will soon be post-European.

If ever there were a time for a strong voice from the heart of Christianity, this would be it. And yet most mainline Protestant churches are as wedded to the platitudes du jour as the laziest politician. These days, if it weren’t for homosexuality, the “mainstream” Christian churches would get barely any press at all.

Wow. I especially like his description of “raw materials.” At the current pace, we’ll be extinct because we’ve been outbred before they have gotten around to beheading us all. Just from a demographical and anthropological viewpoint, the book is fascinating.

Sauce for the goose, Mr. Savak.

Somebody besides little people like me with little blogs has to say it. Get the book now, before some Saudi prince sues and you can’t find it anymore. [Aside: if anyone has a copy, I’d be willing to pay the postage round trip just to borrow it!]

So with all this rolling around in this little head, imagine my surprise when I opened the typically left-of-left AJC and saw this op-ed by Douglas Young:

Secular fanatics take fervor too far

There are many obsessives today: folks fixated on TV, sports, food, race, sex. But the only ones labeled as “fanatics” by secular media are religious. And, Lord knows, they are among the last people with whom I’d ever want to get stuck in an elevator. As Deepak Chopra said, “God gave man the truth. Then the Devil came in and said, “Hey, let’s organize it and call it ‘religion.’ ” A bumper sticker is more blunt: “Dear Lord, save me from your followers.”

Yet there are secular/worldly fanatics, too. Since they lack a religious center, many have an emotional/spiritual hole crying to be filled. So, as traditional religion declines, we see a marked rise in political interest groups, especially save-the-planet types concerning the environment, “global warming” and “social justice.” And sometimes they do real good.

But, for many, their new religion is politics, their faith is their ideology, and their church is their political party. Like religious zealots, they fervently believe they have a monopoly on truth and are hellbent on spreading their convictions, whatever the consequences.

But history shows secular political fanatics do far more harm, since they lack a Ten Commandments, Golden Rule or humility before a judgmental God to restrain them. The godless want to create a heaven, too, — but right here, right now, since they think this is all there is. So they have a peculiarly uncompromising urgency to their agenda to remake society.

And what a horrific toll many political true-believers have wrought. Without religion to rein them in, they created the first totalitarian dictatorships in which the party-state (national secular church) rules every aspect of citizens’ lives. Inspired by the French Revolution’s Jacobins, who sought to create “a republic of virtue,” 20th-century Communists strove to forge a new “revolutionary man.” Marxists in Russia, Eastern Europe, North Korea, China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Cuba criminalized all religious, political, social and even personal conduct deemed “ideologically incorrect.” …

As they say, read the whole thing. Kudos to the AJC for printing it. Douglas Young is a professor of political science and history at Gainesville State College. See, there ARE academics in higher ed who aren’t raving loonies with a tin hat for every day of the week. Thank God for men like Douglas Young. The vacuum of secularism is just one step on the path to dhimmitude. The more people who stand and shout the truth to the hilltops, the better. Hopefully humanity will listen before we are all blasted back to the Dark Ages.

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