Saturday, May 19, 2007

A Christian who might *get it*

Like many of you, I have 'atheism' as a keyword for my GoogleNews. Today, this article popped up.

It is at this point that T.S. Eliot’s Notes towards a Definition of Culture is more important than ever. He forecast that the indiscriminate unification or harmonizing of a culture would achieve naught but its own debasement. In our time, when cultural diversity (to use Francis Fukuyama’s astute formulation) is little more than an "ornament to liberal pluralism", supplying the otherwise dull veneer of Western culture with a certain culinary and aesthetic flair, the multiculturalist refusal to, as Hirsi Ali puts it, "classify cultural phenomena as 'better' or 'worse' but only neutral or disparate" actually reinforces the barbaric treatment of women within Islamic communities. What is called for is not intellectual tolerance and mutually-degrading respect, but rather division.

We should be thanking these anti-theists for picking a fight that we should have started long ago. The only question now is, as Christians, will we have the courage to oppose our common foe — what Barth rightly termed "religion as unbelief" — or will we retreat to the safe-ground of religious obsolescence?

He might *get it*. Maybe. He might just be viewing this as 'Atheists are allies against the Muslims!' instead of the usual 'Muslims are allies against the atheists!' line. But Im not sure if he understands the implications of *getting it* even if he does understand our position. Active Atheism isnt just about stopping 'the barbaric treatment of women within Islamic communities.' It means we arent going to let Christians get away with 'the barbaric treatment of women' either. It means we arent going to let Christians get away with 'the barbaric treatment of homosexuals'. It means we arent going to let Christians get away with 'the barbaric treatment of science.' And so on. He would definitely be put into a position where he would be working against 'fellow Christians.'

If Mr. Stevens acknowledges and accepts this conclusion, then I would happily accept him as an ally.

1 comment:

Tyler DiPietro said...

Actually, I think the author of that piece is one of the few people who does get it. There are both many secularists and many religionists who still insist on this absurd paradigm of limitless tolerance for belief systems no matter what their basis in reality is, or their hostility to liberalism in general.

Case in point were several reviews of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's book Infidel, which referred to her as an "Enlightenment fundamentalist". There seems to be this very strange idea that any hint of an intellectually confrontational demeanor is tantamount to "fundamentalism", which is symptomatic of how far the Western left has degraded into appeasement, self-loathing and moral relativism.