Thursday, January 15, 2009

Engaging reality realistically

As is so often the case, Paper Clippings has posted a thought-provoking response to a pie-eyed assessment of the state of the world, namely the take of the editors of America magazine on the causes of and solutions to terrorism.

I could not agree more with the assessment given by Paper Clippings. Christians, at least as it pertains to many of the causes of tension between Islam and the West, should be on the side of those decrying the many imperialistic impositions of the decadent West on the rest of the world. The real gap, as Pope Benedict has insisted and which I have documented and commented upon extensively, is not so much between Islam and Christianity, but between those who hold religious faith (i.e., the vast majority of people in the world) and the secularists, the elite super minority who seek to obliterate what we hold most dear. It is propaganda to assert, à la Christopher Hitchens and others, that religion is the cause of all the evils in the world, just as it is caving in to ideology to resort to economic determinism, which the editors of America do in this unfortunate editorial. Nothing could be further from the truth. That so many people buy this nonsense bodes ill for us. It is downright insidious for secularism to wear the sheep's wool of religion, thus being co-opted by ideology and disseminating its propaganda.

I hate to bandy about terms like "the elite super minority," which is why I linked to what I have already posted on this matter. It is not a conspiracy as much as it is a case of amnesia. Nonetheless, asserting that all Islamic and other traditional cultures need is a healthy dose of Western secularism and capitalism, especially given the state we have driven ourselves to, both culturally and economically, is as much nonsense as George Wiegel's diagnosis of the last election. It is tired, worn out, pabulum.

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