Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Blame The Atheist?
An essay from the ex-boyfriend of Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham being crammed with ill-informed, ignorant and just plain wrong concepts should be no surprise. The self-righteous posturing of these dubious moralizers gives proof to the idea that no matter how stupid and inaccurate an idea may be, the more it is repeated ad nauseum by writers/pundits the more likely it is to be deemed truth.
The essay I saw recently by Dinesh D'Souza in Christian Science Monitor is a mashup of neo-con buzzwords and idiotic proclamations meant to appeal to thick-skulled xenophobes, that peculiar segment of society who crave desperately for some Bad Evil to blame for every woe of mankind.
"Moreover, many of the conflicts that are counted as "religious wars" were not fought over religion. They were mainly fought over rival claims to territory and power. Can the wars between England and France be called religious wars because the English were Protestants and the French were Catholics? Hardly.
The same is true today. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not, at its core, a religious one. It arises out of a dispute over self-determination and land. Hamas and the extreme orthodox parties in Israel may advance theological claims - "God gave us this land" and so forth - but the conflict would remain essentially the same even without these religious motives
"Whatever the motives for atheist bloodthirstiness, the indisputable fact is that all the religions of the world put together have in 2,000 years not managed to kill as many people as have been killed in the name of atheism in the past few decades."
"It's time to abandon the mindlessly repeated mantra that religious belief has been the greatest source of human conflict and violence. Atheism, not religion, is the real force behind the mass murders of history."
D'Souza even has a new book out "The Enemy At Home: The Cultural Left And It's Responsibility For 9/11." It isn't religion, he says, it's those damn secular Left Wingers.
But the sheer lunacy and plain mis-construction of history reveals his willful ignorance of facts, and a bizarre, if not fanatical religious devotion to neo-con morality. Clue phone time: if you expect politics to provide moral guidance, you will soon find yourself in a land governed by the objectives of religious war.
His thesis ignores the reality that Europe was racked by political and religious warfare for centuries, with political might obtained by first creating a religious and moral authority to conduct a God-willed warfare. Also ignored are the intent of the founders of this country, who sought to provide a clear and specific wall to prevent religion from being a state-endorsed objective.
History shows that the 17th century American colonies often saw laws demanding adherence to religion on pain of torture, death or exile. Much of the extermination of Native Americans was due to a moral certainty that the religious beliefs of "savages" were reason enough to destroy those peoples, and debate over whether or not to allow for certain Native American religious practices continues to this very day.
D'Souza also claims the warmongering mindset of Hitler, for instance, was that of an atheist. Yet, as noted in White's Creek Journal recently, Hitler proclaimed "Today Christians stand at the head of our country. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit. We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theatre, and in the press-in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess during recent years."
The nonsense of D'Souza's essay is common chorus among so many who bang drums of cultural warfare. It may come as a surprise to some, but Christ teaches in the New Testament that one not attend the "mega-church" but rather gather in small groups in His name.
I noticed again with a frightening regularity this year that so many candidates seeking office felt compelled to include their religious orientation as part of their campaign for federal office. Sadly, none of them seem aware of this section of Article VI of the Constitution:
"...but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."
By all means, attend your church of choice. Be committed to your beliefs. But never confuse the function of government with the function of religion. And be wary of those who seek to combine the two.