Re: Disperse if God Commands it
So John Young wants to jump on the bash religion bandwagon. Fine, but please take a number. We have already withered the misguided attacks of Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchins, Bill Maher, and Michael Lind, to name but a few. The idea that all religion can be grouped under one umbrella, that there's a similarity between authoritarian mullahs in Iran killing protestors and Christians in America wanting to prevent abortion, is as ridiculous as it sounds.
I can't imagine a lazier academic argument, though I suppose I should just give the secularist/atheist more time. The most horrific murders and atrocities of the past century came not from religious men, but from Nazis and Communists, their faith unwavering in a dogma that replaced God with Man. To quote the ex-Communist Whittaker Chambers, "Man without God is a beast, and never more beastly than when he is most intelligent about his beastliness."
Religion, like any tool, can be used for evil. Just like a hammer can be used to bludgeon someone to death instead of build neighborhoods. The hammer isn't the problem. Whether progressive or conservative, atheist or believer, what we should all strive to be vigilant against are fanatical ideologies that place little value in life and even less in liberty.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Are Christians the Mullahs of America?
Last week a column by John Young in the Austin-American Statesman (who if memory serves me correctly helped Michael Moore screen his anti-Bush film in Crawford) caught my particular attention. The column was full of the usual drivel about the evils of religion, taking people of faith to task for daring to take positions based on their religious convictions. This is not new territory, in fact the column could have been written by any number of progressives. However, this one distinguished itself by tying the violence and protests against the mullahs in Iran to Christianity's "grip" on this country.
The following is my response in the form of a letter to the editor:
It's a shame to read so many mindless attacks on religion, not because I am a Christian and I am offended, but because just as the first amendment prevents Congress from establishing a national religion, it also prevents Congress from infringing on the individual's right to the practice thereof.
Even the Declaration of Independence, with its recognition of a Creator (twice actually), would probably be considered in violation of the establishment clause by today's liberals, their definition of separation between church and state is so narrow. For some on the left, John Young included, any position taken on an issue is tyrannical and unreasonable if it's based on a religious belief. This is ludicrous, and no such restriction exists in the Constitution.
The opposite of a traditional religious belief is a policy position based on the popular movement of the moment. This is mob rule, and this is crazy. There is no assurance that the policy will be good or reasonable. It might be or it might not. Just because an idea comes free from the restraints of religion doesn't mean it isn't superstitious (since superstition exists regardless of religion). Or necessarily scientific. Sometimes what seems reasonable in one era is completely unreasonable in another. Eugenics comes to mind, once popular and promoted by scientists of the early twentieth century, now abhorred by modern society knowing the genocides it caused.
In terms of abortion, a progressive will argue for a woman's right to privacy and to make this choice alone with her doctor. On the other hand, they promote the takeover of health care by the government, with health decisions (other than preventing abortion) made not by doctors, but by bureaucrats. The result of this is a government that emphasizes the bottom line (or the cost in tax dollars) over protecting the sanctity of life - a slippery slope if there ever was one. Religion here, at least in the Judeo-Christian sense, is one of the best arguments against tyranny. Otherwise, even if the treatment exists and you are willing to pay for it, the government can ensure the end of your life by denying treatment or restricting it to others they favor instead.
I understand that Mr. Young has taken a journalism teaching position in Colorado so I may not get to read his columns anymore. This is bad news on two accounts. It gives me one less thing to complain about each week and puts him in charge of educating tomorrow's mainstream media. At least now we know why most journalists turn out to be liberal.