January 04, 2009


Secularists' vital war on religion by A. C. Grayling from THE GUARDIAN

As long as religion is a danger to the lives and liberties of others, secular liberals will never relent in their protests

It is surely a failing not to have heard of Gerald Warner before, but courtesy of the recent fire at the Wasilla Bible Church attended by Sarah Palin in far-off Alaska (Palin was not in the church at the time), this Daily Telegraph writer has leapt on to our radar in full cry, as follows:

If – and it is still a big if – arson was committed by militant homosexuals or liberals simply driven by hatred of Palin, then that is a phenomenon that should greatly concern the American public. Anti-Christian jihadism fuelled by secularism is as unacceptable as that driven by militant Islam. If Wasilla Church was burned by arsonists making an ideological point, that is terrorism.

If what is suspected turns out to be true, the burning of Wasilla Bible Church is a metaphor for the onslaught against Christianity that aggressive secularism has mounted in Europe and which, under the influence of the morally degenerate Democrat party, is now invading the United States. This may be a significant warning to complacent Christians.

Great stuff. Gerald Warner, as a Catholic (and apparently something of a "jihadist" himself), is a member of an institution whose history is littered with crusades, burnings at the stake, persecution of gays, and the perpetuation of the biggest pack of lies that the world has seen - so would seem to be in a poor position to try working the moral equivalence angle. Gays and liberal secularists as jihadists!

This is the funny bit. In the last few years secular liberals have been uncompromising in what they say about religion, and the targets of their criticism have squealed and complained as loudly as if they felt real flames licking round their feet. The churches answered criticism in the past with murder; if they still had the upper hand would they now restrict themselves to their critics' choice of weapon – words? The foam-flecked variety issuing from Warner suggests not.

Let us look at some comparisons. In Afghanistan the Taliban stop girls going to school, beat up women who show a millimeter of skin, ban music, kill gays, and in general force their choice of life and belief on everyone, thus illustrating the less charming aspects of enforced observance of religious orthodoxy under which most of humanity has suffered for most of history. By comparison, secular liberals of Europe and North America say that they think religion is a load of nonsense and that religious folk should keep their fantasies to themselves. Some comparison, eh? Some jihad! Its effectiveness, though, is a sign of insecurity among the faithful. Mark Twain defined faith as "believing what you know ain't so", and the level of insecurity among the faithful when criticised suggests that almost all of them really agree.