The news about the radical Muslim assault on a French satirical magazine is still unfolding, and so it would be wise to withhold comments on the details until we actually have sufficient details.
But quite apart from the particulars of this assault, there is one thing that we can say with some certainty. This is a war to the death between two sets of mindless chants. One is Allah Akbar! and the other is Secular Neutrality! The radical Muslims insist on replacing one invisible idol with another one.
In the meantime, secularists steadfastly refuse to admit that their overarching rejection of metaphysical principles of governance is itself an overarching metaphysical principle — down to the chapter and verse, but without a sacred book to quote it from. But that doesn’t make it any less authoritative.
This is a battle of blasphemies. Cartoonists blaspheme the prophet, and men with guns blaspheme with the blood of cartoonists in the temple of liberal public discourse. When we have competing blasphemies, how shall we decide between them? Without a transcendent arche — the Lord Jesus Christ — any battle of blasphemies is going to be won by the side that is willing to take their blasphemy clean out to the edge.
And that would be the Muslims. They know what they are doing, and they are doing it with all their might. The secular West does not know what it is doing, and is doing it halfheartedly.
But the choice is — as always — Christ or chaos.
“secularists steadfastly refuse to admit that their overarching rejection of metaphysical principles of governance is itself an overarching metaphysical principle”
You seem to be suggesting that secularists are guilty of hypocritical religiosity. But what if you’re a pure libertarian atheist who’s cool with living in a society with young earth creationists because you just want people to get along?
Drew: But what if you’re a pure libertarian atheist who’s cool with living in a society with young earth creationists because you just want people to get along? Cool beans. But what if you’re a pure libertarian atheist who’s cool with living in a society with young earth creationists because you just want people to get along…and along come people with guns who don’t want to get along with you or the young earth creationists? Where’s you arche for “getting along”. And how is it working out for you when others are cool not getting along? As Chesterton said: “War… Read more »
Doug, you summed it up 13 years ago after 9/11 when you said that they were more serious about their idols that the West was about its idols.
Whether a young earth creationist, or an old earth creationist, the fact that our rights come from the creator is what the secularist cannot abide. It does not sit well in their relativistic frame work. That is why the left will go on and on about tolerating radical Muslims, but you will heat nothing about tolerating the “radical right”.
Dylan was right, the jihadist and the secularist blaspheme differently, but they serve the same master.
Religion is a matter of faith. It is not for you or I to decide whether one’s religion is true, or accurate, or fictitious, or wrong. Because what ends up happening is a person or group making these statements are squarely rooted in how they THINK religion ought to be practiced, which is an exercise in intellectual masturbation.
I am a Christian, but I am no fool to think that “my” religion is any better, or worse, other religions.
There is a French novel soumission by an author named Huellenbecq that imagines a future of France under an Islamic president
The book just came out. I bet the sales skyrocket
Sorry, Doug. This is religious extremism run amok, plain and simple. It has happened to Christianity (a path that we were fortunately beaten from), it is happening to Islam (as per usual). Take care that you do not lead feeble-minded Christians down that path again. The enemies of liberty must be crushed, no matter the matter. Incredibly, French cartoonists somehow took this stand and paid the ultimate price. They are not blasphemers, but heroes for liberty. They have done more for the cause of freedom than most members of the military or the Church will ever do. I have the… Read more »
Jason Pearson: I have the horrible feeling that you haven’t got a clue, but, hey, it’s the internet, so swagger on, dude.
There is nothing wrong with mocking.
1 Kings 18:27 And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.
“Secularists” cannot be both the next great totalitarian menace and so weak as to be bowled over by a few nutty Muslims. One or the other please. Things like terrorist attacks always make people overreact, and somehow such incidents always confirm everything they’ve ever believed.
I take the point here, but can we call something blasphemy that doesn’t mock anything holy, but rather an idol? I understand the goal here is attempted blasphemy, so it somewhat partakes of the nature of real blasphemy, but I think it’s important to make the distinction between the two. Maybe the proper framing is idolatry vs. idolatry — the idolatry of Islam vs. the idolatry of aggressive humanism.
Jason Pearson is a fearsome person.
One thing I ask, how does one put on a stuffed shirt anyway?
From Jason Pearson:”I have the horrible feeling that Christian Imam Wilson (and others of his ilk) would get some smug satisfaction from the report of a gaggle of anti-Christian cartoonists scattered in bloody array–victims of a Christian extremist hit.”
You need to get out more.
Allahu Akbar is the proper term, at least that is how I understand it. It is amazing how many Jihadist apologists their are in the humanist camp
Is it blasphemy to be rude about an idol? If not, your double-blasphemy construction falls down, doesn’t it? Writing blasphemous things about Mohammed can be fine; shooting people dead for what they’ve written is never fine.
Guys, I believe his use of “blasphemy” is relative to the actors in the play that he laid out for us. The killing of the free-speech “prophets,” so to speak, is a blasphemy to the secular free-speech religion, while the drawing of the Islamic prophet is a blasphemy to the kill-you-for-drawing-the-Islamic-prophet religion.
I don’t believe he’s saying that insulting Muhammad is an actual blasphemy relative to Christianity.
It’s interesting to me that many of the same people who would denounce a person for insinuating that a mini-skirt, alcohol, and suggestive behavior might have had something to do with a woman’s victimization now seem happy to suggest that the cartoonists brought all this on themselves with their poor choice to satirize Islam…
Wesley, I understand that’s what he might be getting at, but the problem is the person-relativity only goes one way, then. The Islamists don’t believe they’re blaspheming anything. Either you’re going to put yourself in their shoes, in which case one is committing a kind of blasphemy and the other is not, or you look at from the revealed perspective, in which case, one is committing a kind of blasphemy and the other is not. ;-)
To the secularist, though, human blood is quite sacred and the only person who should be able to spill it is the person in whose veins it runs—unless that person happens to be a baby, or possibly soon an elderly person. When a Mohammedan kills a secular humanist, though, they’ve killed a god.
Actually, the dispute is between those who, on the one hand, are willing to shed blood over who has the better imaginary friend, versus those who just want to be left alone. Yes, sometimes it is necessary for those who just want to be left alone to take up arms to defend themselves against aggressors, but that reality doesn’t change the fact that those who want to be left alone are not the belligerants. Or, put another way, the people who want to be left alone are Poland and the Christians and Muslims are Russia and Germany in 1939. Doug’s… Read more »
Jane and Gervase,
You raise a good point. But I did not mean to saw that either party was guilty of true blasphemy proper, in the sight of the true God. In the Bible, blasphemy also refers to railing, slander, insulting speech and so on. The pagan rulers of Ephesus defended Paul by saying the had not in fact blasphemed Diana (Acts 19:37).
“Doug’s argument is rather analogous to arguing that Poland was at fault for being a victim of German and Russian greed.”
No, really it’s not analogous to that at all.
All the major civil rights advances happened during or soon after major Christian revivals. In contrast, when Islam and Atheism grow, terrible things usually follow.
Willis, not exactly. The Enlightenment and the American Revolution were both mostly run by people who would not be considered Christians by most Reformed, and the Inquisition and Jim Crow were both run by people who would. You can always cherry pick examples, or counter-examples. History is far more complex than what you’re suggesting.
Hi Eric, The Enlightenment was not a civil rights movement, it was a philosophical movement. It was a philosophical movement that has largely been rejected by modern philosophers (secular and religious). The American Revolution took place in America when the peoples were overwhelmingly Christian and the first Great Awakening had just happened. And for every secular leader like Jefferson, you had a religious one like Patrick Henry. If you think the Inquisition was implemented by Reformed folks, you may want to do a bit of research. The inquisition was killing reformed folks. And while the inquisition was terrible, it is… Read more »
Oooh snap… Brother Willis just laid down the law! Also, Eric, your comment about being Poland actually makes Wilson’s point! You, and perhaps the other secularists, don’t seem to understand that creating cartoons of religious figures, especially of the nature that I understand the Charlie Hebdo cartoons were, is not an appeal to be left alone. Like DW said, secularists commit their blasphemies uncommittedly and unknowledgably against a people that is far more committed, and who actually know to what they are commited, than they. Also, your analogy is of a country that was torn apart by pagans (nazism) on… Read more »
The colonists wanted to be left alone. Chamberin wanted to be left alone. There comes a time when you have to stand up and fight, and the ones who fought and died defending liberty did so for something far greater than “just leave me alone”.
The rejection of Judeo Christian values has spiraled into moral absurdities like believing that if we really really emphasize with the terrorists, they will “leave us alone”.
Willis, Stalin killed people because he was a communist, not because he was an atheist. A Soviet Union run by libertarian atheists would have looked very different. So, for that matter, would a country run by today’s neocons, who are mostly secular. Can you find me an example of a society run by atheists who weren’t communists that engaged in massive killing? Possibly Pol Pot, but even that’s a stretch; I believe he considered himself a communist as well. I didn’t say the Inquisitors were reformed; I said they were people most reformed would consider Christians. It is my understanding… Read more »
Tom, and Wesley, I didn’t say that it isn’t sometimes necessary for those who wish to be left alone to take up arms to defend themselves. I’m not a pacifist. Any burglar who climbs in my window is asking to get shot. But you both missed my actual point about Poland, which is that people and nations that wish to be left alone aren’t the aggressor. Doug argues that the secularists are the aggressors and that’s nonsense. The aggressors are the ones who use violence to get what they want, and one of the most striking things about Islam is… Read more »
Eric, //Willis, Stalin killed people because he was a communist, not because he was an atheist.// How do you know this? You don’t think that his confidence that there would be no post-mortem judgment had *any* effect on his willingness to murder millions? Stalin was very liberal in his communism….he and his cronies were more than willing to drive nice cars, drink fine wines, smoke expensive cigars and live in luxury. But his nihilism was very consistent. And you cannot be a nihilist without being an atheist. //A Soviet Union run by libertarian atheists would have looked very different.// Agreed.… Read more »
Eric, Doug said nothing about secular aggression. The term he used was “secular neutrality”. The idea that there are no moral absolutes is itself an absolute that lends itself to the sort of head in the sand mentality that brought the French police to the scene of the attack on bicycles, unarmed. It does no good to argue the enlightenment. One man’s enlightenment is another man’s reformation, and we’re right back where we started. Finally, The difference between the Christian who bombs the abortion clinic and the Muslim who slaughters all those who offend the prophet Muhammad is that one… Read more »
Wallis, atheism isn’t an ideology, any more than disbelief in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny is an ideology. People should be defined by what they do believe, not by what they don’t believe. Sure, Stalin didn’t believe in God. He didn’t believe in unicorns, palm reading or reincarnation either. So what? And the French revolution was run by people whose ideology today would be recognized as Marxist, even though they predated Marx. And since Hitler did believe in an afterlife, and it didn’t stop him from committing mass murder, I doubt a belief in an afterlife would have stopped… Read more »
Tom, can you please name a secularist who believes there are no moral absolutes? I keep reading, here and elsewhere, that secularism holds there are no moral absolutes, but I don’t believe I’ve ever met a secularist who actually held to that position. I certainly don’t.
Eric, If I named one I’d have to name them all because the secularist who denies a trancendant sourse for morality cannot point to anything and call it absolute.
If you can give me a moral absolute outside the law of God, I’d love to hear it.
My point was evidently missed:
Mr. Wilson doesn’t have the fortitude of French cartoonists or the power of Islamic religious leaders, wishes desperately he could have the latter and lord it over the former, but sadly must settle with sneering sanctimoniously at both.
“Stalin killed people because he was a communist, not because he was an atheist.”
According to Lennen communism and athiesm are inseprable so to the extent that Stalin followed Lennen blaming his atheism is valid.
Tom, that wasn’t the question I asked. Whether or not you think they have an adequate foundation for moral absolutes, can you name a single secularist who actually takes the position that there are no moral absolutes? Think of it this way: Suppose I had a blog in which I repeatedly claimed, two or three times a month if not more often, that Christians don’t believe in gravity and so there is no basis for Christians to believe that if you drop something it will fall to the floor. Suppose I then had some Christians show up in the comments… Read more »
Although it may not count as an “atheist takeover”, as the US has become more overtly secular at the government level, it has resulted in more freedom.
And as it continues in that direction, it is beginning to result in less freedom.
@matt – more freedom??? What are you talking about. In just the past couple of years we have had fire chiefs fired for writing a book and wanting to honor God in all that he does, florists/bakers losing their jobs for not wanting to participate in sinful activity, CEO of major companies being forced out of their jobs for supporting a cause, magistrates losing their job for not wanting to perform gay mirages, girls not being able to use a bathroom without men walking in on them, nuns being required to pay for contraception coverage or go to jail, religious… Read more »
This from Fox News today:
This from Fox News today:
Editor Stephane Charbonnier, known as Charb, who was among those slain, “symbolized secularism … the combat against fundamentalism,” his companion, Jeannette Bougrab, said on BFM-TV.
I’m not sure we can really take Eric’s own word on atheism as any more than one more mere opinion thrown into the pot. Stephen Roberts contends that we both are atheists, even though we believe in one God. (Which is part of the reason Christians were considered “atheists” by the Romans) Others’ atheism, so-called “soft atheism,” entails something more akin to agnosticism (which, I’d argue, boils down to atheism). Others’ still entails a positive belief that there are no gods (and some, mostly unversed, will say it entails no beliefs. But that’s arguably impossible). There’s no question that not… Read more »
@james pearson wrote: My point was evidently missed: Mr. Wilson doesn’t have the fortitude of French cartoonists or the power of Islamic religious leaders, wishes desperately he could have the latter and lord it over the former, but sadly must settle with sneering sanctimoniously at both. Let us assume Pastor Wilson is the coward you paint him to be. Pastor Wilson is not your enemy, Christ is. He is alive, today in His church–and the hate you have for it is driving you mad. Do worry. Christianity has defeated abler tyrants than the current crop of wannabe Caesars. Nero is… Read more »
No true atheist….
DavidR, did you actually read the chief’s book? I did, and I’d have fired him to, and religious freedom has nothing to do with it. The book is basically hostile to everyone who doesn’t share his theological views. If the shoe were on the other foot — if he were an atheist and he wrote a book blasting Christianity — that, too, would have been inappropriate for a public official, since the public needs to know that its leaders execute their jobs in an unbiased and evenhanded manner. Whether I’m a fire department job applicant or a citizen in need… Read more »
Matthias, I’m not sure that being a communist requires being an atheist; there are an awful lot of Catholic bishops in Latin America who subscribe to liberation theology, which probably comes close to being Marxist.
But assume atheist is a pre-requisite for being a communist. So what? Being a human being is a pre-requisite for being a communist, but I don’t hear any claims that being a human is suspect for that reason. All communists may be humans/atheists, but that doesn’t mean that all humans/atheists are communists. You do understand that principle, don’t you?
So we see Eric as a prime example of secular morality. The man wrote a book. He got fired for a thought crime. He did not mistreat anyone. He did not persecute or harm anyone. He did not do anything to anyone, either under his employ or those who reported to him. He simply had ideas that were not palatable to the likes of Eric and his cabal. Once again, Eric admitted that the man should have been fired, not because of his actions, not because he harassed those he was in charge of, but simply because he had the… Read more »