Monday, November 12, 2012

Aggressively Secular Libertarians

Codswallop. No, codwallop on stilts.

So what if religious youngsters imbibe religion from their parents? Don't irreligious youngsters imbibe irreligion from their parents? Don't the youngster grow up and make up their own minds either way?

An affinity between Attila and the Witch Doctor, as the atheist-fanatic Rand so elegantly couched it? Certainly not in the Christian tradition. "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, and unto God that which is God's." What's that? You mean there's a difference, Lord? Yes, and the distinction played a major role in desacralizing the State in the West.

Ever read about St. Ambrose's barring the Emperor Theodosius'  entry into the Cathedral of Milan? Ambrose demanded the Emperor first do penance for the wholesale slaughter he'd perpetrated on the Corinthian masses. How about the recurring clashes between King Henry II and Thomas a' Beckett? They culminated in the good Archbishop's beheading in the cathedral at Canterbury. Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV ransacked the Vatican and exiled Pope Gregory VII. Napoleon kidnapped Pope Pius VII and held him captive.

So much for that cloying love-fest between faith and State. How about the atheists' devotion to rationality? Does this not render them less prone to the violence and fanaticism besetting us more obscurantist sorts?

Well, there's that little matter of enlightened French Revolutionaries rampaging through the Vendee countryside and forcing the benighted Catholic masses to be free. Or the bloodiest dictatorship in history, which so happened to be an officially atheistic state, shuttering all the churches and mercilessly persecuting its Christians.

Yes, the Bolsheviks were irreligiously motivated. A letter Lenin sent to members of the Politburo on March 19, 1922, shows he wanted to use hunger as a method to break the bond between religion and the masses, to numb their reactions and thus facilitate his planned assault against religious institutions:

"In fact the present moment favors us far more than it does them. We are almost 99 percent sure that we can strike a mortal blow against them [our enemies] and consolidate the central position that we are going to need to occupy for several decades to come. With the help of all those starving people who are starting to eat each other, who are dying by the millions, and whose bodies litter the roadside all over the country, it is now and only now that we can--and therefore must--confiscate all church property with all the ruthless energy we can still muster. All evidence suggests that we could not do this at any other moment, because our only hope is the despair engendered in the masses by the famine, which will cause them to look at us in a favorable light or, at the very least, with indifference."

The agnostic Fred Reed asks why cultural elites are so "grindingly antagonistic"  to religion. "Is it partly that believers in America tend to be Southern or Catholic, both of which are regarded as politically inappropriate conditions?" That may well be it. Either way, Christian anarchists should cease and desist from ceding the high moral or intellectual ground to their secular counterparts.


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