Saturday, 17 December 2016

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow

And I Will Take My Ultimate on the Side

Douglas Wilson

I want to write about religious liberty, and in order to do that I must first address the myth of neutrality. But I don’t really want to address the myth of neutrality, but rather the demented, off-the-chain, sociopathic, deranged, vacuous, and sure-to-let-you-down-later-today opium dream of neutrality.

Neutrality is, like, not a thing. It does not exist. It is a lie, pretending to exist. It is an incoherent rambling lie. It is a lie unshaven and with its shirt untucked, and is now gone downtown panhandling for spare change. If you can spare a quarter, he can get all of us into a secular paradise. Finally. The dream is so near, almost within our grasp. We just need to deal with these fundamentalists—we do not deign to call them theocrats. They are theocranks.  Okay, enough with that. I am having so much fun somebody might think I am a Calvinist.

Secularism, with its vaunted religious neutrality, from which they pretend to extract a robust doctrine of religious neutrality, has certain dogmatic concerns.
Secularism has certain operational definitions of man, society, choice, purpose, liberty, value and meaning. It has operational definitions of other crucial stuff as well, but you get the drift. These definitions together constitute a worldview, with dogmatic content, dogmatic content that excludes the dogmatic content of religions and/or worldviews that differ. Put another way, secularism is a worldview shop competing for market share, all while pretending to be the owner of the entire mall. The referee in our big worldview game—turns out—is one of the players. He is not disinterested.

What the secularist calls religious liberty is actually a thin oak veneer that misrepresents the particle board plank made up of countless secular choices and industrial glue. He—for the time being—lets us choose our church, but we have to agree to do so as consumers, the same way we choose our gas stations, clothing outlets, and grocery stores. The secular society provides us with all the neutral necessities, and ultimate truth is an add-on extra.

The cold porridge of neutral secular values is shared by absolutely everyone, or so the story goes, and you then take it home and add your condiments of choice. Hindus add one thing, Muslims another, and Christians another. But how could it have possibly happened that devout Christians could go along with treating the Ancient of Days, the great Jehovah, El Shaddai, the eternal I AM, as a condiment? Quite apart from specifying what exactly went wrong, we can be assured that something did.

Put another way, genuine religious liberty is a religious value, and this means that the only true religious liberty available has to be a function of the true religion. Clearly this should be obvious. If the fruit of religious liberty is true fruit, how could it possibly grow on a false tree?

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