No-God is on Our Side
My previous post ended with an unanswered question: can this battle against the enemy within be fought without a religious regeneration in our own culture?
It is difficult to discuss religion under Secular Orthodoxy, since it discourages the idea of God. Observant Christians and Jews are relegated to the same essential status as theosophists — that is, they are people who have forsaken science for superstition. What is obscured by this false dichotomy is the fact that the secular worldview derives its belief system from the heritage of Christian Europe (and thus also the Jews). One may remove the theological philosophy behind it, but Western concepts of right and wrong, of the universe and man’s place in it, have not yet diverged significantly from what they were in a time when almost everyone believed in God.
The fact remains that we are in the midst of religious war, whether we want to be or not, or whether we even know it. Our enemies have decided that this is a war of faith, so it is a religious war that we must fight. If nothing else, the atheist fights to preserve his right to believe in No-God.
This may make a secular person uneasy — after all, bible-thumping Baptists and Islamist zealots are two sides of the same coin, are they not? Yet there is a difference: fervent Christians have accepted their coexistence with other faiths in America for over two centuries. Can anyone believe that Muslims would reciprocate if the Jihad were to realize its fondest dream?
After all, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Mormons, atheists, and even Wiccans can make common cause in this fight, since Islam does not distinguish one of them from another, and would exterminate all of them if they do not bend the knee to Allah. This unfortunate fact is what distinguishes Islam (at least in its most virulent strain) from the rest of the religions. One can point to the historic intolerance and brutality of Christianity, but that was 500 years ago. Islam, for whatever reasons, has remained trapped in a medieval mindset.
The ultimate question, which cannot yet be answered, is whether a devoutly secular society can muster the spiritual resources to fight a religious war. Secular culture is, after all, spiritually enervated, and our tolerant society has allowed a popular culture to emerge which is unprecedented (at least since the late Roman Empire) in its decadence, degradation, and materialism. When Osama bin Laden points his finger at this cesspool, he touches a responsive chord in those of us who are opposed to him and yet recognize that something is indeed wrong.
The Islamists propose a spiritual solution to a spiritual problem. Their religion is full of righteous zeal, and yet it will release unparallelled evil into the world if allowed to spread.
Once again, the question remains: Do we have adequate weaponry in our spiritual armory to fight this enemy?