Christianity: First Line of Defense for the West?
This year, the High Holiday playbook was on behalf of the Ground Zero mosque -- Jews should exercise tolerance for the religion of peace. Jews became outraged at the building of a convent in Auschwitz, but a mosque at Ground Zero is part of the liberal Jewish commitment to tolerance. In Berkeley, a Jewish group celebrated tolerance by organizing a reading of portions of the Koran in a public park. (One wonders if they read the part about “kill the Jew wherever you find him.") Erect a Christmas tree in the same park and the tolerant Koran readers will be putting in a 911 call to the ACLU’s SWAT team.
So, my intolerant, leftist friends, here is an inescapable reality to consider: no one stopped the spread of a virulent, hateful ideology with nothing. No one is going to charge a machine gun nest in the name of multiculturalism. No one takes seriously a president who grovels in front of Muslim dictators, apologizes for Western civilization, thinks nationalism is a sin, and is married to an angry woman who is ashamed of her country.
As Hannah Arendt noted in the Origins of Totalitarianism, in the face of an anomic culture, people need an organizing principle, something that mobilizes them, something in which to believe, but also something that puts a premium on life rather than self-sacrifice. Embracing life over the delusion of the lack of self is, for Hannah Arendt, what distinguishes the anti-totalitarian motivational principle.
The Marxism that collapsed with the Berlin Wall will motivate a few diehards who refuse to acknowledge reality; most Marxists have found cynicism as a replacement for the God that failed. Cynicism organizes nothing, it furthers anomie. What will Bill Maher’s audience fight for?
The one solid, inescapable organizing principle that stands as the bulwark against radical Islam is Christianity. I don’t mean the ultra-left pablum Christianity of the mainstream, empty-church Protestant denominations that reinvented Jesus as metaphor. No, I mean a fundamentalist God-fearing Christianity that understands who and what the enemy is, and possesses the moral clarity to understand the difference between good and evil. A Christianity articulated by a pastor who says that racism is evil -- end of conversation.
The cynical, ultra-left Europeans have turned over their countries to the sensibilities of radical Islam. The Europeans, ever fearful and guilty of fascism, do not possess the wherewithal to resist an Islam that undermines the very liberalism Europeans seem to cherish but are unwilling to defend. What will Europe look like when a sharia-driven, radical Islam is the dominant presence on the continent? Europe culturally will be more like the Middle East than like Western democracy.
Think it can’t happen here? As long as we are unwilling as a people to embrace some organizing principle that will mobilize us on behalf of a greater good, then in time we will march down the same slippery slope as the Europeans. The great irony of our time is the Christianity the left scoffs at will emerge as the first-line of defense for the West.