Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The new Pope and the Jihadist enemy

Can the new Pope play an important role against our current enemy – Islam? As you’ll notice through out my blog and in my essays, I’ve argued that the religious Right’s Cold War rhetoric – religion vs. atheistic materialistic communism – leaves conservatives lost in the new war against Islamism. This, of course, was the wrong basis for the Cold War, which was a clash between reason/individualism vs. dogmatism/collectivism. However, the staunch support from the religious Right and the leadership of the previous Pope was important – indeed critical – in the struggle.

In my article on conservatives, I also warn against turning the war against Islam into a religious war. This will play right into the hands of the Left as they seek to denigrate the war as a crusade between irrational superstitions. However, religious conservatives will play a crucial role in the coming war once they face the fact that the practice of Islam is vastly different from the contemporary practice of Christianity.

Our secular culture accepts religion as a private personal concern despite the claims of our friends on the religious Right. They don’t realize how secular they are. Rarely is a public debate ended with “it is written” but instead we marshal naturalistic concerns involving consequences to our well being and human dignity.

For those of us who ground our ethics in nature and advocate firm ethical principles thereby, the main antagonism that we face is the relativism and materialism prominent in the secularist Left. They preempt and undermine a well-founded secular tradition that goes back to Aristotle and his mentor, Plato. This tradition is anything but relativist and materialist.

But let us return to our question: can the new Pope play an important role in the current war? Emphatically, yes! And in similar ways to the previous Pope – by being subtle, steady, and firm in the fight for religious toleration.

Islam is a supremacist religion; it seeks conquest, domination and oppression. Christians and Jews are allowed to practice their religion as second class citizens. All other religions are disallowed. Muslims are prohibited from leaving the religion under penalty of death. Proselytizing and conversion to Christianity is punishable by death. These are crucial components of Islam.

It is here that the Pope can play an important role. By demanding religious freedom, the acceptance of missionary work, the right of each individual to choose and practice what their conscious dictates – by doing all that – the Pope will be fighting Islam far more than one might realize. He’ll be aiming at the soul of Islam. He’ll be part of the fight against this collectivistic dogmatic barbaric practice that Islam clearly is. And he’ll be fighting for the dignity of individual human beings – a concept we can share.

We secularists will continue to have our difference with the Catholic Church. And I’d prefer the Muslims abandon their religion and establish a modern rational secular culture. However, if tomorrow all Muslims became Catholic or Episcopalian, for example, I’d certainly sleep better.


<< Home