Creating an Out-Faith Dialogue to Justify Fundamentalism
July 26, 2011 Leave a comment
At least that’s how I read it. Tell me how you read it.
Both Islamism and Christianism, to my mind, do not spring from real religious faith; they spring from neurosis caused by lack of faith. They are the choices of those who are panicked by the complexity and choices of modernity into a fanatical embrace of a simplistic parody of religion in order to attack what they see as their cultural and social enemies. They are not about genuine faith; they are about the instrumentality of faith as a political bludgeon.
Notice the absence of real faith, which would recoil even at the very thought of killing innocents, but the pragmatic, cold-blooded use of faith as a psychological mechanism to enable mass murder.
This looks like creating an out-group. Fundamentalists can’t claim true belief, not like us, the true believers. Those of us properly practicing the tenets of Christianity, we would never kill someone or commit any other sin listed by our dogma. Yadda, yadda, yadda, nonsense.
Thankfully, Sullivan concludes his tract with a bit of a message for us on this side of the Atlantic.
He did what he did, knowing it was evil, because of a passionate commitment to a political cause, which has become fused with a politicized parody of one religion, and with a passionate paranoid hatred of another one.
If you think that contains no lessons for the United States, you might want to open your eyes a little more widely.
Source (about the Norway shooting, disappointingly not dealing with political fascism and instead excusing the inconvenient Christianity of the perpetrator).
A better read comes from Christopher Hitchens – not about the fascism of the perpetrator, but about the mistake of the media in identifying the shooter, before all the facts came out, as a Muslim fascist instead of a Christian fascist.
In tapes and sermons from mosques in London and Hamburg, you may find whole manifestos about the need to keep women as chattel, to eradicate the disease of homosexuality, to thwart the Jewish design over international finance, and other fantasies of the Third Reich mentality. Pushed to its logical or pathological conclusion, this would involve something that Europeans and Americans have never seen before: a conflict between different forms of fascism in order to see which assault on multi-ethnic democracy was the most effective.
I just pulled a great quote because as Hitchens often does, he expounds and swirls out his argument. This being just one thread, though I would say, his threads are a lot more substantial and nutritious than, let’s say, the Andrew Sullivan “please allow me to make excuses for inconvenient Christian expression” line of reasoning.