The Smugness of Secularism

Secularism is, among many things, smug. It is so heavily dripping with ideology and prejudice — two qualities it would love to convince the lot of us that it is above — that it’s virtually impossible to take anything it says at face value. But its smugness would have no traction without its purveyors, many of whom these days are Muslims.

Of the many ridiculous statements of secularists (and perhaps especially Muslim secularists) is the notion that everything that’s wrong with the so-called Muslim world can be lain at the feet of religion in general and doubly so for Islam. This only furthers the crippling of emerging Muslim societies by discouraging them from solving their problems and challenges they face today by using the tools of genius already present within their societies and culture (influenced and informed by Islam) by shaming them for no other reason than simply being Muslim. Additionally, like a good used car salesman, secularists then proceed to sell Muslim societies on all of the wonders and benefits secularism promises to bring to their societies, a one-stop shop if you will for modernity. This sleight of hand, especially by Muslim secularists and anti-theists, is akin to a magic trick that requires audience participation for the effect to seem believable. In the end, secularists are doubly guilty of reducing the problems of Muslim societies to merely the adoption and adherence to Islam and reducing their solutions to the mere appropriation and unquestioning embracing of secularism. Like any good magician however, they do not like for you to scrutinize their techniques too closely as the house of cards their arguments are built off of may crumble. By this I mean the failures of secularism. Continue reading “The Smugness of Secularism”

Violence in the Modern World

A short talk about the events in Manchester and violence in the world in general.

“I strongly agree with President Trump’s speech in Saudi Arabia to Arab leaders. It’s ultimately going to have to be Arab and Islamic leaders — that speak to their own people of their own faith.”Sen. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, speaking on The Hugh Hewitt Show

Notes

Cavanaugh, William T. The Myth Of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict . Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2009.

The Secular State and Muted Violence

I know a lot of folks who consider themselves to be “secular” — including Muslims — in part due to misconceptions they hold about how religion is (inherently) divisive or even violent, but will turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the violence perpetrated by the secular state. Take for instance the black struggles of the 19th and 20th centuries. When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. told the world,

“We mean business now, and we are determined to gain our rightful place in God’s world.”1

this, and other theological movements were heavily repressed by the American secular state, a state which still “mutes and manages” race, according to Vincent W. Lloyd, and religion, in a so-called “postracial regime of America”2.

So long as religion remains a mythical beast which must be tamed by the secular, we are unlikely to see any significant shift away from violence in the modern world. In fact, the more that religion is maligned and its leadership marginalized, we will continue to see ever greater and amplified violence inflicted on parts of the world who tragically have also had their voices muted and their narratives managed, all in the name of “peace”.

Our violence, being secular, is rational, peace making, and sometimes regrettably necessary to contain their violence. We find ourselves obliged to bomb them into liberal democracy.”3

Notes

1. Kahn, Jonathan S., and Lloyd, Vincent W. Race And Secularism In America. New York, Columbia University Press, 2016. Pg. 2.

2. Ibid., Pg. 2.

3. Cavanaugh, William T. The Myth Of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict . Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2009. Pg. 4.

In The Name Of God, In The Name Of The State: Secularism and A License To Kill

“In the West, revulsion toward killing and dying in the name of one’s religion is one of the principal means by which we become convinced that killing and dying in the name of the nation-state is laudable and proper.” — From The Myth of Religious Violence by William T. Cavanaugh

It is secularism, not religion, which has brought us “collateral damage“, that form of mass killing which so dehumanizes the fallen. Often they are merely reduced to a body count, a most modern — even digital — dehumanization, whereby the deceased are only worthy mentioning if they can somehow perish in denominations greater than one. And even then they reduced to forgettable numbers. But yes, by all means, let us demonize religion.