Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Religious war in America

The Volgi is back posting (huzzah!) and ponders the kulturkampf in America:
The central argument is that the decades-old “culture war” is not actually, as it’s usually presented, the forces of secularism against those of religion, but rather a battle of two competing religions. The crux of the book appears here. Go read it. It’s worth your time.
Ok, got that? So, yeah, one can cavil if we’re dealing with a religion, a metaphysic, an ethic, or an ethos (“I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude…”), but yes, like Marxism, Socialism, Nazism, whatever, we’re dealing with a pseudo-religion that provides its adherents with a pretty comprehensive moral system. Let’s call them Venerists for short. (She doesn’t, but I will.)
Here’s the problem. Venerists do not believe—and in my opinion likely cannot be persuaded—that they are acting out of a religious impulse. Indeed, they are often rabidly “anti-religion” in their own minds, believing themselves to possess a superior moral sense derived from something like pure reason. And given that under the Constitution, they probably in fact do not count as a religious group (however metaphysical their convictions are), they therefore cannot fall afoul over the Establishment Clause. You see where I’m going with this.
Consequently, as they seem to be doing (thanks, Justice “Meaning of Existence” Kennedy, Justice “It’s [Not] A Tax” Roberts, and crew), they are in fact establishing Venerism as the official state cult of America, and they will use the full might of the state to suppress dissenters (who are vile, wicked heretics leading souls to perdition—excuse me, “hate”). They will offer no quarter, because error has no rights. Or in today’s cant, “Because hate speech does not deserve to be heard.”
The Left became totalitarian as soon as they felt that they had firmly grasped the levers of power.  This analysis suggests that it's nearer the Nazi's grotesque mysticism (which was explicitly intended to replace the existing religious feeling of the population) than is comfortable.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Thomas Sowell's "A Conflict of Visions" (which I happen to be re-reading now) covers this from another perspective. The Unconstrained vision posits that Utopia on Earth is possible, if only the proper people are put in charge and given unlimited power. The Constrained vision is that everything is a compromise and people should pay heed to the collected learning experiences of past generations rather than blithely (and arrogantly) assuming that the pure reason of the elite can outperform the distributed knowledge of billions. That, of course, is a grotesquely simplified summary, but you can get the flavor of it.

Generation after generation, someone like our current crop of would-be leaders present themselves to fundamentally transform whatever and bring the light to the benighted masses. And they are, as Mencken pointed out, really just interested in ruling us.

Well, they can kiss my saggy, old, anarchist/atheist butt and . . . well, decorum and traditional morality prevent me from suggesting exactly what I wish them to do, but the sentiment should be clear.