Friday, November 16, 2007

Asia Times columnist takes Lilla's Politics of God to task

The end of secularism? Lilla, you kidding us?:
Secular liberalism stands helpless before a new century of religious wars, Columbia University Professor Mark Lilla concedes in "The politics of God", a despairing vision of the political future published in the August 19 New York Times Magazine. [1] It is one of those important statements, like the "end of history", that will repeat on us indefinitely, like a bad curry. It comprises most of the Times weekend magazine, presented with all the pomposity the newspaper can summon.

That's gotta be a pretty impressive load of pompoms (- or whatever it is they use to make pomposity). Anyway, "Spengler", our columnist, is a pen name, after prophet and doomsayer Oswald Spengler (1880-1916). One more quote and I will leave you to it:
For that matter, where has Lilla uncovered a streak of religious fanaticism in the West? The previous pope did penance for the murder of the 15th-century Protestant rebel Jan Hus, and worshipped at the synagogue in Rome as well as the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Except for Northern Ireland, the Europeans long have ceased to quarrel about religious issues; in the US, the biblical religious always got along, more or less, and get along today better than they ever have. Toward what end does this messianic urge for redemption manifest itself, and what danger does it pose to the West? Again, there is not a line of argumentation, let alone a shred of evidence, to support the charge that man's desire for redemption has taken us to the brink of religious wars.

More pseudonymous Spengler here.

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