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Melanie Phillips on Secular Fanatics


The real nutters are the fanatics who despise religious belief
by Melanie Phillips

26th November 2007

. . . the antipathy to religious faith goes far wider and deeper than fear of terrorism.

It is the outcome of a dominant secularism which claims that faith and reason are irreconcilable, and that belief in a supernatural creator is the equivalent to believing in fairies at the bottom of the garden.

Though most people still say they believe in some kind of God, religious faith has become progressively more enfeebled and unable to resist the secular onslaught. . . .


OFF TOPIC: Dr. Dembski - I went to Harvard's Multimedia Production Site, which links to various quality versions of The Inner Life of the Cell - the full animation with descriptive voice over - when you click on any link to watch the video the first scene discloses terms of use: See this image I captured (if image tag below is disabled) If you were educating and not selling, I fail to see why you should cease from using it in your lectures... regards, Todd todd
Thanks Dr Dembski! Great catch - one for my vaults. However, I am afraid the discussion so far is a little too predictable and partyline-ish. Can we pause, read the article and the onward interview with Mr Blair, then pause again to reflect a while on the telling trends and driving forces in our civilisation that are being thereby revealed, THEN come back and comment? For instance, Ms Philips has raised some telling points on how the same cxlimate fostered by Mr Dawkins et al has led to censorship and persecution of dissent in science. Stephen B is right to highlight this, in response to the ever so unwarranted remarks in no 4 on persecution complexes. But it is not just a matter of the academy, but of the wider issues of public policy and public morality in light of the power exerted by evolutionary materialism-driven secularist progressivism and how it now habitually treats those who dare to differ. In particular, I think this one is all too telling, from the onward linked Blair interview report: voters tended to think that religious politicians "go off and sit in the corner and ... commune with the man upstairs and then come back and say, 'Right, I've been told the answer and that's it'." Now, let us compare this with the excerpt from Richard Hooker's turn- of- C17 Ecclesiastical Polity that served as a launch-pad for a key step in Locke's argument in Ch 2 of his 2nd Essay on Civil Government:
. . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man's hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. [Cf Matt 7:12, Rom 2:14 - 15, 13:8 - 10, also 1 - 7] From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant.
What a contrast we see between the secularist caricature and the historical, Biblically anchored reality! Thus it is fair comment to say that much damage has been done, not only by evolutionary materialist policical correctness, but also by broader one-sided revisionism and outright biased and, frankly, deceptive censorship of a major aspect of the actual idea-sources and history of the rise of modern liberty and democracy. Indeed, Dr John Sentamu -- the [African!] Archbishop of York -- is tellingly apt: "Mr Blair's comments highlight the need for greater recognition to be given to the role faith has played in shaping our country [i.e. Britain]." GEM of TKI kairosfocus
-----Toolbox-Tim: "This person has a persecution complex or something. Do they honestly think we’re all powerless children when it comes to competing ideas?" ------Nothing the Darwinists says or anything coming from the secular crowd could ever put my faith at risk. -------It’s not rocket science (or difficult) for a believer to simply say “no thank you” when offered a secular viewpoint. To think other wise is silly." Well, not exactly. In truth, political correctness rules both sides of the debate. On the one hand, when theists are offended by the rants of secularist Darwinists, they can hardly say “no thank you.” If they don’t play ball, they will experience the wrath of a jilted lover, enduring a variety of punishments. We all know the penalties--- low grades, ruined careers, public humiliations, and disfranchisement. Indeed, the enforcement of orthodoxy has become institutionalized, and the theist has little choice except to play the game or get out. On the other hand, when Darwinists are offended by theists, especially Christians, they don’t bother to say no. First, they indulge themselves in a little linguistic de-constructionism, redefining the word “persuade” to mean “impose” so that anyone who would try to sell or even explain a religious idea is a fanatic to be feared... Thus, a Christian evangelist who asks, “have you met Jesus?,” is likened to an Islamic terrorist, who says, “convert now, or I will cut your throat. If the “fundamentalist” card doesn’t work, they will not hesitate to enlist the services of the ACLU, whose perverted interpretation of the constitution means that secularists have a right "not to be offended" by Christians, even though the secularists themselves may blasphmene the Christians God at will. Just in case, any of the aforementioned fail, they will not hesitate to initiate “hate crime” legislation, just to make sure that they never have to say, “no thank you” again. StephenB
"religious faith has become progressively more enfeebled and unable to resist the secular onslaught" This person has a persecution complex or something. Do they honestly think we're all powerless children when it comes to competing ideas? Nothing the Darwinists says or anything coming from the secular crowd could ever put my faith at risk. It's not rocket science (or difficult) for a believer to simply say "no thank you" when offered a secular viewpoint. To think other wise is silly. Tim Toolbox_Tim
(OFF TOPIC: But is it ok to teach it at night? When Night Falls at School, Should Darwin Go Home? This is a creationist class but I'm sure the same would apply to an ID class. ) EndoplasmicMessenger
Lazarus, it is not refreshing but rather pathetic to see these famous believers in God to hide their faith once they become prominent. This is nothing new in British or Western world politics - Have you seen the now famous British comedy series "Yes Minister" and ""Yes Prime Minister"? (BTW, It is so funny and true that many politicians study the series very seriously, and act accordingly.) The episode Bishop's Gambit dealt with this problem in British politics in a very funny but profound way over 20 years ago. Too bad Mr. Blair didn't consider the implications, since, most likely, he would have been familiar with the BBC series. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bishop's_Gambit, but watching the series is much more fun that reading the plot summary in wiki.) It is even more pathetic to see these "Christian" or "Catholic" politicians act against their faith once they are in power! (Abortion, euthanasia, same-sex "marriage", anti-life and anti-family policies, etc.) They better consider what Jesus tells them in Matthew 10:32-33. What is refreshing is that journalists like Melanie Phillips have finally the guts to write openly and intelligently about the sad state of affairs in the world of science and politics. Many of these "modernist" or "relativist" politicians justify their contradictory reasoning by "science", especially modern evolutionary science, and by their skewed views about freedom and democracy. Referring to John Lennox's book "God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God", (Phillips' article), at the root it is indeed modern evolutionary science that has buried God and these "Christian" politicians better realize that before many more of them make asses of themselves or get themselves excommunicated. rockyr
What a shame in the most advanced (heh would darwinists say 'evolved'?) countries in the world faith is being attacked daily. How refreshing that Tony Blair is a man of faith, even though it was politically dangerous for him to say so! I don't know what invisible fairys in the garden would create so I don't have faith in them. But reason is a gift that tells us that we do know what God as he has revealed Himself to us would create, and it is exactly what we observe in the real world. Hence there can be no divide between faith and reason, since reason is a gift by faith from God. Lazarus

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