The Corner

Jesus Fish Agonistes

Oh My Stars and Garters Derb, I had no idea I would elicit so much angst from you on this one. There is much food for thought in your response. But I think as you worked through your feelings and thoughts on the issues you wandered a bit far afield. For example, you write:

The divide is thus not between brave, clear-thinking Christians who speak out fearlessly against the jihadists, and cringing, wishy-washy secularists welcoming their new overlords and embracing dhimmitude. The divide is between people who think jihadism is crazy and dangerous, and those who don’t; and both groups include lots of Christians and Jews, and also lots of secularists.

Ok. Maybe. Even probably. But…so what? I don’t think you can point to anything in my column that frames “the divide” this way.

Also, I think you make a fine point when you say that one of the problems with the Darwin Fish is that it assumes all Jesus Fishers are Creationists. And I agree that this is one of the problems. But it is not the only one. The “evolve” fish, I think has a double-meaning in that it suggests Christians should evolve from Christianity. I also think mucking about with the symbol of the fish is itself offensive because the symbol is sacred and has no secular counterpart. If someone sported a bumper sticker which said “Fight †errorism” with the “T” in terrorism a Christian cross, I think that would be offensive too. You are right when you focus on one of the reasons why the Darwin fish are offensive but I think you’re off base when you suggest that it’s the only reason it’s offensive.

I also agree, to a point, with your contention that this is an inter-tribal versus intra-tribal issue. There’s real merit there. But that also adds to a certain kind of hypocrisy for at least some of the secularist bumper-sticker types since they’re the sort of people who seem to champion a one-world parliaments of man vision (“Visualize Word Peace,” “Coexist“). For this crowd (and again, I’m not saying this of all Darwin-Fishers), such tribalistic thinking is supposed to be atavistic. So, why the double-standard toward Christians and Muslims?

Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor of National Review and the author of Suicide of the West, holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute.

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