The Corner

Re: Whatever Happened To Christianism?

I thought this email was an admirably succinct expression of anti-religious bigotry and self-serving nonsense:

 I’ll give you an important difference between the “secular religion of social consciousness” and “mainstream” religions (i.e., enough members and money to have political power, thus relegating Sikh, B’Hai, Zoroastrian, Tao, Shinto, etc. to the status of cult, along with such mental disorders as Scientology).

  As to their moral values, secular belief is that man has sufficient powers of judgment and discretion to decide what is moral and acceptable societal behavior, and what is required to participate in the social contract.

  Religions, in very large measure, believe that man has no such ability, and where it exist it should be, and is, subordinate to the Will of God, as expressed solely by that curiously costumed wealthy person. Belief equals obedience, nothing less.

  Therefore, as to whether those values are durable, of benefit to the public, uniformly applied and benevolent:

  Secularists sometimes get it wrong, but struggle to correct the error. The difference of opinion is not whether it can or should be corrected, but whose view shall be accepted.

  Religions always get it wrong in that they admit no error, no exception and no omission, and expend as much money, power and threats of immediate and future punishment as needed to prevent not only any change, but any discussion of whether change should ever occur.

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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