Wednesday, May 09, 2007

In Which a Banana is Exposed

What an amazing feat of mental acrobatics.

Ali Eteraz knows that something is wrong in politics, and his answer is to throw out all religion under the guise of throwing out jihad:

When I say “religious supremacism” I mean the ideology of theocracy, which in the Muslim milieu agitates for the domination of political Islam, ...
(ok so far)
... and in the Western milieu agitates for infiltration of the government by religious (usually Evangelical) zelaots who then legislate on the bases of their religious belief.
Spellcheck aside, the only place that superficially fits his opiated description is the United States, albeit with a President who has never once, in his entire career as an executive, legislated.

But to be as charitable as possible, I will assume that what he meant to say was that he can't oppose religious extremism that wishes to destroy his civilization without opposing all religious involvement in government. This, despite the historical and prima facie evidence that religion is a civilizing influence, serving to keep men from tearing at each other's throats. Religious fervor has helped, along with the respect for science, logic and the rule of law, to create and sustain the very civilization he is so quick to abandon.

It is exceedingly rare for a Christian, Hindu, Jew, Buddhist, or even a Gaian to use force to advance his religion.

By applying the label "theocracy", he lumps jihad and social conservatism together. It's the same old brown moral equivalency banana, wrapped in shiny yellow paper.

He goes further and exploits without development a false choice, as Simon outlines in his post, that he must either oppose or support religious and ideological exclusion in unison. As far as I know, neither Republicans nor Democrats are planning to decapitate their opponents following a feisty episode of Meet the Press, or no matter what happens in a given election. The French may see things differently, but in the country with Evangelicals pushing their narrow religious agenda, political violence seems not to be part of the strategy.

I find it entertaining that the explanation he gives for opposing the institution of partisanship includes a justification by status quo of institutions generally.

That might confuse, except when seen in light of his unstated premise: all cultures and philosophies are equally valid. If one distrusts the adequacy of his own philosophy so much as to regard it the equal of those who openly advocate genocide for those who fail to fully agree, I see no reason to grant him even the smallest concession of insight. Perhaps I am wrong in this, for he also appears to believe quite strongly in the moral superiority of his position.

To sum up: Ali, reject the choices you have for political parties, if you wish. While almost any explanation would suffice for such a step, the one you gave did not.

w/t: Simon at Classical Values

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