Monday, January 22, 2007

The PMF, an Update on the Culture War: Allah giving God a bad name

No sooner had I posted my list of a nice round figure of ten points, which for the sake of efficiency shall hence be termed the PMF (Post-Modernism's Fallacies), or I detected a further offence against reason. Actually this may be a version of the Tolerance Trick, the habit of attacking the messenger instead of the message.

11. Good things, bad people say.
In this version somebody who is considered "bad" (that is, in the wrong "camp": if you're Left-leaning, read neo-cons; if you're a Right-winger read Hillery) can still say perfectly proper things from time to time. The fact that they are in another camp doesn't make them grow horns or roast babies on feast days. What somebody says must always be weighed and considered on its own merits.
I have to draw attention to this phenomenon as it is considered acceptable to post comments on message boards, reading: "well of course he's wrong, he's a neo-con, isn't he?!". Of course without any further specification or motivation, the reason why he is wrong!

Back to the Culture War, which by the way some may think is an American phenomenon, in Europe it is brewing just as fierce, if more sub-surface. I have been desperately looking for a reason why the Left since roughly the change of the millennium, has been reacting in such a fanatical, vitriolic, acidic, poisonous, black-biled way (I'm almost at a loss for words to describe it), in relation to, to name but a few situations: the Bush administration, the neo-cons, the war in Iraq, the war on terrorism, name the list of Leftist bogeys and causes. A measure of what's going on can be found in the remarks of the enfant terrible of conservative writing, Dinesh D'Souza concerning the reactions to his new book "The Enemy at Home" (to which I don't subscribe, b.t.w.). He's gone on the record saying he's looking forward to a Fest of Hatred.

I'm greatly unqualified, not being a shrink, but could it be that the Left is scared out of their wits for Osama's laddies at home and abroad, and:

- are they blaming the Right (at large) for the Muslim radicalization, confused as they are about the usefulness of appeasing extremists and the Law of Cause and Effect c.q. the time-line?
- and/or are they too intimidated to stand up to Islamic extremism - hiding as they are behind a façade of cultural relativism - and live it out on the next bad thing they do dare to take on: Christians and Right-wingers? Educated comments invited ...

Something else I've noted: is it me or is the Left - the further they move towards secular radical Enlightenment - the more irrational they get?

In any case, Allah is giving God a bad name, causing the Left to withdraw even further behind the barricade of soulless rationality, while hysterically asserting the virtues of plurality; the Right is singing the praises of charismatic Evangelism (at least in the U.S.) as the summit of what religiosity has to offer. Both going in opposite directions towards the extreme sides of their positions, which isn't exactly conducive to a rebirth of wisdom and balance.

Speaking of balance of faith and reason, some may consider it old news, but I fear it is not. I am preparing a post on the real content of Pope Benedict's Regensburg speech. Thanks to the Sons of Peace one single sentence was lifted from that document of six pages (a marginal one at that) and got the decibel levels spiking, the actual content drowned out of existence. So I'll revisit that in the next couple of days, it being of the utmost importance for the future of Europe and Western culture.

I'm leaving you for today with a picture of a marvel of Greek architecture, the lighthouse on the Ionian island of Kefallonia: may her lights shine just a little on our battered brains!

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