May 20, 2010

EVEN MORE GALLING THAN GETTING THE COLD WAR RIGHT...:

When the Mask of Tolerance Slips (George Weigel, May 19, 2010, THE CATHOLIC DIFFERENCE)

Seven or eight years ago, when the about-to-be-enlarged European Union was embroiled in debate as to whether a new constitutional treaty's preamble could acknowledge Christianity as one source of contemporary Europe's commitments to human rights, democracy, and the rule of law, the Orthodox Jewish legal scholar Joseph H.H. Weiler coined the term "Christophobia" to describe the irrational contempt with which much of European high culture regards Christianity; Weiler also flagged eight sources of this derangement:

- guilt over a Holocaust falsely attributed to Christian anti-Jewish prejudice rather than to the racism of Nazi anti-Semitism;

- the "1968" mindset, which rejected all forms of traditional authority;

- a strange backlash to the Revolution of 1989, in which Christian conviction helped topple the hyper-secularism of European communism;

- the Christian Democratic hegemony exercised in many continental European countries in the decades immediately after World War II;

- the cultural habit of dividing everything into "left" and "right," with "left" being good, "right" being bad, and Christianity firmly identified with the "right";

- resentments against John Paul II, who didn't fit the secularist stereotypes;

- the distorted teaching of history in European elementary and secondary schools, according to which the 18th century secular Enlightenment is the sole root of 21st century democracy;

- the confusions and angers of the "children of 1968," whose own children were evincing interest in a Christianity their parents had rejected root-and-branch.


...is the fact that the religious had Darwin right. That's what drives a lot of the really over-the-top New Atheist nonsense.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 20, 2010 5:54 AM
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