Saturday, July 10, 2004

Robert Reich on religious evil

The last paragraph of an article called "Bush's God" by Robert Reich from The American Prospect (but not available online without a subscription; I found the paragraph in two articles critical of Reich):

"The great conflict of the 21st century will not be between the West and terrorism. Terrorism is a tactic, not a belief. The true battle will be between modern civilization and anti-modernists; between those who believe in the primacy of the individual and those who believe that human beings owe their allegiance and identity to a higher authority; between those who give priority to life in this world and those who believe that human life is mere preparation for an existence beyond life; between those who believe in science, reason, and logic and those who believe that truth is revealed through Scripture and religious dogma. Terrorism will disrupt and destroy lives. But terrorism itself is not the greatest danger we face."

Absolutely. Concerns about terrorism just play into the hands of those who want to drag us kicking and screaming into the twelfth century. Those of us who aren't religiously insane - and we constitute the vast majority of people on this planet and all of the intelligent ones - have to come to grips with the fact that there is a real battle looming with a real enemy, and we have to win. Our real enemies think that their god doesn't want women to drive cars, or she has given them exclusive rights to lands on which other people live and have lived for millennia, or the theory of evolution is some sort of commie plot, or men have property rights in women, or they have some god-given right to tell everybody else how to live their lives based on their interpretation of a translation of their particular set of ancient documents (there are actually some who claim that it is only the English translation of the Bible which is theologically valid!). These people are fruitcakes. They wear marzipan hats and shit pecans. While we fuss about Islamic fundamentalists - who are bad enough and have to be stopped - we forget that by far the greatest evils in the world are being perpetrated by Christian and Jewish fundamentalists. In the battles to come, we have to realize who the real enemy is, and we have to start fighting as ruthlessly as they do. Their continuing victories against decency, reason and justice have to stop!