Jan 26, 2014

Blair, Global Leaders To Make Religion Safe for Democracy

Defeating Religious Extremism With "Arms and Ideas"
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who personally knows something about what starts wars, has published an Observer article entitled "Religious Difference, Not Ideology, Will Fuel This Century's Epic Battles."  Analyzing violence around the world, Blair finds that religion is at the root of it all: "there is no doubt that those who commit the violence often do so by reference to their faith and the sectarian nature of the conflict is a sectarianism based on religion. There is no doubt either that this phenomenon is growing, not abating."

The myth that religions are a source of war that can only be controlled by strong secular governments is a central pillar of modernity's anti-Christian ideology. For a good dismantling of this hateful libel and a discussion of its ideological uses by secular states, I recommend William T. Cavanaugh, The Myth of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict (Oxford 2009) and O. Woelke Leithart, Rethinking the Supreme Court's Connection between Religion and Violence, 6 Phoenix L. Rev. 63 (2012-2013). 

In any case, according to Blair, the global jihad evangelization movement for democracy cannot be won against religious extremists merely by legal change. It requires true inner conversion of the people: "Democracy is not only a way of voting. It is a way of thinking. People have to feel equal, not just be regarded by the law as such. Such religious tolerance has to be taught and argued for. Those who oppose it have to be taken on and defeated not only by arms but by ideas."

As suggested, in addition to defeating the religious sectarians with arms, Blair has a global educational strategy that just might require censoring the internet and treating education as a military issue: "The answer is to promote views that are open-minded and tolerant towards those who are different [except for the root-of-all-wars religious extremists], and to fight the formal, informal and internet propagation of closed-minded intolerance. In the 21st century, education is a security issue."

Tolerant governments need to combine to promote tolerance by using their power to "combat" false religion: "the purpose is to change the policy of governments ... to go to the roots of where a false view of religion is being promulgated, and to make it a major item on the agenda of world leaders to combine effectively to combat it. This is a struggle that is only just beginning." Remember -- good tolerant governments can combat false views of religion but evil sectarian governments must be forced by arms and ideas to show respect to all.

In case you wonder how Blair will decide who has false views of religion to be combated and which views are acceptable for toleration, you will be relieved to know that he is working with the far-left Harvard Divinity School. They presumably helped Blair to ascertain the "the true values of compassion and humanity common to all faiths." Do you want to guess whether those with true HDS-approved religious values support abortion, no-fault divorce, feminism, homosexual unions, and whatever wars by secular states are necessary to secure the Middle East?

1 comment:

  1. One might supposed that as an Englishman, Tony Blair might have been educated in the direction of religious toleration rather than religious liberty. Although were that the case, one might have hoped that the religion doing the "tolerating" was latitudinarian Anglicanism, not radical secularism.