HALLOWEEN ATTACK LATEST
SKIRMISH IN RELIGIOUS WAR
At a press conference held about two hours after the Halloween truck attack in New York City, Governor Andrew Cuomo commented that this terror incident was intended to “break our spirit.” Mayor Bill de Blasio called it “cowardly.”
In short order, various news personalities were observing that the perpetrator was “sick,” “deranged” and or otherwise inexplicably unhinged. Even Donald Trump picked up that theme in a post-attack tweet.
Likewise, in the first hours after such an occurrence, when the authorities are trying to sort out what has just happened and are saying very little, I can forgive news reporters groping for any explanation in the absence of facts.
But the sameness of all these reactions is telling.
It was reported early on that the captured terrorist had voiced that signature call which accompanies evil acts of this sort: “Allahu Akbar!”
This is a pretty strong indication that, no matter what the perpetrator’s mental state, there was clear purpose behind his deed. Targeting a bike path and a school bus indicates neither madness not cowardice. It reflects the desire to do something as shocking as possible.
As for breaking the spirit of New Yorkers, I’ve observed before that the object of terror is not to change our behavior or our outlook.
We can assume that a terror act perpetrated by a “29-year-old male of Middle Eastern appearance,” as he was described — done to the accompaniment of “Allahu Akbar!” — has nothing to do with anybody’s spirit.
All such acts are designed to intimidate us into becoming Muslims and submitting to Sharia Law. Spirit notwithstanding.
We are engaged in a great civilizational conflict. It’s a fight between two fundamentally different religious / social / political visions. It’s gone on for some 15 centuries, but is reaching a kind of crescendo in our time.
As I observed in a post back in July of 2016, the moment to which we have come is not necessarily “a war of all Christians against all Muslims,” but it is…
“a moment when everyone — Muslims, Christians, even those with no explicit faith commitment — must decide which civilization they wish to be part of…
“— the civilization that honors the Judeo-Christian god?
“— or the civilization that submits to the god of Islam?
“There is no secular option.”
My essay (which also appeared in the online journal, American Thinker) prompted several readers to accuse me of advocating some sort of theocratic government. One asked…
“How come this author doesn’t even know what secularity means? Secularity is the separation of state and church. It implies that the state is not governed by religion, and doesn’t govern religion….”
That wasn’t my point at all. In a follow-up comment I explained…
“My essay simply argued that we owe our freedoms to the principles developed, refined and preserved by Judeo-Christian culture. Muslim culture, on the other hand, has perpetuated an understanding of life that does not necessarily see human freedom as a virtue.
“I maintain that there is no secular option because religion is at the heart of civilization (the root of the word ‘culture’ is ‘cult’).”
Throughout my life I’ve known many moral people who, for a variety of understandable reasons, turned from faith or never embraced it in the first place. These folks usually tend their doubts privately with quiet regard for the convictions of believers.
Others, however, are so discomfited by religion that they live in mortal dread of some church gaining the power to dictate their behavior. To them, traditional Judeo-Christian moral values are indistinguishable from Sharia Law, all faiths are equally obnoxious, and a pope, preacher or inquisitor lies in wait to heap fire and brimstone upon them at first chance.
These people represent a fearful, angry secularism that has gained much traction in recent years. And because of their refusal to distinguish between faith teachings — as well as between the consequences of those teachings — their outlook is a genuine threat.
Such religious myopia is not just a matter of private spiritual withdrawal. It has led to a steady, active, corrosive assault on the principles that created our civilization and made our freedom possible.
This attitude can be seen clearly in the demand for political correctness that’s virtually cleansed college and university campuses of traditional religious influence.
And it’s characteristic of the extremist ideological movements that are much in the news these days: the so-called Alt-Right and its mirror image, Antifa. Each promotes its own materialist agenda — the first a cartoonish sort of warped conservatism, and the second a warmed-over Maoist cultural revolution.
Both reject religion. In fact, atheism is a key part of each movement’s public identity.
One reader of my earlier essay understood the point I was trying to make about how there is no secular option in the war with radical Islam. He observed that…
“the denial of a Judeo-Christian heritage in all aspects of American culture simply creates a vacuum that Muslims would love to fill.”
Thus, the anti-religion Right and the anti-religion Left both serve to undermine our defense in the great ongoing civilizational conflict.
There’s a question I’ve asked repeatedly on this blog. It’s pertinent to those moral, respectful non-believers I mentioned, and equally pertinent to the angry secularists…
How long do you think you’ll be free to live in comfortable, undemanding agnosticism should radical Islam triumph?
We are at war, my friends.
It’s a religious war.
And there really is no secular option.
Islamist terrorists keep strengthening President Trump’s case for building the wall and restricting travel into the U.S. through what he calls “extreme vetting” — as expressed in this later tweet…
Here’s a link to the essay in which I asserted that there is no secular option in our war against radical Islam…
…and here’s one to a follow-up piece that reviewed some of the reactions to my essay…