Let’s start of with a basic fact. There is a huge number of reasonable christians and muslims out there, very likely a majority by a large margin. Those that are humble and non-sociopathic, who practice their faith in peace and in privacy, who simply want to coexist and understand that spiritual heterogeneity is not necessarily an evil that must be steamrolled into a one-eyed, fundamentalist monoculture. Some even tolerate the godless.
Unfortunately, this observation can be lost amidst the cacophony of the louder idiocies like the hajj or WBC protests or anti-abortion terrorism or acid attacks on immodest and uppity women perpetrated by their dumber and more shameless brethren1.
And here’s another basic fact – fundamentalism of both of the major dust religions in the west does far more harm in real terms to those who practice a more modest faith than it does to secularism. Yes, some accusations of supposed secular “militancy” and “intolerance” may be true. But you need to ask – who inspired this backlash? Jimmy Carter or Pat Robertson? Cat Stevens or Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomenei? In many ways, lunatic fundamentalism is the manure that has caused the renewed secularism to sprout and flourish. We owe our thanks to these maniacs – without them, our man Hitch would have been a different, probably tamer, man as just one example of the upside to this derangement. (more…)