Tuesday, September 13, 2011
How To Respond To Hatred?
Surveys of scientists, whether they are fellows of the Royal Society in Britain or members of the National Academy of Sciences in the US, show consistently that about 90% do not believe in the gods of the conventional religions. They are likely to agree with AC Grayling's remark that the Templeton Foundation's project of conflating religion and science "is like mixing astrology with astronomy or voodoo with medical research".Dear Friends, that is not disagreement - that's contempt! He foes on to accuse religion of beig the reason we "cannot confront radical Islam."
But the respect the secular give too freely involves darker concessions. It prevents an honest confrontation with radical Islam or any other variant of poor world religious extremism and a proper solidarity with extremism's victims.That's a straw man born of the contempt that Mr. Cohen bears religion. Throughout history it was first Christendom and now the predominantly Christian West that does stand against radical Islam.
Mr. Cohen's objections, as couched, are the old and tired science v. religion debate. "If only we could help the poor radical Islamists see the "sweet reason" of science...yada...yada...yada." But they do raise a very interesting point in my contention that intellectual objections to faith should be "attacked" with other than reason.
With Mr. Cohen's contempt being so transparent in his arguments, it seems clear to me that no argument will convince Mr. Cohen, thus arguing with him would be pointless.
Only love can break through such contempt - only relationship, which means time and energy, can break through. Of course, we can't just look this guy up and start hanging with him. But I wonder what he would think if instead of seeing a church that makes a lot of mistakes, he saw a church that works diligently to avoid them and even harder to atone for those it does make. I wonder what would happen if he saw a church that did not leave its wounded behind....