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An age of fighting faith

Who says we live in a secularizing age? I say it’s an age of conquering faith. You may think the faiths are stupid, but if “secular” has to do with observable reality they’re not secular, and if strength has something to do with the will to tranform all things then they’re not weak:

  • Here’s an unusually clear discussion of the working theology of the Episcopal Church, all other mainline denominations, and (at bottom and at least implicitly) all respectable Western thinkers who retain a streak of idealism: God is love, therefore we’re already saved and justified just as we are, therefore the only sin is exclusion because it suggests that someone isn’t saved, justified and loved just as he is. The most admirable thing about the theology is its absolute simplicity. Once you get the basic idea the right answer to every question becomes obvious. Another is its ability to unite clergy, laity and the society at large. It appeals to the administrators who run Episcopal and other bureaucracies, because it means that universal multicultural expert bureaucracies and world markets are the only social institutions that can be allowed to exist and function (all other institutions are exclusionary). It also appeals to the self-satisfied consumers and careerists who do the work, buy the products, watch TV, sit in the pews, and see nothing wrong with giving up personal moral agency in favor of comfort and perpetual self-celebration.
  • Universal Inclusiveness, whose adherents include not only the Episcopalians but the Democratic Party, the European Union, and whatever is most respectable in the West, is of course not the only radically simplified world-conquering religion. Another is Radical Islam. Still another is Messianic Americanism, set forth in Commentary by one of its theologians, David Gelernter, and apparently about to be proclaimed by the Commander of the Faithful in his second inaugural address. The march of freedom is the march of God on earth, and America is its vehicle. How could anybody who likes God, America, freedom, and healthful exercise have a problem with that? A few people complain that the Commander of the Faithful intentionally ignores reality, but that can seem like nit-picking when Radical Islam is so brutal and Universal Inclusiveness defines the distinctions that constitute reality altogether out of existence. So maybe the widespread acceptance of Messianic Americanism has something to it, at least by comparison, and at least for those who can’t think of anything else.