The Jewish-Christian God and the Islamic god
Allah are very different. They don't have human flaws and are all-powerful.
Belief in such gods demands more from a worshiper. A philandering worshiper in
may take comfort that Zeus also does the same but not those of monotheistic
If he thinks that he has offended Zeus, he can turn to Hera or other gods. For
followers of monotheistic religions, there is no escape. Unlike a worshiper of
the Kitchen god, the Christian or Muslim cannot hope to bribe their God. What
this means is that monotheistic religions are better at compelling their
worshipers to abide by the prescribed code of conduct.
Of course not all polytheistic gods are undemanding. The Japanese god-emperor
during the Second World War demanded and got kamikaze pilots to die for him. In
general however, I think it is safe to say that most polytheistic gods are too
human like, too varied in their emphasis and too lacking in perceived power to
demand much from their worshipers.
Also, judging from Roman/Greek gods, it is not clear to me if there is much of a
cohesive code of conduct. Each god seems to encourage different behavior or
different lifestyle. For example, Pan (6) is the Greek god of music, sexuality,
sensuality and creativity. Those who aspire to a life of women, wine and song
will find Pan a very suitable god to worship. Roman soldiers, on the other hand
may prefer Mars, the god of war. Farmers and hunters would worship Diane. It
creates a very tolerant or if you like a very permissive society.
There seems to be a god to suit every lifestyle. All gods and all lifestyles are
tolerated. It is this third observation about polytheistic religion that struck
me as similar to modern secularism. In the modern secular world, there is
increasing tolerance of all kinds of lifestyle. Once upon a time in the west,
having a child out of wedlock was considered shameful.
Today being a single mother is a lifestyle choice and soon same sex marriage
will become accepted in law in the
as it is increasingly acceptable in
. After that I predict that sex with minors will also become acceptable. As
western society deChristianizes, even the concept of marriage could change. The
Christian concept of marriage consisting of one man, one wife till death to us
part may also end.
Group marriages of three or more partners of varying combinations and different
time duration could become acceptable. Secularism engenders the same kind of
tolerant (or permissive) attitudes that polytheism once did.
Everything becomes relative. There is no good or bad. What is good to you may be
bad to another. Without the discipline of an omnipotent, omni-present
monotheistic god with one standard of prescribed behavior, there is no fixed
standard of what is good and bad, right and wrong. Everybody is free to decide
for themselves. All gods and lifestyles are permitted and tolerated.
This is why you get political correctness, multi-culturalism and moral
relativity which makes it difficult to criticize Islam. As a result of this
nonsense, western countries give Islamists the right of residence and often
housing and unemployment benefits even though they make no bones about wanting
to destroy the very societies that are so generous to them.
Secularism dulls the ability to see that Islam poses a danger to freedom in the
west. In the name of multi-culturalism, you end up tolerating those that do not
tolerate you and wishes to destroy you. Multi-culturalism is the product of
those who are unsure of their own values and this is the result of the loss in
You can see the effect of the different attitudes between the secular
that voted for Kerry and the
that voted for Bush. Red state people, who are more religious voted Bush. While
they may not comprehend the war on terrorism fully, they at least see this as a
fight between good and evil.
Kerry on the other hand promised to fight the war “sensitively”. This
suggests to me that his target audience thinks that
's enemies in
(the Jihadist who want an Islamic state and the remnants of Saddam's Baathists)
have somehow got a legitimate grievance against
. People who are tolerant of every lifestyle and every kind of value system
cannot recognize evil even when it is staring them in their face. Even the
intolerable must be tolerated. Red state people, being more confident of their
own values simply think
's enemies are evil.
Secularism accounts for
's opposition to the war. Europe today is, I suspect, similar to the situation
1,400 years ago. The Polytheistic Meccans then were no match for Islam. They
tolerated Mohammed for far too long and could not see the danger his ideas were
to their society. Also Islam is a religion whose god is viewed as all powerful
and can thus demand great sacrifices such as martyrdom from its followers. This
gave Mohamed a decisive military advantage which Meccan gods did not confer upon
A secular European is likely to shrug his shoulders when told of Bernard Lewis's
is likely to become Arabic and Muslim by the end of this century. So what? We
won't be here. Eat, drink and be merry. Unlike their ancestors who could be
moved to undertake the construction of Cathedrals that won't be completed within
their life-times, today's secular minded Europeans do not care what is going to
happen after their life-times.
's salvation from Islamic takeover may depend in large part on reviving
Christian beliefs, if that is possible. Secularism and polytheism engenders a
tolerant (or permissive) culture that is too hedonistic, too short-term, too
lacking in moral fiber to defend itself against Islam's aggressive monotheism.
But those who dislike all religions and dismiss them as superstitions may take
umbrage at my suggestion that the west and especially
needs to revive Christianity. Didn't Christianity stifled science as Islam did?
Didn't Christianity bring forth witch-hunts and the Inquisition? What about the
Crusades? I will answer each charge.
Its true that Science and Christianity had clashed before notably in the case of
Galileo which I wrote about in my earlier article, "How Islam failed
More recently, there was the Scopes trial and Bush's ban on stem cell research.
These are high profile cases that obscure the other side of the ledger.
Christianity, had in fact, been good for science and helped facilitate the
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