September 21, 2020

A Secular Victory for Religious Fundamentalists: Chris Hitchens gets it right

Glory Hallelujah. Pass the offering plate and someone say “Help me, Jesus!” Revival has arrived, and the evangelist is my favorite atheist, Christopher Hitchens.

So here is what I want to say on the absolutely crucial matter of secularism. Only one faction in American politics has found itself able to make excuses for the kind of religious fanaticism that immediately menaces us in the here and now. And that faction, I am sorry and furious to say, is the left. From the first day of the immolation of the World Trade Center, right down to the present moment, a gallery of pseudointellectuals has been willing to represent the worst face of Islam as the voice of the oppressed. How can these people bear to reread their own propaganda? Suicide murderers in Palestine “disowned and denounced by the new leader of the PLO” described as the victims of “despair.” The forces of al-Qaida and the Taliban represented as misguided spokespeople for antiglobalization. The blood-maddened thugs in Iraq, who would rather bring down the roof on a suffering people than allow them to vote, pictured prettily as “insurgents” or even, by Michael Moore, as the moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers. If this is liberal secularism, I’ll take a modest, God-fearing, deer-hunting Baptist from Kentucky every time, as long as he didn’t want to impose his principles on me (which our Constitution forbids him to do).

(Yes, it was the Kentucky reference. Give me a break.)

It’s been difficult, dear readers, to watch the usual worldview striptease turning into a streaking mob in the streets. Liberals who used to keep their cards oh so close to the chest, have suddenly come out of the closet and out of their minds at the same time. Dobson and the rest of the evangelical political pack have been telling us for twenty years what liberals where really like, and some of us sat in the back row and shook our heads. We could smell the exaggeration. We were not amused by the caricatures. Let’s be fair, we said. It can’t be that bad, we said.

Oh my. Ohhhhh my.

The unraveling of American liberals in the last week has been nothing short of unreal. The vitriol. The contempt for the common man. The open loathing of the “ignorant” and the “stupid” in the red states. I heard Paul “the forehead” Begala today calling for the civil war, based on blue state financial support of the welfare “queens” in the south.

It will take me a while to reorient myself, but Mr. Hitchens has helped. While others explode, mumble and drool, Hitchens speaks the truth: “George Bush may subjectively be a Christian, but he “and the U.S. armed forces” have objectively done more for secularism than the whole of the American agnostic community combined and doubled.”

Yes, here are the cold hard facts. The religious fanatics are not Baptists in Kentucky, but the Islamofacists who want to enslave our daughters and kill the rest of us. And what have these unmedicated liberals almost uniformly done for the past three years? Portray the Muslim world as the hapless, pitiable, victims of American evil, while America under George Bush is a theocracy to be feared and fought against.

Hitchens is an atheist and he despises our worldview. He is also intelligent and rational enough to realize that President Bush and evangelicals are nowhere near a theocracy, but are protecting us from being terrorized by one.

Really, my liberal friends, isn’t your moral compass around here somewhere? Maybe upstairs, in a box of your father’s old things. Take a day and find it. Robert Kennedy would have to be a Republican today. I don’t know if I can sort out a politcal world that bizarrely upside down.


  1. Two years ago, I self-identified as ‘strong liberal’. Right now, I self-identify as ‘moderate’. I had thought it was, in large part, my growing faith and such pushing me that direction–however, over the last couple of months, I’ve also realized that my membership to the cool room at Club Leftie has been revoked.