Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Religions of freedom

By Aussiegirl

Islam means submission and slavery. It removes all need to think for oneself. But the libertinism of Western decadence is a different kind of slavery, where one becomes a slave to one's passions and whims. The Judeo-Christian God wants to have a loving relationship with a free man. Who among us can take pleasure from the love of a slave or robot? Unless love is freely chosen and given, it is meaningless. Western decadence and excess can quickly morph into slavish adherence to a cult like Islam. When choices become too many, when the will is completely gone because it is never exercised, it is easier to fall into a kind of submissive slavery and never have to make a moral choice of your own. Christianity is the highest expression of this moral choice. Christ left us no laws, only a few guiding principles. Since Western man does not choose to develop or exercise his conscience, he lacks discipline and discernment and is prey to controlling cults which promise ease and lack of internal conflict. Freedom means a constant war within, a constant choice, and it's not easy.

The American Thinker

However often Jews and Christians have acquiesced in tyranny or even been guilty of it themselves, Judaism and Christianity are fundamentally religions of freedom. What we call progress is the fitful victory of the freedom at their core over the tyranny of the world into which they came and which frequently contaminates them.

In what way are they religions of freedom? Ultimately, both religions promote freedom because they begin at the beginning, in the Book of Genesis, which recounts how man freely chose disobedience to God and with it all the evils to which we are subject.

Why would a good and omnipotent God, many ask, allow the manifest evils that beset us? Because, say the Jew and the Christian, freedom is worth the high price in sorrow we have to pay for it. We are combatants in a grand cosmic struggle for the existence of creatures who freely choose good.Washington crossed the Delaware to take part in this war. Omaha Beach was a battle in it. And, yes, so is the fight in Fallujah.

We are all warriors. We fight for freedom or against it. “You’re gonna have to serve somebody,” says Bob Dylan. “It may be the Devil, or it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.” Laugh if you will, and call Christians the Taliban, but God is on the side of freedom, and the Devil is on the side of tyranny.

“The battle-line between good and evil runs through the heart of every man,” said Alexander Solzhenitsyn. I may be too old and decrepit to go to the Sunni Triangle, and too cowardly, but I can recognize the lack of charity with which I view my fellow man and lament it. I can put aside a guilty pleasure and think better of my neighbor. I can ask God for forgiveness for my ingratitude toward the men and women who protect me.

If we cannot reconcile divine omnipotence and divine goodness, we must choose between them. Islam has chosen divine omnipotence. It may praise God’s goodness and mercy, but because it holds that everything that happens is the direct result of God’s will, it must make God responsible for rape, murder, theft, adultery, deceit, and so on, even blasphemy; and if God is responsible for these evil deeds, then they must not be evil after all.

“If God did not want those people to die,” says the mullah, “why did he allow those airliners to crash into the World Trade Center?”

[...] The two principal adversaries of the West and its traditions, Islam and what is inexactly called secularism, are, despite their superficial differences, shameful and ignominious retreats from the high and difficult quest to explain the evil we see in the world without implicating Nature or Nature’s God. They thus shift responsibility from man, where it belongs, to the natural world or to the creator of the natural world, and by doing so, they vastly increase the reach of evil.

Our response to Islamofascism is similarly confused. Muslims correctly see that what is presented to them as secular is in fact a religion of sorts. Their mistake is to identify it with Christianity because it stems from the corruption and weakness of Christianity in Europe, that is, Christendom.

Freedom in the United States and the rest of the world thus requires the defeat of the twin evils of the corruption of freedom we see in Europe and the United States and the outright hostility to it we see in the Islamic world. These evils seem to be quite different from one another, even opposed, but they are united in theory and practice. Fortunately, neither is as powerful as it seems, and their alliance is the alliance of despair.


At 6:19 PM, Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

Great post! Your analysis hit the nail on the head, and the article merely backed you up!

Freedom is like a bicycle; it takes disciple to stay upright and if you are careless you can fall one way (Islamic despotism) or the other (nihilistic materialism).

Your right, a moral Christian view keeps you balanced!


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