Saturday, April 07, 2007

Demagogic discourse against religion

I want to write several posts about Dr. Dawg's blogpost about religion. He touches on a number of issues, but rebutting every point would require a very long essay and it wouldn't be very cohesive.

Which brings me, by a circuitous route, to theocracy. The impulse behind religion--the experience of the spiritual, the sense of wonder, the intuitive awareness of the interconnectedness of all things--is transmogrified almost inevitably into a set of rules and admonitions imposed by force. The haunting poetry of al-Rumi turns into the ossified, hateful and simplistic dogma of the Salafist. According to one account,Christ danced with his disciples in the garden of Gethsemane (Acts of John 94-96), but the powers that be wouldn't let that one into the canonical Bible. Popes don't dance: they condemn millions to death in Africa with their opposition to condoms, and their priests destroy the lives of countless children who venture too close to them.

What a meandering, and logically tortuous set of statements.

Theocracy is a word that people abuse to make it suit their own purposes. Theocracy is rule by clerics. It has gradually come to mean rule according to one religion, although that is not a classic theocracy, as many societies have only had one religion, make laws according to one religion, but were never considered theocracies.
Now Dr. Dawg is trying to make theocracy mean any religion that requires certain beliefs and behaviour from their adherents.

But all religions have that!

For the leftist non-believer, using that method of rhetoric is not about telling people facts. It's all about using words to make people feel bad about what they oppose.

There is no evident investigation of the facts. It's all based on emotion and prejudice. If Christians did not include all the gnostic gospels out there, it's because they're bad people with bad values who have absolutely no justification to do that. It couldn't possibly be because Christians had a critical standard and the gnostic gospels did not meet it. Or because their standards naturally suck. Or it has to be because popes don't dance-- a stupid remark if I've ever heard one. No, orthodox, upright Christians MUST be dour, blind and completely unable to exercise any sense of critical thought. Because if Christians were any other way, that would really spoil the leftist discourse, and thereby prevent people from eating it up.

This leftist discourse on religion is frankly demagogic: not based on actual facts or logic, but on commonplace assumptions, emotionalism and sloppy wording.

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