Monday, December 22, 2008

Another low moment for America thanks to reactionary religion

Via Dispatches from the Culture Wars, The United States is the only western democracy that would not sign a U.N. resolution in favor of decriminalizing homosexuality. "There was broad opposition from Muslim nations" and the Vatican reports the AP.

The Organization of the Islamic Conference gave the same reason for opposing gay rights as our American fundamentalists give: they believed it would lead to '"the social normalization and possibly the legalization of deplorable acts" such as pedophilia and incest.'

This is, of course, Dinesh D'Souza's dream come true. "Patriarchal" Muslim fundamentalists get to join forces with "conservative" Christian nationalists to fight nefarious Liberal oppression in the form of "human rights."

In his new book, The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11, far-right provocateur Dinesh D'Souza argues that Al Qaeda really does hate our freedoms--and so does he. Forget geopolitics--Israel/Palestine, US military bases in Saudi Arabia, our support for assorted corrupt regimes, Arab socioeconomic stagnation. No, 9/11 was provoked by feminism, birth control, abortion, pornography, feminism, Hollywood, divorce, the First Amendment, gay marriage, and did I mention feminism? Muslims fear the West is out to foist its depraved, licentious, secular "decadence" on their pious patriarchal societies. And, D'Souza argues, they're right. Working mothers! Will & Grace! Child pornography! Our vulgar, hedonistic, gender-egalitarian, virally expanding NGO-promoted values so offend "traditional Muslims" that they have thrown in their lot with Osama and other America-haters. At times D'Souza sounds like he can barely keep from enlisting himself: "American conservatives should join Muslims and others in condemning the global moral degeneracy that is produced by liberal values."
Which is why he must be thrilled that America under the leadership of George W. Bush has been putting his beliefs into practice for some time now. As the Washington Post reported back in '02

Conservative U.S. Christian organizations have joined forces with Islamic governments to halt the expansion of sexual and political protections and rights for gays, women and children at United Nations conferences.

The new alliance, which coalesced during the past year, has received a major boost from the Bush administration, which appointed antiabortion activists to key positions on U.S. delegations to U.N. conferences on global economic and social policy.

But it has been largely galvanized by conservative Christians who have set aside their doctrinal differences, cemented ties with the Vatican and cultivated fresh links with a powerful bloc of more than 50 moderate and hard-line Islamic governments, including Sudan, Libya, Iraq and Iran. "We look at them as allies, not necessarily as friends," said Austin Ruse, founder and president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, a New York-based organization that promotes conservative values at U.N. social conferences. "We have realized that without countries like Sudan, abortion would have been recognized as a universal human right in a U.N. document."

The alliance of conservative Islamic states and Christian organizations has placed the Bush administration in the awkward position of siding with some of its most reviled adversaries -- including Iraq and Iran -- in a cultural skirmish against its closest European allies, which broadly support expanding sexual and political rights.
Here's something I wrote about the implications of D'Souza's book a while back

Despite D'souza's presentation of himself as just a controversial thinker who is hated for stating unpleasant truths, I consider him to be a hate-monger on par with the likes of Father Coughlin or Henry Ford. In the book, D'Souza says that if you're a member of the ACLU you are part of an organization that is at least as dangerous as Bin Laden's American sleeper cells, for example.

And then that becomes fodder for the noise machine "liberal" bashers to continue their demonological scapegoating of "liberals" as an Eternal Enemy of the United States. But to illustrate the full implication of D'Souza's book, let's take a look at what prototype-of-what-an-American-fascism-might-look-like Christian nationalist Republican Mark Noonan, of Blogs for Bush, has to say about the book.

D'Souza is arguing, essentially, that the Islamo-fascists have a point - that our cultural depravity, exported by our seductive popular culture, is viewed as a threat in traditional societies, especially the very socially conservative Islamic societies. While deprecating the concept that the enemy hates us for what we are, D'Souza asserts that the enemy does hate us for what they think we are - a Godless society sunk into the worst sort of pagan iniquity.I really can't argue with that - anyone looking at us from the outside would see a Godless society sunk into moral depravity ...
Over the past 40 years or so, our society has been ripped to shreds by the cultural left - a body of people who have probably never exceeded 20% of the American population, but who have been very successful at imposing their worldview upon American civilizaiton.
Please note,that this a plainly fascist motif. The decay and fall of the nation due to secular liberal decadence. Noonan continues

What remains of the Judeo-Christian west (70% of America, 40% of Canada, 20% of Europe) is under double-siege: beset on all sides by Islamo-fascists and leftist who, for varying reasons, want it destroyed. Caught between these two fires, it is often hard to figure out whom to fight first. As for me, I reckon that the external enemy is the greater threat, but in the by and by we must finally confront the domestic left and force it out of power and influence.
Like I said: fascist. Considering that Noonan believes that we should be fighting an all-or-nothing war to wipe terrorists off the face of the earth and that he has in this passage equated "Islamo-fascists" and "leftist(s)" the bit about confronting the left and forcing it out of power and influence certainly takes on an ominous tone.
Like the "Islamo-fascists" Noonan so despises who can make no distinction between the state and their religion, for him his religion is a political faith in which the notion of a good and true American is inseperable from his particular brand of reactionary "conservative" Christianity. Witness Noonan's most recent palingenetic rant against liberalism. Notice how Noonan talks of unity but in fact is busy branding a large segment of the American population as not merely, un-American, but as enemies of civilization.

And so, the problem is not how to mesh conservatism with Christianity - they are essentially one and the same - but how to mesh conservatism with a society damaged to its core by liberalism. All who adhere to conservatism have a role to play here, so let us all leave off ... all talk of whom to purge. We need to unite on what we agree on, and battle against those who war against us all, the Jews liberals.
Ok, I added in the striked out part.*

[Blogger's Note] - Slight editing since first posted

*Note for grammar cops. The html code is "strike", hence the use of striked. Strangely enough, I suspect that were the code simply an "s" I'd feel inclined to use struck.

No comments: