Thursday, May 20, 2010

Taking Bill Maher to Church

Faith is not the enemy of thought. The lazy and unethical way many of us have been taught to practice religion is.

That's from the Kansas City Star's Jason Whitlock, who offers this worthwhile bromide near the end of his verbal dismembering of political ranter Bill Maher, always a purveyor of opinion but now mostly a purveyor of doctrinaire antireligious opinion.

Whitlock, a liberal and fan of Maher's, nicely notes that labeling all religious belief delusional is more delusional than most religious belief.

Note well Whitlock's litany of moral accomplishments of religious people. Then note that in theswe stories of accomplishment the religion in question is almost universally the one with an incarnate god who willingly dies and rises for the sake of undeserving people.

That's the other thing that needs to be said to Mr. Maher and others. The burning question is not the place of "religion" in the world. It's really the place of Christianity in the world. Bad versions of Christianity bear a more-than-superficial resemblance to various religious and irreligious phenomena, all of them bad too. Christianity that's properly Christian bears little resemblance to anything else--in what makes it properly Christian.


Anonymous said...

Good points. I'm just glad the atheists have someone is bitter and mean-spirited as Maher on their side. We have enough of those on the Christian side.

But on to another subject: After SWNiD pooh-poohed Earth Day so thoroughly one month ago today, he has not mentioned the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

We note that the observance of Earth Day was utterly impotent to forestall the Gulf ecological disaster.

BP is a poorly managed company with a history of bungles. The government, as always, is an inept regulator. This much is true irrespective of the party in control. Humans screw up.

We note further, in our contrarian and systems-thinking way, that an imagined world in which petroleum is replaced with so-called "green" energy is a different kind of ecological disaster, with vast swaths of land covered with solar cells and windmills and more vast swaths devoted to agriculture to raise food crops less efficiently and fuel crops to boot, while the low yield of all such activity leaves folks so universally impoverished that they have no surplus wealth to preserve and protect the undeveloped areas that remain.

This is a scenario familiar to those who know their economics: some losses are localized and obvious (oil in a bayou :: jobs lost to foreign competitors). Some are widespread and subtle (nature compromised by so-called green energy :: jobs lost to protectionism).