“…that during the last 30 years, each faith has exploded into a powerful political force, comprised of followers – “God’s warriors” – who share a deep dissatisfaction with modern society, and a fierce determination to place God and religiojn back into daily life and to the seats of power. Their political and cultural struggles to save the world from what they view as secular materialism, greed and sexual corruption have caused (sic) anger, division and fear.
You see? It isn’t secular humanism that causes problems. How could it be? Secular humanism has only been around since the Enlightenment, has only really gained traction in public culture with the growth of industrialization in the late 1800’s, and only had public advocates in the American political sphere in the latter half of the 20th century, that is, within the last thirty to fifty years.
No, the problem isn’t secular humanism, rather, it’s the explosion of faith into a powerful political force in the last 30 years that causes “anger, division and fear.” As every CNN viewer knows, faith in politics was never a powerful political force prior to 1970.
“Wherever I go,” CNN’s Christiana Amanpour says with wide-eyed amazement, “what the believers do all have in common is that they want to bring the politics of faith into the very center of public life - we are seeing this now on almost every continent."Not on every continent, thank God, but almost every one. Who would have thunk it? Mrs. Amanpour, herself a Muslim, is apparently shocked, shocked to discover that some people actually expect religion to inform politics.
Her breathless revelation, indeed, the entire CNN special on religion is remarkable both in what it considers important and what it leaves out.
Take a look, for instance, at the timeline CNN provides on the documentary website. Beginning somewhat arbitrarily with WW I, it conflates international events like the fall of the
Skipping entirely over WW II (the secular humanist's war of scientific economic theory and racism that created more body bags than all pre-20th century wars combined), skipping over the atheist-inspired conflicts in Korea and Vietnam, the timeline suddenly picks up twenty years later so as to claim that the 1960’s was the hinge decade of the 20th century. “By the 1960’s, secularism was beginning to be in trouble,” says Karen Armstrong, "There's a certain feeling of bankruptcy."
Bankruptcy? But why? Every European and trans-Atlantic war since (and including) the French Revolution has been based in secular humanist principles. Together, they have generated more famine, rapine, torture and slaughter than the rest of human history combined. What could possibly be the problem?
Furthermore, given the enormous strides made by secularism between 1960 and 2007, the ability of politicians to actually embrace the dubiously titled "ethos" it promotes and still get elected, Armstrong's statement is curious, to say the least. Who is Karen Armstrong that she would reach such a conclusion? Oddly enough, the CNN website fails to tell us.
But it isn't difficult to find out. Armstrong’s qualifications to comment on religion in the 20th century consists in the fact that she is an ex-Catholic ex-nun whose doctoral thesis in English was rejected by
However, Armstrong's background might explain why she finds Roe v. Wade to have been “a rallying cry for Christian fundamentalists in the
Thus, Armstrong is unique in referring to the Catholic bishops of the NCCB (now USCCB) as "fundamentalists", although given their notorious politically Democrat leanings, it is difficult to entirely disagree.
But, we are picking on a single one of CNN’s large list of “featured individuals.” Isn’t that unfair? Let’s find out. CNN provides a complete list of the “featured individuals” who will appear in its 6-hour opus. A quick perusal of the list is instructive.
The segment on Judaism features 28 individuals. Of these, at least five were either soldiers or directly involved in bombings, while several more actively funded military activity.
The segment on Islam features 34 people. At least seven are related to suicide bombers or were themselves soldiers, not to mention several more who directly support militant Islam.
The segment on Christianity lists only 14 people, one of whom, Jimmy Carter, is a repeat from the Jewish list. Of those fourteen, none have military ties. One pastor is creating an “army of Patriots Pastors”, men who urge their congregations to vote for change. Another is a couple who homeschools their five children. In the promotional video, this is represented as "frightening."
If the timeline and list of commentators is instructive, the map of “flashpoints” is equally so. For instance, in the US flashpoint, the Muslim attacks on the USS Cole, the 1993
Oddly enough, however, there seems to be no reference to the 7000 acts of violence committed by pro-abortionists against US citizens and communities. Similarly, CNN somehow fails to mention the thousands of Christian pastors who denounced Rudolph, nor does its on-line material make any references to the reactions of Muslim muftis and imams to the multiple world-wide Muslim suicide bombings.
CNN’s silence in regards to Judaism is equally puzzling. The documentary claims militant Judaism draws inspiration from the Book of Ezekiel, "and saw
“There are millions of people around the world who feel that their faith is being ignored – pushed aside – and they are certain they know how to make the world right,” Amanpour says. “We cannot and should not ignore them. And, with this report, we’ve tried to explain them.” Apparently, billions of believers throughout the world need a secular humanist to explain their own monotheism to them and to the world at large. Thank God Christiana Amanpour and CNN are here to help us. We all look forward to the follow-up special, "Godless Warriors."
Apparently CNN isn't the only group of journalists who haven't a clue. Check out this Chicago Tribune review, in which the reviewer shows a complete lack of familiarity with the Islamic teaching on the hidden imam. She's apparently unaware that this is both a major tenet of Shi'a Islam and that Iran's president holds to this view.