Friday, September 17, 2010

Jack Kerwick, Leftism and Ground Zero Mosque
Kerwick has written three articles on the Ground Zero Mosque.  This is the third.  He subtitles it, "While the 'mega-mosque' may signify for the Muslim the triumph of Islam over the Infidel, for the leftist it marks a decisive victory in the storied campaign to 'fundamentally transform' our civilization into the post-Christian, post-'capitalist,' 'multicultural' utopia that he longs for it to be.
Kerwick's take on Christendom and Leftism is perceptive.  He writes, "First, among the characteristics that distinguish the leftist from his rightist counterpart is his insatiable penchant for "change," an appetite that is the obverse of an incessant restlessness informed by a belief in the evanescence of imperfection. The leftist doesn't just want "change"; he believes in it. He endorses exactly those constellations of beliefs that the religion of his ancestors long ago condemned as heretical, Pelagianism and Gnosticism: he is a Pelagianist by reason of his faith in the power of human beings to achieve salvation by their own works, unaided by Divine grace; and he is a Gnostic insofar as he is convinced that the secret to salvation is accessible to only a few enlightened souls — namely, those who think as he does. The leftist is an idolater, and his supreme idol is himself, but because even he has not yet succeeded in extricating himself fully from the influence of the Christian religion of which his civilization is the product, to escape the semblance of pride, he offers his utterances and deeds as homage to, not human beings, but a lifeless, bloodless abstraction that he calls Humanity."
Kerwick's second point is equally insightful, "Second, the leftist tends to have a largely distrustful, and even antagonistic, disposition toward Christianity, the dominant religion of the West. Christianity he indicts for all manner of the world's ills, from the Crusades to the Inquisition, from Salem witch trials to slavery, from European pogroms to Jim Crow discrimination and segregation. Christians — to whom in the contemporary American context he derisively refers as "the Religious Right" — the leftist believes, are "racist," "sexist," and "homophobic," to say nothing of hypocritical and hubristic. The leftist views the average Christian as hostile to science, the arts, and "Enlightenment" generally, a troglodyte who spares no occasion to resort to "superstitious" rhetoric so as to impede "progress." Hence, the leftist labors tirelessly to weaken the Christian's influence over the culture to which his imaginative genius and piety gave rise, alternating between invocations of the fiction of a so-called "separation clause" in the Constitution, on the one hand, and preachy declarations concerning the lie — a species of wishful thinking on the leftist's part — that "America is no longer a Christian nation," on the other."
As to the reasons the Left and Islamism seem to be marching in sync, Kerwick writes, ". . . while the leftist and the Islamic fundamentalist alike repudiate in no uncertain terms the "Militarism," "Imperialism," and "Capitalism" of the West, only the latter succeeded in doing so in a way that promised to arrest the attention of the entire world.
"The United States is "the jewel," the apex of Western civilization, and the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were, to the leftist as well as the Islamic fundamentalist, the most visible and potent signs on all of the Earth of the West's economic and military supremacy, respectively. More specifically, the one symbolized "the inequalities" engendered by "capitalism," while the other was a symbol of "the slaughter of indigenous peoples" inevitably accompanying 'imperialism.'
"In short, the leftist and the Islamic fundamentalist hold in contempt the same things."
How does Kerwick tie the Left's contempt for these same things to the Ground Zero Mosque?  He writes, "It should then be unsurprising that the leftist favors the construction of "the Ground Zero" mosque. In the heart of the financial district of the world, in the place where the grandest monument to the West's "greed" once stood, an edifice no less symbolic than the World Trade Center itself will be erected. Yet while this "mega-mosque" may very well signify for the Muslim the triumph of Islam over the Infidel, for the leftist it signifies a triumph, for sure, but the triumph of a new America (and, by extension, a new West) over an old one. It marks a decisive victory in the leftist's storied campaign to "fundamentally transform" our civilization into the post-Christian, post-"capitalist," "multicultural" utopia that he longs for it to be."
I recall that Bernadette Dohrn, wife of Bill Ayres and one of those who launched Barack Obama's political career once spoke of her sorrow over the failure of the Soviet Socialist Republic and wished that next time they would achieve a better Socialism.  And if Leftists who agree with her see Muslims wanting to tear down Liberal Democracy as much as they do, they should at least take a break from their efforts to reflect on who they have aligned themselves with.  They have a very dangerous ally, an ally in its early days which conquered most of the known world.  What have Leftist conquered compared to that?  If they don't long for a revived Soviet Union as fervently as Islamists long for a reawakening of Mohamad's Jihad, then when have they? 

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