Monday, June 18, 2007
Another Update on the Barna Survey at Jihad Watch
Last night, the comments field on the thread on Jihad Watch about the Barna survey numbered about 160 comments. I woke up early this morning to see a whopping 220 comments.
After browsing through the remainder of the comments, I do not see anything to alter my view from my previous essay on this blog. Mostly, there seems to be more of the same evidence of poor pedagogy—delimitation of the problem of PC through the device of scapegoating the “Leftists” as well as the subcategory of that device, scapegoating of atheists (along with a whole lot of tangential wandering off the topic into squabbles about religion and atheism in general—which in turn leads, when commenters are not veering off into the question of whether Hitler was religious or whether the theory of evolution is viable, etc., to scapegoating from the opposite side—which, just as its diametric scapegoating, has merit, but tends to ignore the larger picture).
I will only advert to one example. One poster writes about an atheist commenter before him who apparently touted the equivalency theory about religions:
What a world this person must be living in! But then it does go a long way to explaining how (this is through the moronic “substitutions” [or equivalencies]) one arrives at Bush is the “terrorist” and Osama is the heroic defender of his peoples. It is through such mindless, jaw-droppingly stupid “substitutions” that one arrives at moral inversions/reversals. Next such lunatics will be locking up the police and freeing the inmates (believing all the while that they are acting in strict accordance with the dictates of “justice!”)
This commenter is delimiting the problem again, or appears oblivious to it, at any rate, seeing the offending animal (the Atheist) and his offending logic (the translation of the equivalency theory about religions into the equivalency theory about terrorism), where the more pertinent offense is properly with regard to the wider PC culture of which many atheists—along with most people in the West—partake, and in which most people in the West participate.
This religious equivalence theory is roughly the same error as the error higlighted by Spencer in his original thread about the Barna survey, since the atheists (actually the predominant group were agnostics) cited by that survey who worry more about radical Christianity than about radical Islam are doing so likely because, on the basis of the PC equivalency theory, they fear both, and therefore logically fear those who are closer and more numerous around them in the West (i.e., the radical Christians). However, as I have argued elsewhere, the PC Multiculturalist equivalency theory tends, among most of its adherents, to encrypt a deeper theory of anti-Westernism stemming from a neo-Gnostic revolt against the Cosmos, and concomitant with a confused and amorphous romanticization of non-Western cultures, and this therefore is not really equivalence at all but a positive abasement of the West. The commenter above seems to dimly notice this, with his phrase “moral inversions/reversals”—which spill over into the sociopolitical and geopolitical realm (such as, to take one example out of a hat of thousands, when the dapper and banal—and totally ordinary—American newscaster Bryan Williams of NCB news with bland glibness remarked that George Washington and the Revolutionary soldiers of the American Revolution were roughly equivalent to the “insurgents” and “freedom fighters” of Iraq who routinely mass-murder women and children, behead priests, torture Christian boys, assassinate barbers for giving the wrong haircuts, etc.).
This kind of equivalency theory—which for some PC-infected souls remains equivalency, but only in a suspended intellectual medium of incoherency, while for others it really masks, more or less consciously, a neo-Gnostic anti-Westernism which may or may not find an outlet (particularly insofar as Communism is seen as no longer viable) in gravitating toward some “superior” Third World culture (these days Islam being the sexiest)—is not a problem whose cause is modern atheism; nor is its cause even Leftism per se: its cause, its massively nourishing matrix, is the broader, deeper, dominant and mainstream paradigm of PC Multiculturalism.