Thursday, July 07, 2005

Where's Voltaire When We Need Him?

Oh Jesus, another bombing kills 40 and injures in London! What bloodthirsty cowards these terrorists are! The Mayor of London had this to say:
"This was not a terrorist attack against the mighty or the powerful ... it was aimed at ordinary working-class Londoners." Take out the name of the city and it could be true of any terrorist attack. Any one of them. It's always the civilians who are attacked. Always those who can't fight back or defend themselves. Mad about the policies of Israel? Why not blow up little children in a pizza parlor? Hate the G8 summit? Why not blow up unarmed people going to work? Disagree with the abortion laws? Why not shoot a doctor on the way to his car? Pissed off about Waco? Why not blow up an office building? Terrorism is a violent celebration of the abyss; a scream of nothingness by those who can't create so they destroy. What a waste! What a tragic, horrible waste! If your "God is love", he's got a really shitty way of showing it!

What would Voltaire say about this? Didn't he warn us that religious fanatics would be the Mongols storming our gates? Didn't he warn us about those, of all religious persuasions, who can only see God as a bully? Those who ask the faithful to commit mental suicide before committing the other sort? Those whose loathing for life is informed by their disbelief in death? How would the old man make jokes about people whose books tell them to cherish life and who respond by kindly murdering anyone who hasn't read those books? Or even those who have?

What a shrewd distinction Voltaire made with the word "fanatic"! Because there are wonderful human beings of all faiths; at our wedding we had some of the nicest Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists you would ever want to meet. But, there has never been a wonderful or kind fanatic of any sort. Every one of them is willing to let some dead book fill in for their personality, to outsource their thinking, to let poetry justify intolerance. Every one of them worships death, craves the abyss, and yearns for the apocalypse.

The left is wrong: These people have no sane reason to do what they do, and won't stop killing until they are dead themselves. The "roots of terrorism" soak in bloody fanaticism not in the economic inequality that we hate, or anything that we can even understand. Palestine should rightfully be a state, but its founding as such will not end the killing. In fact, nothing short of accepting slavery to the Caliph of the Week will end the killing. This is fascism, not protest.
The right is wrong: There is no stable or happy nation in the world that is founded in religious law. The founding fathers separated Church and State because they were afraid of fanatics. You have no right to force your cretinous beliefs on the rest of us. Be it through bombs or laws. We are not in a war between Islam and Christianity. We are in a war between pluralist tolerance and religious fundamentalism. And the fundamentalists will lose.

Voltaire was right.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Right you are that Voltaire was right:

Muslims ask French to cancel 1741 play by Voltaire

Monday, March 06, 2006
By Andrew Higgins, The Wall Street Journal

SAINT-GENIS-POUILLY, France -- Late last year, as an international crisis was brewing over Danish cartoons of Muhammad, Muslims raised a furor in this little alpine town over a much older provocateur: Voltaire, the French champion of the 18th-century Enlightenment.

see the whole story at . . .