Sunday, October 24, 2010

Douglas Wilson on Secularism and the Cult of American Exceptionalism

In "The Machete of Curiousity" the Proprietor metes out his views of Christian Government (Mere Christendom), and eludicates his views of Radical Islam, Secularism, and American Exceptionalism.

The paragraphs on Islam are agreeable, especially when he recognizes that Islam is forceful mainly because it recognizes itself as vehicle for administering and enforcing truth claims, whereas Christians have bought into the myth of religious neutrality. The "Separation of Church and State" crowd will definitely be on defense with this one.

Oh, and the current theo-political pulpit that American exceptionalists preach from are completely recognized as such ("quasi-sacramental" "blasphemous and silly").

My favorite passage from this post is excerpted below:

Secularism refers to the idea, popular for the last few centuries, that it is in fact possible for nations to be religiously neutral. This impressive trick is managed by having everyone pretend that secularism does not bring with it its very own set of ultimate commitments. But it does bring them, and so secularism has presented us with its very own salvation narrative, in which story the Enlightened One arose to deliver us all from that sectarian strife and violence. The horse and rider were thrown into the sea, and this is why you can't put that Christmas tree up in the county courthouse.

American exceptionalism is the idea that America is a more of a creed than a nation. This kind of American exceptionalism makes a certain kind of civic religion possible, a quasi-sacramental approach which all consistent Christians reject as, in equal turns, blasphemous and silly. American exceptionalism in this sense is currently the high church form of secularism.

Looks like Douglas wants nothing less than the fall of the high church of humanism.

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