An Ideological War on Two Fronts

by Rebecca Bynum (July 2010)

The following is the speech Ms. Bynum delivered to the 2010 New English Review Symposium, Decline, Fall & Islam on June 19th, 2010.

Secularism, however, as we have known it in the past has been characterized by indifference to religion. Its attitude was that religion and politics should be separate. But in recent years these self-described secularists have become much more radical and have turned on religion with surprising hostility and seem to be using the present crisis with Islam to hammer nails in the very coffin of God. But if one examines both Islam and the new atheist movement, it becomes clear that these radical secularists are actually much closer philosophically to Islam than either one is to Christianity or Judaism. It is no accident that both Islam and the new atheists are vehemently anti-Christian.

In Islam, God’s will is defined both as the rules of Islam for humanity and as everything else that happens in reality. God’s will literally controls everything and God employs evil as part of his work. There are elements of this kind of thinking in Judaism and Christianity as well, but not to the same extent and not as universally as is found in all schools of Islam. In fact, I believe the book of Job can be read a a criticism of this kind of thinking that ends in the creature becoming morally superior to the creator. In Christianity, God’s power is not usually elevated over his love or his desire for our love to be freely given in return.


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Rebecca Bynum contributes regularly to The Iconoclast, our Community Blog. Click here to see all her contributions, on which comments are welcome.