Secularism is a religion, its principles the objects of devotion and adoration. Moreover, in the same context, Kerry declared that the right of free speech is a universal right and is to be defended at all costs. I should like to know on what objective grounds that can be asserted, other than American power. To be sure, man by nature is free, but not free to say and do whatever he pleases in the public forum, because he is a political not a feral animal. However, let’s be clear, Kerry and the secularists, in their universal declarations on human rights make no appeal to the moral order of nature or to divine revelation. Their declarations on rights are hollow stipulations: fiat rights, like gay marriage. On the other hand, the Muslims make legal pronouncements on the basis of their inspired book alone. Where is the rational and common moral ground? Sadly, nowhere.
I grant, of course, that even in liberal democracies some restraints are imposed on free speech. What are they? Things like not being allowed to yell fire in a theater when there isn’t one. How extraordinarily trivial! When it comes to substantive issues, however, it is perfectly fine, in the name of amoral freedom, to deride God and religion in the open, to besmirch the ancestral beliefs of a people, even if that means world convulsion, civil unrest, and widespread violence and killings. Charlie Hebdo is an equal opportunity violator of responsible free speech, attacking Pope and imam alike, mischievously igniting passions and blithely inciting violence wherever its willful pen wishes to strike. But Kerry and the French government, in their endorsement and promotion of a vulgar, anarchical, and irrational theory of free speech and in France’s failure to secure its Christian heritage against invasion by a hostile religion, are ultimately responsible for the deaths in the Charlie Hebdo attack.
How is it that such a trivial and yet dangerous notion of liberty arose in the West. Back in the 17th and 18th centuries, some western men decided that to get around a Christian society what was needed was a myth about feral men coming out of the woods to form a social contract. I don’t hit you over the head if you don’t hit me on the head, and you get to keep your property and I get to keep mine, except we mutually defend against all comers. That’s it, done deal. The story of how this false and mindless tale became enshrined in modern western constitutions through the subversive work of certain elites is too long to tell here. Suffice it to say, it resulted in a politically enforceable negative liberty: you get to do and say whatever you want so long as you don’t harm someone else in the process, and if you do, then according to the contract, the government adjudicates. An extraordinary debasement of human social life. But what is meant by harm here? Well, since man is nothing but matter like his property, it can only mean one thing: physical harm.
So what about spiritual or psychic harm, what about gratuitously mocking ideas concerning ultimate values and the sacred, things that are the very springs of human action and the real bonds of society? They don’t really count and so can be trampled upon. Of course, the secularists say, “But we do let you believe what you want.” Yes, so long as we accept pluralism, political neutering, and the overarching principles of the Leviathan atheistic liberal order! In which case, what’s left? A religious culture that withers away because its youth get pulled into a debased popular culture exploited by plutocratic interests, as well as indoctrinated with the idea that their venerable cultural patrimony is nothing but a private, subjective, eccentric affair.
J’accuse! I accuse Kerry and the French government of the spiritual and psychic oppression of the Muslim faithful because Charlie Hebdo and its irresponsible, derisive ilk are nothing but media outlets and disinformation organs of the secular liberal state, sanctioned and abetted by the latter, and au fond no different than the old Soviet Pravda.
One can’t help feeling disgust at the two-faced attitude in the press: those crazy Islamists killed people over what was nothing more than cartoons. Sorry, but if the cartoons were considered unimportant, insignificant, then why were they published? Cynical liars all!
They, the editors and cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo, knew precisely their explosive potential. Accordingly, they should have all been arrested for public endangerment, which, ironically, would have saved their lives as well as others. Furthermore, why doesn’t the blasphemous press ever deride itself for a change? Why? Because freedom of the press is sacred—a god that can’t be ridiculed! Nonsense. So how about this for a cartoon: the editor of Charlie Hebdo pictured standing over a series of dead bodies with spear-like poison pens sticking out of their hearts, saying, “What fine work we do here for the public welfare.”
The secular regime is an internal contradiction. It creates through its false freedoms and immigration the very conditions for civil unrest and even its own overthrow. Thus, it must, in the end, engage in a war with the very invaders it let in! Not surprisingly, the pressure to allow people of diverse and hostile values to immigrate is fomented by a domestic demographic implosion, which is the seedless fruit of secularism’s febrile pursuit of the economics of consumption, a pursuit that is meant to distract man from a higher and cultural vocation. When you don’t worship the true God, you worship matter.
And by the way, as some have rightly observed, the novus ordo saeculorm is not, as it claims to be, neutral on religion. It is rather up to its Adam’s apple in theology. The secular regime is just as much a theocracy as the Vatican or Tibet when it was under the Dali Lama (that darling of the liberals!). The separation of state and church cannot be asserted without involving a theological point of view and justification. Moreover, if you try and create a religious political vacuum, a new belief will inexorably fill it, along with the penumbra of sacrality, what with founding fathers ascending to heaven like the apotheosis of canonized saints.
Finally, a note on Islam. Western propaganda about all the quiet unweaponized Muslims aside, Islam is historically, at least in its dominant Sunni form, a missionary religion Koranically ordered to take up arms against the infidel in an offensive war. Therefore, let’s not confuse this with the defensive Christian crusades, which never intended to invade the Arabian peninsula, but rather to recover Byzantine Christian land. And let’s also remember, so largely forgotten, that North Africa was once the home of the civilization of Saints Augustine and Athanasius. The historic mission of Islam is its future, or it dies. It has no notion or theory of laïcité(French secularism) and no truck with the politically orchestrated orgy of competing beliefs. The so-called religion of peace preaches peace within the Ummah (pan-Islamism) not without. I am not now doing what I accused Charlie Hebdo of doing: engaging in frivolous derision. I am instead trying to take a look at things historically and philosophically, to muster a serious critique, and to clear the air of reigning falsehoods, Western and Islamic.
So what is to be done, where are things going? I put the blame for the bloody fiasco in Paris first on the French and then on Islam. Nothing will improve until France rediscovers its Christian, specifically Catholic, soul and roots. When it does, and I hope it will some day—maybe not in my lifetime—the immigration problem will take care of itself.
Hungary and Russia have made not insignificant constitutional strides toward the rediscovery of their Christian heritage—amazing considering the modern liberal vise of Socialism and Capitalism. Political secularism as I have tried to show in a brief span is hopelessly incoherent. Islam is more respectable and consistent, but must be stopped. France is only in the early stages of the breakdown of its Enlightenment experiment, that is, the effort to keep a country together on the basis of the banalities of a value-free commercial contract. And let’s hope that Turkey will not be admitted to the already dysfunctional European Union, for it will only serve as a conduit of Islamism, which in fact it is already doing, acting as intermediary for the truly insane European business of exporting and importing Jihadists.
What is needed is the benevolent promotion of the natural law and a Christian freedom in Christ, through whom we are truly free. Neither political secularism nor Islam has a natural law foundation. Without the light and law of reason and of the Logos, there is no prospect of a morally responsible freedom or a common ground upon which men of different beliefs can meet. All they can do is hurl fiats and fatwas at each other.