When the fanatics of Palestine won that victory, and when Judaism repudiated Athens for Jerusalem, the development of the whole of humanity was terribly retarded.Oy vey, not only was it rough on Jews, all of humanity suffered. If only we could replay the historical tape. Hey, I've got an idea...This is a sentence and thought worthy of Julius Steicher and it is sad to see how Roger's decent, casual agnosticism can arouse him to no more than a "Hey, lighten up Hitch, everybody loves a good party" retort. It seems the era of civil tolerance and respect for the faiths of others, born in the ashes of Berlin, is over. Today, as long as one is careful to make it clear one hates all relgions equally, one can say the most scurrilous, contemptuous, hate-mongering things and be held up as a champion of reason and something called the Enlightenment.The display of the menorah at this season, however, has a precise meaning and is an explicit celebration of the original victory of bloody-minded faith over enlightenment and reason. As such it is a direct negation of the First Amendment and it is time for the secularists and the civil libertarians to find the courage to say so.And perhaps it is time for the religious to take these and other such words at face value. So far, it seems only Dinesh D'Sousa is trying to take these guys on on their own turf. Perhaps having non-American roots, he sees much more clearly exactly what is going on and what it could mean. Everybody else thinks they are in a never-ending undergraduate seminar that has nothing to do with anything going on outside. BTW, Frank, it is interesting to note how the new angry (enraged?)atheism and its attendant contempt for the plinths of Westen civilization is going hand-in-hand with a renewed glorification of ancient Greece and Rome. Gibbon is reborn! One could easily be left with the impression the ancient Greeks did nothing more than carve mean statues and discuss philosophy and geometry all day long in the town square. The slavery, pantheism, virtual domestic imprisonment of women, pederastry and penchant for slaughter and pillage as of natural right were just little bad habits and easily severable from the core. Not at all like that menacing menorah.
Yes, Peter, one must never forget every least crime committed in the name of Christ, but one can blithely overlook the peccadilloes of paganism. Awhile back I reviewed Burton Raffel's Pure Pagan:Seven Centuries of Greek Poems and Fragments. It gives you a pretty good peek at the rather grim outlook that actually prevailed among the pagan Greeks and Romans. No Nietzschean delight in evidence.