Tuesday, January 24, 2006

"Bad faith worrying ...

... about real faith." Today's must read is Frank Furedi's The curious rise of anti-religious hysteria. "In previous times, such contempt for people was the trademark of the authoritarian right. In today's 'inclusive' society, it is okay to denigrate sections of the electorate as simpletons if they are still gripped by the power of faith."
A good measure of vincible ignorance figures in this. Take, for instance, Alsion Lurie's commentary on Narnia in the New York Review of Books: The Passion of C.S. Lewis.
Lurie shows how well-informed she is theologically by referring to "the death and rebirth of Christ." Christians call it the Resurrection. Toward the end, she opines: "It is no surprise that conservative Christians admire these books. They teach us to accept authority.... This is, of course, the kind of mindset ... that makes people vote against their own economic and social interests ..." This latter assertion, of course, is based on unacknowledged acceptance of the authority of Thomas Frank and his book What's the Matter With Kansas?
What Lurie's rather pedestrian essay demonstrates is that she hasn't a clue as to what actually takes place in the minds of intelligent and informed believers. She probably doesn't believe that such creatures actually exist.


  1. But that's because you haven't got the overheated emails I have from atheists trying to convert me. No arguing with them, I can assure you. Moreover, Furedi himself is, as he points out, a secular humanist. His piece is long, but, as I suggested, well-worth reading.

  2. I never fail to be dismayed at how matter of factly so many of the would-be intelligentsia dismiss people of the Christian faith as being naive, close-minded and just plain stupid.

    Of course, if one adopts a more esoteric faith that has the aura of hip surrounding it (say Kabbalah or Sufi mysticism)...well, then the believer is just plain cool.

  3. Yes, David, I feel the same way, especially when I'm reading, say, Gabriel Marcel or Nikolai Berdyaev or Dostoyevsky -- believers all, and pretty sharp cookies to boot.

  4. I understand just what your talking about Frank. I'm a 'born again' Christian so we really get it!

    Melville, the anti-religious hysteria isn't phantom. As long as you talk about God, your okay and I'm okay, because even Muslims believe in God.

    It's when you talk about Jesus, that's where anti-religiousness rears its ugly head!