Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Vox Day on the secular war on Christmas

Internet Superintelligence Vox Day has a superb post on the war on Christianity:

Merry Christmas
On this Christmas Eve, one of the great unreported stories throughout what we used to call Christendom is the persecution of Christians around the world. In Egypt, the “Arab Spring” is going so swimmingly that Copts are already fleeing Egypt and, for those Christians that remain, Midnight Mass has to be held in the daylight for security reasons. In Iraq, midnight services have been canceled entirely for fear of bloodshed, part of the remorseless de-Christianizing that has been going on, quite shamefully, under an American imperium.
- Mark Steyn, Silent Night, December 24, 2011

The secular War on Christmas throughout the West presently serves as a lightweight bookend for the religious War on Christians throughout Northern Africa and the Middle East. In the West, the persecution is still petty, tentative, and small-minded, elsewhere, it is purposeful, murderous and systematic. One cannot equate the banning of Merry Christmas wishes by elected politicians to the banning of Christians from holding elected office, or pretend that atheists co-opting public parks in order to promote nasty anti-holiday messages is the equivalent of violent attacks on Christian church celebrants.

But if the actions are different, the motivations stem from the same source, which is the desire to eliminate Christianity from the world. This is not a new desire; it was already hundreds of years old when the Emperor Diocletian issued the first of his four “Edicts against the Christians” in the year 303. Like the Western anti-Christians, Diocletian did not initially intend for there to be any bloodshed, but hoped that political and legal pressure would be sufficient to cause Christians to apostatize, but his hopes were dashed by the stalwart faith of the empire's Christians. His fourth Edict, therefore, demanded summary execution of all men, women, and children who were unwilling to offer sacrifice to any of the pagan gods.

Secular culture is no more intrinsically tolerant than Diocletian. Those who consciously adhere to “secular values” understand that they are fundamentally different than, and inherently opposed to, Christian values. While far too many Christians and non-Christians alike believe that it is still possible to arrange society in such a manner that secular values are given primacy in the public while still respecting Christian values in private, both ancient and recent history indicate otherwise. This is particularly true in any society with an activist government that uses fiscal policy and administrative law as tools for social engineering.

Many of the accomplishments of Christendom are being unwound, often by the unworthy heirs of Christendom itself. The increasingly secular British people bitterly complain about the continental subjugation of their once-independent isle even as they simultaneously continue to support the societal secularization that made that subjugation possible. Slaves are being bought and sold in numbers that have not been seen since William Wilberforce led the evangelical charge against the slave trade. As the concepts of individual rights and human liberty arose under Christendom, it is both logically and empirically apparent that they will decline in tandem with the decline of Christianity across the West.

And yet, Christians need have no fear for the future of their faith in the coming years. The Church has survived every persecution, every attempt to stamp it out for nearly two thousand years. It will survive the current secular assault just as it survived the historical Soviet assault. Kim Jong-Il is dead, while the Christians struggling to survive in the concentration camps he established throughout North Korea have not only outlived him, but celebrate the birth of their Lord and Savior today. We pray that their faith will be rewarded and their suffering will be eased; may they pray that our faith will survive our wealth and comfort.

The Truth is. It does not depend upon one man, or seven billion men, women, and children, acknowledging that Jesus Christ is Lord. All the powers and principalities of the world will exert their fury in vain, all the Gates of Hell will announce their lethal edicts to no avail, as they have already been defeated by the birth of the boy child who is called King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Merry Christmas, and may God bless us all, every one.

Hatred of Christianity and the passion to eradicate it is 2000 years old, and will never end. Christianity is a denial of the claims of the world, and obedience to the Source of the world. We will worship no pagan gods, not Baal nor  Mithras nor materialist science nor prosperity nor ourselves. Our allegiance is to Jesus Christ.

Forces as diverse and passionate as the Roman Empire and the Caliphate and the Cult of Reason and the Politburo and the Freedom From Religion Foundation have tried to eliminate us, and all have failed. All will fail.

Christ's body lives, and flourishes, despite two thousand years of organized hate flung against us.


  1. What a sad slobbering psychiatric case you have become, Egnor. Go seek some help before you hurt yourself or people around you.

  2. Declaration of values from the Council of Secular Humanism - those evil, Christian-hating fanatics:

    - A conviction that dogmas, ideologies and traditions, whether religious, political or social, must be weighed and tested by each individual and not simply accepted on faith.

    - Commitment to the use of critical reason, factual evidence, and scientific methods of inquiry, rather than faith and mysticism, in seeking solutions to human problems and answers to important human questions.

    - A primary concern with fulfillment, growth, and creativity for both the individual and humankind in general.

    - A constant search for objective truth, with the understanding that new knowledge and experience constantly alter our imperfect perception of it.

    - A concern for this life and a commitment to making it meaningful through better understanding of ourselves, our history, our intellectual and artistic achievements, and the outlooks of those who differ from us.

    - A search for viable individual, social and political principles of ethical conduct, judging them on their ability to enhance human well-being and individual responsibility.

    - A conviction that with reason, an open marketplace of ideas, good will, and tolerance, progress can be made in building a better world for ourselves and our children.

    Anyone following such vicious and violent principles make Islamic terror bombers seem tame by comparison, no?

    Sarcasm aside - Michael, the only explanation for your daily spleen-venting against atheists can only be motivated by fear and your inability resolve the conflicts between your faith and your reason. Methinks the doctor doth protest too much.

  3. @RickK - the problem with secular values is that they need to have some authority behind them. I've never heard of the Council of Secular Humanism and I'll bet none of my friends or coworkers have, either.

    In a totally secular world, why would you think those values would win out over other secular values - values like family over clan, clan over race, race over everything else? Or how about the values of the Mafia? They have a code of ethics as well and authority, too.

  4. K T Cat - you can't convey authority by making one up. Well, you can - but an honest person must realize what is happening.

    Secular people establish cultures and institutions and invest them with authority. The United States government is a secular organization invested with authority through the consent of the American people.

    Religious people invent deities and use them as the excuse, but they too invest institutions with authority. The authority doesn't come from the gods, it comes from the people who invented the gods.

    There are communities in the United States who claim that their god gives them the right to mutilate the genetalia of young girls. There are communities where people are treated with respect because they fall to the ground muttering gibberish in church. There are communties where divine revelation gives the men the authority to take multiple wives, to have sex with minors who are barely out of puberty, and to give women from one man to another like so much property. A thousand years ago slavery was a completely acceptable component of most Christian communities. At the same time in other parts of the world people were sacrificing human lives to meet the demands of gods. The Old Testament is chock full of examples of the God of the Jews (a human-invented amalgam of earlier gods) murdering the people he supposedly created, or condoning/encouraging others in committing murder. So even within what people now consider Christianity, "god" has changed to meet the demands of changing society.

    All of these are examples of human systems of morality, and ALL of them supported by the gods invented by those humans. To say that religion conveys some moral absolute is to ignore history and to ignore the diversity of divinely-sanctioned behavior today.

    I'm simply doing what you do - determining a moral system I and my family wish to live within. But I'm dispensing with the mythology of a loving-god-who-also-created-hell as a magical enforcer.

    Perhaps your friends/family/community cannot behave in a productive, cooperative, "moral" manner without the threat of divine punishment or the inducement of divine reward. But for me and my family and my friends, the rewards of a harmonious and social life are enough to keep us from sinking into barbarism.

  5. Secular people establish cultures and institutions and invest them with authority.

    You mean they make them up.

  6. @RickK
    ...the God of the Jews (a human-invented amalgam of earlier gods)...

    I don't think that's true, that's not what Genesis says anyway.

  7. "I don't think that's true, that's not what Genesis says anyway."

    Ah, but see - there are other books in the world.

    May I suggest Robert Wright's "The Evolution of God".

  8. K T Cat responded to my lengthy and thoughtful response to her post with:

    "Secular people establish cultures and institutions and invest them with authority.
    You mean they make them up."

    Yes, we create governments. But we never claim the governments are divine, and that the governments created humanity, or that the governments are absolute and unchanging truth.

    Do you understand the difference between a government and a religion?

  9. @RickK
    May I suggest Robert Wright's "The Evolution of God".

    I read (part of) that book, and I don't think it's true either. Evolutionary psychology is like astrology, in my book anyway.

    BTW, there are lots of books about God bashing, but, as you said, there are other books in the world, thank God!

  10. "I read (part of) that book, and I don't think it's true either. "

    So you didn't read the parts that trace the origin of the Jewish god from its earlier ancestors? You didn't read the part about the blending of Jewish and Canaanite an Israelite gods? You didn't read the part about how a Psalm 29 was written originally to Baal, not to Yahweh? You didn't read the bibliography? You didn't bother to look at any of the underlying research or trace any of the references?

    So on what basis can you possibly determine it's not true?

  11. I read about half of the book, but not the first half. First, I have to say that Robert Wright has a marvelous prose and is an outstanding writer. But while reading the book I found a lot of misconceptions, wrong interpretations, half-truths or blatant lies and that made me skip to the next chapter. I did the same with Dawkins’ The God Delusion. Here again we have a brilliant writer but a text full of errors.

    As an example, in the chapter The Invention (sic) of Christianity, Wright says “the less sense a claim makes the more likely it is to be true” (re-sic) and then he goes on to describe the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ as Act 1 & 2 of a play (re-re-sic).

    You said they were other books in the world and, in turn, I would suggest to you books from C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity), William Lane Craig (On Guard) or John C. Lennox (God's Undertaker). On a more technical side, I highly recommend The Programming of Life by Donald E. Johnson.

  12. I met a traveller from an antique land
    Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desart. Near them, on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
    And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.