Two articles against Christianity: George Monbiot kicks off a debate by asking whether better off without God, since the stronger the faith, the stronger the function. Meanwhile, Johann Hari launches a timely Global War for the soul of Catholicism, after seeing how the church hinders the sex-education of vulnerable children. I’ve been thinking about these for a couple of weeks ago, until yesterday when I read a couple of letters in The Independent asserting that the problem with all religion is an inherent lack of tolerance.
last night I remembered Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s homily, at the funeral of Pope John Paul II.
Today, having a clear faith based on the Creed of the Church is often labeled as fundamentalism. Whereas relativism, that is, letting oneself be “tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine”, seems the only attitude that can cope with modern times. We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desires. We, however, have a different goal: the Son of God, the true man.
Joseph has a point, but I’m with the relativists. While losing God and your moral anchor might mean a descent into egomania and decadence, this is by no means certain, and (more importantly) it is also not true for most people worldwide! Conversely, the dogma that the soon-to-be Pope advocates must entail a dictatorship, in order for it to work. And the worst kind of dictatorship too – one that is unchanging, static, and thus cannot be reasoned with.
Now we live in this “global village”, we cannot help but be exposed and changed by the other people, the other cultures, with whom we come into contact. Multiculturalism is about relativism: modifying your culture and ethics according to the new things you find in the world.
Its probably a bit late to be complaining about this six months after the fact, especially as these lines were a sure fire election winner for the Cardinal. However, its worth remembering in light of the articles by Hari and Monbiot, because together the true nature of the global war becomes clear: It is Religion versus Relativism. The fundamentalists are my enemy, and they come from both the East and the West.