Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Immanentizing Evil to Religion and Creating a Secondary Ideology Against the Venom
One thing I keep thinking about is the kind of constellation of thought that keeps cropping up out there that suggests that religion is the root of all evil and that people need to be proactive and ruthless in rooting it out of the human psyche. On the one hand I see this lining up with the description of self-deception T.S. Eliot aptly and wryly gave. How convenient, he muses in one passage, to find all evil embodied in another group. There is nothing like it to put a spring in your step. But it is self-deceptive and Christians should not partake of it. But when faced with others bigotry, when they begin to regard what you stand for as the embodiment of evil, there is a temptation to counter with the same. And who knows what group started the cycle. Against the blind venom of ideological rigidity, one is tempted to form a “secondary ideology”, a defensive and despising militancy. But this is the great test of the Christian faith. Will we love our enemies as Christ loved us when we were His enemies (and as He does when we act like His enemies)? (Some seem to think the test is whether we hate ourselves for the sake of our enemies until well, Christ gets the shaft, and we rage with the nations against the Son of God).