The global campaign against the scourge of secularism continues. As we previously saw how the Chief Rabbi and the former prime minister of England attacked secularism as the threat to Western Civilization. Now, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is adding his voice to this chorus — singling out atheists as responsible for the greatest crimes of the last century.
Daniels’ rather shrill and strained view of history came out in a pre-Christmas interview with NewsChannel 15 at the Governor’s Residence in Indianapolis. Daniels is a Presbyterian and insisted that his life’s purpose is “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” That seems perfectly understandable. However, he then turned to those who have historically threatened mankind: people who do not believe in God.
Here is part of that interview:
Mark Mellinger: You’ve talked about your own personal faith very little. What is the Gospel? What is its primary significance to Mitch Daniels?
Governor Daniels: It’s true. I don’t talk about these things too openly for two reasons.
One is [that] although faith is very central to me, I also take very seriously the responsibility to treat my public duties in a way that keeps separate church and state and respects alternative views.
Secondly, I’ve sometimes referred to it as a Matthew 6 Christian. If you read that chapter, it’s the one that talks about praying in private, not giving your alms in public, not being ostentatious about your faith. And I’ve always liked that notion and thought that was a pretty important instruction.
Mellinger: But theology has to shape your life, right? I mean, the external actions that we see you take, [they’re] driven by what’s inside. Isn’t it all a result of your theology?
Daniels: I hope it is; hope it is, except we all fall short of that.
To me, the core of the Christian faith is humility, which starts with recognizing that you’re as fallen as anyone else. And we’re all constantly trying to get better, but… so I’m sure I come up short on way too many occasions.
Our country was founded -this is just an historic fact; some people today may resist this notion but it is absolutely true- it was founded by people of faith. It was founded on principles of faith. The whole idea of equality of men and women [and] of the races all springs from the notion that we’re all children of a just God. It is very important to at least my notion of what America’s about and should be about and I hope it’s reflected most of the time in the choices that we make personally.
Mellinger: Is there part of you that is bothered by the aggressive atheism of a [Sam] Harris, a [Christopher] Hitchens, a [Richard] Dawkins? And what I mean is… this atheism is a little different than atheism has been in the past because it does seek to convert people.
Daniels: I’m not sure it’s all that new. People who reject the idea of a God -who think that we’re just accidental protoplasm- have always been with us. What bothers me is the implications -which not all such folks have thought through- because really, if we are just accidental, if this life is all there is, if there is no eternal standard of right and wrong, then all that matters is power.
And atheism leads to brutality. All the horrific crimes of the last century were committed by atheists -Stalin and Hitler and Mao and so forth- because it flows very naturally from an idea that there is no judgment and there is nothing other than the brief time we spend on this Earth.
Everyone’s certainly entitled in our country to equal treatment regardless of their opinion. But yes, I think that folks who believe they’ve come to that opinion ought to think very carefully, first of all, about how different it is from the American tradition; how it leads to a very different set of outcomes in the real world.
“Atheism leads to brutality.” That is certainly the case with all those atheists who force nine-year-old to marry, carry out female circumcision, invade nations to convert them, bomb market places, and hang people for blasphemy . . . wait, those are the faithful. Well, as Blair insists, consider Hitler. He wrote:
This human world of ours would be inconceivable without the practical existence of a religious belief. The great masses of a nation are not composed of philosophers. For the masses of the people, especially faith is absolutely the only basis of a moral outlook on life. The various substitutes that have been offered have not shown any results that might warrant us in thinking that they might usefully replace the existing denominations. …There may be a few hundreds of thousands of superior men who can live wisely and intelligently without depending on the general standards that prevail in everyday life, but the millions of others cannot do so.
- Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 10
By helping to lift the human being above the level of mere animal existence, Faith really contributes to consolidate and safeguard its own existence. Taking humanity as it exists to-day and taking into consideration the fact that the religious beliefs which it generally holds and which have been consolidated through our education, so that they serve as moral standards in practical life, if we should now abolish religious teaching and not replace it by anything of equal value the result would be that the foundations of human existence would be seriously shaken.
- Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 2 Chapter 1
Hitler was actually baptized as Roman Catholic, attended a monastery school, was an altar boy and claimed to be a “soldier of Christ.” There is a debate over his view of religion when he died, but Hitler actually encouraged faith among his soldiers and citizens in his twisted view of the world. He also wrote “I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.” (Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 2).
Among the Daniels’ “so forth” with Mao and Stalin, he obviously must omit Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin, Augusto Pinochet and others from last few decades. He also must omit those crusader massacres, Northern Ireland terrorists, and every other killing spree for God. He also must omit the war crimes committed by his party’s own George W. Bush who was fed Biblical passages by underlings who want to invade the Muslim world, here.
What threatens this planet is not secularism or religion, but people like Daniels who curry favor of some by demonizing others in the name of faith. It is fanaticism that links the great crimes in history.
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