05 Jan Andrew Klavan’s Call to Duty
Lost amid the usual year end punditry was this gem from Andrew Klavan, writing in the Wall Street Journal: “Faith That Upholds Humanity—and Liberty”.
When you’re ready to ponder something deeper than the usual political commentary, do take the time to read it. It is profoundly relevant to the challenges facing America and the world today.
Here’s Mr. Klavan’s bottom line read of the Judeo/Christian/Islamic upheaval of today: “…the terrible possibility that humanity is actually at war over the nature of God.”
This is not a topic that can be covered in one or even several blog posts here at “America, Can We Talk?”, nor did Mr. Klavan’s piece purport to give the subject a thorough treatment. But Mr. Klavan has set the table for those future posts in an articulate, high-minded way.
As Mr. Klavan explains, “the intellectual culture of secularism”, and atheism as “the default setting of true reason”, are at the core of America’s drift from moral clarity. If, as he writes, men and women are nothing more than “a cross between a chemistry set and a computer”, the concept of spiritually grounded morals is simply vacuous. In fact, the concept of anything divine is ruled out; it’s only human opinion that matters.
The failure of so many ‘thinking elites’ to understand and appreciate the unmistakably Judeo-Christian theological foundation of the United States of America is also undermining the nation’s ability to recognize and defend against the influence of Islam. That’s largely because thinking elites steeped in the intellectual culture of secularism are impatient and annoyed with any religion, and in their spiritual dullness (or hostility) as to the very idea of God, dismiss all religions as meaningless variations of what Karl Marx labelled “opiates of the masses’.
But as Mr. Klavan suggests, whether we like it or not, Americans and their leaders, and all of mankind, are being called to examine whether all religions are the same; whether all religions really worship the same God; or, even more basic—who or what is God?
More to the point of today: is the society and culture that emerges from the life, teachings and example of Christ Jesus more or less the same as the society and culture that emerges from the life, teachings and example of Mohammed? Is the God of the Bible—or “Nature’s God”, as the Declaration of Independence puts it—the same as Allah of the Koran?
Flashing neon lights of common sense have been warning since long before 9/11 that these two societies and cultures are most assuredly NOT even close to the same, and the differences that emerge are enormously consequential to the flourishing (or destruction) of human freedom. Intelligent readers of both books also know: the God of the Bible is most assuredly not the Allah of the Koran.
Finding and engineering a path for humanity’s peaceful emergence from this conflict is a calling of the times, and it can sometimes seem we don’t have enough Andrew Klavans to understand it, much less achieve it. But avoiding this calling, wishing it would just go away, or an atheistic campaign to ban it from discussion, aren’t going to be options.
Winston Churchill said it this way:
When great causes are on the move in the world, stirring all men’s souls, drawing them from their firesides, casting aside comfort, wealth and the pursuit of happiness in response to impulses at once awe-inspiring and irresistible, we learn we are spirits – not animals.
There is something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty.
Judeo-Christian America in 2017 and beyond needs to rise to the spiritual duty of this era. Thanks to Andrew Klavan for sounding the call–
*Paul Gable is the pseudonym used by the author of the Brushfires of Freedom blog; he has discontinued his blog and will now be posting at “America, Can We Talk?” We are happy to have him as a contributor.