[%] Right note, wrong song

So with blogger having rickets today, I have been blog-reading rather than blog-writing, and I stumbled onto this piece from Malkin called "A Manifesto Against Islamism".

All things being equal, you have to give the nod to statements like
Like all totalitarianisms, Islamism is nurtured by fears and frustrations. The hate preachers bet on these feelings in order to form battalions destined to impose a liberticidal and unegalitarian world. But we clearly and firmly state: nothing, not even despair, justifies the choice of obscurantism, totalitarianism and hatred. Islamism is a reactionary ideology which kills equality, freedom and secularism wherever it is present. Its success can only lead to a world of domination: man's domination of woman, the Islamists' domination of all the others. To counter this, we must assure universal rights to oppressed or discriminated people.
Very Federation of Planets, wouldn't you say? I also liked the next part, which tries hard to be very 21st Century Continental Congress:
We reject cultural relativism, which consists in accepting that men and women of Muslim culture should be deprived of the right to equality, freedom and secular values in the name of respect for cultures and traditions. We refuse to renounce our critical spirit out of fear of being accused of "Islamophobia", an unfortunate concept which confuses criticism of Islam as a religion with stigmatisation of its believers.
There's some creepy pomoisms in there, but if that's all there was to this document, who'd not sign it?

The problem is that it is all prefaced by this lovely preamble:
We, writers, journalists, intellectuals, call for resistance to religious totalitarianism and for the promotion of freedom, equal opportunity and secular values for all.

The recent events, which occurred after the publication of drawings of Muhammed in European newspapers, have revealed the necessity of the struggle for these universal values. This struggle will not be won by arms, but in the ideological field. It is not a clash of civilisations nor an antagonism of West and East that we are witnessing, but a global struggle that confronts democrats and theocrats.
Before we opine on the emphasized text, let's remember something here: Malkin doesn't claim to be a God-blogger. So whatever we think about her excitement about this Danish manifesto, let's not try to impose on her the same kind of concern we'd have if Hewitt or someone else (LaShawn Barber and Challies would not have these kinds of problems; they are, to my knowledge, sound thinkers when it comes to worldview issues) who claims to be an advocate for faith in the blogosphere was getting out the pom-poms for this call to arms.

That said, Malkin wants the NY Times to publish and endorse this manifesto. Frankly, I don't see any reason why NYT shouldn't as they don't really have a dog in the fight I am about to outline here, but should you and I – the Christians who are bloggers – sign up for this manifesto and not ask any questions?

My first gripe about this document is the underlined words, above. The values this document is extolling – equality and freedom, anyway – are not "secular" values. At least, not as they have been developed and turned into law in the West. And more concerning is the value of "secularism", by which I have no idea what is meant, and of which I have deep concerns as it relates to the matter of "freedom" and "equality".

But even if we don't get too worked up about those head-fakes against the Islamist radical agenda, we have the problem that these folks think that this is not a clash of civilizations. Listen: civilization is not marked off by geopolitical boundaries or race. "Civilization" is marked off by things like civil rights, protection under the law, right to property, and intellectual freedom. It's marked off by the ability to disagree without having to burn down each others' embassies. It's marked off by methods of social, economic and political commerce.

If these values we are talking about here are truly "secular" and "universal", why, exactly, do the Islamists fear and loath them? And why particularly are they absent in purely secular societies like Cuba, China, and the old Soviet Union? "Universal" means "as seen everywhere" – but certainly, these values are not seen everywhere. Where they were developed, implemented, worked out and still function best is in Christian societies where the Gospel is preached and practiced.

"But cent, you evangelical cretin," comes the heckler from the God-free zone, "You can't possibly mean to say that the United States is currently a 'Christian society', can you? Doesn't that militate exactly against the raison d'etre for your blog?"

If that's what I was saying, it would, in fact, militate against the raison d'etre for this blog – and I'll thank you for not using that kind of language around here. The reason why this kind of manifesto is so dangerous in the West today – and particularly in the U.S. today – is that the very weak social connection we have to the foundations of our culture puts us in jeopardy of trading away our culture and our civilization. Our freedoms today hang on by rote, not by logical necessity. If we did not have constitutional philosophy forged in large part by Christian notions of justice and liberty, we would not have even the few freedoms we have left.

Because our civilization in fact has become secularized, we are in danger of losing it because our civilization was not founded to be secular at all.

Let's not accidentally paint the history of Christian idealism in the West as an ivory tower, OK? Christian idealism has lead to some anti-Semitism; it has lead to some oppression of minority groups, ideologically and racially; it has lead to some political land-grabbing. But it has also lead to the idea that men are equal before God, and therefore equal before the law; it has lead to the idea that law should be an extension of God's will for man – and the "God" there is not Allah but the God who raised Jesus from the dead. And it has lead to the idea that man earns justice, but also has an obligation to show mercy because of the mercy demonstrated by Christ.

Let me speak for myself: in opposing Islam, I am not a crusader carrying a white banner with a red cross on it. I have no stake in politically subjugating the Muslim people of any race. I oppose Islam – the Islam which murders innocent people based on the alleged offenses of their countrymen, the Islam which uses "you hate me – shut up!" as an argument in political discourse, the Islam which bombs its own holy sites to foment hatred of its perceived enemies – because it stand opposed to the foundation of our society, and that foundation {even today, when it is on the decline} is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I stand in opposition to Islam with the Gospel – not with a bank account, or a girl on each arm, or a nice car, or even a college education. I stand opposed to Islam with a Gospel of peace with God.

If you want to sign a manifesto, sign that one. Or better yet, live it.