Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Lets Leave The Nazis Out Of It

Is it fair to cite Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia or Maoist China as examples of secularism gone mad- as people do when they're debating the merits of secularism v religion?

I don't think it is. Those states are weird. Aberrations. And they all belong to a very brief period of history. The last of them- North Korea- is decaying as we speak. They may be atheistical- which isn't the same a secular- but they look very much like nations in the grip of religion. Or- even more- nations that are being run as religions. All those parades, the ideology, the heresy hunts, the one true Book, the cult of the leader. That's not secularism as I understand it.
The secular mind is as unimpressed by the God-king Mao as it is by the God-king Jesus. The secular mind has seen through all of that.
Secularism is about keeping religion well away from politics. No Bible, but no Little Red Book or Mein Kampf either. The secular mind has been inoculated against all kinds of mystical and cultic power play.
The great dictatorships of the 20th century aren't religious states, but they aren't secular ones either. Lets put them to one side.
You want  to highlight the evils of secularism? Then lets talk about modern Russia, or modern Italy or Saddam Hussein's Iraq (though that's borderline). And those of us who want to highlight the evils of theocracy will talk about Iran or Pakistan or Ireland as it was before the Church's power was broken by the child sex scandals.   
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