Skip to comments."ROBERT REICH'S RHETORICAL RUBBISH" (he foresees war between "science" and people of "Scripture")
Posted on 07/20/2004 8:11:40 PM PDT by churchillbuff
ROBERT REICH'S RHETORICAL RUBBISH
By David W. Virtue
Bill Clinton's former Labor Secretary Robert Reich predicts there will be a religious war in America.
Writing for the liberal magazine The American Prospect, former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich calls for a war against conservative (read Evangelical) religious believers. "The great conflict of the 21st century will not be between the West and terrorism. Terrorism is a tactic, not a belief," he writes.
"The true battle will be between modern civilization and anti-modernists; between those who believe in the primacy of the individual and those who believe that human beings owe their allegiance and identity to a higher authority; between those who give priority to life in this world and those who believe that human life is mere preparation for an existence beyond life; between those who believe in science, reason, and logic and those who believe that truth is revealed through Scripture and religious dogma. Terrorism will disrupt and destroy lives. But terrorism itself is not the greatest danger we face."
Reich has been calling foror at least predictingthis war for a long time. In the past, his use of war language has seemed rhetorical and metaphoric, but now it seems we should take him literally if not seriously.
Mr. Reich has it all wrong.
There is indeed a serious culture war going on in America, a culture war that was started by those dissenting from absolute moral norms that have been the staple of Western Civilization for more than 2,000 years. Our understanding of the family, marriage, law, what is right and wrong have been shaped by the West's reading of the Bible, its understanding of the ancient Mosaic texts, reflected further in Jesus' Sermon on the Mount.
It is the abandonment and violation of these laws that has brought about the current culture wars in the West, the infiltration of which has permeated not only society but the historic mainline Christian churches as well.
Mr. Reich says that the outcome of the 2004 presidential election will depend partly on what happens between now and Election Day in Iraq and to the U.S. economy. "It will also turn on the religious warsfueled by evangelical Protestants, the ground troops of the Republican Party," he wrote in December.
It is apparent Mr. Reich doesn't know very much about Evangelicals in America. Evangelicals are not an homogenous group; they are as diverse as any group could be. Jerry Falwell (a Republican) calls himself an Evangelical and so does Jimmy Carter (a Democrat). In fact Carter gave cache to the term "born again" when he became president. Billy Graham is an Evangelical and so is Dr. C. FitzSimons Allison a retired Episcopal Bishop.
Furthermore there is a whole history of left wing Evangelicalism in America found in such persons as Jim Wallis of Sojourners magazine, Dr. Tony Campolo, a former professor at Eastern University and chaplain to Clinton, and Dr. Ron Sider who heads Evangelicals for Social Action. They are all left of center Evangelicals and you can be assured they will vote for the Democratic Party in November. There is of course, a right wing Evangelicalism in America that will, of course, vote for George W. Bush. That is their right.
I also know a dozen religion writers, columnists and editors who would describe themselves as evangelicals but they won't necessarily be voting for George W. Bush in November.
For Mr. Reich to cast "Evangelical Protestants" as the "ground troops of the Republican Party" is just plain nonsense. Millions of Southern Baptists are Democrats. They are not uniformly Republican.
Writes Reich: "Democrats, he says, can hold their own in these warsif they respond vigorously to the coming assault. Democrats should call all this for what it isa clear and present danger to religious liberty in America. For more than three hundred years, the liberal tradition has sought to free people from the tyranny of religious doctrines that would otherwise be imposed on them. Today's evangelical right detests that tradition and seeks nothing short of a state-sponsored religion. But maintaining the separation of church and state is a necessary precondition of liberty. The religious wars aren't pretty. Religious wars never are. But Democrats should mount a firm and clear counter-assault. In the months leading up to Election Day, when Republicans are screaming about God and accusing the Democrats of siding with sexual deviants and baby killers, Democrats should remind Americans that however important religion is to our spiritual lives, there is no room for liberty in a theocracy."
This statement is not only inflammatory it is wrong. Many Evangelicals now believe that THEIR liberties are under assault by the tyranny of liberals and the abandonment of once held cherished beliefs and the Federal Marriage Amendment Act is a case in point. The tyranny of activist homosexualists in this country has reduced everyone to such fear that even to say the behavior is wrong can get you jail time. Just ask a Canadian and a Swedish pastor who are both serving time in jail for saying homosexual behavior can kill you. Will that time come in the US? Religious liberties are under assault in the State of PA where laws are in place to slap anyone in jail who opposes sodomy. The clergy are fighting back.
Mr. Reich says evangelicals want a "state sponsored religion" or a theocracy. That's nonsense. No Evangelical or Evangelical publication that I know of, including Christianity Today, WORLD, Charisma, even Focus on the Family has ever called for a theocracy. All Evangelicals want is the right to call SIN by its name and call people to repentance, and increasingly that option is being taken away from them by the left who are promoting sodomy in schools through GLSEN and demanding laws that proscribe any talk of sodomy as "homophobic" and more.
Furthermore to call Evangelicals "anti-modernists" is arrant nonsense. Evangelicals have been in the forefront of science, business, the environment, foundations, and a care for the poor that makes liberal efforts pale by comparison.
Liberal church organizations have got nothing to compare with movements like the Salvation Army, World Vision Int., Food for the Poor and a whole array of institutions, schools and universities begun by evangelicals including Harvard, Yale, Princeton and more.
Reich talks rubbish about Evangelicals. In the Episcopal Church, for example, Evangelicals have, for more than 40 years backed away from advances made by liberals in theological and moral innovation drawing more lines in the sands than rings around Uranus. Today they stand with their backs to the wall as revisionist bishops beat orthodox rectors into the ground, inhibiting, deposing and taking their parishes from them and more in the name of their "liberal" revisionist god.
The truth is the emerging tyranny is coming from the left not the right. Is opposing gay marriage, abortion and the free exercise of religion in public schools and elsewhere (three issues that Reich specifically mentions) so terribly un-American? Will such opposition promote a revolution?
"Democrats should be clear that the issues of abortion and stem-cell research are about religious liberty," Reich says. If either of these is limited in any way, he suggests, America becomes a theocracy, regardless of whether it officially sponsors a specific religion. And that, the logic necessarily follows, demands a revolution.
And will the Roman Catholic Church which opposes abortion and has told John Kerry in some dioceses that he cannot receive Communion, be part of the coming religious war in America? Reich doesn't say so.
Can Reich really mean what he says, asks Ramesh Ponnuru in National Review Online. "His most recent column is a denunciation as a graver threat than terrorists of people who believe that the world to come is more important than this world, or that all human beings owe their allegiance to God. Many millions of Christians, Jews, Muslims, and other religious believers will reject Reich's witless rhetorical oppositions. One can believe in the political "primacy of the individual," the obligation of all people to answer to God, and the wrongness of any governmental attempt to make them answer to Him, all at the same time. But if our choice is between the primacy of individuals and the primacy of God if, that is, we are to choose between individual human beings and God then the vast majority of traditional religious believers would have to choose God. I certainly would. That would be the case for plenty of believers who are not sure what they think about abortion law, or want a higher minimum wage. All of us, for Reich, are the enemy."
The deeper truth is that if a war is coming it will be between Islam and a morally bankrupt West that Islam sees as weak and therefore vulnerable.
If that is true then Mr. Reich may well be grateful for "Evangelical Protestants" when that time comes, because it will be they who will be the nation's storm-troopers as the West fights for its very soul.
Reich and his ilk obviously don't believe in the primacy of the individual seeing as how they support every group/ethnic/racial/gender preference that comes along.
Robert Reich is a pathetic atheist socialist and his wife a ding bat feminist who left Harvard under a cloud (discrimination yada yada yada) and won a $300,000 lawsuit against them. Then migrated to North Eastern University and set up some kind of feminist think tank with the proceeds.
Well, as a christian and an engineer I guess I best commence to kicking my own @ss.
What a fool Reich is--as if science and belief in God are mutually exclusive.
The writers of the Declaration of Independence saw a "higher authority" as the source of our rights. "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness..." I believe John Locke also cited God as the source of our rights.
You got to love this:
Terrorism is a tactic, not a belief
I think that all terrorist activity is first founded first in belief and later becomes action. You can't separate the two.
You'd think that Reich, who's Jewish if I'm not mistaken, would know better than to incite religious hatred. But I guess some people are too stupid to know that they're reliving their own history, only from the other side. Julius Streicher would be so proud.
Well said, Mr.Virtue.
Reich is a pompus ass. Always was, always will be.
What a silly little man.
He believes in "the primacy of the individual"??? Riiight... don't make me laugh. Individualism is completely at odds with everything this man has espoused for as long as I've seen him speak. Liberalism is all about groups and divisiveness between those groups.
I'm a Christian, and I also like Science. Science doesn't infringe on religion at all. Science "discovers" and names things. That's what the Lord wants us to do. Find things and name them. So... that what we do.
Science is good at explaining how things happen, but it doesn't even pretend to explain *why* things happen. Scripture is pretty good at explaining why things happen, but it doesn't bother with the details of *how* things happen.
I'm OK with that.
Reich's blathering would fit quite well in one of Nietsche's anti-God anti Christian diatribes.
Nietsche helped pave the way for Naziism and Communism. Reich's name certainly fits.
"Democrats should be clear that the issues of abortion and stem-cell research are about religious liberty," Reich says.
I have to agree with him here. Forcing people to subsidize either abortion or fetal tissue research with their tax money is a heinous offense against religious liberty, amounting to state establishment of a religion -- the worship of Moloch.
But that isn't what Bobby means, is it. What kind of twisted insanity infects the Democrat party, that they can persuade themselves that forcing an American, under penalty of law, to subsidize practices his religion considers an abomination is striking a blow for religious liberty?
Would Bobby be okay with a Christian who wanted to force-feed pork to believing Jews or Moslems and call it "striking a blow for religous liberty"? Of course not. But he has no problem with forcing Christians to pay for the murder of innocent kids under penalty of law. He thinks that's a good thing. Sick! Sick! Sick!
Dang. Don't know what to do here. What's an evangelical scientist to do?
I guess I should just shoot myself in this war between religion and science. But which one of me gets the first shot? Any suggestions? Or, maybe I should have a duel with mysef. But how can I take ten paces away from myself before I turn to shoot? Would a mirror work?
Guess I'll just have to wait for guidance from my betters in NY and SF like Mr. Reich.
Similarly, Turd Reich chants "Anyone but God!"
Yup....not only do I agree but for the same reasons
How much terrorism isn't tied to Islamofascism?
There are the Earth First/antiglobalists who burn down things and blow them up (or in the case of the Unabomber, mail bombs). These FAR outnumber the Christians engaging in bombing/burning abortion clinics (how many years since the last of those happened?)
There is the radicalism in Ireland.
When we say "war on terrorism" it essentially is Islam related fanaticism. Korea was listed among the rogue nations but I wouldn't even list them among nations engaging in terrorism (they ARE seeking weapons of mass destruction).
If sexual deviance is okay, then let's do away with age of consent laws, prostitution laws, and what bestiality laws there are (it is not a crime in a number of states and I don't hear the left PUSHING for making it a crime). Anything less and we agree that there can be some moral barriers in society (whether or not they are based in religion).
Abortion is child murder. Doesn't matter if you believe in the existance of God or souls. This does not change the fact that is a baby.
Mentioning that there are sexual deviants and baby killers in society PUSHING their agendas does not make the US in danger of becoming a theocracy. Activist judges FORCING Americans to "accept" these things (unconstitutionally mandating the laws of the land) WILL eventually bring about a backlash that moves the culture war into a civil war.
He is right about a coming war. Too bad for him, his side doesn't get it.
Randog, I am a Christian and an engineer too.
Maybe we should just kick each other's @ss.
When will the Reich's and Ronstants' be denounced as the haters that they are?
Just because someone is born in the South, to Baptist parents and finds herself opposed to the destruction of human life and dignity doesn't mean she's Republican. Of course, she could vote for candidates in favor of abortion, same sex marriage, removal of every Christian and Jewish symbol from the public square, and enforced tax-payer funding of equal food, housing, clothing and medical care - - -
Well, maybe it's not because she believes in an afterlife .....
One ground rule--no cheating by stuffing classified document in your pants for padding! :)
Clare Dalton (Reich's wife), a professor of law at Northeastern University, was an undergraduate at Oxford when she met Robert Reich in 1968. For more than 20 years, the couple has lived in Cambridge, where they raised their sons, Sam and Adam.
Clare earned an LL.M. from Harvard Law School in 1973 and taught there from 1981 until 1988, when Harvard denied her tenure and she joined Northeasterns faculty. At the urging of her students, Dalton founded the law schools domestic violence clinical program in 1990. When Harvard settled the gender discrimination lawsuit she brought against its Law School in 1993, she brought the settlement money to Northeastern and the Domestic Violence Institute was born.
It's too bad that Reich feels the need to write such stuff. I've seen him in TV debates in the past, and he struck me as a nice guy who was wrong on the issues. He and Rush Limbaugh get along well. Obviously he has hang-ups about people of faith. Perhaps he should consider socializing with them on occasion.
Nice biblical names for athiest children eh? I would've guessed "Darwin" and "Mengele".
Doesn't she look alot like Miss Jane Hathaway from the "Beverly HillBillies"? I guess all Libs look alike to me.
Robert Reich is absolutely correct about a war between science and religion as it is happening now. He is wrong about the religion as it will not be Christianity vs. science; the war is between Islam and science. And the war exists because followers of Islam are attempting to impose their beliefs on the political systems of their people and deny them the use of free-will.
Christianity and science have been able to reach accords on matters of controversy involving science equally contentious as those currently existing. Knowledge is neither inherently good or evil, it is the decisions people make exercising free-will with respect to such knowledge that is the concern of Christians. Attempting to influence how others exercise their free-will has always been the principal focus of religion; it has only crossed into the realm of politics with the advent of democratic forms of government.
I got her CV pretty much right. Can you imagine being married to such a loon?
This was my reaction. There seems to be a disconnect between his friendly - if misguided - personna on TV or radio, and the vitriol against Christians and others of faith, in the quoted article.
What Reich fails to understand is that the true enemies of modernity in the West are not to be found in the pews of churches or other places of worship, but in the streets outside WTO and G7 conferences demonstrating against capitalism and technology, and in the humanities departments of most universities. These are the people most hostile to science, and most unthinking in their actions, and worse yet, are given legitimacy by our institutions of media and learning.
Reich is a pompus ass. Always was, always will be.
CW II ping
That's actually true, and a good point. The rest is typical liberalism.
Typical liberal bait and switch BS. And the Left has no respect whatsoever for individual rights. License yes, liberty, no. The real struggle is, and always has been the struggle between those who believe that they have the right to dictate the terms of existence to everyone else and those of us who believe that no such right exists; between those who believe in the rule of men, whim and the mob and those of us who believe in the rule of law; between those who believe in the the state as a granter of privileges and those of us who understand that the concept ofindividual rights is the conerstone of human freedom and dignity.
And finally, it is a struggle between those who seek dominion over every sphere of human thought and endeavor - and DEMAND that we applaud them for it - and those of us who will fight to their deaths to ensure that it never, never happens again.
Ever notice how the "indigenous"-ites and the advocates of European enlightenment ideology, while theoretically at odds, never seem to get mad at each other? They just take turns beating up on the Southern Baptists but one seems to disappear from the picture whenever the other shows up to bait the "Bible-bangers" (kinda like the way the old time heels of professional wrestling never feuded with each other, in spite of the fact that each one claimed to be "the greatest wrestler of all time"). Oh well. Until religious people stop fighting one enemy at a time and start calling attention to this quasi-alliance they will continue to get beaten up. Personally, I'd love to see Fundamentalists force a confrontation between the two wings of the Left. But will they?
And btw, Dr. Reich, the idea that the world is a random meaningless coincidence does not mean that we "should" concentrate on "this world" as opposed to the next. "Random and meaningless" means precisely that. Though the rabid ideological crusades by these self-proclaimed believers in "absolute meaninglessness" seems to cast some doubt on just how strongly they hold that belief. And this number includes not only people on the Left, but people here on FR who seem to think that The Meaningless That Created The World has personally authorized them to do battle with the forces of darkness. After all, it's not like truth or reality carries any moral force or obligation in a world that is merely a gigantic accident.
"...between those who give priority to life in this world and those who believe that human life is mere preparation for an existence beyond life; between those who believe in science, reason, and logic and those who believe that truth is revealed through Scripture and religious dogma."
IOW, World War III...starring the United States of American vs. Radical Islam.
-Myself, Engineer since '97 and Christian since '83.
It's not Christianity vs. Science. It's Christianity vs. Naturalism POSING as Science.
Reich has issues stemming from his damaged sense of self.
Too bad he has never worked through that like others.
Well, as a christian and an engineer I guess I best commence to kicking my own @ss.
You beat me too it. (CW II ping!) Nice job. I've put the list on my home page too, in the event the admins take down Archy's page at some point. I've added one person. Have you added anyone? Maybe we can syncronize them?
Typical militant atheist crap, of rather a low grade, too.
the whole reason vs. revelation thing was dealt with ages ago, and by minds far better than the marxist midget. but, ever eager to take a dig at their perceived enemies, they tar decent believers with the brush of superstition. a rather crude way of saying "hooray for us!", but then, what else could he do?
For him to honestly address the problems of modernity, to realize that there are alternatives to the mechanical/technological world-view, that perhaps human beings are more than constituents, entitlement beneficiaries, or litiants, he would have to first demonstrate some humility. And this, as he has demonstrated time and again, he will not do.
arrogant, smug know-it-all; his type got theirs in the schoolyards of their youth, and wish to take it out on the world as a whole.
Oddly enough, the ones I believe will actually commit to action will, for the most part, not be considered all that "religious." More of the "defend to the death your right to..." sort of thing.
Dang! More of those pesky constitutional rights wacko's, eh lurkers?