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09 October 2002

Again, I'm being lazy and just reposting some material I'd put up in the comments section of another blog.

In response to someone who signed off as a "Liberal Pro-War Feminist," I posted:

I'm a gay libertarian secular humanist with Muslims (by conversion) in my extended family, and I'm pro-war and utterly disgusted by theocratic Islamists, so all I can add to your comments is "Ditto!"

Well, okay, I'll add one other thing. I think that Jerry Falwell is a cretin with the moral-reasoning abilities of a toddler. I have zero interest in his infantile fantasies of Christian triumphalism on the battlefield of Armageddon. (Likewise for the fantasies of Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel, by the way.) Yet I think that his criticism of Muhammad was essentially correct, and I can tolerate him as an ally because I know that his religious bigotry is substantially tempered by an American live-and-let-live mindset. There are the Reconstructionist Christians who dream about imposing theocracy in the U.S., but they are an anomalous fringe even within the fundamentalist subset of U.S. Christendom. So I can make an uneasy ad hoc alliance with people like Falwell on the issue of opposing theofacism in the Islamic world, where it is decidedly not on the fringes.

Okay, yet one more thing. I would refer everyone to this comment by a Western convert to liberal Sufi Islam:

The intellectual -- and thereby the rational -- foundation of Islam results in the average Muslim having a curious tendency to believe that non-Muslims either know that Islam is the truth and reject it out of pure obstinacy, or else are simply ignorant of it and can be converted by elementary explanations; that anyone should be able to oppose Islam with a good conscience quite exceeds the Muslims’ power of imagination, precisely because Islam coincides in his mind with the irresistible logic of things

For "Islam" one could of course substitute in "fundamentalist Christianity," "knee-jerk leftism," "screechy gay advocacy," and what have you. The world would be a more civil place if everyone would embrace the initial assumption that one's ideological opponents are intelligent people of good character who've made honest errors in their thinking.

posted by Throbert | 10/09/2002 02:57:00 PM |
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