List all the things which radical Islamists loath to the point of stoning: homosexuality, liberated women, democracy, freedom of expression, unbelievers, lenient sentencing… You fill in the blanks.
List all the things Western progressives love: homosexual rights, women’s liberation, democracy, freedom of expression, sneering at faith, the slapping of wrists… You fill in the blanks.
List all the things progressives loath to the point of silencing: fundamentalist faith, patriarchy, subjugation of women, suppression of minorities, capital punishment, intolerance… You fill in the blanks.
List all the things radical Islamists love… Never mind, you get the picture.
Yet whom do we find apologising for Islamists and opening the doors of Western culture to them but progressives. Do they never ask: When Islam comes to power in Europe who will be the first to be persecuted? The answer is obvious, Western progressives.
It has happened before. Think of the major revolution of the 20th Century. In the early USSR there were two groups who immediately felt the lash, Christians, and what might best be termed the soft Left.
Christians were an obvious target, as the state religion and established faith they were an integral part of the Tsarist regime. Erastian Christians always ride high, and just as inevitably fall low when their horse falters. Every morning on awakening anyone who supports an established Church should say three times “Beechers Brook.”
The soft Left who had supported the revolution were dispatched easily. Literally so in the case of internal opposition to the communists; progressives soon found themselves standing against a wall wondering if they would get a last cigarette. Their crime was that they might weaken the revolution from within.
Externally Western progressives were willingly, even eagerly, gullible. Those whom Lenin termed “useful idiots” actually wanted to be deceived.
In 1936 when the Stalinist terror was raging and the gulag was overflowing Sydney and Beatrice Webb could write that the previously “downtrodden Russian peasant is gradually acquiring a sense of political freedom.”
During the show trials which condemned innocents by the thousand to unimaginable suffering Berthold Brecht was able to say, “The more innocent they are the more they deserve to die.”
Sartre aggressively supported the atrocities of Stalin. Writing to Camus he said of the gulag, “Like you I find these camps intolerable, but I find equally intolerable the use made of them by the bourgeois press.” Thus the icon of the intellectual progressive equated the deliberate and systematic slaughter of millions with a passing headline in the Daily Mail.
Radical Islam is an ideology just as revolutionary, just as determined to overthrow the prevailing culture, just as willing to pay any price to destroy that culture as the Bolsheviks were.
There is much about prevailing Western, post-Christian culture we should reject utterly; there is a triviality in the media which is demeaning to humanity, there is an abandonment of lasting moral standards which is dangerous to our future, and there is a materialism which is destructive of any lasting value. Yet that which would replace it is much more dangerous.
Progressives are so preoccupied with being big boys and girls and rejecting what Daddy says that they cannot see the greater danger. Progressives attack Christian influence in the West and make allowances for those from the East who reject the West. Why do they do this?
Partly cowardice. This is an attitude which most of us share, given the choice most, except in extremity, choose an easy life.
Partly popularity. They can play to an audience of their peers and those gullible enough to emulate them. This is always a temptation from the local bar to the House of Commons.
Mostly childish blindness. Such is their antagonism to that which has made Western culture, given them the freedoms they enjoy and the tools they now use to undermine that culture for cheap laughs or to score debating points, that they can willingly destroy their only safety. As Van Til reminds us an infant has to stand on his father’s lap in order slap him in the face.
Progressives are unable to condemn, or even in some instances to name, the destructive ideology because they share the same aim, the rejection of traditional Western civilisation as we understand it. Vastly differing understandings of reality. Vastly differing methods of practical action. Vastly differing values. But under it all the same aim, the rejection of Christian based culture.