What is it? Simply this: The modern, secular-environment-weaned man is largely incapable of grasping the devoutly religious mindset.
This is especially true of the atheistic, as the relativistic man is incapable of grasping an absolutist mindset.
To the relativistic liberal, and please forgive the redundancy, situational values reign supreme; that is, until they’re deposed by the next week’s values. Everything is negotiable, and there is nothing worth dying for because there’s nothing larger than themselves, nothing more enduring than this life, nothing transcending taste. And a mentality that truly believes otherwise seems fantastical to them.
Oh, liberals of course know that “religious” people exist. They know that there are individuals who go to church, follow some “antiquated” rituals and vote in ways they don’t like. What they have trouble wrapping their emotion-driven minds around is that some of these people really do believe. I mean really believe.
This leads to miscalculation, whether the subject is the good or the bad, the Catholic Church or the Muslim jihadists. The Hill recently made note of this phenomenon while quoting political scientist Cal Jillson, writing, “While Obama has religious convictions, Jillson said, ‘he doesn’t have a natural feel for the depth of emotion of how some people hold their religious views.’ When Obama pondered the latest contraception decision, Jillson surmised that Obama and his aides may have looked at the polls and said ‘there might be a bit of a flap but we’re good here.’”
I would put it differently, however. Obama doesn’t have a natural feel for the depth of conviction of how some people hold their religious views — because feel is all he has. This is generally the case with relativists, those people who, disconnected from Truth, operate based on emotion. I believe that the President is at best a de facto atheist — if not a closet atheist — who hides his true feelings for reasons of political expediency. Remember that this is a man who was raised by a staunchly atheistic mother, was mentored by Communist Party member Frank Marshall Davis, and chose to thoroughly immerse himself in the Marxist milieu. Of course, given that Obama professes to be a Christian, it’s considered obligatory at this point to issue the disclaimer, “I’m not questioning the man’s faith.”
But I am.
I think it’s completely phony, a façade occasionally erected to deflect criticism. Why, even the “church” he attended when in Chicago, Trinity United, was more about Black Liberation Theology — which is just black-power ideology — than it was about liberation from sin. That, and the fact that Obama needed church street cred, is likely why he attended.
To put liberals’ misjudgment of religious folks in a different way, they think everyone is just as phony as they are. Like children, liberals naturally play pretend. They pretend to be compassionate. They pretend to be tolerant. They pretend to be inclusive. They pretend to be liberal. Sometimes they’re just fooling themselves, sometimes just others, and sometimes both. But they live unexamined, insincere lives.
This brings us, by the way, to Obama’s contraception “concession,” which places the burden of providing artificial birth control and the “morning after” abortifacient pill on health insurance companies so that religious organizations won’t have to pay for them “directly.” Rick Moran at American Thinker summed up this “compromise” very well, writing:
Obama believes he has offered Catholics “an out” regarding their consciences. Liberals make these kind [sic] of compromises all the time, so it is not surprising that the president and his people are a little perplexed at the Catholic Bishops who take a rather less flexible approach to matters of faith.
They just don't get it and they never will.
No, they won’t. You see, since people usually assume that others operate as they do, liberals naturally figure that religious feelings are just that: feelings. They don’t understand the Bible story about the Jews who would sooner face martyrdom than submit to the Roman demand that they eat pork. They don’t understand that the Catholic prohibition against artificial birth control is what’s known as “definitive” teaching; it is part of the moral law and thus not negotiable. They don’t understand that, like Peter being crucified upside down, there are people willing to die for what they believe.
There are also people willing to kill for what they believe, and this brings us to the Muslim jihadists. It also brings us to the fact that others are not immune to what afflicts liberals; the reality is that the modern man generally has trouble grasping true piety, and virtually all people find alien mindsets a mystery. This is why we heard Ron Paul, who certainly is no liberal, claim that we could deal with a nuclear Iran the way we did the nuclear Soviets. You cannot, however, equate a Muslim fundamentalist regime with an atheistic communist one. Sure, both types are darn good at killing others, and both would be willing to blow up an enemy. But only one is willing to blow itself up in the process. On one side you have apocalyptic people who believe that Paradise can be theirs if they incinerate a billion infidels for the glory of Allah; on the other you have people who believe that this world is all there is and, therefore, want to stay in it for as long as possible.
Then there was man of faith George Bush and his advisors. They forged on ahead “nation building” in medieval-mindset Islamic cultures, as if a Western constitutional republic was one-size-fits-all, as if the only differences between Dar al-Islam and Christendom are food and dress and language. Just as the moderns of 1915 called WWI “the war to end all wars,” they thought they had the political system to end all wars.
At least part of the blame for this can be placed on political correctness. As military analyst Ralph Peters put it while offering some sage counsel on knowing thy enemy in his piece, “TALIBAN FROM OUTER SPACE”:
Oh, the strange-minded aliens in question resemble us physically. We share a few common needs: We and the aliens are oxygen breathers who require food and water at frequent intervals. Our body casings feel heat or cold. We're divided into two sexes (more or less). And we're mortal.
But that's about where the similarities end, analytically speaking.
In my years as an intelligence officer, I saw colleagues make the same blunder over and over: They rushed to stress the ways in which the Russians, the Chinese or the Iranians were “just like us.” It's the differences that kill you, though.
That’s why other peoples have sometimes been called “alien cultures.” As for group differences, let’s hope that the bad ones beyond our borders don’t end up killing us — and that the good ones within them do help kill Barack Obama’s reelection chances.