They Have Islamist Fanatics, We Have Secularist Fanatics


The Muslim world is threatened by religious fanaticism. The Western world is threatened by secular fanaticism.

Both seek to dominate society and to use state power to do so. Both seek to eliminate the Other -- for Islamic fanatics, that means non-Muslim religions and secularism; for secular fanatics, it means Christianity and virtually any public invoking of God. The Islamists impose Sharia law; the American Civil Liberties Union and the left generally impose secular law. The Taliban wiped out public vestiges of Buddhism in Afghanistan; the ACLU and its allies seek to wipe out public vestiges of Christianity in America -- as it did, for example, in Los Angeles County, when it successfully pressured the County Board of Supervisors to remove the tiny cross from the county seal. A city and county founded by Catholics -- hence the name "The Angels" -- was forced to stop commemorating its founders because they were religious.

This fanaticism has been on display most recently in the state of Rhode Island. This past Christmas, the governor, Lincoln Chafee, renamed the state Christmas tree a "holiday tree." Though Christmas is a national holiday, for the secular fanatic, anything Christian -- or, as we shall see, anything that relates to religion or God -- must be banned from public life.

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