Andy and Jody Fight a Straw Man

… as is the custom with atheists. I wrote that the answer to a diseased spirituality is a healthy one, not the watery mix of Mammon and Hallmark cards that characterizes so much of the West. Jody and Andy, on cue, reply with Straw Man Rebuttal #325: “Maybe I’m misreading something, but what I just read came across as “Secularism is weaker than fanaticism, so let’s replace one fanatical spirituality with another fanatical spirituality – mine.”

To which, of course, the reply is, “Of course you are misreading it. And if you took just a little time to think about that, you’d know it.” But apparently they could not resist the tempation to just burp off rounds rather than think. I did not say that the answer to a fanatical spirituality is more fanaticism. I said the answer to a diseased spirituality (one that, for instance, has absolutely no room for religious liberty) is a healthy spirituality (one that, for instance, can produce a teaching like Dignitatis Humanae, which people tempted to cheap shots and shallow arguments should really familiarize themselves with).

What will never provide a sufficient response to Islam is precisely what Andy and Jody propose, a civilization founded on drinking lattes, reading newspapers and jeering.

Oh, and by the way, bin Laden’s God is not “make believe”. It is atheists who have to argue that 99.9% of the human race is absolutely wrong about the thing that matters to it most. Catholics can and do affirm that other theists have gotten *something* right, however much they have gotten other things wrong. If you took the trouble to find out what the Church teaches before talking about it, you’d know She teaches “841. “‘The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.’[LG 16; cf. NA 3.]” This is hardly an affirmation that the God worshipped by Muslims is “make believe.” Bin Laden’s God is real enough. It’s bin Laden’s idea’s about Him that are screwy.