Jason Jones and John Zmirak think liberals are incoherent at best and dangerous at worst. The danger comes from a set of assumptions that liberals make, like these:
Christianity is intrinsically intolerant and dangerous.
Islam is a religion of inclusion and peace.
Women can serve as front-line combat troops for the United States Marines.
Female Islamist refugees can pose no threat to America.
It is healthy and good for most people in the world to identify themselves with their racial or ethnic group.
It is profoundly evil and dangerous for Westerners to do the same.
It is hateful for Americans of European descent to “appropriate” elements of other cultures, for instance by wearing sombreros on Halloween.
It is courageous for a man to identify as a woman, and we must honor “her” identity with access to the Ladies’ Room.
Marriage is a meaningless social construct that was created to oppress women.
This institution is central to human dignity, and must be extended to all manner of relationships.
Eating meat is morally problematic.
Abortion up through the ninth month of pregnancy is an absolute human right.
So much for liberal tolerance. With neighbors like these . . .
But aside from such antipathy to Christians, the liberal’s outlook which is supposed to be reasonable is neither liberal nor rational:
Your secular liberal neighbor’s beliefs are completely incoherent. His mind is a mad scientist’s curiosity shop full of matter and anti-matter, which only avoids imploding into a black hole of gibbering madness because its compartment walls are sturdy, strong, and high. It is full of leftover Christian aspirations and bleakly nihilist assertions, which he mixes and matches according to some standard that seems from the outside quite arbitrary, almost random.
Why would so many people, some of them smarter or better educated than we are, abuse their minds this way? To understand this, we need to make an effort at empathy. We must appreciate the rewards offered by unbelief and unreason.
Believers know the benefits that come with the gift of faith, even on earth. With it, we gain a reliable compass for our actions, a sense that they have meaning even when they seem on the surface to fail, and a solid interpretive grid that makes some sense of the barrage of daily events. Our fears can find reassurance, our sadness consolation, our hopes some chance of fulfillment. We might even find solace in a healthy community of those who share our beliefs. When we strive sincerely to do what is right, we feel some sense of approval from a loving father God, though outside forces and the ill-will of others render our efforts seemingly futile. When our loved ones die, we do not see them as plummeting into a void, but rather as moving forward toward the chance of a happy reward, one in which we hope we might someday join them.
What Jones and Zmirak fail to consider is fallen human nature. If human beings are in rebellion against God, if humans as Paul teaches in Romans suppress the truth even of nature in unrighteousness, and if faith only comes from the supernatural work of God’s Spirit in regenerating a person, then belief is not some sort of intellectual ascendancy to truth, beauty and goodness.
And if human beings since Adam ate the forbidden fruit are dead in their trespasses and sins, then a secular liberals’ antipathy to Christianity and their failure to give an adequate account of the goods they promote is exactly what we would expect of fallen human beings.
I don’t understand why professing Christians (Zmirak and Jones are Roman Catholic but this outlook afflicts plenty of evangelical Protestants) would expect people who lack faith act and think like they really are Christian.