Robet M. Price, in his recent superb little book Blaming Jesus for Jehovah, points out the following:
If resurgent fundamentalism is a last gasp, the meal-mouthed mewlings of liberal religion are death rattles, too. The whole enterprise of liberal religion is to humanize religion, to temper it with modern psychology, to use it for political engagement, to make it less subject to fanaticism and less arbitrary in its behavior. Liberal theology rationalizes, naturalizes, ethicizes.
In short it evacuates itself of everything distinctly religious!
I was having yet another online argument (on facebook) with a fellow liberal who was castigating me for tarring all Muslims with the same brush. Yet again, I had to argue that this is a conflation of descriptive morality and normative morality, When you have a divine revelation that is so obviously violent or intolerant, then you have a problem. We are talking about what a normative Islam most rationally appears to be, given Qu’ranic exegesis and the history of Muhammad. It’s like claiming Christianity is not homophobic. Well, some Christians aren’t, but they should be IF they are to take their revelation seriously.
What is a religion without revelation? Please tell me. How do you get a religion without appealing to revelation? Answer, you don’t. You might get something like Buddhism, sort of, but you certainly don’t get a monotheistic religion. And the further you move away from that revelation, the more you bastardise it. Either God commanded death to homosexuals, or he didn’t. And this is what Price is talking about above – the more you ethicise a religion, rationalise it, the further you get away from its fundamentals. Descriptively, that’s great (for humanity), but normatively, problems arise, theologically speaking.