Oops, there goes another Christian fundamentalist terrorist.
Rudolph's dark devolution from "pro-lifer" to mass murderer owes far more to progressive thought structures than to any traditionalism, Christian or otherwise. For example, about Herman Melville's "Billy Budd," Rudolph writes home: "It makes a powerful statement" about "the relativity of history, and just who ends up being the good guy or bad guy depends on who gets to write the story."
Social constructionism in a nutshell: The person who writes the story gets to decide who the good guys and the bad guys are. Good and evil, as Nietzsche taught, are just the tastes and preferences of the powerful. Who are the powerful? Well, as Nietzsche also taught, anyone who can write a new storyline and persuade the sheep to follow it. Thus are men tempted to become as gods to their fellow men, to abandon both reason and faith in pursuit of power.
Even Islamists, as many have pointed out, have far more in common with Marxist and other avant-garde ideologies than with traditional Islam. Random bombs that kill women and children on London buses do not represent a return to the Muslim past, but avant-gardism in a new context. Like good social constructivists, Islamists indulge in a sophisticated new interpretation of an ancient text in order to escape a traditional moral prohibition (in their case, the killing of innocents). (What makes genteel academic social constructivists believe that they are the only ones who get to dream up new stories, once those old absolutist moral taboos are swept aside?)
I hate conspiracy theories. But one can't avoid noticing the ongoing effort among certain powerful groups to craft a dramatic new storyline for religion in America: to lump Christian "fundamentalists" in with Muslim "fundamentalists," to equate evangelicals with fundamentalists and Catholics with evangelicals, merging all traditional religions into one scary, irrational and potentially violent "Christianist" mass. A traditional religion, in this view, is any faith community that does not accept sexual liberalism. This is the core of liberalist drama in America today, the line that if crossed will put you in the crosshairs.
The New York Times may not be a very good place to get the news anymore, but it is an excellent vantage point for observing the unfolding of the latest narrative crafted for the herd. This week's front-page, above-the-fold, screaming headline "Leading Cardinal Redefines Church's View on Evolution" is a gem of the art form.
The headline reveals either embarrassing ignorance or willful disregard for truth on the paper's part. A single cardinal does not have the power to redefine church teaching. Nor does the church, after centuries of experience separating scientific and religious questions, generally transform scientific theory into Catholic dogma. The reporter finds no evidence that the Catholic Church, which has never had any serious problem with evolution as scientific theory, was planning to promote intelligent design. Buried in the story was the concession that the"had no plans to issue new guidance to teachers in Catholic schools on evolution."
A Catholic cardinal announces that Catholics believe that creation has meaning and purpose and was not a random event. How can this be front-page news?
Perhaps because it is useful to the grand liberalist metanarrative portraying religion as an irrational, backward force for evil in America today?
Will the sheep follow?
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