Friday, June 10, 2011
In Defense of Faith - day 2
David Brog moves on from the Christian's role in doing all they could to save natives in America from genocide to the Judeo-Christian idea against slavery. He begins with such luminaries as William Wilberforce in Britain and his influence on the American abolitionist, William Lloyd Garrison. He traces the roots of abolition in America to the 1st and 2nd Great Awakenings and highlights the involvement of the churches in every step of the way. His case for role of the Judeo-Christian idea of the equality of all mankind in ending the slave trade and eventually the institution itself is quite powerful and compelling. As a fellow Christian, it makes me proud to be part of this heritage.
He contrasts these noble believers who, relying on their strong faith in a just God, fought evil with all they had, to the societies where a belief in God was not only not fostered, but openly abandoned. He states, "The great insight of the Judeo-Christian tradition is that we are the source of the evil in this world. The great promise of the Judeo Christian tradition is its power to inspire men to overcome the evil in their hearts. The West has yet to produce another system that has enabled so many people to so effectively transcend our impoverished genetic morality." The first attack on God began with Darwin. Seeing way to effectively break from "Jewish nonsense," Hitler embraced the survival of the fittest advocated by Darwin's disciples. "When Hitler cut his society loose from Judeo-Christian morality, he unleashed and encouraged the very worst in human nature. His new evolutionary ethics opened the door wide to some of the most abhorrent practices in human history. These horrors returned almost instantly."
Brog moves from the godless terrors of the Nazis to the horrors of Communism. "Soviet ideology was strikingly similar to Nazi ideology. Both flatly rejected the Judeo-Christian idea of the sanctity and equality of all humans.... In each case, these regimes acted on their theories to the exclusion of any external morality. Each enslaved millions, Each murdered millions. By almost any metric of human suffering the crimes of the Soviets rival those of the Nazis." Neither of these regimes represented anything new or rare in human history, rather they both reflect the danger of a God-rejecting society. From the Spanish Conquistadors to Mao, atrocities produced by these worldviews stemmed from the same fatal flaw - the rejection of the Judeo-Christian idea of the equality of man which they replaced with their own morality, thereby stripping a designated outgroup of their humanity.
Next Brog uses the example of the Civil Rights Movement to once again contrast the godless with those who understood and respected the Biblical call for the brotherhood of all mankind. In a wonderful connection back to the Judeo-Christian morality, he follows the Reverend Martin Luther King to Ghandi to Tolstoy back to Christian abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison. After detailing many of the offenses suffered in segregated America, Brog quotes Catholic thinker, Thomas Merton, "It is simply impossible to comprehend how these and so many other heroes were able to persevere in their struggle without falling victim to despair, hate, or violence without understanding the deep Christian faith which inspired and sustained them."