Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Battle For God: Part Eight

Page 286-8: "Absolute principles had to be accommodated to practical political considerations and policies." "The religious members of the Gush were experiencing 'the great disappointment' of a messianic hope, which oculd lead to more desperate measures."

These two quotations together were an EUREKA moment for me. "When the good guys are in power, and the bad guys are in jail" comes a period of immense disillusionment as ideology confronts the practical reality of give a little, get a little. Ideology can only be maintained in theory. The vaunted tolerance of secularism grows not from its inherent attributes, but from the dominant position in society it has held since the emergence of democracy. If one refers to the early history of secularism, when it was challenging the ruling monarchies of the day, it was at least as intolerant and ideological as any fundamentalism movement.

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