After decades of ignoring the huge influence of religion in society, journalists and analysts are now discovering the “danger” of religious radicalism. It has become trendy to decry the rise of fundamentalists of any sort and to Talibanize religious groups that affirm anything too categorically.
Indeed, atheists have discovered much to their chagrin that man has not outgrown his “childish” religious proclivities. Columbia Prof. Mark Lilla in a recent New York Times Magazine cover story titled “The Politics of God” proclaimed this conclusion with so much melodrama that one can almost hear the background music: “We had assumed this was no longer possible, that human beings had learned to separate religious questions from political ones, that fanaticism was dead. We were wrong.”1
The jeremiads of these self-appointed secular watchmen rue the day that so many strayed from the track of modern secular democracy and allow themselves to be lured onto the rocks of political theology. They decry anyone who sees the hand of God in history. Would that these irrational frustrated individuals could but sever their hard-wired link with God, they say.