Derbyshire and Christophobia

I once had respect for John Derbyshire, and was amused and edified by his views, even go so far as to buy one of his books: a decision he has given me cause to regret.

It seems Mr Derbyshire has contracted a terminal case of foaming Christophobia. It is terminal in that it kills any desire I have of reading any further words he pens.

Here, Derb reviews a Religion of Peace? — Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t by Robert Spencer

This is a book maintaining several things which I would have thought to be beyond dispute in any put the most lunatic fringe of far Left of circles, namely, the idea that Christianity upholds the rational conception of the universe which is a necessary precondition for the scientific method, and that it is fundamentally a civilized and peaceful religion, the root and core of our Western civilization, whereas Islam is none of these.

But no, Derb’s dislike of Christianity is vehement enough he does not say whether he thinks what Spencer says about Christianity and its role in history is true or false, he merely brays his donkey laugh at the notion of defending Christianity from slander.

He begins by he scoffing that Spencer (or anyone) should bother criticizing the morally retarded stance of regarding Christianity and Islam as morally equivalent. Derb says that the two faiths are equivalent in that they are both magical thinking, or, if they are not equivalent, not that many people say so, therefore it is not an issue worth discussing, and annoying to hear it discussed.

Got that? Derb’s criticism of Spenser is that he should not waste time defending Christianity because no one equates it to Mohammedanism, and, besides, Christianity is no better than Mohammedanism. In the finale of his critique, Derb undercuts himself even further, arguing that Christianity is worse than Mohammedanism.

(Even my lawyerly mind cannot puzzle out a way of setting these arguments as alternatives. They appear to be direct contradictions of each other.)

The whole review is on this same asinine and juvenile level, on the same intellectual plane as drawing a mustache in crayon on the picture of someone you dislike.

It is merely bullying and puking.

I cannot think of a behavior better calculated to compel a reader of my sense of honor to go out immediately and purchase said book. Let me see if I have any dollars left in my book-buying fund.

Derb then goes with various forms of piffle and historical ignorance trying to make it clear that an historian’s defense of the role of Christianity in shaping the modern and scientific world is … well, he never actually addresses any of the arguments in the book he is allegedly reviewing,  so I am not sure what his opinion is. Indifference? Contempt? Both?

He also pauses to scoff at the notions that the religion of a society practiced since the ancient times has any influence on their ideas, ideals, or laws, customs or behaviors, and he likens the common sense notion that it does with the somewhat less sensible notions from leftwing kooks that material circumstances or geography define society. He does not, again, refute or even address the notion, except to dismiss it as unworthy of contemplation.

For his climax, he then criticizes the book for not stating what the solution should be to the problem of Islamic encroachment into Christendom. (Nor does he seem to have any particular affection for Christendom as such: he merely likes the civilization we Christians have produced as a side effect.)

He then wanders off into a police state wet dream about rounding up all the ragheads, perhaps not into concentration camps, but to be put under close scrutiny, and he blames the author for not following him into this fever swamp. Nay, in a rhetorical flourish admired more for its chutzpah (which is has in immense magnitudes) than its relation to reality  (which it has not at all) Derb blames Christianity for being too peaceful and too universal a religion, for NOT being tribal and xenophobic enough, because only a healthy dose of xenophobia and ‘separatism’ would save us now. Christianity is at fault for being a weak religion.

My reaction, to hear such blithering nonsense and see the slow creeping twilight of cruelty and inhumanity darkening an intellect I once admired, is merely one of disbelief. Suppose, Mr Derbyshire, that Christianity was a strong and cruel and power-worshiping religion, and we Christians did steel ourselves to commit whatever acts of grim necessity were needed to expel from our midst the pagans and paynims and enemies of Christ, the Muslims and others who despise us…

Suppose it so. Suppose what you wished for happened.

… What makes you think we would not label, isolate, and deport you?

After all, to quote an author I once admired, ‘Millions of harmless, peaceful Agnostics will of course be inconvenienced, but life comes with no guarantee of uninterrupted convenience, and moving from one country to another is not especially arduous .’

UPDATE TO THE ORIGINAL POST: In order to bite my thumb at Mr Derbyshire, and for my own edification, I have scraped together the funds to purchase Religion of Peace? by Robert Spencer.