It seems that one of the reasons why President Obama is equally at home with Islamic theology and the agenda of the secular progressives is that both Islam and secular progressivism are based on the premise that might makes right. Both Islam and the secular progressives believe, as Andy Stern of the Service Employees International Union so eloquently put it, “[W]e prefer to use the power of persuasion, but, if that doesn’t work, we use the persuasion of power.”
Moslems are urged by their religion to persuade people to convert to Islam. But if they do not, Muslim sharia law mandates that they be denied basic civil rights, forced to pay dhimmitude taxes, mutilated, enslaved and/or executed. Thus in both Islam and secular progressivism the persuasion of power, rather than respect for the sacredness of personal integrity and of objective truth, is the ultimate arbiter of what is right or wrong.
Likewise, Islamists, who revere Allah as perfectly pure, absolute and capricious power, tend to view the government of their caliphate as the center of power and morality, with any human rights based solely on the agenda and decrees of such a government. So also, secular progressives deny the legitimacy of any inalienable personal rights by asserting that any such rights are derived exclusively from the consent of the government and its agents - and only as long as the government wishes to bestow them.
Another parallel is found in the fact that, just as Islamic teaching gives moral legitimacy to lying, cheating, slander, kidnapping, rape, slavery and murder, provided such act help to spread Islamic power, so also the secular progressives have few qualms about abusing power, slandering opponents, lying, cheating, stealing, desecrating or killing children, revoking religious liberty and violating legal statutes, just so long as such actions keep them in power and help to push forward their agenda for a New World Order.
Such philosophical premises are totally at odds with the Judeo-Christian moral conviction that reverence for and docility to the truth make both individuals and nations righteous and prosperous. Sadly, though, many Jews and Christians continue to capitulate to, or even praise, those seeking to impose them on society.
For example, note how many accolades are given by prestigious Catholic institutions or groups to politicians, who, under the banner of "social justice" seek to consign our posterity to either death by abortion or to crippling debt slavery, which will be required to pay off the astronomical burden of governmental debt and unfunded mandates incurred to perpetuate decades of political cronyism, corruption, waste, fraud and abuse. And note how many Catholic bishops are, rightly so, adamant about providing safe environments for children on church premises (thus allaying the fear of the lawsuit) but are resigned to allowing the 80 percent of Catholic youth, who are in public schools, to be morally violated by various "family life programs." Many of these programs, de facto, groom children for sexual experimentation and exploitation. But that seems to be a non-issue, since Catholic Church leaders are not legally liable for what is happening to Catholic children in public schools.
In light of all the above, it is worth remembering how St. John Paul II pointed out in his encyclical, Veritatis Splendor, that moral relativism is one of the greatest dangers to the spiritual life and to human civilization. It is thus even more alarming to witness how Church leaders, in her New Evangelization, have embraced moral relativism as the main paradigm for evangelization. To be specific, we repeatedly hear such leaders calling for "dialogue".
But "dialogue" is based upon sharing opinions and appeasing resentments, not on seeking objective truth. Therefore, it cannot lead to authentic reconciliation, peace and human development. Authentic peace can be realized, though, and brought to fruition through a reverent, disciplined, humble and docile discernment of the truth.
I pray that we will rediscover this most important and sanctifying mystery before the secularist progressive agenda of the Culture of Desecration and Death tears us and most of the human race away from the loving arms of Our Blessed Mother and into the gruesome embrace of Sante Muerte.
Spero columnist Rev. Thomas Collins is a Catholic priest who serves the people of Virginia.