Why Liberalism Needs Christianity

A friend on Facebook made light of the latest attempt by liberal journalists to pretend that all world religions really teach the same, basic idea, which is to love people and tolerate them. Particularly with regard to Islam, Western liberals have become accustomed to repeating this bromide, and doing so with special vigor in the wake of a suicide bombing, beheading, or other jihad-related atrocity.

It reminded me of Timothy Keller’s remarks in “The Reason for God,” in which he describes liberalism as a kind of deracinated Christianity. I think he’s right.

The more mainstream media editorials I read, the more I recognize modern liberalism as a mishmash of certain Christian ethical ideals divorced from their theological roots, and allowed to metastasize. C. S. Lewis observed that there is not one virtue that, if set up as the prime good, will not plunge you into moral monstrosity. He too was right. And I think many liberals are just now realizing this when it comes to the truncated Christian virtues of tolerance, moral equality, freedom, and altruism. Not only do they not make sense without the foundation of their mother-worldview, but they become excuses for all kinds of coercion, deception, bribery, and perversion–and even, in the case of abortion, murder. It’s now come to the point where secular liberals are critiquing Christianity on the basis of its own ethical ideals (“the God of the Old Testament is a brutal, intolerant murderer,” for example).

This is the reason for the frantic liberal need to impute tacitly Christian morality to all world religions. It’s the most naive and adorable thing imaginable to pretend that at the most basic level, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Satanism, and atheism are all about loving your neighbor as yourself. But it’s all they’ve got. Liberals have no idea why they cherish neighbor-love, and equality, and freedom so strongly. They’ve forgotten. The idea that someone else’s worldview could rationally lead them to chop people’s heads off is incomprehensible to liberals. It scares them to death–mostly because they can’t coherently explain why it’s wrong.

Liberalism is a Christian cancer, to which non-Christian cultures are largely immune. It doesn’t make sense to them, because it’s based on a distant, ancestral memory of catechisms, and creeds, and commandments. And as long as liberals keep asserting ideals without any ethical foundation, the cancer will spread. And eventually it will kill its host, meaning the West.



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