Monday, February 26, 2007

Clash between believers and non-believers

This article in The Guardian says Britain's new cultural divide is not between Christian and Muslim, Hindu and Jew. It is between those who have faith and those who do not.

As tensions between Muslim and Western world continues to grow, the intolerance between the different ideological segments in the secular west seems to have been overlooked. Dealing with the threat of terrorism has become the highest priority across the world.

The Guardian article points to fundamentalism that is becoming pervasive in the predominantly secular west. The secularists and the faith-based groups are on an uncompromising collision path, making everyone feel threatened.

Even in United States, the two dominant idelogical forces, Conservatives and liberals take a fundamentally different approach to politics. Conservatives believe they are battling evil. Liberals believe they are struggling to overcome human frailties. Tolerance is the watchword for liberals. Punishment is the watchword for conservatives.

As the Guardian artice suggests, "We are witnessing a social phenomenon that is about fundamentalism," says Colin Slee, the Dean of Southwark. "Atheists like the Richard Dawkins of this world are just as fundamentalist as the people setting off bombs on the tube, the hardline settlers on the West Bank and the anti-gay bigots of the Church of England. Most of them would regard each other as destined to fry in hell."

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