Wednesday, March 26, 2008

If I were a Freudian, what would I make of this?

Interesting little "dust-up" in The Corner this morning, which started with Mark Levin posting a little observation:
Attention Christopher Hitchens and the other faith-bashers. The faith-denying Marxist Nirvana known as the People's Republic of China is murdering Tibetans. Just thought you'd want to know ... or maybe not.

Not a big deal, one would suppose. But Andrew Stuttaford and John Derbyshire have, as near as I can tell, completely read something into it which just isn't there.

Stuttaford: "...the current atrocities in Lhasa have little or nothing to do with the communist regime's godlessness and almost everything to with its nationalism, imperialism, and authoritarianism."

Derbyshire: "I am glad to know that Mark has some sympathy for the Tibetans and their religion. He does know that Tibetan religion is atheist, doesn't he?"

Talk about missing the point. Levin, of course, said absolutely nothing about the religion of Tibet. Nor did he suggest that the atheistic attitude of the Chinese was driving the atrocities. What he pointing out, and addressing to Christopher Hitchens and those of his ilk who argue that religion is one of the primary sources of woe in the world, is that the atheistic "faith-denying Marxist Nirvana known as the People's Republic of China is murdering Tibetans." You know, committing atrocities. Not in the name of religion. Not because of Tibet's religion. It isn't a religious clash at all, and he wasn't suggesting that it was. It was counter-example addressed to the proponents of a worldview which holds that religion is the source of evil in the world, that atrocities occur because religious mindsets prevail, that "religion poisons everything."

Which is debatable at best, preposterous at worst. But the objections offered by Mr. Stuttaford and Mr. Derbyshire don't even address Mr. Levin's point. They are non-sequiturs, offered by the two Corner contributors who seem most embarrassed to be associated with religious people whenever the topic of religion comes up, and it would seem to say far more about them and their attitudes than about Mr. Levin, Tibet or China...

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