June 13th, 2012The Co-Exist Hypocritesby Joseph Pearce
One of the great values of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four is his coining of the phrases "doublethink" and "newspeak" to label the methods used by the nonsense of tyranny to impose the tyranny of nonsense. Doublethink is the holding of two mutually contradictory beliefs simultaneously, believing both in defiance of all logic; newspeak is the deliberate dumbing-down of language to prevent the complexities of thought which might cause people to question the dominant ideology of the State.
We live in an age of doublethink and newspeak, as is evident in the present case of the HHS Mandate in which freedom is removed in the name of freedom, and choice is removed in the name of choice. This doublethink is buttressed by the newspeak of the media in which the removal of religious liberty is discussed in reductionist terms, thereby avoiding the discussion of the issue at all. Thus, the freedom to act in accordance with one's conscience is never discussed, though this is the very freedom that is being removed, whilst the whole discussion is framed in terms of the individual's "right" to contraception on demand - even if it's being demanded from people who believe that their supplying of such contraception is mortally sinful. Thus the pillar of religion is reduced to the level of the pill, and the condominium of religion and politics is reduced to the level of the condom.
These Orwellian terms always come to mind whenever I see the "co-exist" bumper sticker on cars. Although I accept that some people may display these stickers as an expression of the desire that we should all get along, most people brandish the sticker as a quasi-religious statement, akin to Christians displaying the symbol of the fish. The "co-exist" bumper sticker is, for many of those who brandish it, a quasi-religious anti-religious statement. The "co-existers" would no doubt support the HHS Mandate, refusing the right of Catholic schools and hospitals to "co-exist" with their secular equivalents. The "co-existers" are intolerant of anything that they consider to be intolerant, and they consider to be intolerant everything that they will not tolerate. Most "co-existers" believe that everyone would co-exist much better if there were no "intolerant" religious people. Thus they are prone to support measures to eradicate religion from public life, not believing that those who believe in co-existence can co-exist with those who believe in God.
The mantra of the "co-existers" is John Lennon's "Imagine". The trouble is that those who believe that "there's no heaven" invariably create a hell. Thus the "co-existers" share the same secular fundamentalist creed as the French Revolutionaries who instigated the Great Terror in the name of Liberty, Equality and Brotherhood. For secular fundamentalist ideologues, co-existence always means agreeing to co-exist with them on their own terms. Be my brother or I'll crack your skull. Co-exist with me on my terms or I'll shut you down. This is the creed of Obama, the patron saint of "co-existers".
Ultimately the only co-existence which works is the fruit of the Christian commandment that we love our neighbour. Most "co-existers" do not love their neighbour. They tolerate them at best, but only until they become intolerable. As Christians we are commanded to love our "co-exister" neighbours. We can co-exist with them, but can they co-exist with us?