Sunday, October 22, 2006

Practice What You Preach

Here's Andrew Sullivan's "Quote for the Day II" from today:
"Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology. Card-carrying rationalists like Dawkins, who is the nearest thing to a professional atheist we have had since Bertrand Russell, are in one sense the least well-equipped to understand what they castigate, since they don’t believe there is anything there to be understood, or at least anything worth understanding. This is why they invariably come up with vulgar caricatures of religious faith that would make a first-year theology student wince. The more they detest religion, the more ill-informed their criticisms of it tend to be. If they were asked to pass judgment on phenomenology or the geopolitics of South Asia, they would no doubt bone up on the question as assiduously as they could. When it comes to theology, however, any shoddy old travesty will pass muster," - Terry Eagleton, defending my kind of Christianity, in the London Review of Books.
Let's have a little fun with word replacement and see what we can come up with:
Imagine someone holding forth on Islam whose only knowledge of the subject is the Clash of Civilizations, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Andrew Sullivan on Islam. Card-carrying rationalists like Sullivan, who is the nearest thing to a professional Muslim-basher we have had since Samuel Huntington, are in one sense the least well-equipped to understand what they castigate, since they don’t believe there is anything there to be understood, or at least anything worth understanding. This is why they invariably come up with vulgar caricatures of religious faith that would make a first-year theology student wince. The more they detest Islam, the more ill-informed their criticisms of it tend to be. If they were asked to pass judgment on phenomenology or the geopolitics of South Asia, they would no doubt bone up on the question as assiduously as they could. When it comes to Islam, however, any shoddy old travesty will pass muster.
It never hurts to practice what one preaches.
Listed on BlogShares