Dehumanization of the “Other”: How America is Destroying Itself

Prof. Paul Eidelberg

My previous article, “The Irresponsibility of Decent Journalists,” documents the timidity of journalists who, one might almost conclude, were engaged in a conspiracy of silence—saying nothing derogatory of the greatest enemy of freedom of expression. I’m referring to Islam, whose sacred scripture, the Quran, was described by Winston Churchill as the “Mein Kampf of war.” In fact, even former Muslims like Syrian-born psychiatrist Dr. Wafa Sultan regards Islam as an enemy of civilization. Most profound is Lee Harris. His book, Civilization and Its Enemies, is a masterpiece in political philosophy which offers a cultural explanation of Islam’s deadly antipathy. Harris is a courageous writer and should be required reading in departments of political science.

Also courageous is Catholic theologian George Weigel. His book, Faith, Reason, and the War Against Jihadism, offers a brilliant as well as frightening insight into the nature of Islam. Dr. Weigel sees in Islam a world outlook where there are “no innocents”: the non-Muslim is “guilty simply by reason of drawing breath.” Weigel describes Islam as a “strategy of open-ended mayhem based on the radical dehumanization of the ‘other.’”

The “other” obviously includes the Jewish people. Hence, for any prime minister of Israel to engage in negotiations with Muslim leaders is fatuous, futile, and fatal.

We must take seriously Islam’s goal of world supremacy. We dare not trivialize Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s malediction “Death to America,” or his threat to “wipe Israel off the map.” Evident here is an Islamic declaration of war against Judaism and Christianity. Candor and courage require us to recognize that Islam per se—and not merely some abbreviated or euphemistic designation of Islam—should undergo the same fate as Nazism: it must be eliminated before its spearhead, Iran, obtains nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles.

This task will not be undertaken by the United States, and not only because its president is a virtual Muslim. America itself has been undergoing a process of dehumanization ever since the beginning of the twentieth century when Darwinism and its ideological cousin historical relativism invaded academia. While Darwinism undermined the creation narrative of the Bible, historicism, moral relativism was undermining the Noahide Laws of Morality translated in the American Declaration of Independence as the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” America no longer has any moral compass. Indeed, a substantial majority of the American electorate put a Barack Obama, a multicultural moral relativist, in the White House. This relativism, which makes no distinction between decent and despotic regimes, underlies Obama’s appeasement of two tyrants, Mahmoud Abbas and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

It should be obvious that relativism is an atheistic creed. This creed has permeated higher education in the United States during the past 100 years. It has corrupted the mentality of U.S. Supreme Judges. These judges are graduates of American colleges and law schools. Hence it is no wonder that the Court has banned any display of the Ten Commandments in the public square as a violation of the religious establishment clause of the First Amendment.

This ruling violates America’s foundational principles. These principles were affirmed by nineteenth-century jurisprudents such as Justice Joseph Story who was appointed to the Supreme Court by no less than James Madison, the father of the American Constitution. Mr. Justice Story is esteemed as a “father of American Jurisprudence.” As noted in my forthcoming book, The End of American Exceptionalism, Story’s position on the First Amendment extols Christianity. In his celebrated Commentary on Constitution of the United States (1840), he writes:

We are not to attribute this prohibition of a national religious establishment [in the First Amendment] to an indifference to religion in general, and especially to Christianity (which none could hold in more reverence than the framers of the Constitution)…. Probably, at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, and of the Amendment to it now under consideration, the general, if not the universal, sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the State so far as was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience and the freedom of religious worship. Any attempt to level all religions, and to make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference, would have created universal disapprobation, if not universal indignation.

To substantiate the position of Justice Storey, it is an honor to call the reader’s attention to Fisher Ames (1758-1808), a Harvard graduate. Mr. Ames, who was elected president of Harvard in 1804 but declined the position because of ill-health, is regarded as one of America’s “forgotten founding fathers.” Ames was an outspoken supporter of the Bible’s central role in all of education. As a first-session congressman he said, “Should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a schoolbook? Its morals are pure, its examples are captivating and noble.”

Moreover, it was Fisher Ames who suggested the wording of the First Amendment of the Constitution, which was adopted by the House of Representatives. In its final form the First Amendment reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Banning a display of the Ten Commandments in the public square makes a mockery of the heritage exemplified by eminent Americans such as Justice Story and Congressman Ames. Lo and behold, while America is threatened by the murderous monotheistic idolatry of Islam, the U.S. Supreme Court has tacitly rejected the ethical monotheism of the Bible of Israel and, in the process, has in effect made atheism the American credo.

The Supreme Court’s nihilism has become the engine of America’s dehumanization. Dehumanization is precisely the consequence of eliminating God from the public domain, and this includes public education. If evidence of this dehumanization is wanted, consider the fact that, thanks to the Court’s libertarian interpretation of the First Amendment, America has been inundated by a multi-billion dollar pornography industry. Whatever else may be said of pornography, it obliterates the sense of shame. But the sense of shame is the one thing that distinguishes man from beasts.

To this add the Court’s anti-Judeo-Christian sanctification of same-sex marriage. The logic of this nihilism is ironic. Same-sex marriage is a formula for death, the love of which is a mantra of Islam! Same-sex marriage is also a denial of “otherness,” which bears comparison with Islam’s dehumanization of the “other.” Islam does not have to destroy America; America is destroying itself.

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