Having just gone off on one of my epistemology lectures about the limitations of Reason as a guiding principle, I now need to distance myself from others who feel the same way but are less … er … rational about it.
Yeah, FOX News.
In an interview objecting to the idea of a “National Day of Reason” to compliment the National Day of Prayer (yep, a real thing), Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America (yep, a real person), said that:
“You know the Age of Enlightenment and Reason gave way to moral relativism. And moral relativism is what led us all the way down the dark path to the Holocaust.”
I’m sorry, but … for all the many things one can say about Hitler, one can’t claim that he was unceasing in his pursuit of rationality.
No, the evidence is pretty overwhelming about that. “The soul of the land,” “blood and folk,” “racial purity,” “killing your Jewish scientists and weapon manufacturers right before a global war,” “the spirits of our Teutonic ancestors” …
This is not how people in pursuit of rationality talk or behave. One doesn’t hear much Voltaire in Nazi slogans. Indeed, the occultism of the Thule Society and Helena Blavatsky had far, far, more impact on the Nazi ideology than the Age of Enlightenment. We’re talking about people who carried around a blood stained flag with which to bless their troops.
You’ve got to give Reason that one.
Not incidentally, Nance mentions that she just got back from the Holocaust Museaum in Jerusalem, and was horrified by the exhibits and the human cruelty in the exhibits. Then she adds: “Dark periods of history is what we arrive at when we leave God out of the equation.”
Yes, we’re dealing with a woman who can go to contemporary Israel and be horrified at the evidence of atrocities in a museum.
Who then comments, after leaving one of the most blood soaked regions in the world, that we need more God in our politics to avoid dark periods of history.
If culture warriors can show neither reason nor compassion, neither rationality nor wisdom, they really need to stop fighting. Now.