I have been making suggestions for Xtians to reclaim their religion from disaster by moving to the left, indeed a communist Xtian movement. I can’t see much action there, although I know for a fact that many Catholics, totally silenced, and with a nearly irrelevant gesture from the new Pope in Brazil, etc…, have seen the handwriting on the wall: Xtianity is probably dead in Europe. So the opening toward the Third World is the last option. But the question will be likely be smothered over and over again by the inbuilt reaction inside such a church. In the US, the picture is not clear, but the religious right has surely wrecked Xtianity once and for all. Not least is the hopeless confusion, and fringe theology in the claims for Israel made by fundamentalist Xtians. It is a dangerous propaganda fed by Israeli covert support. It is NOT true that anything in the Bible can be taken as a justification for modern Israel. The idea that diaspora Jews had some god-given right to ‘their’ homeland always was, and now remains, a complete species of pseudo-theology. The Bible refers only to antiquity. And, I fear, secular humanists would have a hard time with even that.
But the issue isn’t that simple: the discovery of the Axial Age shows us a curious alternate history to the classical ancients.
If we examine world history via the Axial Age understanding of classical antiquity, we can see that Israel was a temporary formation staging a global religious revolution. The status of the staging after that was forever confused, although the Roman liquidation of the Zealots settled the issue for millennia to come. That a group of Jews in the twentieth century should hope to roll back the ancient outcome is, and always was, a dangerously confused venture. But they brought it off: it the founders had been smart, and done it right, they might have created a viable, if contradictory, stable outcome. But the dread decision to eliminate the Palestine factor, and much else, doomed their effort from the start even as the false outcome became a relative success. Again, if the task could have been done right, the preposterous experiment might have succeeded. But instead, sixty years later, this fiction of Old Testament idiocy, and modern statecraft has created the hopeless mess in the West Bank, and the threatened crypto-genocidal liquidation of a whole people and their territory, etc… I can’t see any short term solution to this self-enclosed nightmare, but sooner of later the crunch mill come.
We might coopt the lunatics on both sides with an intelligent call for a revolution against the status quo, and the creation of a viable real form of statehood, probably ‘one state’ comprising Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. There is no way to evade this, or something like this, given the ‘original sin’ of the expulsion of the Palestinians.
The conservative Xtians are culpable in this situation with the puerile idiocy of their false theology, which is not Biblical.
The issue then is that any idea of a radical Xtianity is completely unrealistic. The reality is a conservatizing set of confusions that will destroy whatever is left of Xtianity. So the path either to a secular Xtianity, or post-Xtianity is inevitable. This thinking was completely clear in the period of 1848 and the onset of Feuerbachian humanism. But somehow that moment was lost in the persistence of relgious legacies and the poor quality of the humanism in question, incapable of creating a true secularism. Whatever the case, the left needs something better than the secular humanism now being reduced to the tenets of the new atheism of figures like Dawkins, who has recently shown his prejudice against Islam. But, despite that, the passage of these two monotheistic religions must be to navigate the secular world with some intelligent insight into modernity, and its examplar at the beginning: the Reformation.
The left needs to rethink the questions of religion, secularism, and scientism and not hand immortality to Axial Age religions that were on their way out in the nineteenth century, but now seem to wish to replace humanism with their own nearly defunct brands. As the new atheists go down in flames, the rethink needed for a ‘Secularism 2.0’