I have a friend who, almost daily, e-mails to me links from websites such as "Jihad Watch," etc., with news stories about the covert jihad against Western civilization as we know it. It is pretty obvious that the Islamic world does not like the Christian west. Despite what the liberal media tells us about "moderate" or "peace-loving" Muslims, history refutes them by bearing witness to such realities as the Eastern Christian martyrs of the Ottoman occupation, the Armenian genocide of 1914, and the massacre of the Christians in Smyrna, Turkey in the 1920's. As an alternative to my friend's views on the pending takeover of western civilization, I offer up the hypothesis that a different type of jihad in Europe and North America has already occurred under the guise of modern liberalism. However, as a result of this trend in our western society, we have actually created a sort of mirror opposite of Islam under the guise of a liberal monotheistic religion.
Allow me to describe the universe of this liberal religion in terms of science and science fiction. Star Trek fans will understand my reference to the parallel universe of the episode "Mirror, Mirror" where everything looked familiar to the universe as we know it but was, in fact, an evil mirror image. Instead of a peace-loving Federation, there was an evil, war-mongering Empire; instead of a logical, contemplative Mr. Spock, there was an evil assassination-plotting Mr. Spock. In addition, our liberal universe can also be understood in terms of antimatter. Quantum physics tells us that matter exists in two forms -- matter and anti-matter. When matter and anti-matter come into contact with each other, they obliterate each other in an explosion of high energy radiation. Using this analogy, I view the Islamic world and the liberal Western world as mirror universes comprised of ideological matter and anti-matter. Thus, we have Islam and "Antislam." As Islam in the East and Antislam in the West are brought nearer and nearer to each other, a cataclysmic explosion of thermonuclear proportions is indeed pending. What is it, though, that makes Europe and North America the "anti-matter?" The answer lies in what we shall term the "liberal jihad."
This jihad has already taken place in the vast majority of mainline Protestant denominations where liberal theology has stripped Jesus Christ of His divinity and unique role in salvation. Although His virgin birth is recognized by Islam, the Muslim world denies the dogma that Jesus is the second person of the Holy Trinity incarnate as a human being. Rather, He is merely a human, the last in a long line of prophets leading to Muhammed. God spoke through Jesus, but He Himself was not God. Jesus was not crucified, but rather taken up to heaven, someone else being crucified in his place. In the liberal Protestant world, decades of liberal academic theology searching for the "historical Jesus" and the writings of "neo-Muhammeds" like John Shelby Spong have stripped Jesus of His divinity and of His unique role as God and Savior. He's just another prophet with some nice politically correct teachings like "love your neighbor." In addition, as in the Koran, the neo-Muhammeds separate Jesus from the Apostolic faith and assert that Paul was some self-loathing misogynist who got the Jesus message wrong. Some of these churches go so far as to even remove the cross from the church steeple (lest someone in the neighborhood be "offended") sometimes replacing the cross with a weathervane that points whatever way the wind is blowing that day. What remains is a bare-walled iconoclastic building with a crossless, minaret-like spire where a divinity-less Jesus-the-Nice-Jewish-Boy is occasionally mentioned in a non-offensive way. Holy Scripture does not exist anymore so the Koran or the sonnets of Willliam Shakespeare (Yes, Shakespeare! I witnessed it myself at a wedding) could easily replace the New Testament and no one would know the difference. The liberal western Protestant Christian religion has indeed become Antislam; visit one of these co-called churches and you'll see the liberals' "anti-mosque."
What about society and morals? The liberal jihad has occurred in the West with society-devastating results. In the Muslim world, fundamentalists, like the Taliban, who strictly interpret the Koran treat women as second-class citizens. Recently, in Canada, a father strangled and killed his own daughter because she wouldn't wear traditional Muslim clothing. Several years ago, a Muslim man was arrested for ignoring United States marriage laws and marrying off his daughter at the age of 13. In fundamentalist Islamic cultures, men are allowed to receive an education, but women are relegated at a very young age to marriage and child-bearing. In some places in the Muslim world, unmarried men and women are forbidden to associate with each other in public as demonstrated by the recent arrest of a Saudi woman for having coffee with a male colleague at Starbucks! Somehow, the liberals can twist these scenes into a battle cry for "tolerance" and "mutual understanding."
In Western culture, however, liberalism has created a mirror image of these scenarios. Christian ethics and morality have been tossed out the front door of the Church along with those "useless" dogmas such as the Divinity of Christ. Ethics and morality have become situational, i.e. "if it feels good, do it." As a result, rampant woman-degrading sexuality has prevailed. We now live in a society where, instead of a burkah and head-to-toe covering of the body, scantily clad "bootie-babes" gyrate on the hoods of cars while male rap stars pour champagne over them (as in the snippet of a rap video I once saw on MTV). Endless episodes of Maury Povich, where women have several men DNA-tested to determine which one is the father of her baby, attest to the second-class "sex-toy" status of women in our society. The pregnancy rate among Western civilization's teenage girls continues at an abominable rate forcing many of them to drop out of school and preventing them from further education as they raise more welfare children (assuming they don't undergo the liberal Antislam's hajj to the abortion clinic). Feminism and liberal sexuality have failed and brought into existence a culture of socioeconomically oppressed unwed mothers that actually mirrors the socioeconomically oppressed second-class status of women of fundamentalist Islam.
Whoa to those who would dare challenge the Liberal Jihad! I am a "non-practicing" member of the inter-faith campus ministers association of a liberal university in St. Louis, MO. Several months ago, Islamo-fascism Week came to the campus seeking to bring awareness of the less-than-tolerant world of militant Islam. To counter this activity, the campus ministers association responded with a "teach-in for tolerance" of Islam. When I asked if they were ever going to have a teach-in for tolerance of Christianity, and challenged them whether or not they respected my religious and moral beliefs, an administrator for student affairs responded that my comments were "offensive," that I did not understand the "context" of the discussion, and she was concerned how I might interact with students when discussing "controversial" topics. As an Orthodox Christian living the world of Antislam, my comments brought the wielding of the liberal scimitar aimed directly at me personally and professionally.
Oh yes, there is a dhimmi, too! I was appalled, but not surprised, that among this campus ministry group which, besides the liberal jihadists, consists of Roman Catholics, Missouri Synod Lutherans, Evangelical Protestants, as well as other so-called conservative Christians, not one single person spoke up (not even privately) to defend or support my position. They wouldn't dare to do so lest the above-mentioned liberal scimitar lop off their professional heads. They just kept their mouths shut and walked the liberal dhimmi-walk in the "liberal-kratia" of the 21st century.
I am sure that there is more to this mirror anti-matter universe analogy than I have elaborated here. Today's liberal theology can be called "monotheistic paganism and the Baskin Robbins theory" with the liberal creed of "There is no God but God and He/She/It comes in 31 different flavors (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Bahai Faith, etc.)." I have named this religion "Antislam." It has one (generic) God, a divinity-less Christ, it is oppressive to women, it dare not be challenged, and there is a dhimmi. To not uphold the creed of Antislam or to speak openly against it is, at best, unpopular in religious circles. Whether we want to admit it or not, our liberal religion and culture in this country has created a mirror anti-matter version of Islam that, when exposed the "matter" of the Islamic world can only result in the explosive clash of cultures. Our society mocks theirs and we are loathed for that. Unless we seek to clean up our moral and ethical universe here in the West, demand not tolerance but respect for the teachings of those who follow an orthodox Christianity, and begin fighting the "good jihad" for Christ, then we are doomed as a society. Let us, without being ashamed of the Gospel, put on the armor of righteousness and bear the two-edged sword of truth and begin the battle against the liberal jihad. Let us preach Christ, the Incarnate Word of God, crucified and resurrected for the salvation of the whole world, even the liberals. To Him be glory, thanksgiving, and worship, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Fr. Steven C. Salaris, M.Div., Ph.D. pastors All Saints of North America Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in Maryland Heights, Missouri.