A few key arguments Scruton makes:
1. The drive to expunge religion from public life in America is, in some cases, being pursued with a zeal that is not un-religious. It is a largely unreasonable interpretation of the no-establishment clause.
I would even suggest that the argument allows that if such secularists are successful, they could open the door to government bloat (after all, welfare is given out for moral and moralistic reasons) if the church were gotten out of the way. It is a key platform for most on the Western left to sacralize Muslims as the latest victim group against the forces they seek to overthrow within the West itself. This makes them blind to many facts. Most people up-top in the Western liberal world are not as attuned as they should be to the potentially incompatible elements of Islamic civilization and the dangers of the radical and activist Left.
Against this, I think many reasonable people would say that they just want to keep religion out of politics for the sake of both, and that they’re not attacking religion per se, but merely adhering to a reasonable interpretation of the no-establishment clause. Scruton is casting light on the zealots here. Religious belief however, especially Christian belief in the U.S., really isn’t going anywhere.
2. Scruton also argues that under the banner of secular multiculturalism, the extremely intolerant views of some Muslims, and the religious idealism of most Muslims (and all true religious believers) has found too free a home in Britain. For Scruton, the development of secular society and the rule of law is perhaps a uniquely Christian phenomenon (he makes the argument here). The Christian doctrines that laid such groundwork are conveniently bashed while Muslims pour in from societies without such rule of law and a pretty frightening idealism (how much of this is due to being an immigrant is worth examining, but the separation of church and state is conspicuously absent in Muslim societies).
One of the most dangerous consequences of this approach by is the idea of concurrent Sharia law for Muslims, and British law for British subjects. This is basically an admission of many in British society that they can’t fully integrate many Muslims and they don’t have a way forward to include them either. Many wanted cheap labor, felt guilty at the colonial past, and apparently desire to see their country as a kind of way station on the way to a global, one-world superstate and home for refugees. Scruton points out that human nature, the locality and practicality of politics, and the reality of these universalizing, Western ideals directing politics and policy is unable to account for much reality on the ground.
Any thoughts and comments are welcome.
See Also On This Site: From The City Journal: Roger Scruton On “Forgiveness And Irony”/Roger Scruton In The American Spectator: The New Humanism/Repost: Martha Nussbaum Channels Roger Williams In The New Republic: The First Founder
Ayan Hirsi Ali in The NY Times: Lee Harris’s ‘The Suicide Of Reason’
Free speech and Muslims From Kenanmalik.com: ‘Introduction: How Salman Rushdie Changed My Life’… Via YouTube: ‘Christopher Hitchens Vs. Ahmed Younis On CNN (2005)’… ‘Mohammad Cartoonist Lars Vilks Headbutted‘During Lecture’……From The OC Jewish Experience: ‘UC Irvine Muslim Student Union Suspended’…From Volokh: ‘”South Park” Creators Warned (Threatened) Over Mohammed’… More From Spiegel Online After The Westergaard Attacks Via A & L Daily: ‘The West Is Choked By Fear’