Secular Left And Radical Islam Are The Same?

image of Dr. Paul de Vries
Dr. Paul de Vries

Dr. Paul de Vries, a columnist at The Christian Post, tries to make an argument that the Secular Left and Radical Islam have the same aims even if they go about it in different ways. He poses the question, ‘What could these two divergent groups have in common that enables their frequent, seeming public harmony?’. Although de Vries tries to compare the two he can’t help but offer a false equivalence and looking at his points leads to a different conclusion.

de Vries starts off his Op-Ed by trying to say that Kathy Griffin’s photo holding a bloody head “in ISIS style solemnity” is similar to the efforts to build a mosque in lower Manhattan which was labeled a “victory mosque” at Ground Zero by opponents.

The writer makes his first false equivalence. Kathy Griffin’s stunt is nothing like building a “victory mosque” since neither action is even faintly the same. The only part that is the same is de Vries hates them both. Smearing Griffin as “secular left” is how he creates his essay out of nothing.

In the next part the writer points out the wide differences in the secular left and radical Muslims.

Then he list four points he claims show the two groups are the same.

1. The secular left, in spite of their public rhetoric for liberty, are de facto supporters of authoritarian thinking. They want all their own views to be affirmed as “settled” by everyone else – much as Islamists desire…

He uses as an example a fruit farmer who was banned from selling at a city run farmer’s market in East Lansing Michigan because he refuses to allow same-sex weddings at his orchard. The city has a non-discrimination law.

As a member of the actual Secular Left, I can tell you de Vries is wrong on this point. We don’t give a shit if you hate LGBT people or think same-sex marriage is wrong. We do have a problem if you try and discriminate against the LGBT community while operating a business. The reason East Lansing has a LGBT protection law is to prevent business owners from forcing their views on others and harming them.

I could make the argument that people like de Vries hates LGBT people just like radical Islamists. Why are religious conservatives acting in harmony with radical Islam????

2. The secular left repeatedly ignore the dignity and eternal value of each human being, endorsing elective abortions even up until the birth of babies. Similarly, Islamists trash the dignity and eternal value of any person they can justify calling an “infidel”! Babies, children, and civilian adults have all been ruthlessly and horrifically killed in public places.

He’s seems to have got us here. Both groups kill babies. Except it is only true if a fetus is in fact a baby for legal purposes. Abortion is legal for now and if one thinks a fetus is a child then that is mostly due to their religious beliefs not legal briefs.

Of course conservatives haven’t been known for supporting children after they are born.

3. Most of the secular left and Islamists are also committed to identity politics rather than to principled politics and program politics. Both groups urge people to vote based upon their ethnicities – not on the enduring values of justice, compassion, and accountability.

As violent as de Vries thinks the secular left and radical Muslims are, why does he even make a point about voting? He says both groups want you to vote based on ethnicities and somehow doing that ignores justice, compassion, and accountability. That is just plain silly. Islam is not ethnic, it is a religion. Secular Left is also not ethnic, it is a political viewpoint.

The only people who really have issues with “identity politics” are religious conservatives like de Vries and radical Muslims.

4. Perhaps most revealingly, the secular left and Islamists reject Biblical teachings, including true liberty, justice, and compassion for all in a society that both honors and trusts the living God.

Again the only people who have problems with someone following a particular religious text are conservative religious people, like de Vries, and radical Muslims.

The secular left doesn’t care what religious text you follow unless you use that text to harm other people – such as getting states like Ohio to enact draconian anti-abortion laws or bombing an ice cream shop in Baghdad.

It looks like to me that de Vries actually makes the argument that conservative Christians and radical Muslims have more in common than the secular left and radical Muslims. His false equivalence actually leads to a different conclusion than the one he intended.


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