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Sun May 18, 2014, 03:39 PM

This book is starting out well...

From the Preface:

...nor have I made any attempt to hide my preference for an enlightened, liberal secular society over any other, nor to disguise the fact that I believe that the myths perpetrated by all monotheistic religions - all religions indeed - have caused more lasting harm to the human race than any other single set of beliefs...

If Christianity seems to fare slightly better than Islam in this story, that is only because...Christianity was less well equipped to resist the destructive forces unleashed by its own internal inconsistencies and was thus unable to resist the several forms of secularization that, by the end of the eighteenth century, had all but eliminated its presence in the civil and political life of the West.


Anthony Pagden, "Worlds At War: The 2,500 Year Struggle Between East and West." Just started reading it.

As for that last paragraph, I guess he means "eliminated" in the sense that religious leaders were no longer directly involved in running countries, like they were in the good old days. I'm sure a lot of us here in One Nation Under Jesus wish we could do a little more eliminating of religion from our civil and political life.

When not writing books, Pagden is a history and political science professor at UCLA. Another of his books, "The Enlightenment and Why It Still Matters," earned a blistering and hilarious review from Penny Nance, president of the far-right "Concerned Women for America."

Nance wrote that the Enlightenment should have NEVER happened. Since it led us straight down the path to evil god-free independent thought, atheism, nationalism, feminism, abortion and of course ultimately to - HITLER AND ST-A-A-A-LIN!!!

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Reply This book is starting out well... (Original post)
onager May 2014 OP
Curmudgeoness May 2014 #1
onager May 2014 #2
Curmudgeoness May 2014 #4
defacto7 May 2014 #3

Response to onager (Original post)

Sun May 18, 2014, 06:26 PM

1. Any enemy of the "Concerned Women for America"

is a friend of mine. That sounds like a scary group......opposed to "independent thought"???? I am not sure that I want to get into reading his book, but it does sound interesting. History of war is not what I want to do with my free time. (I'd rather waste it here.)

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #1)

Sun May 18, 2014, 11:12 PM

2. Title is a little misleading

It seems to be more about the war of ideas between East and West. Though naturally it would be hard to tell that story without going into some history of wars.

At one point (glancing ahead in the book), Pagden writes about how the soldiers in Afghanistan today are sort of still fighting the same war that the Greeks and Persians were fighting 2500 years ago. That line of thought is what interested me.

"Concerned Women for America" was founded by Beverly LaHaye. If that last name sounds familiar, it should - her husband is Tim LaHaye, co-author of the "Left Behind" series of books, videos, games, etc. etc.

Mrs. LaHaye spent most of her time traveling, and telling American women to stay home. And have kids. And shut up. She's sort of like a Biblically-inspired Stepford Wife, only meaner.

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Response to onager (Reply #2)

Mon May 19, 2014, 06:55 PM

4. 2500 years fighting the same war!

I don't suppose we can expect to "win", huh?

LaHaye......

I think that she should stay home, have kids, clean the house, wash hubby's shit stained undies, and shut up. Why is she exempt from this?

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Response to onager (Original post)

Mon May 19, 2014, 02:08 AM

3. Sounds like a new one for my list!

Thanks

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