...between East & West
I still recall - around the time of 911 actually, maybe that was the beginning of the end - when Americans were chortling over the PC mentality in many European countries. Today they are as trussed up and bewildered as anyone else. Mr Kanazawa holds that “the cultural insanity of political correctness ... is the true enemy that we must fight.” Well, that's the FIRST enemy we have to fight. Then we must move on to what I think is the greatest genuine external threat: Islam (you will note I hope that I do not say Muslims).
Mr Kanazawa argues that it is not easy for scientific revolutions, which come about by challenging the established paradigms, to occur in non-Western settings. The author of the video states that social revolutions also are not easily performed in non-Western contexts. One objection to this might be the Communist revolution in China and other spots in the Orient. However based on my reading and my (limited) personal contact with the Orient, I might say that the Communist revolution could be held up as an example of a struggle against the status quo, however the end result is not much different than that which it sought to replace.
Back when I visited the old city in Shanghai I noticed the Guardian Lions about the place. Under the paw of the male was an orb representing imperial authority over the world. It's interesting that in Chinese Buddhist culture the Lion was depicted as the protector of Dharma, that is a protector of the social order, and it occurred to me that not much had really changed from the time of the Han dynasty 2,000 years ago to life after the Communist revolution. The bosses are now Communist bosses but they are still the bosses. Others praise them and obey - or else. This does provide social order, but at great cost. Where are the divergent opinions? Think of Tiananmen Square.
Growing enforced Western conformity of thought is going to stifle, not liberate, ideas & progress. We are becoming weaker by not encouraging original thought - or the freedom to think out loud. Even though some may choose to define me as one of these dreadfully small-minded Evangelical Christian fundamentalists mentioned in the video it seems to me that the basic worldview of the West, based upon the teachings of Christ, are responsible for the liberties we have. Western science arose among a people who believed that God is rational, purposeful and benevolent. Because God was believed to be these things his Creation could be studied for patterns and was considered consistent & measurable.
Morally, despite all our disagreements we are inculcated with a Biblical worldview which includes the Old Testament proverb: “A person's wisdom yields patience; it is to one's glory to overlook an offence” and the New Testament which states "blessed are the merciful, blessed are the peacemakers" and "pray for your enemies, turn the other cheek". In essence we are to display these qualities, the old Book says, because those are the qualities of our God.
Conversely to prioritise victims over truth is a false paradigm that will lead us astray. The Church already has this in the form of Roman Catholic Liberation Theology which sees the Gospel as less “the good news for the poor” than “the good news of the poor”. Economic and social liberation have become more important than liberation from sin. As an evangelical missiologist I learnt that much RC thought and praxis leads Protestant missological thought & praxis. While it is imperative to have in mind the condition and needs of the poor and our own cultural blindspots regarding wealth we need also to be careful not to some extent imbibe the water of the Christian version of Marxism set out in Liberation theology. The current Pope has made this error.
In the Evangelical world (the one in which I would not spit in Mr Kanazawa’s burger even if I knew he was – gasp! – a believer in evolution) we have long had the idea of “redemption and lift”. Which is to say a man meets Christ (note how I didn’t say “attends church”) and sees his work, family & social responsibilities in a new way. He learns that it is not good spending all his money on his own pleasures, to the neglect of his family. He learns that “a wife of noble character is her husband's crown” and that “children are a gift from the Lord” and so begins serving them. He acknowledges his responsibility to give an honest day’s work for his employer and so on. Economic lift for the whole family inevitably arises. However to prioritise the secondary, economic aspect of “lift” while neglecting or even denigrating the primary issue that brought change – the man heard the gospel and had a change of heart, the "redemption" part – is to do a disservice both to God and the man.
Anyway, I found this clip useful, especially as it comes from someone with a foot in both Eastern and Western camps. It helps us fight against "Islamophobia" accusations and other supposed attitude crimes which merely serve to suffocate those who think Sharia is not good and attempt to say so.
Islam is the religion with the bloody history, the bloody prophet and the bloody doctrines. We are not the problem simply for noticing this.