Friday, February 04, 2005

Toward a Secular Theocracy

Eric Cox reviews Paul Edward Gottfried's Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt: Toward a Secular Theocracy.
To Gottfried, multiculturalism is not a dry academic philosophy but rather the political tool of an identifiable ideology being used to redefine Western notions of normality for the purpose of seizing and exercising central state power. Examples of specific items on the multiculturalists’ agenda, Gottfried argues, are affirmative action; so-called hate crimes legislation and workplace anti-discrimination policies that exclusively target white males; gay marriage and adoption; educators’ inculcation of sensitivity toward all religious beliefs and lifestyles (except Christianity); and bans on expressions of Christian faith in public places. Gottfried acknowledges that people can support any of these policies without being multiculturalists—that is, without having the intent of denigrating whites, heterosexuals, and Christians—but he contends that multiculturalists promote them with the express purpose not merely of winning votes from various minority groups, but of the much larger goal of remaking Western societies, in the same sense, one might say, that the National Socialists and the Communists attempted to do so. . . Gottfried also disputes the commonly held notion that multiculturalism is merely a philosophy of moral relativism advocating “tolerance” for all categories of people. Instead, he writes, it is an ideology that views with utter contempt anyone who belongs to the wrong category of humanity, such as white-male-Christian-heterosexuals, and actively attempts to undermine institutions that support or reflect their values and lifestyles.

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