Monday, October 18, 2004

Sullivan and Hitchens interview

There's a transcript of an interveiw featuring Andrew Sullivan and Christopher Hitchens here - The Tim Russert Show

The 16th and 17th centuries were religious wars. People were murdered in large numbers. And out of that experience, that some things you may believe in are still not so important they're worth killing other people for, came liberal democracy. Our very system of government came out of resistance to the power of religion in politics.
President Bush may believe that God saved him from booze and so on. He's quite entitled to that belief as far as I can see, but he must know, and certainly the people in this administration do understand, that our only real allies are secular--that, in Afghanistan, we must hope for even more secularism. It's interesting to me to argue with my leftist comrades. They neither know nor care, really, that the Iraqi left and the Afghan left are thoroughly enthusiastic about the regime change. They know it saved their lives, apart from anything else. They're on our side. This is an irony that's sort of at everybody's expense. I know, exactly, that I'm on the right side about this. I'm for secularism and separation of church and state. Everywhere. I want more of it here, not less, and much more of it there. And it's a perfectly consistent thing. Even if John Ashcroft doesn't realize it, it's objectively--as we used to say in Marxist discussion--true.


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