We’re often led to believe that the most dangerous people on the planet are those with the least to lose, the gun-toting, suicide-bombing militants who will stop at nothing to burn down the world. I’ve think we’ve got it wrong. The most dangerous people in the world aren’t those with the least to lose, it’s those with the most to lose, the flag-waving, Bible-believing patriots who will stop at nothing to preserve the status quo. Yes, Bible-believing. Why these people? Because they have fused the preservation of their faith with the preservation of the state. Therefore, they view the fight against terror as a holy war. The same goes for secularism or any other force that threatens Christianity’s privileged place in society. They abide by the dictum, “Without God, all things are permissible.” Little do they realize that exactly the opposite is true. As philosopher Slavoj Zizek says,
it is for those who refer to “god” in a brutally direct way, perceiving themselves as instruments of his will, that everything is permitted. These are, of course, the so-called fundamentalists who practice a perverted version of what Kierkegaard called the religious suspension of the ethical.
I can think of no better example of a religious suspension of the ethical than the use of torture and death against our enemies.