Karen Armstrong: Rewriting the history of religion

I like The Tyee. It generally offers a non-MSM view of current events and is very grassroots oriented (since its funding comes directly from its readers who want to see better news coverage). But sometimes they let their writers go off the deepend.

This is the case in the latest review of Karen Armstrong’s new book, The Case for God.

The following is my favourite bit of apologetics from the piece:

Despite her determination to steer clear of religion, Armstrong argues in her new book for the existence of a highly misunderstood God; a God who has been pitted against science and extreme Western rationalism for hundreds of years, and has come out on the losing end. What most New Atheists are missing, claims Armstrong, is that this literal interpretation of scripture they so revile (which has led in part to modern-day Creationism and Intelligent Design theories), is actually quite rare, and their dismissal of religion on this basis ignores the basic foundations of most of the world’s religious traditions. In one stroke, she manages to show how both religious extremists and fervent atheists are seriously missing the point.

Previously, the great theologians had said that the natural world can tell us nothing about God — you can’t even say that God exists, because our notion of existence is too limited.

Maybe Ms. Armstrong doesn’t meet many evangelicals, or the fact almost 1 in 4 Canadians thinks God made the world 10,000 years ago. That’s not exactly “rare” to me. The USA is even worse with upwards of 40% thinking goddunnit is the fundamental basis that all biology should rest upon.

Similarly, it doesn’t really matter if “great theologians” believe Adam and Eve didn’t exist (hint: they don’t), policy makers and the general public who rest their beliefs on religion do think our “notion of existence” is good enough to know that God wants us to kill for Him.

The “great theologians” didn’t seem to have any issues with all the witch burnings over the years.

Karen Armostrong: You FAIL for not knowing any real religious people and muddying up the waters with apologetic liberal theology.

The Tyee: You FAIL for reprinting her completely uncritically.