At the recent “Stop the Iran Deal Rally” in front of the U.S. Capitol, presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz identified some important truths. Every Democratic Senator faces a choice, he said:
Do you value the safety and security of the United States of America? Do you value standing with our friend and ally, the nation of Israel? Do you value the lives of millions of Americans? Or do you value more party loyalty to the Obama White House?
To every Democratic Senator who said he or she will support this deal, I ask you to consider how will you look in the eyes of the mothers and fathers of our soldiers, the hundreds of soldiers, American soldiers, who were murdered in Iraq with Iranian IEDs that came from General Sulamani. This deal lifts sanctions on General Sulamani. Tell me . . . how you look a mom in the eyes and say “I voted to lift sanctions on the man who murdered your son when he was defending this nation.”
But beyond that, when we talk about terrorism, it’s worth remembering that if this deal goes through, we know to an absolute certainty, people will die. Americans will die, Israelis will die, Europeans will die. Osama bin Laden never had $100 billion. He was filled with bilious hatred and—using rudimentary tools—murdered nearly 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001. We’re now talking about giving the Ayatollah Khamenei—a theocratic, homicidal maniac, who hates America every bit as much as bin Laden did—giving him $100 billion to carry out his murderous plan.
I want to ask every Senate Democrat, how will you look in the eyes of the mother or father or sons or daughters of those who are murdered by jihadists, those Americans who are blown up, those Americans who are shot, those Americans who are killed, those Israelis who are murdered.
And let me be clear: If you vote to send billions of dollars to jihadists who have pledged to murder Americans, then you bear direct responsibility for the murders carried out with the dollars you have given them. You cannot wash your hands of that blood.
Kudos to Senator Cruz. That is an impassioned statement of unequivocal truths (whether his figures are precise is beside the point here). The principle is: If you aid the enemy, then you bear responsibility for the murder your aid makes possible.
Importantly, however—and this part somehow is lost on Senator Cruz and his fellow religionists—this principle applies not only to material aid, but also to spiritual aid.
As I show at length in “Islamic Jihad and Western Faith,” to treat faith as a means of knowledge is to aid jihadists at the most fundamental level: the epistemological level. It is to say to them, in effect: “Whatever our disagreements, your method of arriving at truth and knowledge is correct.” Well, if their method is correct, how can the content they “know” by means of it be incorrect? It can’t be. To grant that faith is a means of knowledge is to condone and support everything jihadists do.
Just as those who support the Iran “deal” are guilty of materially aiding the Iranian regime, so too those who support the notion that faith is a means of knowledge are guilty of spiritually aiding that regime. One form of aid amounts to political treason, the other to epistemological treason. And while the former may (in a sense) be more direct, the latter is more fundamental.
Epistemological treason aids the enemy by granting him carte blanche in regard to what is true and false, good and bad, right and wrong. If faith is a means of knowledge, anything goes—including material aid to jihadists and the regimes that sponsor them.
Clearly there is no evidence in support of the idea that materially aiding the Iranian regime protects Americans’ rights. So how does the left “know” that it is the right thing to do? They “know” it by means of the same method that anyone “knows” anything in support of which there is no evidence: by means of faith. (Of course, the left does not call it faith, but that is what it is.)
With the foregoing in mind, let me paraphrase Senator Cruz. But instead of speaking to avowed leftists, who are beyond the reach of reason, I will address American religionists who might be open to reason, who see the truth of the Senator’s message above, but who do not yet see that they too are aiding the Iranian regime and jihadists in general. To them, I ask:
Do you value the safety and security of the United States of America? Do you value standing with our friend and ally, the nation of Israel? Do you value the lives of millions of Americans? Or do you instead value loyalty to the notion that faith is a means of knowledge?
To every American religionist who knows that faith serves as the foundation and primary virtue of Islam—just as it serves as the foundation and principal virtue of Christianity and Judaism—I ask you to consider how will you look in the eyes of the mothers and fathers of our soldiers, the hundreds of soldiers, American soldiers, who were murdered in Iraq with Iranian IEDs because Iranian Muslims have faith that killing infidels is the right thing to do. Your faith lends credence to everything jihadists and the regimes that support them do. Tell me how you look a mom in the eyes and say, “Whatever my differences with the Iranian leadership, however much I loathe that they murdered your son, I believe that they use the correct method in arriving at knowledge of good and bad, right and wrong.”
But beyond that, when we talk about terrorism, it’s worth remembering that, insofar as people continue treating faith as a means of knowledge, we know to an absolute certainty that more people will die because of it. Americans will die, Israelis will die, Europeans will die.
Let me be clear: If you treat faith as a means of knowledge, then you bear spiritual responsibility for the murders carried out by those who have faith that what they do is the right thing to do. You cannot rinse your soul of that blood.
It is high time for Americans and Westerners in general to stop pretending that faith is a means of knowledge. We all know that it is not. And the only “people” who benefit from the pretense that it is are the Islamic savages who seek to kill more of us.
Of course acknowledging the invalidity of faith will not, by itself, end the jihad against the West. If we want to end the jihadist assault on all things secular and life-serving, we must advocate the requisite political action as well—and, in order consistently to advocate that, we must advocate the only moral code that makes such political action possible: the morality of rational egoism. But these aspects of the battle for civilization also depend on the embrace of reason and the rejection of faith. If faith is a means of knowledge, then the morality of sacrificing oneself and others for God is a shoo-in—as is the politics of enforcing that morality.
As long as Americans and Westerners continue pretending that it is possible to know what is true, what is good, or what is right by “just believing,” they will continue aiding jihadists and the regimes that support them, and they will continue undermining all aspects of the battle for civilization.