“For the modern Westerner, religious freedom is defined by the phrase “freedom of worship” and means just that. But the practice of Islam means more than worship, important as that may be. It means a whole way of life, prescribed in detail by holy texts and treatises based on them. . . . It is not enough to do good and refrain from evil as a personal choice. It is incumbent upon Muslims also to command and forbid — that is, to exercise authority. The same principle applied in general to the holy law, which must be not only obeyed but also enforced. Thus, in the view of many jurists, a Muslim not only must abstain from drinking and dissipation, but also must destroy strong drink and other appurtenances of dissipation. For this reason, in any encounter between Islam and unbelief, Islam must dominate. . . .
There are some who followed this argument to its logical conclusion and maintain that an authentic Muslim life is possible only under a Muslim government. There are other who reject this extremist view and admit the possibility of living a Muslim life under a non-Muslim government, provided that that government meets certain specific requirements.”
Islam and the West, 52-53
1.) Here we see an error in Lewis’ thinking because it simply is not the case that “freedom of worship is just that.” For example, Justice Antonin Scalia, in a Supreme Court case about Native Americans who were fired for smoking peyote as part of their religious practice, wrote the majority opinion upholding the firing, saying that if religious beliefs were superior to the “law of the land,” it would make “every citizen a law unto himself.” So, Lewis is just wrong that “freedom of worship” is just that.
2.) So, the R2K Enlightenment “Secular” State does the same thing that the Muslim State does in as much as it restricts “freedom of worship.” The question between Islamist states and Religiously Secular Enlightenment State is not one of “freedom of worship” vs. “lack of freedom of worship,” but rather it is a question by what standard will worship be restricted? For the Islamist the standard is the Koran. For the Enlightenment R2K fan-boys the standard for restricting worship will be humanist positive law that marches under the banner of “Natural law.”
3.) The texts that give guidance are present for both the Islamist and the Enlightenment liberal. If one were to examine the Humanist Manifestos one would see the text that the Enlightenment liberal has been guided by. Now you won’t find the Enlightenment liberal waving the humanist manifesto around like a Islamist waves around the Koran as their authority, but an examination of the humanist manifesto indicates that the principles there are just as guiding for the Enlightenment liberal as the Koran is guiding for the Muslim.
4.) If Lewis thinks that the Enlightenment Liberal Theocratic State, in terms of commanding and forbidding, is any different then the Islamist state he must be smoking peyote. NYC forbids drinking sodas larger than 16 ounces. The Liberal Enlightenment state is working on forbidding private gun ownership. The Liberal Enlightenment State will be commanding and forbidding all over the place once Obamacare is in place. Again, the difference between the commanding and forbidding is not in terms of kind but only in terms of standard.
5.) This brings us to understanding that just as in any contest between Islam and unbelief finds the Islamic State dominating, so in any contest between the Liberal Enlightenment State and unbelief in the Liberal Enlightenment religion, the Liberal Enlightenment State must likewise dominate. Just try finding a soda for sale in NYC that is over 16 ounces. The Liberal Enlightenment Theocratic State that R2K supports requires a way of life just as much as the Muslim theocratic State.
Only in a Christian State does this kind of dominating suffocating Government find itself held in check. It is held in check because in a Christian civilization there is a understanding that the Government has a limited jurisdiction and beyond that jurisdiction it may not tread. In a Christian civilization, civil Government is diffused and Government as a whole is located in different jurisdictions (Guild, Family, Church, etc). This prevents what Lewis notes about the Muslim State and prevents what he misses being true in the Enlightenment Liberal state.
Because the above paragraph is true no Biblical Christian sounds like a Muslim; accusations from Radical Two Kingdom fan-boys notwithstanding. What R2K advocates want when they fulminate against Biblical government is in point of fact Theocratic Enlightenment Liberal government where, because freedom of religion is absolutized, they can advocate for the tolerance of abortion, sodomite marriage, and any number of other social deviance. In short they desire to set up a Liberal Enlightenment Theocratic Caliph where they as the Priests for the Caliph can bring dissenters before their denominations and have them banned for speaking out against their Caliph. R2K, as the Caliph’s muscle do such a great impersonation of the Turks.