The recent controversy over intelligent design is a sign of Christian fundamentalism gaining strength. Their ideology is an effort to take the country back to the European Dark Era before Enlightenment, a time when God or the people claim to have the word of God, rules the world. Worriedly, Muslim fundamentalism is also gaining strength in the Middle East, as evidenced by Mohammad Khatami, a religious conservative, being elected as Iran’s president.
History tells us that religious wars are rampant in the Dark Era. A Jihad is responded by a Crusade, which is in turn responded by another Jihad, and then by another Crusade. People on both sides are religiously zealous and eager to be a martyr. This is a scary picture of the future. The great achievement of the Enlightenment is that people use their ration and reason instead of a strong religious belief. Secularism and science flourished after the Enlightenment and the standard of living progressed quickly.
Human being has a dark side (religious zealous) and a bright side (ration and reason). In the Renaissance the bright side, after a long struggle, won. How would people in the 21st century choose their path? Is the September 11 the first Jihad of the 21st century? Is a crusade a right response?
update : News September 7, 2010: Petraeus warns over Koran burning