There has always been the temptation in Christian history to conflate the humanitarian impulse with the kingdom of heaven. Today, this conflation has taken on various and sundry dangerous forms: liberation theology, globalism and the erasure of nation states, philanthropy for purely human motives, and the like.
Are we to be salt of the earth and to love our enemies as Christ taught, or are we to be sugar and have no enemies as the “religion of humanity” teaches? The often confusing pronouncements by Pope Francis seem to manifest this blurring of classical distinctions.
Professor Daniel J. Mahoney of Assumption College in Worcester, MA, has nailed the basic problem in a new book, The Idol of Our Age: How the Religion of Humanity Subverts Christianity. We talked about the many dangerous ideas arising from the book and how to counter them.