Secularism is not only compatible with aggressive and proud Christian faith; in practice, secularism has fostered that faith. The polar opposite of Christianism, in contrast, would be a government that actively suppresses religious faith, discriminates against Christianity and forbids Christians from practising their way of life. No one is proposing that. I'm really concerned that secularism is slowly becoming tainted with the same brush as "liberalism." But secularism is the great modern achievement of Christianity and of Western freedom. It is an honorable tradition, integral to the entire concept of Western liberty. The difference between secularism and Christianism, to put it bluntly, is that one side is happy to let people make their own moral choices; and one side isn't.Sullivan ought to take the argument one step further: the only way to make sense of what the Christianists are doing if they are making a bid for totalitarian hegemony. Because destroying the religiously-neutral state only makes sense for believers if you believe that your version of the faith is going to be able to dominate completely. If some other version becomes the dominant faith, then you'll be much worse off that under the current secular regime.
I wonder whether Andrew has considered that a major reason why his beloved war in Iraq has been able to proceed (I initially wrote "succeed" -- oops) is because of the support of these totalitarian-motivated religious fanatics in this country. (Don't blather to me about this link coming from a liberal, foreign Web site: for a particularly rancid explanation from one Christianist of why he and his support the war, check this out.) The Christian Right's bid for the totalitarian hegemony of evangelical protestant Christianity obviously cannot stop at the shores of the United States. If you believe that your views of a Jesus-ordered world are universally correct and not subject to secularist limits, then war to impose your values is a logical corollary. When just after leaving a meeting we now know constituted the first planning session for the War in Iraq, Bush blurted out his comment about launching a "crusade" in the Middle East (a phrase he used as a synonym for the phrase "war on terrorism"), he was in fact voicing the exact sentiments that motivate the support for the war by "the base."
The Christianists are not wrong when they suspect that the European opposition to the war in Iraq is related to their secularism. No one was against a war to knock over fundamentalist whackjobs who were housing a mass murderer. But a war to help pave the way for the End Times? Well, it hardly takes an athiest to want no part of that nonsense.