From the same book, Arne Rasmusson (University of Umea-Sweden) writes regarding modern racism:
Modern racism, based upon “scientific naturalism”, actually arose among some Enlightenment thinkers. The liberal legal and political theorist Jeremy Waldron notes in his book about John Locke and the idea of human equality that it is very difficult to find actual arguments for equality in contemporary legal and political thought, it is just taken as an axiom. He claims that historically the idea of human equality “has been shaped and fashioned on the basis of religion”, and more specifically Christian theology…A common argument was that science (especially Darwinism) had emancipated us from dated and dangerous dogmas about human equality. This led to the dominance of racist views that were crucial for the legitimation of racism, colonialism, and the eugenic movement that in part supported the euthanasia movement. Such views lost much of their acceptance after 1945, because of the use of fascism and Nazism made of them. This history supports Waldron’s and Yoder’s claim that human equality is not something we can just take for granted.
Now, of course, someone will object: “But what about the ‘Christian’ American South that supported slavery and the other examples where the Bible has been used by some to support slavery?” To which, is the easy reply: They lost. The great majority of the Bible’s teaching, the Gospel, and the orthodox teaching of the Church over time were objects any pro-slavery Christian had to get around to make their case. Over time, they failed. The leaders of the movements in the West to abolish slavery were overwhelmingly Christian or those whose views were based upon some religious or metaphysical basis. Let’s be very clear: It was not the “enlightened” scientific naturalists or atheists who led any such movements. And, of course, why would they? Their worldview is what led to the very idea that we must not assume a universal human equality as such is completely unsustainable from a naturalistic point of view.
So when we hear about those wanting to “conserve” the “Enlightenment” we should be very suspicious. Do they want to go back to pre-1945 with the common (it’s science after all!) acceptance of racism, eugenics, euthanasia, colonialism, and the weeding out of the weak? No thanks.