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Archive for September, 2010

Time’s Latest Lies, or We Hate the Church

Time magazine, predictably, has written an article filled with half-truths, mis-directions, and innuendo, all aimed at criticizing the Roman Catholic Church. I say predictably, because this is the media outlet that employs a rabid anti-Catholic to write a column about how Catholic he is. The current article alleges that there are women Catholic priests in existence, who currently exercise the office of Holy Orders.

The article starts by telling us about an 81 year old mother of eight, who is an “ordained priest in the Roman Catholic Church.” In the second paragraph, the author tells us, correctly, that Canon Law says that only a baptized male can receive ordination. One wonders why this wasn’t the lead of the story. However, by mention Canon 1024, the author admits that as far as the Chrurch is concerned, the 81 year old woman isn’t really a priest.

The author is careful to note that it’s the “official” position of the church, suggesting that there exists some sort of unofficial position. He then goes on to mention a movement against the stricture, talking about renegade male clerics and an anonymous European Bishop ordaining women. Proving that a little learning is a dangerous thing, the author neglects to mention Canons 1025-1054, which adress varied rules about who can become a priest and the requirements they must fulfill. None of which, based on the article, were fulfilled by any of the women mentioned.

There are theologians and groups studying the issue of female ordination. The Church has not declared the issue closed to further study, and as long as one does not reject the Churches authority in this matter, one is free to engage in careful thought on the issue.

I am sure that there are many people who object to the Church’s position on women’s ordination. There are people who object to the Church’s position on almost all issues. I am certain that there is at least one person in the world who objects to the Chruch’s position on everything, merely out of spite. And God bless every one of them. I think a lot of those who object to the Church on women’s ordination are principled and thoughtful people. But, they are not Catholic.

Time then goes on, seemingly inexplicably, to link pedophilia with women’s ordination. The articl says, “Many have begun to publicly challenge the church’s stance, especially after the Vatican decreed in July that ordaining female priests was a grave crime, on par with pedophilia.” It’s not really inexplicable, though. What Time is attempting to do is to fling some mud at the wall, and hope that by mentioning pedophilia, one will be more likely to feel antagonistic towards the Church, and their policy on ordination. Time is guilty here of at least one logical error, and perhaps more. There is “poisoning the well,” “guilt by association,” and “appeals to emotion and spite.” Time is saying, in effect, the Church thinks ordination of women is wrong, as wrong as pedophilia, and since they’ve had a pedohile problem, they’re wrong on ordination as well. The two are not remotely linked.

The real problem is twofold. First is Time magazine’s use of an anti-Catholic to pretend he’s a Catholic and write screed. Andreas Solaro says “we Roman Catholics” before launching into this tirade against a male onll priesthood: “the Vatican issued an avowal, as obtuse as it was malicious, that ordaining women into the priesthood was a sin on par with pedophilia.” And this: “Rome’s misogynous declaration,” “church’s hoary horror at the idea of female priests,” “its penchant of late for sticking its papal slippers in its mouth every chance it gets.”

I suppose “we” Catholics should be grateful he’s on our side. According to him, and Time, the Church has a “spiteful rhetoric of bigotry.” We’re anti-gay and anti-woman. Predictably, after excoriating Catholics for that, Time again brings up pedophilia.

The second problem is perhaps the bigger of the two. Catholics, and by that I mean authentic, loyal to the Pope, public believers in the Church’s revealed and taught truths, need to have a public spokesman that can illuminate the Church as well as teach what the Church really says about things like homosexuality, the role of women, child abuse and other things. What we need is an Archbishop Sheen for the 21st Century. Someone who can combat the lies, falsehoods, mistakes, and bigotry that the Church faces.

Let’s face it, if you don’t like the Church, fine. Go elsewhere. Leave. Become a Hindu, or a Sikh, or a Mormon. The Catholic Church is a voluntary organiztion. We’d love to have you here, but you have to follow our rules, and believe what we believe. You can join, abstain, or leave. What you can’t do is spread lies and slander and expect us to be quiet.

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Obama, “50 Cent,” and Education

The morning news carried two stories today that were strangely connected, and that should give parents a lot to think about. Both involve the education of our children, and both reflect a disturbing trend in America. We are all familiar with the constant parade of statistics that tell us how poorly our children are doing, so I won’t belabor the fact.

The first story was that the Rochester, N.Y. school district reading list contained two books by that international man of letters, Curtis James Jackson III. For those of you who are not up on current “musical” trends, he is the rapper who goes by the alias “50 Cent.” You may be familiar with some of his literary gems, which include song lyrics like:

“Nigga front on me, the goons and goblins come out
Wishmaster hundred shot drums’ll run out!
They dumb out, you heard of me”

Or the ever popular:

We gon’ fuck, I just popped this little blue pill
You can leave but wait, I gotta shit on you still
Let me shit on your chest and if some weed comes out
Just guzzle it down, just guzzle it down

There are two books listed by the school district authored by this wordsmith. One is “The 50th Law,” which purports to be a self help book. The other is allegedly his biography, entitled “From Pieces to Weight.” The funny thing is that the school district lists the biography under the heading of fiction. One can only wish that the whole person were fiction.

School district Administrator Beth Mascitti-Miller, who acknowledged she had not read the 50 Cent book, said that district staff picks books for the list that they think will appeal to teens and reviews them to make sure they are in line with the state’s curriculum. We know what appeals to teens; the goal of education is to change that into things that are culturally valuable. Teens, especially girls, like books about romantic vampires. Teens don’t like Bram Stoker’s take on the vampire thing. The goal is to teach them why Bram Stoker is superior to “Twilight.”

Curtis Jackson appeals to teens. Fine, I get that. But really, shouldn’t the schools be the place where we say that good people don’t kill niggas and shit on people? Aren’t schools in the business of inculcating a civic more; developing a sense of cultural continuity with the values of western civilization? If we want our children to act like animals, why not save the money we spend on “educating” them, and just let them run wild?  Because, after all, that is what ghetto thugs like Jackson are advocating. The law of the jungle, kill or be killed.

The school board just sits back and does nothing.

“I’m not exactly a big 50 Cent fan,” said School Board President Malik Evans. “He’s not the most positive person. Too many of our kids are emulating these rappers. If it was up to me, I wouldn’t have it on there. But we don’t want to censor things. This is a democracy. We want the kids to be free to read.” The president of the school board, besides having atrocious grammar, believes that if he weren’t to recommend a book, he would be censoring it. Talk about a lack of critical thinking!

The other education story comes out of Washington, D.C. In a bold move, Barack Obama has called for the firing of bad teachers. In the interview, the president said he wants to work with teachers unions, and he embraced the role they play in defending their members. But he said that unions cannot and should not defend a status quo in which one-third of children are dropping out.  One wonders how you can support a union, and, at the same time, call for the firing of the members of that union.

He did, however, also announce a goal of recruiting 10,000 teachers over the next two years. At the same time, the president acknowledged that many poor schools don’t have the money they need and he defended federal aid for them. But Obama also said that money alone won’t fix the problems in public schools, saying higher standards must be set and achieved by students and teachers alike. I can only guess that he hasn’t looked at Rochester’s reading list.

The president also acknowledged that his own daughters couldn’t get the same quality education at a Washington, D.C. public school that they currently get at their private school. The Obama girls attend Sidwell Friends School, an elite private school in the Washington area.

“The DC public schools systems are struggling,” Obama said, though he added that the school district has, “made some important strides over the last several years to move in the direction of reform.” Public schools in Washington have long faced criticism for their low test scores and high dropout rates.

This year, approximately 540 billion will be spent on education. That figure includes everything from teacher’s salaries to notebooks bought at Target and Kmart. With all of that money being spent, the results are continuingly dismal. Obama’s kids are the beneficiary of a fine education that is denied other parents because of the administration’s opposition to vouchers. Your kids are stuck with “professional” educators who believe that reading about “nigga killing” and defecating on people is to be recommended.

The answer is simple. It’s not money, it’s parents and voters. Tell the federal government to get out of the education business. Tell the local educators to stop trying to be popular, and educate. And tell your children that the Curtis Jacksons of this world are not role models and have little, if anything, to teach us. And remember, the goal of education isn’t to make money, any more than it is the goal of life. The goal of education is to make people complete human beings who recognize that every human being is worthy of respect and dignity. And that the only culture to consistently teach that has been western Christendom.

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Tea Party Problems

The Tea Party is an interesting phenomena. I believe, as do others, that it represents a body politic that is fed up with business as usual on Capitol Hill. It consists mainly of right-of-center voters who are anti-tax, balanced budget, and pro-American. It has grown almost completely grass-roots, with some professional political help. That help is also it’s biggest problem.

Recently, the Tea Party has had some notable successes. Christine O’Donnell won the GOP senate primary over Rep. Mike Castle. In Florida, Marco Rubio holds a notable lead over former republican, now independent, Charlie Crist. In Nevada, the senate majority leader, Harry Reid, is in a virtual tie right now with the tea party backed Sharron Angle. The tea party looks like it’s here to stay, and the professionals are doing one of two things. They are either jumping ship, like Charlie Crist, or like remoras are attaching themselves to the shark, hoping to be pulled along.

Then, here is always the oddball, like Karl Rove. Thirty years ago, during the battle for the heart of the republican party, Ronald Reagan issued what was to become known as the “11th commandment.” He said never speak ill of a fellow republican. Rove, apparently, has forgotten that wisdom. O’Donnell had barely had time to give her acceptance remarks when Rove started trashing her. Rove works for Fox News, and there is some suspicion that he also works for campaigns he reports on. What is also abundantly clear is that Karl Rove has failed to adapt to the new environment. It seems he’d rather lose the general election, than to admit he misread the political tea leaves.

Charlie “I’m a whore” Crist took the option of jumping ship. When it appeared a certainty that he was going to lose the Florida senate primary to Marco Rubio, he left the republican party in a huff. Claiming that Rubio didn’t represent the rank-and-file republican in Florida, he decided to run as an independent, sort of like Arlen Specter. Now Crist at 30% trails Rubio at 41%, and democrat Kendrick Meek brings up the rear with 23%. Charlie is so out of touch with the shift in party demographics that after jumping ship he picked up endorsements from state Rep. Luis Garcia of Miami Beach, the former vice chairman of the Florida Democratic Party and Democratic state Rep. Yolly Roberson of Miami, who recently lost a primary bid for the congressional seat held by Crist’s Democratic rival, Kendrick Meek. Crist, like Rove, is so attached to the establishment view, that he’d rather take democrat endorsements and hope to win as a crypto-dem, than to let Rubio beat him.

When asked whether the Republican Senate nominee, Marco Rubio, is too conservative for Florida, Crist said, “I think so. We’ve seen some elections across the country — another one yesterday — where you have a certain element of the Republican party that’s been hijacked. It happened here in Florida. It happened in Delaware, apparently, yesterday and some other states.” Apparently, if you don’t like Crist, you’re too conservative and you’ve been hijacked. By who Crist never says, although it’s clear he doesn’t care much for the “regular” people that make up the bulk of the people voting for Rubio.

Perhaps worst of all for the tea party, is the attempt by some professionals to co-opt the party for their own gain. The first person to come to mind? Sarah Palin. At a recent tea party gathering, she had this to say: “This is about the people and it’s bigger than any king or queen of a tea party and it’s a lot bigger than any charismatic guy with a teleprompter,” she said. That is, until the crowd started the chant by the end of her speech: “RUN, SARAH, RUN!!”

The media suggests that tea party supporters want her to run for president in 2012. Palin had done nothing to quell such talk, and has done a lot to encourage it. She takes a lot of the credit for the recent tea party victories, claiming that her endorsements have been decisive in those races.

It doesn’t matter that she once supported the Wall Street bailout. Now, on Fox News this past Sunday, she said, “The bailout, the takeovers of the private sector — that’s not the answer.”

It doesn’t matter that she protested when the White House chief of staff used the word “retarded” to refer to Democrats but seemed OK with Rush Limbaugh using the phrase. And it doesn’t matter that she ran with and is still raising money for John McCain, even though many tea partiers find him too moderate.

Sarah Palin is that other type of professional, the remora who has attached herself to the tea party and hopes someday to be that “queen of the tea party.”

The tea party shows signs of becoming a significant force in politics. But to do that, they must do a couple of things first. They must tell the republican party that there are consequences for trying to marginalize the tea party. They must tell republican politicians that the party drives the issues, not the candidate. They have to serve notice that the Charlie Crists are not welcome. Finally, they must remind themselves of the goals they set out to achieve, and not allow themselves to be sidetracked by hucksters and showmen of politics.

The best part of this whole tea party thing is that it shows that there is a wellspring of dis-satisfaction with politics as usual. Perhaps the disaffected democrats could take a lesson from them. Maybe we’d get a chance to throw all the bums out!

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Cash for Hostages

September 14, 2010 1 comment

As the world watches, Sarah Shourd is released by the Iranian government today. We are all, as we should be, pleased at this turn of events. It does leave a few questions unanswered, however. Were the three “hikers” spies or assets of the CIA? Why, if Iran is being humanitarian, did they release only one of the hikers? And the biggest question of all, where is the outcry from the left?

About five lustrum ago, the left went ballistic over what became known as the “Arms for Hostages” crisis. This was a “crisis” that involved President Reagan and senior administration officials secretly selling arms to Iran, hoping the sales would help secure the release of hostages. The cash realized from the sales was used to aid the Contras in Nicaragua. The Iran-Contra affair became headline news for months, and resulted in the formation of the Tower Commission. Some of the principals were indicted, but nobody was ever jailed. Oddly enough, it was a radical muslim, Mehdi Hashemi, who leaked the story to the Lebanese magazine Ash-Shiraa, who exposed the arrangement on November 3, 1986

Fast-forward 25 years. Today, the AP reports that Iran freed Sarah Shourd after a $500,000 bail was paid to win her freedom. However, the case is still far from resolved. Shortly after announcing Shourd’s release, Iranian authorities said they are not considering the immediate release of the two Americans arrested with Shourd. Iran has charged all three with spying, though their families say they were innocent hikers arrested in a scenic mountain area along Iran’s border with Iraq.

President Barack Obama welcomed the release, saying, “I am very pleased that Sarah Shourd has been released by the Iranian government, and will soon be united with her family.”

Sarah is equally pleased, praising everyone, but singling out Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. “I want to really offer my thanks to…all of the governments, …and especially, particularly want to address President Ahmadinejad and all of the Iranian officials, the religious leaders, and thank them for this humanitarian gesture,” Shourd told Iran’s English-language Press TV at the airport before she boarded her flight out. Understandably, her effusive praise reflects the fact that she had not yet left Iran, and that two friends are still in jail there.

Now we can get to the heart of the matter. Ahmadinejad claims that Shourd was being released on compassionate grounds because of health reasons. But Tehran’s chief prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi said a $500,000 bail had been paid to Iran’s Bank Melli in Muscat, Oman. It is not immediately clear who paid it. A U.S. official said neither the U.S. government nor the families of the hikers had paid the bail, but could not say who else might have paid it. The U.S. official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

U.S. sanctions have put blanket restrictions on transactions with Iran’s main state bank, Bank Melli, which has also been the channel for past bail payments to Iranian courts by foreign detainees. Washington accuses the bank of helping fund Iran’s ballistic missile development and its nuclear program, which the U.S. says could eventually lead to nuclear weapons. U.N. sanctions also call on governments to block transactions with Melli and another major Iranian financial institution, Bank Saderat, if there are “reasonable grounds” they could contribute to Iran’s nuclear activities. Iran says it only seeks peaceful nuclear reactors for energy.

So here we are, twenty-five years after Iran-contra, and someone is again paying for hostages. Then, we could at least assert the Monroe Doctrine as a defense, and claim some moral high ground. The cash went to aid anti-communist insurgents in our own back yard. This time the payment is made in cash, not arms, although that seems to be a distinction without a difference. And there is nothing defensible about the payments. There is no purpose to the payment,  other than proof that we now, apparently, do negotiate with terrorists.

Yesterday, Shourd’s family asked the Iranians to drop or lower the demanded sum because they were having difficulty raising the money. The Iranians, on humanitarian grounds, I suppose, refused. Yet just 24 hours later, the money shows up. This was, by the way, the largest known bail for any high-profile Westerner jailed in the past year. Aside from proving that Ahmadinejad is a goddam liar, it also proves that Iran continues to be a criminal state engaged in kidnapping for ransom.

The real questions, however, are these:

Who ponied up the half-million dollars ransom for Shroud? If it turns out that the US funded the payments to Bank Melli, will the left demand Obama’s resignation with the same vigor they did Reagan’s? Why has the press been silent about the violations of both US and UN sanctions? And why are we so blithe as to keep repeating Ahmadinejad’s assertion that this was a humanitarian release?

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Geert Wilders’ Speech on 9/11

I heard the speech that Geert Wilders delivered on the anniversary of the 9/11 attack, and instead of deconstructing it, or commenting on it, I believe it is pointed enough to stand on its own. So here it is, unedited:

Dear friends, may I ask you to be silent for ten seconds? Just be silent and listen. Ten seconds. And listen…

What we hear are the sounds of life in the greatest city on earth. No place in the world, no place in human history, is as richly varied and vibrant and dynamic as New York City.

You hear the cars, you hear the people, you hear them rushing to their various destinations, you hear the sounds of business and of pleasure, you hear the cheers, you hear the cries, the buzzing sounds of human activity. And that is how it should be. Always.

Now close your eyes – I know it’s a beautiful day, but close your eyes. I have been told that this day nine years ago was just such a beautiful day — and remember, or try to remember, or try to imagine the sounds which were heard here on this spot under this same blue sky exactly nine years ago.

The sound of shock, the sound of destruction, the sound of panic, the sound of pain, the sound of terror.

Did New York deserve this? Did America deserve this? Did the West deserve this?

What, my friends, would you say to people who argue that New York, that America, that the West had itself to blame for those horrible sounds? There are people in this city who argue this. And they are angry because we are gathered here today to commemorate, to make a stand, to draw the line.

My friends, I have come from the other side of the Atlantic to share your grief for those who died here nine years ago.

I have not forgotten how I felt that day.

The scenes are imprinted on my soul, as they are on yours.

But our hearts were not broken in the same way as the hearts of the relatives and friends of those who lost their lives here. Many relatives of the victims are here in our midst today. I wish to take this opportunity to express my deepest and most heartfelt condolences to them and to all of the people of New York and America.

Humbly, I stand here before you as a Dutchman and a European.

I, too, however, cannot forget.

How can anyone forget?

Let me remind you of the words from Darryl Worley’s 9/11 song.

Have you forgotten how it felt that day?

To see your homeland under fire

And her people blown away

Have you forgotten when those towers fell?

We had neighbors still inside going thru a living hell

Worley’s response is our response: No, we will NEVER forget.

We are here today because we have not forgotten all the loved ones that were lost and those left to carry on. And neither has the world.

When the forces of Jihad attacked New York, they attacked the world.

Among those lost were people from 55 nations, people of every religion and every persuasion. No place on earth had a more multi-ethnic, multi-racial, and multi-lingual workforce than New York’s proud towers.

That is exactly why they were targeted. They constituted an insult to those who hold that there can be no peaceful cooperation among people and nations without submission to Sharia; to those who wish to impose the legal system of Islam on the rest of us.

But New York and Sharia are incompatible. New York stands for freedom, openness and tolerance.

New York’s Mayor recently said that New York is “rooted in Dutch tolerance.” Those are true words. New York is not intolerant. How can it be? New York is open to the world.

Suppose New York were intolerant. Suppose it only allowed people of one persuasion within its walls.

Then it would be like Mecca, a city without freedom.

Whatever your religion, persuasion or gender is, in New York you will find a home. In Mecca, if your religion isn’t Islam, you are not welcome.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf claims the right to build a mosque, a house of Sharia here – on this hallowed ground.

But, friends, I have not forgotten and neither have you. That is why we are here today. To draw the line. Here, on this sacred spot. We are here in the spirit of America’s founding fathers. We are here in the spirit of freedom. We are here in the spirit of Abraham Lincoln, the President who freed the slaves.

President Lincoln said: “Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves.”

These words are the key to our survival. The tolerance that is crucial to our freedom requires a line of defense.

Mayor Bloomberg uses tolerance as an argument to allow Imam Rauf and his sponsors to build their so-called Cordoba Mosque.

Mayor Bloomberg forgets, however, that openness cannot be open-ended. A tolerant society is not a suicidal society.

It must defend itself against the powers of darkness, the force of hatred and the blight of ignorance. It cannot tolerate the intolerant – and survive.

This means that we must not give a free hand to those who want to subjugate us.

An overwhelming majority of Americans is opposed to building this mosque. So is an overwhelming majority everywhere in the non-Islamic world.Because we all realize what is at stake here. We know what this so-called Cordoba mosque really means.

Imam Rauf maintains that American secular law and Sharia law are based on the same principles. He refuses to condemn terrorists because he says terrorism is “a very complex question”.

He says America is “an accessory to the crime that happened on 9/11.” “In fact,” he literally said, “in the most direct sense, Osama bin Laden is made in the USA.”

He also says that “terrorism will only end when the West acknowledges the harm it has done to Muslims.”

That is why this man should not play the game he has in mind here in Manhattan. His “Blame the West, Blame America”-message is an insult. Americans – and by extension, all of us whose civilization was also attacked on 9/11/2001 – are not to blame for what happened here nine years ago today.

Osama bin Laden is not made in the USA. The West never “harmed” Islam before it harmed us.

Most Americans do not want this so-called Cordoba Mosque to be built here. They understand that it is both a provocation and a humiliation. They understand the triumphant narrative of a mosque named after the Great Mosque of Cordoba which was constructed where a Christian cathedral stood before the land was conquered by Islam.

An overwhelming majority of Americans is opposed to building an Islamic cultural center close to Ground Zero. There is no lack of mosques in New York. There are dozens of buildings in which Muslims can pray. It isn’t about a lack of space for prayers. It’s about the symbolic meaning.

We who have come to speak today, object to this mosque project because its promoter and his wealthy sponsors have never suggested building a center to promote tolerance and interfaith understanding where it is really needed: In Mecca – a town where non-Muslims are not even allowed to enter, let alone build churches, synagogues, temples or community centers.

Ordinary Americans object to the mosque project because currently no fewer than ten major multi-million dollar mosque projects are being planned in the United States as well as dozens in Europe, while not a single church is allowed in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, while Jews are not even allowed to move their lips in prayer on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, while the oldest Christians in the world, the Copts, are not free to renovate their churches, let alone to build one in Egypt.

My friends, that is why we are here today. What happens in New York must be seen in the perspective of the world. The events nine years ago made an enormous impact everywhere. Most people shared your pain, but, unfortunately, some did not.

Nine years ago, when the news of the terrible atrocity in New York reached Europe, Muslim youths danced in the streets. In a poll, two thirds of the Muslim immigrants in the Netherlands expressed partial or full understanding for the 9/11 terrorists.

If a mosque were built here on Ground Zero such people would feel triumphant.

But we, we will not betray those who died on 9/11.

For their sakes we cannot tolerate a mosque on or near Ground Zero.

For their sakes loud and clear we say: No mosque here!

For their sakes, we must draw the line.

So that New York, rooted in Dutch tolerance, will never become New Mecca.

But, let us also express our gratitude for the heroes of 9/11, those who went down in that Pennsylvania field, those who were standing freedom’s watch at the Pentagon, and those who were here in New York nine years ago to risk and lose their lives for the victims.

Friends, in honor of these victims, these heroes and their families, I believe that the words of Ronald Reagan, spoken in Normandy on the 40th anniversary of D-Day, resonate with new purpose on this hallowed spot. President Reagan said: “We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free.”

And, we, too, will always remember the victims of 9/11 and their loved ones who were left behind;

We, too, will always be proud of the heroes;

We will always defend liberty, democracy and human dignity;

In the name of freedom: No mosque here!

-Geert Wilders, New York City, September 11th, 2010-

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Obama Feeds The Crocodile

It was either Chesterton or C.S. Lewis who declared that tolerance was the virtue of a man without convictions. I thought about that this morning when I read that Barack Obama has publicly asked that some guy in Florida not burn the koran.

“If he’s listening, I hope he understands that what he’s proposing to do is completely contrary to our values as Americans,” Obama said. “That this country has been built on the notion of freedom and religious tolerance.” I don’t know about built on, but they are certainly important “notions.” So important that our founding fathers enshrined them in the first amendment. And this is where Obama breaks down.

When the question was the mosque in New York, Obama was unequivocal. They have the right to build there, but I won’t comment on the wisdom of their choice, was his dictum on the subject. In the Florida imbroglio, he rails against the wisdom of the pastor’s choice, but fails to mention the pastor’s right to burn the koran. As a matter of fact, he went out of his way to underscore just how dangerous the first amendment has become.

“And as a very practical matter, I just want him to understand that this stunt that he is talking about pulling could greatly endanger our young men and women who are in uniform,” Obama said. “Look, this is a recruitment bonanza for Al Qaida. You could have serious violence in places like Pakistan and Afghanistan.” Obama also said Jones’ plan, if carried out, could serve as an incentive for terrorist-minded individuals “to blow themselves up” to kill others.

Obama was immediately backed up by Feisal Rauf, the man behind the N.Y. Mosque. The imam threatened the west with violence if the proposed mosque were to be moved. He also echoed Obama’s comments about recruitment for Al Qaida.

“But if you don’t do this right, anger will explode in the Muslim world,” he later said, predicting that the reaction could be more furious than the eruption of violence following the 2005 publication of Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Ironically, this is the guy that took a State Department-funded 15-day trip to the Middle East to promote religious tolerance.

Rauf is not alone. Dr. Nabil Bayakly with the Muslim Society of Memphis says the church’s actions could incite violence against U.S. troops, and Americans living in other countries, many of whom have family members in the Memphis area. “Just think about the lives of Americans who live in Muslim countries, how much danger you’re putting them in. [C]onsider your American citizens. Consider their safety.” Note the phrasing, “your American citizens,” not “our.” It’s clear where his loyalty lies. So in addition to threatening our troops abroad, the muslim leader is now threatening their families here in America. The message couldn’t be much clearer. They are, in the words of the mafia, making us an offer we can’t resist. Don’t thwart our plans, and we won’t kill your children. Thank God they’re a religion of peace.

The real problem is a lack of perspective. In a recent study(2007) conducted in Indonesia, 1200 muslims were surveyed. A fascinating picture emerges. More than 40 percent of Indonesian Muslims are ready to wage war for their faith. Acts of violence in the survey on religion and violence by the Center for Islamic and Social Studies (PPIM) showed 1.3 percent of the respondents committed “intimidation” against those they considered had blasphemed Islam.

“The percentage looks very small but it is very high in its real figure when you note that 85 percent, or 200 million, of the country’s 230 million population are Muslims,” said PPIM researcher Jajat Burhanudin.

The survey, conducted from 2001 to March 2006, found 40 percent would use violence against those blaspheming Islam and 14.7 percent would tear down churches without official permits.

Jajat said that a simultaneous study on the reasons for the results found Islamic teaching and Islamism made the most significant contributions to violent behavior, both in the domestic and public spheres.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the filmmaker who collaborated with Theo VanGogh on the film “Submission,” which later led to the murder of VanGogh by muslims. She now lives, like Rushdie, under a fatwa, or death sentence issued by islamic clerics.

Having grown up within Islam, Hirsi Ali believes she is uniquely placed to warn the public that they are living under a ‘great deception’ about the true nature of Islam. “They have deceived themselves that the majority of Muslims are moderate.”

“But they are not. Violence is inherent in Islam – it’s a destructive, nihilistic cult of death. It legitimates murder. The police may foil plots and freeze bank accounts in the short term, but the battle against terrorism will ultimately be lost unless we realise that it’s not just with extremist elements within Islam, but the ideology of Islam itself.”

And now we have those same elements threatening American citizens, here and abroad, unless we kow-tow to their demands. And our political leaders no longer have the perspective to see that danger, or the will to resist that danger. Winston Churchill, speaking of Chamberlain, said that “Appeasement is feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last.” Chamberlain, in response, said “Well, to listen to Mr. Churchill, you’d think that Hitler wanted to kill every Jew in Europe.” History has judged who was right then, let us hope we will determine who is right before we become like the Jews.

Categories: Uncategorized

Petraeus, Shut Up and Fight!

The top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus, issued a warning that an American church’s threat to burn copies of the Muslim holy book could endanger U.S. troops in the country and Americans worldwide.

“Images of the burning of a Quran would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan — and around the world — to inflame public opinion and incite violence,” Petraeus said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. “I am very concerned by the potential repercussions of the possible (Quran) burning. Even the rumor that it might take place has sparked demonstrations such as the one that took place in Kabul yesterday,” Petraeus said in his message. “Were the actual burning to take place, the safety of our soldiers and civilians would be put in jeopardy and accomplishment of the mission would be made more difficult.”

After reading this, I searched and searched, in vain, as it turns out, for other examples of Petraeus’ remarkable cultural sensitivity. What had he to say about Serrano’s “Piss Ch****?” Not a word. What did he say about the Taliban’s destruction of the Buddhas of Bamyan? Nothing. What about the “artist” who painted the Virgin Mary with elephant dung? You guessed it, silent again. General Petraeus is rather selective at whom he levels his criticism. Apparently, Petraeus is only comfortable criticizing the people and principles he is oath-bound to defend.

So, of course, the muslim world goes nuts. Several hundred Afghans rallied outside a Kabul mosque, burning American flags and an effigy of Dove World’s pastor and chanting “death to America.” This, being, of course, the religion of peace. Accompanying at least one news story of the riots, was an ironic picture of Afghans trampling an American flag. It’s not just the Afghans, though. Two days earlier, thousands of Indonesian Muslims rallied outside the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta and in five other cities to protest the church’s plans.

Proving that the current administration is once again on the wrong side of an issue, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul also issued a statement condemning the church’s plans, saying Washington was “deeply concerned about deliberate attempts to offend members of religious or ethnic groups.” Except, of course, when the offended groups are Christians. Then, the government goes out of their way to finance the offenders.

There is no way I condone what the koran burners are doing. Personally, I find evangelical fundamentalists to be like children. They make a lot of noise, they do thing to provoke outrage, but there is little deep thought about them. Having said that, what they are doing is as much protected by the first amendment as the building of a mosque somewhere in NYC. The first amendment was not put there so you could get the football scores; it was put there precisely to protect offensive speech. Let’s face it, pleasant speech doesn’t really require protection, right?

Everyone who believes the mosque-builders have the right to build, must also, by the same logic, believe that the koran-burners have the right to burn those books. Yes, it will upset the muslims, and yes, that is why they’re doing it, but the first amendment doesn’t requires that the people using it have brains.

I believe the muslims are pathetically stupid about this issue. They will go about beheading reporters, stoning women to death, homicide bombing innocent women and children, and murdering artists and cartoonists, all in the name of their “religion of peace.” Then they will say with straight faces that they find book burning to be offensive. If it weren’t scary, the disproportionateness of their concerns would be laughable. Apparently, they seriously believe that three or four dollars of paper and ink are more worthy of respect than human life.

And that is one of my main problems with islam. Every religion that I am aware of, save one, has a hierarchy of values. People are more valuable than things, murder is worse than petty theft, that sort of thing. Different religions may argue about whose priorities are more correct, but there is general agreement about some basic principles. The muslims, however, seem to believe that almost anything is more important than human life and dignity. Draw Muhammed, you die. Burn a koran, you die. Worship Jesus, you die. There doesn’t seem to be much variety in their punishments.

Aside from the irony of Petraeus’ pusillanimous begging of Americans to abandon the First Amendment, the whole incident should be a wake-up call to those people who believe that it is possible to peaceably co-exist with a fundamentalist, fanatical group of terrorists.

Categories: Uncategorized
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