Fear and Loathing in the Name of Enlightenment

It’s increasingly clear to quite a few people these days that the most bigoted and intolerant people in our society are the very ones who make a big deal about being against bigotry and intolerance.  They keep using those words.  I do not think they mean what they think they mean.

Case in point: What better way to observe the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11 than by equating the aggressor with the victim.  That is what the author of this article does in quoting the post-9/11 predictions of Hunter S. Thompson:

The towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes for Peace in Our Time, in the United States or any other country. Make no mistake about it: We are At War now — with somebody — and we will stay At War with that mysterious Enemy for the rest of our lives.

It will be a Religious War, a sort of Christian Jihad, fueled by religious hatred and led by merciless fanatics on both sides. It will be guerilla warfare on a global scale, with no front lines and no identifiable enemy.

War it is.  But last time I checked, it was not started by Christian terrorists flying passenger jets into buildings in Mecca.  Whatever one thinks about the nature and causes of the turmoil in the Middle East, the last time that a combatant entity treated the mass murder of enemy civilians as a legitimate aim of war or expression of grievance, the result was the Nuremberg trials.  One wonders whether the “lucid” assessment of Thompson would have characterized the American response to Pearl Harbor as “a sort of Christian Jihad, fueled by religious hatred and led by merciless fanatics.”  I call this not lucidity but a spectacular example of the sort of obtuseness one can arrive at when one’s view of events is colored by excessive hatred toward a group of people.

While it is true that many Muslims celebrated 9/11 as a legitimate act of war by Muslims against the “Christian West,” (H/T Instapundit) there was no equivalent sentiment on the other side.  Christian ministers do not call for the killing of unbelievers.  There were no spontaneous celebrations among Christians upon news of the deaths of Muslims.  Even reaction to the killing of bin Laden himself was muted.  Everything the West has done in response to 9/11 has been explicitly stated and defended in terms of national self-defense, not religion.  Bush even went on TV in the aftermath of 9/11 to assure the world that Islam is a religion of peace and retaliation against the Muslim world would be mistaken and unfair.   Whatever you think of America’s involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, these are the facts.

Christian jihad?  Religious extremism?  Get some bloody perspective and stop parroting such utterly irrational bigotry.  You want to see the sort of things that you accuse Christians of?  Look at Iran, where homosexuals are hung.  Look at Saudi Arabia, where people are imprisoned for expressing a worldview other than Islam.  Look at the merry mass murders of ISIS, for God’s sake.  Get some perspective.  If Christians both control the American government and harbor such murderous intolerance as you so glibly suggest, do you really think you could sit there behind your computer, safe from harm while saying such things?  The question itself doesn’t even exist outside the fever swamps of progressivist ignorance, hatred and projection.

Yet despite your hate mongering, you know deep down that promoting such hatred and defamation of Christians will get you a response no stronger than that of words.  You pick on those who don’t hate you the way you hate us.  You’re cowards.

Mama weer all crazee now

Life being what it is, I have hardly blogged at all the last four years.  But perusing some of my old posts I came across this:

I suspect that we are in the beginning of upheavals –economic, political and social– on a historic scale and the landscape might look very different in just a few short years.  We could hope that a spiritual realignment will come out of this too.    It’s been apparent to me that nobody is a moral relativist when it’s their own ox being gored, and between layoffs and 401Ks a lot of us have been gored.  I hope people will wake up and recognize relativism for the contrivance and evasion it is, and start looking around for a worldview with staying power.  And we will need it, because it seems to me that if many more people reject the values of democratic pluralism we could be into a rather ugly form of dictatorship.  I know I sound a bit unhinged, but in the past when the same factors have been in play the outcome hasn’t been good.  People don’t realize what a historical anomaly democracy really is.

Today I’m feeling less unhinged about saying that.

Christians, Eeeww!

So I am sitting in the break room at work today eating my lunch.  There are two coworkers also there, and the TV is on.  There is a commercial for a dating site, which prompts the following dialogue out of the blue:

First coworker:  Dating sites!  There are all these dating sites.  There is even a dating site for Christians.  Christians think they are better than other people, but they aren’t.

Second coworker:  They are actually the worst.

First coworker:  And the popes!  Eeewww…!!!

I could have said something to them.  I could have complained to management that I felt excluded or something.  Such complaints are a handy excuse these days for shutting some people up and/or sending them to mandatory re-“education”.  But I still believe in free speech, even if some don’t.  I think offendedness is too eagerly and too often used as an excuse for eroding people’s rights.  I will not help that pernicious process.  But it makes me wonder what sort of tribalistic bubble my coworkers live in that they automatically assume that someone they don’t really know (i.e. me) wouldn’t find their bigotry objectionable.  And I can’t help adding this to the long list of instances where those who talk as if tolerance and diversity as the only moral absolutes show that they do not truly believe in those things.  And that is a problem.

Easy targets for the englightened and sophisticated

The director and co-producer of Angels and Demons have carefully avoided showing Muslim characters in a negative light.  This while making two movies depicting the Catholic Church as anti-reason, anti-science and riddled with hypocrisy.  Maybe it’s simple hatred of Christians, or maybe it’s because they know that offended Catholics won’t be bombing their homes or slitting their throats.  In any case I won’t be paying money to see any movie made by either of them again.

The real wave of hate crimes not on the radar

House Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer argued that [hate] crimes “terrorize entire segments of our population and tear at our nation’s social fabric.”

via U.S. House votes to expand ‘hate crimes’ laws.

Riiiight.  So where are the multitudes of incidents of crimes against people because they are somewhere in the LGBT spectrum?  Oh I know, there is Matthew Shepard.  But that’s a questionable example of a hate crime no matter how many times we are told it was one.  And the fact that he is referenced so often strongly implies that it was the exception rather than the rule; apparently there have been no further cases that can be spun as hate crimes in the years following.  Until this, but as sad as the death of the teen was, it seems more a result of dishonesty by both parties, and you can’t outlaw dishonesty.  (Well, I doubt Congress can anyway.)

On the other hand, there has indeed been a wave of hate-fuelled violence across the US, but one that has mostly escaped the notice of Washington and the national media.  The wave is one of arson and vandalism of churches.  It has been going on for several years and is widespread.  Searching the Web for mentions of this in the national media is difficult, although stories in local media are abundant.  The evidence is ample, but our media watchdogs aren’t connecting the many, many dots.  Perhaps that would violate their meme which has it that Christians are the perpetrators of intolerance, not the victims of it.

As more recent examples, there was quite a rash or church burnings and vandalism in nearby Lewiston, Idaho.  (Strangely, although local media covered the story at the time, the stories now appear to be missing from their Web sites.)  And the arsonist of Sarah Palin’s church was apparently seeking a body count.  Apparently the guardians of tolerance and diversity don’t see a problem here.

Personally, I am now an outcast at work because I gave the wrong answer to the question, “Do you support gay marriage?”  More and more I’m coming to the conclusion that “tolerance and diversity” are not things the secular left actually believes in; it seems they merely invoked those things while they lacked the political power to criminalize dissent.  No need to claim slippery slopes; this is in fact what has happened in Canada and Western Europe.  The US is just a few years behind.

I see something even more sinister at work than the possible prosecution of Christians for confessing what God says about same-sex relationships.  The push for gay marriage and protecting gays from “hate crimes” like people failing to endorse their lifestyles also seems to be part of a broader push away from democratic pluralism and the British tradition of the rule of law and toward a more French-style polity in which the government decides what rights to give to the citizens.  And what the government gives it can take away, which is why the French version resulted in a Reign of Terror while the American Revolution, which appealed to inalienable rights conferred by the Creator, did not.

As I told a coworker, I think it’s foolish for the LGBT minority to make “political might makes right” their argument, because it could well turn against them, especially if they succeed in divorcing these issues from any regard for a transcendant Creator who is the source of morality.   But the majority, as usual, is more occupied with American Idol than with the principles that underlie a civil society and how they might be undermined.

Faith and science, with credibility

Francis Collins, former Director of the Human Genome Project, has a new project: the BioLogos Foundation.  It seeks to explore issues at the nexus of faith and science but from a positive standpoint.  While this endeavour will probably come under fire rather quickly from fundamentalists (both the religious and the atheist varieties), Collins speaks with a level of credibility that you don’t find with people like the young earthers or Richard Dawkins.

Demons in the details

This Rock Answers Angels & Demons’ False Charges – Catholic Answers Forums.

In which Carl Olson exposes some of the phony claims (regarding both fact and purpose) in Dan Brown’s next shovelful.

The phoniest aspect, in my mind, is Brown’s protestation that he wants peaceful coexistence between faith and science even while making all sorts of false accusations and vicious stereotypes against Christians.  He is a cheap propagandist who whines when  his revisions are examined critically, and those in the media who promote his work are helping promote slander and hatemongering.