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?  Pour yourself some tea, sit down and take your meds. Get some 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 murderers of ISIS.  If Christians both control the American government and harbor such murderous intolerance as is so glibly suggested, 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 hypocrites. And cowards.

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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.

Raising the Bar on public input

The public comment period will end 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, April 9, thirty days after President Obama formally announced his intention to rescind the Health and Human Services (HHS) regulations in the Federal Register. A source within the HHS has told CatholicAnew.com that a handful of comments received after the cutoff may be considered.

via Last Chance to Ask Obama Administration to Retain Conscience Protections for Pro-Life Doctors | Catholic Exchange.

The requirements for sending comments ensure that pretty much only legal scholars can provide input.  So when only a few thousand (and that’s optimistic) comments are received, opposition to the measure can be dismissed as a fringe position.  Then it will be open season on health care providers who refuse on the basis of conscience to perform abortions.  Perhaps they think that after a few of us are made examples of, most will cave.  And what a display of pragmatism-over-ideology this will be in addressing the chronic shortage of health care providers!

This is Obama’s idea of putting aside partisan differences and being the voice of the people rather than of special interests?  But I guess this is what the USA gets for electing a President on the basis of feel-good slogans, or for its blind acceptance of the two-party approach to politics where the only choices are Bad and Worse.

Mainstream extremists

If you’re an anti-abortion activist, or if you display political paraphernalia supporting a third-party candidate or a certain Republican member of Congress, if you possess subversive literature, you very well might be a member of a domestic paramilitary group.

That’s according to “The Modern Militia Movement,” a report by the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC), a government collective that identifies the warning signs of potential domestic terrorists for law enforcement communities…

“It’s certainly an attempt to stifle political thought, especially in Missouri. It definitely makes me pause, if nothing else. Maybe Missouri is just a test bed for squelching political thought.”

via ‘Fusion Centers’ Expand Criteria to Identify Militia Members – First 100 Days of Presidency – Politics FOXNews.com.

I remember in the wake of the Branch Davidian massacre, Attorney General Janet Reno saying that marks of a “cult” included attending Bible studies or believing in the Second Coming of Christ.  And, implicitly, if you are a “cultist” or a “white separatist” like the Weaver family, you might just find federal SWAT teams kicking down your door on the suspicion that you might act on your extremist beliefs and hurt someone.  Your spouse and children dead in a hail of government gunfire?  Too bad.  You should have been more of a conformist.  That was the real if unstated lesson of those debacles.

If this Missouri report is indeed a trial balloon to see how the public reacts to civil rights abuses based on calling someone an extremist or a militia member, then this balloon needs to be popped.

Also, I would like to see if all those people who have been calling Bush “Hitler” and “fascist” for the past eight years will be as quick to object to this.  Will the news be filled with ominous threats of an impending police state?

Update, 3/28: balloon popped. Report has been retracted and questions are being asked about who is responsible.  Good.

Some thanks

He says he was shocked when a job-placement worker told him that some employers consider a military record almost like having “a felony.”

“People just frown upon us nowadays, thinking we’re all flying-off-the-handle crazy guys,” says Pearson, who has a bachelor’s degree in business management. “They don’t even give us a chance.”

via Jobless rate at 11.2% for veterans of Iraq, Afghanistan – USATODAY.com.

Years of calling military members things like “baby killer” had to have some effect.  Troops don’t set policy; they follow orders.  But in the unhinged, irresponsible rhetoric of the far left, we don’t separate military service from the policies of George W. Bush.  That’s how college campuses ban ROTC or military recruiters, people make movies portraying soldiers as mindless killers or sociopaths, and service members are treated as pariahs when they return home from risking their lives.

Yet more evidence that less people believe in pluralism or respect those they disagree with.