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Teaching Johnny about Islam: The Hypocrisy June 2, 2006

Posted by June in Christianity, Communism, Islam, Judicial Branch, Liberalism, News, Politics, Religion.
3 comments

It seems that in my last posting, which was a news piece on the government requirement of a religion, that I was declared to be whining. I’ve thought about it and decided that that person was right; that so-called analysis was more of a whine than actual thought processes and beneath the standards which I have set out for myself to maintain. So I’m here now to amend that.

Please note that in the following that I speak of atheists who actively seek to ram their beliefs down other people’s throats, not peaceful atheists who don’t get offended at the least little thing.

It’s amazing, isn’t it? Where is Michael Newdow? One would think that a person who takes offense to his daughter or any other child saying TWO TINY WORDS that speak nothing of the doctrine of Christianity in an oath of affinity to the country that governs and protects them would be having a fit and a heart attack about something as extreme as the role-playing that the kids in California are forced into.

But what about the 9th Circuit courts, the same court that ruled in favor of the Newdow case? I would like to hear someone tell me how come a child cannot learn about Islam the same way he is learning about Christianity? I would like to know how atheists like Newdow and the court system would view such a course of curriculum for Christianity? For example, again, this is what the kids are being FORCED into as part of a curriculum that is mandatory:

 Teaching Johnny About Islam

Reciting aloud Muslim prayers that begin with “In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful . . . .”

Memorizing the Muslim profession of faith: “Allah is the only true God and Muhammad is his messenger.”

Chanting “Praise be to Allah” in response to teacher prompts.

Professing as “true” the Muslim belief that “The Holy Quran is God’s word.”

Giving up candy and TV to demonstrate Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting.

Designing prayer rugs, taking an Arabic name and essentially “becoming a Muslim” for two full weeks.

Instead we should have kids participating in the following:

Praying aloud Christian prayers that begin with “Dear God. . . .” and end with “…in Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Memorizing John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Writing essays on how wonderful Jesus is.

Professing as “true” the Christian belief that “the Bible is God’s inerrant Word.”

Participating in Communion.

Designing Bible covers or drawing pictures of Jesus dying on the cross, taking a Christian name from someone in the Bible and essentially “becoming a Christian” for two full weeks.

How does that sound? If that is added onto this course, then sure, we should allow for this to continue; but this is, instead, what is happening:

In the California course on world religions, Christianity is not presented equally. It’s covered in just two days and doesn’t involve kids in any role-playing activities. But kids do get a good dose of skepticism about the Christian faith, including a biting history of its persecution of other peoples. In contrast, Islam gets a pass from critical review. Even jihad is presented as an “internal personal struggle to do one’s best to resist temptation,” and not holy war. 

If the previous shouldn’t be allowed for Christianity, then why is it allowed for Islam? Why is it that atheists can have convulsions about a display of the Ten Commandments which can be passed up with not so much as a glance but be perfectly fine with this? Where is the ACLU in all of this who constantly has fits about such things?

We can debate on the Constitutionality of the words “under God” in the pledge another time when more space can be devoted to it. Right now I am addressing the Left’s interpretation of the First Amendment, which, for those who are not familiar with it, is the following:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of relgion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof: or abridging the freedom of speech, of of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

To the Left, the parts on religion, obviously, actually mean to them that Congress shall make no law allowing for Christianity within 1,000 feet of anyone who might have a slight offense to it.
This interpretation, of course, is subject to change if or when the Left tries to outlaw Christianity.

White Guilt and the Western Past May 3, 2006

Posted by June in Around the World, Executive Branch, Liberalism, Philosophy, Politics, Racism, War on Terror.
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White Guilt and the Western Past
Why is America so delicate with the enemy?

BY SHELBY STEELE
Tuesday, May 2, 2006 12:01 a.m. EDT

There is something rather odd in the way America has come to fight its wars since World War II.

For one thing, it is now unimaginable that we would use anything approaching the full measure of our military power (the nuclear option aside) in the wars we fight. And this seems only reasonable given the relative weakness of our Third World enemies in Vietnam and in the Middle East. But the fact is that we lost in Vietnam, and today, despite our vast power, we are only slogging along–if admirably–in Iraq against a hit-and-run insurgency that cannot stop us even as we seem unable to stop it. Yet no one–including, very likely, the insurgents themselves–believes that America lacks the raw power to defeat this insurgency if it wants to. So clearly it is America that determines the scale of this war. It is America, in fact, that fights so as to make a little room for an insurgency.

Certainly since Vietnam, America has increasingly practiced a policy of minimalism and restraint in war. And now this unacknowledged policy, which always makes a space for the enemy, has us in another long and rather passionless war against a weak enemy.

Why this new minimalism in war?

It began, I believe, in a late-20th-century event that transformed the world more profoundly than the collapse of communism: the world-wide collapse of white supremacy as a source of moral authority, political legitimacy and even sovereignty. This idea had organized the entire world, divided up its resources, imposed the nation-state system across the globe, and delivered the majority of the world’s population into servitude and oppression. After World War II, revolutions across the globe, from India to Algeria and from Indonesia to the American civil rights revolution, defeated the authority inherent in white supremacy, if not the idea itself. And this defeat exacted a price: the West was left stigmatized by its sins. Today, the white West–like Germany after the Nazi defeat–lives in a kind of secular penitence in which the slightest echo of past sins brings down withering condemnation. There is now a cloud over white skin where there once was unquestioned authority.

I call this white guilt not because it is a guilt of conscience but because people stigmatized with moral crimes–here racism and imperialism–lack moral authority and so act guiltily whether they feel guilt or not.

They struggle, above all else, to dissociate themselves from the past sins they are stigmatized with. When they behave in ways that invoke the memory of those sins, they must labor to prove that they have not relapsed into their group’s former sinfulness. So when America–the greatest embodiment of Western power–goes to war in Third World Iraq, it must also labor to dissociate that action from the great Western sin of imperialism. Thus, in Iraq we are in two wars, one against an insurgency and another against the past–two fronts, two victories to win, one military, the other a victory of dissociation.

The collapse of white supremacy–and the resulting white guilt–introduced a new mechanism of power into the world: stigmatization with the evil of the Western past. And this stigmatization is power because it affects the terms of legitimacy for Western nations and for their actions in the world. In Iraq, America is fighting as much for the legitimacy of its war effort as for victory in war. In fact, legitimacy may be the more important goal. If a military victory makes us look like an imperialist nation bent on occupying and raping the resources of a poor brown nation, then victory would mean less because it would have no legitimacy. Europe would scorn. Conversely, if America suffered a military loss in Iraq but in so doing dispelled the imperialist stigma, the loss would be seen as a necessary sacrifice made to restore our nation’s legitimacy. Europe’s halls of internationalism would suddenly open to us.

Because dissociation from the racist and imperialist stigma is so tied to legitimacy in this age of white guilt, America’s act of going to war can have legitimacy only if it seems to be an act of social work–something that uplifts and transforms the poor brown nation (thus dissociating us from the white exploitations of old). So our war effort in Iraq is shrouded in a new language of social work in which democracy is cast as an instrument of social transformation bringing new institutions, new relations between men and women, new ideas of individual autonomy, new and more open forms of education, new ways of overcoming poverty–war as the Great Society.

This does not mean that President Bush is insincere in his desire to bring democracy to Iraq, nor is it to say that democracy won’t ultimately be socially transformative in Iraq. It’s just that today the United States cannot go to war in the Third World simply to defeat a dangerous enemy.

White guilt makes our Third World enemies into colored victims, people whose problems–even the tyrannies they live under–were created by the historical disruptions and injustices of the white West. We must “understand” and pity our enemy even as we fight him. And, though Islamic extremism is one of the most pernicious forms of evil opportunism that has ever existed, we have felt compelled to fight it with an almost managerial minimalism that shows us to be beyond the passions of war–and thus well dissociated from the avariciousness of the white supremacist past.

Anti-Americanism, whether in Europe or on the American left, works by the mechanism of white guilt. It stigmatizes America with all the imperialistic and racist ugliness of the white Western past so that America becomes a kind of straw man, a construct of Western sin. (The Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo prisons were the focus of such stigmatization campaigns.) Once the stigma is in place, one need only be anti-American in order to be “good,” in order to have an automatic moral legitimacy and power in relation to America. (People as seemingly disparate as President Jacques Chirac and the Rev. Al Sharpton are devoted pursuers of the moral high ground to be had in anti-Americanism.) This formula is the most dependable source of power for today’s international left. Virtue and power by mere anti-Americanism. And it is all the more appealing since, unlike real virtues, it requires no sacrifice or effort–only outrage at every slight echo of the imperialist past.

Today words like “power” and “victory” are so stigmatized with Western sin that, in many quarters, it is politically incorrect even to utter them. For the West, “might” can never be right. And victory, when won by the West against a Third World enemy, is always oppression. But, in reality, military victory is also the victory of one idea and the defeat of another. Only American victory in Iraq defeats the idea of Islamic extremism. But in today’s atmosphere of Western contrition, it is impolitic to say so.

America and the broader West are now going through a rather tender era, a time when Western societies have very little defense against the moral accusations that come from their own left wings and from those vast stretches of nonwhite humanity that were once so disregarded.

Europeans are utterly confounded by the swelling Muslim populations in their midst. America has run from its own mounting immigration problem for decades, and even today, after finally taking up the issue, our government seems entirely flummoxed. White guilt is a vacuum of moral authority visited on the present by the shames of the past. In the abstract it seems a slight thing, almost irrelevant, an unconvincing proposition. Yet a society as enormously powerful as America lacks the authority to ask its most brilliant, wealthy and superbly educated minority students to compete freely for college admission with poor whites who lack all these things. Just can’t do it.

Whether the problem is race relations, education, immigration or war, white guilt imposes so much minimalism and restraint that our worst problems tend to linger and deepen. Our leaders work within a double bind. If they do what is truly necessary to solve a problem–win a war, fix immigration–they lose legitimacy.

To maintain their legitimacy, they practice the minimalism that makes problems linger. What but minimalism is left when you are running from stigmatization as a “unilateralist cowboy”? And where is the will to truly regulate the southern border when those who ask for this are slimed as bigots? This is how white guilt defines what is possible in America. You go at a problem until you meet stigmatization, then you retreat into minimalism.

Possibly white guilt’s worst effect is that it does not permit whites–and nonwhites–to appreciate something extraordinary: the fact that whites in America, and even elsewhere in the West, have achieved a truly remarkable moral transformation. One is forbidden to speak thus, but it is simply true. There are no serious advocates of white supremacy in America today, because whites see this idea as morally repugnant. If there is still the odd white bigot out there surviving past his time, there are millions of whites who only feel goodwill toward minorities.

This is a fact that must be integrated into our public life–absorbed as new history–so that America can once again feel the moral authority to seriously tackle its most profound problems. Then, if we decide to go to war, it can be with enough ferocity to win.

Mr. Steele, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, is author, most recently, of “White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era,” published this week by HarperCollins.

Gas Prices April 23, 2006

Posted by June in Around the World, Artist Thinker Articles, Bureaucracy, Communism, Liberalism, Politics, Socialism.
2 comments

I hear people griping about the price of gas these days. True, the price is high; but that's what happens when hurricanes shut down oil refineries, when environmentalists require specific blends of gas, when inflation goes up, when OPEC raises the price of crude oil, when supply goes down and demand (such as the increase for demand in China and India) goes up, etc.

There's all this talk about windfall profits and how we should steal from oil companies to satisfy our own envy and greed. "But the oil companies deserve it! They purposely raise the price of gas because they know we need it!" is the cry. Well, where was that kind of talk only a few years ago when my father was worrying about whether or not he would have a job the next day, when the price of gas dropped to such low levels that companies could no longer keep paying their workers and began laying people off by the thousands and companies were shutting down one after another? Why didn't the evil oil companies or that one single person who controls the price of gas just simply raise the prices? Are they stupid or something? Did they suddenly get a philanthropic stirring in their hearts?
See how stupid that sounds? Supply and demand — that's the biggest factor in the current jump in price. If everyone collectively stops using so much fuel, stops going on those extra drives, carpools, walks when possible, etc. the price will fall back down.

One thing we could do to help lower the cost of oil even on average years when supply hasn't been cut down by a shortage of oil refineries or that special mandatory blend of gas is replacing the other blend and when the increase in demand caused by summer driving sprees isn't in effect is the one thing that these very same people who cry out about the prices refuse to allow, which is to allow for drilling in Alaska. Allowing American companies to get oil from our own country would lessen our dependence on foreign oil, most notably OPEC oil, which all too often comes from countries that have it in for the US. This would allow American companies to have access to cheaper crude oil, which will in turn force OPEC to lower its prices to compete and maintain their market.

"What about alternative fuels?" You might ask. Well, if such a thing exists or is even on the horizon, then why aren't you buying the cars that will allow for those fuels? If that's really an alternative right now or even in the near future, then it's the consumers' fault for not moving to those fuels, not the oil companies'. Capitalism accommodates the consumer. If there's a demand and if it's conceivable, you can bet it will be there. If you really want alternative fuels, start demanding it and start buying it. Don't start blaming other people when you, inevitably, don't because those new cars and fuels are more expensive, as I've been hearing about the alternative fuels that are being tested right now such as ethanol.

Oil is used for things other than gas, too. I definitely haven't heard of an alternative for those products. So oil will be around for a very long time, even if a viable alternative fuel shows up.

One thing that would really help would, probably, be if someone can find a cheaper way to make oil in an artificial manner. I've heard of these machines that allow for the synthesis of oil from shale; but I heard that it ends up being more expensive than bringing it up from the ground. I have a hard time understanding that since the things I've heard my dad in the past talk about how he gets oil from the ground are extremely complicated and expensive. (He once had to run off to deal with an oil rig that had dropped a 3 million dollar piece into the ocean. They never did recover it… That was only one piece of one oil rig.) These machines must be hard to operate and expensive to make.

Still, in the end, it is the consumer, OPEC, inflation, and these environmental regulations that determine the price, not oil companies. If you want a lower price, the immediate solution is to conserve your gas. Another thing that can be done is to get rid of environmental regulations. We can also decrease dependence on foreign oil by drilling in Alaska or more drilling in the Gulf of Mexico as Mexico is doing. The final uncertain alternative is to discover new fuels.

June

Gray World: Why Is Murder Wrong? February 21, 2006

Posted by June in Agnosticism, Artist Thinker Articles, Atheism, Christianity, Communism, Deism, Liberalism, Other, Philosophy, Politics, Religion.
13 comments

 
I’ve heard it a thousand times. “The world is not black and white. There are things that are true for some people that aren’t true for others.”

Please excuse this simple-minded individual, but a world where truth is relative, in my opinion, would be hell on earth. Think about it. If truth were relative to each person’s own personal perspective and morals, then how could we possibly say that murder is wrong? Sure it’s wrong to us; but it’s not wrong to a host of people such as Ted Bundy, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, Ted Kennedy, etc.

So what makes it wrong? Who said that it was wrong, and who are they that their morals and opinions be placed above everyone else’s?

If you think that the majority should rule the day, then what about things like the Aztecs sacrificing people from other tribes to their gods? The majority of Aztecs supported the murder of thousands of people from other tribes. Does that mean the conquistadors were wrong to come in and put a stop to it with the help of the neighboring tribes?

What about Nazi Germany? The majority of Germans at the time thought that it was perfectly all right to murder Jews.

What about Communist countries like China where innocent people are tortured and murdered for things like having an opposing opinion or converting to an unapproved religion?

What about the fact that the majority of the world still views women as possessions or beneath men? Western countries are really the only countries in the world that recognize women as equals. Is that right? Is that just?

If the majority said that dogs had 5 legs, would they be right simply because they are in the majority?

Also, if the majority rules, then why do we bother with this system of government that ensures the minority gets a voice?

I want to know. What makes murder, stealing, racism, assualt, rape, embezzlement, white GOP males, hick Bible-thumping close-minded fundamentalist Christians, and Southern cowboy Presidents wrong? Who says so, and who made him king of the world?

If you didn’t catch the sarcasm, go back and reread the last section until you get it because the significance of the hypocrisy I have satired is immeasurable. The fact of the matter is that, whether people like it or not, this is a black and white world. We can’t always find a pure white option; but there is such a thing as the lesser of two evils. One might say that that is proof that this world is gray; but think about it. Actually stop and think. How do we know which is the lesser of two evils? How do we know they contain any evil at all? We know because there is such a thing as black and white, good and evil. We just can’t get perfect good out of an imperfect world.

Just because gray-worlders insist upon closing their ears and their minds off to this truth, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t true. Gray-worlders are simply people who are in the path of a tornado but close their minds, eyes, and ears off from the truth believing that they aren’t in it’s destructive path simply because they say they aren’t. As I like to say:

Truth never changes; opinions change.

Or, as President Abraham Lincoln so nicely puts it: “How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”

Now to elaborate on the hypocrisy of the gray-worlders.
Gray-worlders would like us to believe that this world is full of relativity because it prevents anyone from judging their actions and allows them to condemn us for judging them. But STOP right here. Go back. Think about what I just said.
GRAY . . . . WORLDERS . . . . ARE . . . . CONDEMNING . . . . PEOPLE . . . . AND, THUS, . . . . JUDGING . . . . PEOPLE.

Get it? Do you see the hypocrisy now? Do you understand what I am trying to point out?

Gray-worlders use black-and-white arguments to propel the theory of a gray world.

They tell us that we are wrong for judging them, that a black and white world is wrong. BUT HOW COULD THEY POSSIBLY KNOW THAT AND, MOST CERTAINLY, PROCLAIM THAT?!! Truth is, supposedly, relative. A black and white world does exist because I think it exists. Since truth is relative to the person, the truth of a black and white world is true because it’s true to me. Can you see the hypocrisy? Can you see the chaos of such a ridiculous theory?

They tell us that we are closed-minded lunatics for saying that the world is completely black and white. They tell us that we are @#$&* for judging them, yet there they are judging us. There they are claiming with certainty that the world is gray when, if we truly are in a gray world, then there is no way that they could possibly claim that the world is gray because that right there is a black and white fact.

The only way you could claim that something is gray is if that means that it has pros and cons, qualities of good and evil, not relativism. Relativism does not exist.
When faced with this question, gray-worlders in the past have ignored me and reiterated their brainless arguments. Yes, I realize I am extremely sarcastic in this article. I have to admit (and I’m sure it’s obvious) that I am at the end of my rope with these brain-dead people who go round and round in a circle of the same argument without addressing mine. I guess I just need to remember: “Don’t cast pearls before swine.”

June

Related Articles
Part 1: Gray World: Why Is Murder Wrong?
Part 2: Does God Exist? — The Philosophical Argument
Part 3: God’s Will Revealed?

The Sisterhood, Defrocked January 16, 2006

Posted by June in Communism, Liberalism, Politics, Socialism, Women's Issues.
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The Sisterhood, Defrocked
Kate O'Beirne provides a reality check for anyone who thinks "feminist" means "pro-woman."

BY MELANIE KIRKPATRICK
Thursday, January 12, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST
Kate O'Beirne is ill-served by the lurid cover of her new book, which features unflattering caricatures of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Hillary Clinton, Jane Fonda and Sarah Jessica Parker (a k a Carrie Bradshaw of "Sex and the City"). The Ann Coulter-ish title–"Women Who Make the World Worse"–is almost as off-putting. Uh-oh, is this going to be another one of those right-wing rants?

Happily, it is anything but. Mrs. O'Beirne's book is a serious examination of 30-plus years of feminist folly and the conservative counter-approach. And while the National Review columnist and TV commentator is not shy about saying what she thinks, the only rants that appear in her pages here are those she quotes from some well-known feminist icons.

In fact, one of the most striking features of "Women Who Make the World Worse" is its "I can't believe she said that" quality. Mrs. O'Beirne informs her chapters on the family, day care, education, politics, the military and sports with a review of the radical feminist dogma on her subject. Anyone still operating under the delusion that "feminist" is synonymous with "pro-woman" should find this a useful reality check.

Where to begin? There's Robin Morgan, one of the founders of Ms. magazine, saying in 1970 that marriage is "a slavery-like practice" and arguing that "we can't destroy the inequities between men and women until we destroy marriage." Or move forward a couple of decades to the 1990s, when University of Texas professor Gretchen Ritter, who favored then-First Lady Hillary Clinton's plan to "liberate" women by putting children in federally funded day care, expresses the view that stay-at-home mothers are shirking their duty "to contribute as professionals and community activists."Also from the Clinton era is Duke University law professor Marilyn Morris, who in her role as an adviser to the secretary of the Army urges the elimination of the "masculinist attitudes" of the military, such as "dominance, assertiveness, aggressiveness, independence, self-sufficiency, and willingness to take risks." Another Clinton adviser complains that the Little League encourages "aggressive violent behavior."

A line that should go down in political history comes courtesy of the late Democratic Rep. Bella Abzug, who in 1984 confidently predicted the victory of the Walter Mondale-Geraldine Ferraro ticket as "women . . . join across all racial, social, and regional lines in stark opposition to President Reagan and his policies." Women went for Reagan by a margin of 56% to 44%.

One of the contributions of Mrs. O'Beirne's book is that she marshals data that effectively shatter the demeaning liberal myth that women vote on "women's issues." She notes, for instance, that when the Gallup organization polled voters monthly during the 2004 presidential election year about the subjects they cared most deeply about, "not even 1% mentioned issues like pay equity, child care, or discrimination and violence against women." Men and women polled equally in their concern about race relations, health care, military strength and so forth.

Also in the realm of politics, Mrs. O'Beirne recounts the hypocrisy of feminist leaders during the Clinton years, comparing them to battered spouses willing to endure any humiliation so long as they don't lose their man. "As long as Bill Clinton supported abortion rights, affirmative action, and federal child care," she writes, "it didn't matter that he was a sexual predator."

Then there's the feminist myth that women are denied equal pay for equal work. No one doubts that this was the case several decades ago–and isolated cases persist–but today women's pay overall is on a par with men's. Discrepancies are generally explained by the personal-employment choices that many women make, such as flexible hours, part-time work or other family-friendly options. She lists 39 occupations–aerospace engineer, speech pathologist, financial analyst–where women earn at least 5% more than men.

Mrs. O'Beirne's assessment of the effect of the feminist agenda on women in the military is especially relevant. There are 213,000 women on active duty, including more than 24,000 single mothers and 29,000 married women with children. The first female casualty in Iraq was Army Pfc. Lori Piestewa, a 24-year-old single mother of a 4-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter.

The Pentagon's "risk rule," which used to prohibit assigning women to units that were at risk of attack or capture, was repealed in 1994. Mrs. O'Beirne believes that women in the military–especially mothers–belong well behind the front lines. I'm not sure I agree, but I know her analysis has made me think harder about what's at stake not just for the military or women but for our society.

One of the values of this volume is that it reviews the antifeminist research on the family, education, abortion and more. Mrs. O'Beirne is generous in citing the work of scholars such as Mary Ann Glendon, Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Elaine Donnelly, Karlyn Bowman and others. Radical feminists may have the loudest megaphones, but they aren't the only voices. "Women Who Make the World Worse" is a brief history of how wrong the gender warriors have been about virtually every aspect of American life. But it offers hope for the future in highlighting the scholarship of many women who have made the world better. Ms. Kirkpatrick is associate editor of The Wall Street Journal's editorial page. You can buy "Women Who Make the World Worse" from the OpinionJournal bookstore.