What’s Wrong with the World

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What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

Mark Shea's mind reading

Mark Shea's hysterical post and comments against W4 are striking for their lack of balance and even basic fairness. For example, Shea implies that Jeff Culbreath and I want to deport 18 million Muslims (presumably including citizens) despite the fact that neither of us has proposed doing anything of the kind.

Shea also doesn't seem interested in the fact that my proposals (here and here, in combination with Jeff's 1 and 2, here) are a good deal more moderate than some of those made by my esteemed colleague. We're both just "barking mad." It's pretty evident that the "barking mad" accusation applies in Shea's view to anyone who sees Islam in America as a problem or a danger and makes concrete proposals for responding to this problem.

As Paul Cella points out in this comment, it is difficult to discover when Shea liked our site, considering that warnings about the dangers of Muslim immigration have been on the cards for a long time and that Paul's jihad sedition proposal (included in my list) has been part of our repertoire from the beginning and before.

By the way, commentator The Deuce has a good comment in Shea's thread. (The green circle is supposed to represent world-wide Islam.)

I'd be interested to see how much of that green circle is made up of terrorists in general, not just Al Queda (which isn't even the biggest terrorist group by a longshot). I'd also like to see how many have engaged in non-terroristic acts of characteristically Muslim violence (chopping off hands, cutting of womens' noses or stoning them to death, honor killings, etc). I'd also like to see how much of the green circle is made up of Muslims who believe jihad is justifiable, even if they haven't engaged in it themselves. Finally, I'd like to see how many of them are in favor of sharia law. I suspect the numbers would be far more unsettling.

But what struck me most of all from a brief survey of Shea's post and the comments thread was this particular bit of attempted mind reading:

The goal of creating an Islam-free America carries with it the implication that Muslims are to be expelled from our shores forcibly if they will not leave willingly. If Culbreath means to free America from Islam by just means only ("Here's a $100,000. Leave.") then I can only say that it's not going to work, both because we will never cough up such money and because many Muslims would not take the offer if it were made since they have been here for decades and many are native-born. So either Culbreath is not serious about his Muslimrein America or he is not serious about using only just means to make them leave.

Well, thanks for letting us know what our fellow contributor thinks, even though he apparently doesn't know it himself. This is pretty sad stuff.

Comments (60)

I am shocked, simply shocked, to find that Mark Shea has been hyperventilating again. For every insightful and thoughtful thing the man writes, he unfortunately somehow manages to have about fifteen unwarranted conniption fits.

And why on earth should Americans---or anyone else in the West---be peachy keen on Muslim immigration? We spent a millennium---literally a thousand years---fighting and dying for the privilege of living in societies that were not made up of Muslims. I don't see why on earth modernity, whatever the merits of that condition might otherwise be or not, has changed the veracity of the principle held by our ancestors.

Dear Titus. Mr. Shea seems to think he knows better about these matters than what the Theological expertise and practical experience of The Catholic Church can teach us.

Here, for instance, is an entry in the Catholic Encyclopedia:

In matters political Islam is a system of despotism at home and aggression abroad. The Prophet commanded absolute submission to the imâm. In no case was the sword to be raised against him. The rights of non-Moslem subjects are of the vaguest and most limited kind, and a religious war is a sacred duty whenever there is a chance of success against the "Infidel". Medieval and modern Mohammedan, especially Turkish, persecutions of both Jews and Christians are perhaps the best illustration of this fanatical religious and political spirit.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10424a.htm

Mr. Shea says that Muslim immigration into America presents the Catholic Church with the opportunity for evangelising and he sees a similarity twixt Catholic immigrants and Muslim immigrants by raising the scepter of the false accusations leveled against Catholics and claiming that experience was congruent with the putative false charges leveled against Muslims.

But, Catholicism never taught that non-Catholics must be converted, killed, or subjugated while the supposed words of God, in the Koran, commands those very actions..

With all of the popular books available on Islam and its Ideology and Orthopraxis of 13 + Centuries by Spencer, Emerson, Ye'or, Trifkovic etc etc - to say nothing about the studies by identified experts (Mr. Fitzgerald names them at Jihad Watch)- to say nothing about the endless entries at Jihad Watch and the wealth of historical knowledge at Dr. Andrew Bostom's site it is simply beyond belief that he can be so ignorant,naive, or dangerous.

Lord have Mercy.

Long ago I had quit reading his site - after he savagely and blindly attacked Fr. Brian Harrison - and only recently returned to read what he was writing about Islam.

And now?

In the words of Jean Paul Sartre; Au revoir, Shea.

The Deuce nails it. Now if we could only have a half measure of the suspicion & antagonism reflexively directed against islam that we have against Christianity.
And we're not even asking for Biblical or Papal law, foolish us.
I never suspected back when that we would see this militant religion raised to the status of a cause. But if one is always seeking causes for self validation, one picks them where one finds them.

@I am not Spartacus. Please keep in mind that Catholic Encyclopedia generously hosted for free access by New Advent is the 1917, so, on matters political a little updating is in order...

And we're not even asking for Biblical or Papal law, foolish us.

Instapundit has commented that the fastest way to shut up the left about Christianity would be for a few liberal heads to get cut off a la Islam.

(Not that I advocate that, but the man has a point about how quickly they roll over and die.)

Lydia, thanks for pointing out Shea's appalling defamation here. I wish I were truly shocked by this, but this has been his style for as long as I can remember. I replied to the comment of Shea's which you quoted above as follows:

Combined with my points 4 and 5, it would work well enough. It would probably work well enough if combined only with Lydia's much more moderate suggestions. The point is not to have every last Muslim leave the country, but to deprive Islam of all social and political influence. I have not suggested forced deportations of American citizens and do not believe they would be necessary - if some action is taken promptly. However, if nothing is done about this problem, in sixty or seventy years we will be at war with Islam on our own soil and the idea of forced deportations will seem rather quaint. The hour is late.

To elaborate, for those readers of CAEI who don't know anything about W4 beyond what they have just read in Shea's paranoid rant, neither myself nor anyone writing for this site is advocating forced deportations of American citizens, concentration camps, ethnic cleansing, bombing cities, razing neighborhoods, hatred of Muslims, display of armbands or tattoos, or violence of any kind. The whole point of the discussion is to consider policies that render war, violence and extreme forms of coercion unnecessary.

For my part - just to be perfectly clear - I do not believe that deportations are by definition immoral or unjust. Such measures are lamentable and extreme, but they have been necessary in the past and might be necessary again. Unlike Shea, I'm a little more reluctant to pit modern "human rights" sensibilities against the weight of 1,600 years of Christian statecraft.

Instapundit has commented that the fastest way to shut up the left about Christianity would be for a few liberal heads to get cut off a la Islam.

He is incorrect. Over in Holland we have a test case of this. Theo van Gogh was murdered by Muslims but this hasn't shut up the left. In fact, even Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who should know better of all people, makes silly equivalences between Christianity and Islam. And she herself is considered "extreme." I actually have met a rather prominent Dutch atheist who knew Hirsi Ali well and tells with a pleasant smile about all the arguments he and she used to have with him on the side of holding that her views of Islam are too extreme.

Some people just never learn.

...you still read him? I stopped back when he started doing the Sullivan Slide. The 'total war' sort of approach gets really tiring.

Please keep in mind that Catholic Encyclopedia generously hosted for free access by New Advent is the 1917, so, on matters political a little updating is in order..

Oh, I agree. Back in the day the truth about the threat Islam posed to Christians specifically, and liberty in general, was a tautology.


As Mr. Auster has noted, back in the, say, 1950s, nobody thought allowing Muslims to immigrate into the west was a defensible idea.

Now, thanks to what Mr. Auster, correctly, identifies as The Liberal Ideological Principle of Non-Discrimination (POND) it has become indefensible to say that allowing Muslims into the west is wrong.

Now that The Civil Right Acts has been submerged in the Ideology of Liberalism in the POND and become the one universal truth, applied to all and sundry, foreign and domestic - even to those Commanded by God to convert, kill, or subjugate us - it does indeed need to be spoken about often and resisted with masculine courage.

Lydia:

He is incorrect.

I think he means that if Christians actually were violent in the manner of Islam, as the Left pretends, the Left would quickly shut up and roll over.

MarkC:

Please keep in mind that Catholic Encyclopedia generously hosted for free access by New Advent is the 1917, so, on matters political a little updating is in order.

Islamic doctrine and practice haven't appreciably changed since then. What's changed is our now-PC attitude towards it. It's useful to have a description of it from a time when people were able to observe the religion in action, read its texts, and simply describe what they saw.

I apologize if some of you folks thought my suggestion about nuking the three main cities of Saudi Arabia was "extreme". However, consider this: was flattening Berlin, the capitol of Nazi Germany "extreme"? And remember this: the Saudi government bankrolls the majority of the mosques in this country. They also finance the printing of anti-Christian, anti-American literatre that is used to 'educate' the Muslims that go to these mosques. Since Islam is always going to be anti-West and anti-Christian to the core of its being, we will always have a never ending war with the Muslims. Unless we say 'enough is enough'! God, in the Old Covenent, decreed the utter destruction of Amalek because they attacked Israel without cause. Islam has been attacking the west "without cause" for 1500 years. Thankfully, with God's grace, we won every major battle to turn back the Muslim invasion into our civilization. We need to end the war for good. The only langauge that fanatics understand is 'no!' backed by a show of force. I really wish there was another way of dealing with the fanatics of Allah, but 1500 years of history have shown these folks won't listen to reason unless it's backed up with a sword.

Mark Shea is a puzzle. He claims to be a traditional (not traditionalist) Catholic, but he takes positions that contradict our traditions. He's anti-death penalty, he's anti-military, and he's soft on Islam, one the oldest enemies of the faith. These are positions that traditionally only liberals have taken. Why? Is MS really a liberal or has he been drifting into liberalism in the last few years? Also he has a very bad reputation for pursuing people all over the internet who made the 'mistake' of disagreeing with him. Ask Joseph d'Hippolito about that. And there's that nasty potty mouth that he has. All of this points to a man who IMHO has some very disturibing behavior patterns. His bishop should call Shea in for some mandatory counseling sessions to deal with this stuff.

Shea's Venn diagram is astonishingly dishonest, implying that active members of Al Qaeda are the only Muslims worth worrying about, and that all other adherents to Islam are completely unproblematic.

So, his diagram needs a few more dots, since it does after all claim to be a global overview. Here are a few suggestions:

- Al Qaeda in [wherever]
- Hamas
- Hezbollah
- The Muslim Brotherhood
- The Taliban
- Islamic Jihad (all variants)
- Fatah al-Islam
- Jemaah Islamiyah
- Al Aqsa Martyr's Brigade
- Ansar al-Islam
- The Islamic Republic of Iran (i.e. the government of Iran)

There are a few dozen more, but you get the idea.

Then, around each of these dots, we could draw shaded areas representing the non-member supporters of these groups (financial and moral), the lukewarms who approve of their goals and tactics and participate in post-atrocity celebrations, and those who refuse to disavow them by name.

We could also add shading for those not included in the above categories, but who would support the imposition of sharia law if it were feasible or on offer (aka "faithful Muslims").

Presto! All of a sudden, there's not a lot of green left on that diagram, is there?

MarkC,

Precisely which parts of that Catholic Encylopedia quote have been rendered obsolete? The only thing I can imagine deleting is that "mostly Turkish" qualifier.

Steve D-
He is rather... solid and defensive of his definitions, isn't he?

That's the biggest problem I can see-- he can't admit there is room for disagreement in a lot of the conclusions he's reached, so any hint of disagreement is evidence of denying the Church's teachings. Probably a world view encouraged by the nature of the internet, since so many take a page from Limbaugh's seminar callers with "oh, I'm totally in agreement with you" and use that as their weapon.

I know someone was putting together a list of folks who went off the deep end after their blogs got famous... Sullivan, Shea, that LGF guy, bunch of folks I never heard of.....

As Mr. Auster has noted, back in the, say, 1950s, nobody thought allowing Muslims to immigrate into the west was a defensible idea.

The real problem is that in before about the 1950s you didn't need a law, or a social attitude even, to keep Muslims from immigrating to the west. The fact that most of them lived in tents a thousand miles from an airport kept them from immigrating all by itself. Now hundreds of millions of Muslims live in more or less modern cities and have some modicum of means. So now, our open-border policies leave us far more vulnerable than we ever were before, not so much because our policies are more liberal, but rather because the rest of the world (specifically the Muslim world) looks vastly different. Oil and globalization have turned a vast collection of goat herders into respectable-looking businessmen. The only problem is that the businessman and the goatherd are both still adherents of a barbaric religion that we don't want here.

And the comparison to anti-Catholic sentiment in the U.S. is a pure canard. The analogy fails for a very simple reason: Catholicism is true, Islam is false.

For that matter, where is MS himself? This post has been up all day and he hasn't come by and firebombed the place. Maybe he's mellowed and we're being too harsh on him.

My understanding is that prior to the 1960's there actually were differential quotas, etc., from various countries for immigration. Whether or not these specially disfavored Muslim countries (perhaps they didn't need to, for the reasons you give, Titus), it seems that any notion of country quotas, etc., provides a framework for restriction Muslim immigration when the need arises and/or becomes evident. It is exactly the opposite of the holy commandment that all discrimination is wrong, that immigration policy must be country-neutral and religion-neutral, and so forth.

Well, I notice that Shea picked up on my point about "nativism" without giving me the credit (-;

But I think some of you guys could compare your arguments to the nativists and see if you can't find some similarities :-)

Titus - didn't RC states start wars and sponsor terrorism? Read Tudor history.

Lydia - back to Paul. He could have used the Caligula crisis etc. to get the Romans to reign traditional Jews back in. He didn't. Yes, true, he didn't want to be falsely accused, yes, he did appeal for a fair trial. No, I can't see the parallels with your proposals for the USofA.
Like you said Evangelism comes first for Paul. Can't evangelise and while making someone less of a citizen than you are.

Steve - don't be silly, we didn't level Berlin, that was Stalin's Russian forces. Revenge was a bit of a motivating factor. And fascist ideas live on, in Qutb, and al-Banna, so you can't bomb an idea

&The Romans levelled the Temple, but the Jews revolted again. 130AD, Bar Kochba...

All - funny comparing some of this to Dawkins. Can't trust the moderate Muslims, all Muslims contribute to this problem of radical Islamism.

Why not go the extra mile --- all Theists can't be trusted, they all contribute to the problem by disagreeing with each other.

but I think Shea is taking you guys more seriously than you are taking yourselves, I think you're venting because you're frustrated by 'heads in sand' syndrome. Also, you're throwing radical ideas out for discussion, knowing some won't survive, but one or two might make it.

I refuse to firebomb Mr. Shea because I refuse to go to his website more than once a year or so. I don't enjoy his style of rhetoric even when I think his point is 100% on target. But he has shown (in the past, when I did visit his site, that is) to be more than a little harsh with any sort of criticism.

About "allowing" Muslim immigration, or the reversal of the immigration of Muslims who are already here, is almost totally one of policy and prudence, not one of principle. To the extent that there is a principle that provides that immigration to a nation ought to be possible, that principle is so hedged in by limits, exceptions, and constraints that it remains very hard to identify.

A nation, a people, a cohesive society, has a right to keep its good and noble traditions intact, and this automatically implies being able to limit the invasion of outsiders to the extent those outsiders will, or are likely to, disrupt their good customs. It's as simple as that. The authority to regulate immigration resides with the authority to maintain and promote good culture, good customs, noble traditions.

Once it is admitted that a society has an innate right to regulate immigration, it is a foregone conclusion that the practice of such regulation ought to fall more stringently on some outsiders than others. It will be exercised with especial care against those whose views, customs, or theories are especially contradictory to the more important and more noble traditions that society wants to uphold. That's just good statecraft.

As for seeking for ways to reverse immigration, that is obviously a matter of policy also: those who have come here but who have refused to assimilate to customs and principles that are bedrock to our society cannot be viewed as permanently welcome in every sense. These, at a minimum, should be encouraged to take themselves off to where they are more welcome.

...and if you think the United States is, or ever was, 'a cohesive society' or 'a people', anything that ever had any 'traditions' at all except in the loosest imaginable sense, have I ever got something to sell you.

Was American 'conservatism' always this overrun by Jacobin universalists?

You mean you don't think the United States didn't celebrate the 4th of July in common? Or Thanksgiving? Or vote on the Tuesday following the first Monday of November? That (once upon a time) Americans together held God in immense respect? Of course we have traditions in common.

but I think Shea is taking you guys more seriously than you are taking yourselves, I think you're venting because you're frustrated by 'heads in sand' syndrome. Also, you're throwing radical ideas out for discussion, knowing some won't survive, but one or two might make it.

Engineers do this all the time. It's called thinking outside the box. It's generally regarded as the primary source of American innovation, which is a key facet to American exceptionalism.

Shea is like an engineer who stands up in the meeting and says "if it was good enough for the Egyptians, it's good enough for me."

My understanding is that prior to the 1960's there actually were differential quotas, etc., from various countries for immigration

Yep.

Prior to the 1965 Immigration Act, America was around 90% white and, we were assured by that famous Catholic Traditionalist, Teddy Kennedy:

...our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same … Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset … Contrary to the charges in some quarters, S.500 will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area, or the most populated and economically deprived nations of Africa and Asia. In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think.

That was one of the few times Sen Kennedy was wrong :)

and if you think the United States is, or ever was, 'a cohesive society' or 'a people', anything that ever had any 'traditions' at all except in the loosest imaginable sense, have I ever got something to sell you.

Dear Mr Unger. Oncet, we were precisely that.

See, David Hackett Fischer's, "Albion's Seed Four British Folkways in America" and Federalist # 2:

...With equal pleasure I have as often taken notice that Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people -- a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, and who, by their joint counsels, arms, and efforts, fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established general liberty and independence...


http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa02.htm

Speaking of America and our Muslims friends in America, this might be of interest to those who think the presence of Muslims in America represent only negligible problems.

http://www.peaceandtolerance.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=129:school-trip-to-moderate-mosque-inside-video-captures-kids-bowing-to-allah&catid=7:our-statements&Itemid=39

I like Mark Shea, and I like his blog. He has also written some fine books. His three books about Our Lady are pretty good. His book about apostolic tradition is also good.

He has a good grasp of Church teaching on number of subjects, and when he thinks someone is contradicting Church teaching, he calls him on it. Yeah, sometimes he does it too harshly. But he also often apologizes publicly, with (what seems to me to be) real humility. Are these fine and admirable qualities? Well, no, probably not, except the flashes of humility. But it's a blog, the guy has strong opinions, and that's that.

It's funny, but last month I met someone who has a strongly negative opinion of Mark and it surprised me. Now I see that this opinion is more widespread than I thought. Hmmm.

GKC -
Amazingly, folks don't like being held to standards that the holder won't hold himself to.

Is this about the torture thing? I mean, people here say that Shea lost it once his blog became popular, that he's a liberal, etc. I know a lot of people strongly disagree with him about torture, and that he lost a lot of friends over that issue. Is that principally what folks are thinking about? (I mean, besides his negative reaction to Jeff's and Lydia's ideas about how to deal with Mohammedans in the U.S.)

What is Shea's position on torture?

He's anti-torture. So'm I.

Please understand: I don't read Shea's blog regularly and know very little about him. I'm making no generalizations. This post was about one post by Shea that seems to me very unfair and more than a little hysterical.

He's written enough about it over the past few years that it should be easy to go to his site and get it from the horse's mouth, but essentially he claims to agree with the Church's condemnation of torture as intrinsically and gravely evil. This has brought him into conflict with other Catholics who see an exception to be made to save lives, etc., which he rejects.

Mr. Shea has lost a lot of supporters over the years primarily due to his behavior. It is not about any specific topic under discussion. It is about how he misconstrues what others write and then sarcastically attacks.

When you anger even Mr. Akin
It's time to wake and smell the bacon.

http://jimmyakin.typepad.com/defensor_fidei/2006/12/mark_shea_needs.html

Mr. Shea, repeatedly, makes unjust accusations and angers his Christian brethren while bending over backwards extending courtesies to those who seek his conversion, death, or subjugation.

In someone's universe that may make sense. It doesn't make sense in mine.

Naysayers beware -

Twice I've pointed out that the guys on this blog are partly ranting, and partly brainstorming. They're not submitting bills to the second house or anything like that!

They're not correcting me, they seem to think I've judged the tone about right.

It's a blog, guys. Maybe we Religious Conservatives on the Political Left shouldn't take ourselves more seriously than Religious Conservatives on the Political Right.

I suppose I need to stop reading blogs for a while. WWWTW, Mark Shea are two of the very few I read every day, and I feel disappointed if there's no new content...it bothered me to see Mark react the way he did, and the vigor with which commenters here attacked him. I wanted to pipe up in support of him, and inquire as to the source of the pretty strong feelings. Obviously there's a lot of resentment on some folks' part, and I appreciate Lydia's clarification just now.

Mark's a friend. He's a lot less than perfect, and maybe I'm just a big enough jerk that I don't see his bad qualities as clearly as some people do, but I think the good he does covers a multitude of sins.

Back to lurking.

They're not correcting me, they seem to think I've judged the tone about right.

About right, yes - but not without seriousness.

GKC-
It's been long enough that I don't remember why I first stopped reading him-- it was over his attacks on Bush, but I honestly don't hold on to that so much that I remember details. Couple of years ago, started reading again, and IIRC it was the lying and bull-headedness about torture that [edited]. tormento de toca being mis-defined, refusal to consider any definition but their own, etc.

He's a lot less than perfect, and maybe I'm just a big enough jerk that I don't see his bad qualities as clearly as some people do

Heh, that's actually related to a complaint I see a lot-- he's not willing to consider that folks may be jerks but still alright, or disagree with him and still be good people.

I have far short of the knowledge to say anything more than that Mark Shea's attack on this website and several of its contributors was so full of hyperbole and ill-will as to discredit its every substantive claim.

Men are accused of a sinful desire for coercive mass deportation, and they are accused of bigotry and unChristian hatred. It's a serious set of accusations.

In fairness, if you start by praising the reconquista, you're going to leave yourself open to caricature...

I would like to see some stats on American Muslim attitudes....a bit of mind reading all round here in MHO.

And should the English have kicked the Irish out of England during the Troubles? There were lots of kind words for the Provisional IRA,naive political support in Irish bars in London etc.Seriously, without Irish connections in England the IRA could not have operated.

So should we have banned Irish Catholic Clerics from visiting prisons, offered money to Irish Catholics to go back to Ireland, banned St Patrick's Day celebrations? Stopped playing Ireland at Rugby? Burned four leafed clovers?

When do you start pruning away the unworkable and unjust ideas? Because there is a problem with radical Islam that can't be ignored. (And it is modernist revolutionary Islam, not conservative Islam, that is the problem.)

So should we have banned Irish Catholic Clerics from visiting prisons,

If there was the kind of documented evidence of undesirable actions that we have re. Muslim clerics, you betcha. (Not that I think there was, this is hypothetical.) Maybe they could have had English Catholic priests visit them instead.

15 minutes on Google gives me Fr James Chesney. Ban em all then?
Indiscriminate crackdowns are counter-productive...Google "history" (-;

No, I see the dangers you're highlighting and you can't appease radicals, (google "The Islamist") but I hope you guys will see the dangers in OTT reactions

Obviously, it's a matter of probabilities and of the scope and seriousness of the problem. I think the probabilities of problems with prison imams have been sufficiently documented to justify the policy. If that level and those types of problems (e.g., including recruiting to terrorism) were documented with Irish priests in prisons, then of course it could come to be legitimate to ban specifically Irish priests from prisons. I see no reason why not. I simply don't know if that was the case and don't particularly trust your judgement on the subject.

This is truly an idiotic [deleted, LM], if ever there was one.

Lydia and Jeff postulate openly about stifling a religion, restricting free speech, and deporting people - most of who were born in America - and get called out on it. Do they point out which criticisms were off the mark, do they offer clarifications? No! When you're right and Right, its only a matter of saying 'That's not what I really meant', and 'You're an asshole for reacting to my remarkably anti-Christian and anti-Western proposal'.

Here's the basic problem with the proposals: They do nothing to address the problem that is Jihadism. There are what, 10 to 18 million Muslim Americans? How will they react to these kinds of ideas? Do you think they will push Muslim Americans closer to modernity, or closer to a radical, even militant, version of their faith? Will these kinds of actions make life easier for Christians living in Muslim-majority countries, or will it subject them to even more jihad-inspired violence and persecution?


Bones are you channeling iman Bush? The man who assured us that Islam is a religion of peace. The problem as I see it is that there has been no reciprocity from the Muslim world for all the solicitude and sensitivity displayed by the Americans. Islamic mobs regularly burn the US flag and its leaders in effigy. Christians are frequently attacked and murdered by Muslims. Do you see any Americans moved to violence over it? The Islam world is setting a standard for the West, that they themselves cannot meet even to the tenth of it.

Actually, the only people whose visas actually get _revoked_ in the 9-point plan I suggested (adopting Jeff Culbreath's first two points) are students here on student visas.

Moreover, in Jeff's 5-point plan, nobody else gets forcibly deported either, because he talks only about _paying_ families to leave. This is getting a little ridiculous, esp. given that the whole point of the post is that Shea's characterization is inaccurate.

I also find it interesting that we're supposed to worry about "moderate" Muslims but at the same time these "moderates" are supposed to be the kind of people who turn into terrorists if, say, there are no more Muslim prison imams. Real moderate, all right.

GKC:

Is this about the torture thing? I mean, people here say that Shea lost it once his blog became popular, that he's a liberal, etc. I know a lot of people strongly disagree with him about torture, and that he lost a lot of friends over that issue.

For me, it wasn't his position against "enhanced interrogation techniques" that turned me off to him (I'm conflicted over their use myself), but the atrocious way in which he handled himself on the issue. In particular, his performance in this thread really showed me how nasty and unreasonable he can be: http://www.whatswrongwiththeworld.net/2009/05/its_just_so_obvious_the_case_o.html

And it wasn't just that. There've been many times where he's gone off on someone based on his own uncharitable misreading or a misleading hearsay report of what they've said, and it's just painful to watch. He loves to get on his high horse and do his "an equal pox on all their ungodly houses!" routine.

Dear Bones. Here is the stealth Jihad Plan for America.

http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=815

Once Muslims achieve a moral or numerical advantage in America, they will institute Sharia Law.

The dreadful religion of Islam is sui generis. It is unlike any other religion. Ever.

The Catholic Church never had any secret - or open - plan to immigrate into America and silently and diligently strive until they could force Canon Law on everyone else in America yet, continually, there are comparison made twixt Catholics and Muslims.

As a tactic it is as old,tiresome and timely as a Corbet Monica monologue.

There is simply no excuse for folks continuing to remain ignorant about the nature of that dreadful religion and its 13+ Centuries of Orthopraxis.


Bones, there are no sound statistics to demonstrate anywhere close to 10M to 18M Muslims in America. Pew Research says around 2.5M. There are something more than 1,000 mosques, and if they each handled 1,500 people, that would also work out to around 2M Muslims. You are off by almost an order of magnitude. Also (at least according to Wiki), 2/3 of Muslims are foreign-born. And of those born here, many are still minors. Get a grip.

I am not Spartacus-
same reason most Space Religions are Crystal Dragon Jesus types. Probably also related to this trope. (It's amazing how much TV tropes applies in non-geek life)

Islam is a political project disguised as a religion. We should respond to it as we would respond to any political threat. In the thirties, would we have invited thousands of adherents of the German National Socialist Workers' Party to immigrate to the U.S.?

So. No treatment as a religion. No tax exemption. And serious threats to our constitution deserve serious responses. Prison or deportation for conspiracy to overthrow our government.

Islam. A political project dressed up as a religion by a warlord needing a way to justify his practices of caravan looting, murder and rape.

tony: If a few national holidays - secular ones, at that - are enough to meet your standard of common culture, there's not much I can say to you, except to borrow a leaf from the abominable Thomas Friedman and ask you if you'd like some McDonald's fries with that worldview. And as for holding God in respect: which god would that be? Adams' now-and-then Puritan God? Jefferson's Christless barely-worth-being-called-a god? You know, since we're quacking about the muslim hordes: perhaps you'd like to explain the 1797 treaty with Tripoli? (While you're at it, perhaps you'd also like to reconcile it with 'Whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven'?) Paine? Franklin? Countless divisions among the Puritans; countless more among the rest? Men who said God was Three In One; loons who insisted he was One full stop; a few who suggested he was none? Men who united Government and Church; others who allowed at least some room for individual conscience? Please. Personal and social religious practice has divided men and communities since colonial times, and the government has been explicitly secular - against opposition - since Day One. There is not and has never been anything at all approaching a national religion, unless your definition of Christianity is so broad as to include not only Catholics and mainstream Protestants, but every sort of non-Catholic offshoot imaginable, plus - especially in The Good Old Days - Enlightenment theism and rationalism. Considering that the fruit of the last in that list has been modern leftism, just where do you get off saying that the divide wasn't very, very deep indeed?

Spartacus: You are not Spartacus, and we were not 'precisely that'. Did you read 'Albion's Seed'? Hell, even reading the subtitle would do for this purpose, since you should gather from there being four separate 'folk' migrations out of the British Isles - a place not known for its unified culture - the high likelihood that the book would concern itself with, uh, four identifiably distinct cultures. Unsurprisingly to me, anyway, that's exactly what the book did concern itself with.

I can't fathom why you would bring up Federalist #2 here. It was, first of all, a propaganda piece, intended to rally people around supporting a new, untested, and commonly distrusted proposal for a government. Jay himself admits this three paragraphs above what you posted. It was, second, dead wrong on its face - to the tune of about 620,000, plus uncounted civilians, when, a few years later, a lunatic who commanded legions of fanatical followers declared that certain people would be in his country, and their lands would be his lands, whether they wanted it or liked it or not, and that if they objected to dhimmitude, they could complain to the cannons. It was, third, wrong in almost all of its particulars: Americans were not 'descended from the same ancestors' (see Hackett); they did not profess the same religion (see objection to tony above); they were not attached to the same principles of government (see Madison's Notes on the Convention); they were not similar in their manners and customs (see Hackett); and the constitutional convention was called, in large part, because some people had recently expressed some serious doubts about the generality of liberty and independence.

No union. Not then, and most assuredly not now.

Unger: Oh, yes, we didn't share a common language. We didn't share a common Christian history. We never did share a respect for the rule of law .

Nobody thinks that we have the kind of monoculture that the Fiji islanders had in 1600. But we do share many threads of basic cultural patterns. When these shared cultural practices are good, useful, noble, and long-held, they deserve to be protected from damaging influences - even at a the cost of reducing the rate of immigration of certain outsiders to 0 or near 0. The outsiders DON'T have a right to our country to the extent that it can cost us our culture.

(And it is modernist revolutionary Islam, not conservative Islam, that is the problem.

I'm confused. Which form of Islam was it that marched on Vienna and Spain/France?...

This was probably noted elsewhere, but Mark Shea is preparing an apology to Jeff Culbreath.

Thanks, Bobcat. I don't check his blog regularly so hadn't seen that. I'll update the main post when I can link the apology, but for now, the plan is mentioned here:

http://markshea.blogspot.com/2010/09/apology-first-of-planned-series.html

Common language, yes. Christian history...well, if you like, though I suspect quite a number of Americans, then and now, attach much greater importance to various reformation movements than you do. Rule of law, though? Which laws would these be? King George III's? The Articles of Confederation that were thrown under the bus? The Constitution that was ignored when convenient by its own authors - to say nothing of everyone since? What did the Whiskey Rebels have to say about 'the rule of law', when the slimiest, wealthiest men in the New World conspired to strip them, by law, of what pittance they had? Or opposition to the Alien and Sedition Acts? War of 1812? Tariff of 1832? On and on and on. For every American who's cared about the Rule Of Law, there've been plenty more who've had little use for meddlers - and very little union among the latter. And union at gunpoint, unsurprisingly, does not instill in people the sort of sentiments and beliefs that make actual communities.

And now? 'Our country'? Who's this 'we', kemosabe? They own land, do they not? Is it or is it not true that Muslims have worked and saved and bought land? Is it or is it not true that Muslims have worked and saved and rented living quarters? Etc., etc. I don't for a moment disagree that people should not have sold them land, should not have sold them housing, should not have employed them, etc., etc. - but people have, whether you or I like it or not. And this is plain evidence of a cultural divide - not between you and the muslim hordes (not that I mean to downplay that one), but between you and people who have demonstrated that they want no truck with your ideas of community. I can't imagine that you, left to your own devices, would ever sell your land to a Muslim, no matter what he was willing to pay. I should hope you wouldn't, anyway. But others, obviously, do not mind them at all - and these others are not an insignificant minority, but a huge chunk of the population. What do you have in common with them? Not much. You're wasting your time pretending that they're 'your people', when you could be spending your time returning to real basics, real community: not people miles away from you, not abstractions representing - inaccurately - thousands or millions of people you will never know, but people right next door to you. Did you take a look at that 'Stealth Jihad' link Spartacus posted? If not, do so. You dismiss real community as 'the kind of monoculture the Fiji Islanders had in 1600' - and that's why the Muslims stand a real chance of winning the culture war. They do not dismiss it so. They intend to rebuild 'monocultures' here, man by man and block by block, filling the social vacuum of hyper-individualized modern America. Nature abhors a vacuum, and that's why the top-down 'throw 'em all out' grrwoofwoofery on display here is worse than useless. No such program will ever be implemented in modern America, and if it were, it'd only be yet another wedge between (non-Muslim) Americans.

For me, it wasn't his position against "enhanced interrogation techniques" that turned me off to him (I'm conflicted over their use myself), but the atrocious way in which he handled himself on the issue. In particular, his performance in this thread really showed me how nasty and unreasonable he can be: http://www.whatswrongwiththeworld.net/2009/05/its_just_so_obvious_the_case_o.html

And it wasn't just that. There've been many times where he's gone off on someone based on his own uncharitable misreading or a misleading hearsay report of what they've said, and it's just painful to watch. He loves to get on his high horse and do his "an equal pox on all their ungodly houses!" routine.

Yes, the reason Shea "lost friends" over the torture issue wasn't because, as he would love for you to believe, he took such a morally courageous stand and people hated him for it. He lost friends because he's a breathtakingly uncharitable jerk when someone disagrees with him on something he thinks is really important. He grabs people's opinions and twists with both hands until he has their positions caricatured so as to be utterly unrecognizable--and then he attacks with a caustic contempt and a sarcasm that is nothing less than cruel. He is immeasurably obnoxious, and this is what costs him friends and admirers. That and his refusal to allow that certain positions other than his own are possible for a morally serious person to take.

And what's worse is that so many people see this, so many people have pleaded with him to change his approach, and it never penetrates his head that maybe when everybody is telling you to sit down, you're the one who's drunk. Instead he engages in smug sermonizing about the spiritual defects and unworthy motives that drive people to disagree with him (e.g., people who examine an issue closely are merely trying to "tip-toe up to the line of evil" to see how much they can get away with).

Mark Shea is preparing an apology to Jeff Culbreath

Perhaps if he gave his fellow Christians the benefit of the doubt that he seems to give Muslims in general, he might have realized that Jeff really was throwing out ideas to try to prevent injustice, not perpetrate injustice, against American Muslims.

I consider Jeff naive to the point of disconnected from reality on the relationship between social welfare and the state of American culture and even I never once thought Jeff had such intentions toward Muslims...

Did you read 'Albion's Seed'?

Yes. But not at one sitting.

Hell, even reading the subtitle would do for this purpose, since you should gather from there being four separate 'folk' migrations out of the British Isles - a place not known for its unified culture - the high likelihood that the book would concern itself with, uh, four identifiably distinct cultures. Unsurprisingly to me, anyway, that's exactly what the book did concern itself with.

The study was not investigating/documenting the similarities of quadruplets but the differences among folks from the same country.

I know some dismiss out of hand the fact they came from England and not, for instance, India or some Sub-Saharan African country. And because the differences are documented, apparently, that renders nugatory all similarities.

And they were Christians.

I can't fathom why you would bring up Federalist #2 here.

I don't undersatnd what it is you can't fathom about my posting it here because I was responding to a previous claim having to do with the content of Federalist 2.

What Mr. Jay wrote is quite clear and I take him at his word.

"I am shocked, simply shocked, to find that Mark Shea has been hyperventilating again. For every insightful and thoughtful thing the man writes, he unfortunately somehow manages to have about fifteen unwarranted conniption fits."

That matches my impression, although I'd say the percentages are more 50:50. Shea is a very, very sloppy thinker. He defaults to weary "humor" instead of making any substantive argument, and resorts to outright abuse whenever anyone dares to call him out on his baseless assertions. He absolutely makes up his mind first, and then either makes up jokes to "support" what he wants to be true (citing no facts or sources whatsoever), or just calls anyone who disagrees with him an idiot. I just don't get it -- how on earth did this guy get a reputation as an intellectual?" Not once have I seen him construct a fair argument, or show anything remotely resembling compassion. (The things he's said about women and fat people are, in particular, grotesquely uncharitable, cruel, and dishonest -- apparently he's never heard of the 9th Commandment. Just because you hear a lie in television commercials or on South Park doesn't mean repeating it isn't a sin.) The claims about his being an "apologist" I don't think wash, either. He writes for privileged, sexist, naive white men who already agree with him, no one else, apparently, exists as far as he's concerned.

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