What’s Wrong with the World

The men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark.

About

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

Thoughts on September 11

The death and destruction visited upon 3,000 Americans by devout Mohammedans nine years ago, fulfilling the commands of their "holy" book, is well commemorated by other writers in the blogosphere. I will not add to their number, but only offer a few peripheral thoughts inspired by the occasion.

------

Let us reflect, this day, on the cause of canonization for Queen Isabel the Catholic, whose "reconquista" saved her country by the expulsion of the Moors. I have said often, and will repeat here, that the "war on terror" can and should be almost completely bloodless. If we deal with Islam appropriately here at home, there is no need for a "war on terror" in foreign lands.

------

The presence of Islam on American soil is absolute proof of the limits of religious pluralism and the insanity of religious "neutrality". The principle: nature abhors a vacuum.

------

At the link just above, a papal discourse on the burning of books:

The Church has always taken action to destroy the plague of bad books. This was true even in apostolic times for we read that the apostles themselves... burned a large number of books.[23] It may be enough to consult the laws of the fifth Council of the Lateran on this matter and the Constitution which Leo X published afterwards lest "that which has been discovered advantageous for the increase of the faith and the spread of useful arts be converted to the contrary use and work harm for the salvation of the faithful."[24] This also was of great concern to the fathers of Trent, who applied a remedy against this great evil by publishing that wholesome decree concerning the Index of books which contain false doctrine.[25] "We must fight valiantly," Clement XIII says in an encyclical letter about the banning of bad books, "as much as the matter itself demands and must exterminate the deadly poison of so many books; for never will the material for error be withdrawn, unless the criminal sources of depravity perish in flames."[26] Thus it is evident that this Holy See has always striven, throughout the ages, to condemn and to remove suspect and harmful books. The teaching of those who reject the censure of books as too heavy and onerous a burden causes immense harm to the Catholic people and to this See. They are even so depraved as to affirm that it is contrary to the principles of law, and they deny the Church the right to decree and to maintain it.

------

At the risk of possibly offending some readers, I must say that, in certain quarters, the attack of 9/11 has taken on the character of a quasi-religious event, rivaling even the crucifixion of Our Lord in its perceived villainy. Would that as many Americans commemorated Good Friday as commemorate 9/11! But if we are going to write American disasters into the eternal, collective consciousness of our nation, I think there are several better qualified candidates. Starting with September, we might consider commemorating the Battle of Chickamauga, fought on September 19-20 of 1863, in which 34,624 Americans died. Or perhaps the Battle of Antietam, fought on September 17 of 1862, in which 26,134 Americans died. I'm rather ashamed that I know next to nothing about these calamities. Of course, we inflicted these wounds on ourselves, so any commemorations would require a measure of shame and repentance. Which is not something Americans are particularly good at in 2010.

Comments (191)

Let us reflect, this day, on the cause of canonization for Queen Isabel the Catholic, whose "reconquista" saved her country by the expulsion of the Moors. I have said often, and will repeat here, that the "war on terror" can and should be almost completely bloodless. If we deal with Islam appropriately here at home, there is no need for a "war on terror" in foreign lands.

Amen.

"We must fight valiantly," Clement XIII says in an encyclical letter about the banning of bad books, "as much as the matter itself demands and must exterminate the deadly poison of so many books; for never will the material for error be withdrawn, unless the criminal sources of depravity perish in flames."

Now that's the kind of Christianity I'm talking about.

The teaching of those who reject the censure of books as too heavy and onerous a burden causes immense harm to the Catholic people and to this See. They are even so depraved as to affirm that it is contrary to the principles of law, and they deny the Church the right to decree and to maintain it.

Yeah, I know a few "depraved" people like that.

9/11 commemorations are valuable just insofar as they are politicized.

Now, I say that tongue in cheek. What I really mean is "insofar as they are what some would call politicized."

If people get together for a 9/11 commemoration in order to listen to some imam pray to Allah and pledge undying unity with Muslims, that's worse than useless.

If people even get together for a 9/11 commemoration merely in order to feel and evoke emotion, while refusing to say or think anything about the evil of Islam, that is worse than useless. Americans thus put themselves in a perpetual posture of weeping and wailing, of mourning, full-stop, which could understandably simply _please_ the perpetrators. "Yeah, infidels. Mourn away. There's lots more where that came from."

If, on the other hand, a remembrance of 9/11 is an opportunity for spine-stiffening, for remembering in righteous anger the actual cause of 9/11 (Muslim hatred of America), and for expressing support for real defiance of and opposition to the spread of Islam, then it has done good.

We need a new Crusade. But will the Catholic church ever get another pope with some stones?

Mohammedans...nice. And coming from a papist!


Mohammedans is the right term. If you know anything about their solats and hadiths you'll know that it is Mohammed this and Mohammed that. One of their evening prayers ends with a supplication to Allah to bestow on Mahomet the summit of the heavenly pantheon. Perhaps they are unsure that Mahomet deserve any kind of reward. Your point about papists would make sense if we obsess over the Popes in masses and daily prayers. Learn a few things before spouting off.

We need a new Crusade.

I don't know about that. We just need our country to be an Islam-free zone. The presence of Mohammedans and the threat of Muslim violence is paralyzing. There is simply no alternative. May I suggest a gentle five point plan?

1. Halt Muslim immigration.
2. Revoke the visas of Muslim students.
3. Offer Muslim families $100K to return to the Muslim country of their choice.
4. Halt the building of mosques.
5. Halt the printing and distribution of the Koran.

Yes, I know, first amendment and all that. But the the first amendment is dead, and Islam killed it. There is no "freedom of speech" or "freedom of religion" with the threat of Muslim violence hanging over your head. Once this "five point plan" does its work you can have your first amendment back.

And as far as I can tell, you could do points 1 and 2 without any actual First Amendment problems whatsoever, whatever the courts might say.

If you don't like 3-5, we could try adding--

3'. Pass jihad sedition laws and enforce them by seeding federal agents in mosques and arresting relevant imams.

4'. Local agencies refuse some mosque-building permits on plausible non-religious grounds. (E.g. "That coat factory has such wonderful architecture that we just can't destroy it.")

5'. Tear out all Muslim foot basins in public buildings.

6'. Federal and state enforcers of religious non-discrimination laws issue guidance statements to businesses indicating that a heck of a lot of things that have previously been required or thought to be required as "reasonable accommodation" of Muslim religion are actually _unreasonable_ accommodation and that they will get in _no trouble_ if they refuse these accommodations to Muslim employees.

7'. Revoke the passes of all Muslim prison chaplains.

8'. Begin extra screening of military personnel based on risk factors for Nidal Hassan-style violence, where these risk factors clearly include Islamic self-identification.

I believe that not a single one of these creates First Amendment problems. Remember re. #8 that military personnel do not as it is have all the constitutional freedoms, including rights to due process and freedom of speech (they can be punished for criticizing the President, for example), that civilians have. If any one would have to be cut on First Amendment grounds, it might be 7. But all the others should pass with flying colors.

They should cumulatively make Muslims in America feel uncomfortable. Which is fine with me.

Oh, I forgot: 9'. Prominent politicians start condemning Islam, calling for resistance to the Islamicization of America, etc.

Yes, thanks Lydia. Political reality will require a little more ... creativity? ... than I'm used to exercising. :-)

But you like 'em, right? (Actually, it's a really easy list to generate. Just look at everything the liberals are presently doing vis a vis Islam and do the opposite.)

Thus it is evident that this Holy See has always striven, throughout the ages, to condemn and to remove suspect and harmful books. The teaching of those who reject the censure of books as too heavy and onerous a burden causes immense harm to the Catholic people and to this See. They are even so depraved as to affirm that it is contrary to the principles of law, and they deny the Church the right to decree and to maintain it.

I'd be down with this if the law provided that if the censors act out of corruption or personal vendetta that they are to be hog tied and thrown on the next pile of books.

I'd also expect that the committee of censors would be composed of men of good character who are married, have families and are between the ages of 30 and 50. Unmarried men cannot be trusted to act for the good of families and the community, women cannot be trusted to not subject society to the tyranny of their personal prejudices.

Well, the suggested plan of action seems crazy to me, except for #1 and #2.

But the presence of Islam in America neither suggests nor proves anything more profound than the fact that people from all over the world want to come here. What else is new?

As long as America is Christian rather than post-Christian (and a look at the younger generation does not encourage me in this regard) we have little to fear from Islam in America. If on the other hand our culture becomes a post-Christian culture, as it appears to be doing, your anti-Islam plan wouldn't do a darn thing to slow the islamicization of America. The country will become Moslem by mass conversion of non-religious people--as you say, nature abhors a vaccuum. Anti-moslem laws will in that case not work and if anything will tend to attract people to the religion. Persecution against religions is counterproductive unless it becomes murderous or genocidal.

The country will become Moslem by mass conversion of non-religious people--as you say, nature abhors a vaccuum.

Actually, I see neo-pagan new age religions growing much, much faster than Islam in this country. That people will believe in something is valid. But new age stuff is so much easier to take: it doesn't require you to learn anything real, like a different language. It doesn't require you to undertake any practices that rub against the grain, or are more difficult than you are willing to commit to here and now. It doesn't require you to almost-worship a patent war-mongering maniac of 1400 years ago. You can continue to be a fine, upstanding American who fits in with your surroundings while being a new-ager.

Steve P., I assume you are talking about Jeff C's original plan of action? And I assume you find his 3-5 "crazy" because of the First Amendment implications? I find it hard to imagine what you could find "crazy" about my suggested 3'-9'. Surely you don't think Muslims have a right to religious footbaths in state funded buildings. Many of 3'-9' are merely rollbacks of absurd concessions that should have never been made in the first place. Others are mere common sense from a national security perspective. If some imam wants to tell his congregation to join the international jihad against America (aka make war against America, engage in acts of terrorism, etc.), he shouldn't be surprised if he gets in trouble. And so forth.

Persecution against religions is counterproductive unless it becomes murderous or genocidal.

Hence Europe's likelihood of survival as Europe. As immoral as it may be, I give Europe another 10-20 years before the natives give the immigrants an ultimatum: you're getting on a train and leaving, whether it's to the airport to go back home or to a concentration camp is your choice.

Persecution against religions is counterproductive

Just for the record, where "persecution" means the kinds of things I've outlined, I think this statement is completely and obviously false. It isn't "persecution" in any event to tell people that you aren't going to let them take over your country, and if we'd taken a firm line on this stuff ("Um, no, you can't have an easement of the noise ordinance to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer over a loudspeaker system in Brooklyn several times a day. What? Are you crazy?") a long time ago, we would have found out just how _productive_ it is to take a firm stance.

Telling us that we have to commit genocide or submit to Islam is just another way of telling us that we have to submit to Islam.

I'm not buying it.

Lydia,

Oh, to be clear I like YOUR 3 thru 9. Even one of those things would be a step in the right direction.

Lydia and Jeff, I like your ideas, but I like mine better. A-bomb Mecca, Medina, and Riyadh into glass. As long as these three cities exist, Islam will be a threat to the West. Everybody who is well informed knows oil money from the Saudi's is used to finance the building of mosques and the printing of Islamic propaganda against the West. Nearly all of those that have committed acts of terrorism against us and other countries have been members of the Wahhabi sect of Islam that dominates Saudi Arabia. The Saudi monarchy should be told that Islam is coming to an end as a religion and a geo-political force. The citizens of those cities should be given fair warning to leave, then let the sand making begin. The Allah shouters will have to realize that Allah couldn't save his own land, and they'll start looking elsewhere for worship. This may seem harsh, but untill you destroy the very center of Islamic power, we'll always be threatened by it. History have shown that Islam and the Muslims will never give up untill they're defeated on the battlefield. I say end this nonsense once and for all by knocking out Islam at its very center.

Lydia,

Oh, to be clear I like YOUR 3 thru 9. Even one of those things would be a step in the right direction.

I am so sorry. I did not hit "post" twice so I don't get it.

By "counterproductive" I meant that persecution of Islam by a post-Christian govt. in a post-Christian society will have the opposite of its intended effect, that it is more likely to encourage people to convert to Islam. History has shown that Islam has a great appeal to pagans I fear it may someday appeal in the same way to post-Christians. Hstory also gives us examples of persecution having the opposite of its intended effect.

So It's a utilitarian argument I'm making here as much as it is a principled one.

By "counterproductive" I meant that persecution of Islam by a post-Christian govt. in a post-Christian society will have the opposite of its intended effect, that it is more likely to encourage people to convert to Islam.

If that is true, Steve P. - and it may well be true - then our country is too far gone to prevent Islamicization anyway. Halting Muslim immigration, revoking visas, removing foot basins, etc., all of which you approve, will also be condemned as "persecution" and that very loudly. It's either do nothing and be Islamicized, or do something and be Islamicized. I choose the latter, and we might as well be thorough about it.

That said, I thank Steve Dalton for proving that I am, myself, a moderate voice of reason in this discussion. He might recall that the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in A.D. 70 didn't end Judaism; neither would the destruction of Mohammedan "holy" places end Islam. So before we go there, let's try some mild but firm common-sense policies at home, shall we?

Milton's profound Areopagitica explains why banning books is a wicked idea.

Jeff, the destruction of the Aztec center of human sacrifice at Tenochtitlan destroyed the power of the that religion to rule the hearts and minds of the Mexican people. Then, several years later, the miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe started the mass converison of these former pagans. If the religious and political center of power was left standing, the Christianization of the Mexican Indians would not have been possible. The same is true of Islam. As long as Mecca, Medina, and Riyadh are left untouched by the West, they will empower it. Destroy them, and Islam will lose it's grip on its followers. If we don't do this, we'll keep fighting it untill we're bled to death financially, spiritually, and morally.

The destruction of the Jerusalem temple ended the Mosiac covenant God had with the physical nation of Israel. The religion that we call Judaism today is rabbicalism, which developed from Phariseeism, which is not the law of Moses. So, the destruction of the temple in 70AD did end the real religion of the ancient Israelite people. It, like the destruction of Tenochtitlan, had to be destroyed so the true faith, the new covenant cold rle the minds and hearts of the people God chosed for himself.

Except that Milton was on board with persecuting Catholics. As Cromwell's secretary, he could hardly have been anything else. Wonder what he would have said about banning Catholic books--say, some counter-Reformation Jesuit work.

I don't agree with Jeff's total approach.

I prefer Lydia's list of action.

I absolutely disapprove of the burning of any book.

While the concessions being made by state and local governments should be met with energetic opposition on the part of all citizens, I find the idea that we should rely on the government to "stop" the spread of Islam here a little lazy and counter to the teaching of Christ. I see the presence of Muslims as an opportunity to witness to them and preach the Gospel. If the belief in and embrace of Christ is the work of the Holy Spirit in conjunction with the preaching of His people, then why are we looking to laws to save us from Islam? Have we Christians become too content with out lives and dumbed down by our circuses to vigorously preach the Gospel to the community, Muslim or post modern pagans?
I agree Muslims are hard nuts to crack (pun intended), but I look forward to the opportunity that I have recently resolved to tackle in my community. And for those Muslims who display a radical spirit, I look forward to the debate and if I tick them off, so be it.
If we all aggressively encounter Muslims and aggressively present the Gospel, we will be putting the governing authorities on notice that we are not giving one inch to Islam in the public square. Some of these victims of Christian witnessing will respond and become Christians. Some will avoid the debate. Some will be provoked to violence. Some will be uncomfortable and retreat. Some may even return to their former countries. Whatever they do, it should be because Christians are an evangelical presence not because we want the government to protect us while we sit on our couches watching football on Sundays.
As for Isabella. When 9/11 occurred, I wanted to have a button made that said, "Isabella Was Right." However, being a convert from Catholicism to Evangelical Christianity, I realize that I would have earned the brand of "heretic" in Isabella's Spain and would have suffered a worse fate than the Muhammedans who were driven bach to North Africa.

Some will be provoked to violence.

Indeed, Gina, and that is precisely why government must be involved. It's good and well for you to evangelize and have courage and not be intimidated by Muslim violence. But you don't get to impose that courage on the wife and children of, say, the local mayor who says something critical about Islam or Mohammad, and for that reason is subject to death threats and harassment and must put his family into hiding. I have no doubt, for example, that the pastor down in Florida, however nutty he might be, backed down because of overwhelming Muslim threats against his own life and that of his family and church.

Muslims can be evangelized, but conversions will be few and far between when they have established a community strong enough to enforce Sharia, including the penalty of death for converts.

I thought Ferdinand and Isabella actually expelled the Jews and the Moors weren't expelled until later.

Given that President Johnson signed the Hart-Celler Act in early October of 1965, one would have to assume that the actions of congress (overwhelming majorities in fact) must have occurred in September of that year, being, therefore, one of the seminal September tragedies leading up to the one that occurred in 2001.

In this day & age, book burning is simply an expression of frustration. The rest of the world routes around it.

Do we still share Thomas Jefferson's optimism about our nation's resilience?

"If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union, or to change it’s republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it. I know indeed that some honest men fear that a republican government cannot be strong; that this government is not strong enough. But would the honest patriot, in the full tide of succesful experiment, abandon a government which has so far kept us free and firm, on the theoretic & visionary fear, that this government, the world’s best hope, may, by possibility, want energy to preserve itself? I trust not."

If we don't, then maybe we're already over the falls, and don't realize it.

backed down because of overwhelming Muslim threats against his own life and that of his family and church.

And because the FBI made a visit--in all probability intended to intimidate, even though the FBI had no jurisdiction to threaten him--to that pastor shortly before he backed down.

I think it's really important to realize how much latitude the law does provide, First Amendment and all, to do something here.

Consider mosques: There is a mosque in Tennessee right now that has turned out to be a nightmare for the local people. The people on the nearby street are being threatened. Crowds of young men are prowling around and behaving in a threatening manner. All the local peace is gone. The police should be _leaning_ on that mosque. They should have a _large_ police presence making them very uncomfortable.

Jeff,

Point taken. Thank you for the response.

Lydia, where in TN? I have been out of the news loop a lot since classes started, and this is something I haven't heard about.

Beth, my apologies. I _had_ thought it was the Murfreesboro mosque, but it turns out that the particular story I had in mind concerns a mosque in Georgia. The story was posted by a Jihad Watch reader in a thread concerning the Murfreesboro planned mosque (which may not yet have actually been built?), and that was how the confusion arose.

Here is the story about the Georgia mosque and what the surrounding residents are having to put up with:

http://www.ajc.com/news/gwinnett/lilburn-mosque-foes-allege-552778.html

And here's more: http://www.wtvf.com/Global/story.asp?S=12723643

One could go on and on. It doesn't matter whether Mohammadan thuggery characterizes a majority or an "extremist" minority of the Islamic community. Wherever there is a substantial population of Muslims, there is a sufficient number of "extremists" to make life hell for everyone else. And, as we have seen over and over, "moderate" Muslims are constantly making excuses for their "extremist" brethren anyway - it's no use pretending. The problem is Islam.

Thanks for this info, Lydia and Jeff. It seems we rarely hear anything about Murfreesboro around here. Good to know what is going on just north of us.

What do you guys make of someone like Reza Aslan? Who argues that Islam can make peace with a secular society? Okay, maybe he's wrong - but should you be buying him a ticket home? (-;

Also - didn't Protestant nativists once write this way about Catholic immigrants?

Also.Maybe there should be a deeper discussion about Evangelism? As an alternative to crusades? (although I like the tongue in cheek stuff here, and get why people are angry. And scared.)But political solutions aren't going to solve this problem.

Fascism gets defeated militarily, I mean totally annihilated. Nuked, if we count Japanese emperor worship and nationalism.

Does that stop Fascism. Nope, it just goes to ground in Sayyd Qutb. Then it resurfaces. You can't militarily defeat an idea.

So how does the Church gain a heart for reaching Muslims, *including* the radical nut-jobs? Paul was a Jew with a heart to win Jews when Jews could often violently oppose the Church. And side with the Persians. And get really close to very destructive wars with the Empire. How did Paul manage that? He was politically and religiously violent once himself. What was his strategy? Seriously, I haven't worked that out, but there's got to be a clue for the Church in there somewhere.

Also. Why would conservatives look to the State to solve a political problem? Isn't the Church capable of taking these guys on as a Church?

I meant a religious and cultural problem, not a political problem.

Actually, the Apostle Paul _expressly_ looked to the secular (more or less secular) authorities to protect him. He refused to be "released" from Roman custody for judgment by the Jewish leaders, because he knew what his fate would be. He used his rights as a Roman citizen to appeal to Caesar so that the Romans would protect him from the Jewish zealots who wanted to kill him. So you could say he "looked to the state." He was a canny fellow, Paul. What he wanted was a chance to keep on preaching and doing his evangelism work, and he realized he needed some spears and swords at that time to protect him to continue doing it.

Steve Dalton, you wrote:

Jeff, the destruction of the Aztec center of human sacrifice at Tenochtitlan destroyed the power of the that religion to rule the hearts and minds of the Mexican people.

That's a fair point. But by my reading of history, the Aztecs did not have anywhere near the religious tenacity of Islam.

Destroy them [the "holy" sites], and Islam will lose it's grip on its followers. If we don't do this, we'll keep fighting it untill we're bled to death financially, spiritually, and morally.

Steve, I don't believe that has been demonstrated. We haven't even tried to keep Islam out of this country, or to remove ourselves from the Islamic world - on the contrary, in fact, and without any obvious necessity that I can see. We have an obligation to try isolation and containment before "going nuclear", which would be a political disaster and almost certainly a grave moral transgression, bringing more judgment upon ourselves and emboldening our enemies.

The destruction of the Jerusalem temple ended the Mosiac covenant God had with the physical nation of Israel. The religion that we call Judaism today is rabbicalism, which developed from Phariseeism, which is not the law of Moses. So, the destruction of the temple in 70AD did end the real religion of the ancient Israelite people.

Yes, that's all very true, but it also gave birth to Talmudic Judaism, which has for its theological foundation the rejection of Christ and which has been a perpetual thorn in the side of Christendom. What would likely emerge from the ashes of Mecca and Medina would not be the old Islam, but a new "Islam" with a hatred of the West at the core of its doctrine.

That's a fair point. But by my reading of history, the Aztecs did not have anywhere near the religious tenacity of Islam.

Perhaps, but the Spanish did not have the incredible military capabilities of the United States. Imagine what the US military could do if it were unleashed on the Islamic holy sites with the ferocity that the Romans unleashed the legions of Titus on Palestine.

What would likely emerge from the ashes of Mecca and Medina would not be the old Islam, but a new "Islam" with a hatred of the West at the core of its doctrine.

They already hate us to the core of their being and want us all converted or dead. Hating us 2x more is irrelevant much the same as it is irrelevant to a man whether he's taken out by a grenade or a nuclear weapon. Dead is dead. Hated is hated. Once you cross the threshold that they have, the differences become academic.

Here's an idea.

How about inventing a time machine and transporting the staff and regular readers of What's Wrong with the World back to late 15th century Spain?

There are a number of things to be said in favor of this:

(1) It's about as likely to happen as the measures you are proposing here.
(2) You would fit right in.
(3) It'd be a true win-win situation: better for you, better for our country.

Just a thought.

Serious question: Is everyone on the author roll of this blog OK with the sentiments expressed here in this thread by your fellow authors?

I will take your silence as a YES.

Thank you Craig! You bring the total number of sane people on this blog to 1. Lydia, Jeff, and company--you need help. I am quite serious about that. I did not know that the level of hatred and fear and ignorance, even amongst your crowd, had reached such a fever pitch. The word, "derangement" comes to mind.


1. Halt Muslim immigration.
2. Revoke the visas of Muslim students.
3. Offer Muslim families $100K to return to the Muslim country of their choice.
4. Halt the building of mosques.
5. Halt the printing and distribution of the Koran.

How are people here less than absolutely flabergasted by this kind of hate-mongering?

I'm with Fred and Craig. I don't think any of you would be willing in person to look a Muslim-American father or mother in the eye and tell them to take their families and leave this country. You all should be ashamed.

Whoa Craig. Before I get shipped back to the 15th century along with the other regular readers, don't forget that many go to the circus not because they believe in the hocus pocus, but because they want to see the bearded lady.

Hatemongering? Wait'l they get a load of me!

… and Burton & Roberts.

6. Reclassify Islam from a religion to a subversive ideology and outlaw its practice.

7. Keep poking them in the eye with koran burning etc. so they want to leave or as Auster puts it:

"And if we all know we're in mortal danger from Islam, so much in danger that if any one nincompoop of us were to burn even one little page of the Koran we'll be slaughtered by the Religion of Peace, wouldn't it be best not just politely to point out the snake in the grass, but also to prod the damn thing with a stick to force it out into the open?"

How about inventing a time machine and transporting the staff and regular readers of What's Wrong with the World back to late 15th century Spain?

Certainly. We'll even take some time off for a detour so you can stop in revolutionary France to see what real liberalism looks like.

Read the Koran, don't burn it. Learn it, expose it, refute it. I have the Koran downloaded on my iPhone from the Kindle app. Know how much it cost me? 89 cents. Betcha lots of devout Muslims have it on their phones as well. How are you going to burn them? The reason the church isn't burning books like they did hundreds of years ago is that the world has changed.

will the Catholic church ever get another pope with some stones?

Thank God the Holy Father doesn't have stones... in his head.

Think, people. Think then act.

I myself tend to think that it would not be a good idea, for a number of reasons, to halt the printing & distribution of the Koran by law and to halt the building of all mosques per se. On the second of these, I think that the problems with "what happens to the neighborhood" when a mosque is built can certainly be taken into account by zoning boards, etc., asked to approve building or expansion of a mosque. After all, the board is presumably there for a reason, not merely as a rubber stamping organization. If some religion's adherents behave badly, if they are likely to make further demands (such as for noise easements to blast their call to prayer and disturb the peace), and especially if a particular location is especially sensitive, I think these are all perfectly legitimate governmental considerations. They will result in what would be called "discrimination" against applications for mosque buildings, though they would not mean a blanket ban.

As for offering money to people to return to a Muslim country, I suspect that this money would be likely to end up being given to terrorists if it were accepted, so I'm hesitant about it. Plus, I'm thrifty, so I'm hesitant about using taxpayer money.

I'm definitely strongly on board with Jeff's #'s 1 and 2. I wonder if our liberal commentators think anyone "needs help" who endorses my 3'-9'. If that stuff is "hate," then that tells me _everything_ I need to know about the commentators in question. (As if I didn't already know.)

No contributor to this blog has ever endorsed nuking any city, as far as I can recall, and certainly no contributor who has commented in this thread. In fact, we're known as "pacifists" in some quarters for opposing the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

No contributor to this blog has ever endorsed nuking any city, as far as I can recall, and certainly no contributor who has commented in this thread. In fact, we're known as "pacifists" in some quarters for opposing the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

I'm sure your failure to unconditionally condemn my cynical suggestion that we should reenact the razing of Carthage with Mecca is all the proof he needs to condemn you...

Mike T., I'm sure that's just an oversight. I'll go ahead and unconditionally condemn your suggestion, for the record, assuming the city is populated.

"Queen Isabel the Catholic . . . whose "reconquista" saved her country by the expulsion of the Moors." You left out the expulsion of the Jews. Why? If you're going to be a thoroughgoing pre-Vatican II Catholic, shouldn't you applaud the banishment of those subversive deicides, too?

And just what did Isabela save her country from? With the fall of Granada, the entire Spanish peninsula was under the foot of Aragon & Castile. The surviving Muslims (and Jews) were helpless--thus the ease with which they were driven out.

All this, and, thanks to your nuke-happy commenter Steve, a discourse on the benefits of Spanish conquest to those benighted Aztecs! I hope you're all better philosophers than you are historians.

Mike T., I'm sure that's just an oversight. I'll go ahead and unconditionally condemn your suggestion, for the record, assuming the city is populated.

That's ok. I've always been more partial to the idea of having the Army fight its way in, surround the Ka'Ba reduce it to rubble in plain sight of the Hajj crowds. They should even do it while blasting an Arabic version of the Nine Inch Nails song Heresy with "Islam" substituted for "Christianity."

"Allah's dead... and no one cares... if there is a Hell... I'll see you there..."

If you're going to be a thoroughgoing pre-Vatican II Catholic, shouldn't you applaud the banishment of those subversive deicides, too?

A Catholic is not defined by Vatican II. A Catholic is one who is Baptised/Confirmed, adheres to the Precepts of The Church and maintains the bonds of Unity in Worship, Doctrine, and Authority.

That aside, I applaud The King and Queen for banishing the Jews.

It's too bad they went to The Netherlands and Judaised the Protestant Pilgrims there and those Pilgrims brought their Judaised Christianity to America - but, that's another story.

Dear Mr. Culbreath. Congrats. Over at "Catholic and Enjoying It," Mr. Shea has spit the bit of religious reality and has become unglued about you and WWWTW.

http://markshea.blogspot.com/

He thinks y'all are barking mad vis a vis those whose Doctrine commands them to kill or subjugate us.


Tsk Tsk. Why are you such a meanie?

Aaron, leaving aside your highly prejudiced reading of history ...

You left out the expulsion of the Jews. Why? If you're going to be a thoroughgoing pre-Vatican II Catholic, shouldn't you applaud the banishment of those subversive deicides, too?

I expected someone to bring this up. It would be a fun little rabbit hole to go down someday. But the question is entirely beside the point. In the United States, the Jews - as Jews - do not constitute a violent or subversive socio-political movement. You can criticize Judaism in this country without a gang of brutes threatening to cut your head off. American Jews are not much into honor killings, nor are they particularly fascinated by explosive devices. The kinds of problems that Jewish influence typically introduces to a Christian society - religious indifference, moral laxity, etc. - have long been present in this country for other reasons. Despite the many difficulties inherent in religious pluralism, American Protestants, Catholics, and Jews have long-settled habits of living together in peace. Islam has never lived in peace with any other faith apart from the establishment of dhimmitude.

By the way, I'm not George R. and have no interest in being a "thoroughgoing pre-Vatican II Catholic".

What do you guys make of someone like Reza Aslan? Who argues that Islam can make peace with a secular society? Okay, maybe he's wrong - but should you be buying him a ticket home? (-;

Also - didn't Protestant nativists once write this way about Catholic immigrants?

Dear Deckard... Catholics do not have any Doctrine Commanding them to kill or subjugate non-Catholics.

Muslims do.

As to Mr. Aslan. There have been many times when Islam has made a peace treaty with its enemies but those treaties are in effect only until they, The Muslims, can gain a moral or numerical advantage so they can,again, institute Jihad as a way of establishing Sharia.

Jihad is a Duty and the Islamic Orthopraxis of making/breaking treaties - always in favor of Islam and always temporary - is a long and perfected deception.

On “hatred”:

Not knowing you folks personally, I can’t say what feeling animates you. But the actions you propose, if carried out, would cause untold misery to millions of innocent Americans and be a grave injustice to them. What boggles my mind is your easy identity of Islam-as-a-whole with Islamic terrorists. (I certainly find it easy to distinguish my Christian neighbors from extremists of the Fred Phelps variety, or abortion clinic bombers, Christian militia members, etc.) That such an important and obvious distinction is overlooked suggests something like willful ignorance on the part of devotees of your proposals 1-9; I believe that is where the charge of hatred comes from, namely, the suspicion that something psychologically unwholesome is going on to blind you to that obvious distinction.

Go on, quote me all the “Kill the unbelievers”-style verses from the Qur’an you want. I can quote you verses pointing in the other direction (“There is no compulsion in matters of religion”). More than that, I can quote you any number of atrocities from the Christian Bible (stoning adulterers, divine commands to commit genocide, and the like). Religious scriptures contain verses in tension with each other, and extremists with some ingenuity can contort any set of scriptures to serve their ends.

If you are tempted to say the New Testament is an exception, well, I beg to differ. A close reading of the NT in college opened my eyes to passages that fly in the face of the peaceful image of Jesus I was taught in Sunday School as a kid.

To wit:

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung round his neck and he were thrown into the sea.” Mark 9:42
"Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth," says Jesus in Matthew 10:34. "I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s foes will be those of his own household." Cf. Luke 12:51-53

In Matthew 25:41-46, Jesus himself casts sinners into the “eternal fire” on Judgment Day. Cf. Matthew 13:41-42, Revelation 14:9-11.

Likewise, on Judgment Day Jesus shall be "revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance upon those who do not know God and upon those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus." 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8

Similarly, in 1 Corinthians 15:24-25, Paul claims that at the end of the age Jesus "delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet." Most graphically yet, Revelation 19:11-15 describes the final victory of Jesus over “the beast” as follows:

“Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse! Its rider is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems; and he has a name that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, wearing fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron; he will tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.”

So there are some not-so-nice parts of even the New Testament someone with a persecutionist bent could seize upon – as many did to justify the Crusades, the Inquisition, various wars of religion, etc. I don’t take these folks to be the REAL Christians and my peaceful Christian neighbors thereby to be some closet would-be persecutors. Why can’t you do the same with your Muslim neighbors?

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to argue for exact ethical parity of scripture A and B—the Bible, the Qur’an, or whatever. I have neither the time nor the inclination for that. (I suspect I would see both scriptures as gravely flawed, ethically.) What matters is that plenty upon plenty of Muslim citizens are peaceful, law-abiding citizens who go to work and help their neighbors and kiss their kids goodnight each day. And you want to kick them out of the country, or drive them out of the country by making their lives a living hell. And that is wrong.

It remains wrong even if there are parts of the Qur’an that are squirm-inducing, and even if worldwide religious polls of Muslims show less support on average for religious tolerance than similar polls of Christians. It remains wrong even if there is worldwide more Qur'an inspired violence than Christian violence. It is simply not right to inflict such injury on all American Muslims because of the actions of only some. C’mon! That is Morality 101.

And if you say that individual rights must give way to national security at some point, I will respond that (1) we are NOWHERE NEAR that point now; and that (2) the actions you propose surely will only throw gas on the flames of any current worldwide religious animosity, and thereby serve as a “recruitment bonanza” for terrorists and increase the very violence you feel so threatened by.

Please, grow up.

a discourse on the benefits of Spanish conquest to those benighted Aztecs! I hope you're all better philosophers than you are historians.

The Aztecs were child-sacrificing savages.

They know history. They just don't make the same judgments (or non-judgements in your case) that your type does.

Go on, quote me all the “Kill the unbelievers”-style verses from the Qur’an you want. I can quote you verses pointing in the other direction (“There is no compulsion in matters of religion”). More than that, .

Dear Craig. NASKH..abrogation, is a Doctrine of Islam which teaches that the violent Suras abrogate the peaceful ones

http://library.flawlesslogic.com/verses.htm

For Christians, Jesus is the perfect, sinless, Man-God.

For Muslims, Mohammed is the perfect man who, in Serge Trifkovic's memorable, and accurate, description was, "part John Gotti, part David Koresh..."

Jesus is not a violent, insane, pedophilic, Jew-beheading, Brigand. Mohammed was

I just saw the source I posted for NASKH.

I didn't realise the source so here is a better one

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2006/10/the-islamic-doctrine-of-abrogation.html

Bummer. Craig doesn't seem attracted to my merely moderate craziness. Life's rough.

CAEI doesn't like us? I suppose I should be upset, but I'm not all _that_ surprised, for some odd reason. Maybe I would be if I read it more faithfully.

Okay, I read Shea. He quotes both of us, Jeff--including my whole list of 3'-9' in replacement of your 3-5. We're both "barking mad." We both apparently want to expel 18 million people (or something like that) merely for being Muslim. I had no idea there were so many Muslims here on student visas!

I'm afraid it looks like Mr. Culbreath and I are more capable of respectfully disagreeing about the wisdom of his 3-5 than Mr. Shea is of disagreeing respectfully with either of us about the danger of Islam in America--much less, you know, _understanding_ the danger of Islam in America.

Part of the essence of Christianity is the taking up of one's Cross. Even though most Christians never experience the necessity to do this in a dramatic and extreme way (some of course, do) , it's still part of the essence of Christianity and will always be. Ditto Islam and Jihad.

Anyone who thinks that the New Testament encourages one to harm non-believers doesn't have even an elementary understanding of it.

The (violent) OT was about God's relationship with a particular ancient people. It is, therefore, limited geographically, temporally ,etc. Even, then the discernable trajectory through the OT is from the violent and the particular to the universal. The universal New Covenant is non-violent.

The trajectory in the Koran is in the opposite direction, parallelling Muhammaned's life, the history of which isn't particuarly disputed. A universal, violent religion that isn't limited to a particular time and place.

Dear Lydia. If Mr. Shea goes ballistic on you about Islam and Muslims, that is one sign you are attached to religious reality.

Mr Shea is like the girl with the curl.

"In the United States, the Jews - as Jews - do not constitute a violent or subversive socio-political movement."

In the United States most Muslims--as Muslims--do not constitute a violent or subversive sociopolitical movement, your efforts to tar them all with the brush of terrorism or jihadism to the contrary. There is thus no justification for the policies that you recommend.

Now it is true that SOME Muslims (like, incidentally, some Christians--e.g. Eric Rudolph) see terrorism as an important, perhaps essential, feature of their religiosity. We have a perfectly adequate criminal justice system to deal with such people--as well as deportation for those criminals who aren't citizens.

"Religious indifference and moral laxity." I applaud both, and greatly prefer them to unfounded assurance and sanctimony.

"The Aztecs were child-sacrificing savages."

And 16th-c. Europeans burned people alive whose opinions they disagreed with and subjected weaker groups to massacre and enslavement (American Indians being among the principal exhibits--read Bartolome de las Casas if you need a Catholic source). Europeans of that day were, to use your word, "savages." So what exactly is your point?

It can't be that two wrongs make a right; no one would make that error on a philosophy blog, would they?

And it can't be that the Spaniards were less destructive of Indian lives than the Aztecs--on the available evidence, they were more destructive.

So just what are you getting at?

I am not Spartacus wrote:

"That aside, I applaud The King and Queen for banishing the Jews.

It's too bad they went to The Netherlands and Judaised the Protestant Pilgrims there and those Pilgrims brought their Judaised Christianity to America - but, that's another story."

It's also too bad you can't be in a really bad accident and wind with up with a Jewish ER doctor who decides the world has enough anti-semitic assholes wasting its precious oxygen.

From Mark Shea:

"Well, it matters because a blog I used to regard as fairly sensible..."

Huh? He did? The primary interaction between WWWTW and Mark Shea that I can recall was when he made a total jackass of himself in that debate with Ed Feser over torture and Catholic doctrine (if you can call it a debate - Ed was the only one even trying to exercise reason and good faith, while Mark just repeatedly denounced him in apoplectic rage), a performance which was so manifestly nasty and disgraceful that it was the point where Mark became someone I used to regard as fairly sensible.

Just a quick word: I think it's a pretty tricky issue when you should respectfully disagree with someone and when you shouldn't (that's not to say I don't have strong views on the matter). Consequently, I think it's sometimes quite difficult to figure out what we should conclude about someone if he disrespectfully disagrees with someone else.

Thus, if Lydia disrespectfully disagreed with an advocate of infanticide, I wouldn't conclude that she wasn't being rational--perhaps the rational thing to do is disrespectfully (or better, I think: uncivilly) disagree.

Thus, just because Shea has an uncivil reaction to Feser's argument for the claim that Catholic doctrine is compatible with advocacy of torture (if that indeed was what the argument was about; I don't really remember), and just because Shea has an uncivil reaction to Culbreath's suggestions for how to deal with Muslims, I don't think I would conclude that Shea is an uncivil or irrational person.

To some people, after all, torture--torture of anyone, and even if it will save lives--is just as bad as abortion or infanticide. I'm not saying that they're right to think this, or even that it's a reasonable position (though I do think it's a reasonable position), but rather that I think that these three issues: (a) abortion/infanticide, (b) torture, and (c) deportation of Muslims, are serious enough that one can reasonably be uncivil with people who have serious enough disagreements with you.

Someone needs to play Devil's Advocate. So I will assume that role.

I take it as a given that the teaching of jihad, in the sense of a violent campaign the object of which is to overthrow the constitutive political architecture of the country - and not merely specific laws - so that it might be replaced with some form of sharia, ought to be defined as seditious. This expedient would be simple, at least conceptually and operationally (politically, not so much), would be rooted in past American precedents, and would not entail a posture of unremitting hostility to all Muslims qua Muslims. Those Muslims who think little on such matters, or who interpret jihad as a spiritual struggle - and I'm cognizant of the rough history of Islamic interpretation and jurisprudence, so let's not get detoured - would be unaffected. We could evaluate, say, prison chaplains on this basis, and not simply ban spiritual counsel to imprisoned Muslims tout court.

However, I wonder whether those taking firmer stances have contemplated both the unintended consequences of the measures they recommend, or the character of the regime - by which I mean the American establishment, and not any one specific administration - they call upon to exercise such powers. Long-term readers will be aware that, whenever your resident critic of capitalism has inveighed against this or that economic enormity, he has been reproached with these refrains - what of the unintended consequences, and how could you ever trust this government to do X? Well, whatever one may think of the governments of Europe, they have not become statist - to the extent that they are statist - on account of their regulation of capitalism, but on account of cultural politics, and attempts to make capitalism function more efficiently, as capitalists wish, as with the standardization of weights and measures mandated by the EU. There is little evidence of a Road to Serfdom paved with the palliative measures critics of capitalism might enjoin.

However, there is abundant evidence, I think, of cultural meddling, both in Europe, and in America. I should think that much obvious to readers of this website. How, therefore, can the advocates of sterner anti-Islamic measures be certain that these powers will not be extended, as from precedent, to other spheres, to churches, and so forth? That the suspicion has passed, now, from certain doctrines of Islam, to Muslims qua Muslims, irrespective of the adherence or non-adherence of any particular Muslims to those suspect doctrines, suggests a broader, more diffuse atmosphere of suspicion, aimed at difference, presumably from some undefined base of Americanism. We now have hack radio hosts counseling Catholics to repudiate the social doctrine of the Church as something un-American; we have the lunatic attempts to portray the President - for whom I did not vote, mind you - as something other than an American; we have had the successive purges of dissenting conservatives as unpatriotic. Doubtless I will be informed that these things are unrelated, uncorrelated. From this perspective, I dissent. I times of trial and confusion, this is what people do: they draw lines; they make distinctions; they discriminate, for good and evil reasons. The nation is under pressure from a thousand directions, as if this might be an inflection point in our history. People, quite naturally, if not always correctly, are thus saying, "this is in, and that is out."

So, that is my question - can this attitude be circumscribed and contained, limited to a few discrete spheres? Or will it burst all bounds of reason and measure, and, fueled by myths of national righteousness, feed political ambitions, systemic and personal, broader than the threat of jihadism? There is, to take one example, a faction of the American establishment which still seethes with resentment over the post-Nixon restraints on, to put it bluntly, curtailments of Constitutional protections; in the estimation of this faction, state secrets, and state purposes, trump these protections, and the real reasons need never be disclosed to the rabble. This faction waxed strong under Bush the Lesser and Dick "the Dark Lord" Cheney; (un)surprisingly, at least to some of us, they continue their ascent under Obama. Do you trust this faction? Are you willing to connive at these broader objectives? Those of you who are more 'mainstream' than I could ever be - do you discard the suspicion of state power for them, when you will not discard it for others? Is it impossible that these prerogatives will ever be employed against you, or yours? Or is the left that you fear and loathe in other contexts, the left that is ever on the march, too weak to seize these instruments?

The problem doesn't seem to be the lack of laws or remedies to enforce, but the lack of will to enforce them. Anti-profiling is silly - if the perpetrators have particular characteristics, then by all means employ those characteristics into your judgment of security risks. But that does not mean banning or deporting Muslims wholesale. The troublesome ones seem to give themselves away fairly enough. We (meaning our government) just need to have the cajones to deal with them.

Do you trust this faction? Are you willing to connive at these broader objectives? Those of you who are more 'mainstream' than I could ever be - do you discard the suspicion of state power for them, when you will not discard it for others? Is it impossible that these prerogatives will ever be employed against you, or yours?

Maximos I actually asked this question to Lawrence Auster once and he replied as such:

"A society that reaches the point where it adopts the radical policy of Islamic rollback I have proposed, would be a society that has already rejected modern politically correct standards of what is acceptable. Our current, liberal-ruled, politically correct society would never adopt this policy.

My policy assumes the existence of a society ruled by commonsense, decency, and patriotism, not a society ruled by the madness of liberalism which says that we must be equally open to all groups, even a group explicitly devoted to our destruction. The extreme measures of exclusion called for in the case of Islam are unique to Islam, because of the uniquely extreme threat posed by Islam."

So in order for this to happen within a society, it will already have to have rejected modern liberalism and its tenants (such as the anti-Christian secularism that comes with it), so it would be less likely within a society like this that people would employ these same tactics against our group, since the liberalism that would motivate them to do so would be dead or severely weakened.

Gee, how nice, Maximos. Somebody _has to_ play the devil's advocate, huh?

Please tell me which of my proposals is supposed to be so dangerous to Christians.

Hey, I know, maybe somebody will start proposing that we tear out all those Baptist baptismal pools that were installed at public expense on the University of Michigan campus. Oh, wait...

Hmmm. What next? Well, maybe somebody will say that if Christians teach that we should try to overthrow the government of the United States by armed force, that's sedition. How terrible. But wait, that _is_ sedition. I dunno about your church, but they're welcome to waste the time of FBI agents checking out my church for such teachings.

Sorry, Maximos, no dice.

Phantom Blogger,

That is but a partial response to my interrogation, for it does not define the licit degree of discrimination. As I stated in my comment, we have cretins, left and right, writing people out of America for various reasons, arising from the general temper which begets the counter-jihad movement. In other words, what, precisely, does it mean to reject liberalism? Is the rejection of 'liberalism' just another mode of Americanism?

Sorry: I see that Maximos does endorse a jihad sedition law. So that can't be it.

Is it the banning of Muslim prison chaplains?

Well, let's put it this way: The rationale for such a ban would be that we have to be insane to put violent prisoners into contact with people whose mission will be to recruit them to a religion that, we have strong reason to believe, will channel their violent tendencies into a holy war.

When you start showing me statistics on Christian prison chaplains radicalizing Christian prisoners to join, say, Christian anti-government militias which come anywhere _close_ to the same problem for converts to Islam in prison, then there might be a parallel.

I gather that the issue is supposed to be that the left is so crazy that they'll _say_ there's a parallel even if there isn't one.

But here I have to agree with PB and Auster: A country or a local or federal government capable of recognizing the problem with Islam in order to recognize the wisdom of such measures is not a government that is going to make those stupid, non-existent parallels. It's a government capable of recognizing that we _don't_ have a problem with Christian prison chaplains. It is, in a nutshell, a government capable of rational discrimination.

If the government isn't capable of recognizing that, they aren't going to stop the Muslim chaplains just to get the opportunity to stick it to the Christian chaplains.

These things tend to come as a package.

Well, let's put it this way: The rationale for such a ban would be that we have to be insane to put violent prisoners into contact with people whose mission will be to recruit them to a religion that, we have strong reason to believe, will channel their violent tendencies into a holy war.

All of the chaplains, without distinction, are probable candidates for this recruitment activity? We have strong reason to believe that most or all of the chaplains are engaged in this activity? Really? I realize that there have been some problems with the chaplaincy, but this is a strong claim, one I am inclined to doubt.

I gather that the issue is supposed to be that the left is so crazy that they'll _say_ there's a parallel even if there isn't one.

You gather that they'll say this, as though you have to hunt around for the evidence of this? Look, it's apodictic that the left will posit such parallels, and act upon them, whether or not they obtain under any reasonable criteria. Anti-abortion activism? Might be the next assassin of an abortionist. We wouldn't want another point-blank killing in the midst of a church service, would we? Some factions of the religious right are cozy with the mercenary industrial complex, which is unarguably a detriment to America's reputation and security. Transitively, OMG! Watch out for those Protestant fundies! See, I don't even have to try to come up with this stuff. Imagine what a motivated left, with power, would and could do.

But here I have to agree with PB and Auster... If the government isn't capable of recognizing that, they aren't going to stop the Muslim chaplains just to get the opportunity to stick it to the Christian chaplains.

You're much to cocksure about this matter. A government that arrogates to itself the "right" to decree an American citizen beyond the protections of the Constitution, and a licit target for extrajudicial killing, precisely because that citizen is (alleged to be) a jihadist, would be willing to make that compromise, if it served a broader objective. The object of the American establishment is not to promote Islam qua Islam, but to promote any and all policies which maximize its scope for unhindered action, whatever it should purpose to do. The government would decide to screen any and all chaplains, irrespective of confession, for hallmarks of "extremism", where they alone define the operative term, because this maximizes the surveillance power.

If it's a bit rude for a newcomer to barge in and assail a regular, well, it can't be helped. Sorry, TPB (and Auster by extension), but that's one of the dumbest opinions I've ever seen in print. You can't possibly be that naive. Does 'society' equal 'the State'? Are there no such things as special interests in your cloud-cuckoo land? Or meteoric political movements?

If modern conservatism has a fatal flaw, it's that modern conservatives, in the overwhelming main, love to think their 'communities' and 'societies' and 'homelands' are much bigger and more inclusive than they actually are. Time after time after time after time, they've thought they've finally rounded up a 'majority' somewhere, and that they're finally going to get their way, and then ..."Who's this 'we', kemosabe?'" - they get kicked to the curb by the power-brokers like a Newt Gingrich wife past her expiration date. And they deserve it, too. The simple, sorry fact of the matter is that three hundred million people, spread across an entire continent, do not have any common interests at all. There never has been and never will be any such thing as 'society' on that scale. Only power - and here you would crown it!

Rereading my comment, I'm now a bit unsure of things. Here's the thing: I don't think people should respond uncivilly to each other on matters like this--I just think it's a reasonable position to think that they should, although it's one I disagree with.

Bobcat, I understand. But I really doubt that anything I proposed is morally vile in such a way that it deserves a sharp--shall we say, uncivil or disrespectful--rebuke. My point re. Shea was not, "No one should ever be disrespectful of anyone over any idea whatsoever." My point rather was that he is over-the-top in this case. I'm especially struck by the fact that he considers both Jeff's stronger proposals and my weaker ones to be "barking mad." It's also striking that Jeff C. is a Catholic (like Shea), and I am a Protestant, yet here (despite the fact that I don't endorse his 3-5) we seem to be far more on the same page (I don't consider him "barking mad" for his 3-5) than he and his fellow Catholic Shea.

Maximos, let me put it this way: I don't have in mind some sort of legal language that I believe will hit just the right note here. But I do think that there has to be some line draw-able vis a vis religious "comfort" provided to prisoners. It's obvious that there _has_ to be such a line, so why not here?

Thought experiment: Suppose that some Satanist prisoner wants the "religious comfort" of having his Satanist "religious adviser" visit him and perform a black mass in the prison. Is it also giving the government a dangerous amount of power to allow the prison officials to nix that proposal? What if someone worships Aphrodite and wants several prostitutes to come into the prison to bring him religious comfort in the form of a ceremonial orgy?

I mean, you're a prisoner, you already have abrogated _huge_ amounts of your rights. Like, in particular, your right to walk around and do all sorts of ordinary legal activities, like sleep in your own house, read whatever books you feel like reading, etc., etc. Presumably even though ordinary citizens have a civil right to log onto whatever otherwise legal Internet sites they please, you (Maximos) don't think it's giving the government too much power to regulate the Internet usage of prison inmates! If someone is in prison, of _course_ his activities and opportunities are going to be more restricted than if he were outside!

_Since_ this is the case, I can't really get too worried about the governmental power involved in some set-up of some kind that stops Muslim chaplains from recruiting in the prisons. I'm not saying I have the perfect way to put together such a set-up, but it just doesn't upset me too terribly much to imagine some terrible on-rush of government power over people otherwise _already_ convicted of an independent crime--a power to restrict their access to the Muslim religion.

The point wasn't bean-counting of atrocities, Aaron. The point was that the Aztecs WERE benighted. Any people that practice child sacrifice (moderns included) are.

Maximos -- Paul Sperry's book Infiltration documents in great detail the penetration of the Muslim prison chaplaincy by radicals. That book in now more than five years old. The implicit target of its criticism was the early Bush administration, so we can conveniently set aside the partisanship and imperial presidency matters that so interest you.

We can also reasonably assume that things have gotten worse, not better -- not least because in the last year alone several men who were converted in prison have been arrested and prosecuted for plotting to massacre innocents in the name of Islam. We have, moreover, an abundant history of the Jihad's capacity to inspire and recruit renegades and criminals from Christian societies. The late-mediaeval and early-modern Mediterranean Sea was crawling with Italian and Greek and Spanish apostates and brigands in the pay of the Turks.

If suspicion of Islamic prison chaplains is not justified, we might as well say that suspicion of Wall Street isn't justified.

By the way, in case anyone hasn't guessed by now, I do unequivocally condemn any and all proposals to nuke Muslim cities--or any cities, for that matter, in the ordinary sense of the word "cities." And, yes, Medina, etc., are cities, so...

I notice that a commentator at Shea's attempts somehow to tar us with the fact that a couple of commentators have made these proposals. Considering that both Jeff Culbreath and I have condemned those proposals in this very thread (I think my earlier words were clear enough but have added this comment in case they weren't) and that this web site is known for opposition by multiple contributors to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, I hardly see how we can be tarred in this fashion.

Commentator Craig seems to imply, if I understand him correctly, that my proposals are attempts to

"...drive [Muslims] out of the country by making their lives a living hell."

Let's see. Which part of my proposals makes Muslims' lives a living hell? Perhaps it's the undercover FBI agents in their mosques, whom presumably they wouldn't even have to know about (since they'd be undercover) listening for their imam to endorse jihad. Doesn't sound like a living hell to me. Maybe it's the fact that an employer could fire them without being sued if they refuse to ring up a pepperoni pizza? That doesn't sound like a living hell. Maybe it's the fact that if they commit a crime and get put in prison, they won't be able to have an imam visit them. Big deal. Don't commit crimes. If you get put in prison, you have plenty of worse things to worry about as far as having a life that is a "living hell" which have _nothing_ to do with not having an imam visit you. Hmmm. What could it be? Possibly the difficulty finding a religious footbath just when you want one? Harsh, harsh. Oh, perhaps it's the hurt feelings generated by having prominent politicians talk about the danger of Islamicization. Tell that to all the Tea Partiers and members of the "religious right" who have somehow managed not to consider their lives a "living hell" despite being denounced by politicians as "haters."

The truth is this: When anyone proposes anything that looks like _discrimination_, everybody on a certain side of the political spectrum starts talking like the terrible "discriminator" is endorsing genocide and torture. Lefties need to get a grip, though I doubt that they will.

Three things:

1) I'm with frequent commenter Mike T as regards the proliferation of prosecutorial abuses in the American legal system; as such, I'm not comfortable in the least with denying Constitutional liberties to people sent up on flimsy charges, on the basis of dodgy laws, by cynical careerist prosecutors, often to for-profit institutions. That's just a general skepticism with me.

2) As unfavourably disposed as I am to the Islamic religion, it's still not analogous to Satanism or cult prostitution.

3) Restricting access generally presupposes that there is not, nor can be, any such thing as a moderate Muslim, defined as a Muslim who engages in a purely spiritual jihad, and who does not wish to institute sharia in the United States. If such moderate Muslims are impossibilities, then why bother with laws defining jihad and sharia as seditious? Why not simply define Islam qua Islam as seditious, and abrogate the liberty to practice it? Again, unfavourably disposed as I am to the religion, this is a non-starter, and I don't see the point in fantasizing about it. Although it is somewhat amusing to me, coming from people who normally denounce the blowback hypothesis as unpatriotic, or what have you. Openly bandy about rhetorically, much less establish as law, that Islam cannot be practiced in America, and there will be blowback.

If suspicion of Islamic prison chaplains is not justified, we might as well say that suspicion of Wall Street isn't justified.

But I'm not saying that it is unwarranted, merely that the problem can be addressed more surgically, rather than with the dangerous expedient of curtailing religious liberties tout court. Why not scrutinize the training, teaching records, and interactions of the chaplains, and weed out the jihadists & etc? Why go further and proscribe Islamic religious practice behind bars? I mean, one can see obvious paths by which the precedent would be extended, which is more than can be said for irrational right-wing terrors of economic regulation in the West. The left already draws parallels between Islamic radicalism and "Christianist" radicalism, whereas it is just demented to think, as some on the right apparently do, that "first they came for the derivatives traders, and next they'll come for the guy who paints houses" represents rational thought.

Restricting access generally presupposes that there is not, nor can be, any such thing as a moderate Muslim, defined as a Muslim who engages in a purely spiritual jihad, and who does not wish to institute sharia in the United States.

No. It presupposes that such things are sufficiently unlikely in comparison to the probability of dangerous and undesirable results from Muslim prison chaplaincy as to make it a better idea not to have Muslim prison chaplains than to have them. These are practical judgments.

As for "blowback," the heck with that. If we're going to refuse to propose what seem to ourselves to be mild and sensible practical recognitions of the dangers of Islam because we're shaking in our boots over the possibility of "blowback," we might as well go around wearing "Kick me, I'm a dhimmi" T-shirts starting tomorrow. You think there might be a slight tension between worrying about proposals vis a vis Islam and the possibility of "blowback" and setting up a website called "Dispatches from the 10th Crusade" with a picture of Charles Martel at the top? Just maybe?

Dear Mr. Culbreath. Congrats. Over at "Catholic and Enjoying It," Mr. Shea has spit the bit of religious reality and has become unglued about you and WWWTW ...

Thank you, I am not Spartacus. It's a badge of honor. I stopped taking Shea seriously as a Catholic a few years back during one of his legendary anti-"rad trad" attacks. I don't remember what he said exactly but it became abundantly clear to me that - to put it as charitably as possible - his inordinate need for respectability leads him to dangerous places. And this is just more of the same. Otherwise he's not a bad fellow.

As unfavourably disposed as I am to the Islamic religion, it's still not analogous to Satanism or cult prostitution.

True. Unlike satanism or cult prostitution, Islam has aggressive social and political ambitions. A Christian society, if it still be Christian, should therefore treat Islam as a more serious temporal threat.

These are practical judgments.

Such judgments are tinged with subjectivity. The left will say the same things about other forms of religious advocacy. You all are writing as though we're a relatively intact Christian society, needing only a pep talk and a little bucking up, and all will be well with the world. We're not. We're Gomorrah, and that's not really a reference to sexuality, either. You're handing your adversaries a loaded handgun, and goading them to use it. In any event, I'm relishing the irony. Russia bans certain forms of manipulative and exploitative proselytization, and I'm denounced for defending those measures, and Lydia now defends proscribing all Islamic chaplaincy, even when it's not seditious.

You think there might be a slight tension between worrying about proposals vis a vis Islam and the possibility of "blowback" and setting up a website called "Dispatches from the 10th Crusade" with a picture of Charles Martel at the top? Just maybe?

No. I perceive no tension. There is just, and justified resistance, and there is misguided resistance, and there is rank jingoism. What I perceive here is a mixture of the first two categories, though the nuking business is clearly the third.

rather than with the dangerous expedient of curtailing religious liberties tout court

Maximos, we're talking about a proposal to revoke the prison passes of Muslim imams. Since Islam does not even include a priestly class like Christianity or Judaism, it is not obvious that having a imam present is a necessary aspect of religious liberty. But more importantly, IT'S PRISON, the whole point is the curtailment of liberties.

Of the two comments -- yes, two comments only -- that Shea cited in the course of denouncing this entire website, it seems to me that only a couple proposals go any further than what What's Wrong with the World has been on record as favoring since its inception. Some of the proposals date from the website of which this one is the successor. Steve Sailer was talking about paying Muslims to leave in about 2003. It seems that Shea can only mean he thought our website "fairly sensible" before he actually read a word of it.

Unlike satanism or cult prostitution, Islam has aggressive social and political ambitions.

All Muslims, by virtue of their faith, share in these ambitions? That's the missing term in this argument. So, by the way, do some evangelicals, and that's not simply a reference to social conservatism, either, folks - this is what the left will say. Oh, they are already saying it.

A Christian society, if it still be Christian..

Which it is not. We ought to jettison the pretense. A Christian society would, among many other things pertinent to rival faiths, at least consider clamping down on sectarian Mormon polygamists. Actually Existing America, by contrast, cannot muster the will to convict Warren Jeffs for "marrying" off girls to dirty old men, who then rape them in both senses of the term, when everyone knows he's done it.

Since Islam does not even include a priestly class like Christianity or Judaism, it is not obvious that having a imam present is a necessary aspect of religious liberty. But more importantly, IT'S PRISON, the whole point is the curtailment of liberties.

No, there is no priestly caste, which is part of the problem; were we to be more discriminating, as I've advocated in this thread, we'd partially rectify this lack by weeding out the wackaloons and favouring the moderates - we'd put some weight behind a saner Islam, even if not an orthodox Islam.

As to the curtailment of liberties, given the problems with the prison system, this seems somewhat arbitrary; it must be, given that so many laws and prosecutions are arbitrary and senseless. Moreover, it begs the question to assume that, because prison is about loss of liberty, it is about loss of this liberty.

All Muslims, by virtue of their faith, share in these ambitions? That's the missing term in this argument.

Maximos, it doesn't matter whether "all Muslims" personally share in these ambitions. The religion itself possesses these ambitions. To the extent that a Muslim conforms to his religion, yes, he shares these ambitions.

So, by the way, do some evangelicals, and that's not simply a reference to social conservatism, either, folks - this is what the left will say.

Of course they do. And so do we Roman Catholics. The difference, in the first place, is that these religions are not Islam. Catholics and evangelicals have enough common ground to participate together in public life without their heads exploding. But more importantly is the fact that Christianity, in the forms with which we are most familiar, has the internal resources to deal peacefully with a greater measure of freedom, pluralism, and conflicting ideas than Islam knows what to do with.

Yes, Maximos, I'm beginning to realize that you see very little distinction between convicts and non-convicts, our whole legal system being so corrupt and all.

Yep: You proposed outlawing Protestant missions in Russia that weren't directed solely at adult heads-of-household, if I recall correctly, and somehow, there's a deep, deep irony in the fact that I objected to that but now propose not letting Muslim imams into prisons. Irony, all right. As in, you can't see the difference between Muslim prison imams and evangelical missionaries to people outside of prisons. Maybe I should be more surprised than I am.

By the way, Maximos, is there any _other_ item in my list of proposals which you consider objectionable? Does the proposal that prominent politicians speak up about the dangers of Islam also strike some kind of deeply "ironic" note in connection with my general preference for limited government? Etc.


That is the essence of the Shea style or more accurately the lack of it. He'll troll the websites and come up with a comment that confirms his view that Roman Catholicism is seamed and honeycomed with warmongers, capitalists, American exceptionalists, Zionists and the occasional geostationary antisemite. This then forms the occassion for a BS teaching moment, with which he'll retire with a lot of sheeshing and generalised farting.

Oh, btw, Maximos, can I take your comment of 9:42 to mean that you're okay with denying "religious comfort" to imprisoned Satanists? What if they were imprisoned by a corrupt prosecutor? And anyway, isn't that allowing the government a dangerous amount of power, letting them discriminate among religions like that? Don't we have a duty to be more surgical? Perhaps we could investigate the Satanist religious comforters to see if they advocate something else bad--like ritual murder. And if they don't, if they're moderate Satanists who merely advocate worshiping Satan, then why shouldn't we let them in to recruit among the prison population and hold services? It would obviously be terribly ironic for me to support such a restriction while at the same time objecting to laws against evangelical missionaries holding VBS clubs.

A Christian society, if it still be Christian..

Which it is not. We ought to jettison the pretense. A Christian society would, among many other things pertinent to rival faiths, at least consider clamping down on sectarian Mormon polygamists. Actually Existing America, by contrast, cannot muster the will to convict Warren Jeffs for "marrying" off girls to dirty old men, who then rape them in both senses of the term, when everyone knows he's done it.

If ours is not a Christian society in any sense - and maybe you're right - does it then follow that we must not oppose Islamicization? Of course not. The only reason for doing nothing, or next to nothing, is because one thinks that Islamicization is better than the most likely alternatives - managerial liberalism, fascism/socialism, or whatever barbarism we might be in for next. And that's just a ridiculous premise. Without the Muslim challenge, there is still hope for turning the country around, for changing minds and hearts, for appealing to the residual Christianity of our rulers, for negotiating a little space. But once Islam is rooted here, it will be perpetual war and, very possibly, permanent dhimmitude.

As for America not cracking down on the FLDS, where the devil have you been? The sect has been hounded relentlessly by the feds for years. Jeffs is a monster, it's true, and there are others like him, but I am convinced that the incidence of sexual abuse within that sect has been wildly and unconscionably exaggerated. Women are infinitely better off in the FLDS cult than in the Mohammedan cult, and the contest isn't even close.

Mark Shea wrote in his own comment thread:

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. Either way, the proposal is not in contact with what I call Reality.

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.

Maximos, I don't have time to look up all these links, but here are a few things I remember quite clearly over the years that make your present devil's advocacy very puzzling to me:

1) I recall a photo essay you put up on ludicrous airport procedures, about which you were (rightly) very angry. The clear implication I got from that was that our rulers would rather subject all of us to humiliating and time-wasting procedures of that kind than "profile" on the basis of Islamic appearance, etc., or halt Muslim immigration. I would be astonished if that were not part of the point of that post.

2) I distinctly recall in a comments thread your denouncing the Iraq war and other such wars partly on the grounds that if we did not have Muslims among us they could not harm us. This is almost _exactly_ Jeff's perspective in this thread, yet you have not agreed with that here and, indeed, would seem now to consider your earlier self to have been insufficiently "surgical" in perspective.

3) After one of our fellow contributors likened (using the exact same cartoons, even, that Mark Shea has used) opposition to Muslim immigration to anti-Catholicism, I put up a post (or possibly a comment, but I think it was a post) disagreeing strongly with this comparison. His post, in turn, had been prompted by my post calling for an end to Muslim immigration. You were very enthusiastic about my response to him. My recollection is that you thanked me for bringing some sanity to the discussion.

Is it really _just_ because I proposed revoking the passes of Muslim prison chaplains that you feel you have to play "Devil's Advocate" here in terms that seem so different from your whole previous perspective on this issue? In that case, why not simply do as I have done w.r.t. Jeff Culbreath's points 3-5? You could disagree (surgically, we might even say) with that one point of mine and agree otherwise, and you could make it clear that, as your earlier comments and posts had certainly led me to believe, you understand the Islam threat. This, instead of going on about all the moderate Muslims we need to consider, etc. This is a new Maximos on this issue. Couldn't we go back to the old one?

IANS - It's too bad they went to The Netherlands and Judaised the Protestant Pilgrims there and those Pilgrims brought their Judaised Christianity to America - but, that's another story."

It's also too bad you can't be in a really bad accident and wind with up with a Jewish ER doctor who decides the world has enough anti-semitic assholes wasting its precious oxygen.

Dear Mr. Baker. Once the Catholic Church beatifies her - and eventually raises her to the Altars (Names her a Saint) - will you respond by desiring the death of all Catholics or only the death of The Pope?

As for the expulsion of the Jews from Spain for which Queen Isabel has been so much reproached, it wasn’t because of racism (some of the most appreciated and intimate collaborators of the queen were Jewish converts). It wasn’t a religious problem, either (many of these Jews later moved to papal lands). It had to do with a political problem: for one, she feared that the Jews could align themselves with Islam—at that time they were not enemies and there was more theological affinity between them than with Christians. Furthermore, massacres of Jews, who were mostly moneylenders or tax collectors in the cities, had begun to take place, for which the King and Queen saw no other solution than expulsion; also for the protection of these same Jews, they guaranteed their safety as they left Spain.

http://www.queenisabel.com/AboutIsabel/FaithfulDaughter.html

Hi Lydia,

To the contrary, I can see why Mark would find your and Jeff's proposals "barking mad", and would react uncivilly. Let's start with Jeff's proposals:

3. Offer Muslim families $100K to return to the Muslim country of their choice.
4. Halt the building of mosques.
5. Halt the printing and distribution of the Koran.

Imagine that in 3, "Muslim" were replaced by "Christian", that in 4 "mosques" was replaced by "churches", and in 5 "Koran" was replaced by Bible. Any politician who proposed that would probably receive your and Jeff's ire, and not just dispassionate, rational response, no?

Obviously, you think that is an absolutely massive difference between Muslims and Christians in conduct, the Koran and the Bible in principles, etc. But what if you didn't? For example, what if you thought that there is no more a threat to the USA from Muslims than there is from Christians? It appears that Mark thinks that. Perhaps he is barking mad to think that. But from the recent post of his that describes you and Jeff as barking mad, he indicates, I think, that he thinks this.

The one redeeming part of the agenda in this post is that it is timestamped on Saturday, before we heard the Gospel parables of the Lost Sheep and the Prodigal Son, which I hope would make people think about whether this agenda is consistent with the model Christ laid out for us.

--

I thought the general consensus was that the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II was a dark event in our history that we would avoid repeating. Am I to surmise that the W4 contributors think the problem with Japanese internment was that it didn't go far enough? That we should have instead put those with Japanese, or heck, any East Asian, ancestry on boats and shipped them off? Because I think WWII was a more existential threat than Islamic terrorism.

--

If the perniciousness of this is not apparent, try substituting "the Jews" or some parallel in to the agenda where you have "Muslims," and think about how that sounds. I'm aware that there have actually been incidents of Islamic violence whereas the Jewish threat to Germany was fabricated. But perhaps that should give you pause over whether the threat from Islamic terrorism is being similarly inflated.

--

If this agenda is enacted, I will also leave. And you can keep your hundred grand.

For example, what if you thought that there is no more a threat to the USA from Muslims than there is from Christians? It appears that Mark thinks that. Perhaps he is barking mad to think that. But from the recent post of his that describes you and Jeff as barking mad, he indicates, I think, that he thinks this.

If Mark Shea thinks that there is no more threat to the USA from Muslims than from Christians, then he is certainly seriously out of touch with reality and insensitive to large quantities of evidence--more so even than, say, a flat earther. (After all, at least the earth really does _appear_ to be flat from most everyday perspectives.)

I don't happen to use the phrase "barking mad." It's not one I'm familiar with. If I did adopt it, I would probably use it in other contexts. But if you think you can translate the above statements into "barking mad" for those who believe the proposition, "Muslims are no more of a threat to the U.S. than Christians," then go right ahead.

I thought the general consensus was that the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II was a dark event in our history that we would avoid repeating. Am I to surmise that the W4 contributors think the problem with Japanese internment was that it didn't go far enough? That we should have instead put those with Japanese, or heck, any East Asian, ancestry on boats and shipped them off? Because I think WWII was a more existential threat than Islamic terrorism.

That's a poor parallel. Japanese is a race or ancestry in this case, and Islam a religion. Replace "Japanese" with "believer in the Imperial Japanese ideology" and you'd have a pretty good case for interning such people or sending them back to Japan during WWII.

The Deuce:

If Mark Shea thinks that there is no more threat to the USA from Muslims than from Christians, then he is certainly seriously out of touch with reality and insensitive to large quantities of evidence--more so even than, say, a flat earther.

And yet, that does appear to be the entire point of the circle diagram he posted.

Bobcat, I'm a little puzzled by the fact that you continue to discuss this question of being "barking mad," responding disrespectfully to beyond the pale suggestions, etc., without ever addressing the fact that Shea says that _I_ am also "barking mad" for my suggestions, which do not include the three you quote from Jeff Culbreath. Does this not seem over-the-top to you? Or is this some sort of secondary separation of barking madness? If Shea correctly inferred (though I hadn't said so yet when he put up his post) that while I disagree with Jeff's three additional suggestions I don't think him "barking mad" for making them, does this make it reasonable for Shea to call me "barking mad" for _my_ suggestions? Or is it supposed to be reasonable for Shea to think me "barking mad" simply for making suggestions that imply that Islam _is_ more of a threat to the U.S. than Christianity? Is _that_ proposition an example of something beyond the pale which one may reasonably be considered "barking mad" for holding?

To the extent that a Muslim conforms to his religion, yes, he shares these ambitions.

How many conform to the religion in the relevant sense. No one has established that percentage. There has only been a lot of hand-waving, along with attributions of quasi-agency to the doctrinal system itself. For my part, I'm more interested in what adherents themselves actually do with those doctrines, as I am more interested in what, for example, libertarians actually do, practically and politically, as opposed to their ideological phantasms themselves.

But more importantly is the fact that Christianity, in the forms with which we are most familiar, has the internal resources to deal peacefully with a greater measure of freedom, pluralism, and conflicting ideas than Islam knows what to do with.

Generally speaking, yes, this is true. But there are exceptions, and the lockstep obeisances rendered by evangelicals, and some Catholics, to the party of torture and aggressive war under Bush are among those exceptions: grave misuses of freedom, with vast and deleterious consequences for the nation, and its culture. It doesn't matter what I think, however, either about Christian abuses of freedom, or about Islam; what matters is what the left will think, and what parallels they are drawing, even now - for, as I've argued, those are the people likely to implement your policies.

Yes, Maximos, I'm beginning to realize that you see very little distinction between convicts and non-convicts, our whole legal system being so corrupt and all.

Honestly, go ahead and defend the American system of justice. Do it. Texas executed at least one demonstrably innocent man, and Governor Rick "Secession!" Perry quashed the commission investigating the atrocity, so as to pose as a defender of Texas' perfect system of divination and sorcery, err, "Justice". In PA, we've recently had a scandal involving judges with a financial stake in a private, for-profit prison sending up teenagers for hard time, on the flimsiest of pretexts, during which time many were abused. There are words for increasing the harshness of a system already grievously corrupted and broken down, none of them complementary.

Yep: You proposed outlawing Protestant missions in Russia that weren't directed solely at adult heads-of-household, if I recall correctly...

Yes, I opposed the employment of financial and other material inducements, connected with children, to win the religious 'conversions' of their parents, because family, in my religion, is not something to be trifled with, or manipulated, for sectarian religious purposes. I suppose that parents are responsible for the upbringing of their own children, except when they're not, even when the parents are not abusive.

By the way, Maximos, is there any _other_ item in my list of proposals which you consider objectionable?

If you don't anticipate that the left would make use of building restrictions, in ways you'd oppose, I cannot help you.

Oh, btw, Maximos, can I take your comment of 9:42 to mean that you're okay with denying "religious comfort" to imprisoned Satanists?

Yes, because satanism is a freakish, fringe cult, not a major world religion.

The only reason for doing nothing, or next to nothing, is because one thinks that Islamicization is better than the most likely alternatives - managerial liberalism, fascism/socialism, or whatever barbarism we might be in for next.

No, that doesn't follow at all. It's not that Islamization would be preferable, in some sense of the term, to "whatever comes next", but that Islamization in any threatening sense is radically improbable, by comparison to further advances of the culture of death, further degradations associated with our inhumane political economy, continued warmongering, and so forth. Those things are transpiring right now, while Islamization is a remote prospect.

But once Islam is rooted here, it will be perpetual war and, very possibly, permanent dhimmitude.

This is not the threat in America, not at all. The threat in America is that a generic fear of extremism will be invoked to throttle everyone's liberties, and to augment the surveillance state. The American establishment will not act in favour of Islam, and against non-Muslims, but will aggrandize its 'national security' powers against everyone, given any pretext.

The sect has been hounded relentlessly by the feds for years.

Obviously not with the determination that the case would warrant, in a truly Christian society. That would involve dispersing the 'families', not merely arresting the odd polygamist on weak charges, every now and again.

Jeffs is a monster, it's true, and there are others like him, but I am convinced that the incidence of sexual abuse within that sect has been wildly and unconscionably exaggerated.

It is entirely possible that the incidence of abuse has been exaggerated. But so what? My argument was that a Christian society would brook no polygamist cults, period, even were they entirely above board with regard to sexual abuses.

Women are infinitely better off in the FLDS cult than in the Mohammedan cult, and the contest isn't even close.

From which it follows that the task of the law is to enjoin Western marital and sexual norms upon the Muslims, as we once did upon the Mormons.

here are a few things I remember quite clearly over the years that make your present devil's advocacy very puzzling to me...

I've moderated my posture on the matter because I've witnessed the manner in which the counter-jihad movement has been exploited by the Usual Suspects in foreign policy, domestic surveillance, and so forth. There is no reasonable prospect of compelling a Muslim outmigration, but the fear, suspicion, and loathing - sometimes entirely warranted - have been, and are being exploited to legitimate the erosion of Constitutional liberties, as well as failed foreign policy paradigms. The enemy of my enemy may not be my friend, but the imminent enemy takes precedence over the remote enemy.

Obviously, you think that is an absolutely massive difference between Muslims and Christians in conduct, the Koran and the Bible in principles, etc. But what if you didn't? For example, what if you thought that there is no more a threat to the USA from Muslims than there is from Christians? It appears that Mark thinks that. Perhaps he is barking mad to think that. But from the recent post of his that describes you and Jeff as barking mad, he indicates, I think, that he thinks this.

This is where modern minds fail to see the forest for the trees. Rational minds have to compare the beliefs and practices of religions and treat them according to their own characteristics. You cannot establish an equation for this. It requires study, thought and careful cost-benefit analysis.

It should go without saying that someone who openly professed to worshiping Satan, Kali, Shiva, Ba'al or the Aztec pantheon would not get elected to public office, and probably would not be accepted in mainstream society. This is because no rational person, upon identifying what those religions entail in belief, ritual and personal character would want anything to do with a person who freely chooses to believe that, much less give that person political power.

Once you have reached that bare minimum, you've established the basis of the conversation. It's like the old joke about establishing that the woman is in fact a prostitute and now the conversation about the cost of the date is just a price negotiation. We've decided, even subconsciously, that someone who literally worships a spirit of death should not hold public office or be our next door neighbor if we can help it. In that sense, we've decided to say in simple terms "f#$% freedom of religion, your beliefs are too crazy and evil for me to trust you."

Islam is simply more respectable than this because it rides the coattails of the true Abrahamic faiths. Islam is actually almost evidence for the saying that "a cult is a small religion and a religion is a large cult" since it mainly gets a pass for being believed by so many people and for tenuously clinging to our own culture's religious lineage.

So really, Mark may not be mad but his mind seems rather severely ideology-addled to me.

Sorry, Bobcat: Correction and clarified question: Since you say that you consider Shea reasonable for considering my proposals "barking mad," I'd be interested to know which ones. Just the one about Muslim prison chaplains? Others? Is the proposal to remove Muslim foot baths from the University of Michigan's campus "barking mad"?

Oh, btw, Maximos, can I take your comment of 9:42 to mean that you're okay with denying "religious comfort" to imprisoned Satanists?

Yes, because satanism is a freakish, fringe cult, not a major world religion.

Okay, so now I'm with Mike T in talking about having established one thing and arguing about the price. Maximos, you clearly implied in your initial comment on this that the _power to discriminate among religions by prison officials_ is a huge amount of state power and should be feared by conservatives who are concerned about giving the government too much power. That was the _whole basis_ of your original comment about my proposals.

Now we see that your whole argument was junk, because you don't really maintain this premise. You recognize that this premise is false. It _isn't_ true that discriminating among religions in prison chaplaincy is some sort of gargantuan and to-be-feared government power, because you think it's a _legitimate_ power to be exercised in cases you happen to think "freakish," etc. So you can't base an argument on that premise.

Now you're going to have to say, based on your comment above, that if something is a "major world religion" it somehow magically becomes a terrifying exercise of government power for the government to make things "harsher" for prisoners by refusing to permit religious leaders of that religion to visit them in prison and recruit others. I guess this means that if Satanism just got big enough in the world, it would become a terrible hardship to convicts to refuse Satanist prison chaplaincies.

I've moderated my posture on the matter because I've witnessed the manner in which the counter-jihad movement has been exploited by the Usual Suspects...

I appreciate your admitting the change, anyway. That's too bad--that the change has occurred. Reaction is a bad basis for such policy positions. In any event, as you well know, this web site could definitely and with justice be called part of the "counter-jihad movement."

Maximos, you should _like_ my proposal about mosque building. It is local. It involves local boards using their heads and the information available to them. It is not blanket, as Jeff's proposal to ban all mosques is; hence it could be used in something like the "surgical" way you propose regarding prison chaplains. What it means is simply that zoning and other boards who do, after all, have the power to grant or withhold building permissions should not be mindless droids rubber stamping all requests and refusing to take into account relevant information about the probable effects on their communities (as in the story I linked above from Georgia). You're the guy who thinks that _exactly_ these kinds of decisions should be made w.r.t., say, Wal-Mart! What's your counter=proposal? All zoning boards, boards who rule on landmark status for existing buildings, etc., should pretend that they are _not_ ruling on a Muslim mosque, should adopt a posture of ignorance and deliberately impose on themselves a rule that what they know about Islam, the effects of mosques elsewhere, and/or the antecedents of the group wanting to build or expand must be regarded as irrelevant?

They're not going to rubber stamp every proposal for building or expansion anyway. They are going to take other factors into account when it comes to, say, zoning an area as commercial, putting in a Wal-Mart, etc. It's not like they don't already _have_ this power. They do. It is hardly an _expansion_ of this power for them to give scrutiny to mosque-building proposals, on a case-by-case basis, based on all the available evidence, and to turn down at least some of these proposals on this basis.

Again, you should approve of this one.

Now we see that your whole argument was junk, because you don't really maintain this premise.

Err, no. It would be a legitimate exercise of state power to acknowledge freakish and fringe phenomena, effluvia of the culture, as freakish and fringe - to recognize their actual status in society, and the world as a whole. It would be a portentious exercise of state power to decree a major world religion beyond the pale for a segment of the population; in Actually Existing America, this would constitute a precedent, one with which the left would run. That those always banging on about unintended consequences in other spheres of controversy, even when these would not be terrifying, fail to see them in this instance, is a marvel.

Reaction is a bad basis for such policy positions.

Except that it's not reaction, in the sense that conservatives often feel compelled to be the not-left in American politics, even when the right-wing position on the issue in question is silly, or worse. Rather, it's a judgment of probabilities - we're not going to expel the Muslims qua Muslims, and the prospect of Islamization is much more remote than other evils we confront - and an evaluation of consequences - given these probabilities, which men of power and influence know well, the counter-jihad movement will be riled up, politically, to accomplish other ends altogether, its own ends being unrealistic. I refuse to be used, politically, both in a general sense, and in the particular sense of lending credence to "national security" aims I adjudge pernicious, and sometimes simply evil. It is for the same reason that I, as a social conservative, will not automatically lend my vote and resources to the GOP, for that party of fools and mountebanks has done little for social conservatism, and much for causes injurious to other goods, even to the very people who support it. I refuse to be someone's patsy, sucker, dupe, or tool. Been there, done that. No more.

Now you're going to have to say, based on your comment above, that if something is a "major world religion" it somehow magically becomes a terrifying exercise of government power for the government to make things "harsher" for prisoners by refusing to permit religious leaders of that religion to visit them in prison and recruit others. I guess this means that if Satanism just got big enough in the world, it would become a terrible hardship to convicts to refuse Satanist prison chaplaincies.

Presumably, the liberal (not Maximos') argument would be that most Satanists "don't really believe that" (said with the earnest condescension that only a white liberal with only academic experience can muster) and are just normal people who kiss their children as they go off to school and such. The inconvenient fact that Satanism qua Satanism is a very dark religion, is antithetical to the goals of prison or legal system with respect to punishing and reforming people into productive, non-recidivist citizens and that new converts tend to be far more zealous than the aforementioned "cultural believers" would be ignored.

Obviously, you think that is an absolutely massive difference between Muslims and Christians in conduct, the Koran and the Bible in principles, etc. But what if you didn't? For example, what if you thought that there is no more a threat to the USA from Muslims than there is from Christians?

Which seems to be part of Maximos's point. Equivalence between Christianity and Isalm is being,and has already been made, by those at the levers of power in this country (MSM, academia, gov't), regardless of how erroneous that equivalence is. Hence the risk in giving more power to the gov't to battle Muslims which can be rather easily turned against other "dangerous" groups. It is something to think about.

Maximos, you should _like_ my proposal about mosque building.

I'd suggest that local authorities make assiduous inquiries in the background of any Islamic community proposing to establish a mosque, and withhold such permission where warranted. I'd also suggest that the criteria be sufficiently narrow, and tied to specific egregious doctrines and practices, and not to vague, Americanist criteria, such as opposition to certain aspects of our foreign policy, and the like. I'm weary of the legacy of DFH politics in American culture and society.

Err, no. It would be a legitimate exercise of state power to acknowledge freakish and fringe phenomena, effluvia of the culture, as freakish and fringe - to recognize their actual status in society, and the world as a whole. It would be a portentious exercise of state power to decree a major world religion beyond the pale for a segment of the population; in Actually Existing America, this would constitute a precedent, one with which the left would run.

Not if it were treated as a political movement. The problem with Islam is the failure to publicly speak of it as a political-religious movement. The first amendment provides no protection against subversive activities meant to lead to the overthrow of the United States Constitution.

The only sure way to effect this is to have a system that asks what is the chaplain's religion about. It is wrong and ineffective to ignore the subversive political angle of Islam out of deference to its size, but then treat Jedis as freaks simply because they're a kooky, though harmless, minority.

Response to I am not Spartacus:

I stand by my contention that anti-semites are a waste of oxygen. Is anyone else here prepared to agree with me?

The Catholic Church (in case you didn't know) disavowed anti-semitism some time ago.

I think canonizing Isabela, or any other Machtpolitiker, is an error of judgment; but I don't feel it's my place to tell the Catholic Church whom it should or shouldn't call a saint. (Incidentally, quoting a heavily sanitized apologia her actions doesn't change my opinion of them.)

The only sure way to effect this is to have a system that asks what is the chaplain's religion about.

Which is why I'd support a jihad-sedition law.

Hence the risk in giving more power to the gov't to battle Muslims which can be rather easily turned against other "dangerous" groups. It is something to think about.

This would be worrisome were it not for the fact that the federal government, including the Army intel units that were supposed to look for men like the Fort Hood shooter, are more concerned about vaguely Christian white trash in Idaho than Islamic threats.

So really, while your point is sound in theory, the PTB are already doing what you worry about, just not with total impunity.

Maximos, your comment of 11:07 AM evidences a handful of surprising internal contradictions.

For instance, you say very firmly that "family, in my religion, is not something to be trifled with," but then a moment later you speak briskly of "dispersing [presumably by force of law] the 'families', not merely arresting the odd polygamist." On what grounds? Because of the wickedness of the doctrine of polygamy. Fair enough. I share that opinion that polygamy is a wicked doctrine which just societies should proscribe. But wait, in the very same comment we see you sneering at "attributions of quasi-agency to the doctrinal system itself"! Since when were you a nominalist on creeds and doctrines? Are we to believe that the Islamic doctrines of Holy War and Holy Subjugation are little involved in the aggression being carried out against us, that it is rather something in the Arabic or South Asian mindset?

It doesn't matter what I think, however, either about Christian abuses of freedom, or about Islam; what matters is what the left will think, and what parallels they are drawing, even now - for, as I've argued, those are the people likely to implement your policies.

These warnings seem trifle disingenuous, given (a) that we all have a very keen understanding of the Left's view of Christian orthodoxy and (b) that on virtually every other matter in dispute you are recommending that we take heed of Leftist arguments and historical perspectives.

Maximos says,

"No, that doesn't follow at all. It's not that Islamization would be preferable, in some sense of the term, to "whatever comes next", but that Islamization in any threatening sense is radically improbable, by comparison to further advances of the culture of death, further degradations associated with our inhumane political economy, continued warmongering, and so forth. Those things are transpiring right now, while Islamization is a remote prospect."

This says it all -- he thinks that using the State to oppose Islamization in America is unnecessary and dangerous because Islamization isn't much of a threat to begin with and the State's powers will eventually be used for corrupt ends including presumably "further advances of the culture of death, further degradations associated with our inhumane political economy, continued warmongering, and so forth."

Here's my opinion, for what it's worth. I think that anyone who suggests that the Islamization of America and global radical Islam (for example in Iran) are not a grave threat to America and American interests does not have a good grasp of reality in "Existing America" and their judgement should not be trusted to defend the West and Christendom.

For instance, you say very firmly that "family, in my religion, is not something to be trifled with," but then a moment later you speak briskly of "dispersing [presumably by force of law] the 'families', not merely arresting the odd polygamist." On what grounds?

It was no mere stylistic conceit that led me to place scare quotes around the word _families_, in referencing the polygamists. In the case of the evangelical missionaries, my argument was, and remains, that they should never, under any circumstances, manipulate families for sectarian purposes: "Oh, look, we converted those poor, benighted Orthodox (pseudo) Christians from their heathen darkness!" In the case of the polygamists, the polygamist men should be sent to the Big House, and the women should be separated, each with her own children. When the men finish their sentences, they may return to their first wives, and no others. The logic of my position is that the Western family is a sacred thing, and other forms, such as the polygamist, are derogations from that norm, and not to be respected.

Since when were you a nominalist on creeds and doctrines? Are we to believe that the Islamic doctrines of Holy War and Holy Subjugation are little involved in the aggression being carried out against us, that it is rather something in the Arabic or South Asian mindset?

Doctrines cause nothing; rather, a man's belief in them, and actions taken upon them, cause things to happen. Besides, I'm all for the proscription of those particular doctrines; what I'm not in favour of is assuming that all Muslims, by virtue of being Muslims, embrace those doctrines. It is my conviction that what men do is a surer guide to what they believe than what they confess with their lips. If a Muslim never donates to some jihadist cause, and never blogs in favour of that cause, and leaves a mosque when the Imam goes radical, that has significance; similarly, if libertarians, in practice, always support all manner of government interventions and benefactions, bestowed upon the corporate class, via the tax and regulatory codes, that has significance: the utopia of the marketeers means plutocracy in practice.

These warnings seem trifle disingenuous...

How so? I'm not viewing either the left or the right as monolithic wholes, wrong or right in their respective totalities. The left could be menacing in certain cultural arenas, but saner in others; the right could be sane on some cultural policies, and a Trojan horse for unjust privilege in others. I'm not counseling that anyone embrace the left or the right, tout court, but that people engage in a little ratiocination over discrete cases, circumstances, and contexts.

I think that anyone who suggests that the Islamization of America and global radical Islam (for example in Iran) are not a grave threat to America and American interests does not have a good grasp of reality in "Existing America" and their judgement should not be trusted to defend the West and Christendom.

Precisely the sort of hyperbolic, jingoistic nonsense I've had in mind: I don't support the overestimation of the Iranian threat, believing that the Mullarchy is not about to commit class and national suicide (by using an hypothetical nuclear weapon, real Iranian ones being figments of the imagination), and that it would be unjust and futile to wage war upon Iran; hence, the entirety of my judgment is suspect.

This is precisely the mindset I wish to avoid, and to denounce: traduce the narrative of national righteousness, or some implication thereof, in the minds of adherents, and your are untrustworthy, possibly anti-American (or worse), and a bad person.

Maximos, I cannot see how you avoid the conclusion that if Satanism got big enough--if it became a world religion--it would then (given your statements) be oppressive on the part of the government and a scary exercise of government power not to have Satanist prison chaplains.

And this makes no sense. Once we acknowledge that state officials and prison officials already have the power and should have the power to draw lines regarding religious "comfort" provided to convicts and should be able to draw these lines based in part on the nature and content of the religions (which seems to follow from a rejection of a right to Satanist chaplains), then there is _nothing_ about my proposal vis a vis Muslim prison chaplains that confers some kind of scary power that such officials do not already and should not already possess. The fact that something is or isn't a religion followed by a lot of people does not change the nature or the legitimacy of the power exercised vis a vis prison chaplaincy.

C Matt, Maximos's worries make no sense for reasons I have already brought up. I've answered the prison chaplaincy issue at length and in multiple comments including this one. I find it hard to believe that Christians would seriously challenge such a proposal regarding Muslim prison chaplains on the grounds that it is likely to cause some sort of threat to Christian liberties that we should value and protect.

As for mosque building, as far as I can see there is no very _great_ difference between Maximos's and my opinions, though there is some difference, and he may think there is a greater one than there is. My contention is that local zoning boards, boards that declare landmarks, etc., are there for a reason and that the nature and content of Islam as well as the experiences of other communities with mosques are legitimate considerations to put into the mix in exercising the powers they have _already_ been given. (Look Ma, no new government power.) Just as such a committee might decide against permitting a casino, a Wal-Mart, a mega-church built by Fred Phelps, or a strip joint, they might decide against granting the relevant permits for a mosque. Judgments of truth, values, and likely consequences are relevant to all these decisions.

I see _nothing_ in my proposals that Christians have any reason to fear, and I have tried to answer this claim at some length. If someone else sees something I have not addressed, feel free to ask a question. So far only two of my proposals have even come under this particular ("You're giving the government too much power which they are likely to wield against Christians") criticism.

Maximos,

Who said anything about war with Iran except you?! As to the Iranian threat, we already knowe they seek to kill Americans in the Middle-East and have funded terrorist proxies to do their dirty work over the years and now in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Faster please:

http://pajamasmedia.com/michaelledeen/

And this makes no sense....

You perceive no bright lines demarcating major religions, and freakish, marginal cults, or even just a brighter hazy region, within which we can draw lines, roughly separating the two categories? Wow. I'm endeavouring to provide a rough guide or rule, in order to limit state power, and to minimize absurd exercises in accommodation; my opponents in this thread appear to have little concern for the former goal. I'll be certain to recollect this little morsel of irony in other contexts.

I find it hard to believe...

This might result from either a want of familiarity with the actually existing politco-cultural left, or from a want of imagination.

The Catholic Church (in case you didn't know) disavowed anti-semitism some time ago.

Dear Mr. Baker. The Catholic Church was never antisemitic; its Doctrines were never antisemitic; and so it never disavowed antisemtism anymore than it disavowed bestiality.

I fear for your emotional health if you read St John's (A Catholic) Gospel and The Early Church Fathers (Catholics) because what they said would, likely, be thought of by you as antisemtic whereas it was anti Jew.

You prolly do not even realise that in Spain the Jews did not have Canon Law applied to them and that once a Jew converted he was no longer suspected of being a potential enemy of The Church or the State.

IOW, it was not about semitism; it was about the individual and whether or not he accepted Jesus as The Messiah; his Lord and Saviour.

MANY semites, having converted, were accorded all manner of respect and had munificent rewards/political offices bestowed upon them.

Sadly, the fastest race in the world is often the one in which some Christian races to be the first to denounce another Christian as antisemitic.

My skin is thicker than Kissinger's accent, so, you are going to have to come-up with a better name to call me if you want to try and silence me.

state officials and prison officials already have the power and should have the power to ... draw these lines based in part on the nature and content of the religions

But the power they already have is a more narrow one than the blanket one you propose: banning all Muslim chaplains. A chaplain that preaches jihad as an inner spiritual struggle is different from one preaching militant jihad. Your proposal does not seem to address this difference. And the proposal need not be directed at Islam at all - simply any subversive/seditious preaching could be banned. Same would apply to sedition laws - why do we need a "jihad" sedition law, why not just a sedition law, under which militant jihad falls anyway?

Who said anything about war with Iran except you?!

You're going to link Michael "indicted in Italy" Ledeen on this matter, and chastise me for mentioning war? Even if his position is now simply that the Mullarchy should be destabilized, what do you imagine would happen were such efforts to succeed? Unicorns and rainbows, breaking out all over? Enough blood, slaughter, and profiteering have occurred in the name of the democratist fantasy. Away with it.

As to the Iranian threat, we already know they seek to kill Americans in the Middle-East and have funded terrorist proxies to do their dirty work over the years and now in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Is it impossible to imagine that Iran is interested in the political affairs of its neighbours, and does not wish them to be employed as bases for anti-regime machinations? Look, I execrate the Mullarchy, and its tactics, as much as anyone, but when you kick a hornets' nest, you must expect them to sting. This is not an argument justifying anything, because it is not an argument about the 'morality' of the situation; it is an argument about what actually-existing political actors will do in actually-obtaining circumstances. If we don't like these actions, perhaps we ought to refrain from kicking nests. But why am I arguing with and/or about people who failed to perceive that the Iraq War would strengthen Iranian influence in the region? Clearly, they are too insentient to consider.

C Matt--do you or do you not think prison officials and state officials have the power to prevent Satanist chaplains from coming into the prisons to "minister" to convicts? Do you or do you not think they should? If they do, then they do already have the power to proscribe certain whole "religions" for the chaplaincy. If this is okay, then it is not conferring either a new or an intrinsically frightening power upon such officials to proscribe chaplaincy for an entire "religion." Even if they don't have that power but should have it vis a vis Satanism, then it is not conferring a wrongful or overly broad power, etc.

We need a jihad sedition law to make it clear that existing sedition laws can be applied to jihad. Sometimes these things need to be clarified.

And to tell the truth, I cannot begin to tell you how few tears I shed for some Muslim convict who wants an imam to visit him and can't get an imam to visit him--including one who preaches (or says he preaches) that jihad is an inner spiritual struggle. _This_ prospect is supposed to make us Christians tremble in our boots?

I also would have thought that people (I don't know whether you fall into this category, C Matt) who have previously been part of the anti-jihad movement would know more than to fling around this "inner spiritual struggle" nonsense as though the world is just _full_ of Muslims, especially would-be prison chaplains, who are such harmless fellows, etc. Did you never hear of taqiyya?

Hi Lydia,

"Bobcat, I'm a little puzzled by the fact that you continue to discuss this question of being "barking mad," responding disrespectfully to beyond the pale suggestions, etc., without ever addressing the fact that Shea says that _I_ am also "barking mad" for my suggestions, which do not include the three you quote from Jeff Culbreath. Does this not seem over-the-top to you?"

I consider David Lewis's claim that every possible world is just as real as the actual world to be ... well, crazy, for lack of a better word (it's a weird kind of crazy, though, because it's so expertly defended; perhaps I should just say, I find no inclination whatsoever to believe his conclusion, and I'm not sure I could believe his conclusion, given that I think it's so implausible). Of course, I do not consider David Lewis crazy.

As for what makes a person barking mad, rather than a suggestion they make, there are a couple of things: (1) does he regularly make crazy suggestions? After a while, you may conclude that the person himself is, well, if not crazy, then just on an entirely different wavelength from you. (2) Does he conduct himself in a crazy, over-the-top fashion? I think this gives better grounds for calling someone barking mad (which phrase, by the way, has now lost all meaning for me) or crazy (though if he regularly says really insightful things in an over-the-top manner, then it would not be right to call him crazy; maybe a "wild man" or something). The best grounds for calling someone barking mad is if he regularly makes crazy suggestions and does so in an over-the-top way.

I don't think you fit into this mold. The only claim you've made that I've found myself really strongly (although not heatedly) disagreeing with was your claim that Muslims are such a threat that we should stop Muslim immigration. If I thought of all your claims like that, I still wouldn't think you're barking mad, I would just think that you and I interpret evidence differently, or maybe you're significantly more confident than I about what conclusions you can draw. So, from my vantage point, I think Mark was over-the-top in calling you barking mad. That said, maybe Mark thinks of most of the things you say as being very, very extreme and unsupported by evidence. If he thought that, then I can see why he would call you barking mad owing to your 3'-9' (maybe those were the straw that broke the camel's back). So, given Mark's evidence, I think it could be reasonable for him to call you barking mad. But that's a view I hold pretty tentatively, because I'm unfamiliar with the evidence he has for finding most of what you say to be totally unreasonable.

As for Jeff, I've found a few of Jeff's suggestions in the past to fall into the "I strongly disagree with that" category (including his 3-5). It's easier for me to imagine why someone would find Jeff totally unreasonable, and so, barking mad, than it is for me to imagine why someone would find you to be totally unreasonable.


"If Shea correctly inferred (though I hadn't said so yet when he put up his post) that while I disagree with Jeff's three additional suggestions I don't think him "barking mad" for making them, does this make it reasonable for Shea to call me "barking mad" for _my_ suggestions?"

That's pretty tricky, I think. My hunch is to say no. But let me ask you this (if you don't mind): I'm pro-life, I think, but I think I can see how Jeff McMahan can reasonably arrive at a conclusion that infanticide is sometimes permissible. Do you think that makes me unreasonable?

"Or is it supposed to be reasonable for Shea to think me "barking mad" simply for making suggestions that imply that Islam _is_ more of a threat to the U.S. than Christianity? Is _that_ proposition an example of something beyond the pale which one may reasonably be considered "barking mad" for holding?"

No, it's not reasonable to hold you barking mad for that. That is certainly not beyond the pale ... well, it is considered beyond the pale, but it shouldn't be.

Finally, you ask, "Since you say that you consider Shea reasonable for considering my proposals "barking mad," I'd be interested to know which ones. Just the one about Muslim prison chaplains? Others? Is the proposal to remove Muslim foot baths from the University of Michigan's campus "barking mad"?"

Of all your proposals, I think 4' and 7' are the ones I would think a reasonable person could call barking mad. This is already too long a post, but if you want, I can explain why in a follow-up.

I'm pro-life, I think, but I think I can see how Jeff McMahan can reasonably arrive at a conclusion that infanticide is sometimes permissible. Do you think that makes me unreasonable?

I'm not sure how you're using the word "unreasonable." If it's supposed to mean "totally crazy" or something like that, then, no, I wouldn't go that far. However, I think that such a position on infanticide is a morally and intellectually dangerous one to be in. That is, I think your niceness, for want of a better word, and perhaps your diffidence about your own moral intuitions are clouding your judgment in a very problematic way. If someone thinks that infanticide is morally permissible (ever) then he holds a view that is totally beyond the pale, unreasonable, morally monstrous, etc. If you are hesitant to condemn someone else's endorsement of infanticide, then you are, in a sense, "hanging out with" a view and those who hold a view that is morally monstrous, etc., and appear not to have a clear vision of that monstrousness. That's worrisome.

Now, you will say, someone is going to say the same thing about a proposal that we ban the printing of the Koran. I can only say that, while I think that proposal a bad idea and would oppose such a proposal, it just isn't anywhere in the same league or the same universe with killing babies.

Thing is, somebody is right and somebody is wrong about this stuff. The fact that people _can disagree_ doesn't mean it isn't possible to see things clearly here.

It's a danger of philosophy (I say this as someone who loves philosophy) that one starts to think that everything is in a sense up for grabs or that just because someone _could_ think the opposite, all of the views in question should be thought of as epistemologically on a level playing field. That's a problem, to put it mildly.

Hi Lydia,

Well, there are a couple of issues here:

(1) I'm not sure either McMahan or Peter Singer (not that anyone mentioned him) really believe that infanticide is permissible. They say they do. But if they were confronted with it, I'm not sure they would. That said, if they were confronted with an infanticide and didn't even have the emotional reaction that what was happening shouldn't, in fact, be happening, then I would conclude that indeed they were really morally out-of-whack and were worrisome.
(2) Regarding everything being epistemically up-for-grabs, well, that's a problem I'm trying to deal with right now. The fact that smart, equally informed philosophers of good faith can come to radically different conclusions regarding issues about which one side can be right is troubling to me. I think that's a very significant fact for what views one should and should not call reasonable, but I don't know yet how it bears on the question. One thing I think, though, is this: philosophical positions are deeply interconnected; what you think in epistemology will affect what you believe in metaphysics and vice versa. And so on with almost every field. I think really knowing in a deep, detailed way what the interconnections are among these positions is extremely difficult, and I doubt anyone in history has really mastered all the positions, and what is at stake in debates about them. I think this is important, but just what follows from it, I don't know. Nevertheless, it's this belief of mine about philosophy that makes me pretty diffidant about my philosophical conclusions.

philosophical positions are deeply interconnected;

(Danger of short threadjack--sorry.)

Not necessarily in ethics or politics. Consider: My views on epistemology have a lot in common with the views of Lawrence BonJour who (I just learned) is a Marxist. I am a strong critic, on the other hand, of the epistemology of the Christian (and for that matter ID-sympathetic) Alvin Plantinga. So there might be less connection than you would think.

Really, I am not Spartacus,

the stupidity's getting a little thick here. Anti-semitism has been consistently used since the 19th c., by its proponents as well as its enemies, to refer specifically to hostility towards Jews. That's what it's always meant to most people. So please spare me the semantic games.

That anti-semitism (or, if you insist, Jew-hatred--either name is fine with me) flourished in the Christian churches until quite recently has been amply documented. It wasn't just an article of Roman Catholic doctrine that the Jews were collectively guilty of the murder of Christ; many Protestants have believed this right into the twentieth century (Martin Niemoeller, for one--though he later had the decency to repent). This was an obviously anti-semitic, or (it means the same thing) anti-Jewish doctrine.

I don't doubt you're thick-skinned, and I'd be the last one to try to silence you. I just think it incumbent on me to let you know as clearly as I can that your words on a computer screen give off a nasty smell. You're no more fit for decent company than a man who wallows in his own shit. I hope that whatever minimal goodness still survives inside you inclines you some day to feelings of shame. But I'm done dealing with you--I just can't stand your smell.

I also would have thought that people (I don't know whether you fall into this category, C Matt) who have previously been part of the anti-jihad movement would know more than to fling around this "inner spiritual struggle" nonsense as though the world is just _full_ of Muslims, especially would-be prison chaplains, who are such harmless fellows, etc. Did you never hear of taqiyya?

Yes, I know about it. I have read English translations of the Koran or Qu'ran or whichever it is. I have read English translations of the hadith. I am well aware of how Prophet Mo got started and expanded. I am under no delusions that Islam is a religion of peace. But I am also aware that some Muslims do interpret jihad as spiritual struggle. The world may not be full of them, but it is not bereft of them either. Whether that percentage is high or low, I cannot say; I suspect the percentage of exclusively spiritual jihad interpreters is lower than many Westerners want to admit. Regardless, chaplains can be and should be monitored. If the chaplain is practicing taqiyya, but never utters a militant word because he is being monitored (the services being held in a common prison area), his taqiyya ain't worth diddly.

As for the satanists, what exactly are they preaching? Is there a benign form of satanism?

but when you kick a hornets' nest, you must expect them to sting

Sayeth the man who came into a September 11th thread, with comrades under fire, to persist in devil's advocacy against any hint of American indignation and exaggeration at the memory of the fire and slaughter brought to our shores by the Jihad.

It is finely-wrought devil's advocacy indeed, to persuade men of the shame they should feel for remembering that day and answering with hard words against the tradition that made it possible.

Your intransigent reaction to this, Jeff, has sadly even turned you against obvious friends. Mr. Culbreath is a distributist in fact if not in full philosophy -- he shares with you a major portion of the critique of militaristic plutocracy that you hold against the Right -- and yet your fury would hang him out to dry when he is accused of cowardice and bloodlust.

Your objections have been answered very reasonably. No one asks that you accept every policy proposal thrown out in a comment thread. But Lydia and Jeff Culbreath speak of Islam in ways that would be perfectly recognizable to Chesterton or Belloc or even Churchill; and would seem profoundly moderate to Christians in the midst of a real grapple of defensive war against the Jihad's aggression, like many Christians since the 7th century.

Like many Christians in America. At Ft. Hood 10 months ago, for instance, and on September 11, 2001. Which was the subject of our friend and honored colleague Jeff Culbreath's post here.

What are you actually trying to say?

Not necessarily in ethics or politics.

What I meant was something like this: let's say you're pro-life. To be pro-life, you have to have commitments about (explicit or not) what constitutes a person, what obligations we have to persons, whether there are obligations and (perhaps) what makes it the case that there are obligations, what the relationship between moral obligations and political permissions are, etc. Just to have a really worked out view on abortion, you have to have a lot of opinions about a lot of other more fundamental issues. And then, if your opponent disagrees with you about abortion, it could be because he has a different view about one of these more fundamental issues.

Now, perhaps what I said in the above paragraph is false--perhaps there aren't these connections among these issues--, and you're, in fact, better informed than I am about this stuff, but that's what I was trying to communicate.

Your intransigent reaction to this, Jeff, has sadly even turned you against obvious friends.

I am not here arguing against any persons, but against certain practical or impractical propositions, which I either disagree with, or find imprudent.

your fury

I have no fury, and have exhibited none in this thread. Perhaps I have offered sharp words, but that is not the same thing as fury.

when he is accused of cowardice and bloodlust.

I haven't been concerned with the Shea business, and the reader will search my comments in vain for any reference to Shea. I have not read Shea's post, and have no intention of doing so; if he is accusing Jeff of cowardice and bloodlust, that is indeed absurd, slanderous, and unjust. I am assuredly not echoing Shea's accusations, epithets, and animadversions; I am only addressing myself to a few discrete proposals, and saying that I'm not sure they'll fly.

Your objections have been answered very reasonably.

They have been answered, according to some standard of reason, certainly, but not to my satisfaction, obviously - this, because, in response to my claims about the left seizing upon precedents, I am informed that this will not happen. Why won't it happen? - This, no one really says. There has been no attempt whatsoever at responding to my situation of the debate, eg. over chaplains, within the broader context of the surveillance state, a condition of constant suspicion and monitoring falling upon the just and unjust alike, which condition is the context within which any of these proposals would be enacted: we would all receive the hairy eyeball, each for his own unique, sectarian reasons.

But Lydia and Jeff Culbreath speak of Islam in ways that would be perfectly recognizable to Chesterton or Belloc or even Churchill...

Those ways are perfectly recognizable and intelligible, and, believe it or not, I share the instinct to defend a Christian society. I simply find that there is no object of this instinct, that our society is not about to enact policies such as have been discussed, and that there are other problems more immediate in their effects. How does one weigh a grave, imminent threat, against one grave, but rather more remote? Judgments differ.

What are you actually trying to say?

That those concerned about the influence of Islam ought to formulate practical policies capable of implementation without exacerbating the destructive tendencies of our politics, governance, and culture. That those concerned about the influence of Islam ought to craft their polemics, analyses, and proposals narrowly, and precisely, and not sweep up, by intention or inadvertence, those Americans who dissent from certain consensuses of the establishment. Always, it lurks in the background, the elephant in the room: we are never to suggest that American foreign policy modulates the hostility of our enemies, or even sometimes creates them unnecessarily; rather, we are to revel in the phenomenology of the feeling itself, that feeling of outrage at the smoldering crater in Manhattan, which I looked upon in January of 2002, or the terror and despair of the doomed upon the hijacked planes, hurtling toward their ends, something I do - whether I will it or not - at least once a month: what was it like to know one's end, to feel that terror and despair? What was it like to resist the hijackers, and crash the plane, knowing that one was making a sacrifice? I crave more than those feeling of outrage, world-historical injustice; I crave understanding - for our enemies tell us, time and again, why they fight and kill, and their reasons are an admixture of theology and politics, the doctrinal and the contingent: which is why I employ the term modulate. Granted, some residuum of hostility will always exist, for that is the nature of pure versions of the religion. But am I to believe that all of the contingent causes cited by our enemies are naught but propaganda? This is a bridge too far, a breaking of credulity upon the rack. It is not too much to believe that some Muslims are just plain upset about our propping up of the Saudi monarchy, or about drone strikes causing civilian casualties, or that a programme of cultivating Islamism, as a bulwark against communism, dating back to the early 50s, just plain slipped the tethers in the 90s. Unintended consequences. Which is something else I'm saying, Whenever I write on political economy, someone, be he a friendly critic or a hostile one, will broach the subject of unintended consequences, notwithstanding the fact that there is no historical evidence for any proto-totalitarian Road to Serfdom arising from regulation of capitalist excesses; as I stated earlier, the threats to liberty have arisen not from the economic mechanisms of European social democracy, but from culturalist piggybacking thereon, and from attempts to integrate European markets and governments, neither of which I endorse. And yet, no one sees potential adverse consequences arising from these proposals, even given the regime we have. The problem is asymmetrical: if we reined in the excesses of the bankers, and bollixed it up, at worse, we'd get a more dysfunctional economy, not tyranny; if the left seizes upon the precedents of some of these measures, we'd lose real liberties. Do you really trust this regime, or any pols therein, to implement these proposals without distortion or migration. It's the question always put to me. I have a response with regard to political economy. I'm returning the query.

I crave understanding - for our enemies tell us, time and again, why they fight and kill,...But am I to believe that all of the contingent causes cited by our enemies are naught but propaganda?

That's what he's saying. He just wants us--craves, in fact--our understanding of the Muslims.

Thanks, Maximos. I think I understand pretty well. Both them and you.

I have not read Shea's post, and have no intention of doing so

Say what? That's hilarious.

Your first comment here, way down in an already long comment thread, came after Shea's anathema had already been delivered, had been brought to your attention, and had been the subject of conversation for several hours here, elsewhere, and on this very thread. You claim you never even read it?

Then what dispute, exactly, did you imagine yourself to be heroically riding to play devil's advocate in? Your comment referred only to "those taking firmer stances" -- such as, perhaps, those stances quoted by Shea? -- but made no reference at all to the actual points of Culbreath's post here. Said post even criticized the maudlin overemphasis on September 11th, so you end up lecturing Jeff ("revel in the phenomenology of the feeling") on a point he himself made!

Whatever Straussian game you are playing here, is it really too much to ask that you be "concerned with the Shea business," given that it involved a hysterical denunciation of this website, and two of its contributors by name; and given that -- very coincidentally of course -- you jumped in on one side of that dispute, and persisted over two days in arguing that side (as devil's advocate, of course, all hypothetical and bloodless)?

in response to my claims about the left seizing upon precedents, I am informed that this will not happen. Why won't it happen?

Who said it will not happen? Not me. I think it will happen. I think the Left's concern for religious liberty is in most cases insincerely held, and even when sincerely held only lightly defended. I expect the Left to use coercive power of law against Christian orthodoxy, and most traditionalist sources of power more generally, whenever it is has the power to do so, or at least whenever some favored Leftist cause is on the other side. I do remember, for instance, what our own resident Leftist said about what he would have preferred as a just punishment for the Confederate officer corps.

All this -- the character of the modern Left -- has been part of my framework of analysis of this question for at least five years, since before this website existed. To be now hectored and admonished about it is a experience I find rather fatiguing.

What really strikes me is that only _two_ of my proposals can even with the _slightest_ plausibility (and it is very slight) be attacked according to this "bad precedents, too much government" argument. And I've shown at some length why this is not a problem. Not because leftists don't think that way but because the power in question is already implicit in the roles in question and can and should be used in a non-value-neutral way. This is inevitable. Not to admit this and to try to argue for some kind of "pretend-you-have-no-opinions-about-religion" neutrality in the actions of, say, zoning boards or those who write and enforce prison regulations is to advocate a value-neutral fantasy land that we do not live in, are never going to live in, and shouldn't want to live in anyway.

Precisely _because_ I'm concerned about precedents and government power, however, I did _not_ endorse the proposal of banning the printing of all Korans. That, at least, is one reason. I have others as well. Maximos doesn't seem to have noticed this probable reasoning on my part. He's too busy "banging on" about my "banging on" about unintended consequences.

I consider that making proposals about the local exercise of local power by local zoning boards and about the exercise of prudential judgment by state and prison officials (and federal officials only where federal prisons are in question) concerning religion and access to convicted criminals is hardly endorsing some kind of vast governmental power play like, oh, I dunno, the direct federal regulation of 16% of America's GDP, leading already to probable huge new burdens on all businesses in the country.

Maximos, your attempted parallels are simply ludicrous. I have trouble expressing how ludicrous they are.

Give it up, man. Please, just give it up.

You claim you never even read it?

Yes. This thread unfolded as I was on business/vacation; coming home on Monday, and not checking anything until Tuesday evening, I did not trouble to read through the entirety of the thread.

Then what dispute, exactly, did you imagine yourself to be heroically riding to play devil's advocate in?

The dispute over the status of Islam in American society, and concerning several proposals for addressing this status, which disputes exist apart from anything Mark Shea happens to write.

Said post even criticized the maudlin overemphasis on September 11th, so you end up lecturing Jeff ("revel in the phenomenology of the feeling") on a point he himself made!

It wasn't a criticism, of Jeff or anyone else. If people want to experience intense emotions in connection with Sept. 11, 2001, I'm not going to argue against that much; it is the eventuation of emotion in action and advocacy that is more interesting to me, and it is here that I plead for reason.

Whatever Straussian game you are playing here...

I play no Straussian games. I've only written esoterically once, in all my years of blogging, and that came in a comment on Redstate, in about 2006. I've been rather forthright in avowing my intentions and opinions.

you jumped in on one side of that dispute...

I couldn't have done so, because I haven't even read Shea, and because I haven't endorsed - nor will I endorse - his incendiary claims. I've expressed a disagreement on prudential grounds.

Thanks, Maximos. I think I understand pretty well. Both them and you.

Cute. As bad as anything Shea has written, in point of fact. This is indicative of a mindset I have long deplored on the right, a tendency to perceive disingenuousness in adversaries, political, ideological, and religious; everything they say must be deceit, manipulation, concealment, conspiracy. A is never A, but must be B, or D, or X. It cannot be A and B, because A entails that they actually believe what they are saying, and have a legitimate point, even if that point is hardly the whole of the matter.

He just wants us--craves, in fact--our understanding of the Muslims.

Why, yes, I would like to understand Muslims - even Muslims! - not as instantiations of the timeless theological postulates of the religion, but as historical persons, receiving those doctrines in and through historical experience, conditioned by historical events.

Not because leftists don't think that way but because the power in question is already implicit in the roles in question and can and should be used in a non-value-neutral way.

And you've not really answered my claim that the left would be more likely to seize upon the precedent of banning Muslim chaplains, than it would be to seize upon the precedent of banning Satanist freaks. Wicca is a fringe phenomenon, and even at that is more serious than Satanism. Islam, as I have said, is a major world religion, and the left would respond to any ban on Islam straightaway, by moving against "Christianists".

the power in question is already implicit in the roles in question and can and should be used in a non-value-neutral way.

As also in economic matters, which are always, at some level, political in nature - political economy. Economy does not exist apart from the legal regime undergirding it, which legal regime is always political. That power simply is. It is inevitable. So I suppose that its exercise is always and everywhere unproblematic.

To be now hectored and admonished about it is a experience I find rather fatiguing.

Well, then we simply disagree on the practical import of leftist anti-Christianity, as we sometimes do with respect to political economy, and the prospects for reform under the establishment regime. That's all. The surface is the depth.

Cute. As bad as anything Shea has written, in point of fact

I quoted you as saying you want us to understand the Muslims. I quoted you as implying that their "reasons" for acts of heinous terrorism (like 9/11, say) are not merely propaganda, that those reasons need to be understood. ("Blowback...kicking hornets' nests...blowback...blowback...") I said that I understand both you and them. This is as bad as anything Shea has written? I must be hallucinating what he's written, in that case. But then, how the deuce would you know? You don't read him!

Quoth Maximos, on August 5, 2010, at 3:22 p.m.

http://www.whatswrongwiththeworld.net/2010/08/here_comes_the_judgeagain.html#comment-139097

I'm not a team player. Suck it up.

Check. Got it.

Well, Maximos, I'm done with this thread. (No one else is paying attention anyway.) I know that you and Lydia have been at each other's throat for months, so some bitterness there cannot be helped; but you've treated Jeff Culbreath rather shabbily, and compounded that by declaring haughtily that you will not deign to even read the prominent piece of invective recently directed at him, where he is falsely accused of numerous sins which happen to fit in very smoothly with the critique you've laid out here.

But then, how the deuce would you know? You don't read him!

Umm, because everyone has told me what he wrote.

I said that I understand both you and them. This is as bad as anything Shea has written?

Given past exchanges, it was a rational assumption that "understand" was an evaluative barb, and not a mere epistemological term: "Oh, I get it..."

but you've treated Jeff Culbreath rather shabbily

I deny that I have done this. I have wasted my time expressing a prudential disagreement. If it has been taken by anyone in any other sense, particularly by Jeff, I apologize, as that was not my intent.

and compounded that by declaring haughtily that you will not deign to even read the prominent piece of invective recently directed at him

Why would I? I mean, despite my disagreements with some of the proposals bandied about in this thread, I still trust the judgment of my interlocutors that Shea slipped the tether; not being in the habit of reading defamatory material, I'm not going to start now: I don't like to read such material because I don't believe it should be written.

where he is falsely accused of numerous sins which happen to fit in very smoothly with the critique you've laid out here.

I never accused anyone of sin, and "fitting in smoothly" is in the minds of my critics, as I have framed my statements as a prudential disagreement.

Paul, my dear old friend, any man should be honored to share a trench on the battlefield - metaphorical, virtual, or otherwise - with one such as you. Thank you for your generous words and robust fraternal defense. I am humbled, especially noting that I have often failed to do the same on your behalf. Lydia once told me she felt she did not have enough espirit de corps, but she and you both have demonstrated this in spades, perhaps to the detriment of your own reputations.

I must say that I perceived no personal hostility, ill intent, or shabby treatment on the part of Maximos - none at all. Furthermore I greatly appreciate his own words on my behalf. Yes, he responded in his usual contrary manner, but I rather expected a little more contrariness than he actually delivered. If anything, it seems likely that he restrained himself for my sake, or with some perception of the escalating conflict.

In that spirit I beg you both, in Christian charity, to repair your longstanding friendship, at least insofar as I have been the occasion of a rift. Pax vobiscum!

I am very glad to hear that, Jeff. I therefore withdraw my complaints about Maximos and only ask that he be cautious lest his angry condemnations of certain factions on the Right spread to cover the undeserving.

Dear Mr. Baker. Of course I am opposed to the Doctrines of the Jews. I am, after all, a Christian. But being opposed to Jewish Doctrines does not mean that I hate Jews anymore than me being opposed to the Doctrines of The LDS means I hate Mormons.

When you get a chance, please post for all to see one single line from one Catechism, one Papal Encyclical, one Ecumenical Conciliar Document, or a Papal Audience teaching that the Jews were, in the words of your false accusation:

It wasn't just an article of Roman Catholic doctrine that the Jews were collectively guilty of the murder of Christ

That should keep you busy :)

P.S. My wife, whom I have never known to have lied to me, tells me I smell wonderful

When you get a chance, please post for all to see one single line from one Catechism, one Papal Encyclical, one Ecumenical Conciliar Document, or a Papal Audience teaching that the Jews were, in the words of your false accusation:

It wasn't just an article of Roman Catholic doctrine that the Jews were collectively guilty of the murder of Christ

Don't hold your breath.
Mr. Baker, besides being a vulgar, filthy-mouthed oaf is also a stinking liar.

Besides, an [edited] shouldn't tell others they stink.

Maximos, I'd like to introduce you to your new friend Justice Breyer:

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/246747/beheader-s-veto-david-french

I'd like the two of you to sit down at this table to discuss proposals for how the U.S. can promote understanding of Islamic thought and culture and make a list of everything we need to do to make sure the crazies stop blowing themselves up.

I'll be sitting over at that table with Charles Martel, Isabella and Ferdinand, Niklas Graf Salm, Don Juan of Austria, and Lord Kitchener figuring out how we can blow up the crazies ourselves.

It's also too bad you can't be in a really bad accident and wind with up with a Jewish ER doctor who decides the world has enough anti-semitic [edited] wasting its precious oxygen.

Isn't it amazing how quickly liberals express a desire to see someone killed?..

figuring out how we can blow up the crazies ourselves

Do a Google search for "US military ordnance." Be prepared to have them throttle you for not reducing the Ka'Ba to a radioactive pile of rubble...

Gentlemen: Please stop _quoting_ each other's vulgar comments, okay? I realize that we didn't catch the original vulgar comment that kicked this sub-thread off, but there's no reason to keep repeating the problem now that the original vulgarity has been to some extent buried upthread.

Mr. Singer, please don't waste my time with tired binaries: either we go all gushy multicultural with regard to Islam, or we stipulate that the Muslims never possess valid grievances. Both/and: a subset of the Muslim population is barking mad, and the size of that subset fluctuates; and oftentimes, when they ask to be left alone, in their own countries, we should oblige them.

Logic 101.

Incidentally, this conflation of intellectual understanding with sentimental, multicultural rubbish is both vulgar and dangerous.

Lydia,

My apologies!

Maximos,

Logic 101: Here is the problem: not all Muslims want to be left alone and in fact, we discover that the "barking mad" population overlaps substantially with the "left alone" population. What to do now? Especially when there are other Muslims who cry out for help?

How come we shouldn't oblige them?

Maybe my intellectual understanding is deeper than you thought...

Case study: Green movement in Iran. They're "crying out for help", in the sense that they'd like to be quit of the existing regime - not the Islamic Republic, mind you, but the version of it run by the security apparat. But they don't want our help, in the main, because, were we to lend it, they'd be painted as collaborators and traitors, and the Persians are quite proud as a nation. Moreover, any military hostilities between our nations would arouse nationalist passions, making it impossible for the Greens to oppose the regime, however much they might detest it. The answer: we don't go to war, and we don't attempt to subvert the regime; we contain it, attempt some diplomatic thawing, and let internal matters run their course. Any changed forced from the outside, or associated with the outside, will be perceived as illegitimate, like the Shah.

We're not always obliged to help, harsh though that sounds. And we cannot formulate policy as though the sets of the barking mad and the leave-us-aloners were identical.

or we stipulate that the Muslims never possess valid grievances.

This is very interesting, Maximos. Nor is it an isolated comment on your part in the thread. There are quite a few others like it.

It naturally prompts the following question:

Please answer yes or no: Is it your position that those who planned and carried out the attacks on 9/11 had valid grievances that at least partially explain their actions?

I don't do 'yes or no' questions, as they're manifestly attempts at "gotcha", which I don't play. I resent that sort of intellectual unseriousness.

Historical events are always overdetermined, from which it follows that the connections reside in the minds of acting subjects. Connections explain for the actor, not in some ahistorical, moral, God's-eyes sense of explanation, or any sense that I'm bound to affirm by virtue of respecting the subject's own declarations. Therefore, if any one of the hijackers left a manifesto, or a 'last will and testament' detailing his reasons for acting, citing the US military presence in Saudi Arabia, the sanctions on the people of Iraq, the Israel-Palestine problem, or anything else, those were his reasons; he assembled the constellation of reasons, and acted upon them; he merged his will with his reading of events, and acted. His reasons, and his decision, explain action for him. For my part, none of those reasons could be valid bases for the events of 9-11, since nothing can warrant the slaughter of innocents, period. He chose to make those reasons his reasons for that act, when he could have made them reasons for a protest; that is where the evil lies. His evil, however, does not invalidate the grievances, for that is not how justification works; bad policy is bad policy regardless of whether Americans think it wise, and when unnecessary and dubiously just policies provoke evil and unstable men, that is another mark against the policies.

Explanation runs through subjects, and cannot presuppose subjects as mere incidents of the events themselves - which is what often lies behind these "gotcha" questions: Maximos says that blowback occurs, so when the US does X, Y happens, and the US is responsible for Y. But the contingent occasion of an evil is neither the determination of the evil, nor the evil itself.

Mr. Baker, besides being a vulgar, filthy-mouthed oaf is also a stinking liar.

"It is fitting for Jews to serve Christians, but not for Christians to serve Jews. On the contrary, the Jews, as slaves rejected by that Saviour Whose death they wickedly contrived, should recognize themselves in fact and in creed the slaves of those whom the death of Christ has set free, even as it has rendered them bondmen."
(Pope Innocent III, Etsi Judaeos)

"Because of the Jews' intolerable sin I will be your [Jews'] Lord since imperial authority imposed everlasting servitude on the Jews from ancient times as punishment for the Christ-killing." (Innocent III, Vienna charter of 1237)

"The Lord made Cain a wanderer and a fugitive over the earth, but set a mark upon him, making his head to shake, lest anyone finding him should slay him. Thus the Jews, against whom the blood of Christ calls out, although they ought not to be killed, nevertheless, as wanderers they must remain upon the earth until their faces are filled with shame and they seek the name of the Lord Jesus Christ."
(Pope Innocent III, Epistle to the Count of Nevers)

"And that you order both the aforesaid abusive books [The Talmud] condemned by the same doctors and generally all the books with their glosses which were examined and condemned by them to be burned by fire wherever they can be found throughout your entire kingdom, strictly forbidding that Jews henceforth have Christian nurses or servants, that the sons of a free woman may not serve the sons of a bondswoman, but as slaves condemned by the Lord, whose death they wickedly plotted, they at least outwardly recognize themselves as slaves of those whom the death of Christ made free and themselves slaves. So we may commend the zeal of your sincerity in the Lord with due praises." (Pope Innocent IV, To King Louis IX)

"The Jewish people fell from the heights because of their faithlessness and condemned their Redeemer to a shameful death. Their godlessness has assumed such forms that, for the salvation of our own people, it becomes necessary to prevent their disease. Besides usury, through which Jews everywhere have sucked dry the property of impoverished Christians, they are accomplices of thieves and robbers; and the most damaging aspect of the matter is that they allure the unsuspecting through magical incantations, superstition, and witchcraft to the Synagogue of Satan and boast of being able to predict the future. We have carefully investigated how this revolting sect abuses the name of Christ and how harmful they are to those whose life is threatened by their deceit. On account of these and other serious matters, and because of the gravity of their crimes which increase day to day more and more, We order that, within 90 days, all Jews in our entire earthly realm .... must depart these regions."
(Pope St. Pius V, Hebraeorum gens)

[emphases supplied]

I assume that Papal bulls count as sources for Catholic doctrine. This, and similar material, is readily available. I don't know whether you're a liar, Mr. Larsen, but you're certainly the oaf here.

Isn't it amazing how quickly liberals express a desire to see someone killed?

I thought it was obvious I was being facetious. I'm sorry my comment, and your literal-mindedness, have led to your being offended. Who here, by the way, is offended by the manifest antisemitism that's emerged on this thread? And if not, why should any member of decent society want to spend another minute with you people?

"This is indicative of a mindset I have long deplored on the right, a tendency to perceive disingenuousness in adversaries"

This may have its root historically in the opposition to Communism; in that instance the Right did have valid reason to perceive disingenuousness, namely because the Reds were often disingenuous. But the fact that we have carried that suspicion over into our dealings with practically everyone else is to be lamented. The Left has its own weird-ass 'hermeneutic of suspicion' and we have ours.

"please don't waste my time with tired binaries"

That's about all that the mainstream Right and mainstream Left do these days, spout tired binaries. The inability to accept, or in some cases even recognize, nuance is pandemic in much mainstream discourse.

Maximos,

Thanks for the clarifications to me. I disagree that we can't do anything to help the Green Movement (and that they don't want our help, even on the sly) but we are just bound to agree to disagree when it comes to foreign policy. I certainly hope that the mullahs are swept from power in Iran within the next few months -- if not, then I certainly would support an Israeli strike on their nuclear facilities.

But in response to Lydia you say the following: "unnecessary and dubiously just policies provoke evil and unstable men, that is another mark against the policies." This seems to me a perfect example of consequentialism, which I think you've condemned in other posts. In other words, how can we know that a necessary and just policy won't provoke evil and unstable men to do evil? Isn't the only important question in all these matters: what is the necessary and just policy? And as long as we aren't talking about doing something intrinsically evil, I'm sure we'll consider all sorts of possible responses to our policies, but it seems like we shouldn't let "evil and unstable men" have veto power over the policies that might be necessary and just.

Mr. Baker,

While those quotes are certainly disturbing and demonstrate that even the church has committed grave errors over the years, I'm not sure you proved anything with respect to Catholic doctrine. As this website explains, Papal Bulls could be about all sorts of things not necessarily doctrine: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03052b.htm.

So I think those Papal statements you quote had more to do with specific advice to specific individuals on how to run their lands (i.e. the church was involved in government) and were not general letters to all the Catholic faithful about matters of doctrine.

So I think those Papal statements you quote had more to do with specific advice to specific individuals on how to run their lands (i.e. the church was involved in government) and were not general letters to all the Catholic faithful about matters of doctrine.

Well, . . . you could right. I'm not an expert on Papal pronouncements. It does seem to me from these (and a fair number of other statements) that a belief in collective Jewish guilt (and punishment) was pretty common intellectual furniture in Medieval and early Modern Christianity (and it persisted well beyond--e.g. Niemoeller again)--but perhaps it wasn't regarded as essential doctrine.

This seems to me a perfect example of consequentialism, which I think you've condemned in other posts.

Well, no, because, in the conduct of foreign policy we seldom, if ever, encounter a policy truly necessary and just, having a categorical claim upon us; rather, we encounter prudential judgments, and off at the margins, things categorically illicit. In the sphere of prudential judgment, then, things likely to provoke, and which are not necessary, are usually ill-advised.

Maximos, thanks for your answer to my question.

1. I am impressed by Mr. Culbreath's five-point plan on how to stop the Islamization of America. Given his past view of me as a racist, I am also pleasantly surprised that he would support such explicitly discriminatory measures.

2. The debate in this thread seems to revolve around those who argue that we must not take absolutely necessary measures to remove Islam from our midst, because a government with the power to remove Islam might also punish Christians. It's stirring to see the strong responses to this suicidal argument.

3. Bruce attributes this to me:
"And if we all know we're in mortal danger from Islam, so much in danger that if any one nincompoop of us were to burn even one little page of the Koran we'll be slaughtered by the Religion of Peace, wouldn't it be best not just politely to point out the snake in the grass, but also to prod the damn thing with a stick to force it out into the open?"

I didn't say that, but commenter Dean E., in an entry, "McCarthy on Pastor Jones." (I’m not providing a link, since past efforts to embed links in comments at WWWW have resulted in an inability to post the comment.)


Also, I'm surprised that no one in this long thread has corrected Mr. Culbreath's wildly off the-mark, Cannae-scale number of deaths at the battles of Chickamauga and Antietam. He gives the number of deaths at Antietam as 26,134 and at Chickamauga as 34,624. These numbers are off by an order of magnitude--in fact they are the number of casualties at those battles, not deaths. At the two day battle of Chickagauga, there were 3,969 killed on both sides. (That is Wikipedia's number, and I think it's a bit too low, because it's not including missing in battle.) There were about 6,000 men killed at Antietam, the bloodiest single day in American history.

And by the way, today is the anniversary of the battle of Antietam, which took place September 17, 1862.

Aaron Baker,

Good job producing those papal quotes. I'd like to add that they do indeed reflect traditional Catholic doctrine. In fact, Pius V, who made perhaps the harshest statements quoted above, was the only pope, except for Pius X, to be canonized a saint since the Reformation. (And, btw, he was also the pope of Lepanto.) True, some of the statements are specifically about crimes and offences allegedly committed during that time, and these allegations cannot be considered infallible. But it would at least involve temerity for any Catholic to gainsay them, as Jeff Singer seems to have done. Also, some of the prescriptions recommended may be considered according to then-present circumstances.

On the other hand, some of the statements are purely doctrinal, such as, “the Jews, as slaves rejected by that Saviour Whose death they wickedly contrived,” “the Jews, against whom the blood of Christ calls out,” “but as slaves condemned by the Lord, whose death they wickedly plotted,” and "The Jewish people fell from the heights because of their faithlessness and condemned their Redeemer to a shameful death.” These are articles of the Catholic faith.

But there’s something you have to understand about modern Catholics, Aaron. They believe only what they want to believe; and nothing is considered true by them except that which is some variation of what is agreeable to them; and nothing is agreeable to them except that which contains a goodly dose of tolerance.

All right, already. Enough about Catholic teaching and the Jews. Talk about OT.

Thanks to Mr. Auster for his support. Islam, of course, is not a race, so it's quite possible (though perhaps in these days a bit surprising) to find people who disagree about matters concerning race but who agree about the threat of Islam in America. Anyone who knows Jeff Culbreath's work certainly knows that he is no bleeding heart liberal. :-)

I am impressed by Mr. Culbreath's five-point plan on how to stop the Islamization of America. Given his past view of me as a racist, I am also pleasantly surprised that he would support such explicitly discriminatory measures.

Nonsense. I was supporting "explicitly discriminatory measures" on VFR before long before you banned me from commenting. Such as, for example workforce preferences for married heads of household, franchise reform, and so forth. Only someone thick enough to believe that all forms of discrimination are equal would be "surpised" at my suggestions.

Also, I'm surprised that no one in this long thread has corrected Mr. Culbreath's wildly off the-mark, Cannae-scale number of deaths at the battles of Chickamauga and Antietam. He gives the number of deaths at Antietam as 26,134 and at Chickamauga as 34,624. These numbers are off by an order of magnitude--in fact they are the number of casualties at those battles, not deaths. At the two day battle of Chickagauga, there were 3,969 killed on both sides. (That is Wikipedia's number, and I think it's a bit too low, because it's not including missing in battle.) There were about 6,000 men killed at Antietam, the bloodiest single day in American history.

I am grateful for the correction, which I am sure was made in an Austerian spirit of benevolence. Nevertheless, my point stands: the actual numbers of deaths and injuries at these calamities, and that fact that these were self-inflicted, does put 9/11 in perspective.

Speaking of surprises, given your recent malicious comments at VFR against the editor of this site, I am surprised that you are bold enough to presume upon his generosity by commenting here. Unless, of course, you have apologized behind the scenes. If you have not, I will ask that you, at minimum, please refrain from commenting on my own postings here. If you feel the need to reply, please do so via e-mail. Thank you.

In the sphere of prudential judgment, then, things likely to provoke, and which are not necessary, are usually ill-advised.

I might think this is pretty fair, if you had added "and all other things being equal" along with "which are not necessary". The problem, of course, is that in politics and foreign affairs, all other things never are equal. It can easily be the case that some proposed action which is likely to provoke is BOTH not necessary, AND is better advised than refraining from the proposed action, because of the anticipated contingencies that attend not acting. This, indeed, is why the Church has never permitted the Just War theory to be proclaimed doctrinally in such a way as to forbid all wars except strictly "defensive" wars. A nation may suffer a gravely unjust state of affairs, a state that justifies violent response, and still not be under direct immediate attack. Also, fighting on behalf of an ally is almost certain to provoke your ally's enemy to start using you for target practice, but choosing to fight on behalf of an ally is almost always not strictly necessary. In strategic terms, if you are reasonably confident that an opponent is going to eventually be provoked against you anyway, setting him up for it by provoking him at the most opportune time for you (while restricting yourself to just actions, of course) is simply good maneuvering, and that too is not strictly necessary.

Maximos, you wrote:

That would involve dispersing the [FLDS]'families', not merely arresting the odd polygamist on weak charges, every now and again.

Consider:

On the FLDS raid of 1953
http://www.slate.com/id/2189274/

Short Creek had become a ghost town. Thirty-six men were arrested, while 86 women and 263 children were taken into state custody and distributed to small towns throughout the state in an attempt to destroy the polygamous community.

I don't support this kind of thing at all - not with the FLDS, not with Muslims. That makes me kind of a liberal I suppose. But there are many possible non-drastic, intermediate measures that can be applied to limit the influence of these groups. Why aren't these considered? I'll tell you why: they violate America's civic religion, which is egalitarianism. It's either full-on equality or "shock and awe" persecution, the latter being the rage and fury of equality against reality.

Tony, there are no allies suffering gravely unjust states of affairs, states justifying violent responses, which responses would themselves conform to the rubrics of Just War doctrine. Nowhere in the world is this the case at present. The possibility is abstract, remote, hypothetical. Moreover, the bit about provoking an enemy, at a time opportune for oneself, when one believes that enemy might be aroused against oneself in the future, strikes me as an attempt to draw as near to the line of preventative warfare as possible, without crossing it; preventative warfare, however, is illicit under Just War doctrine, as recent Popes have reminded the world. 'Reasonably confident' that an enemy will do something in the future is a fudge factor, really, not the JWD criterion of imminent peril, or something like that.

I don't support this kind of thing at all - not with the FLDS, not with Muslims.

Then I don't see how, even in a Christian society, one could effectively proscribe polygamy. You'd have polygamous arrangements, the men occasionally arrested, the women keeping together, for the most part, and the men returning to these arrangements after discharge from prison. The whole thing would be either a trifling inconvenience, or perhaps a pseudo-martyrdom, from folks deluded into believing themselves divinely sanctioned in these aberrant behaviours.

But there are many possible non-drastic, intermediate measures that can be applied to limit the influence of these groups.

Not knowing what these might be, and not knowing of anything that would really break the resistance of these retrograde groupings, I'm not hopeful.

It's either full-on equality or "shock and awe" persecution, the latter being the rage and fury of equality against reality.

Well, I don't accept the characterization of "shock and awe" persecution, but I won't press the issue. What I don't perceive is how dispersing polygamous units would constitute a furious rage of equality against reality; I think, rather, that it would be the opposite of egalitarianism, namely, treating different things as different things: Christian families as Christian families, and polygamous copulative units as polygamous copulative units. Odd as this will sound coming from me, were we a Christian society - which we're not; this sub-discussion has been hypothetical, as far as I'm concerned - I'd range myself with the late nineteenth century Supreme Court which avowed the US a Christian society, and on that basis coerced the Mormons.

there are no allies suffering gravely unjust states of affairs, states justifying violent responses, which responses would themselves conform to the rubrics of Just War doctrine. The possibility is abstract, remote, hypothetical.

Maybe not just at the moment. But that is exactly the state of affairs under which European, American, and other countries' forces intervened in Bosnia and Kosovo some 16 years ago, with full Vatican approval in defense of the innocent. This indeed was an instance where our decision to enter into military operations was not strictly necessary on our part. We now recognize our non-action in the Rwanda genocide was, probably, a failure to resort to justified warfare that we should have acted upon to defend innocent neighbors. These are two instances in within this generation, we are not talking "abstract, remote, hypothetical."

Odd as this will sound coming from me, were we a Christian society - which we're not;

Maximos, do you believe that it is appropriate to take political actions that are likely to help RETURN us to the status of a Christian nation, where possible?

As a general rule, "Bad people might hurt us if we do this" is a reason against doing X that should be handled with great care. Applied too frequently, it provides a perfect road to fatal weakness, to giving in to extortion and to every demand of bullies. Paying Danegeld was not a good idea strategically anymore than in any other sense.

Generally people bring up this reason only when they already strongly disapprove of an action on some independent grounds. In that case, the argument should be made on the independent grounds.

Nor does the action have to be _strictly necessary_ in order for us to question the use of this argument. For example, it is not _strictly necessary_ for any of us to write posts for this blog criticizing any of the tenets of Islam, for Christians to preach the Gospel in any particular case, or, for that matter, for leftists to criticize American foreign policy. Yet leftists would surely be outraged if there were some pro-military terrorist group that would be enraged if they criticized U.S. foreign policy and if they were told that they have a duty to stop doing so in order to avoid the anger of this terrorist group. And so on. Many actions that are not necessary in any given case should nonetheless be done by someone at some time or other, and if we submit to a rule that allows bullies to veto the acts in each individual case, we will stifle our freedom, our civic health, and our country's character altogether by the application of the rule.

Except that 'allowing bullies to veto the acts' - or at least some acts - is something of a commandment, is it not?

It's really cheeky for you of all people to tell anyone to be up front about their reasons for disapproving of a proposal. I can't speak for Shea, but I say some of your suggestions were even worse than Jeff's on that account. Or did 3' not suggest, in practice, that people deceitfully profess a religion - and that I be forced to pay them to do it? And did 4' not suggest that officials brazenly and publicly lie about the reasons for denying permits?

You don't even believe your own religion, do you? That's not trolling; that's an honest question. So far, we've seen that you will happily lie and encourage others to lie in order to achieve your ends; we've seen that you have no problem in principle with dhimmitude and care only who's on top; we've seen that you will mistreat aliens among us on principle, and indeed wish for them either to be miserable or be gone...is there any reason at all why I should not doubt your supposed objections to more...ah...final solutions to the Muslim Question? I should just take your word for it - which, as you've shown, isn't quite worth its face value?

Call it a personal attack if you like; I'm not the one hooting it up for liars. "We have already established what you are, madam. We are now merely haggling over the price."

The last time someone accused one of our contributors of genocidal sympathies, he was banned from the site. Absent an apology, I'm hoping that will happen with you, you anonymous lowlife.

Where did I accuse anyone of genocidal sympathies? I accused Lydia of brazen deceitfulness - an accusation I sadly must stand behind, for reasons already listed - and I then asked why anyone should trust her about more serious matters, using the most obvious one presented in the thread. For the record, I do think she's much better than that. But rest assured that not everyone else will - not when there are people in this very thread who really would incinerate the lot of them and call it a day. Whether you like it or understand it or not, a significant number of people, in this country and around the world, are wondering what the American Right is willing to do in the name of security, and whether it can be trusted to limit itself. Didn't your father ever tell you how important it is never to break trust, never to give someone a reason to doubt your word?

If 'conservatism' around here means self-preservation by any means, or lying as statecraft, or subjugating hostility towards aliens as Christian manners, then by all means, stick me in the memory hole. But I would, in that event, suggest changing the site's name. I tripped over this site looking for all things Chesterton, and am quite certain he denounced all of the above.

Where did I accuse anyone of genocidal sympathies?

is there any reason at all why I should not doubt your supposed objections to more...ah... final solutions to the Muslim Question? I should just take your word for it - which, as you've shown, isn't quite worth its face value?

Cute.

I tripped over this site looking for all things Chesterton, and am quite certain he denounced all of the above.

Perhaps you should acquaint yourself with what the man actually wrote on the subject of Islam. It is only as obscure as his most famous poem.

Also, according to the arguments laid out in these comments, unger, any Christian who does undercover work as a police officer or intelligence operative has so committed himself to deceit that we are authorized to assume the very worst of motives in him. What a spirit of brotherhood you offer.

In any case, you will retract your defamatory accusations or we will ban you from commenting.

Post a comment


Bold Italic Underline Quote

Note: In order to limit duplicate comments, please submit a comment only once. A comment may take a few minutes to appear beneath the article.

Although this site does not actively hold comments for moderation, some comments are automatically held by the blog system. For best results, limit the number of links (including links in your signature line to your own website) to under 3 per comment as all comments with a large number of links will be automatically held. If your comment is held for any reason, please be patient and an author or administrator will approve it. Do not resubmit the same comment as subsequent submissions of the same comment will be held as well.