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Robert George on "the American thing to do"

Dr. Robert George, a widely respected Catholic law professor who does a lot of good in the world, scolded Herman Cain in a blog entry today for Cain's statement that he would require "loyalty proof" from Muslims who wanted to work in a Cain administration. George writes:

If his words are being reported accurately, what he said is wrong, foolish, and unacceptable. It is disrespectful of Muslims, the vast majority of whom in our country are, as Cain himself seems to acknowledge, loyal, honorable citizens; and it is incompatible with a sound understanding of religious freedom (and with the spirit, if not the letter, of the Constitution's no-religious-tests clause). It puts Cain in a camp with Martha Coakley, the hapless Massachusetts Democrat who, when running against Scott Brown for the United States Senate, infamously said that devout Catholics should not work in emergency rooms inasmuch as they are unwilling to be involved in providing contraceptives and abortions. That is a place Mr. Cain surely does not want to be. Now is his chance to show that he is the kind of man who is willing to admit a mistake and make things right. I hope that he will reflect on what he said and, at the first possible opportunity, repudiate the idea that Muslim citizens are to be held to standards of "loyalty proof" higher than those to which other citizens are held. He should make clear that, if elected President, he will hold possible appointees to his administration to exactly the same standards, irrespective of their religious faith. That would be the right thing to do. It would, moreover, be the American thing to do.

I grow weary of my fellow Catholics equating discrimination against Catholics in America with common-sense measures needed to protect ourselves against the mortal threat of Islamism. As a philosopher one would expect Dr. George to know that justice is the rendering to each man his due; the treatment of like things alike, and of different things according to their natures. Catholicism and Islam have objective content: one is true, the other false; one is committed to peace, the other to war; one is a religion of justice, the other of oppression. A man who embraces Catholicism is not the same as a man who embraces Islam: the two things are not alike, and in fact they are naturally antagonistic on many levels. Islamism is a grave threat to the United States, and those who embrace the wicked doctrines of Mohammed should not expect the welcome mat at the highest levels of government. Herman Cain would be wise to stick to his guns, and Robert George to admit his mistake.

Comments (47)

Despite liberal caterwauling (which Prof. George unfortunately indulges in here), the truth is that loyalty oaths have a long history and longer history of reflection, in the annuals of American political science. It turns out that only modern liberals preen their ignorance on the matter. It turns out that most of our statesmen thought seriously upon the subject, and did not take its solution for granted. Lincoln set his mind very early to how law might inspire devotion almost religious in nature; and we do not risk eccentric interpretation in saying that Lincoln also must have thought hard about the converse -- how disloyalty is not mere treason but also impiety.

Or again, Jefferson often appears of two minds on these matters. The Federalists strike against the Jacobins and TJ goes straight to interposition, if not nullification, opposition to it; then as president TJ must face the subversives of patriotic loyalty, and he yields to prudence. An early 20th century study of Jefferson refers to his "dark side."

For it is mere prudence that inclines men to inquire of their neighbor's loyalty, with an eye toward protecting the good we all share in common, our res republica. We seek for commonality, for consensus; and we fail to check that suspicion which acts to preserve the private and non-communal aspects of life. We can endure dissent but not disloyalty. With the latter trust is ruptured.

The loyalty oath seems to me to be the natural issue of a democracy in the condition. It is the commonest admission of failed social discipline. It is a surrender to the brutishness of impersonal atomism. It says, "look, trust is broken between us and we must now ask, in all sad deference to facts, for a fuller legal demonstration of your loyalty; but do not test us, for we do not scruple against making loyalty a matter of felony law."

In a society where true commonality and consensus undergird a felt loyalty, a civic equipoise, a friendship unity: in such happy circumstances, a very wide range for dissent is plausible. But the moment dissent becomes treachery, that trust is crippled forever, or in any case for some long period of time. That's when the old law of self-preservation annihilates all liberal piety for tolerance.

I wouldn't even bother with a loyalty oath for Muslims. History, (especially Spanish history) shows that Muslims can never be loyal citizens of a non-Muslim country. Their sharia law demands the subversion or overthrow of any culture, nation, or government that won't conform to Islam. The only sensible solution is to deport every Muslim who is foreign-born back to their country of origin. The ones who were natural-born American citizens before they went Muzzie should be forced to register as agents of a foreign power. It's the only way we can be safe.

Mr. Cain is obviously suffering from Islamophobia. He need only be told that his would-be staffers are "moderate Muslims," and that should be sufficient for him.

Replace Muslim with any of the following:

1. Satanist
2. Kali Ma worshipper
3. Voodoo adherent
4. Pazuzu worshipper
5. Adherent of classical druidism, aztec or mayan religion

Suddenly it puts it into perspective. The only reason men like Robert George defend Islam is because of its size and tenuous links to his own religion. He is a walking, talking example of what secularists mean when they say "a religion is a large cult; a cult is a small religion."

I wonder what he'd make of an Odinist running for office.

I have no problem with a properly constructed loyalty oath, but it is possible to write a loyalty oath that is vacuous and I have been plagued by two of them. In graduate school at two universities I was denied employment because I refused to sign a loyalty oath that was self-contradictory and hence no oath at all. In order for an oath to be valid, there are certain criteria which must be met and one of them is that there must be some way to test whether or not one has violated the oath. One can not do this with a vacuous oath and hence, to swear to uphold a non-upholdable oath is a form of blasphemy, since one is calling on God to witness to what one intends to do, namely, uphold the oath.

There are valid forms of loyalty oaths, but because of a quirk in the Constitution which has both statements and meta-statements, at least some common loyalty oaths wind up creating a conflict between these two levels. If one is legally permitted to overthrow the Constitution by amending it out of existence, then, if one engages in the process, has one defended the Constitution? One has defended Constitutional principles, but has destroyed the Constitution. The problem is that the phrase, "Defend the Constitution," is too vague. In fact, at least one of the loyalty oaths at one of the universities wound up being thrown out for that very reason by the state supreme court. It was little consolation to me as the inability to work before the ruling cost me dearly. I had to explain this problem to the university lawyer at the other university and even though the only law review article on the subject came to the same conclusion I had, the university refused o back down and I did not have enough money to sue them. Once again, it cost me dearly.

I consulted a civil/canon lawyer and he said that one of the oaths only meant that one would not engage in sedition. If that is what it said, I could have signed it, but any oath is to be interpreted in the plain sense and that is not what it said.

So, I support loyalty oaths, but not bad loyalty oaths.

The Chicken

Great comment, Chicken. Definitely clarity is important. My Jihad-sedition law would be designed to forbid the preaching and encouraging of jihad, and would include some recognition of how integral shariah and dhimma are to the same theological framework. Not easy to write, but plausible, I think.

wouldn't pointing out specific things, like "not help groups trying to overthrow or undermine America's system of gov't" or other specific tactics work better? Since Jihad allows folks to lie, they could say they were doing the stuff we object to for non-religious reasons. (Similar to how "honor killings" are 'defended' as, technically, not religious.) It would take some careful writing, but it can be done.....

Or how about replacing the word "Islam" with "Judaism"? It is alright to be anti-semitic by discriminating against Arabs and their religion but not alright to be discriminatory against the Hebrews?

Loyalty oaths? Wouldn't Loyalty Oaths be demanded by those that were part of the Frankfurt School who emigrated here from Germany who taught and thought to take Marxism from economics to culture? Are not our universities and schools full of Marxists right now, undermining our way of life?

Why have loyalty oaths for Muslims when Marxists are undermining and changing our society right now? Both Muslims and Jews have a world conquest ideology! We allow for one but not the other? How strange. We allow Marxism and Socialism to run rampant throughout our society. We allow Institutes for Social Research all across this country; their loyalty?

Mr. Wheeler,

Perhaps you could draw up a modern day Alhambra Decree?

Both Muslims and Jews have a world conquest ideology!


Since when?

Secondly: if that's true, the Jews are really bad at it. They don't even encourage conversion, let alone do anything effective about taking over new land. Or is the "wait until attacked, take some land, and give most of it back" tactic a fiendish ploy?

I am disappointed to hear that Cain would even consider a muzlim for a position within his administration. To me, this indicates a lack of understanding on his part of the problem posed by izlam, and the complete impossibility of dealing rationally with muzlims because lying is integral to their philosophy. I can understand why he might wish to give a somewhat evasive answer, rather than the blunt truth will turn some soft headed folks away, but to even consider this as an option causes me to reject him (along with his FED connections).

Mr. Singer, the traditional Catholic teaching is for the suppression of the Jews. They are a Semitic race, not Western. They are not Westerners; Europeans. The TV media empires, NBC, CBS, and ABC were all started by Jews. Mr. Singer, I remember watching Norman Lear's "All in the Family" which was a deconstruction project of WASP culture broadcast on live TV. What was subtlely taught was Jewish values, not WASP values. Archie Bunker was made to look like a fool and my Catholic parents made us watch that, thinking it was the bee's knees and took moral lessons from it. Semites of whatever branch have no business in Western Culture but to destroy it. What does the Eastern thought process have to do with Western Culture?

So, Mr. Singer, Catholics have adopted the philosemitism of the Protestants? The traditional Catholic teaching of Christendom is the suppression of the Jews; they are forbidden into areas of law, government and cultural levers.

Foxfier, have you read the Protocols of the Elder Zion? Have you read even the Old Testament where it proclaims that all kings shall bend their knee to Israel? Marxism is a Jewish construct and it is a world conquest ideology! Fabian socialism, an offshoot of Marxism, which Winston Churchill adhered to, is of world conquest. Fabian socialism is only the Anglo modified form of Marxism.

In Jasper Ridley's cover of his book The Freemasons, A History of the World's Most Powerful Secret Society, is the picture of the Tower of Babel. The word "mason" is about a person who constructs, who is a builder. Masons are not builders in the concrete but in the metaphysical realm. Freemasons are builders; a builder of the New Tower of Babel. Treason? Masonry is full of Judiac symbols. It is infused with the Kabbala. Freemasonry is heavily mixed with Jewish ideas. Freemasonry along with Marxism, or in conjunction with it, is a world conquest ideology.

And Foxfier have you heard of Noahide Laws. Noahidism is another ideology which competes with Christianity. Noahidism, hidden in Freemasonry, is about making gentile converts to Judiac hegemony.

Semites of whatever branch have no place in Western culture. It is just plain hypocrisy when you discriminate against one and not the other. Both are dangerous. Because God has scattered the Jews due to their disobedience, we must suffer their presence but that doesn't mean that they must rule over us and control our culture. The Protestants are judiazed Christians and so in their countries, Jews are not suppressed. It is in Catholic countries that they are. That is a fact of Christendom.

Both Semitic groups are dangerous to Christendom. Only because of Political Correctness do you allow the one. And if you are a follower of Political Correctness, you are not a follower of the Gospel and the Natural Law or of Christendom. There is no Political correctness in Christendom.

I have a problem with your denunciation of Robert George and his opposition to a government loyalty oath.

It is well known that there have been many Christians and Catholics (one might say, Catholics/Christians-in-name-only) who have participated in government at high levels, and there are several whose disloyalty to (specifically) the Catholic faith in their support of abortion 'rights' is also well known. These dissenters, in fact, believe that their loyalty to the government supersedes their religious duty (if they even conceive of having any). Their political actions to support abortion and the breakdown of the family have done more to damage America than any outsider so far.

Now that the culture of death is thus entrenched and is currently destroying what's left of the American ethos, how will it help to demand a loyalty oath from Muslims or adherents of other religions if Catholics (e.g. Nancy Pelosi) and Christians (e.g. Bill Clinton) have already wreaked all but undoable damage?

I also submit that just as conservative Catholics have more in common with conservative Protestants than liberal and conservative Christians have with each other, a moderate, secular-minded Muslim has more in common with the American way of life than he does with any jihadist co-religionist. There _are_ different schools of thought, different Koranic interpretations out there of how to live as a Muslim. I don't deny that some are dangerous, but not all of them are. (I know some of you don't believe that, but - well, there it is.)

Mr. Wheeler,

A couple of comments:

1) why only cite "traditonal Catholic teaching" on the subject of the Jews? I thought traditional Catholics believed in the Magisterium and the infallibility of the Pope, which means we have to accept the Church's current teachings on the Jews, yes?

2) rather than recommend the Protocols, why not recommend the original work:


the Russian Secret Police really could have done better;

3) we do agree on one thing -- Norman Lear was shamefully trying to undermine WASP values and like much liberal TV, his show was bad for America.

Brother Nathaniel Kapner, a Greek Orthodox monk, has quite a different patrimony of the Protocols. He has the sources listed and talks about its find here:


The Protocols are a document from a French Jewish masonry lodge.

The basis of Western Culture is laid out by Jacques Maritain, who promoted Socrates as the founder of Western Culture. Socrates is famous for his critique of the "current opinion". The Socratic elanchos was comprised of three principles, the principle of Identity, the principle of non-contradiction and the principle of consistency.

This principle of consistency is far different from the Asian double mind. The Asian double mind is say one thing, do another. There is no consistency between word and deed. Or another facet of the Oriental mind is the Double Standard.

Here we have the Double Standard. We are going to treat Muslims different than what we treat the Jews. The Principle of consistency is that we treat them the same. If you allow the one, you must allow the other. If you discrimate against the one semite, you must discrimate against the other as well.

What we have here is the Double Standard which is NOT Western culture. Are Christians to practice the Double Mind?

The Principle of Consistency is also can be used to test current Catholic teaching.

What has been the CONSISTENT teaching of the Church?

Does a Leopard change his spots?

Consistency is the criterion of Truth. Cicero said, "It is not one thing in Athens and another in Rome; it is not one thing yesterday and another thing tomorrow". You'll have me believe that the Truth changes? The church erred 100 years ago, but its current teaching is right, now?

Just because we are bullied, doesn't mean we ought to change our teaching. Just because we are slandered by association, does that make us change our course? Some would have us do that. Bullying and political correctness does not produce Truth.

I am remembered of Jonathan Pollard and recently the AIPAC scandal of their officers betraying American secrets to Israel. Our Joint Chief of Staff, Mullen, has an Israeli officer on his staff. Richard Pearle was the biggest instigator of the attack on Iraq. All of the so-called neo-conservatives in America are Jewish and they command our foreign policy. I remember the Rosenburgs and their selling of nuclear secrets to Russia in the 50s. Do I have to go on, on the numerous treasons committed by Jews for the sake of communism and Israel in this country?

America's foreign policy is tied to Israel. Loyalty oaths? What a sham!

Of all the crimes of Treason committed in this country how many have been Jews compared to Muslims?

This anti-Semitic tripe will end now. Full stop. One more comment of this kind will result in an immediate banning.

The most significant difference between Judaism and Islam is that Judaism is a subset of Christianity whereas Islam is a replacement.

I just want to apologize to the Editor for baiting you know who. I knew it would bring out the crazy and sure enough...

The most significant difference between Judaism and Islam is that Judaism is a subset of Christianity whereas Islam is a replacement.

I'd probably phrase it differently...with a lot more words and weasel talk. Of course, I see Judaism as kind of the same thing as Protestantism, but in the opposite direction. ;^p

Islam, on the other hand, appears to take all the aspects of Christianity that make it inherently strong, and uses them to make the soft iron of culture that they already had into a very, very strong steel. If you can get enough mental distance in, it's rather impressive how well it is crafted/has developed. Hard to get enough distance in to ignore a modern day religious leader promoting sex slavery, among other outrages, though. (I'm not sure it's a GOOD thing to be able to get that distance.)

(((In before the knee-jerks: yes, good people can be members of Islam. To keep it simple, a person's quality is not dependent on their creed, and the creeds don't depend on individuals who claim to be members. Being a good person doesn't stop you from being wrong, and being right doesn't make you a better person.)))

Going back to the quotation from George in the main post, I find odd the very concept of something that violates the spirit but not the letter of the "no religious tests" clause. What else would George put in that category? If an individual prefers to have friends of his own religion, is that unAmerican? Does that also violate the "spirit" of the "no religious tests" clause? Does he not realize that advisers and staffers in an administration often are friends or are expected to become friends?

Insistence on false consistency, based on falsehoods and misunderstandings, is what results in folks insisting that Jesus would never condone violence-- ignoring his driving the merchants from the temple.

Nothing quite as popular as using a parody of this or that great figure to support something you can't argue with facts and reason.

There was a time when Christians were persecuted for refusing in the name of the lordship of Christ to take political loyalty oaths. That we are now proposing these sorts of oaths in the name of a state and against Muslims only serves to speak well of Islamic resistance to the principalities and powers, and as a warning against our own capitulation.

Lord have mercy on us for our unfaithfulness.

How, exactly, do you go from "not using the Lord's name for oaths" to "it's bad to try to counter an ideology that involves our destruction"?

You are all a bunch of ridiculous Nazis who hate freedom. Catholicism is a cult and a pathetic stone-age worldview.

Jeff, there seems to be an eruption of theological baiting in this post. I don't know if this is a result of some strange lunar alignment or the topic of the post, but most of the theological comments above are more heat than light and we already have enough heat outside. Please, exert your finely-tipped spurs to stop this runaway horse.

Back to loyalty oaths. The loyalty oath which Dr. George wants seems to be a political oath, only, and that is his mistake. For people who do not link politics and religion, this is fine, but Moslems form a special case where politics and religion are linked. This case would seem to require either a broadening of the concept of a loyalty oath to include religious aspects (which goes against the First Amendment) or two separate oaths: one political and one religious - again, a violation of the First Amendment. In either case, a loyalty oath, as they are typically written in America (and I have had a great deal of experience with them), cannot be properly sworn to by a Moslem, since their religion requires them to work for the imposition of Shari'a Law, which is, necessarily, subversive of the Constitution.

The Chicken

How, exactly, do you go from "not using the Lord's name for oaths" to "it's bad to try to counter an ideology that involves our destruction"?

I didn't speak of "not using the Lord's name for oaths", but rather of "refusing in the name of the lordship of Christ to take political loyalty oaths." I was referring to the persecution of Christians during the Roman Empire, when we were still considered a subversive rather than an establishment religion.

I stopped somewhere around the "vast majority of whom" in the quote, a sanctimony bomb dropped by the irredeemably unctuous, a warning from someone you don't know that he is about to tell others he can't know, that he knows good from evil, and you wallow in depravity and inevitably, prejudice.
One wearies. One almost wishes the printing press had never been invented, that the monks could have ironed out their differences in the one hour a day given for conversation, where such were the rules. And otherwise could only hiss at one another while laboring for Christ under the sun and in the fields.
I suppose you must take the bad with the good.

United States Constitution, Article IV, paragraph 3:

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

From the standpoint of the constitution, Culbreath's (unintended) reductio ad absurdum of Catholicism is sort of irrelevant.

Seems as if there are few substantive comments.

Jeff, Jeff, where are you, man?

It's odd that JRshipley seems unaware that mere staffers in an administration are not holders of "public office under the United States." Dr. George himself acknowledges that when he refers, rather unconvincingly, to "the spirit if not the letter" of the no-religious-test clause.

As for "poisonous" comments, so far the only ones we've had that qualify for that label are a) the anti-semitic comments of Wheeler, which we shut down post haste, and b) the comments from the latest leftist Leiterite infestation. An interesting parallel...

Chicken, on your comment on loyalty oaths, it would seem to me that one could simply require _everyone_ to take a loyalty oath, as was done during the Cold War, even if the motivation for requiring it were worry about a particular group of people who, as you say, would plausibly be unable to do so in good faith.

It would be interesting to see whether a political loyalty oath administered to everyone working for a particular administration could possibly be attacked on religious discrimination grounds, etc., though I suppose in today's courts anything is possible, especially if they deemed that they could ferret out a religious motive.

Sorry, everyone! It's tempting to let all the Leiter drive-bys stand, as a personal badge of honor, but that's not fair to the rest of you. Yes, Chicken, I have a "no-clutter" comment policy. My thanks to Paul and Lydia for handling the worst of it.

It's odd that JRshipley seems unaware that mere staffers in an administration are not holders of "public office under the United States." Dr. George himself acknowledges that when he refers, rather unconvincingly, to "the spirit if not the letter" of the no-religious-test clause.

I wonder if we couldn't get the "spirit, if not the letter" on a few more things from George while we're at it...

1. The right to keep and bear arms.
2. The 4th amendment.
3. The 10th amendment.

Evan -
you didn't answer the question, you just tried to dodge it.

Well, I did the best that I could with a leading question that was difficult to confirm as even being directed at me, given how poorly its premises conveyed what I had actually said. Some horses can't even be brought to water, let alone made to drink.

For someone who's quick to mischaracterize what's suggested, you sure are prickly and swift to make passive aggressive use of old saws.

"...justice is the rendering of each man his due; the treatment of like things alike, and of different things according to their natures."

I don't recall ever having encountered a more concise expression of the true meaning of "justice". Very nice!

"...justice is the rendering of each man his due; the treatment of like things alike, and of different things according to their natures."

I don't recall ever having encountered a more concise expression of the true meaning of "justice". Very nice!

It reads a little glib to me, unexpanded as it is. But the motto does seem to be useful in analysing Jeff's approach, in particular the importance of this statement:

"A man who embraces Catholicism is not the same as a man who embraces Islam"

I take that, as a result of the "justice" remark, to involve a belief that "a man who embraces Islam" has a particular "nature" and one that requires a "loyalty oath". That is to say that Muslims in the US are by nature disloyal and dangerous. No doubt there are some disloyal and dangerous Muslims. But then there are some disloyal and dangerous Catholics. We are talking beyond the existence of a subset that meet a certain criteria into a generalisation. Perhaps a generalisation somewhat short of "all Muslims necessarily are", but at least as strong that "most Muslims are" is a reasonable heuristic.

Is that correct, Jeff?

Jd: Thanks, but it's a classical synopsis for which I can take no credit.

Tony Lloyd: Not "most Muslims are disloyal and dangerous", or even "some Muslims are disloyal and dangerous", but "all Muslims have embraced a religion that is disloyal and dangerous" and therefore "all Muslims have a heightened potential for disloyalty".

Hi Jeff

"all Muslims have embraced a religion that is disloyal and dangerous"

doesn't establish:

"all Muslims have a heightened potential for disloyalty"

The first is an absolute, the second a comparative. To establish the second we need to add:

"and Catholics (or some other group) have not embraced a religion that is disloyal and dangerous"

What features of Islam make it disloyal and dangerous? Presumably that some of its adherents actively try to kill and maim innocent people going about their lives whilst others of its adherents morally and financially support those efforts.

I am an Englishman and one who is old enough to have been the (all-be-it impersonal) target of an attempt by Catholics from Ulster to kill or maim me. These efforts were supported both morally and financially by Catholics from the USA. So the necessary premise fails. Muslims may subscribe to a disloyal and dangerous religion and this brings with it potential for disloyalty. It does not bring with it heightened potential for disloyalty, as the comparative group also subscribes to a religion that is disloyal and dangerous.

Presumably that some of its adherents actively try to kill and maim innocent people going about their lives whilst others of its adherents morally and financially support those efforts.

Not entirely. Those types of activities (and many more, especially the establishment of sharia law) are in fact strongly supported by the foundational texts of Islam itself, and not merely by some fringe interpretation of them, either. Robert Spencer has documented this over and over again in the work he's done both in his books and at Jihad Watch. There is a reason why younger generations of Muslims are sometimes more "radical" than their parents. They understandably believe that their parents have been lax Muslims and have not understood the actual imperatives of their religion.

Hi Lydia

Are any of those additional things not espoused by other groups not deemed "disloyal and dangerous"? What, other than sharia, is "and many more"? “Sharia”, other than the use of an Arabic term, is hardly unique to Islam: there is plenty of pressure for religiously inspired laws.

I don’t know that the “foundational text” is relevant. The issue is “disloyalty” and “danger”, not the alleged cause of that “disloyalty” and “danger”.

Tony, the question of "what is Islam" has been hammered to death on this blog, so I recommend perusing the archives. Better yet, the historical record of Islam speaks for itself. Islam is the only major religion in the world that never gets along with anyone else. Periods of "peace" with Islam come in only two flavors: Islam is a tiny minority and is firmly dominated and controlled; or Islam is an established majority, resistance to sharia has been eliminated, and those who remain are dhimmis. Pick your poison. There are lots of dhimmi-inspired myths about Cordoba and pan-Arabism and the brotherhood of man under Islam, but if you start asking about details you will discover that one or the other of the aforementioned conditions prevail. Everywhere else - the Philippines, Malaysia, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Bosnia, and now your own country, Our Lady's Dowry - jihad, violence, and open sedition.

When you wrote "the comparative group also subscribes to a religion that is disloyal and dangerous", you were obviously referring to Catholicism. Overlooking your vile calumny for the moment, a couple of points. First, IRA terrorists tend not to be Catholic in anything but name. Many are in fact atheists. Please show me the Catholic saint who has also been a terrorist. When Catholics live up to their religion, they are St. Francis or Mother Teresa. When Muslims live up to their religion, they are Arafat, Bin Laden, or Mohammed himself. Second, I suppose it's true that Catholicism might be reasonably characterized as "disloyal and dangerous" when it comes to anti-Catholic despotisms such as England and her outposts have proven to be on occasion. But even then, Catholics are always anxious to show themselves loyal, in the tradition of St. Thomas More, "the king's good servant but God's first". This Christian impulse is an impossible contradiction within the Islamic paradigm. Nevermind that the United States, despite her many flaws, has never persecuted Catholics the way England has. In the end, Tony, it is the truth that matters, and one's final loyalty belongs to truth. Islam is disloyal to the West because of the truth that the West represents, or at least tolerates. There has never been an Islam that was not at war with Christian truth, and we have no reason to believe there ever will be.

Yes I was referring to Catholicism as the comparative, you introduced it:

"A man who embraces Catholicism is not the same as a man who embraces Islam"

We could, however, introduce any mutually exclusive pairing of categories and the statement would remain true. A man who embraces Hinduism is not the same as a man who embraces Buddhism, the one is a Buddhist, the other a Hindu and, as these are not the same the two chaps concerned are not the same.

This is all very trivially true and in no way supports a "loyalty oath". Establishing what Islam "is" doesn't help at all without comparison to what Catholicism, Protestantism, Hinduism, Atheism and so on are. Your challenge to me to find a terrorist saint is doubly over-specific. The proposal is not to require a loyalty oath from Muslim saints but from any Muslim. The use of the term "terrorist" is, also, unclear and any example I give risks a swift re-definition of terrorist from you to negate the example. (I can give Urban II. Not a saint who promised people paradise for blowing themselves up in a jihad, but was beatified and promised remission of sins for people who fell in a crusade).

Any loyalty oath would also be required from Muslims "in name only", so your protestations about the devoutness of the IRA count for nothing.

I do think that you are correct in attributing most Catholic danger in the United Kingdom to repression of Catholics. You are incorrect in claiming that:

"But even then, Catholics are always anxious to show themselves loyal, in the tradition of St. Thomas More"

Guido Fawkes was certainly not. Still, as the only man to enter Parliament with honourable intentions we tend to look favourably on old Guy. Let's not dwell on the nature of the troubles but their causes, one of which was discrimination against Catholics (in Tudor times it was a lot more than "discrimination", later "discrimination" is more correct). Have a look at the IRA, and their Protestant counterparts. We had all that nonsense in Ulster because of discrimination. Catholics, for example, were not allowed into the Irish Parliament. Ulster resisted Home Rule because the Catholic Church made clear its intentions to turn Home Rule into Rome Rule. Once the Island was split Catholics found themselves frozen out in Ulster. Why? The Protestant majority thought they were disloyal and dangerous.

If you want problems with religion in America I can give you no better advice than to stop treating your citizens as citizens and start discriminating them on the basis of their faith.

(BTW My "vile calumny" was simply a report of part of my life. I have missed being blown up by being a little late for work, heard bombs whilst working and been woken by other bombs, all bombs for which the Provos claimed responsibility. In much the same period I have listened to impassioned speeches from Americans in support of the IRA's attempts to blow me up, seen their fund raising efforts and read of intercepts of arms shipments.)

As I suggested above, I think the canny thing for Cain or anyone else to do would be to require a loyalty oath of everyone and then see who was unwilling to take it or who objected. Having put his cards on the table, Cain would be known to be doing this under the motive of smoking out Muslims with loyalty "issues," but there shouldn't be an objection to other people's taking it, either. In fact, that's the kind of thing that was done during the Communist threat periods of the Cold War--make everyone take it and see who squirms. Sort of a benign and non-painful trial by ordeal.

I have found that many of these "conservative" Catholic intellectuals are seen as such due to their opposition to abortion and homosexual "marriage". Yet, moving beyond these very specific issues, their worldview is undoubtedly liberal. Furthermore, many of these right-liberal Catholic thinkers are eager to ally with radical Muslims, and thus empower them, to challenge the left-liberal social order (Robert George would seem to join Peter Kreeft and Dinesh D'Souza in this camp).

The essence of liberalism is the denial of reality and the absurd refusal to discriminate. Herman Cain outlined a reasonable policy based on the reality of Islamic teachings and widespread Islamic violence acting upon those teachings. For Mr. George, being a good liberal and defender of the Open Society, cannot abide discrimination and "Islamophobia" ignores reality (including the widespread support for jihad and shariah among Western-based Muslims) and instead attacks Cain for a rational and justified reaction to reality and makes poor historical analogies. It is the same diseased mentality that led General Casey to declare in the wake of the Fort Hood jihad shooting that it would be a bigger tragedy for diversity to suffer than to discriminate against radical Muslims and prevent further jihad atrocities.

Robert George clearly does owe Mr. Cain an apology and should cease speaking about Islam-related issues until he has educated himself fully about Islamic doctrine and history (and from honest historians like Serge Trifkovic and Bat Ye'or, not the likes of dhimmis John Esposito and Karen Armstrong).

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