Thursday, November 02, 2006

The True Believers

Caution! Irony Ahead!
The conventional wisdom on the Left lumps all conservatives together with the Christian Right, and disregards the many secular libertarians and conservative atheists like Bill Quick. Never mind anyone who doesn’t fit the mold — we know they’re all Christer wackos, waiting for the Rapture while their ZioNazi puppeteers in Tel Aviv pull the strings.

ZealotsAnd so there is an equivalence between the Islamic radicals and Christian conservatives. The Islamists have the Koran; the Christians have the Bible. The Muslims long for the Caliphate; conservatives are looking forward to an American-ruled Christian imperium.

The Shiites wait for the Twelfth Imam to return from the bottom of a well; the evangelicals look for Christ to return to Earth on a cloud. Same thing.

The shahids blow up women and children on buses; the disciples of Christ shoot abortion doctors. Same thing.

Each group has its martyrs. Both groups demean and oppress women. Both groups fervently espouse life-destroying doctrines without regard for others.

Theocons or mullahs — really, what is there to choose between the two camps?
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Liberals are above religion. They have outgrown the opiate of the people.

But the “Psychological Left”, as Gagdad Bob calls it, does not have the capacity for self-reflection. Its beliefs are based on feelings, on emotions. Dialogue within the fold is rare. Dialogue between the fold and the outside world is non-existent.

The Left is currently in a tacit alliance with radical Islam, which is not surprising, considering the resemblance between leftist thought and the dogma of religion. A few characteristics to compare:

  • Apostasy. Islam punishes apostasy with death. The Left is extremely harsh on its own apostates. Look at Joe Lieberman — excommunicated for the deadly sin of supporting our national security. Or Larry Summers, who had his manhood surgically removed, and in the end still lost his job.

    Deviating from the party line can get you a death threat, or the details of your sex life posted on the internet.

  • The inerrancy of scripture. The Koran is perfect, dictated by Allah, and can never be questioned.

    And neither can The Silent Spring. Forty years after Rachel Carson wrote it, the science behind the book is discredited, but not on the Eco-Left. Millions of people who lack DDT must die every year for the sake of the infallible Word.

    Erlich and Gore, as the Green Isaiah and the Eco-Jeremiah, transmit the pronouncements of God Gaia to us mere mortals.

  • Heresy. Woe unto the man who would deny Global Warming! Or assert that free markets help people more than government programs. Or doubt the innocence of Alger Hiss. Or question the fact that America is an evil empire, the oppressor of the world. Or…

  • The wages of sin. Violate Islamic law, and you might lose a finger, or a hand, or your head. Violate the Law of the Left, and you are sent to a re-education camp.

    Nowadays it’s more likely to be called a Diversity Workshop or Sensitivity Training, but, in any case, that’s where you’ll get your mind right.

  • The indoctrination of the young. The old Jesuit motto says, “Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man.” But the Left likes to get them earlier and keep them longer than the Jesuits did.

    Heather has two Mommies. Girls rule!

    The Cookie Monster has had his cookie taken away — all those sinful sugars and transfats!

    No more games of tag or dodgeball. No games where anyone wins or loses.

    And above all — no toy guns, boys! That’s a sin!

  • Orthodoxy. Doctrine trumps reality.

    The oil is running out. We’re doomed by the population explosion.

    Remember the Club of Rome? As of fifteen years ago, we were all dead.

    The Left, like the Church of Rome, will take centuries to admit error. If a modern Galileo wants to mutter eppure si muove, he’d better do it very, very quietly…

Christians have God and Jesus, Muslims have Allah and Mohammed, and Leftists have… well, nothing, really, except the nebulous feeling that they’re right and we’re wrong. If there were a Hell, you and I would be sure to burn in it for all our sins against Socialist Truth.

But that’s the big difference between the Left and Islam. A shahid is willing, even eager, to die for Allah. But a lefty, having neither deity nor afterlife to look forward to, is unwilling to die for anything. Heck, he’s not even willing to face major discomfort. He’s willing to pitch a traffic cone through the plate glass at Starbucks occasionally, and maybe pose for a mug shot from time to time. But threaten to take away his latte or his yoga classes, and he’ll fall right into line.

So… when the unnatural alliance between the Dingbat Left and the Great Jihad finally unravels, who do you think will be holding the trump card?

38 comments:

mike said...

I really enjoyed reading this. Not only because I agree with a lot of it but, because I had to look a lot of things up to appreciate it!

Really great.

David S. said...

Well said, Baron.

The Left work off the assumption that religion has no substantive truth beyond some psychological symbolic value, while at the same time being utterly dogmatic about their own beliefs.

Honestly, I don't think there is anything that can get through to many of these people. They are so unreasonable it hurts.

I was discussing the issue of lefties not being willing to die for anything the other day with a fellow conservative. We realized that, among other things, the left will ALWAYS oppose war. Always. There is nothing that can change that.

For most sane people, there is a set of priorities that in theory ought to be:

1. God
2. Family
3. Country
4. Friends
5. Order
6. Self

Now in practice, this isn't always the case, but at least the ideal is held. For the lefties, however, the priorities are reversed entirely.
Well, if you value self-preservation over anything else, you will never fight for anything, nor support fighting for anything, except to save your own neck. And if the good of the country conflicts with your own personal good, well, screw the country.

This is true narcissism. And on this matter they differ entirely from the average Jihadist, as you said. At least the Jihadists have their priorities straight.

I do feel the need to say, however, that the Galileo comment is wrong. First of all, as I assume you already know, that story is legend. More importantly, however, Galileo was in the wrong. He did not have proof that the Earth revolves around the Sun; more importantly, however, he broke his word and disobeyed the Church, while at the same time denying Scripture. Obviously stating that the Earth revolved around the Sun wasn't some sort of crime itself - remember Copernicus?
This isn't just the "Catholic bias" view of the situation either. May I suggest brushing up on the matter?

William said...

Well, the Western anti-slavery movement, heck, the anti-slavery movement in general is linked directly to Christianity. How can a brother in faith ‘own’ a brother.

And as for women, well, the Virgin Mary told her Son to help at the Wedding at Canaan. A woman ordering a man? Interesting and not very Islam. Also female “circumcision”/mutilation is not Christian.

Modern science owes its present state to Western Christian thought. Copernicus always comes to mind.

Which Christian ‘life-destroying doctrines’ are you referring too? In the New Testament there aren’t any. But if you are referring to the politics of Man, that is a different story.

For destroying and demeaning human life let us not forget Atheism.

I'd put a Christian against either any day.

ZionistYoungster said...

Kudos as usual, Baron. On a very related note, take a look at this, from LGF:

Wacademic Antisemitism Watch, specifically the second link: Palestinian "suicide bomber" at the University of Pennsylvania.

The Atreides of the world ("rootless cosmpolitans" of the West) have fallen in love with the brutal indigenous culture of the Fremen of Arrakis (the Muslims), up to the point of joining them, in spiritual solidarity if not in physical action.

Francis W. Porretto said...

Ann Coulter's thesis from Godless does seem rather substantial, doesn't it?

ln said...

"Erlich and Gore, as the 'Green Isaiah' and the 'Eco-Jeremiah' "

I admire the Baron's quick-wittedness - wonder what he will call "the Flood" when it is starting to seep up his ancle-bones?
"Ahoy, Dymphna, come with the SUV and let us drive up to higher terrain!"

I must quote 'Leischa' at: http://reddit.com/info/cz50/comments

"Admittedly Albert Gore is not perfect especially if the fringe right is doing the judging...but what about the criteria that the right uses to pass judgement. An alcoholic who thinks he hears messages from God, that half admitted he was also a coke user, who avoided service in Nam even though he supported the war, got daddy to bail him out of two miserable business failures, the guy that told Bronie he was doing a heck of a job with Katrina, G. W. Bush who has done everything in his power to shred the constitution and the rule of law is the right's hero.
Al Gore is not an angel, but Bush the right's little saint has had inncent people sent to Gitmo, people that have never had a trial have been tortured. Al Gore doesn't live in a tree and eat bark, but Dubya has run up the biggest debt of any president in history made possible by the fact that the Chinese are floating our national debt.
YES Sir we all need to jump on that Al Gore for his "credibility".. forget that Bush, Cheney and Company lied over 2500 americans to their death."

...so long!

ln

Cato said...

He left out the fact that Bush "half admitted" eating puppies and conducting human sacrifices.

Friends, won't you do your part to combat BDS today? This terrible affliction affects millions of your fellow citizens, turning potentially promising minds into gibbering, cant-spewing trolls.

-== mist ==- said...

I'm an atheist. A real life atheist. I'm willing to bet that most of you haven't met very many of us, because frankly, there just aren't that many to meet.

Realizing that I don't need to cling to unprovable faith claims to enjoy life has been incredibly rewarding. And contrary to the gloominess posted against the small minority of us, I have many principles on which I will proudly stand. I believe this is the only life you get, and every action I take on the planet is judged through the lens of making it a better place for the people after me. Then again, I'm not a liberal or a democrat. And then again, I don't feel that most libs are atheists, that has long been a smear by conservatives to motivate the religious right.

Because of my principles, I'm in Iraq right now. Maybe I'm not willing to die for one god out of the hundreds that have been introduced by humanity, but I am willing to die for my country. I'm willing to serve the greater good because I believe in liberty. I believe that the concepts of our founding fathers signify the greatest form of Government in the world today and the most likely to lead to the continuation of humanity into the future.

I also do not agree that most atheists are afraid to die. In fact, I think for true atheists, it is quite the opposite. We recognize that this is the one life you get, and you should make the most of it, something that you can't do by hiding from risk. I urge you all to speak to an actual atheist and not take your opinions on them from church sermons and propaganda.

Baron, your initial post tries to conflate the separation between islamic fundamentalists and christian fundamentalists. I humbly submit that the only true difference in what each side is willing to do for the sake of religion is the 1000 years of progressive western development. Certainly, if we were to judge the christianity of AD700 to the islamicism of today (which never evolved), they would share an uncomfortable degree of similarity.

My point in this post is not to say atheism is great blah blah. My point is to say the danger is not religion, it is fundamentalism. This is borne out by the fact that atrocities have been perpetrated by people from every religious background as well as those who are a-religious. Fundamentalism is and will always be the greatest threat to humanity, and right now Islamic fundamentalism is the greatest threat of all.

I just hope that one day the liberal left will come to the conclusion that they value freedom and support its continuation again. And I also hope that the conservative answer to saving our country is not to unseperate the church and state, though I fear since that is the easier course, it is the one that we will take going into the future.

Dymphna said...

ln --

Fortunately for us, we live on a ridge, on very high ground. We will enjoy our nice beachfront property here when the time comes! I will take up canoeing.

And no, we don't care about any of the rest of you...

Baron Bodissey said...

William --

I was being ironic, as if I were speaking from the point of view of the secular Left, many of whom believe that Christians are a crazed hoard of mindless destructive zombies. Or something similar.

Back in my youth, the caricature of the political beliefs of Christians was "Kill a Commie for Christ." It's hasn't changed much since.

Baron Bodissey said...

David S. --

The Galileo story is entertaining and apropos, and I like it. I've heard that it is not true, and I've also heard that Galileo was a grandstanding self-promoter.

But, regardless of any such specific details, the Church did resist modern science for a long time. To its credit, it has mostly, though belatedly, acknowledged its error.

It is inherently difficult for an infallible institution to acknowledge error.

Robert D Halpert MD said...

I guess kind of expect that sort of line from folks who think that all religion is the bane of mankind. Oh what a blissful world it would be if we could rid it of this intellectual blight. The fact that Islam and Christianity are equated shows an appalling lack of insight into either. What a few crazies do abortion doctors compared to what fanatical islam has done is quite an synatptic stretch. Christians want to form an American "Imperiuim"?? What have you been reading? If you mean that they would like so see our nation established under the founder's Consitution with protections from tyrrany and personal freedom protected, then you would be right. Its disheartening to read such foolishnessat a blog I visit almost daily for what seems to me to brimming with common sense.

Baron Bodissey said...

mist,

Give me a break. At least half my friends in college were atheists, and I know plenty of them now.

I wish you had read my series of posts, "The Enemy Within", before joining in. You'll find much of what you said addressed in them; I won't repeat those arguments here.

When I talk about the Left, I'm not talk about atheism, I'm talking about Orthodox Secularism. Most leftists don't have a coherent enough belief system to espouse atheism.

I respect atheism as a rival faith, and there are unqiuestionably dedicated and courageous atheists. Nat Hentoff comes to mind, who was vilified by the Church of the Left for his apostasy.

"1000 years of progressive western development" does not account for the difference bewteen the behavior of Christians and the behavior of Muslims. If the youth of the religion determined its violence, the Mormons and the Baha'is would be the most violent of all.

Certainly, if we were to judge the christianity of AD700 to the islamicism of today... they would share an uncomfortable degree of similarity.

This is hogwash. Describe to me precise, specific historical instances in AD 700 when Christians behaved like Muslim jihadis. No fair using the Crusades -- those began several hundred years later, and were a reaction to the Islamic conquest of Christian populations.

And -- by the way -- I am a strong supporter of the separation of Church and state. Nothing ruins a religion like being mandated and enforced by the government.

William said...

-== mist ==-
Other than you, I’ve met one true Atheist about twenty years ago. We were in the Navy. He was a nice guy, a good coworker, and loving father--the whole nine yards.

The fact that he and you don’t believe in any divine being is irrelevant to me. My concern when it comes to Atheists is their insistence that Christianity, in and of itself is, repressive, but historical Christianity has been used as a tool by monarchies to kill and steal in the name of God.

Again, Christianity 700 years ago is still the same Christianity which the Roman Catholic Church professes. The fact that the governmental structure, the empire, and the military which it had is gone--stripped away--only made the religion stronger.

Face it. After hundreds of years, numerous schisms, the botched implication of Vatican II, how much has the RC changed? Now, it’s true women will never be priests. Homosexual ‘sex’ will never be condoned, but sex out of wedlock is not approved of either.

The RC Church is one dictatorship which will not hunt you down and kill you if you leave it, bad-mouth it, or even become a Muslim. But the RC Church and all other Christian groups will feed you clothe you--help you find a place to live--and you don’t even have to convert.

I’m not apologetic about history. History is history. But I have faced the fact that given the assault on Christianity by Muslim radicals, the secular world, and many who call themselves Atheists, Christianity, the one which gave rise to the Western world and to its success, just may cease to be. Look at Europe,a secular land, uncomfortable with it’s Christian past is dying before our eyes.

(Shrug)

But Christianity offers hope--for everyone. And sometimes that all you’ve got.

William said...

--Baron Bodissey

Baron said “I was being ironic . . . “

It was late and I tired, and I realized the irony after the fact. Just the same, certain statements have to be made. There are people out there who just don’t get it. You know, “All religions are equally good.”

Baron Bodissey said...

Dr. Halpert,

I was trying ladle out that whole absurd stew with a sense of HEAVY IRONY, but I see that I have failed. I do not believe those things; I was assigning them to my antagonists on the Left.

I'll be clear: I'm a Christian, and I don't believe in the things I wrote in the introduction. Far from it!

I need to be more effective in my delivery of ironic tirades. If all else fails, I may have to begin with: "WARNING! IRONY LIES AHEAD!"

Mikael said...

Speaking of SUV's, Scott Burgess of The Daily Ablution did a little calculating on just how much SUV's are contributing to CO2 emission. A staggering 0.24 percent.

"Head for higher grounds, Dymphna, the water just rose a nano-inch!"

Cato said...

You'll never learn, Baron. Irony is tough. People skim and jump around in a post. You can put "Irony alert!" at the begiingi of every paragraph and some people will still miss it. Your leftie troll got your point, though.

Baron Bodissey said...

You're, right Cato; I'll never learn.

In defense of ln -- who needs no defense, since he soon enough will be here to excoriate you and upbraid you in no uncertain terms -- he's no troll! He's our renowned Swedish correspondent. He's only a lefty on global warming and similar issues, as far as I can tell. On fiscal issues, immigration, multiculturalism, etc., he's quite conservative.

A mixed bag, is ln. He calls himself a "grudgy old man", and an apt phrase it is, too.

RoadtoSerfdom said...

Baron -

Fun post.

Let's go one step further -
I grant you that the parallels between Islam and the left are clear; neither has the Augustinian tradition of critical thinking, neither can entertain the thought of anything but orthodoxy, as under any softer standard, the entire construct crumples at the first ray of reality.
But the closest nexus might be between Hollywood and the Jihadies:
1) both cling to a need for elevation of one class of citizen over the other (Islamic misogyny, and the Michigan Civil Rights Referendum);
2) both believe in the inherent qualifications of, and necessity for, a government subjugated to a static, result-oriented philosophy; and
3) both ask others to do their sacrificing for them, as the elite are above sacrifice.

I actually thing that Babs and el Sadr have a lot in common.

Cato said...

Excuse me, but if he's no troll why on earth would he emit that big smelly pile of lefty horse manure about Bush? More irony? If he was quoting 'Leischa' without intending to endorse his (?) views, he should have made that plain. If he shares those views, he is as described. Sorry, I calls em as I sees em.

james higham said...

As I mentioned in a recent post, the Christian Right has nothing to do with Christianity - quite the opposite in fact. Where there is wheat, there are tares and you have to wait for the harvest to diffentiate them. I'm amazed the people who rattle on about Christianity without the knowing what they're talking about. The Christian Right are being fed by people who have diametrically opposite views to the Sermon on the Mount and are, in fact, dualists.

PGP said...

Baron you ask the question.....

"So… when the unnatural alliance between the Dingbat Left and the Great Jihad finally unravels, who do you think will be holding the trump card?"

The answer is the one with the gun or sword and the will to use it without compunction.

You know very well that the Devout have absolutely no use for the phony egalitarianism or altruistic posturing of the left. Just as the deliberate and calculating proponents of socialist revolution have done the Islamofascists view the soft headed and self indulgent weaklings as 'Useful Tools' at best and creatures worthy only of contempt at the end.

And you are quite right of course that these masses who devote their lives to self delusion and self absorption in a hive culture........cannot/do not differentiate between those who hold to strong moral conviction.

This will of course lead to the inevitable destruction of the weaklings .

If you have any doubt at all take a look at Lebanon. A beautiful and diverse country completely destroyed by the Mohamedan cultists.

Baron Bodissey said...

Cato --

Well, by Swedish standards he's right-wing extremist.

Yes, yes; I know that's not saying much...

Ilep said...

Baron, Dymphna: Love your blog. Thank you especially for the Europe stuff.

That said, however... (and I had hoped that my first comment would be in a less fiery subject)

I think the biggest injustice that many christians do against us atheist is that they, rather automatically, lump us in with the secularists (who will suppress religions, which we will absolutely not) and socialists (who are just lunatic, traitorous scum). This makes us feel that you are against us in particular. So in return we critize you, rather automatically, by comparing you to islam. And so, in the heat of the antagonism, we forget that as allies there is nothing that could stand against us.

What got my boxers in a twist about this post was the bit about killing abortionists. And I know that Baron was being ironic, but still... The reason is that many christians deep down think that killing an abortionist is not much of a crime. The problem for us is that those christians who actually commit these crimes, murders and bombings, say that "God Commands It!" I've actually had this conversation a couple of times, and I always ask: "Is it wrong to kill a human or just when god does NOT command it?"

I suggest reading Genesis 22, and asking these questions: At which point does Abraham protest against killing his own son, and why is it wrong of God to command it, him being the Giver of Law and the Foundation of Ethics. And don't say 'God never intended to let it happen'. The point is that Abraham was willing to kill his own son because God told him to.

What if he orders it again? Disobeying a direct command from God would be wrong and unethical...

Steve Harkonnen said...

A liberal would comment:

See? Liberals and terrorists are vastly apart, just like you say, so what's the argument?

Baron Bodissey said...

Ilep --

I'm in solidarity with atheists. You face the same enemy that the rest of us non-Muslims do. It pains me to have to get into arguments like this.

First of all, the idea that lots of Christians sanction the killing of abortion doctors is just plain wrong. Whether I go by survey data or my own personal experience, people like that are as fringe-y as fringe can get.

Secondly, there's no basis for such things in Christian scripture.

As for Abraham and Isaac -- you'd do better to take that up with a Jew. Maybe one of our Jewish readers who lurks here can answer it.

From a Christian perspective, the Law prior to Christ is no longer operative, but was superseded by the New Covenant. Christ's sacrifice (which was equivalent to the Jewish "sacrifice for sin") stood in for the rest of us, and makes any further such sacrifice unnecessary.

But that begs the question of what I would do if God commanded me to kill my son. I expect that anybody who truly believes in God, and who was absolutely convinced that God told him to do something, would almost certainly do it. That's the way it works with the voice of God, don't you think?

In Abraham's time, God (or Baal, or Moloch) told lots of people to sacrifice their first-born sons, and lots of people did it. The story of Abraham and Isaac is understood by Christians (and Jews, too, I think) to represent God's instruction to cease such practices. People no longer hear the voice of God telling them to kill their child, not counting Andrea Yeats and other truly insane people.

And before we put this topic to bed, let's consider all the people murdered for the sake of Orthodox Atheism. In the 20th century hundreds of millions of people died due to a fervent belief in No-God, at the hands of atheist Socialists who absolutely believed that it was right and good to do what they did. Utterly monstrous deeds, carried out by zealots in the name of a higher good, but without God.

For sheer numbers, Atheism beats any other religion with a track record of murder. Mind you, Islam is hoping to give the atheist tyrants of the 20th century a run for their money in the 21st century.

And don't try to tell me that a atheism isn't a religion. Atheism has its devouts, its scriptures, its heresies, and its apostates, just like any of the others.

But -- I will stand with the atheists, and their right to believe in No-God, against the Islamists. No problem.

David S. said...

Indeed he was a grandstander.

Just wanna say, though, that Papal Infallibility was never exercised on the Galileo affair. In fact, it's only been used 3 times in the last 150 years. The Church only claims infallibility in specific circumstances (outlined by Vatican I).

Publiuss said...

Enjoyed the lampoon of the Looney Tune Left here; fairly much sums it up how these self proclaimed religious haters are the most dogmatic zealots that there are, with the exception of the Islamics.

However not all "liberals" are leftists. Nationalist-liberals were the 'Establishment' that the radicals of 68 hated the most. There was a vast difference between Hubert Humphrey and George McGovern, for instance.
These national liberals have waned, true. But too many dittoheads do not know the difference between a wacked-out leftist and a National Liberal.

Zerosumgame said...

Never mind anyone who doesn’t fit the mold — we know they’re all Christer wackos, waiting for the Rapture while their ZioNazi puppeteers in Tel Aviv pull the strings.

This Zionazi Neocon Jew gives his orders from New Jersey.

Now.....

Everybody, JUMP!!

Demosthenes said...

I think it be wonderful if those brave debunkers of Rachel Carson bothered to check out how quickly mosquitoes evolve resistance to DDT. I can get the references to the last study I saw a month ago, but it had something like 40% resistance evolved within 3 months. I would suggest this denial of evolution is because the Rachel Carson attackers are Christian creationist wack jobs, but the pro-DDT stories actually come from the libertarians. Secular libertarians are probably the one identifiable group who know less about biology than fundamentalist Christians.

As someone very much concerned about the threat of Islam, I learned why Islam must be defeated from observing the hatefulness and insanity of Christians in America. And yes the Muslims would be far worse, but that hardly excuses Christianity--anymore than Tito was a nice guy, because he wasn't Stalin. I'm not sure why the secular left doesn't get this, and I regret the takeover of the Sierra Club by people who have the same values about immigration as George W Bush and John McCain. This is not a perfect world and I hope that someway our errors cancel out in a way that works out. Canceling out errors is why I'd like to keep the house Republican and have a Democratic Senate.

Janos Hunyadi said...

I must chime in with the Baron about the ruthless muderousness of the atheists. Their false god of "the people" was invoked to justify and rationalise the slaughter of tens of millions.

Equating 9/11 with several abortion clinic bombings is intellectually dishonest, and fit only for Rosie O'Fatso and other ricidulous idiots

-== mist ==- said...

William-

"My concern when it comes to Atheists is their insistence that Christianity, in and of itself is, repressive ... Again, Christianity 700 years ago is still the same Christianity which the Roman Catholic Church professes. ... Face it. After hundreds of years, numerous schisms, the botched implication of Vatican II, how much has the RC changed?"

Well... they no longer believe the world is flat, :D and although Christians continue to persecute scientists for discovering facts that go against their belief system, at least they aren't killing them anymore!

But, to address your real point: I have absolutely no problems with Christianity; it is the foundational source of western society in general, and the US in particular. Although, I truly do think in many respects it is repressive, I think the counter argument is to look at all the good things that have been accomplished through Christianity. The world is not black and white, and neither is any religion. On the whole, I think most people have to agree that Christianity tends to promote good merits and quickly exorcise bad ones.

Furthermore, over time, Christianity has shown a unique ability to evolve and adapt to modernity without losing its core. So for instance, one day I am fairly sure Christians will no longer care about gay couples because in the end, I doubt that tenet is central to the faith (like the earlier flat earth example). What I'm saying is that in the areas where I do find it repressive, I see that given enough time, those issues will clear up.

-== mist ==- said...

Baron-

Thanks for recommending your previous series. I just read it, and it is a fascinating and particularly clear expose on some of the base issues that are crippling our ability to prosecute the GWOT.

"'1000 years of progressive western development' does not account for the difference bewteen the behavior of Christians and the behavior of Muslims."

No but it does account for the difference in fundamentalist actions undertaken in the name of the 2 religions.

"'Certainly, if we were to judge the christianity of AD700 to the islamicism of today... they would share an uncomfortable degree of similarity.'

This is hogwash. Describe to me precise, specific historical instances in AD 700 when Christians behaved like Muslim jihadis."


Possibly, too much of my 'atheism' came out in the last post, and it detracted from what my actual point was: that fundamentalism is the real problem. In the sense that both religions give rise to fundamentalist mindsets, there is a similarity, and if Christianity had not adapted to modern life but stayed lost in time ala islam, there would be many more uncomfortable similarities between the fundamentalists of both camps. I wasn't implying that Christians had previously performed tit for tat actions that can be seen in the same light as what islam has done since its inception, but rereading what I wrote, I can see that I was very vague on what I was trying to say.

And to be fair, I really can't think of any specific examples of christian extremism from the 8th century, but certainly there are examples (the inquisition, witch hunts, the IRA etc) where fundamentalists have distorted the religion and used that to promote and justify violence. But, you are right in the sense that islam has far exceeded christianity in its ruthless application of violence, and my comparison is therefore much weaker than I previously stated.

Archonix said...

Ahhh, the fundamentalist argument! I hear this one a lot. It falls over on definition of terms (or semantics, if you want to eb pedantic... and rhyme.).

What is a christian fundamentalist? What are christian fundamentals? The fundamental articles of the christian faith are often referred to as the gifts of the spirit - love, peace, all that jazz - the belief in Christ as the saviour of the world and the belief in the new covenant that his death and resurrection brought about. Ultimately this can be boiled down to those two words I mentioned before: love and peace.

I'm not saying that christianity is a pacifist religon, of course. In an age when the rules of man were supplanting the divinely inspired laws of god, "the way" was a radical turn to a much more rationalised and direct communion with God, where the rules were simple and the responsibilities clear. This stood in stark contrast to the religious hierarchy of the day (the people who John called "the jews", with more than a little irony), who laboured under the belief that, if Israel could remain pure and obey every law for a single day the messiah would return. Of course they then went on to make up more and more new rules, so that it was impossible for a single man to remain pure for a day, let alone the entire nation... hmm, sounds familiar.

Anyway.

The point. What you refer to as christian fundamentalism is nothing of the sort. The various Irish terror groups broke the rules very clearly, as do people who shoot abortion doctors and so-called christians who engage in massacres and murder.

As far as possible christians are pretty much commanded to follow the laws of the land they inhabit, except where they directly contradict the laws of god. This is actually quite easy, since laws that directly contradict the christian laws are usually quite oppressive anyway...

Christian fundamentalists, therefore, are the most peaceful - but not pascifist - and loving of the christians. Mother theresa was a christian fundamentalist.

Peaceful doesn't necessarily jibe well with going to war, of course, but even Jesus felt the need to turn over a few tables now and then. We weren't called to sit around and wait for people to come and kill us. We can see examples of how we should be all through the bible, especially during the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, which accounted the rebuilding of the walls of jerusalem and the return of Israel from exile. Until the walls were finished every man was ready for war. That's how we, as christians are supposed to be. Not belligerent, but simply ready.

Then there's the concept of an eye for an eye. People misunderstand this saying, believing it to be an excuse to escalate conflict. In fact it's the exact opposite. The concept is lilterally to respond in kind,within the framework of what is legal and just. To take the example of abortion, since murder is illegal in every civilised country, murdering abortion doctors is not going to solve any problems. In fact it will make things worse, since a man who needed saving is dead, and you're on the run from the law. Taken out of the fight, as it were.

And so on.

Incidentally the idea of the flat earth was always a minority position in the church, and never truly accepted. There was too much evidence to the contrary. The belief that it was a majority position was promoted in the 60s 70s as part of a campaign to discredit christianity and show how backwards it could be.

Archonix said...

Another thing! For a long time the thought has been that God was testing Abraham's willingness to sacrifice the one thing God has promised to give him. He was testing him. It seems, from scripture, that it's not entirely clear whether Abraham passed the test, as God had to stop him murdering his own son. In one sense this should serve as an example to us: God will often require us to sacrifice things that are very dear to us. In another, it should demonstrate that there are times when we should pause and ask God, and ourselves, why something is required of us. I personally believe that God would have willingly explained what was happening if Abraham had paused before lifting his knife, and said to god "What's going on here? You are asking me to sacrifice the one promise you made to me! You gave me this child when I was old and barren, now you're asking me to act like the baalam?".

God isn't callous. A callous god would have let him stab the kid and then given him another afterwards.

We see another example of this behaviour earlier, when God said he was going to destroy Soddom. Abraham starts to intercede and bargain with God, asking how far he would go to save the place. Every request Abraham made god honoured, and the implication is that God would have complied if Abraham had interceded on Soddom's behalf and requested he refrain from destroying it. Another lesson there...

TonyGuitar said...

This may be the ideal thumbnail short course to bring all those who are pressed for time, up to speed.

Forgive the nephyte question tone below.

You and many who comment here will be in the know, however, to save those who have no time to read books... this is excellent!

The more who learn this, the better, and it*s painless.

Obsession: Radical Islam Part 5

Before this vanishes from politically correct YouTube, You owe it to yourself to view this short Video insight and be amazed and awakened. Saves a ton of heavy reading.

Obsession: Radical Islam Part 5

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcgQyRuZ7rs&NR

Watch part five first and then watch part one upwards as you wish.

What is repeating today, exactly as it did in Chamberlain*s time, 1938, leading up to world war II ?

Will Michael Moore mislead and contribute to the deaths of millions?

Do you have a clear picture of the Iran Mullahs, the Taliban, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas,
And the common thread running through them all?

Are you afraid you will panic if you glimpse some truth the Media is keeping hidden from all North Americans?

I have often said joining the dots was important. These
Experts use that very same phrase. Without the true picture of current threats, we have no hope in hell of pressing our government to protect our free and civilized lifestyle.

Be informed or be prepared to learn Farsi & Urdu and the Khoran. Be sure to alert your friends.

1938 is here again today. Let*s save millions of lives this time.

For a Conservative majority. = TG

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