Saturday, July 12, 2008

“What Used to be Known as Christendom”

The Persecution of Gregorius Nekschot

Nekschot solidarityWe’ve written previously about the plight of the Dutch cartoonist Gregorius Nekschot, who is being persecuted by his own government for publishing “discriminatory” cartoons — i.e. cartoons that might be considered offensive by Muslims. See the bottom of this article for a complete list of earlier posts on the topic.

An article in today’s Wall Street Journal explores the background to the Nekschot case in the Dutch political context, and has this particularly chilling note:

[Justice Minister Hirsch Ballin] added fuel to a mounting political furor by revealing the existence of a previously secret bureaucratic body, called the Interdepartmental Working Group on Cartoons. Officials later explained that the cartoon group had no censorship duties and had been set up after the 2006 Danish cartoon crisis to alert Dutch officials to any risks the Netherlands might face. The group examined Mr. Nekschot’s work, say officials, but played no part in his arrest. Headed by a senior bureaucrat from a national agency coordinating counterterrorism, it draws from the intelligence service, the interior minister, the prosecutor’s office and various other government bodies. [emphasis added]

The Dutch intelligence service is monitoring what is drawn by the nation’s cartoonists.

Their country is disintegrating around them, with rampant crime and lawlessness due to unchecked Muslim immigration, and the paid servants of the Dutch state are worrying about what cartoonists are drawing.

God help us all.

Americans should not be too dismissive of these trends — “Well, that’s just Europe, and we all know Europe is lost” — because ominous signs indicate that the USA is heading for exactly the same destination; it’s just going to get there a little bit later.

As Paul Green reminds us:

Nor should it be imagined that the United States is all that far away from a European-style designation of certain types of free expression as “hate crimes.” Listen to the speeches of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama as he declares that “hate crimes against Hispanic people doubled last year” because a “certain segment has basically been feeding a kind of xenophobia” and “Rush Limbaugh and Lou Dobbs” have been “ginning things up.” It is quite clear that Obama views “ginning things up” through criticism of a self-designated victim group as tantamount to inciting hate crimes, and therefore essentially a hate crime in its own right. What “secret bureaucratic bodies” might his administration, backed by a heavily Democratic Congress, set up to deal with those of us who have the temerity to resist the encroachment of Islamic supremacism through the exercise of our right to free expression?

The WSJ has more:
- - - - - - - - -
Nekschot CartoonThe cartoon affair has come as a shock to a country that sees itself as a bastion of tolerance, a tradition forged by grim memories of bloody conflict between Catholics and Protestants. The Netherlands sheltered Jews and other refugees from the Spanish Inquisition, and Calvinists fleeing persecution in France. Its thinkers helped nurture the 18th-century Enlightenment. Prostitutes, marijuana and pornography have been legal for decades.

“This is serious. It is about freedom of speech,” says Mark Rutte, the leader of a center-right opposition party. Some of Mr. Nekschot’s oeuvre is “really disgusting,” he says, “but that is free speech.”

The saga has turned the previously obscure artist into a national celebrity. His predicament reprises, with a curious twist, a drama that debuted in Denmark just over two years ago. Then, Danish cartoonists published a series of cartoons of the prophet Muhammad in the nation’s Jyllands-Posten newspaper. The drawings set off a tempest of often violent protests across the Muslim world and a fierce debate in Europe about how to balance secular and sacred values. One of the Danish cartoonists fled his house and went into hiding late last year after the state security service uncovered a murder plot against him. (The elderly artist is now back at home, guarded by police.) Last month, a suicide bomber killed six in an attack on the Danish Embassy in Pakistan.

The Dutch scenario involves similar issues but has followed a very different script. This time the state has stepped in to rein in the artist, rather than protect him, and it is secular champions of free speech who are angry. They haven’t resorted to violence but have stirred up a political storm. Parliament held an emergency debate on the affair and cartoonists have bombarded the Dutch Justice Ministry with a blizzard of faxed protest caricatures.

“Denmark protects its cartoonists. We arrest them,” says Geert Wilders, a populist member of the Dutch Parliament famous for his dyed-blond bouffant hairdo and incendiary denunciations of the Quran as an Islamic version of Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.” The arrested cartoonist, says Mr. Wilders, is “a bit obsessed” with Muslims and sex, but “it is not bad for artists to have a little obsession.”

How to handle Muslim sensitivities is one of Europe’s most prickly issues. Islam is Europe’s fastest-growing religion, with immigrants from Muslim lands often rejecting a drift toward secularism in what used to be known as Christendom. About 6% of Holland’s 16.3 million people are Muslims, and nearly half of Amsterdam’s population is of foreign origin. Some predict the city could have a Muslim majority within a decade or so.

The contrasting Danish and Dutch responses “show that there is a serious struggle of ideas going on for the future of Europe,” says Flemming Rose, a Danish newspaper editor who commissioned the drawings of Muhammad in Jyllands-Posten. At stake, he says, is whether democracy protects the right to offend or embraces religious taboos so that “citizens have a right not to be offended.”

Only certain citizens have a right not to be offended. Adherents of one particular religion, for example, are protected from offense, while everyone else can go hang.

Mr. Nekschot can take some small comfort in the boost to his career — assuming he can stay out of jail:

Until his brush with the law, Mr. Nekschot was barely known outside a narrow circle of Internet-savvy aficionados. Newspapers shunned his caricatures. “They all said ‘no way,’ “ he recalls. “They thought I was too offensive, too explicit and too strong on sensitive issues like religion.” He set up his own Web site, at www.gregoriusnekschot.nl/blog, in 2003 to break the blockade. He published two books, “Sick Jokes” in 2006 and “Sick Jokes 2” earlier this year, but sales languished. A big book distributor refused to touch them.

Today, he’s a cult phenomenon. Hits on his Web site went from a few thousand a day to over 100,000 a day when news of his arrest broke, he says. Newspapers that wanted nothing to do with him now print his work. He’s been interviewed on television — with his face hidden — and his work is currently on display in the Parliament building, where Mr. Rutte, the politician, has set up a “free-thinkers space.” Other exhibits include poems by Mr. Van Gogh, the murdered filmmaker, and abstract paintings of seminaked women that were banished from a town hall in central Holland after complaints from Christians and Muslims.

Guessing Mr. Nekschot’s true identity has become a media parlor game — to the chagrin of one prominent cartoonist who was named in print, wrongly, as the mystery man. The case has also stirred much speculation in the media and Parliament about why an apparently dormant investigation first launched in 2005 suddenly became so urgent that Mr. Nekschot had to be snatched from his home without warning. The prosecutor’s office says it simply took a long time to figure out Mr. Nekschot’s true identity and then find him.

But they did find him. None of us is truly anonymous — if the state wants to expend the time and resources to track us down, than it can do it.

The cartoonist blames his woes on what he calls Holland’s “political correctness industry,” a network of often state-funded organizations set up to protect Muslims and other minority groups. One of these, an Internet monitoring group known as MDI, says it received dozens of complaints about the cartoonist’s mockery of Islam and first reported him to the prosecutor’s office in 2005.

“We’re not sure what he does is illegal, but there is a possibility that it is not legal,” says the group’s head, Niels van Tamelen.

It might be illegal. Someone might get offended. And then that someone might get violent.

Conclusion: Gregorius Nekschot must go to prison.

Mr. Nekschot himself is very worried. “I’m afraid of getting a judge who doesn’t have a sense of humor,” he says.

How likely is it that a judge in the Netherlands has a sense of humor?


Previous posts on the Gregorius Nekschot affair:

36 comments:

Charlemagne said...

James Pinkerton wrote a nice piece titled The Once and Future Christendom
A good read.

NeoConstant said...

Sheer madness. You can certainly see the beginnings of this in the States--the legal actions on the part of CAIR, the over tolerance and acceptance of Islamic extremism by the majority of the Left...it's quite frightening. My only consolation is that we have the Constitution on our side.

And if Obama wins, you can bet on disaster for the Democratic Party...

Still, it is frightening--watching Europe is like watching a meteor heading straight for us.

Whiskey said...

What societies punish (severely) is the result of what the elites who run them feel is the most threatening.

In Muslim countries, it is women acting on their own (or indeed, in Muslim families in the West). Brutal honor killings, the awfulness of which is abhorrent to all, are done because women acting on their own account undermines the entire basis of Islam: control over women in a polygamist system.

In the West, violent crime, murder, rape, robbery and the like are lightly punished. They are not viewed as threats at all. Rather, what IS a threat, and an existential threat to power, is speech that fractures the PC elite.

Particularly speech that offends certain groups, among them most especially Muslims. First because Muslims kill people, generally, when offended. Second because the act of the killing shows how impotent and powerless and inept the elites are (inviting a coup). Third because the elites fear that undermining PC invites people to throw the whole structure out, including them.

They'd then have to work, and that simply would not do.

Zenster said...

the Interdepartmental Working Group on Cartoons

It is difficult to imagine a more unmistakable symptom of terminally misassigned priorities. It makes killing the messenger look like genius-level strategy.

Listen to the speeches of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama as he declares that “hate crimes against Hispanic people doubled last year” because a “certain segment has basically been feeding a kind of xenophobia” and “Rush Limbaugh and Lou Dobbs” have been “ginning things up.” It is quite clear that Obama views “ginning things up” through criticism of a self-designated victim group as tantamount to inciting hate crimes, and therefore essentially a hate crime in its own right.

The cognitive dissonance involved in labeling as “hate speech” the objections of those who protest to one of the world’s oldest compilations of real hate speech—namely, the Qur’an—would be mind boggling if it were not so deeply offensive to human dignity and rational thought.

The drawings set off a tempest of often violent protests across the Muslim world and a fierce debate in Europe about how to balance secular and sacred values.

Pat Condell's latest video even makes passing reference to Nekschot as he rails against Europe's poisonous commingling of state and religion.

While, in the past, I have found myself taking exception to Condell's harsh and blanket condemnation of organized religion, my own reluctance to agree with him is being eroded. Craven acts such as that of Rowan Williams' kowtowing to shari'a law have begun to sour my sympathy for organized religion in general.

For those of you who watch Condell's video, I'll ask that you very carefully note his detestation is not for religion itself but the hierarchies that derive so much wealth and status from them. Given how the world's religious leaders continue caving into Islam's demands for preferential treatment without so much as a blurt of protest, Condell's scathing assessment of organized religion assumes increasing validity.

As I have mentioned before, the world's true religions—among which Islam has no rightful place—had damn well better set about uniting against their common enemy. The more that they continue to appease perpetually aggrieved Muslim sensibilities and ignore how the Qur’an is nothing but a hateful doctrine, the less relevant they become to humanity and any ostensible salvation of its collective soul. Any faith worth one scintilla of reverence had bloody well know enough to spot a wolf in the fold like Islam and raise pure Hell over such a mockery of the human spirit. If not, then all of them need to go the way of Islam in short order.

How to handle Muslim sensitivities is one of Europe’s most prickly issues.

Condell’s video goes to the very heart of this matter. The real problem is not the difficulty of how to deal with the issue but that European governments feel any need at all to “handle Muslim sensitivities”. These whinging, sniveling, wife beating, pedophiles should be given no more than the back of our collective hand while being told to pound all their pissing and moaning with several handfuls of hot sand, walnuts optional.

At stake, he says, is whether democracy protects the right to offend or embraces religious taboos so that “citizens have a right not to be offended.”

Few better examples exist of the classic “slippery slope” than acquiescing to so much as an iota of Islamic protests over any giving of religious offense. Even a cursory examination of Islam’s near-infinite prohibitions and observances shows that not offending Muslims is a physical impossibility. There are simply too many avenues by which affront can be arrived at. Many such Muslim objections are obscure and innocuous to the point of not just being silly, but so likely to be met with derisive laughter that another entire insult will be taken from that as well. Muslim indignation—like some infernal perpetual motion machine—is truly “the gift that keeps on giving.”

Today, he’s a cult phenomenon. Hits on his Web site went from a few thousand a day to over 100,000 a day when news of his arrest broke, he says.

A finer example of Islam’s typical self-induced blowback is hard to envision.

Nekschot is just one more canary in the mineshaft. When the trilling finally stops and poison gas starts swirling about our feet, we will rue the day that even a speck of deference was shown to Islam. As Bishop of Rochester the Right Reverend Michael Nazir-Ali observed:

… some [Muslims] had a "dual psychology" in which they sought "victimhood and domination".

… Mr Nazir-Ali argued it would never be possible to satisfy all of the demands made by Muslims because "their complaint often boils down to the position that it is always right to intervene when Muslims are victims... and always wrong when Muslims are the oppressors or terrorists".

… He added: "Given the world view that has given rise to such grievances, there can never be sufficient appeasement and new demands will continue to be made."

[emphasis added]

We ignore Nazir-Ali's words at our own extreme peril.

IoshkaFutz said...

Ciao Zenster,

This is purely a subjective judgment, but there's something "not right" - I'd say neurotic about Condell.

All right, that's neither here nor there... But what I really take issue with, is this silly notion of religion being okay, but "organized religion" being the bane of humanity.

Nothing on earth works that way. It's like saying "Movies are wonderful," but production companies with their hierarchies are terrible. Or the Internet is grand, but all the cabling, routers, domain names, etc. are gruesome. Or - for example - education is a great thing, but schools and universities with their diplomas are awful.

My oh my how atheists love miracles! They just want the goods, in the case of religion, certain spiritual goods, but expect them to come about all by themselves!

Actually one of the problems with Islam is that it is NOT organized. There is no papal figure demanding orthodoxy, holding Councils, and - albeit rarely - establishing dogma. It's just a mishmash from sophisticated liberal types to the Taliban who forbid electric razors and even soap.

One has no real interlocutor, but like a swamp fog, just a shapeless, nameless force with different levels of tribalistic cohesion. This would not be so bad if Islam were not a proselytizing faith commanded by a book to take over the world.

Who apologizes? Who gets sued for pedophilia cases? For the good and the bad, for the saints and the sinners, I say give me a visible church, and "visible" means organized, something I can blame or praise for acts and positions, somethng I can truly judge.

The problem with multi-culturalism is precisely that it emulates Islam. Islam in a "practical sense" is the Islam interpreted by the local state authorities, who have the power to appoint, fire or issue warnings to Imams. So from certainty (or at least a fair amount of it), everything becomes "hinky," dependent on the whim of local rulers.

Sometimes I wonder of this "Hate" legislation is such a bad thing. Today it is addressed against us, but tomorrow, perhaps through democratic elections and the people finally getting fed-up it can be turned against its present beneficiaries and at last "our" whim can be made law, seeing that there are so many precedents.

Well that's not my favorite choice by a long shot, but as they say there's a silver lining in every cloud. I'd prefer a principled and organized and even cultural answer to Islam from "visible" governments and not this or that magistrate or semi-secret organization.

El said...

absolutely perfect example of the positive feedback loop the apparatus of state is likely to get caught in at least some european countries, as per surrender, genocide, or what.

muslims cause trouble. government makes big political/emotional investment in trying to appease them. muslim population grows, situation is now worse. desire to appease grows, muslim expectations and confidence also heighten. government cannot reverse course, cannot bite the bullet that is twice as big as it was ten years ago and write off its investment in its present paradigm. government continues to appease. 'troublemakers' cause more 'trouble,' prompting the release of inexhaustible muslim outrage. rinse and repeat until discontinuity is reached.

in the terminology i have used in the past, i think we are now seeing which countries have the potential to avoid the discontinuity i have predicted awaits at least some european countries. italy is one. denmark is another. the netherlands, sadly, is not. they're already sliding down the slide, the only question is when they hit the bottom.

that is, unless islam reforms itself in the next couple of years, which i am reasonably confident it will do.

erdebe said...

@NeoConstant

Sadly, your constitution does not save you from hatespeech- and discrimination-laws.

These laws are allready in place and are increasingly narrowing the borders of the constitutional right to free speech.

@El

I wish i could share your optimism about islam reforming. Where do you base this optimism on??

El said...

@erdebe

sorry, that was a joke.

El Ingles

Conservative Swede said...

Ioshka,

People who use Condell's rhetorical figure are atheists, who simply want religion to disappear (except for possibly someone lighting a candle in the privacy of his home, and such things).

Likewise, the parallel arguments for movies and the Internet, that you present, would be used by people that wanted movies and the Internet to go away.

The idea with the rhetorical figure is to not appear irreconcilably against the phenomenon, while still effectively calling for its extinction.

But something being "not right", neurotic with Pat Condell? No way! The man is doing great.

erdebe said...

@El

lol !!!!

It seemed like an absurd statement, but one can never be too sure in these "PC-gone-wild"-times. For instance, the spokesperson for integration of the biggest dutch government-party, has gone on record saying she's read the koran and was rather shocked by all the hatred and agression against the infidels, but, thanks to the translation of the koran in dutch by Kader Abdollah, she now understands that with infidels, the koran just means "pirates at sea". And this certainly was no joke.

Paul Green said...

Be it noted that Gregorius has his own Motoon up at:

http://gregoriusnekschot.nl/blog/index.php?title=naar_huidige_maatstaven_zou_allah_extree&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

I'd like to know what the captions mean. Can any Dutch-speaking readers help out?

Post headline:

"Naar huidige maatstaven zou Allah extreemrechts zijn"

Word balloon:

"meneer Sybrand van Haersma Buma ... doodt ongelovigen waar ge hen maar aantreft -- soera 2:191, soera 4:89, soera 4:91"

On sign:

"CDA"

Armance said...

but, thanks to the translation of the koran in dutch by Kader Abdollah, she now understands that with infidels, the koran just means "pirates at sea".

Which would make it sounds like "Kill the pirates at sea wherever you find them". He-he-he

Bela said...

Did you know?

We believed that our freedom of speech is absolute, 1st Amendment Right didn't we?
Not so.

The Threatening Communication Act.
18. U.S.C. 875
Excerpts:
"It is enough to show that the threatening communication would reasonably induce fear even though the threat did not reach the intended victims"

Interstate Commerce:
"Telephone calls across state lines, almost all e-mail messages..."

"Actual intent to injure or ability to carry out threat is not required"

More at:
www.law.uoregon.edu/faculty/shoar/docs/cyberstalking.ppt
___________________________________
Disparaging remarks like Death to A... on the web or in e-mail can land you to jail.
See also:

Former Foreign Service Officer Sentenced On Federal Civil Rights Charges

GOOGLE hint: Patrick Syring of Arlington, Virginia

erdebe said...

"Naar huidige maatstaven zou Allah extreemrechts zijn"

translates as:

To modern day standards, Allah would be considered extreme-right wing.


Word balloon:

"meneer Sybrand van Haersma Buma ... doodt ongelovigen waar ge hen maar aantreft -- soera 2:191, soera 4:89, soera 4:91"

translates as:

mister Sybrand van Haersma Buma ... kill the unbelievers where ever you find themt -- soera 2:191, soera 4:89, soera 4:91

On sign:

"CDA"

CDA stands for Christian Democratic Appeal" and traditionally the largest political party and therefore almost allways in the government.

Sybrand van Haersma Buma is a CDA-politician who advocates the idea that freedom of speech is oke, but that it should be excercised with "responsibility", "respect", and so on.

Im not sure what to make of it.
On the one hand it could be about the hypocrisy of the biggest government party trying to be the champion of hate-crimefighters in order to protect the biggest haters of them all from haviing their feelings hurt.

On the other hand it could be saying that the christians of CDA in government are taking up their old habits of preaching to people, telling what they should and should not do, but this time not the familiar christian messages are preached, but spreading and defending the hatespeech of the koran.

Something like that, or maybe something completely different ;-)

Zenster said...

Con Swede: People who use Condell's rhetorical figure are atheists, who simply want religion to disappear (except for possibly someone lighting a candle in the privacy of his home, and such things).

Well, I’m not an atheist and I don’t want religion to simply “disappear”, yet I find some—repeat, some—of Condell’s objections to be valid. In almost every case, when a religion becomes organized its infrastructure assumes a self-fulfilling function that closely parallels parasitic union management models. The Roman Catholic Church abused its powers during the Middle Ages until the Reformation happened along with separation of church and state that began to rightly constrain its influence.

Far worse, we see the modern Anglican Church betraying its own flock through a voluntary submission to Islam. Hell, Islam itself is betraying all Muslims by leading them into what will likely prove to be nuclear annihilation. Even barring that, Islam—in prohibiting all forms of reformation—is betraying the well-being of its adherents in other ways as well. I’ve recently submitted an article for publication at GoV that covers this precise issue.

IoshkaFutz: Actually one of the problems with Islam is that it is NOT organized. There is no papal figure demanding orthodoxy, holding Councils, and - albeit rarely - establishing dogma. It's just a mishmash from sophisticated liberal types to the Taliban who forbid electric razors and even soap.

This is hair-splitting at best. Islam intentionally decentralizes itself in order to maintain plausible deniability. It has definite institutionalized systems like any other church and a distinct clerical hierarchy as well. The absence of a single paramount authority figure is merely a matter of appearance and part of that plausible deniability. Much like Christianity, Islam has its various sects (i.e., Sunni and Shi’ia), and those have their respective seats of power (e.g., Mecca and Qom).

For some time now I have been speculating upon exactly why it is that the world’s other religions are so silent about Islam’s desecration of the human spirit. In his latest video, Condell himself addresses this issue as well. His own explanation for it is one that organized religion had better go about refuting or, absent any reasonable exculpation, be branded with it like a mark of the beast. As Pat Condell notes:

It’s all about the clergy, who do very well out of it. How well? Well let’s ask the Archbishop of Canterbury, if we can find out which one of his two palaces he’s currently staying in. And, of course, if he isn’t too busy praying towards Mecca. His recent disgraceful attempt to crowbar shari’a law into British life is a good example of how some Christian clergy are so unprincipled they’ll happily hitch their wagon to the crescent moon, to a religion they despise as heretical, in order to push unwanted religious values into society at large. Because, for them, any religious values are better than none.

To date, the world’s valid religions have remained obscenely silent about Islam’s predation upon their own flocks and the systematic abuse of human rights that is precipitated by shari’a law. It is difficult not to interpret this unbecomingly mute behavior as an unwillingness to make waves that might start to erode the delicate state protections that form a central core of their revenue streams.

To be sure, one can point towards Pope Benedict’s Regensburg address as an example of Christianity delivering a jab at Islam. Well, that was ALMOST TWO YEARS AGO. Islam has been landing haymakers and roundhouse punches on Christianity ever since. Why such silence in the face of what can only be termed a death cult whose mission statement posits the violent destruction of every other religion on earth?

The only ostensible explanations are so flaccid or self-serving as to be repellent. Have these other powerful religious institutions abandoned their flocks to a clearly visible wolf in the fold? Do they quail in fear beneath Islam’s mailed fist? Is organized religion so afraid to besmirch one of their putative own that they are paralyzed? Can they not bring themselves to eject from their circle a fellow traveler who has, without a doubt, gone wildly out of bounds?

Again, I DO NOT agree with everything that Pat Condell says about religion. Yet, the essence of his questions and condemnations regarding organized religion are all lent weight by the actions—and even more importantly, by the inactions—of these supposedly spiritual institutions. As Burke so famously noted:

All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing.

Well, good men are doing nothing and evil is succeeding. These “good men” of the church have a single and beholden duty to protect those that they are SWORN BEFORE GOD to serve. Their collective and abject failure to do so is both betrayal on a vast scale and an abdication of their religious duties to man and God alike. If Christians ever wonder why so many people are abandoning the church, they need look no further than this current example of utter treason.

Just as how the moderate Muslim baby is ever more likely to be thrown out with the jihadist bathwater, so are organized religions going to find themselves cast aside as they have cast their own flocks to the wolves. This is all entirely of their own doing. Islam has only brought the issue to a crisis point as Muslims do with any pivotal matter. While Condell raises these issues in what I find to be a far too caustic manner, his questions still deserve some answers.

I do not expect anyone here to speak for the church. That said, I would still enjoy reading what others make of this matter. Organized religion is facing its worst foe of all time, one far more evil than communism ever could be. To date, it appears to be doing NOTHING. I find this wholly unacceptable.

IoshkaFutz said...

Ciao Conservative Swede,

"...........But something being "not right", neurotic with Pat Condell? No way! The man is doing great........"

As I said it's a personal judgement... And it is based on

THIS

(get past the Portugese intro).

To me the man seems insanely driven. And at a human level, based on my dealings with showmen I clearly detect a neurotic edge.

Theologically he's preaching, fervidly preaching libertarian oblivion and moral chaos. He's feeling oppressed like a Muslim. Instead of Mohammad, he's defending his Mr. Freedom. He has trouble with "Thou Shalt not" in a country that has morally gone to the dogs and is now governed by surveillance cameras.

But that's fine, that's his opinion and he's entitled to it... but there he is "carrying on" like a wild-eyed fanatic about a topic that was already calmly discussed over a hundred years ago in intelligent debates between Chesterton and Shaw.

Paul Green said...

erdebe -- Many thanks for your translation. Sounds as though your first take is the right one.

Profitsbeard said...

M. Nekschot says:

"There's a ticking bomb in the room."

Dutch authorities reply:

"GAG HIM!"

tick... tick... tick...

*~@):~{>

Zenster said...

Clearly few, if any of you, have made a point of watching all of Pat Condell's videos. How ironic that you are so prepared to pass judgment upon him in the exact fashion that he finds so repugnant about the clergy of most organized religions. Got that?

If you bothered to watch this man's other work, you would discover that he is erudite, eloquent, has a tremendous sense of humor and finds Islam so repugnant that he rarely touches upon the subject precisely because it is so far beyond the pale.

I would also urge you to recall that Condell has had to endure Europe’s ridiculous program of State religions, taxpayer funding of religious schools plus other belief based organizations and so forth. Here are links to a few other salient pieces by him.

In Hello Angry Christians, you would find that Condell has respectful things to say about Jesus, just not about some of his more cross followers (so to speak).

Here is his withering examination of Scientology.

Here is one of his earlier pieces about Islam in Europe.

Here, Condell offers up a A Word to Islamofascists.

In this segment Condell replies to, More Demands From Islam, with his usual verve and wit.

And yet another bit about, The Religion of Fear .”

And finally, exactly why Pat Condell feels that, God is Not Enough.”

I would also suggest to those of you who are incapable of understanding or appreciating Condell’s immense sense of humor in his witty send-ups of hidebound calcified deism, that perhaps you need to take a closer look in the mirror. I’m confident of one thing. Pat Condell would fight to the death for your right to believe in whatever you like. Would you do the same for him? And if not, isn’t that exactly the point he is seeking to make about most religions in general?

Pat Condell is about as close as Britain has to a Winston Churchill at present. Few other individuals are making such a pointed effort to expose Islam for intolerant, bigoted, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, terrorist, homophobic bunch of wife-beating cowardly turds that it is. Silence him at your own risk.

IoshkaFutz said...

Ciao again Zenster,

Clearly few, if any of you, have made a point of watching all of Pat Condell's videos. How ironic that you are so prepared to pass judgment upon him in the exact fashion that he finds so repugnant about the clergy of most organized religions. Got that?

As that is probably directed to me, your accusation is an act of blind faith, for I have seen all his youtube work. I only spoke about an impression. To me he seems "driven." He's right there with the blasphemy freaks, bragging about how he "blasphemes" not just on occasion, but every single second of his wakeful and sleepful hours, morning, noon and night and afternoon.

Why don't I believe him? Because I would think that everyone in the world, even the hardest-nose atheist might on occasion have a sense of the transcendental. It's humanly inescapable. But there he is boasting the opposite. So he's certainly free to it, I don't buy it.

Again you use the term "organized" as something negative. And again I tell you that you are a greater believer in miracles than I. Want to teach the untouchables of India that they are full human beings? Visit the "ORGANIZED" nuns of San Luigi Gonzaga - organized as can be - or else how could they run their schools and clinics? How would they get the money, the charity money, without charity ORGANIZATIONS?

Want to ween huge swathes of our own western kids from hard drugs and restore their senseless lives to health, joy and purpose? How would Don Giacomo do it? Just by thinking or by organizing, buying land, creating workshops, hiring teachers?

If you bothered to watch this man's other work, you would discover that he is erudite, eloquent, has a tremendous sense of humor and finds Islam so repugnant that he rarely touches upon the subject precisely because it is so far beyond the pale.

That's how I got to know him. The problem is that all faiths are beyond the pale because man himself is beyond the pale.

There is no reason to care. If you want perfect rationalism then be a Hindu style nihilist. Think a while and perhaps you'll understand that there is no "sacrosanct" (i.e. freedom, freedom, freedom) without the sacred.

Condell is a shallow thinker and his sense of humor is snide. It's in the spirit of Goebbels and Stalin (asking how many divisions the Vatican has). It's the snide and cutting humor of the communists, of the cynics.

If he were honest, he'd begin to recognize the deleterious effects, past and present of his own style of so-called "free thinking" and direct his humor against that as well. But in that department he is singularly humorless.

What happened to Merry Old England and Holland? Why are people moving out in droves? Is it really due to the religious schools that had been around for ages and are now getting blamed because of their costs, or does it have to do with abortions, divorce rates, drugs, criminality, government controls (stemming from the breakdown of culture), consumerism, alienated societies based on systems? But Condell can't go there can he? That's what mono-mania will do!

Oh the great indignation he feels for the misuse of his tax dollars, when over half of them, (and far far more than spent on school vouchers and suchlike), are squandered on the damages wrought by the godless societies. Maybe someone should do a proper auditing, comparing how much more is spent these days than in the past to keep societies "functioning" where once upon a better time family values and culture were just about enough. What do all those surveillance cameras cost, all those kids in the UK whose condition is so debased that it made the cover of Time magazine? How come there are youth gangs and youth crime waves? Because of the holy tax shekels wasted on religious schools?

The sole fact that he feels the need to lump Judeo-Christianity, which just a bare modicum of thought would indicate as the foundation of his once proud and successful but now crumbling society, with Islam - to him all senseless "thou shalt not Deism" - gives an indication of the paucity of the man's thought.

And our own on-going belief that the Islamic question can somehow be solved with "blasphemous" cartoons shows the paucity of ours. Far better if our reaction were sacred, positive, affirming, principled.

Condell is a mono-maniac. Get rid of the priests, deacons, rabbis and all will be well? Concentrate: no sacred, no sacrosanct. Let it sink in.

The erosion of the sacred, "our" sacred has coincided with Europe's downfall. What else is multi-culturalism, but the asinine belief that a real and dominating "sacred" could be co-opted by a system capable of a "sacred management" that included everybody's and not just Catholics and Lutherans and Calvinists, but also that of the Hindus and Muslims?

Of course it was doomed to failure, so what's the next logical step? Why of course! Get rid of all religions, the good,bad and the ugly... Get 'em all out of the public sphere! Or rather, in the name of freedom, freedom, freedom, let them just languish on in the cracked heads of the believers, but not be organized, present and real and teaching.

The all-triumphant state will be our guarantor of freedom, freedom, freedom! Ciao ciao cultura!

I would also suggest to those of you who are incapable of understanding or appreciating Condell’s immense sense of humor in his witty send-ups of hidebound calcified deism, that perhaps you need to take a closer look in the mirror. I’m confident of one thing. Pat Condell would fight to the death for your right to believe in whatever you like. Would you do the same for him? And if not, isn’t that exactly the point he is seeking to make about most religions in general?

People don't fight to the death for abstract freedoms, but for their safety, culture, homes, traditions. They fight to the death for all those sacrosanct things that the sacred-killers of Condell's ilk have picked apart and destroyed.

If I get hit by a car, I don't give a damned what the people ignoring me and getting on with their "freedom freedom freedom" think. I hope that instead of "freedom freedom freedom" at least one of them will feel the "oppression oppression oppression" to come help me as GOD commands.

Who's to say, but I can easily imagine a Condell walking by, just as I can imagine plenty of French commuters reading their leftwing, rightwing, business, anarchist, communist, satirical, journals while a girl gets raped at the back of the train car.

Then of course they'll complain about the state not doing its job. I wonder if that would have happened in the France of the fifties? If a scream would have gone ignored. More likely the people reading their leftwing, rightwing, anarchist, business, communist, satirical, journals would have all intervened as GOD commands.

I wonder if a heatwave back then in those hoary and superstitious times would have left so many old people to die ALONE, uncared for. But it's so reassuring to know that now super-Condell would fight to the death for their freedom freedom freedom. The holy opinion!

Let it sink in Zenster: no sacred, no sacrosanct.

Pat Condell is about as close as Britain has to a Winston Churchill at present. Few other individuals are making such a pointed effort to expose Islam for intolerant, bigoted, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, terrorist, homophobic bunch of wife-beating cowardly turds that it is. Silence him at your own risk.

No one is silencing him, but he is silencing Jesus. It is not some impossible and ultimately paradoxical notion of freedom freedom freedom that will save Britain. But that freedom also capable of incorporating a rational-as-can-be caring, unlegislated, second-nature morality among the populace, something which you might wish to consider like a "social glue."

Already 100 years ago, that glue was found to be terribly oppressive to the free-thinkers of Merry Old England. It's easy with the mind games of freedom freedom freedom to imagine why. But now that it's gone things are somehow much more oppressive. The invisible sky fairy became a very visible bureacracy. "Merry Olde" became a nightmare.

And yes, Anglicanism shares the blame. But poking fun of Anglicanism which now has what? 3% of the population, most of them old women with flabby arms and purple hair is easy pickings.

I'll take Condell more seriously when he bursts his own myths.

Winston Churchill had an enemy in uniform, with ranks, recognized leaders and a declared war.

we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in GOD'S GOOD TIME, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.

Condell's once Merry Olde England now has a society rotting from within, yet doing just great from an economic standpoint. She has no identity, because identity is oppression and so it is open to all. She no longer has a morality, but now has a huge and costly state apparatus to manage impossible-to-reconcile moralities (with - as can only be expected - social calm and business being the main concerns).

Condell is a great talent, bristling with it and in GOD'S GOOD TIME he might come to his senses and also understand than there is no sacrosanct without the sacred.

VinceP1974 said...

I would also suggest to those of you who are incapable of understanding or appreciating Condell’s immense sense of humor in his witty send-ups of hidebound calcified deism, that perhaps you need to take a closer look in the mirror. I’m confident of one thing. Pat Condell would fight to the death for your right to believe in whatever you like. Would you do the same for him? And if not, isn’t that exactly the point he is seeking to make about most religions in general?


I didnt know we are all compelled to kiss Condell's ass.

Now I have to look myself in the mirror over the grave injustice I have done to humanity because I dont think Condell is Churchill.

Intellectual thuggery is all you're doing.

Zenster said...

Vince1974: I didnt know we are all compelled to kiss Condell's ass.

Now I have to look myself in the mirror over the grave injustice I have done to humanity because I dont think Condell is Churchill.

Intellectual thuggery is all you're doing.


Nice straw man. Feel free to come back when you’re ready to post something of substance.

Natalie said...

Interesting that Pat Condell has been mentioned - I was actually just watching some of his stuff.

First off, watch this, his most recent video, if you haven't already.

Second, I am sort of offended by what some have said on this thread. I got the feeling that some people think that without religion, we wouldn't be moral. The equation of religion and morals really, really bothers me. I am not a religious person. I don't believe in God - I never have. But I am not immoral. Yes, a person can derive their morals from their religion, and there's nothing wrong with that. But being non-religious does not mean you're immoral or amoral. There are plenty of people I've met who were religious and very immoral, at least to my standards of morality.

The other thing that offended me is the idea that the Nazis and Communists were bad and killed people because they didn't believe in religion/God. With regards to the Nazis, Hitler did believe in God. He didn't really like the Catholic Church, but only because it was an obstacle to him. And don't forget: the Church later collaborated with Nazism. They didn't speak out nearly as much as they should have and when the war was over, the majority of the Nazis who escaped did so by the Vatican's help. If you don't believe me, Gitta Sereny's book Into That Darkness examines it in great detail.

In Communist Russia, of course there wasn't much religion - Stalin didn't allow it. But it wasn't this lack of religion that made the Soviet Union so terrible to live in - it was Communism itself because Communism is so totalitarian and oppressive.

What I'm trying to say is that nothing is starkly black and white, so to speak. People aren't good or evil based on their religious beliefs (or lack thereof). I've met many immoral, hypocritical religious people - and many wonderful ones as well. The same can be said for atheists.

I think one of the main points Pat Condell tries to make is to try to get people to think for themselves. I mean, Christians, consider this: Christianity is pretty much copied from loads of prior religions, especially that of the ancient Egyptians. And the Bible wasn't written until way AFTER Jesus died, so it's not exactly the greatest historical document. And what about the fact that no one who lived when Jesus did wrote anything about him.

Everyone has the freedom to believe what they want to, of course. Just don't go around parroting ignorant and offensive ideas like that the Nazis were evil and bad because they were atheists and hated religion.

VinceP1974 said...

Natalie. you're so misinformed, dont preach to me.

Natalie said...

If anyone here is misinformed, it's definitely not me.

Zenster said...

IoshkaFutz: I only spoke about an impression. To me he seems "driven." He's right there with the blasphemy freaks, bragging about how he "blasphemes" not just on occasion, but every single second of his wakeful and sleepful hours, morning, noon and night and afternoon.

Please be sure to quote Condell correctly. He was not going on about the way he "blaphemes". He categorically announced how his every waking moment "denies the Holy spirit".

Why don't I believe him? Because I would think that everyone in the world, even the hardest-nose atheist might on occasion have a sense of the transcendental.

Again, you say that you have “seen all his youtube work”. Yet somehow Condell’s own proclaimed appreciation for the mystic aspect of human life didn’t register upon you. The man understands the transcendant nature of consciousness and spirit, he’s just no longer willing to have others cram their interpretation of it down his throat.

But there he is boasting the opposite.

No he isn’t. You are dead nuts wrong.

Again you use the term "organized" as something negative.

Only as a qualifier so that people remain clear about how I have no objection to personal faith but that—when organized—the whole affair can and does often go astray.

And again I tell you that you are a greater believer in miracles than I.

You are projecting, again.

That's how I got to know him. The problem is that all faiths are beyond the pale because man himself is beyond the pale.

Your niggardly assessment of humankind is duly noted and it immediately discounts the worth of all you say. I refer you to Natalie’s subsequent post about religion and morality. My wager is that you are making reference to Original Sin, which I consider to be an abomination of the human spirit. It’s doubtful that we’re going to find much common ground in this department. I’ll certainly invite Natalie to join in at this juncture.

There is no reason to care. If you want perfect rationalism then be a Hindu style nihilist.

Your statements exhibits a deep and abiding self-loathing in addition to what can only be some sort of cognitive dissonance or disconnect from reality.

Think a while and perhaps you'll understand that there is no "sacrosanct" (i.e. freedom, freedom, freedom) without the sacred.

For religious people? I guess not.

Condell is a shallow thinker and his sense of humor is snide.

Only when taken at your level of intelligence.

If he were honest, he'd begin to recognize the deleterious effects, past and present of his own style of so-called "free thinking" and direct his humor against that as well. But in that department he is singularly humorless.

Again, quite clearly you weren’t paying attention to when Condell rips “free-thinking” European multiculturalists several bright and shiny new anal orifices. Condell is very democratic in his disdain for all preachy types, be they religious or political.

Is it really due to the religious schools that had been around for ages and are now getting blamed because of their costs, or does it have to do with abortions, divorce rates, drugs, criminality, government controls (stemming from the breakdown of culture), consumerism, alienated societies based on systems?

Quite nice of you to ignore how much damage to British society may have been done by its treasonous Anglican Church. It comes as no surprise to me that a huge number of Britons may have rejected faith altogether because of the scummy example set by their current crop of Muslim appeasing Anglican clergy. The Roman Catholic Church’s epidemic of child molestation probably didn’t lend much of a glow to the whole situation either.

Oh the great indignation he feels for the misuse of his tax dollars, when over half of them, (and far far more than spent on school vouchers and suchlike), are squandered on the damages wrought by the godless societies.

Pot -> Kettle -> Black

Maybe someone should do a proper auditing, comparing how much more is spent these days than in the past to keep societies "functioning" where once upon a better time family values and culture were just about enough.

I would welcome that entirely. Remember to be honest and include the damages wrought by communist infiltration with its Political Correctness and Multiculturalism—you know, the stuff that Condell hates so much—because if you can’t, such an audit would be worthless.

How come there are youth gangs and youth crime waves? Because of the holy tax shekels wasted on religious schools?

Garsh, do you really mean to say that there is no connection between the British government’s financing of Islamic schools and the rise in Muslim thuggery all over England?

The sole fact that he feels the need to lump Judeo-Christianity, which just a bare modicum of thought would indicate as the foundation of his once proud and successful but now crumbling society, with Islam - to him all senseless "thou shalt not Deism" - gives an indication of the paucity of the man's thought.

Of course, far be it from you to notice that I have deemed Condell a bit too caustic in his assessment of Christianity. That would be quite the fly in your ointment, now wouldn’t it? Perish the thought that Condell is historically correct in noting how the three Desert Dogmas have been the source of almost constant bloodshed since their inception. That wouldn’t do either, now would it? Nor would you dare to admit that Condell has given Christianity its due in clearly stating that—in comparison to Islam—it has become “more civilized”.

And our own on-going belief that the Islamic question can somehow be solved with "blasphemous" cartoons shows the paucity of ours. Far better if our reaction were sacred, positive, affirming, principled.

Well, well, your smug theocratic monster finally rears its ugly little microencephalic head. Thank you so much for tipping your hand. Religion trumps Freedom of Speech. It’s all clear now.

Condell is a mono-maniac. Get rid of the priests, deacons, rabbis and all will be well? Concentrate: no sacred, no sacrosanct. Let it sink in.

Keep ranting. It’s all right. Get it all out. Deep breaths now.

I hope that instead of "freedom freedom freedom" at least one of them will feel the "oppression oppression oppression" to come help me as GOD commands.

Of course, you’d probably want a moral but non-religious person who isn’t God-commanded like Natalie to keep her filthy paws off of you, even if she were the only one who stopped to help, right?

Who's to say, but I can easily imagine a Condell walking by…

You’re projecting, yet again. I would bet a tidy sum that Condell would be among the first to stop and help, but that doesn’t fit your whiny little narrative, now does it?

Let it sink in Zenster: no sacred, no sacrosanct.

Your mania has already sunk in quite enough, thank you. I’m flossing right now. In fact, I’ve had quite enough of participating in your pissing contest.

IoshkaFutz said...

Ciao Zenster,

He’s just no longer willing to have others cram their interpretation of it down his throat.

This is the big lie, Zenster. in the name of freedom, Millions of people, especially in Condell's own UK, are getting "interpretations" crammed down their throat. Though nominally freer their country is more violent, ignorant, ugly and oppressive than ever before. And it is the capolavoro of the free-thinkers, the atheists.

The big lie is that "freedom" doesn't cram anything down people's throats. Want a couple of examples how that is false?

Who is the state to say that I need to wear clothes? Unlike a Pat Condell who feels falsely oppressed by a Holy Spirit that he doesn't believe in and doesn't even have to believe in, I feel truly oppressed by clothes and I believe in freedom of public nudity every wakeful hour, even every sleepful hour!

Viva la liberta'! Freedom triumphs and now thousands of people walk around naked... But nobody crammed it down our throats.

Or perhaps... Bowel movements, yes, bowel movements! Why is it that we are allowed to walk dogs, but not ourselves? Don't worry, I'm aware of the health concerns so I'll remove my feces with a pooper scooper, just as I remove my dog's feces! Yes sir I demand my rights! Am I less than a dog?! I want to be able to crap out in the open! Why should a Schnauser have more rights than me?!

So in the name of freedom, people start crapping out in the streets. BTW in Amsterdam, people are already free to screw in public parks. Give it time.

See how it works? Nothing crammed down anybody's throat though, no, no, no!... You don't have to go naked and you don't have to crap in the street! But now there's tons of public nudity and tons of people crapping out in the street!

Until the great dawning thought arrives, that moral freedom EVEN if state regulated is just a funny name for barbarity.

Et Voilà, freedom-this, freedom-that, freedom-here, freedom-there... that is how the U.K. once the pride of civilization - yes with a list of faults from here to China, but nevertheless a capolavoro of civilization - has degenerated into a nightmare... and she did so with all the hip and trendy ideas of maximum personal freedom, (sorta forgetting in the process that "soft" culture could only be substituted by "hard" law).

Now everyody's free: guys can marry guys, two lesbians can adopt kids, you can bump off the preborn and the superannuated... There's hardly any religion at all (I mean "our" religion)... yet there's the glorious UK, down the tubes... and it wasn't just because of immigration (though that certainly didn't help). Rotted out from the inside. Rude, nasty, ignorant, ugly, violent, cutting, swinish, lewd... but wonderfully, magnificently free and still the world's cultural powerhouse despite an evident need for rehab. (no, no, no!)

Natalie said...

The more I read your comments, Zenster, the more I like you. Thank you for being one of the only intelligent people on this thread.

As for original sin, which I think is what Zenster was inviting me to join in on, I think it's stupid rubbish. People aren't inherently bad or good. We become mostly one or the other due to environmental factors (upbringing, how our parents raise us, what we experience) and genetic factors (I do think that some people are probably genetically predisposed to be violent and therefore may become criminals when they're older). But so-called "original sin"? Absolute rubbish. That idea is as stupid as saying that because I have German ancestors, I am morally tainted by the horrors of Nazi Germany. I mean, hello?? I wasn't born back then. What my predecessors do has nothing to do with me. People should be judged as individuals, not for crimes or "sins" committed by others.

Baron Bodissey said...

Natalie --

Thank you for being one of the only intelligent people on this thread.

Careful what you say here. Zenster is an intelligent fellow, but so is Ioshkafutz. The difference is one of religious belief, not of IQ. Or are you one of those people who thinks that religious believers by definition have a lower IQ than atheists?

In my personal experience I have found that the Christians, Jews, and Hindus I have known are much more tolerant of those who believe devoutly in No-God than vice versa. The atheists I have known have thinner skins, are less willing to brook disagreements, and seem to find it harder to see the world through the eyes of people who have different beliefs from the one they cling to.

I don’t know why that is, but I don’t blame it on lower intelligence.

The fact is that some people have the God gene, and others don’t. Those who have experienced the presence of God are no more able to convince an atheist of God’s existence than I can prove to a color-blind man that the sky is blue. There is no possibility of meaningful communication in these circumstances.

So I suggest that you leave off the personal insinuations about intelligence. Zenster is right, but so is Ioshkafutz — the removal of God from our public culture has coarsened, brutalized, degraded, and atomized us. It’s fairly easy to see this, if you’re willing to consider the evidence.

Natalie said...

OK Baron, point taken. I wasn't trying to say that people who believe in God are stupid or anything... sorry if I gave that impression.

I still disagree with most of the interpretations here of Pat Condell's videos, but I will say that the vast majority of commenters (that is, everyone with the exception of the annoying trolls we sometimes get) here at Gates of Vienna are very intelligent.

Conservative Swede said...

Natalie,

but I will say that the vast majority of commenters (...) here at Gates of Vienna are very intelligent.

Yes, even the stupid ones are intelligent. That's how great this site is!

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

Yay, CS just mentioned me!

Personally I don't see the problem. Pat Condell doesn't like christians much. And? Penn and Teller "proved" that my scriptures are a bunch of hooey but I didn't decide to stop watching them, either. :)

Conservative Swede said...

Graham,

Pat Condell doesn't like christians much.

I think you are right. He doesn't seem to like Christians much.

IoshkaFutz said...

Pat Condell doesn't like christians much.

I wonder if Pat Condell will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of Pope Paul VI's "Humanae Vitae"

ARTICLE


or a couple of months later, the 40th anniversary of Paul R. Ehrlich’s "The Population Bomb"

Dymphna said...

Concerning the coincidental 40th anniversaries of Humane Vitae and The Population Bomb, IoshkaFutz links to Mary Eberstadt in First Things.

Here is a snip:

[there] arises a fascinating and in fact exceedingly amusing modern morality tale—amusing, at least, to those who take their humor dark.

“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh,” the Psalmist promises in a passage about enjoying vindication over one’s adversaries. If that is so, then the racket on this fortieth anniversary must be prodigious. Four decades later, not only have [Humanae Vitae’s] signature predictions been ratified in empirical force, but they have been ratified as few predictions ever are: in ways its authors could not possibly have foreseen, including by information that did not exist when the document was written, by scholars and others with no interest whatever in its teaching, and indeed even inadvertently, and in more ways than one, by many proud public adversaries of the Church.

Let’s begin by meditating upon what might be called the first of the secular ironies now evident: Humanae Vitae’s specific predictions about what the world would look like if artificial contraception became widespread. The encyclical warned of four resulting trends: a general lowering of moral standards throughout society; a rise in infidelity; a lessening of respect for women by men; and the coercive use of reproductive technologies by governments.

[…]

Consider maverick sociobiologist Lionel Tiger. Hardly a cat’s-paw of the pope—he describes religion as “a toxic issue”—Tiger has repeatedly emphasized the centrality of the sexual revolution to today’s unique problems. The Decline of Males, his 1999 book, was particularly controversial among feminists for its argument that female contraceptives had altered the balance between the sexes in disturbing new ways (especially by taking from men any say in whether they could have children).

Equally eyebrow-raising is his linking of contraception to the breakdown of families, female impoverishment, trouble in the relationship between the sexes, and single motherhood…
Who could deny that the predictions of Humanae Vitae…have been ratified with data and arguments that did not even exist in 1968?

…Has this dramatic reappraisal of the empirically known universe led to any secular reappraisals, however grudging, that Paul VI may have gotten something right after all? The answer is manifestly that it has not...

…empirical evidence has proved that the sexual revolution has had disastrous effects on children and families… the past forty years have destroyed the mantle called “science” that Humanae Vitae’s detractors once wrapped round themselves. In particular, the doomsday population science so popular…during the era in which Humanae Vitae appeared has been repeatedly demolished.

…Humanae Vitae appeared two months before…Paul R. Ehrlich’s The Population Bombwhich [began]: “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.”


NOTE: Not even Catholics like Humanae Vitae. It's too draconian for these hedonistic times.

But do we like what we got instead??

Dymphna said...

Natalie said:

In Communist Russia, of course there wasn't much religion - Stalin didn't allow it.

As human nature will tend to be what it is, Christians in Soviet Russia usually had the "I don't care what Stalin don't allow, gonna read that Bible anyhow" attitude. Not that anyone said it aloud. However, the underground church was lively, as one could witness with the fall of Communism and the opening of the churches.

Interestingly, the Russian Orthodox church managed to survive by "cooperating" with the state. Which is one of the reasons it's in the sad shape it is today. Polish Catholicism, however, never bent to Russia's will. As a result it is a much more vital entity.

The same phenomenon is going on in China. There is the "approved" Catholic Church, where the state appoints the hierarchy and there is the underground church, where people die if they are discovered -- just as happened in Poland.

That's a fascinating area for research. Does anyone know if there have been any studies specifically dealing with the advance of religion under oppression?

As for the church -- any church -- and its actions in history...well, that has always been the case. The people who make up the Church are as flawed as anyone else. As I always say, "where two or three are gathered in his name, at least two are vying for power."

We won't know the real story on Pacelli and his actions in WWII for aat least another century.