This post adds comment to yesterday’s immediately below, The cloud of knowing.
We report there how the Chicago Council on Global Affairs urged that “the role of religious freedom in U.S. foreign policy” be “clarified”. Which means changed. Because “some parts of the world — the Middle East, China, Russia and India, for example — are particularly sensitive to the U.S. government’s emphasis on religious freedom and see it as a form of imperialism”.
“Imperialism” in the myopic eyes of the international Left is a very severe form of “racism” – its chief deadly sin.
What these thinkers who want the US to promote religion abroad are really getting at, is that for us to advocate religious tolerance is to impose our values on those who don’t believe in it.
That is to say, impose tolerance and freedom on states that have – and enforce – a state religion; or on religious groups that hold their own beliefs to be unquestionably and uniquely true.
They think (if it can be called thinking) that by objecting to the intolerance of such states and groups, we are being intolerant.
And so they imply that it’s perfectly all right for them to be intolerant, but for us to be intolerant is a sin and a scandal.
In the words of the Palestinian grievance-monger Edward Said, we are guilty of regarding people of other races and cultures and religions (he meant specifically Muslims) as “the other”, and looking down on them. He was not concerned, as neither are his followers, that they regard us as “the other”, and not merely look down on us, but plan perpetual warfare (holy war, jihad) against us, so that they may force us to convert, or – if we are lucky – pay them to let us live, or else die.
In consideration of that alone, it is obvious that our values, our political system, and our culture is immeasurably superior to theirs. And the view that we are in the wrong to look down on their intolerance, cruelty, immoral creeds, and oppressive government is hogwash.
These critics of the West – in particular of America – seem unaware that when they deplore “white privilege” they are acknowledging that our system, our way of life, our achievements, our culture, our economy, our form of government (all of which include people of many races, colors, ethnic backgrounds and religions) are better than the others. What else can they mean by “privilege”? We weren’t picked out by some great Emir in the Sky to be the recipients of his bounty more than any other society.
What the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ proposal inescapably means is that first, we should refrain from condemning (for instance): the Sunni persecution of Christians, Yezidis, and Shias; or the Shia persecution of Sunnis and Baha’i; or the general Muslim subjugation of women and demonization of Jews; or the Indonesian mass murder of Ahmadis; or Hindu actions against Muslims; or Muslim actions against Buddhists. And second, we should actively encourage it. What other meaning can be found in their recommendation?
The implications go still further. Even if we were to take a tolerant view of all that tyranny and bloodshed, we would still be in the wrong. Because our secularism is wrong.
And what does that imply if not that we too should have an enforced state religion? (Any bets on what religion it would be if President Obama could impose it by executive order?)
Also that when that happens, not only could we be intolerant of all religions that are not ours, but we positively should be – just like the others.
And finally, to attain perfect Lefty virtue, we would have to resist forever any temptation to so much as think that maybe we should all be free to believe and not believe whatever we damn well like.
President Obama openly promotes Islam both within the United States and abroad.
It seems that at first the plan to do this (or call it a conspiracy, since we are likely to have someone tell us that we are propounding a conspiracy theory), was being cunningly disguised as a plan to promote religion generally – or at least those religions and religious organizations that “promote peace and human rights”. As the World Council of Churches did, perhaps – when it had been penetrated, taken over, and manipulated by the USSR?
Did the Chicago Council on Global Affairs assist the plan?
In 2010, after a two year study, that institution found that “Western secularism feeds religious extremism“.
Is it still doing that? Did ISIS, for instance, arise as result of Western secularism?
Or has Western secularism become less “narrow, ill-informed and uncompromising”?
This article of ours was first posted February 24, 2010.
Traces of some very abstruse reasoning emerge tantalizingly from the Cloud of Knowing – the thinkers who influence current US foreign policy. Secretive ends are being pursued. Can we discern what they are, or guess what they might be, from the clues dropped by the press?
The Washington Post reports:
American foreign policy is handicapped by a narrow, ill-informed and “uncompromising Western secularism” that feeds religious extremism, threatens traditional cultures and fails to encourage religious groups that promote peace and human rights, according to a two-year study by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
So, according to a body that calls itself the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, secularism “feeds” religious extremism. Presumably that means it nourishes it, energizes it, makes it stronger than it would otherwise be.
Now how could it do that? Does it drive the religious mad by simply being non-religious? And if so, is it to blame for that, or are the religious perhaps over-reacting?
Wait. It’s not any old secularism that is guilty of annoying the religious; it is specifically Western secularism. Other sorts – if there are sorts of secularism – are not bad, or not as bad.
Why? Apparently because Western secularism, in contrast to, say, Eastern secularism if it exists, is “uncompromising”. But how should not-being-religious compromise? Should it be a little bit religious? If so, how much? And would it then still be secularism?
One may begin to suspect that here is another formulation of the now familiar accusation from the left that the West has only itself to blame for being attacked by religious extremists – aka Muslim terrorists – because it is not Muslim. Or is that leaping too quickly to an as yet unwarranted conclusion?
Let’s proceed cautiously. As well as “feeding” religious extremism, this Western secularism also “threatens traditional cultures”. How? Does it proselytize non-belief? Not that anyone’s heard. Does it try to force non-belief on believers? Again, no, not noticeably. Then does its mere existence raise questions that endanger the belief of “traditional cultures” – in which case what would the Chicago Council on Global Affairs have it do to lift the threat from those intimidated folk?
Wait again – the list of accusations against this dangerous force called secularism is not yet exhausted. It also “fails to encourage religious groups that promote peace and human rights”.
Which groups would those be – could we have some names, please? And why can they only carry out their noble mission if they are encouraged?
Answers to these questions cannot be found in the Washington Post story.
What it does tell us is that it took this body two years to reach its conclusion. So we should not brush it off as nonsense: in two years it is possible to go very deeply into grievances.
What’s more, the conclusion requires, and will elicit, action by the government of the United States.
The council’s 32-member task force, which included former government officials and scholars representing all major faiths, delivered its report to the White House on Tuesday. The report warns of a serious “capabilities gap” and recommends that President Obama make religion “an integral part of our foreign policy”.
A serious capabilities gap? Not a mere pothole in the diplomatic road to perfect global accord? And it could be filled in by – what exactly? A state religion? No – that could not be the recommendation of 32 officials and scholars representing all major faiths.
Just a generalized religiosity then?
But how is religion, whether specific or a mere aura of sanctity assumed by the State Department, going to improve American foreign policy, soothe the extremists of foreign creeds, reassure traditional cultures, and stiffen the backbone of groups (presumably different from the religious extremists) intent on virtuously promoting peace and human rights?
We are not told, and can only hope that the Chicago Council’s report to the White House provides answers to these difficult questions.
Thomas Wright, the council’s executive director of studies, said task force members met Tuesday with Joshua DuBois, head of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and State Department officials. “They were very receptive, and they said that there is a lot of overlap between the task force’s report and the work they have been doing on this same issue,” Wright said.
Something is already being done by the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships [and the State Department] to make religion in some way an integral part of US foreign policy? It would be most interesting to know what exactly.
DuBois declined to comment on the report but wrote on his White House blog Tuesday: “The Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnership and the National Security Staff are working with agencies across government to analyze the ways the U.S. government engages key non-governmental actors, including religious institutions, around the globe.”
Ah! He’s not being exact, but there’s a clue in here somewhere.
The Chicago Council isn’t as influential as the Council on Foreign Relations or some other Washington-based think tanks, but it does have a long-standing relationship with the president. Obama spoke to the council once as a state senator and twice as a U.S. senator, including his first major foreign policy speech as a presidential candidate in April 2007.
It could depend on his sympathy then, with whatever it is they want done.
Michelle Obama is on the council’s board.
Now we learn that the problem, however obcure it may seem to the public, has been troubling smart people for quite some time.
American foreign policy’s “God gap”has been noted in recent years by others, including former secretary of state Madeleine K. Albright.
Well, she has been associated with a few faiths in her time – Judaism, Catholicism, Protestantism. So perhaps she would be especially aware of a shortage of religious belief in the State Department. Could have struck her forcibly when she assumed office.
“It’s a hot topic,” said Chris Seiple [read something very politically correct that he’s written here], president of the Institute for Global Engagement in Arlington County and a Council on Foreign Relations member. “It’s the elephant in the room. You’re taught not to talk about religion and politics, but the bummer is that it’s at the nexus of national security. The truth is the academy has been run by secular fundamentalists for a long time, people who believe religion is not a legitimate component of realpolitik.“
Come now, politics can hardly be avoided by a Council of Foreign Relations. But you say that religion is “the elephant in the room”? And it is “at the nexus of national security” ?
The Chicago Council’s task force was led by R. Scott Appleby of the University of Notre Dame and Richard Cizik of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good.
Who is Richard Cizik, and what is the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good? According to Newsweek he was the Washington lobbyist for the National Association of Evangelicals for nearly 30 years, and then, towards the end of 2008, he announced “the formation of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, a group devoted to developing Christian responses to global and political issues such as environmentalism, nuclear disarmament, human rights, and dialogue with the Muslim world”.
“Religion,” the task force says, “is pivotal to the fate” of such nations as Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria and Yemen, all vital to U.S. national and global security.
So the particular religion they have in mind is Islam?
Not necessarily … don’t jump to conclusions … it could also be .. hmmm-mmm … Hinduism and … Christianity and … who knows what?:
“Despite a world abuzz with religious fervor,” the task force says, “the U.S. government has been slow to respond effectively to situations where religion plays a global role.” Those include the growing influence of Pentecostalism in Latin America, evangelical Christianity in Africa and religious minorities in the Far East.
All of which feel threatened by Western secularism? Are crying out for it to compromise a little?
But okay, mostly Islam:
U.S. officials have made efforts to address the God gap, especially in dealings with Islamic nations and groups. The CIA established an office of political Islam in the mid-1980s. … During the second Bush administration, the Defense Department rewrote the Army’s counter-insurgency manual to take account of cultural factors, including religion.
Could that have had something to do with the shooting of soldiers by an “extremist” Muslim officer at Fort Hood? Just wondering.
The Obama administration has stepped up the government’s outreach to a wider range of religious groups and individuals overseas …
… even, say, the Dalai Lama if he’ll use the back door …
… trying to connect with people beyond governments, said a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Very hush-hush stuff this.
The effort, he said, is more deliberate than in the past: “This issue has senior-level attention.”
He noted that Obama appointed a special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference …
The envoy being a Muslim and a terrorist sympathizer [see our post The trusted envoy, February 20, 2010], and the Organization of the Islamic Conference being a major instrument of the Ummah for the conquest of the non-Muslim world, chiefly by methods of “soft jihad” in Europe …
… and created a new Muslim outreach position in the State Department. In the past year, he said, embassies in Muslim-majority countries have held hundreds of meetings with a broad range of people not involved in government.
Huh? Muslim-majority countries have had hundreds of meetings with individual people not involved with government? What people? Why? To what end? How does the government know about them?
Whatever was going on with that, it was apparently too “episodic and uncoordinated”. Now there must be something more programmatic, more official, more formal, more defined, and definitely involving government:
To end the “episodic and uncoordinated nature of U.S. engagement of religion in the world,” the task force recommended:
— Adding religion to the training and continuing educationofall foreign service officers, diplomats and other key diplomatic, military and economic officials. …
— Empowering government departments and agencies to engage local and regional religious communities where they are central players in the promotion of human rights and peace, as well as the delivery of health care and other forms of assistance.
Leaving aside the code words “human rights” and “peace” which in such a context as this usually mean “leftism” and “Islam” – diplomats, and military and even economic officials should deliver health care?
But here comes the stunner. (Remember that “clarify” in diplomatic talk always means “take it back and say something more to our liking”.)
– Address and clarify the role of religious freedom in U.S. foreign policy.
Cizik said some parts of the world — the Middle East, China, Russia and India, for example — are particularly sensitive to the U.S. government’s emphasis on religious freedom and see it as a form of imperialism.
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IS A FORM OF IMPERIALISM?
We give up. Such nuanced thought is beyond our grasp.
The Washington Post reports:
Thousands of Catholics poured onto the grass of Catholic University [today] to watch Pope Francis make a Spanish missionary a saint when he celebrates Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception … in Washington, the first canonization on U.S. soil.
During the Mass, Francis will canonize 18th century Franciscan theologian Junipero Serra, who is credited with spreading Christianity in California but is controversial among some for the treatment of Native Americans under his leadership.
So what sort of man was Junipero Serra?
Extracts from Wikipedia:
Junípero Serra Ferrer (1713 – 1784) was a Spanish Franciscan friar who founded a mission in Baja California and the first nine of 21 Spanish missions in California from San Diego to San Francisco, which at the time were in Alta California in the Province of Las Californias in New Spain. He began in San Diego on July 16, 1769, and established his headquarters near the Presidio of Monterey, but soon moved a few miles south to establish Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo in today’s Carmel, California.
The missions were primarily designed to bring the Catholic Christian faith to the native peoples.
Serra was beatified by Pope John Paul II on September 25, 1988, and Pope Francis expects to canonize him on September 23, 2015 during his first visit to the United States. This has been controversial with some Native Americans who criticize Serra’s treatment of their ancestors and associate him with the suppression of their culture.
During his 1752 visit to Mexico City, Serra sent a request from the college of San Fernando to the local headquarters of the Spanish Inquisition. He asked that an inquisitor be appointed to preside over the Sierra Gorda. The next day, Inquisition officials appointed Serra himself as inquisitor for the whole region.
Serra made a habit of punishing himself physically, to purify his spirit. He wore a sackcloth spiked with bristles, or a coat interwoven with broken pieces of wire, under his gray friar’s outer garment. In his austere cell, Serra kept a chain of sharp pointed iron links hanging on the wall beside his bed, to whip himself at night when sinful thoughts ran through his mind. His nightly self-flagellations at the college of San Fernando caught the ears of some of his fellow friars. In his letters to his Franciscan companions, Serra often referred to himself as a “sinner” and a “most unworthy priest”.
A man who could do that to himself – what could he do to “heretics”? Wikipedia does not tell us how he dealt with them. But we do know how the Inquisition generally dealt with them. And we are given an example of how he inspired masochism – to the point of death – in others:
In one of his sermons in Mexico City, while exhorting his listeners to repent their sins, Serra took out his chain, bared his shoulders and started whipping himself. Many parishioners, roused by the spectacle, began sobbing. Finally, a man climbed to the pulpit, took the chain from Serra’s hand and began whipping himself, declaring: “I am the sinner who is ungrateful to God who ought to do penance for my many sins, and not the padre [Serra], who is a saint.” The man kept whipping himself until he collapsed. After receiving the last sacraments, he later died from the ordeal.
During other sermons on the theme of repentance, Serra would hoist a large stone in one hand and, while clutching a crucifix in the other, smash the stone against his chest. Many of his listeners feared that he would strike himself dead. Later, Serra suffered chest pains and shortness of breath … While preaching of hell and damnation, Serra would sear his flesh with a four-pronged candle flame …
A model for all mankind.
Donald Trump is being taken to task by prissy Republicans and the moral priesthood aka the media for not correcting a questioner who called Obama a Muslim.
It seems fair to deduce from Barack Hussein Obama’s words and deeds that he is ardently pro-Muslim.
And he was surely regarded by Muslims as one of them when he attended a Muslim school – and a mosque – in Indonesia.
His father was a Muslim, and to Muslims that makes him a Muslim. And anyway, it’s the easiest thing to become a Muslim. You can slip into it without noticing what’s happening – just reading aloud a compulsory set-piece in the Common Core curriculum, for instance: the shahada, Islam’s declaration of faith. That’s all you need do to be counted by Muslims as a Muslim. And young Barry Hussein must have done that many a time.
He has spoken with feeling about the pretty sound of the muezzin’s call to prayer. He gave his first speech in a foreign country to the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo. He bowed low to the King of Saudi Arabia. He brown-noses the musty mullahs of Iran. He brings Muslim Brotherhood advisers into the White House. He instructed NASA to reach out to Muslims and convince them that they are great scientists. He declared the US to be a Muslim country, and decreed that Muslims have contributed greatly to it progress. (Which Muslims did that he has not divulged.) He celebrates the Islamic festival of Eid-al-Fitr with a White House dinner for Muslims, every year he’s in office, with gusto. He shares the Islamic world’s antipathy to Israel and Jews. He’s letting Iran acquire nukes to destroy Israel. He’s having ISIS bombed so gingerly that the Islamic State savages hardly notice a warehouse or two has been flattened. He told the world from a UN platform that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam”.
But does he actually believe the teaching of Muhammad? Does he worship Allah? Is he submissive in his heart to the dual authority of “Allah the Merciful” and his ruthless prophet?
Who can know what anyone else really thinks, feels, or believes?
We know that Obama attended Jeremiah Wright’s church of anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism, and anti-Honkyism. Whether he was there – or anywhere – baptized according to the Christian rite, has not been revealed to the public.
This is from Canada Free Press, by a Christian writer, Dr. Don Boys, who makes some good points on the question of Obama’s religious affiliation:
Obama’s campaign released the statement that the senator “has never been a practicingMuslim”. However, the facts indicate otherwise. He was listed as a Muslim while a young student in Indonesia and often attended a mosque.
He was enrolled in the Besuki Primary School, a public school in Jakarta, as a Muslim. Didn’t his mother know what religious affiliation her young son had when she filled out the enrollment forms?
Obama clearly admitted to studying the Koran and identified his school as “a Muslim school” in his autobiography, Dreams From My Father. Many of his childhood friends commented on his Muslim religion, and the media in Indonesia made many references to his Muslim faith.
Obama acknowledges in Dreams that his grandfather was a Muslim (page 104) and that he spent two years in a Muslim school in Indonesia studying the Koran (page 154). In The Audacity of Hope, he says (page 204) that “my father had been raised a Muslim” but that by the time he met his mother, his father was a “confirmed atheist”. However, Muslims teach that children become Muslims because of their father’s religion. Moreover, no one can testify as to when he repudiated Islam. Nor is there a record of his Christian baptism.
Obama really let the kitty out of the sack when he allegedly told the Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit that he was a Muslim. In mid-January of 2010 the Foreign Minister revealed on the “Round Table Show”, a Nile telecast, that “he had had a one on one meeting with Obama who swore to him that he was a Moslem, the son of a Moslem father and step-son of Moslem step-father, that his half-brothers in Kenya were Moslems, and that he was loyal to the Moslem agenda. He asked that the Moslem world show patience. Obama promised that once he overcame some domestic American problems (Healthcare), that he would show the Moslem world what he would do with Israel.” This conversation probably happened when Gheit was in Washington for Middle East peace talks in early January of 2010. …
The following circumstantial evidence is also overwhelming proof of his Muslim faith and his antagonism for the Christian faith. Fox News reported that Obama told the NASA administrator Charles Bolden before his appointment that he was to do three things. The third was “He wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science…and math and engineering.” The White House verified the conversation in June of 2010. NASA is in the “feel good” business!
Obama asked Georgetown University to remove a religious symbol for the name of Jesus where Obama was to speak about the economy on Apr. 14, 2009. He has not asked for the removal of Muslim symbols when speaking at Islamic events.
Dr. Boys goes on to adduce apparent proofs that Obama is not a Christian. That part of his article doesn’t interest us.
One thing is positive that all honest people can agree on. The record clearly proves Obama is a Muslim sympathizer, spokesman, and sycophant.
I could go on and on with many other indications that Obama uses every opportunity to … pander to Islam. It is not becoming for the President of the United States to be a shill for a brutal, bloody, barbaric and backward religion even if he sincerely believes their principles.
One – what’s more – that has declared itself to be at war with America. And in whose name hundreds of Americans have been imprisoned, tortured, and killed.
Dr. Boys ends:
Obama is a Muslim.
Now we like to think we know an atheist when we see and hear one, even if only indirectly through the media, the way most people see and hear a public figure.
Going by what we can observe of him, we think Obama is an atheist – the only thing about him we can sympathize with.
But a Muslim atheist, not a Christian atheist.
Pope Francis compulsively consumes the fashionable drivel that passes for thought among the reactionaries who call themselves “progresssives”, preaches it to the world, and hopes to persuade us all to return to the brutish ways by which our ancestors sustained their brief lives in the Middle Ages.
George Will writes at the Washington Post:
Pope Francis embodies sanctity but comes trailing clouds of sanctimony. With a convert’s indiscriminate zeal, he embraces ideas impeccably fashionable, demonstrably false and deeply reactionary.
They would devastate the poor on whose behalf he purports to speak — if his policy prescriptions were not as implausible as his social diagnoses are shrill.
Supporters of Francis have bought newspaper and broadcast advertisements to disseminate some of his woolly sentiments that have the intellectual tone of fortune cookies. One example: “People occasionally forgive, but nature never does.” The Vatican’s majesty does not disguise the vacuity of this. Is Francis intimating that environmental damage is irreversible? He neglects what technology has accomplished regarding London’s air (see Page 1 of Dickens’s “Bleak House”) and other matters.
And the Earth is becoming “an immense pile of filth”? Hyperbole is a predictable precursor of yet another U.N. Climate Change Conference — the 21st since 1995. Fortunately, rhetorical exhibitionism increases as its effectiveness diminishes. In his June encyclical and elsewhere, Francis lectures about our responsibilities, but neglects the duty to be as intelligent as one can be.This man who says “the Church does not presume to settle scientific questions” proceeds as though everything about which he declaims is settled, from imperiled plankton to air conditioning being among humanity’s “harmful habits”. The church that thought it was settled science that Galileo was heretical should be attentive to all evidence.
Francis deplores “compulsive consumerism”, a sin to which the 1.3 billion persons without even electricity can only aspire.
He leaves the Vatican to jet around praising subsistence farming, a romance best enjoyed from 30,000 feet above the realities that such farmers yearn to escape.
The saint who is Francis’s namesake supposedly lived in sweet harmony with nature. -
The son of a rich merchant, St. Francis of Assisi was an early prototype of the middle-class New Left rebel who goes off to live the “simple life” – root vegetables, moral hubris and all – in the name of his religion: Catholic Christianity then, Environmentalism now – the better to annoy his family. No surprise that this Pope chose to reign under his name.
- For most of mankind, however, nature has been, and remains, scarcity, disease and natural — note the adjective — disasters. Our flourishing requires affordable, abundant energy for the production of everything from food to pharmaceuticals. Poverty has probably decreased more in the past two centuries than in the preceding three millennia because of industrialization powered by fossil fuels. Only economic growth has ever produced broad amelioration of poverty, and since growth began in the late 18th century, it has depended on such fuels.
Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist, notes that coal supplanting wood fuel reversed deforestation, and that “fertilizer manufactured with gas halved the amount of land needed to produce a given amount of food”. The capitalist commerce that Francis disdains is the reason the portion of the planet’s population living in “absolute poverty” ($1.25 a day) declined from 53 percent to 17 percent in three decades after 1981. Even in low-income countries, writes economist Indur Goklany, life expectancy increased from between 25 to 30 years in 1900 to 62 years today. Sixty-three percent of fibers are synthetic and derived from fossil fuels; of the rest, 79 percent come from cotton, which requires synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. “Synthetic fertilizers and pesticides derived from fossil fuels,” he says, “are responsible for at least 60 percent of today’s global food supply.” Without fossil fuels, he says, global cropland would have to increase at least 150 percent — equal to the combined land areas of South America and the European Union — to meet current food demands.
Francis grew up around the rancid political culture of Peronist populism, the sterile redistributionism that has reduced his Argentina from the world’s 14th highest per-capita gross domestic product in 1900 to 63rd today. Francis’s agenda for the planet — “global regulatory norms” — would globalize Argentina’s downward mobility.
As the world spurns his church’s teachings about abortion, contraception, divorce, same-sex marriage and other matters, Francis jauntily makes his church congruent with the secular religion of “sustainability”. Because this is hostile to growth, it fits Francis’s seeming sympathy for medieval stasis, when his church ruled the roost, economic growth was essentially nonexistent and life expectancy was around 30. …
He stands against modernity, rationality, science and, ultimately, the spontaneous creativity of open societies in which people and their desires are not problems but precious resources.
Americans cannot simultaneously honor him and celebrate their nation’s premises.
But when was logical consistency ever a bar to any faith they keep?
If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject. – Ayn Rand
The political philosophy of the New Left is weak, shallow, and in its expression by some of its gurus, patently absurd. But it has won the West. It has won the academies of the pan-European word, and through them generations grow up steeped in the creed.
What is the creed, and why has it won?
It has won because it echoes a Christian teaching, to which some 8,000 generations (reckoning 4 generations per century) of Europeans have been subjected.
It is the notion that to be a good person you must pity other people and make sacrifices for them. Only if you do that, are you worthy and virtuous.
It has been drummed into every Christian from his earliest years, so even if he rebels against his religion, his class, his culture, his race, his nation, he clings to that idea as to the moral kingpin of his universe. Take it away, and the center will not hold.
The New Left was a rebellion by affluent, middle-class adolescents (some of them well advanced in middle age) against their class, culture, race, and nation, starting about twenty years after the end of the Second World War (1939-1945).
The old Left, a secular version of Christianity, won the support of middle-class intellectuals by directing pity on to the working-class. The intellectuals would, at whatever cost to themselves, lead the oppressed and exploited workers in revolution. In Russia to start with, they did just that before the end of the First World War.
By the late 1960s, the old Left, in the person of dictators and their henchmen, was actively oppressing millions, including the populations of the Eastern European countries and a part of Germany.
So the old Left lost its appeal partly because the Leftist regimes could not easily be held up as models of paradise on earth. In addition, the working-class in the West had generally become prosperous enough to be content with its lot.
The New Left found new victims to feel sorry for. It found them first abroad, in the Third World, which was not prosperous. It declared the people of Third World countries to be exploited and oppressed by European colonialism and imperialism, even if their countries were no longer colonies or parts of empires. Its concern extended to Third World descendants who lived in the First World.
Then it declared that in the First World, women were victims of male-dominated societies. Many women volunteered for the role.
Next, homosexuals were declared, and many declared themselves, victims of heterosexual-dominated First World societies.
The main thing was, New Left intellectuals found new groups to pity, and so new sources for pride in a feeling of self-worth.
After 1991, with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War – of which the West was the immediate winner – the old Left was held by Western intellectuals (whom Thomas Sowell calls “the self-annointed”) to have been the wrong Left. The New Left, they maintain, is the politically correct Left.
The strange thing about the (new or old) Left’s remedy for human suffering is this: While only the individual can feel pain and suffer distress; while no masses, no group, no class, no race as such can suffer or feel anything at all; yet the Plan of the Left to remedy suffering is always one that sacrifices individuals for the sake of the group. It is always a Plan that is implemented regardless of individual suffering. So important is the Plan itself, that any number of individuals may be persecuted, silenced, tortured, enslaved, killed for it.
There is no collective remedy for human suffering. The only prescription that works is individual freedom; leaving people alone to serve their own purposes in the manner they choose for themselves. (Nothing need prevent an individual from aiding other individuals if that’s what he wants to do.)
John Schindler, who calls himself “a traditional leftist”, writes about why he believes the New Left has won in an article titled Who Really Won the Cold War?, in The Federalist. I quote it in full.
While he makes some points I do not agree with (chiefly the idea he takes for granted that Leftism ideally serves the cause of “human freedom”), he makes many more that bear out what I have said about the old Left and the New Left, and how and why the New Left has won the Cold War. I found this surprising. But it explains why an essay by a “traditional leftist” appears in The Federalist.
He starts with a figure from the old Left who has just recently risen to prominence:
The election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party has sent shockwaves far beyond Britain. There has been disbelief that the United Kingdom’s storied left-wing party opted to be led by a man so obviously contemptuous of his own society. In the wake of their recent electoral debacle under the uninspiring Ed Miliband, Labour has chosen as its leader an activist who resembles a walking leftist cliché. Corbyn’s radicalism is not in doubt. Aside from his embrace of socialist-throwback platitudes that linger on his party’s left flank on the full range of domestic issues, in adamant rejection of Blairism, Corbyn’s foreign-policy views merit attention. Openly hostile to NATO and Britain’s longstanding “special relationship” with the United States, Corbyn adds overt sympathy for numerous authoritarian regimes.
He blames the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, not the Kremlin, for the Ukraine crisis and has endorsed Russia Today, Putin’s TV propaganda network. Corbyn opposes essentially all overseas military operations by Britain and wants to parley with Bashar al-Assad, four years into Syria’s fratricide, while viewing Tehran as a partner for Middle East peace.
That said, leftist infatuation with foreign dictators is hardly new. For decades a crush on “progressive” despots safely far away from their own free country has been a staple of the Western far-Left diet. Corbyn is simply a paid-up member of his ideological tribe.
Yet Corbyn surpasses his predecessors in his fervent embrace of the social-justice message at home as well as abroad. He exudes hostility towards the Britain that made the historic Labour Party. This, after all, is a man who celebrates Hamas, Hezbollah, and related Islamist extremists as freedom-fighters, while explaining the death of Osama bin Laden was “a tragedy”.
Unsurprisingly, Corbyn enthusiastically espouses multiculturalism and says Britain should “celebrate” record numbers of immigrants entering the country — a position not popular with many voters, who see the European Union being overwhelmed by waves of migrants from Asia and Africa. Between his crush on the West’s enemies and his desire to change his country’s population, Corbyn wants to abolish Britain, not reform it.
Yet we should not regard Corbyn as a particular outlier. In truth, his cocktail of trendy “progressive” opinions, which rejects virtually everything about their own society, is commonly found among postmodern Western leftists. The only difference is that Corbyn makes no effort to mask his views. Many of his fellow travelers obscure their take, which would be considered extreme by most voters, behind moderate-sounding language.
Unlike Barack Obama, who once assured us that he did not see a Red America or a Blue America, rather a United States of America — then proceeded to govern through two terms as a highly partisan liberal Democrat — Corbyn states openly that there is only one “real” Britain, and it is deep red (which in Britain, as most of Europe, means left-wing).
Corbynism is no sudden or shocking development, but the natural culmination of 50 years of left-wing views that have shifted from a desire to reform Western democracies to an unconcealed wish to kill them, or at least change them so fundamentally that they bear little resemblance to themselves.
The Old Left, for all its sometimes horrific flaws, sought socioeconomic change to benefit average citizens, not all-out social revolution. They, in their own way, were very much a product of Western culture. After the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, which split the Left worldwide into communist and social democratic groupings, the latter worked within the socioeconomic system, embracing democracy while seeking minimal deep changes to society itself.
Even the communists were hardly social revolutionaries in practice. In the initial euphoria of the revolution there was experimentation. The Soviet Union became the first society ever to allow abortion and easy divorce. In Hungary, during the short-lived red revolution at the end of World War I, Bolsheviks embraced social radicalism and introduced sex education to undermine the traditional family.
However, once firmly in power, the Soviets dropped any pretense of social revolution to mirror the politico-economic one. While religion was persecuted and mild feminism got lip service, Stalin banned abortion and the party frowned upon sexual immorality. After all, the revolution needed soldiers and workers, and who but communist women could make those?
Although the abortion ban was dropped after Stalin, Soviet social practices remained highly “heteronormative,” with homosexuality being criminal while men and women were strongly encouraged to marry and be fruitful. In its most extreme form, Nicolae Ceaușescu nearly banned abortion and contraceptives altogether in his effort to build his highly fecund socialist Romania.
Many were the Western progressives who visited the East Bloc during the Cold War, having been fed propaganda about the wondrous “new society”, only to discover that communism was actually behind the West in matters of family, sex, and gender.
While the Soviets and their clients remained mired in traditional social models, the West moved on — or forward, depending on your viewpoint. The great social revolution of the 1960s, which passed the East Bloc by because communism had insulated the countries, brought forth a New Left in the West that was interested in matters of sex, gender, and race rather than who owns the means of production.
Their “long march through the institutions” after a half-century must be judged wholly successful. While the Right has won the battle for economics across the West — calls for public ownership now seem quaint rather than threatening to capitalists — the New Left has triumphed on the social front in every arena.
In the United States, which was more resistant to the New Left agenda than many Western countries, the Obama years have witnessed the victory of social justice on all major matters of race, gender, and sexuality. Thanks to activists, politicians, and courts, Americans today are living in a very different social and sexual world than their parents and grandparents.
More than a few communists saw all this coming. Beginning in the 1970s, East Bloc secret police began to notice the impact of the New Left on their Old Left countries. Cries for radical individualism from dissidents under Western influence troubled the communists, who didn’t know what to do about this trend, which they dismissed as a bourgeois affectation.
By the 1980s, the more perceptive East Bloc security services were denouncing this Western poison, which took the form of radical feminism, sexual freedom, environmental activism, and gay rights. To traditional communists, who barely understood this new ideology, it was a scary Western import, according to the secret police. Some in Eastern Europe termed this decadence “anarcho-liberalism”, and they considered it a disease of an affluent late capitalist society burdened with excessive consumerism and leisure time.
In the end, of course, the communists lost. Lots of average people in the East Bloc wanted the freedom to own cool shoes, while some pined for the social-sexual liberties that the West offered. In many ways, the revolutions of 1989 to 1991 that changed the map and politics of Europe and beyond can be viewed with a quarter-century of hindsight as the defeat of the Old Left in the East by the New Left in the West.
We are living still with the consequences of this seismic political shift. With the sudden disappearance of the communist threat, the Right lost interest in socioeconomic fairness, a Cold War necessity to keep reds at bay on the home-front, while oddly so did the Left.
The obsessive interest of the New Left in social justice has come at the expense of economic concerns, with the result that on a wide range of topics their positions, barring lip service, differ hardly at all from the Right. Few on the Left question our basic economic arrangements; tearing down our social foundations has been their core program.
Barack Obama is the most left-wing president ever on social justice, yet he is a darling of Wall Street. Hillary Clinton, despite her belated interest in social issues, is deeply enmeshed in high finance and will never challenge it. Thus Bernie Sanders, who is an amalgam of Old and New Left, is treated like an atavism by mainstream liberals when he opens the economics can of worms.
It’s all enough to make the few traditional leftists among us want to pull their hair out. The broad alliance of cultural Left and corporate Right, which questions none of our economics, has triumphed in our politics — or at least had until Donald Trump came along to question “settled” issues such as mass, often illegal, immigration. The cultural Left favors this because it gradually dissolves the traditional culture, which they despise, while the corporate Right favors it for the cheap labor. Postmodern capitalism is at least as revolutionary a force as anything cooked up by any Marxist, as well as something any Social Justice Warrior can live with.
For more than a generation we have sorely lacked mainstream contributions from social democrats who seek to make our society better, not destroy it. There ought to be no illusions about what the cultural Left seeks: a full revolution of our society and its history, which they see as benighted by irredeemable racism, sexism, and Old Think. Their opponents are objectively evil and on the“wrong side of history,” as Obama himself has assured us, and they must disappear. “Error has no rights,” the mid-nineteenth-century Vatican formulation, has oddly been adapted by our postmodern Left.
As communists once predicted the state itself would wither away, resulting in complete human freedom and progress, the New Left expects that all traditional societal arrangements will wither away, thereby allowing full human freedom and progress. One offered discipline and order and sometimes gulags; the other offers sexual liberty, anti-racism, and iPhones.
Both these beliefs are illusions, and dangerous ones, rooted in a Marxist sense of “knowing” where history is going. The working class was once revered by leftists as uniquely virtuous, while for the New Left that vanguard role is played by minorities sexual and racial, who are allegedly untainted by the dominant group. The essential willingness to ignore inconvenient truths remains the same.
Let us give the Old Left, particularly its social democratic guise, credit that they did not seek the extirpation of our whole society and culture, but instead its transformation. What the New Left today fights for is far more revolutionary and utopian. A Europe that seeks a future where actual Europeans are a dying remnant, replaced by more vigorous immigrants, is but one manifestation of this worldview.
Leftists once heartily sang the “Internationale,” which promised “This is the final struggle” (C’est la lutte finale). Communists were quite wrong about that. History has moved on and left them behind everywhere but Cuba, North Korea, and Western universities. Yet their social-justice descendants believe the same thing, with a different favored fantasy class.
They will be proved wrong, too. The Corbyn vision has no future to offer most Britons. It would be incomprehensible to generations of Labour patriots who fought for Britain, her values, and her allies. The only question is how much damage to what is left of the West will be inflicted before the New Left is vanquished, too.
I wish I could share his optimism that the New Left will be vanquished (in the foreseeable future).
And what I miss in the essay is any reference to the human misery that “traditional leftism” of the redder kind has caused wherever it has had power to cause it. Of course, his focus is on the British Left, which was never – until now? – as red as all that.
I dislike his implication that collectivism (aka Leftism) of his favored – or any – kind is a valid recipe for improving what Leftists have called “the human condition”.
But I applaud his recognition that the New Left “seeks the extirpation of our whole society and culture”, and that he deplores that terrible aim.
If only he could also see that it is logically, even necessarily, derived from the old socialist collectivist thinking to which he remains faithful!
Jillian Becker September 18, 2015
Ann Coulter, a woman of wonderful wit and intelligence even though a creationist, sensibly ignores the Christian teaching that you must not resist evil, must love your enemies, and must provide for everyone else’s needs before your own, and writes at Townhall:
For decades, the United States has taken in far more refugees than the entire rest of the world combined. Nearly half of the refugees we take in are Muslim.
And it’s worked out great!
Fazliddin Kurbanov, or “Idaho man,” as he is dutifully described in the American media, was brought to the U.S. as a refugee in 2009, joining hundreds of other Uzbeks in Boise, Idaho. He came with his wife and young child, his sister and his two ailing parents. (What an economic powerhouse that family must be. Marco Rubio is right: We’re making all kinds of money off of immigrants!)
So grateful was Kurbanov to America for rescuing his entire family from “persecution” that he spent the next few years conspiring to commit jihad against us.
As he cheerfully told his terrorist buddies back in Uzbekistan: “We are the closest ones to infidels. We have almost everything. What would you say if, with the help of God, we implement a martyrdom act? … There are military installations right here, targets, and vehicles are available as well.”
Kurbanov had plenty of time on his hands to plot terrorist attacks in the U.S. because he was being supported by you, taxpayer. As the Lewiston Morning Tribune (Idaho) reported: He was “struggling” to find a job – preferably something that involved either marketing or killing all the Jews.
Last month, Kurbanov was convicted of various terrorism charges, based on his possession of Tannerite, ammonium nitrate, bullets and aluminum powder, as well as his stated intention, in conversations recorded by the FBI, to bomb military bases in Idaho and Texas.
For the cherry on top, the whole welfare-dependent, Islamic terrorist-nurturing family won refugee status in America by claiming they were persecuted in Uzbekistan for being Christians.
I am 100 percent sure there will be no thought given to deporting the rest of this useless family. To the contrary, we’re probably bringing in their cousins. You wouldn’t want to separate families, would you? …
The Boston Marathon bombers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, had received asylum in the U.S., before launching the 2013 attacks that left four dead and thousands injured in Boston. That’s not including the three Jewish men whose throats Tamerlan slit in Waltham, Massachusetts, a few years earlier.
The entire extended Tsarnaev family got asylum based on Russia’s brutal crackdown on Chechnyan Muslims – persecution so unspeakable that various family members continued to vacation there.
Hundreds of “refugees” from Somalia and elsewhere, who have been granted fast-track U.S. citizenship because of their sworn fear of persecution in their home countries, seem to forget all about that “credible fear” as soon as the time comes to go back and engage in jihad. …
And the list goes on …
She gives more examples of “refugees” avenging themselves on the US for giving them asylum and and money.
Even the refugees who don’t specifically come here to murder Americans aren’t fleeing persecution. They’re fleeing countries with less generous welfare policies than we have in the West. Which won’t exist anymore, if we don’t turn off the spigot from the Third World.
For at least half a century, the U.S. has taken in the vast majority of the world’s refugees. Isn’t it somebody else’s turn, now?
How about Mexico take in a few “refugees”? Why not El Salvador or Honduras? Could the pope have a word with his co-religionists about the suffering in Syria? How about Vatican City? Talk about the perfect place to build some low-income housing projects!
Yes! We applaud the suggestion. We’d love to see the Vatican itself take in many thousands of Muslim refugees.
But to some uncomfortable facts, Coulter turns a blind eye. She writes in the same article:
Among the benefits of Donald Trump’s proposed immigration moratorium is that we won’t have to keep importing hordes of Third World “refugees,” such as the ones currently swarming across Europe.
Perhaps she wrote that before Trump said on Fox News Channel – displaying a humanitarian side to him which few would have suspected he had – that “the United States will have to accept some of the refugees fleeing the chaos in Syria”.
Appearing Tuesday on Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor, Trump said he does worry that –
Some in the group could be terrorists and a screening process will be needed. But something has to be done. It’s an unbelievable humanitarian problem.
Yet he knows that “the rise in Europe of Middle Eastern immigrants has made the continent a much different place”.
“I’m not sure that’s what they want,” he added, but stressed that the refugees can’t be ignored on humanitarian grounds.
He blamed the crisis on President Barack Obama, who said in 2012 that Syrian President Basher Assad would cross a “red line” if he used chemical weapons. When Assad crossed the line, Obama did nothing.
Trump said he would have taken action against Assad.
“But, you know, it’s living in hell in Syria, there is no question about it,” Trump said.
It’s a living hell that the Syrians have made for themselves.
Truly the Christian world and the Islamic world are made (by themselves) for each other. At least in theory, the Christian wants to give, forgive, and suffer uncomplainingly at the hands of persecutors. Muslims want to persecute, enslave, kill, conquer, and seize all they can lay their hands on. If there were a heaven, and if matches were made in it, this would be the most perfect of them all.
A Kentucky county clerk, Kim Davis, has been jailed for contempt of court. She refuses to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, even though ordered to do so by a US District Court Judge.
She is against same-sex marriage because, she says, her Christian faith teaches that homosexuality is wrong. Which it futilely does.
(But by saying that fobidding homosexuality is futile we do not mean to imply “same-sex marriage” makes sense. It doesn’t. It’s a farce. However many people of whatever sexual proclivities decide to form a union, there has to be at least one man and one woman among them for it to be marriage in the universal historical meaning of the word. It would be best to leave marriage to the religions, and for the state – or rather the states – to recognize Contracts of Union for all sorts of voluntary conjugal relationships.)
Kim Davis should issue the licenses whatever her thoughts and feelings about same-sex marriage, because it is her job to do so. The principle of “separation of Church and State” must apply to her case. She is as free as everybody else to express her opinion of same-sex marriage, homosexuality, Christian doctrine, and this horrible government with its ever more foolish laws and regulations that America is now groaning under; but not to refuse to do the job she is paid to do.
What is wrong is that she has tenure. The proper reward for her refusal is dismissal.
Nobody should ever be unsackable. Most particularly, government employees should not be unsackable. Tens of thousands of them need to be sacked – urgently, The head of government, Barack Obama, needs to be sacked – urgently. Like Kim Davis, he doesn’t obey the law.
Government employees should not have trade unions: government negotiating terms of employment with itself is absurd.
Government employees should not have the vote (as some of our commenters have recently compellingly argued).
Bureaucrats all too easily get uppity and dictatorial. In Britain they are called “civil servants”. They may forget to be civil, but at least their job description defines their place as servants, not masters. Governments shoud be servants, not masters.
If Kim Davis cannot bring herself to do her job, she should leave it. She’s no doubt enjoying being a Christian martyr at present. Martyrdom is the non plus ultra of Christian virtue; best if it entails death, and best of all if it entails agonizing death. We hope Ms. Davis won’t go that far. We’re very much against it.
Yesterday we had 1,643 readers of (or glancers over) the essay by Jillian Becker (under Pages in our margin), posted on January 14, 2015, titled:
Communism is Secular Christianity
We have no idea why there is a sudden interest in it.
But for those who have discovered it, and enjoyed finding it right and good, or provocative and outrageous, we recommend, for more pleasure or vexation, our post of June 19, 2015, titled:
Paul and Karl: the most consequential same-sickness marriage in history
Comments on either article, pro or con, are welcome.
On the same theme, Steven Hayward at PowerLine quotes this from the concluding chapter of Leszek Kolakowski’s “magisterial three-volume treatise”, Main Currents of Marxism:
Marxism is a doctrine of blind confidence that a paradise of universal satisfaction is awaiting us just around the corner. Almost all the prophecies of Marx and his followers have already proved to be false, but this does not disturb the spiritual certainty of the faithful, any more than it did in the case of chiliastic sects: for it is certainty not based on any empirical premises or supposed “istorical laws”, but simply on the psychological need for certainty. In this sense Marxism performs the function of a religion, and its efficacy is of a religious character.
We like that. But then Kolakowski goes on to say:
But it is a caricature and a bogus form of religion, since it presents its temporal eschatology as a scientific system, which religious mythologies do not purport to be.
And that spoils the point. While it is true that other religions do not purport to be scientific, we cannot see that that nonsensical claim qualifies the religious nature of Marxism. Regardless of its claim, Marxism is not “scientific”. It is as much a superstition as any other religion. It even has a god, which it names History.
Kolakowski certainly understood the nature of Marxism. After writing three volumes on its shades and interpretations, his undertanding of it could not have been less than profound. But he turned from faith in Marxism in his youth to the Christian faith in his maturity. (In a non-conformist way – see here and here.)
Steven Hayward also quotes this passage from Main Currents of Marxism:
Communism was not the crazy fantasy of a few fanatics, not the result of human stupidity and baseness; it was very real, very real part of the history of the twentieth century, and we cannot understand this history of ours without understanding communism. We cannot get rid of this specter by saying it was just human stupidity. The specter is stronger than the spells we cast on it. It might come back to life.
The same can be said of Christianity – a very real part of the whole history of our Common Era. That specter will be hard to banish too. It seems to have grabbed Kolakowski by the same need in his personality that had once driven him to Marxism. We think he should have rendered himself invulnerable to the temptation a second time. It is the same specter. That Kolakowski could not see it, proves his depressing assertion is right: it is a strong temptation – whether to “human and stupidity and baseness” or idealism and naivety – and it will not easily die.
… my golden door is barred to Christians,” says the Mother of Exiles, who earlier misspoke, and whose views on who is welcome to America have now evolved.
We do not like Christianity, but we are appalled by the persecution of Christians by Muslims in the Middle East.
Donald Trump has noticed that the Christians in the Muslim countries of the Middle East, and those who fall under the rule of IS/ISIS/ISIL, are being persecuted almost to extinction – and that the Obama administration is unmoved by their plight.
From the Refugee Resettlement Watch:
Trump speaks out on Syrian refugees: “We are saving the Syrian Muslims and not the Christians!”
Trump is almost right. It isn’t zero Christians, but it’s pretty close to zero. Although we have admitted a small handful of Syrian Christian refugees, the vast majority are Muslims and mostly Sunni Muslims. 96% [of those] admitted so far in 2015 are Muslims.
But, don’t forget!
Led by the Senate Jihad Caucus, the push is on to admit 65,000 Syrians before Obama leaves office and the vast majority of those will be plucked from UN camps populated by mostly Syrian Sunni Muslims.
One man in America is trying to bring Middle Eastern Christians to safety in the US, for which he is now threatened by the administration with imprisonment.
From Creeping Sharia:
Living as a Christian in many parts of Iraq or Syria has become impossible – a one-way ticket to martyrdom at the hands of ISIS – yet it remains a near-impossible feat for these persecuted religious minorities to find refuge in America.
But if you can get to America and get your case in the hands of Robert DeKelaita, your chances are greatly improved.
As it turns out, this high-powered Chicago attorney may have been a little too successful. He’s gained asylum for thousands of persecuted Christian from Iraq, Syria and Egypt, and that caught the attention of the Obama Justice Department, which is known to be no friend of Middle Eastern Christians.
DeKelaita, 52, grew up in Kirkuk in the heart of Assyria, a portion of northern Iraq that is home to one of the world’s most ancient Christian communities. …
After Saddam Hussein took power, DeKelaita’s family emigrated to the U.S. in 1973 and settled in the Chicago area. …
He’s helped reunite hundreds of families in the U.S., most of them since 2003 when the U.S. invasion and overthrow of Saddam unleashed a wave of Islamic terror against Christians that far exceeded anything that was seen under the secular Baathist regime.
The Obama administration moved against DeKelaita in September 2014, raiding his office and scooping up whatever “evidence” they could find against him. He was indicted on charges of falsifying the asylum applications of 12 clients over a 10-year period, allegedly concocting “phony claims” of religious persecution. The government has delayed his trial twice while it seeks to firm up witnesses who will testify against him. Each count of immigration fraud carries a maximum of 10 years prison and a $250,000 fine. …
Some find it ironic that the Obama administration is going after a lawyer who helps persecuted Iraqi Christians gain asylum while it welcomed and granted asylum for more than 68,000 unaccompanied alien children from Central America last summer.
At the same time Central Americans are being greeted with a “catch and release” policy at the border, a group of 27 Assyrian Christians who made it to the border earlier this year are being detained indefinitely.
“The way that some of our federal judges view the plight of Christians in Iraq and the way some of the adjudicators view them, you would honestly think ‘what is wrong with these people?’” DeKelaita [said]. …
One judge told him: “To argue that Christians in Iraq are being targeted for their religious beliefs is to appeal to either ignorance or emotion.” …
DeKelaita, after his indictment, learned that the FBI had been investigating him since 2008, soon after Obama took office. …
He points to the Obama administration’s attempt earlier this year to block an Iraqi nun from entering the country to testify before Congress on the issue of Christian persecution in the Middle East. After … a public outcry, Obama relented and issued the visa to Sister Diana Momeka. …
The Obama-led Department of Homeland Security has detained 27 Iraqi Christian asylum seekers in California for six months, despite the fact that most of them have family who are U.S. citizens living in San Diego. …
One of DeKelaita’s biggest successes was in getting a judge to strike down an outdated and inaccurate report out of Europe that insisted there was no persecution of Christians in Iraq. …
Meanwhile, the slaughter continues in Iraq and Syria. Another 220 Assyrian families were kidnapped just last week in Syria and fears are growing that the men will face beheading, the women a life of servitude as sex slaves. Bishops in Syria and Iraq have put out desperate pleas for help, saying they feel abandoned by the West.
While it detains Iraq Christian asylum seekers, the Obama administration has been welcoming thousands of Muslim refugees from jihadist hotbeds in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia, despite warnings from House Homeland Security Chair Michael McCaul, R-Texas, that some of these refugee programs may become a “jihadist pipeline” into the U.S.
Obama is not perturbed by jihadism. He is dropping the bar against admitting Muslim refugees who have links to terrorist organizations:
From a January 2014 report by the Wall Street Journal:
The U.S. plans to resettle thousands of Syrians displaced by their country’s civil war could hinge on those refugees receiving exemptions from laws aimed at preventing terrorists from entering the country.
A U.S. official stated publicly for the first time this week that some of the 30,000 especially vulnerable Syrians the United Nations hopes to resettle by the end of 2014 will be referred to the U.S. for resettlement.
More than two million Syrians have fled their country since the war erupted in 2011, creating the worst refugee crisis since the Rwandan genocide, advocates say. About 20 countries, mostly in Europe, have agreed to take 18,000 Syrians, according to United Nations High Commission for Refugees, or UNHCR, the agency charged with referrals.
The U.S. has not set a specific target for how many refugees it will resettle. But at a Senate hearing Tuesday, State Department Assistant Secretary Anne Richard said, “We expect to accept referrals for several thousand Syrian refugees in 2014.”
Post-9/11 immigration laws designed to keep out terrorists have had the unintended consequence of ensnaring some innocent people. …
And rather admit a thousand terrorists than keep out one “innocent” Muslim.
Anwen Hughes, a lawyer at Human Rights First …
One of those bleeding-heart organizations that do so much harm in the world …
who has studied the laws’ impact, said that the government has been “reactive, slow,” about giving exemptions up to now, and urged a swifter process, given the magnitude of the Syrian crisis.
The advocacy group has called on the U.S. to work to resettle 15,000 Syrians a year. The International Rescue Committee, another advocacy organization, is pressing the U.S. to set a goal of 12,000 Syrian refugees this year.
The U.S. leads the world in refugee resettlement. In the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, the U.S. received 70,000 refugees from 65 countries, including more than 19,000 from Iraq. In that year, more than 1,340 Syrians already in the U.S. applied for asylum.
And you can safely bet that Anwen Highes wil not be investigated by Obama’s sniffing-dogs.
But aren’t we going too far when we blame Obama personally for this injustice?
No. He makes the decisions:
From a Fact Sheet of the American Immigration Council:
A refugee, as defined by Section 101(a)42 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), is a person who is unable or unwilling to return to his or her home country because of a “well-founded fear of persecution” due to race, membership in a particular social group, political opinion, religion, or national origin. This definition is based on the United Nations 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocols relating to the Status of Refugees, which the United States became a party to in 1968.
Each year the President, in consultation with Congress, determines the numerical ceiling for refugee admissions. For Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, the ceiling is 70,000.
Under Obama, the US has “pivoted eastward”:
Almost half of all refugee arrivals (46.4 percent, or 32,450) in FY 2014 came from the Near East/South Asia—a region that includes Iraq, Iran, Bhutan, and Afghanistan.
There are three principle categories for classifying refugees under the U.S. refugee program.
Priority One. Individuals with compelling persecution needs or those for whom no other durable solution exists. These individuals are referred to the United States by UNHCR, or they are identified by a U.S. embassy or a non-governmental organization (NGO).
Priority Two. Groups of “special concern” to the United States, which are selected by the Department of State with input from USCIS, UNHCR, and designated NGOs. Currently, the groups include certain persons from the former Soviet Union, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Iran, Burma, and Bhutan.
Priority Three. The relatives of refugees (parents, spouses, and unmarried children under 21) who are already settled in the United States may be admitted as refugees. The U.S.-based relative must file an Affidavit of Relationship (AOR) and must be processed by DHS.
The INA requires that the majority of prospective refugees make their individual well-founded fear cases.
The Christians of the Middle East have well-founded fears. But they are Christians. That, apparently, is enough to bar them from the US, which Obama has clearly stated is “one of the largest Muslim countries in the world”. (Watch and listen to him saying so here.) And in his opinion, the more Muslim the better.