A poor, illiterate woman named Aasiya Noreen* worked in the fields to help support her family of five children, two of them her own and three of them her husband’s from a former marriage.
Aasiya was a Christian. A Catholic. Her family were the only Christians in the small village where she lived some thirty miles outside Lahore, the capital of the Punjab in the Islamic state of Pakistan. The Christians of the region were an underclass, traditionally assigned to menial jobs.
One hot summer’s day in June, 2009, Aasiya was harvesting berries along with some Muslim women. They all became thirsty. The Muslim women sent Aasiya to fetch water from a well. Aasiya found a battered tin cup abandoned near the well, and had a drink from it before refilling it and carrying it to her fellow workers. One of them accused her of drinking from the cup and so making it unclean. Christian lips should not contaminate a cup that Muslims drink from. All the Muslim women agreed on that.
A dispute arose. Which was the one true religion? The Muslim women knew that Islam was the truth. Aasiya knew that Christianity was the truth. She dared to say (according to her own account), “Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of mankind. What did your Prophet Muhammed ever do to save mankind?”
The Muslim women were deeply offended. They went to their imam and told him that the Christian woman Aasiya Noreen had insulted the Prophet Muhammad.
The imam took action. He gathered together a number of good Muslims willing to defend the Prophet and the true faith of Islam, and led them to the house where Aasiya and her family lived. They set upon her and her husband and her children with righteous blows. The police arrived in time to save the Christian family from being beaten to death. The avenging mob agreed to spare them on condition that the police laid a charge of blasphemy against the woman. The police duly arrested her and put her in jail, where she languished for more than a year before she was brought to trial in November, 2012.
Aasiya told the court that the woman who accused her of blasphemy had a grudge against her, resulting from an old quarrel, and the accusation was made out of a desire for revenge. The judge did not accept her story as a defense. He also chose to overlook inconsistencies in the testimony of the witnesses against her. He decided that she was guilty of blasphemy and sentenced her to death. She was to be hanged for blaspheming against the Prophet Muhammad whose name is never mentioned by a Muslim without having peace wished upon him.
She was the first woman ever to be condemned to death in Pakistan for blasphemy – her crime being considered so heinous that even death was not sufficient punishment. She was also to pay a fine equivalent to $1,100. She and her family had never in all their lives possessed a sum approaching $1,100. Nor did they know of any way they could raise it.
When the verdict was pronounced, the crowd in the court rose to its feet, applauding and shouting “Yes, kill her! Kill her! Allahu Akbar!”. And yet more enthusiasts for justice, more celebrants of the glory of God, broke down the doors to swarm into the court, their furious, triumphant shouts swelling the chorus of “Allahu Akbar!” The greatness of their merciful God could hardly have been more passionately attested.
Assiya’s husband, Ashiq Masih, appealed the verdict. He and Aasiya hoped that the High Court would at least suspend the sentence.
There was a man in a high position who was deeply moved by the fate of Aasiya and determined to do all he could for her. He was Salmaan Taseer, the governor of the Punjab. He persuaded the president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, to come to her rescue. In December 2012, Taseer publicly announced that if the High Court did not suspend her sentence, the president would pardon her. And Zardari would have done so, but the Lahore High Court hastened to issue a stay order against a presidential pardon.
So Aasiya remained in prison in Lahore, in solitary confinement in an 8 by 10 foot windowless cell.
At first the governor would visit her, with his wife and daughter. But then the court ruled that only her husband and lawyer could see her.
On January 4, 2011, Salmaan Taseer was assassinated by one Mumtaz Qadri who resented the governor’s concern for the blasphemer. (He was hanged for the crime in February 2016.)
The Minister of Minority Affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti – himself a Christian, and the only Christian member of the cabinet – was so disturbed by the case that he set about doing all he could to get the laws of blasphemy changed. He announced that he was prepared to die fighting for Aasiya Noreen’s release. He received many death threats, and on March 2, 2011, he was shot dead in his car near his home.
Many times Aasiya’s appeal was postponed. In October 2014, the High Court finally heard her case – and upheld her death sentence. Her husband then appealed to the President. But he was restrained from issuing a pardon, so her lawyers appealed to Pakistan’s Supreme Court. In July, 2015, the Supreme Court suspended her death sentence “for the duration of the appeals process”.
Hundreds of Pakistanis have publicly protested against her being still alive. An imam offered $10,000 reward to anyone who would kill her, and apparently some 10 million citizens declared themselves ready and willing to do the noble deed. Assiya’s family have gone into hiding, and they fear for her safety and survival if she were to be released.
That is how the matter stands at present.
Aasiya Noreen is under sentence of death for taking a drink of water from an old cup on a hot day, and saying something she had been taught to believe, to some other women who had been taught that it was something that should not be believed and should not be said.
For a drink of water, for fantastic rumors about “Jesus” and “Muhammad”, lives ruined and lost.
*Aasiya Noreen is usually called “Asia Bibi” in press reports. “Bibi” simply means “woman”.
We are about to make sweeping generalizations, with no attempt to accommodate all shades of opinion. ( Shades of opinion are welcome in comment.)
Left and Right inhabit different universes of discourse. Completely different issues concern them.
The biggest issues on the American Left (in random order) are:
- Climate and the Environment
- Social Justice
To elaborate a little more:
The Left – internationally – holds man-made global warming to be an urgent threat to all life on earth, and tries in the name of saving the planet to force redistribution of wealth over the whole world, the redistributing agent being ideally a world government run according to Leftist values.
The one freedom the Left passionately advocates for is that of Each to seek sexual satisfaction of any kind, and for Each to choose a personal sexual identity, all personal choices connected with sex to be protected by law and subsidized financially, where required, by government.
The Left catalogues all Americans and all foreign nations according to a race analysis, according to which the white race is privileged and oppressive, and all institutions, led by government, have a moral duty to compensate non-whites and handicap whites.
All inequalities between sexes, races, and classes are considered by the Left to be unjust, the injustice being perpetrated by institutions and needing to be corrected by government using any means, including quotas for opportunity and advancement; adjustment of standards for inclusion and compensation; enforced limitations on the expression of dissenting opinion; the redistribution of wealth and power.
The Right does not concern itself with these issues unless compelled to, in which case its dismissive opinion of them is:
Man-made global warming is not true and would not be a bad thing if it were.
Sex is a private matter, only of public concern if it harms children.
Race is irrelevant to all political issues.
All justice is personal, having no meaning apart from the individual; standards must be upheld; power belongs to the powerful and cannot be bestowed; wealth is inescapably unequal in a free society, equality and liberty being mutually exclusive.
The biggest issues on the American Right (also in random order) are:
- Individual freedom
- The economy
- The Constitution
A little more:
The Right holds that individual freedom is the highest value. All innovation, all progress, depends on it. It requires absolute freedom of speech. The prime duty of government is to protect it.
Capitalism is the only system that lifts people out of poverty and secures prosperity. The Right wants the free market to be left to operate without government interference.
The government’s duty of protection requires a strong military to defend the nation from foreign attack; to maintain America’s superpower status of which the Right is proud; and specifically at this time to stop the advance of Islam and its terrorism.
The Constitution established the best possible system of government for a free society and the Right holds that it must be upheld and defended in its entirety.
The Left does not concern itself with these issues unless compelled to, in which case its dismissive opinion of them is:
The individual is less important than the collective, and individual interests are always subordinate to those of the collective.
Capitalism is evil, it values profits above people, it allows some to be rich while it keeps the many poor. The economy needs to be planned centrally by government for the equal good of all.
Wars should never be fought. Spending money on the military is a huge waste. America should not be the world’s policeman. It should not be a superower.
The Constitution is an outdated document. It says nothing about slavery. It stands in the way of an enlightened executive, such as President Obama’s, hampering his laudable efforts to change America into a more equal society.
Plainly, there is no common ground between Left and Right.
Dennis Prager writes at Townhall:
Just about all candidates for president regularly announce their intent to unite Americans, to “bring us together”.
It’s a gimmick.
If they are sincere, they are profoundly naive; if they are just muttering sweet nothings in order to seduce Americans to vote for them, they are manipulative.
In his acceptance speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, John Kerry, one of the most polarizing figures in modern American political history, said, “Maybe some just see us divided into those red states and blue states, but I see us as one America: red, white and blue.”
And President Barack Obama, who has disunited Americans by race, class and gender perhaps more than any president since the beginning of the 20th century, regularly campaigned on the theme of uniting Americans.
In his 2008 victory speech, President-elect Barack Obama said: “We have never been just a collection of … red states and blue states. We are, and always will be, the United States of America.”
In their current campaigns for president, Republican Gov. John Kasich and Democrat Hillary Clinton regularly proclaim their intention to bring Americans together. He, one suspects, because he is naive, and she, because she will say pretzels come from Neptune if it will garner votes.
Bringing people together is actually the theme of John Kasich’s entire campaign.
One headline on the “Meet John” page of his website says, “BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER, LIFTING PEOPLE UP.”
Senator Rob Portman said of Kasich on Feb. 1, 2016, “I am endorsing John Kasich because I believe he is the person our country needs to bring Americans together.”
And Clinton, who, according to CNN, is tied with Trump for the most negatives in presidential polling for either Republicans or Democrats since 1984, also speaks repeatedly about her ability and desire to bring Americans together.
The “Hillary Clinton for President Supporters” Facebook page has even said, “We’re in the business of bringing people together.”
What’s more, on April 6, 2016, CNN posted a YouTube video titled: “Hillary Clinton — We need a president who can bring people together.”
Lanny Davis, who served as special counsel to former President Bill Clinton, wrote on The Hill website that “Clinton wants to bring us together”.
Beyond Kasich and Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders made this a major theme in one of his ads called “Together”, which begins with Sanders saying, “Our job is to bring people together.”
Even Trump, who divides Republicans – not to mention other Americans – like no Republican ever has, uses this mantra.
A January article on The Hill site quoted Trump saying, “I can really bring people together.”
Gov. Chris Christie introduced Trump on Super Tuesday, and a NJ.com column released that night was titled, “Christie on Super Tuesday: Trump is ‘bringing the country together’.”
For the record, Sen. Ted Cruz speaks about uniting Republicans, but not often about uniting all Americans.
All calls for unity by Democrats are particularly fraudulent. Dividing Americans by race, gender and class is how the left views America and how Democratic candidates seek to win elections.
But calls for unity are meaningless no matter who makes them, because no one who calls for unity tells you what they really mean. What they really mean is that they want to unite Americans around their values — and around their values only.
Would Clinton be willing to unite all Americans around recognizing the human rights of the unborn? Would she be willing to unite all Americans around support for widespread gun ownership?
Of course not.
She is willing to unite Americans provided they adopt her views.
Would Sanders like to “bring people together” in support of reducing corporate and individual income taxes in order to spur the economy?
Would Kasich be in favor of “bringing Americans together” by having them all support increasing the size of government and the national debt? One hopes not.
I first realized the dishonesty of just about all calls for unity during a 10-year period in which I engaged in weekly dialogues with clergy of all faiths. Protestant and Catholic clergymen and women would routinely call for Christian unity. When I asked Protestants if they would support such unity if it entailed them adopting the sacraments of the Catholic Church and recognizing the pope as the Vicar of Christ on Earth, the discussion ended. Similarly, when I asked Catholic priests if they would give up the sacraments and the papacy in order to achieve unity with Protestant Christians, all talk of unity stopped. And, of course, the same would hold true for both Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews who routinely call for Jewish unity.
Even more absurd are the calls of naive Christians and Jews to have all the “children of Abraham” – Jewish, Christian and Muslim – unite.
The calls themselves can even be dangerous. One would be hard-pressed to name a single free society that was ever united outside of wartime. The only truly united countries are totalitarian states.
So, why do presidential candidates repeat this nonsense every four years? Because Americans fall for it every four years.
But it’s time to grow up.
The gap between the left and right is unbridgeable. Their worldviews are mutually exclusive.
The Left is dangerously wrong.
England is Islam’s top brothel in Europe.
Janet Levy, writing at American Thinker, reviews a book about the very young English girls – perhaps as many as a million – who were made the sex slaves of Muslim men, and how the British authorities did nothing whatever to stop the Muslim slavers, and even protected them from exposure and punishment.
For the past few decades, British authorities have been caught up in the pervasive meme of multiculturalism – the falsehood that all cultures are equal and that to believe otherwise is to commit the worst modern day offense – to be “racist”.
Under this fallacy, the British government in 2001 introduced a series of restrictive speech codes that criminalized criticism of Islam, followed by a Racial and Religious Hatred Bill imposing fines and even imprisonment for speech that “incited hatred against a person for their religious or racial background”. …
In this context and political climate, with racism conflated with religion – one specific religion – it is easy to see how government and public service employees would fear professional and legal repercussions (up to seven years in prison) merely for speaking up about criminal behavior by Muslims who justify their actions citing the Koran. In this way, teachers, police, child care workers, government officials and others have been silent about the growing menace of Muslim gangs who sexually groom and exploit children in the UK.
In his riveting book, Easy Meat: Inside Britain’s Grooming Gang Scandal (World Encounter Institute/New English Review Press, 2016. 328 pp., $17.20) author Peter McLoughlin explains how multiculturalism-inspired political correctness along with its companion, willful blindness concerning Islamic doctrine, has jeopardized the safety and well-being of children. McLoughlin posits that, since 1988, this nationwide sexploitation has resulted in the shattering of lives of between 100,000 to 1 million girls. The author documents how the fear of being deemed racist and facing criminal charges, dismissal or even threats of violence, has led to suppression of information and a stunning lack of intervention on behalf of young victims. In essence, an extensive, insidious operation that targets children for sexual grooming and enslavement has been covered up because of political correctness and fear of Muslim retribution.
The book’s title comes from former UK Home Secretary, Jack Straw, who saw Muslim perpetrators viewing non-Muslim British victims as “easy meat.” Indeed, some Muslim sex-gang groomers actually blame the girls, some as young as 11 years old, for being purposely alluring and sexually advanced to corrupt Muslims
In his research on Muslim groomers, McLoughlin uncovered an unusual distinction between them and non-Muslim pedophiles. Non-Muslim pedophiles are typically lone adults who groom children for sex in reclusive secrecy, worry about being prosecuted by law enforcement, meet accusations with defensive denial and worry about being discovered, shamed, and criticized by friends or relatives. Muslim perpetrators, however, work in gangs, see nothing wrong with their shariah-sanctioned activities, receive collusive support from their communities and feel they are above the law. During his investigations, McLoughlin found not one case of non-Muslim men grooming Muslim girls, although 95% of men in Britain are non-Muslims.
News coverage of the crimes has been mostly obfuscated by a complicit media that characterizes the overwhelmingly Muslim perpetrators as generic “Asians.” According to McLoughlin’s research, limited press coverage by mainly self-censoring journalists and lenient, if any, criminal charges have enabled the gangs to act with relative impunity since 1988.
The author describes how Muslim flesh-peddlers operate as part of a well-organized extensive network of taxi drivers, shop and restaurant owners, and security guards. Girls, mainly between the ages of 11 and 14, the majority from state-run children’s homes, are ensnared while traveling from school to home, at shopping malls, restaurants, bus stations and similar public venues. They are enticed with flattery, feigned friendship, gifts, alcohol and drugs. Alarmingly, a footnote in the book references a quotation from a city outreach worker with the Children’s Society who states, “every girl living in a children’s home in the city of Birmingham is being sexually exploited”. …
McLoughlin does a good job of portraying the frustration and desperation of victim’s families who have sought help to no avail for well over a decade from local councils, law enforcement, child care professionals and journalists. Remarkably, for the most part, UK authorities have failed to warn parents that young girls are at risk or to recommend extra supervision and vigilance. No organized programs to educate girls and parents exist and authorities have largely refused interviews with the media on the topic. Teachers and school administrators have failed to secure the school perimeter to stop sex grooming gangs from lying in wait for girls outside of school premises.
The author reports that police routinely dismiss parents’ concerns and have failed to set up surveillance operations at strategically significant locations. Police have even arrested parents for trying to save their children. In one such case, fathers, who were able to track down their daughters and tried to rescue them were arrested by police. In fact, McLoughlin discloses that law enforcement officers have actually returned wayward girls to their pimps.
McLoughlin reveals that local authorities – social workers, teachers’ unions, educational organizations and childcare agencies – have made no effort to intervene or draw public attention to the pervasive threat. He submits that feared charges of racism preclude their mandated responsibility for the protection of children.
In fact, the author reports how major teachers’ unions are behind an organization – Unite Against Fascism – that blocks the publicizing of the sex grooming gang phenomenon and its Muslim community participation.
In 2008, a taxpayer-funded national education film, My Dangerous Loverboy, commissioned by the United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre, was produced ostensibly to warn and educate girls about generic sex grooming gangs. But no mention was made of Muslim involvement or the victims’ young ages. According to McLoughlin, the film has been difficult to obtain and has not been shown to the intended audience: girls, parents, social workers, police officers, school nurses, doctors, teachers, youth workers, sexual health practitioners. My own extensive, month-long efforts to locate a copy were unproductive and met with denials of the crimes’ Muslim connection.
In Easy Meat, McLoughlin laments the very limited prosecution of Muslim sex grooming and pimping crimes. In the rare instances of successful criminal litigation, typical sentences are minimal and usually partially served, if at all, despite existing sentencing guidelines. Gang members have been known to assert Muslim supremacy, make accusations of Muslim victimhood and racism, and threaten retaliation against the girls and their families. Some have clearly cited religious motivations for their crimes in court.
Astonishingly, few victims receive any special protection during the trials. Protection of defendants’ rights supersedes that of victims, even with child victims. The 1989 Children’s Act, a statute requiring the child’s welfare be the court’s paramount consideration, doesn’t seem to make the slightest difference in the proceedings and outcome. More distressing is the fact that the greater the Muslim population density in an area, the lower the conviction rate.
The backdrop for sexual grooming and enslavement of children lies in Islamic doctrines outlined by McLoughlin. He reviews the pervasive slave-taking history of Islam from the 7th century, as well as Islamic doctrine from the Koran citing Islam’s view of non-Muslims, its treatment of women and sexual slaves, and the permissibility of sex with children by Mohammed’s example with his nine-year-old third wife, Aisha.
McLoughlin explains how sex as rape has historically been used as a weapon of war to assert Islamic supremacy. Islamic doctrine encourages the rape and enslavement of non-Muslims, even with married infidel women as a legal and moral enterprise.
Further, the required first and foremost allegiance to the Umma, or Muslim community, and the inbred obligation of enmity toward non-Muslims facilitates the pimping of non-Muslim girls and hinders any attempts at exposing its criminality and eventual prosecution. Sexual slavery has historically been used as a religious weapon to advance the domination of Islam.
In Easy Meat, McLoughlin details how the sexploitation and enslavement of girls, once viewed as a great evil in Western society, has become a pervasive, routine, and almost pedestrian part of everyday life in the UK.
On this issue, the courageous author effectively deals with the contention that Western civilization is fighting for its very existence in a clash between civilization and barbarism.
His book serves as a grave warning for other countries as they consider increased levels of Muslim immigration.
Yes, “a clash between civilization and barbarism” – not “a clash of civilizations”.
Islamic terrorism has worked all too well. Europe is terrified of Islam.
The terror is not a “phobia” – which is to say, it is not irrational – but a very rational, and utterly cowardly, reaction to the rise of a savage enemy; vicious men who will perpetrate any cruelty, at any moment, anywhere, against the people who feed, house, educate and heal them, knowing that they can do so with impunity.
Far from having to pay any price, the perpetrators will most probably profit from their crimes. They will be given more concessions – such as permission to extend ever further the reach of their own oppressive laws.
Although the West is militarily, technologically, economically, and intellectually far stronger than Islam, every Western country is submitting to that primitive enemy.
It’s an unbearable but undeniable fact: the West is terrified of Islam.
The EU – the European Union – is not a democracy. It has a parliament, and people are elected to it by the citizens of the member states, but it has no real power of decision. Members of the European Parliament talk there. Nobody listens. Not even their fellow MEPs.
The bureaucrats compose the Commission. The president of the Commission is appointed by the Council and he appoints the other 27 members.
The Council is composed of the heads of the governments of the member states and the President of the Commission whom they have appointed.
The EU Commission – 28 unelected officials – exercises dictatorial power, and has dictated that Europe shall be terminated; and that slowly – over about three more generations – the continent will become part of the Ummah, the world unity of Muslims, governed by Sharia, Islam’s legal system inseparable from the religion. To this end, the EU is importing millions of Muslims (often under the courtesy name of “refugees”), who will have large families as multiple wives each bear many children.
The Commission’s writ does not officially run in Western countries outside the EU; but this momentous decision, a turning point in the history of mankind, is apparently approved of and being emulated by the political leadership of most Western states, notably Canada, Australia, and even the United States of America.
Or is there a conspiracy among all Western leaders to Islamize their world?
The Big Question is WHY?
John Griffing writes at American Thinker:
Europe is on fire, in a social and financial crisis of its leaders’ own making. Its public places are now spectacles of the obscene, and its women are sexual objects for a predatory race of invaders. Its social systems are stretched to the breaking point by belligerent “refugees” who are devouring their host countries at will, while Europe’s leaders defend the invaders and blame their own citizens.
Western civilization is under attack, and rational citizens are at a loss to understand why their leaders are allowing the destruction of their societies.
Much has been written about the outrageous acts that have been committed by Muslim migrants, so we need not repeat them here. We can simply agree that the situation in Europe is disastrous, and it’s getting worse. And America is not far behind.
Western leaders are aiding and abetting this insanity with a consistency and single-mindedness of purpose that can only be explained in one way: they must think they have something to gain from the chaos created by this crisis.
What other conclusion can be drawn from the brazen ascendancy of Islam in the western world, and the deafening silence that permits its success? Clearly, Western leaders think they can use Islam for their own ends, to consolidate their own power.
Whether their motivations are globalist, nationalist, pro-Islam, or merely megalomaniacal, they all seem to hold one belief in common: the belief that they can control Muslim migration to create the chaos necessary to justify their predetermined solutions. …
But they are dangerously underestimating those they presume to use as pawns. …
Islam is now controlling most of Europe, either actively, or passively, due to the absence of any response from local governing authorities – a curious void of law and order. …
Unless Europeans and Americans rise up now to reverse this trend, one of two things will occur. Either those in power will succeed in using this crisis to advance their aims and fundamentally transform their societies, or, more likely, Islam will become dominant in the West past the point of no return.
If those two occurrences are distinguishable from each other.
“The Moors” have come home. The Muslim horde hastily imported into Europe over the cries and screams of voters are living up to the archetypes people in the West have come to fear, especially when cartoons result in lynch-mobs, and when a woman clothed according to western custom is mercilessly raped by “migrants”. …
A majority of Muslims living in Britain say they want full Sharia law, a separate Muslim police force, and death for anyone who speaks against Mohammed. The same survey revealed a majority percentage also favor terrorist attacks against Britain and the United States. 51 percent of American Muslims also say they want Shariah and the US government to become Islamic.
The Netherlands openly advocates placing Shariah – the desert law which commands death for adulterers, death for gambling, death for leaving the faith (or having no faith), and death for homosexuals – on the ballot.
German courts are already enforcing Shariah when requested, and the impetus for this golden nugget originated in Nuremburg.
France has over 751 “no-go zones”, i.e. areas of land ruled by Islamic law and totally unrecognizable as French.
And where French law is not enforced, the police being afraid to enter them.
This was verified again after the recent French attacks.
The British already have actual Shariah courts in operation all over the United Kingdom. These “courts” are chaired by a man who thinks amputation for petty crimes is a great idea, something he wants to “offer British society”.
Americans and Europeans need to stop acting surprised when Muslims behave like Muslims. They are acting according to what the Qur’an says to do. It’s there in plain sight for anyone to read. And its ultimate aim is conquest and complete domination of any other culture but Islam. …
Not only is history repeating, but it is repeating on a crash timetable, and with the perverse backing of the host countries destined to be remade in the image of Islamic hegemony.
Why would any true German, Frenchman or Briton cooperate in their own organized destruction if there were not some goal or elusive purpose to be accomplished by the ever less accountable and more distant governments that make such decisions?
It would only be logical to deduce that French leaders, German leaders and British leaders have determined that there is an acceptable cost to property and lives if the chaos resulting from the indiscriminate welcoming of new migrant hoards can be directed towards an unspoken goal. This is not out of left field. Angela Merkel calling her own people “neo-Nazis” and turning water cannons on her own citizens is indicative.
Amazingly, this mindset is evident in every recent action to open the borders of Europe and America to their new visitors.
Controlled chaos is the desired result.
We underestimate the depravity of Western leaders if we think the lives of American and European citizens mean anything more to them than plot points in a narrative, one leading inevitably to the end of national sovereignty.
There’s chaos all right, but where’s the control?
What is that “goal or elusive purpose to be accomplished by the ever less accountable governments”?
Is it something beyond the destruction of their own nations? Of their continent? Of Western civilization?
Is it some earthly paradise that can only arise out of submission to Islam and Sharia law?
A vision that they alone – the political deciders and dictators who will not explain their plan – can see?
Is that hellish path the only way to it?
If so, it would be good to be told what it is, and how it will come about, and when.
Or else there is no answer at all to WHY.
Hoping to annoy feminists, but essentially because we think it is true, we remark from time to time that women would never have conceived the idea of objective justice.
In a gynocracy there would be no rule of law.
Gynocracy is government by women. Rule by governesses. Yikes!
But surely, you say, it couldn’t happen in the USA?
We think it can. We think it is already here.
If Howard J. Krongard, former inspector general at the State Department, turns out to be right that Hillary Clinton will not be indicted because four women will protect her from the law, our conviction will become even firmer, to the point of intransigence.
Paul Sperry reports Krongard’s prediction, writing at the New York Post on Hillary Clinton’s felonious activity and how the State Department colluded in it:
The State Department is lying when it says it didn’t know until it was too late that Hillary Clinton was improperly using personal e-mails and a private server to conduct official business — because it never set up an agency e-mail address for her in the first place, the department’s former top watchdog says.
“This was all planned in advance” to skirt rules governing federal records management, said Howard J. Krongard, who served as the agency’s inspector general from 2005 to 2008.
The Harvard-educated lawyer points out that, from Day One, Clinton was never assigned and never used a state.gov e-mail address like previous secretaries.
“That’s a change in the standard. It tells me that this was premeditated. And this eliminates claims by the State Department that they were unaware of her private e-mail server until later,” Krongard said in an exclusive interview. “How else was she supposed to do business without e-mail?”
He also points to the unusual absence of a permanent inspector general during Clinton’s entire 2009-2013 term at the department. He said the 5¹/₂-year vacancy was unprecedented.
“This is a major gap. In fact, it’s without precedent,” he said. “It’s the longest period any department has gone without an IG.”
Inspectors general serve an essential and unique role in the federal government by independently investigating agency waste, fraud and abuse. Their oversight also covers violations of communications security procedures.
“It’s clear she did not want to be subject to internal investigations,” Krongard said. An e-mail audit would have easily uncovered the secret information flowing from classified government networks to the private unprotected system she set up in her New York home.
He says “the key” to the FBI’s investigation of Emailgate is determining how highly sensitive state secrets in the classified network, known as SIPRNet, ended up in Clinton’s personal e-mails.
“The starting point of the investigation is the material going through SIPRNet. She couldn’t function without the information coming over SIPRNet,” Krongard said. “How did she get it on her home server? It can’t just jump from one system to the other. Someone had to move it, copy it. The question is who did that?” …
The FBI is investigating whether Clinton’s deputies copied top-secret information from the department’s classified network to its unclassified network where it was sent to Hillary’s unsecured, unencrypted e-mail account.
FBI agents are focusing on three of Clinton’s top department aides. Most of the 1,340 Clinton e-mails deemed classified by intelligence agency reviewers were sent to her by her chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, or her deputy chiefs, Huma Abedin and Jake Sullivan, who now hold high positions in Clinton’s presidential campaign.
“They are facing significant scrutiny now,” Krongard said, and are under “enormous pressure to cooperate” with investigators.
He says staffers who had access to secret material more than likely summarized it for Clinton in the e-mails they sent to her; but he doesn’t rule out the use of thumb drives to transfer classified information from one system to the other, which would be a serious security breach. Some of the classified computers at Foggy Bottom have ports for memory sticks.
Either way, there would be an audit trail for investigators to follow. The SIPRNet system maintains the identity of all users and their log-on and log-off times, among other activities.
“This totally eliminates the false premise that she got nothing marked classified,” Krongard said. “She’s hiding behind this defense. But they [e-mails] had to be classified, because otherwise [the information in them] wouldn’t be on the SIPRNet.”
Added Krongard: “She’s trying to distance herself from the conversion from SIPRNet to [the nonsecure] NIPRNet and to her server, but she’s throwing her staffers under the bus.”
Then comes the shocking but all too credible prediction:
Still, “It will never get to an indictment,” Krongard said.
For one, he says, any criminal referral to the Justice Department from the FBI “will have to go through four loyal Democrat women” — Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell, who heads the department’s criminal division; Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates; Attorney General Loretta Lynch; and top White House adviser Valerie Jarrett.
Even if they accept the referral, he says, the case quickly and quietly will be plea-bargained down to misdemeanors punishable by fines in a deal similar to the one Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall, secured for Gen. David Petraeus. In other words, a big slap on the wrist.
It really is time that some high-energy man took over the leadership of the United States, and appointed men like him to positions of power, especially in the State Department and the Department of Justice!
The female figure of Blind Justice (which we use as our Facebook icon) should be male. But there is no known way to transgender symbolic figures.
Afterword: Before one of our smart readers, in whom we take much pride, reminds us that Margaret Thatcher ruled Britain better than almost any man in the last century except Winston Churchill, we would point out that she was an exceptional woman, and often called “the best man in the Conservative Party“.
New York City submits to Islam.
This is from an article by Benjamin Weingarten at the excellent City Journal:
As part of a recently announced legal settlement with representatives of the Muslim community, the NYPD has agreed to purge materials critical to understanding the threat to New York City from domestic Islamic terrorism.
The plaintiffs in Raza v. City of New York and Handschu v. Special Services Division charged that the NYPD had targeted Muslims for surveillance solely because of their religious affiliation. Among other things, the settlement stipulates that the NYPD must remove from its website a comprehensive 2007 report authored by senior analysts Mitchell D. Silber and Arvin Bhatt.
Radicalization in the West identified homegrown Islamic terrorism as the primary extremist threat to New York City. As then-police commissioner Ray Kelly noted in a preface, the report’s aim was to assist policymakers and law enforcement officials around the country by providing a thorough understanding of the danger posed by domestic terrorists. It also sought to help intelligence and law enforcement agencies better understand the radicalization process. Based on a rigorous analysis of almost a dozen jihadist plots across the U.S. and Europe, the report identified the enemy’s ideology on its own terms. The report didn’t say that jihadism had nothing to do with Islam; nor did it suggest that Islam was a “religion of peace”. Its sole concern was assessing the jihadist threat, not undertaking an Islamic exegesis.
From the day the report was released, Muslim groups pounced. “By afternoon, American-Muslim organizations had issued press releases criticizing the report,” Time noted in 2007. “The Council on American-Islamic Relations said it cast suspicion on all U.S. Muslims, even though the report repeatedly stresses that there is no obvious way to profile would-be terrorists.” What did they find so objectionable? According to the complaint filed in Raza, the report provided the “analytic underpinnings” for the NYPD’s Muslim Surveillance Program. The plaintiffs asserted that the program “stigmatizes an entire faith community and invites discrimination. It specifically singles out Muslims for profiling and suspicionless surveillance because of their religious beliefs and practices”. The Raza plaintiffs sought to have the program shut down, arguing that it operated on “a false and unconstitutional premise: that Muslim religious belief and practices are a basis for law enforcement scrutiny”.
They are, of course.
Now, the NYPD has agreed not only to remove Silber and Bhatt’s report from its website, but the terms of the settlement also require the NYPD to assert that it does not, has not, and will not rely upon the report to open or extend investigations.
Within 24 hours of the settlement, however, events conspired to underscore the danger it potentially presents. In Philadelphia, a self-identified jihadist attempted to assassinate a policeman. Edward Archer fired 13 shots at Officer Jesse Hartnett, striking him with three. Archer reportedly told investigators while in custody that he “follows Allah, and that is the reason he was called upon to do this”. Further, according to Philadelphia police captain Richard Ross, Archer “believed that the police defend laws that are contrary to the teachings of the Quran”. In 2012, Archer allegedly traveled to and spent several months in Egypt. According to his mother, he was a devout Muslim who had practiced the faith for an extended period of time. Despite Archer’s words and actions, and the reports of Philadelphia law enforcement officers involved in the investigation, the city’s mayor [Jim Kenney] declared during a press conference, “In no way, shape or form does anyone in this room believe that Islam or the teaching of Islam has anything to do with what you’ve seen on the screen.”
Tragic as it nearly was, the Philadelphia shooting couldn’t have been timelier. Archer fits the exact profile that Silber and Bhatt sketched in their report — as do most examples in recent memory of American jihadists.
Religious ideology is not incidental to jihad; it’s central. For Islamists, jihad is an intrinsic part of a pious Muslim’s religious duties. All Muslims are not jihadists, but all jihadists are self-identified Muslims.
Well, it might be more accurate to say every Muslim if true to the commands of his faith is a jihadi, though not necessarily a violent one.
Yet, New York mayor Bill de Blasio appears willing to pursue the see-no-Islam policy preferred by Philadelphia’s mayor. And, according to a 2013 report from Judicial Watch, a similar purge of materials linking Islamic ideology to jihad has already occurred at the federal level, with apparently disastrous consequences, given the mushrooming domestic jihadist threat.
More than any other area of government, national security and defense must be insulated from political correctness. To remove analyses that might give us insight into our enemies represents a dereliction of duty by our political representatives. Political correctness can and will get Americans killed. If we are to defeat the threat from Islamic terrorism, we must dispense with euphemisms, take off our blinders, and see our enemy clearly.
Sheer common sense. So what possible reason can there be for the federal government – from which the lesser powers in the land take their cue – to “purge materials linking Islamic ideology to jihad”?
We can think of no reason other than that the Obama administration is on the side of the violent jihadis. If it is not that, there can only be excuses such as unpardonably deliberate ignorance, or disqualifying stupidity, or certifiable insanity.
Police Chief Edward Flynn of Milwaukie tells them what they need to be told.
This video is over a year old, but still relevant and well worth seeing and hearing.
We well know the evils of racism. Racial hatreds have been the cause, through oppression, persecution, discrimination, and attempted genocide, of extreme human suffering.
In the United States, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made discrimination against Blacks in the public sphere illegal; and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 removed all legal barriers to Blacks voting in federal, state and local elections, so theoretically enfranchising all adult, sane, free Americans. Laws against “mixed race” marriages persisted in some southern states for a couple more years, but were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1967.
Of course acts of law cannot root out irrational hatreds from people’s minds. It certainly cannot be claimed that after 1967 race differences went unnoticed, or that no one was disadvantaged in America by his or her race.
But it could fairly be said that between then and 2009, race was in general a less troubling issue than it had been.
Then in 2008 a vast number of Whites decided to vote Barack Hussein Obama into the presidency of the USA for no better reason than that he was black. By doing so, they wanted to prove that they were not racists. What they actually proved was that they were.
And ever since the absurd election of Obama – a wholly unqualified candidate, but the son of a black African father and a white American mother – race has become a hugely troublesome issue again. President Obama consciously tried to make it so. He has succeeded. And the result is that Black racism has become a serious problem; interfering most disastrously with the administration of justice, most dangerously with the enforcement of law and order, and most vociferously in the universities.
For Obama’s defense of the Black Lives Matter movement, see here.
For examples of Obama’s leaping to judgment and taking sides in disputed cases of Black arrests or deaths during violent confrontations: the Professor Henry Gates case, see here; the Trayvon Martin case, see here; his quick reactions to the deaths of the black men Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland, and his ignoring of the shooting of the white victim Kate Steinle by an illegal Hispanic alien in San Francisco, see here.
For the refusal by Obama’s appointee, Attorney General Eric Holder, to allow the prosecution of the Black Panthers see here.
For a probable effect of Obama’s biased attitude to the deaths of Blacks in confrontation with the police – ie. the murder of two policemen in New York after the death in custody of the black man Eric Garner – see here.
This is from Campus Reform by the Dartmouth Review Staff:
Black-clad protesters gathered in front of Dartmouth Hall Thursday night, forming a crowd roughly one hundred fifty strong.
Ostensibly there to denounce the removal of shirts from a display in Collis, Dartmouth’s student center the Black Lives Matter collective began to sing songs and chant their eponymous catchphrase. The band then marched into Baker-Berry Library.
“F*** you, you filthy white f***s!”
“F*** you and your comfort!”
“F*** you, you racist s***!”
These shouted epithets were the first indication that many students had of the coming storm. The sign-wielding, obscenity-shouting protesters proceeded through the usually quiet backwaters of the library. They surged first through first-floor Baker-Berry, then up the stairs to the normally undisturbed floors of the building, before coming back down to the ground floor of Novak Café.
Throngs of protesters converged around fellow students who had not joined in their long march. They confronted students who bore “symbols of oppression” such as “gangster hats” and Beats-brand headphones. The flood of demonstrators opened the doors of study spaces with students reviewing for exams. Those who tried to close their doors were harassed further. One student abandoned the study room and ran out of the library. The protesters followed her out of the library, shouting obscenities the whole way.
Students who refused to listen to or join their outbursts were shouted down:“Stand the f*** up!” “You filthy racist white piece of s***!” Men and women alike were pushed and shoved by the group.
“If we can’t have it, shut it down!” they cried. Another woman was pinned to a wall by protesters who unleashed their insults, shouting “filthy white b****!” in her face.
In the immediate aftermath of the demonstration, social media was abuzz with comments condemning the protesters for their tactics. Many students who had experienced the protests took advantage of Yik Yak’s anonymity to air their grievances. Some students reached out toThe Dartmouth Review to provide additional details.
An anonymous member of the class of 2019 explained that while working on a group project in a private study room, his undergraduate advisor came in and expressed his disappointment that the he was not joining in the protest. The advisor then demanded that he and the other members of his group project to leave the room and join in.
Another member of the class of 2019 recalled clapping after a protester said, “let’s give a round of applause for the beautiful people of color who were here for this protest.” The protester then turned on her saying, “for all of you that are sitting down and applauding right now, we don’t care about you.”
Protesters have also spoken out in the aftermath of their march. One woman, who identified herself as one of the protesters in a lengthy post to Facebook, wrote, “we raised hell, we caused discomfort, and we made our voices heard all throughout this campus in the name of standing up for our brothers and sisters across the country who are staring terrorism and assault directly in the face.” She went on to accuse those she thought were insincere in their support for the movement of “faking allyship” …
So if you are white, don’t try to pretend that you ally yourself with this Black racist movement. You won’t get away with it.
What can you do? Lie in the dust and apologize for your “white privilege”?
Or continue the long fight against racism of any kind, including this kind, in whatever way you can?
Did you know that blatant heterosexualism is now considered one of the worst of crimes – arguably the worst?
A combat photographer faces harsher punishment for making passes at women than Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl faces for desertion.
His name is Sgt. Aaron D. Allmon. He is accused of touching, kissing and making passes at women.
The pervert! The monster! He should be put away for a hunded years, says the Department of Defense.
This is from the Washington Times:
He is an award-winning combat photographer who stands accused of trying to pick up women in the public affairs office at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, and for that prosecutors wanted to put him in prison for 130 years.
The prosecutorial zeal was so great that an Air Force officer appointed to investigate the case said the piled-up charges were combined to “artificially exaggerate the criminality of the accused”, who often was simply “socially maladroit and crass”.
This is a glimpse into the new U.S. Armed Forces and its gender wars. …
The accused is Tech. Sgt. Aaron D. Allmon II. The 39-year-old arrived at Minot, a nuclear arsenal on the northern edge of the continental United States, to teach others as one of the Air Force’s best at capturing war in photographs.
What he witnessed in Iraq and Afghanistan stalked him all the way to North Dakota, along with diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder and alcohol abuse. He carries prescription drugs to fight off nightmares and excruciating back pain.
But he doesn’t deserve medical treatment because …
His supporters say the stigma of being an accused sexual harasser is so deep-seated that Minot top brass isolated him and deliberately tried to block medical care.
Brace yourself to hear what the swine did:
A Washington Times examination shows that, over a 14-month span, the women’s accusations, in total, amount to three kisses and six touches, plus a series of reported inappropriate comments of a sexual nature. If the married Sgt. Allmon did what the women said, he was tastelessly hitting on them.
Sgt. Allmon’s sister, Lisa A. Roper, does not believe the women. The business executive in San Antonio, Texas, is her brother’s fiercest defender. She estimates she will spend $200,000 on his legal defense, which includes a former sheriff’s deputy as investigator, a civilian lawyer and a former Army judge advocate who took the case pro bono. Sgt. Allmon is also represented by an Air Force judge advocate.
“I want you to understand how women can destroy a man,” said Ms. Roper. “It was out and out vindictiveness set up to destroy a man who didn’t do what they wanted. A group of young women who are brand new in the military and because they didn’t get their way they set out to destroy a man of 19 years in the Air Force.”
But the US Air Force knows right from wrong. Its thirst for justice demands that such villainy be punished with no less than 100 years imprisonment.
Maj. Jamie Humphries, a Minot public affairs officer, said the Air Force does not tolerate any form of sexual harassment.
When the Air Force convened a pretrial hearing, known as an Article 32, in December, the government had stacked so many charges against the enlisted man that, if convicted, he faced over a century in prison.
“I cannot fathom how this got to the level this got to,” Ms. Roper said.
On Sgt. Allmon’s legal team is Jeffrey Addicott, a former Army judge advocate who is now a law professor at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. The lead civilian defender is Virginia Hermosa, who practices law in Austin and has served as a prosecutor for the Texas attorney general.
Mr. Addicott is also director of the school’s Center for Terrorism Law from which he goes to bat for service members, pro bono, who he believes are treated unfairly by the military justice system.
What is desertion and endangering fellow soldiers compared to kissing, touching, and making comments of a sexual nature?
In the Allmon case, he expresses astonishment that the Air Force is trying him in a felony court instead of seeking other administrative or lesser judicial options. As a comparison, he notes that the hearing officer in the case of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who is charged with the serious offense of desertion for abandoning his buddies on the battlefield, recommended a special court-martial, the lowest level, for misdemeanors.
“The full weight of the military chain of command has come down on Aaron because the chain of command has abandoned justice and elected expediency,” Mr. Addicott said. … “The Air Force … has overreacted against Aaron in a manner that is absolutely an injustice but is also degrading the esprit de corps of unit cohesion all across the military. Even assuming all the charges are true, which they are not, this conduct as charged would warrant nonjudicial punishment, not the highest level of action at a general court-martial where Aaron could lose all his retirement benefits and go to jail. … The role the Article 32 officer is to make objective findings and recommendations to the convening authority putting aside all the inevitable ‘noise’ associated with any given criminal charge. … Sadly, he succumbed to the noise, which in this case involves the shrill screams of expediency. If nothing else, even a cursory review of the 32 officer’s report demonstrates how deep the insidiousness of political correctness has penetrated our military and its justice system.”
Who is this scoundrel Allmon? What is known about him?
Sgt. Allmon arrived in Minot in 2012 as one of the military’s most recognized combat photographers. After tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, he worked with a joint unit in Hawaii tasked with recovering the remains of U.S. war dead in Asia. …
[His] previous stops seemed to have prepared him for anything. He hooked up with special operations warriors, fighter pilots and Army brigades to capture in pictures the horrors and glories of Iraq and Afghanistan.
He deployed with an Army regiment that took part in the battle for the town of Tal Afar, Iraq, on the Syrian border in 2005.
The regiment’s citation for January and February 2006 said he “demonstrated technical expertise and his efforts to preserve the legacy of the regiment was critical to completing the regimental history project and documentary. His actions reflect great credit upon himself, the regiment of riflemen, and the United States Air Force”.
Sgt. Allmon had accompanied troops during the U.S. invasion’s earlier days. In 2004, he posted at the huge air base in Balad, Iraq, leaving 14 times to snap photos of American troops.
“He demonstrated exceptional composure by continuing to photograph, while receiving direct small arms fire and mortar rounds during combat patrols,” said a citation for an Air Force Achievement Medal. “He entered a tent moments after it was hit by mortar to ensure all occupants were out, and he assisted with the care of injured airmen.”
In 2008, he was named “military photographer of the year” for photographs titled “Solitude” of an F-16 jet fighter.
A war hero then? Maybe. But –
At Minot, Sgt. Allmon’s tenure quickly started going bad. In early 2013, he and a co-worker got into a dispute over a work product and she filed a complaint that he hit on her. That complaint was handled administratively.
What exactly did he do?
The master sergeant who conducted the investigation said that in an office, with other airmen present, one knocked into her knee and Sgt. Allmon then touched the point right above the kneecap to show what had happened.
The master sergeant said he interviewed others in the public affairs office and none complained about Sgt. Allmon. The master sergeant could not substantiate the woman’s accusations of inappropriate remarks. …
The Minot personnel treated Sgt. Allmon as a malingerer. They resisted the PTSD diagnosis for fear of turning him into a sympathetic figure.
They tried to prevent him having back surgery at the San Antonio Military Medical Center:
Army doctors [admitted him] for emergency back surgery. … Minot officials immediately tried to get him back. …
[But] Army doctors stood firm, and Minot backed off. Sgt. Allmon had his second back surgery, to widen the spinal canal, on Aug. 13 and is now recuperating at his sister’s home. His medical chart shows he has chronic cauda equina, which damages nerves and disrupts bladder function and lower-extremity movement.
But he will still be tried in a felony court for kissing, touching and making comments of a sexual nature.
May this story be a warning to us all.
Against doing what exactly? Well, …
Any idea that needs a law to protect it from criticism is ipso facto a bad idea.
That is our own maxim. We repeat it often. It cannot be repeated often enough.
There used to be laws, in Western secular states, protecting religious ideas; usually the ideas of a particular religion favored by the state. The crime was called “blasphemy”.
Such a crime, carrying severe punishment, including the death sentence, still exists in Islamic countries.
And the crime still exists in Communist countries. As Communists do not acknowledge their ideology to be a religion, they do not call it blasphemy. It is called an offense against the state, or “dissidence”. It was often treated as a mental illness in the Soviet Union. It was also often punished by execution, not only in Russia but wherever the iron fist of the Soviet regime was the law.
In America the First Amendment to the Constituion, as everybody knows, enshrined freedom of belief and freedom of speech. Yet there lingers in the mores of the American people, generation after generation, the notion that religious beliefs should not be publicly criticized. Such criticism is felt to be a discourtesy at best, and at worst an actual defiance of the First Amendment itself!
Even some scientists respect this social taboo.
We quote a good article on the subject from the New Yorker, by Lawrence M. Krauss:
As a physicist, I do a lot of writing and public speaking about the remarkable nature of our cosmos, primarily because I think science is a key part of our cultural heritage and needs to be shared more broadly. Sometimes, I refer to the fact that religion and science are often in conflict; from time to time, I ridicule religious dogma. When I do, I sometimes get accused in public of being a “militant atheist”. Even a surprising number of my colleagues politely ask if it wouldn’t be better to avoid alienating religious people. Shouldn’t we respect religious sensibilities, masking potential conflicts and building common ground with religious groups so as to create a better, more equitable world?
I found myself thinking about those questions this week as I followed the story of Kim Davis, the county clerk in Kentucky who directly disobeyed a federal judge’s order to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, and, as a result, was jailed for contempt of court. Davis’s supporters, including the Kentucky senator and Presidential candidate Rand Paul, are protesting what they believe to be an affront to her religious freedom. It is “absurd to put someone in jail for exercising their religious liberties”, Paul said, on CNN.
The Kim Davis story raises a basic question: To what extent should we allow people to break the law if their religious views are in conflict with it? It’s possible to take that question to an extreme that even Senator Paul might find absurd: imagine, for example, a jihadist whose interpretation of the Koran suggested that he should be allowed to behead infidels and apostates. Should he be allowed to break the law? Or — to consider a less extreme case — imagine an Islamic-fundamentalist county clerk who would not let unmarried men and women enter the courthouse together, or grant marriage licenses to unveiled women. For Rand Paul, what separates these cases from Kim Davis’s? The biggest difference, I suspect, is that Senator Paul agrees with Kim Davis’s religious views but disagrees with those of the hypothetical Islamic fundamentalist.
The problem, obviously, is that what is sacred to one person can be meaningless (or repugnant) to another. That’s one of the reasons why a modern secular society generally legislates against actions, not ideas. No idea or belief should be illegal; conversely, no idea should be so sacred that it legally justifies actions that would otherwise be illegal. Davis is free to believe whatever she wants, just as the jihadist is free to believe whatever he wants; in both cases, the law constrains not what they believe but what they do.
In recent years, this territory has grown murkier. Under the banner of religious freedom, individuals, states, and even — in the case of Hobby Lobby — corporations have been arguing that they should be exempt from the law on religious grounds. (The laws from which they wish to claim exemption do not focus on religion; instead, they have to do with social issues, such as abortion and gay marriage.) The government has a compelling interest in insuring that all citizens are treated equally. But “religious freedom” advocates argue that religious ideals should be elevated above all others as a rationale for action. In a secular society, this is inappropriate.
The Kim Davis controversy exists because, as a culture, we have elevated respect for religious sensibilities to an inappropriate level that makes society less free, not more. Religious liberty should mean that no set of religious ideals are treated differently from other ideals. Laws should not be enacted whose sole purpose is to denigrate them, but, by the same token, the law shouldn’t elevate them, either.
In science, of course, the very word “sacred” is profane. No ideas, religious or otherwise, get a free pass. The notion that some idea or concept is beyond question or attack is anathema to the entire scientific undertaking. This commitment to open questioning is deeply tied to the fact that science is an atheistic enterprise. “My practice as a scientist is atheistic,” the biologist J.B.S. Haldane wrote, in 1934. “That is to say, when I set up an experiment I assume that no god, angel, or devil is going to interfere with its course and this assumption has been justified by such success as I have achieved in my professional career.” It’s ironic, really, that so many people are fixated on the relationship between science and religion: basically, there isn’t one. In my more than thirty years as a practicing physicist, I have never heard the word “God” mentioned in a scientific meeting. Belief or nonbelief in God is irrelevant to our understanding of the workings of nature—just as it’s irrelevant to the question of whether or not citizens are obligated to follow the law.
Because science holds that no idea is sacred, it’s inevitable that it draws people away from religion. The more we learn about the workings of the universe, the more purposeless it seems. Scientists have an obligation not to lie about the natural world. Even so, to avoid offense, they sometimes misleadingly imply that today’s discoveries exist in easy harmony with preëxisting religious doctrines, or remain silent rather than pointing out contradictions between science and religious doctrine. It’s a strange inconsistency, since scientists often happily disagree with other kinds of beliefs. Astronomers have no problem ridiculing the claims of astrologists, even though a significant fraction of the public believes these claims. Doctors have no problem condemning the actions of anti-vaccine activists who endanger children. And yet, for reasons of decorum, many scientists worry that ridiculing certain religious claims alienates the public from science. When they do so, they are being condescending at best and hypocritical at worst.
Ultimately, when we hesitate to openly question beliefs because we don’t want to risk offense, questioning itself becomes taboo. It is here that the imperative for scientists to speak out seems to me to be most urgent. As a result of speaking out on issues of science and religion, I have heard from many young people about the shame and ostracism they experience after merely questioning their family’s faith. Sometimes, they find themselves denied rights and privileges because their actions confront the faith of others. Scientists need to be prepared to demonstrate by example that questioning perceived truth, especially “sacred truth”, is an essential part of living in a free country.
I see a direct link, in short, between the ethics that guide science and those that guide civic life. Cosmology, my specialty, may appear to be far removed from Kim Davis’s refusal to grant marriage licenses to gay couples, but in fact the same values apply in both realms. Whenever scientific claims are presented as unquestionable, they undermine science. Similarly, when religious actions or claims about sanctity can be made with impunity in our society, we undermine the very basis of modern secular democracy. We owe it to ourselves and to our children not to give a free pass to governments — totalitarian, theocratic, or democratic — that endorse, encourage, enforce, or otherwise legitimize the suppression of open questioning in order to protect ideas that are considered “sacred”. Five hundred years of science have liberated humanity from the shackles of enforced ignorance. We should celebrate this openly and enthusiastically, regardless of whom it may offend.
If that is what causes someone to be called a militant atheist, then no scientist should be ashamed of the label.
We have said it is a good article. And what we have quoted, we heartily agree with.
But we left out one paragraph (where the dots are).
Here it is:
This reticence can have significant consequences. Consider the example of Planned Parenthood. Lawmakers are calling for a government shutdown unless federal funds for Planned Parenthood are stripped from spending bills for the fiscal year starting October 1st. Why? Because Planned Parenthood provides fetal tissue samples from abortions to scientific researchers hoping to cure diseases, from Alzheimer’s to cancer. (Storing and safeguarding that tissue requires resources, and Planned Parenthood charges researchers for the costs.) It’s clear that many of the people protesting Planned Parenthood are opposed to abortion on religious grounds and are, to varying degrees, anti-science. Should this cause scientists to clam up at the risk of further offending or alienating them? Or should we speak out loudly to point out that, independent of one’s beliefs about what is sacred, this tissue would otherwise be thrown away, even though it could help improve and save lives?
Either the author did not watch the videos that recorded Planned Parnethood personnel talking about their trade in the body parts of aborted fetuses, or he did not hear, or chose to forget, some statements they made. The videos make it perfecty clear that the organization was not just selling the parts in order to cover costs, but carryng on the trade for profit.
Now we have nothing against trade for profit. On the contrary, we think the making of profit is the morally best and most socially useful reason for selling anything and providing any service.
But it happens that the selling of the body parts of aborted fetuses for profit is against the law. So exactly the same objection that Lawrence Krauss makes to Kim Davis’s action – that she broke the law – applies to Planned Parenthood’s action.
What seems to cloud his judgment in the case of Planned Parenthood – if he did watch the videos and take in what was said – is the fact that the body parts went to scientists for the great cause (and we do think it is a great cause) of scientific research.
But however good the cause that the illegal trade was serving, it was still illegal.
In fact, what emerges from those videos is criminal action more morally outrageous than just selling the parts of aborted fetuses. (Note, please, that we are calling them fetuses, not “babies”, in order not to use controversial language.) It is revealed, in an interview with an employee of a firm that bought the body parts, that Planned Parenthood was urging pregnant women to have an abortion – even when they were uncertain that they wanted one, and even in one case when the woman was inclined NOT to have one – so that Planned Parenthood could sell the fetus’s body parts and so make a profit.
That is iniquity.
Now scientists like Lawrence Krauss might argue persuasively that there should not be a law forbidding the selling of fetuses, whole or in parts, for profit. Just as Kim Davis might argue that there should not be a law that compels her to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. But there are such laws. And if it is wrong for Kim Davis to break the law on the grounds that it does a disservice to her idea of a higher good, so it is wrong for Planned Parenthood to break the law even if by doing so it is serving the genuinely higher good of science.
We have said that Lawrence Krauss’s judgment may be clouded by his belief in the supreme goodness of scientific research. We will not go so far as to say that he holds that end to be “sacred”, because we agree with him that the word has no place in the vocabulary of atheism. So we toss the accusation aside.
It could be said that our moral judgment of Planned Parenthood – accurate though our allegation is that the organization broke the law – may be clouded by our extreme distaste for their abortion services. (Note that we call them “services”, firmly resisting the temptation to call them “abuses”.) It is true that we have an arguably irrational prejudice in favor of human life. We very much dislike abortion – while acknowledging that there are reasonable grounds for it in certain cases, and on no account arguing for it to be made wholly illegal. But obviously our objection to it is not on religious grounds. We do not believe that it frustrates “God’s purposes”. We are against it because we are against the deliberate destruction of human life – unless the human in question has forfeited his or her life by taking someone else’s.
Those who are for abortion on demand accuse those of us who are against it of being inconsistent when we call ourselves “pro-life”, because many of us are for the death penalty. By the same token, we can accuse them of inconsistency when they are for the destruction of life in the womb, but against putting convicted murderers to death. We are for saving the innocent and punishing the guilty, while they are for destroying the innocent and saving the guilty.
(Hat-tip for the article to our reader, Stephen)