A win for Russia 0

We and our commenters have noticed variously that Obama resembles Mussolini, Peron, and Mao. Lately he has seemed to us to be more like Kim Jong Il, the arrogant twerp who tyrannizes over North Korea.

We think it highly likely that he, “the Dictator” as we now frequently call him, will try to ensure a permanent Democratic majority in Congress –  increasing the number of people employed by and dependent on the government, granting amnesty to illegal immigrants, and enfranchising felons. We also suspect that if he could he would extend his period in office indefinitely.

We are pretty well convinced that the Dictator has a deeply-rooted, fanatical desire to destroy America as a nation embodying the idea of liberty, and change it into a collectivist state subject to his arbitrary will.

He does not want America to be a superpower.

He has said that he does not want America to be nuclear armed.

How far has he got towards realizing his vision of a collectivized and disarmed nation?

He has taken a giant step towards collectivization with his health care legislation.

Disarming America will take longer, but he has begun to weaken it. One of the steps he has taken is to give the Russians what they want with the new US-Russia arms-reduction treaty.

Paul Mirengoff discusses the treaty at Power Line:

The text of the agreement has not been released, which is reason enough not to get carried away praising it  … In essence, though, Obama and the Russians have agreed to a mutual reduction in nuclear weapons deployed for long-range missions, from a ceiling of 2,200 to between 1,500 and 1,675. The two militaries would also make relatively small cuts in the number of jets and land- or submarine-based missiles that carry nuclear warheads and bombs.

This arrangement is clearly in Russia’s interest… the deal would enable the Russians to maintain strategic parity with the U.S. while retiring large numbers of weapons they cannot afford to replace. Indeed … the Russians, unable to pay for their current nuclear forces, have already of their own volition cut the number of launchers to the treaty’s new level.

But what does the U.S. gain from the agreement? The administration claims that the deal is a significant step towards curbing the nuclear ambitions of other nations. But … a minor reduction in Russian and American nukes (or even a major reduction, for that matter) isn’t going to cause Iran and North Korea to set aside those ambitions.

Perhaps the administration believes that the deal will enable us to enlist Russia in a quest to stop Iran from going nuclear. But such a view seems hopelessly optimistic. More likely, the Russians will demand more deals that serve their interests, such as explicit agreements limiting our ability to develop a missile defense, in exchange for small, meaningless measures directed at Iran.

But does Obama’s agreement hurt U.S. interests? Without knowing what the agreement says, this question is difficult to assess…

For me, the key point is the agreement’s impact on missile defense. We will not be able to sweet talk rogue nations out of developing nukes, not even with the help of our “friends” the Russians. And we cannot be confident in our ability to deter some of these states from attacking the U.S. and our allies. Hence, the central role of missile defense.

Obama, it seems clear, has no interest in developing such a system. But Obama won’t be around forever. The key, then, is not to enter into agreements that will tie his successors’ hands.

Reportedly, the agreement contains only non-binding language on defensive missiles. It will be up to the Senate to make sure of this when it considers whether to ratify what looks like a very good deal for Russia and not such a good deal for us.

We share the writer’s apprehension, and see one sentence of his as a ray of light in a political atmosphere thickening with anxiety: “Obama won’t be around forever”.

Posted under Commentary, Russia, United States by Jillian Becker on Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tagged with ,

This post has 0 comments.

Permalink

Islam, evil all the way through 0

Islam Watch explains that there is no such thing as ‘moderate Islam’.  The article contains the quotations that prove the argument. Here are some paragraphs of it:

The ‘real’ Islam is a vile ideology soaked with blood …  It is an all-encompassing dogma that shackles its subjects in a perpetual state of frenzied delusion about the grandeurs of heaven that they will get if they wage war against the infidels. Islam is war. And Muhammad was a warrior (and a very successful one).

It is unfortunate that politicians, scholars, state heads and news & print media seems to have ignored the historical and factual Islam altogether. Instead, we are bombarded with statements such as:

1. ‘Islam is a religion of peace.’

2. ‘Some evil people have hijacked Islam for their own benefits.’

3. ‘Islam encourages brotherhood, coexistence and mutual understanding among all human beings’, and so on.

Also, Muslims and Islamic apologists are busier than ever in proclaiming that Islam is a religion of peace and Muhammad is the best ‘role model’. Of course, their claims are rubbish.

What Islamists are trying to accomplish is forward the idea that there is somehow an Islam that is moderate, enlightened, peaceful and brotherly. They call it the ‘moderate Islam’. Now, manifestly … all such notions about Islam are utterly false…

Although it’s not completely wrong to use the term ‘real Islam’ as the term stresses the importance of going to the source of Islamic theology (and that is the Quran and the life of Muhammad.) However, it would be better simply to call Islam Islam; nothing more, nothing less. And by Islam, it is to be understood that it is a manifestation of the Quran and Muhammad.

On the other hand, there is no such thing as ‘moderate Islam’. There is just Islam. Islam is inherently not moderate as shown in the previous sections. Islam is a dogma that strives to perpetuate itself through war, terror and subjugation. Islam, when established within a society, becomes the law and encompasses every aspect of the society. And an Islamic society like that of Pakistan, Iran etc. are not moderate in any manner or form. The routine killing, lynching, and burning of blasphemers (in case of Pakistan) are a small example of how Islamic societies actually operate.

‘Moderate Islam’ is a deluded concept concocted by Islamists to fool the masses.

There is no moderation in Islam. There is just Islam in Islam.

What must be done?

Islamists are busy fooling the masses with their rhetoric of a peaceful and moderate Islam. Their attempts should be exposed and stalled. Islam must not be given any chance to be accepted as ‘just another religion’. We, the atheists and anti-islamists must defeat this notion of moderate Islam. The fallacy of the concept of Islam being moderate can be very easy and conveniently exposed by simply stating the historical and Quranic facts.

It’s very important that ex-Muslims, anti-islamists, and atheists squarely challenge this notion of ‘moderate Islam’.

Posted under Collectivism, Commentary, Iran, Islam, Muslims, Pakistan by Jillian Becker on Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tagged with , , ,

This post has 0 comments.

Permalink

Honored and dishonored guests at the White House 1

Some weeks ago the White House claimed that a William Ayres and a Jeremiah Wright had come in as part of a tour group, and were not to be confused with the notorious Jeremiah Wright and William Ayres associated with the president’s past.

Were they lying? (And if they were, would it be uncharacteristic of the present administration?)

From Atlas Shrugs:

There are consequential, disturbing revelations to be found when flipping through the visitors list at the White House. Bill Ayers is there no less than three times, Louis Farrakhan at least once, but there is also a separate visit for his family, and the infamous hater Jeremiah Wright is there at least five times (four times under Jeremy, one under Jeremiah). Contemptuously, Farrakhan’s visit is tagged as “MEETING WITH SCIENCE CLUB MEMBERS”… Al Sharpton is there twice, and Jesse “hymietown” Jackson is a regular (six times).

It bears noting that despite solid evidence that Obama was tight with these haters, inciters and revolutionaries and traitors, he distanced himself from them during the campaign and outright lied about his ties to them. Mr. Ayers, for example, was dismissed as “a guy who lives in my neighborhood” and “somebody who worked on education issues in Chicago that I know.”

Obama lied about his friends and nefarious colleagues because he knew that his connection to them was deadly. He knew these were bad characters, and that his being involved with them would not sit well with the American people. He knew. And so he lied. And now they are regulars at the White House (while the Dalai Lama and Netanyahu are begrudgingly ushered in the side door or seen chilling with the trash).

These are terrorists, inciters to genocide, America haters, the underbelly of an ugly America — and they are in the House.

Posted under Commentary, News, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tagged with , , , , , ,

This post has 1 comment.

Permalink

A guardian of the globe 0

Now here’s an idea! Want an inquiry into a scandalous hoax that has cost the public a mint? Get someone who makes a mint out of the hoax to lead the inquiry.

This info comes from Andrew Orlowski at The Register:

The peer leading the second Climategate enquiry at the University of East Anglia serves as a director of one of the most powerful environmental networks in the world, according to Companies House documents – and has failed to declare it.

Lord Oxburgh, a geologist by training and the former scientific advisor to the Ministry of Defence, was appointed to lead the enquiry into the scientific aspects of the Climategate scandal on Monday. But Oxburgh is also a director of GLOBE, the Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment.

GLOBE may be too obscure to merit its own Wikipedia entry, but that belies its wealth and influence. It funds meetings for parliamentarians worldwide with an interest in climate change, and prior to the Copenhagen Summit GLOBE issued guidelines (pdf) for legislators… Globe lists Oxburgh as one of 23 key legislators.

At its blog, GLOBE wears its heart on its sleeve

In the House of Lords Register of Lords’ Interests, Oxburgh lists under remunerated directorships his chairmanship of Falck Renewables, and chairmanship of Blue NG, a renewable power company… He also declares that he is an advisor to Climate Change Capital, to the Low Carbon Initiative, … and [is] an environmental advisor to Deutsche Bank…

GLOBE is conspicuous by its absence, however. Oxburgh joined GLOBE in 2008. The University of East Anglia appointed Oxburgh after consulting the Royal Society.

“We are grateful to the Royal Society for helping us to identify such a strong panel and to the members for dedicating their time to this important matter,” said the University in a press statement. It may not be the smartest advice the UEA has ever received – the Royal Society’s partisanship [on the side of the scientists who were exposed by Climategate] is well known

One insider, who declined to be named, described Oxburgh’s appointment as “like putting Dracula in charge of the Blood Bank“…

Or more aptly, we suggest, like appointing Bernard Madoff to head a public inquiry into his own Ponzi scheme.

GLOBE’s worldwide secretary Elliott Morley and its British branch secretary David Chaytor were two of three MPs to face criminal [fraudulent expenses claims] charges last week…

In 2007 Oxburgh won a Lifetime Achievement Award from Platts. The judges said they were also impressed by “his very high ethical standards”.

James Delingpole comments at the Telegraph:

Climategate exposed the greatest scandal in the history of modern science but you’re never going to hear this from any of the official investigations

And he says of GLOBE that it is –

… very much the kind of body that likes to do things on the sly. Its Memorandum of Incorporation includes this revealing snippet about its purposes:

“To provide a forum for ideas and proposals to be floated in confidence and without the attention of an international spotlight.” … [And out of reach of the Freedom of Information Act.]

GLOBE was incorporated in 2006, the founding directors all being British legislators … And where does [its] money come from? Its 2008 accounts note:

The Directors acknowledge the support of International Organisations, Governments, Parliamentary Bodies and Industry, both financially and politically, with particular acknowledgement to United Nations*, The Global Environment Facility, The World Bank, European Commission, the Governments of Canada and Great Britain, the Senate of Brazil and Globe Japan.

*Footnote: the United Nations must be destroyed!

Aide-memoire 3

Here’s a happy snap: the Clintons with the Godfather of Terrorism

Posted under Commentary, Diplomacy, Islam, middle east, Muslims, Terrorism, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tagged with , , ,

This post has 3 comments.

Permalink

Certainty of decline, probability of catastrophe 0

Read only a few pages of HR3200,The Affordable Health Care Choices Act 2009, and once you’ve got the gist of what they’re saying let your eye wander over a hundred or so more, and you’ll know beyond all doubt that you are now owned by the government. The link:

http://thomas.loc.gov/

To put it bluntly, this act has changed the USA into the USSA – the United Socialist States of America:

Here is part of Mark Steyn’s must-read article on the immediate and future costs of it:

On the day President Barack Obama signed Obamacare into law, Verizon sent an e-mail to all its employees, warning that the company’s costs “will increase in the short term.” And in the medium term? Well, U.S. corporations that are able to do so will get out of their prescription drugs plans and toss their retirees onto the Medicare pile. So far just three companies – Deere, Caterpillar and Valero Energy – have calculated that the loss of the deduction will add a combined $265 million to their costs. There are an additional 3,500 businesses presently claiming the break. The cost to taxpayers of that 28 percent benefit is about $665 per person. The cost to taxpayers of equivalent Medicare coverage is about $1,200 per person.

So we’re roughly doubling the cost of covering an estimated 5 million retirees.

Now admittedly the above scenario has not been, as they say, officially “scored” by the Congressional Budget Office, by comparison with whom Little Orphan Annie singing “The Sun’ll Come Out Tomorrow” sounds like Morrisey covering “Gloomy Sunday.” Incidentally, has the CBO ever run the numbers for projected savings if the entire CBO were laid off and replaced by a children’s magician with an assistant in spangled tights from whose cleavage he plucked entirely random numbers? Just a thought.

This single component of “health” “care” “reform” neatly encompasses all the broader trends about where we’re headed – not just in terms of increased costs (both to businesses and individual taxpayers) and worse care (for those retirees bounced from company plans into Medicare), but also in the remorseless governmentalization of American life and the disincentivization of the private sector. As we see, even the very modest attempts made by Congress to constrain the 2003 prescription drug plan prove unable to prevent its expansion and metastasization. The one thing that can be said for certain is that, whatever claims are made for Obamacare, it will lead to more people depending on government for their health arrangements. Those 5 million retirees are only the advance guard. And, if you’re one of those optimistic souls whose confidence in the CBO is unbounded, let’s meet up in three years’ time and see who was correct – the bureaucrats passing out the federal happy juice, or the real businesses already making real business decisions about Obamacare.

Can we afford this? No. Even on the official numbers, we’re projected to add to the existing $8 trillion in debt another $12 trillion over the next decade. What could we do? Tax those big bad corporations a bit more? Medtronic has just announced that the new Obamacare taxes on its products could force it to lay off 1,000 workers. What do those guys do? Well, they develop products such as the recently approved pacemaker that’s safe for MRI scans or the InterStim bladder control device. So that’s a thousand fewer people who’ll be working on new stuff. Well, so what? The public won’t miss what they never knew they had. So, again, the effect is one of disincentivization – in this case, of innovation.

If existing tax structures can’t cover the costs, what can we do? Start a new tax! The VATman cometh. VAT is Euro-speak for “value added tax.” … This is yet another imposition on businesses, taking time away from wealth creation and reallocating it to government paperwork. If the Democrats hold Congress this fall, I would figure on VAT sooner rather than later.

All of the above is pretty much a safe bet. What about the imponderables? Even Obama hasn’t yet asked the CBO to cost out, say, what happens to the price of oil when the Straits of Hormuz are under a de facto Iranian nuclear umbrella – as they will be soon, because the former global hyperpower, which now gets mad over a few hundred housing units in Jerusalem, is blasé and insouciant about the wilder shores of the mullahs’ dreams. Or suppose, as seems to be happening, the Sino-Iranian alliance were to result in a reorientation of global oil relationships, or the Russo-Iranian friendship bloomed to such a degree that, between Moscow’s control of Europe’s gas supply and Tehran’s new role as Middle Eastern superpower, the economy of the entire developed world becomes dependent on an alliance profoundly hostile to it.

Which is to say that right now the future lies somewhere between the certainty of decline and the probability of catastrophe. What can stop it? Not a lot. But now that your “pro-life” Democratic congressman has sold out, you might want to quit calling Washington and try your state capital. If the Commerce Clause can legitimize the “individual mandate,” then there is no republic, not in any meaningful sense. If you don’t like the sound of that, maybe it’s time for a constitutional convention.

The left stamps on the Cuban heels 1

In our post Torture and death in Cuba (February 27, 2010), we said we would watch hopefully to see if the death of the political prisoner Orlanda Zapata Tamayo, who went on hunger-strike in a Cuban prison and was ultimately tortured to death, would “galvanize the pro-democracy movement”, and if it did, to what result.

Now Investor’s Business Daily brings us this report:

The death of a dissident on a hunger strike last month is still sending shock waves to Cuba’s regime. Cuba’s global support is falling away

It may be the end of the Cuban regime, but something changed when Orlando Tamayo Zapata, a political prisoner, died in a hunger strike last month. Tamayo, a construction worker, was arrested in the 2003 “Black Spring” wave of arrests against 75 democracy activists, drawing a sentence of 25 years. His hunger strike called attention to the plight of Cuba’s political prisoners.

When the Castro regime let him die, they assumed that his demise was the end of it and he’d be forgotten, same as all the others.

But it didn’t happen that way. Inside Cuba, other dissidents began hunger strikes. The Castroites also beat up dissident wives known as Ladies in White, who marched to protest the arrests of the 75.

There are signs that the regime is running scared since the death, but the biggest impact seems to be coming from abroad.

Outgoing President Oscar Arias of Costa Rica unexpectedly lashed out first against Tamayo’s death. Brazil’s center-right opposition, in the heat of a coming election, blasted Brazil’s outgoing president, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, for backslapping with the Castro brothers in Havana the day the dissident died. Opposition politicians in Spain and Argentina also criticized their own governments for aiding the regime. And in Spain, a poll by Elcano Royal Institute released Thursday showed that 72% of Spaniards believe there’s not enough international human rights pressure on Cuba.

Another blow came Monday, when Chilean President Sebastian Pinera declared: “My government will do whatever it can to re-establish democracy in Cuba.”

Even more striking, Chile’s opposition socialist parties condemned for the first time Cuba’s treatment of its political prisoners. In the past, the socialists had always looked the other way.

Now the cultural establishment is stepping up: Prominent entertainers like actor Andy Garcia, singer Gloria Estefan, actress Maria Conchita Alonso and others are leading rallies and showing films that are critical of the Castro regime.

Chilean novelist Isabel Allende appealed for the release of the political prisoners. [That really surprises us – JB]

In Spain, film director Pedro Almodovar and novelist Mario Vargas Llosa wrote an open letter to Castro called “I accuse the Cuban government.”

With so many stars of the International Left leading the way, even the American Dictator found it politic to follow:

In light of this, President Obama’s added voice to growing global calls for human rights in Cuba is powerful, even if it’s just following the crowd. It means that the international apologists on the left who’ve justified Castro over the years are growing scarce, leaving Castro’s regime isolated — and perhaps answerable for its crimes.

Ghana, stuck with the wind 6

The American Dictator (yes, he’s the one we mean) is doing his utmost to keep Africa in poverty and despair.

Roy Innis, national chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality, writes today at Townhall:

I see Africa as a … partner with America on behalf of the future we want for all of our children,” President Obama declared in Ghana last July.

However, three months later, the President signed an executive order requiring that the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and other federal agencies reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with their projects by 30% over the next ten years. The order undermines the ability of Sub-Saharan African nations to achieve energy, economic and human rights progress. 

Ghana is trying to build a 130-MW gas-fired power plant, to bring electricity’s blessings to more of its people, schools, hospitals and businesses. Today, almost half of Ghanaians never have access to electricity, or get it only a few hours a week, leaving their futures bleak.

Most people in Ghana are forced to cook and heat with wood, crop wastes or dung, says Franklin Cudjoe, director of the Imani (Hope) Center for Policy and Education, in Accra. The indoor air pollution from these fires causes blindness, asthma and severe lung infections that kill a million women and young children every year. Countless more Africans die from intestinal diseases caused by eating unrefrigerated, spoiled food.

But when Ghana turned to its United States “partner” and asked OPIC to support the $185-million project, OPIC refused to finance even part of it – thus adding as much as 20% to its financing cost. Repeated across Africa, these extra costs for meeting “climate change prevention” policies will threaten numerous projects, and prolong poverty and disease for millions.

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 800 million people, 80% of whom live on less than $2.50 per day. Over 700 million people – twice the population of the USA and Canada combined – rarely or never have access to the lifesaving, prosperity-creating benefits of electricity …

Even in South Africa, the most advanced nation in this region, 25% of the populace still has no electricity. Pervasively insufficient electrical power has meant frequent brownouts that have hampered factory output and forced gold and diamond mines to shut down, because of risks that miners would suffocate in darkness deep underground. The country also suffers from maternal mortality rates 36 times higher than in the US, and tuberculosis rates 237 times higher.

And yet President Obama told his Ghanaian audience last July that Africa is gravely “threatened” by global warming, which he argues “will spread disease, shrink water resources and deplete crops,” leading to more famine and conflict. Africa, he says, can “increase access to power, while skipping – leapfrogging – the dirtier phase of development,” by using its “bountiful” wind, solar, geothermal and biofuels energy.

The President made these remarks before the scandalous “Climategate” emails were made public, and headline-grabbing claims about melting glaciers, burning Amazon rainforests and disappearing African agriculture were shown to be mere speculation and exaggeration from climate activists

Literally thousands of scientists disagree with claims that we face an imminent manmade global warming disaster, or that warming is connected to disease or harvests. Africa has faced drought, famine and disease since before Biblical times, and armed conflict is far more likely where a lack of electricity perpetuates poverty, scarcity and dashed hopes.

Wind and solar power are too costly, intermittent and land-intensive to meet the needs of emerging economies

That is why rapidly-developing nations like China and India are building power plants at the rate of one per week… Nearly all this electricity must be based on coal.

Wind power is constrained by high cost and limited reliability. Nuclear energy faces major cost and political obstacles. To electrify India in the absence of coal, the country would have to find 14 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, build 250 nuclear power plants, or construct the equivalent of 450 Hoover Dams, Penn State University professor Frank Clemente calculates. Those alternatives are unrealistic.

Blessed with abundant supplies of coal, South Africa has applied for a World Bank loan to continue building its 4,800-megawatt Medupi power plant. The Medupi plant would be equipped with the latest in “supercritical clean coal,” pollution control and “carbon capture” technologies. However, the project and loan have run into a buzz saw of opposition, led by the Center for American Progress, Africa Action, Friends of the Earth and Sierra Club. These radical groups claim to champion justice and better health for Africa, but oppose the very technologies that would make that possible…

The proposed Ghana and South Africa power plants already leapfrog dirtier development phases, by providing state-of-the-art pollution control technology. The energy alternatives President Obama envisions would do little to address the desperate crises that threaten Africans’ health, welfare and lives.

China and India are showing Africa the way forward. Those of us in already developed countries should support Africa’s aspirations – and help it address real health and environmental problems, by using affordable, dependable energy that truly is the lifeblood of modern societies, and the key to a better future for children everywhere.

Much more to fear than fear itself (2) 2

Our post Much more to fear than fear itself (yesterday, March 25, 2010) aroused enormous interest – nearly 1,000 hits in the first 8 hours. Commenters are asking for the sections of the law that Michael Connelly refers to, to be cited.  Here is his reply to commenters at his own website:

Thanks to everyone for your comments and interest. Even when people disagree with me I appreciate what they have to say if it is done in a respectful manner. This nation was built on the right to disagree.

It is difficult to cite specific sections of HR 3200 for several reasons. First, much of what I refer to as being done by the bill may not be in just one particular section. Instead the preparers attempt to hide their actual intent by spreading things throughout the bill in different sections. Second, any specific section I refer to by number may change as the Congress returns from recess and starts trying to rework the bill to make it seem more reasonable to the American people. In other words, what is contained in Section 1173A that provides for government electronic access to private information may be renumbered and contain something totally different tomorrow.

However, here are some of the most pertinent sections dealing with some of the areas you are asking about. Section 113 gives the government control over all health insurance, private and public. Section 141 authorizes the appointment of the Health Choices Administrator. He or she will answer to no one other than the President. Sections 201 and 203 give this person the power to decide what benefits you can get in your insurance, whether public or private. This opens the door for health care rationing. This is further mandated by Section 225 that gives the administrator complete control over hospitals and doctors. It sets the fees that can be charged and the services that can be provided.

If the Administrator decides you didn’t need to be hospitalized the hospital can be fined for “breaking the government rules.” This also opens the door for the Administrator to force hospitals and physicians to perform abortions. All health procedures will be mandated by the government. There is also no provision for services to be provided only to citizens or legal residents of the United States. This means that since illegal aliens get the services now, they will continue to do so.

Here is a link to the entire bill and you can look up these and other provisions:

http://thomas.loc.gov/

I hope you find this helpful.

He has also posted this:

Many people are asking what they can do to help in the fight now that the health care bill has passed. I am currently working with the U. S. Justice Foundation that is preparing a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of the legislation. You can go to the foundation’s website at:

http://usjf.net/

to find out more and how you can donate to help the fight. This is a battle we must win.

On religion 5

One of our readers and commenters, bornagainpagan, sent us a link to this American Thinker article. We thank bornagainpagan. It is well worth reading. But on several points we take issue with the author. (Please read it all, as we are only quoting the parts we particularly want to comment on, and do not wish to give a distorted impression of the whole.)

We want to reply to, not quarrel with, a fellow atheist. We would be foolish to deny the historical importance of religion, especially of Christianity and Judaism to the West (and we greatly value the Bible as literature). But we do not think that religion as such, or any particular religion of any particular culture, has ever been, or ever could be, a force for good, even though good people might feel motivated by it.

Rational thought may provide better answers to many of life’s riddles than does faith alone. However, it is rational to conclude that religious faith has made possible the advancement of Western civilization. That is, the glue that has held Western civilization together over the centuries is the Judeo-Christian tradition. To the extent that the West loses its religious faith in favor of non-judgmental secularism, then to the same extent, it loses that which holds all else together.

We strongly disagree. First: By “the Judeo-Christian tradition” is always meant Christianity, and we think – as Edward Gibbon demonstrates in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire – that Christianity brought a thousand years of darkness down on Europe. Next: Secularism does not have to be non-judgmental. It is actually  impossible to be non-judgmental. Even to choose to be what a person thinks is non-judgmental is to make a judgment. Third: We believe it was the Enlightenment (starting with the Renaissance) – ie the bursting out of the confining Christian world-view – that made possible the real progress of the Western world, towards ever more scientific knowledge and, with luck, a continual shrinking (though never of course to the total vanishing) of superstition.

Arguably the two most defining and influential Christian concepts are summarized in two verses of the New Testament. Those verses are Romans 14:10 and John 8:32.

Romans 14:10, says: “Remember, each of us must stand alone before the judgment seat of God.” That verse explicitly recognizes not only each man’s uniqueness, but, of necessity, implies that man has free will — that individual acts do result in consequences, and that those acts will be judged against objective standards. It is but a step from the habit of accepting individual accountability before God to thinking of individual accountability in secular things. It thus follows that personal and political freedom is premised upon the Christian concept of the unique individual exercising accountable free will.

Did not the Athenians of pre-Christian antiquity, the fathers of philosophy and science, recognize the importance of the individual? Was not Greek democracy based on the counting of individual choices? One does not have to be accountable “to God” to live in civil society, treat others respectfully, and obey objective law.

John 8:32 says: “And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Whatever the theological meanings that have been imputed to that verse, its implicit secular meaning is that the search for truth is in and of itself praiseworthy.

No, that is not the implicit meaning. The very particular meaning is that the truth is the Jesus cult. And it isn’t, of course.

Although I am a secularist (atheist, if you will), I accept that the great majority of people would be morally and spiritually lost without religion. Can anyone seriously argue that crime and debauchery are not held in check by religion? Is it not comforting to live in a community where the rule of law and fairness are respected? Would such be likely if Christianity were not there to provide a moral compass to the great majority? Do we secularists not benefit out of all proportion from a morally responsible society?

An orderly society is dependent on a generally accepted morality. There can be no such morality without religion.

We don’t know what is meant by “spiritually”. Morality need not depend on religion. In fact, no religion has a history or a literature that fits with the morality any of the so-called “moral religions” preach, certainly not those “moral religions” themselves. Enlightened self-interest and the practical requirements of civilized existence are strong regulators of human behavior.

Has there ever been a more perfect and concise moral code than the one Moses brought down from the mountain?

Some of the ten commandments are indeed concise. (Moses did not of course “bring them down from the mountain” except in a symbolic sense.) But the concise ones are the same as far more ancient laws. The crimes “Moses”  forbids were held to be crimes by the time Hammurabi had the punishments for them codified.

Those who doubt the effect of religion on morality should seriously ask the question: Just what are the immutable moral laws of secularism? Be prepared to answer, if you are honest, that such laws simply do not exist! …

The secular laws are the laws of the state. They are intended to be moral. They are not immutable. The values of a culture that underlie law may seem immutable, but in our time many “Western values” have been turned upside down or inside out. Liberty? Justice? Loyalty? Modesty? Chastity? Decency? Erudition? Profundity? Bravery? Self-reliance? – to name but a few – are they now, consciously or unconsciously, valued by most people in Western societies?  Most Americans may agree intellectually that they ought to be: Europeans are more likely to deride them.

For the majority of a culture’s population, religious tradition is inextricably woven into their self-awareness. It gives them their identity. It is why those of religious faith are more socially stable and experience less difficulty in forming and maintaining binding attachments than do we secularists.

Are they and do they? It may be the case, but we haven’t observed it.

To the extent that Western elites distance themselves from their Judeo-Christian cultural heritage in favor of secular constructs, and as they give deference to a multicultural acceptance that all beliefs are of equal validity, they lose their will to defend against a determined attack from another culture, such as from militant Islam. For having destroyed the ancient faith of their people, they will have found themselves with nothing to defend.

We cannot see how an irrationality like Islam can be fought by another irrationality like Christianity. Religion as such is and always has been a common cause of war, persecution, massacre, cruelty, oppression, and waste of human potential.

What we really need to defend, especially now under the onslaught of Islam, is our culture of reason. We need to teach it to our children. What any individual does with the gifts and burdens his culture bequeaths him is inescapably a choice that he must make.

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »