Calling Yourself Liberal and Religious won’t MAKE You a Good Person

PartyPlayFairDemo

Today we have two re-writes of older articles that seem very relevant today:

First, we will take the “Liberals” as well as the “Conservatives” to task for partisan hypocrisy…

Nowadays the word Liberal is often used as a pejorative; I often use it that way myself for good reasons.

Yet I am a moderate, and probably spend about 40% of the time cursing the idiocy of the Left, and 60% of it complaining and worrying about the Right (It is too bad there are not more real conservative minds in the Conservative camp these days.). Of the two the Conservatives tend to scare me a bit more but the Leftists in total power would be/ have been worse. But the actions of the radicals on either side do not condemn entire schools of thought to a mature mind.  This should be remembered by pundits on both sides in this age of attack politics.

 Lately a radically Conservative group has taken over almost all the political voice of conservative American Christianity.  They have used their pulpit to propound, and pound in, their own view of history, and how Christianity has influenced the development of the United States as a nation.

 They are not actually lying about the influence of the churches. The problem is that they have forgotten from just where in the Church all that influence came.  Yes, it was those damn liberals every time!

 In American history, every time the religious culture has had a profound positive influence (as judged by successive generations) on changes in society those influences have their roots in the Liberal-to-Radical churches. They most certainly did not come from the Conservative ones!

 The Conservative Churches in every case have held the line with the status quo through history whether it was regarding the Revolution, slavery, child labor, workers rights, racial equality or now, gay rights.  Yet the Conservative Churches of today want to shine their halos with the contributions made for the most part by the Liberal Churches of the past.

This activity is not unique to Christianity by any means.  A Radical Conservative Jew will spend much energy telling you about Judaism’s amazing contributions to Western society, but will refuse to see that his brand of thinking never produced any of it.  Find a Conservative Imam, and you will find a man eager to convince you that Islam has been an enormously positive contributor to civilization over the centuries.  But if you remind him that blind faithfulness to Islam’s Conservative philosophy had nothing to do with the various periods of (heretically liberal) Islamic glory that he is polishing up for you to admire; he may even take offense.

  In every case where religious and political power intermingle the things that modern world civilization would call progress has only come when the dominant Church(s) is(are) liberal to the point of being heretical (to the parent dogmas and doctrines), tolerant and more focused on understanding, accepting and spreading the “love behind the Law” rather than promoting a zero-tolerance attitude regarding adherence to the “Letter of the Law.”

But only stagnation and decay ensue when the Churches are conservative and cling to a memory, or fictitious ideal, of “the way it should be.”

 It should be noted that Conservative religious thought can have a greatly positive influence on society but, that usually the effects remain chiefly negative.

 Witness: the defense of slavery, and the stances of “Godly” preachers and priests against child labor laws, and minority civil rights laws.

Witness: the attempts at forced, coerced and violent conversions directed at any people of another religion that are under the influence of a politicized religion (theocracies, inquisitions, shari’a states).

 We all admit that Conservatism is designed to be highly successful at keeping the wheels of a society turning. Who but a fool will deny that there is a true virtue most times in maintaining most of the status quo; Leftists take note of the qualifications and keep your straw men to yourselves – I am not Christian, and never have been a Republican, or supporter of either Bush.

 But, it also must be admitted that Conservative governments and organizations have a poor track record when attempting to grease those wheels, to make accommodation for the fact that seems “odd“, “weird“, “different” to the average mind; whether the ideas are good ones or not!

When the going gets rough or to be a creative inspiration for the people who bear the main burdens of pushing the cart of civilization further, faster and safer than our ancestors ever believed it could go Conservatives can be of more a drag chain when they should be acting like the regenerative brakes that go with a hybrid engine.

 Conservative ideology certainly does not allow real flaws in the basic social system to be changed without a protracted, and often ugly, fight with the liberal mindset who are busy finding things that are not really broken to make into really nasty situations with well-meaning new laws and more, and more, and more tension from enforcement, and less and less elbow room for the well-intentioned citizen just trying to get along and improve their lives.

 Without a Liberal element in society, one that has enough influence to smack the current bosses on the head now and then but, not enough to dominate society  a person lives in what is at best a well upholstered slave camp destined to fade into the dust of history.

And…

Without a Conservative element at the core to give perspective and balance a people will… well, just look at the aftermath of every single revolution in the past – the American revolution was actually a colony revolt – it was an independently evolving, functioning society that broke away from the parent nation/culture rather than an indigenous movement to topple all the central power structures and replace them ad hoc with unproven or dis-proven but, “much better” institutions; not long after they succeed the real bloodshed is just beginning!

 Who was it again that decreed with proven ‘Holy Authority‘ that all human problems can, and may, only be solved by a totally Left-wing or totally Right-wing ideology? When did admitting that your Party’s platform cannot solve all problems if followed by “good” people?

The voting public needs to take off their trendy, strait-jackets/sheep-outfits, grow up, and look at reality – of the real kind, rather than the oh-so-importantly-unimportant political sort – and then find the ideal solutions, not the solutions that serve your political tribe while walking over everyone else’s Lives’, Liberties, and frantic Pursuits of Happiness.

Theocratic Reformation from Judaism to Islam – Christians 4: Jews 5: Muslims: 0

jesusgunnedOk, we can all agree that Pat Robertson was a dork of stellar magnitude, and the Phelps Family are supernovae in that particular area called theocracy.

 That said, before we submerge a crucifix in urine let’s give the Abrahamic tree a second look, and examine the fruit it has borne.

The Jews never had a drive to spread over the Earth. Their scriptures taught them that certain lands were given them by God; so they took them, enough said, this was 6,000 years ago after all. But after that they lost any territorial ambitions. But, the Persians and Romans proceeded to push them this way and that; being rather fanatical, they pushed back. After the destruction of the 2nd Temple and the Judean Diaspora the centuries have seen Judaism become a religion withdrawn into itself. Having lost the arrogance of the Temple but retained the Love of God and intellectual tradition they became a creative yeast in their host cultures.

gotjewsb

The Jews never expected to take over the world; at most they expected, and some maybe still expect that the world will join them. Not by the sword, but by the Love of God. One of the best aspects of the Jewish religion is its focus on the Love of God and a Love for God in each moment of a person’s life.

But along came Jayzus!

Things started out ok, Yesuah merely echoed and extended the teachings and philosophy of Hillel. It expanded organically and gently; converting mostly people otherwise considered “unworthy” of membership in one of the more respectable religions, then into the idle upper-class (often by way of religiously adventurous wives discontent with being the ornament on a rich man’s arm.

 But then Paul and Constantine came to deal the Judaic Chrestians, and then, later, the mild original “Greek”, a double death-blow of politicization.

St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre

St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre

After several centuries of defending themselves from the fanatically imperialistic Islam Christianity began to model all sorts of the worst of the Islamic “innovations” in religion and took on an expansionist, aggressive attitude of its own.

But, it is inherent in a religion mostly based on the teachings of Jesus that every now and then people would remember what their religion was supposed to be about. Christianity may have done much more good during those periods than it did evil during its more cognitively-dissonant times.

Since the Enlightenment the swings of the pendulum between arrogant fanaticism on one hand, and humble servitude to God on the other seem to have gotten gentler. Christianity also seem centered more and more toward the liberal side of the equation; i.e. Fred Phelps, not Qaradawi.

Christianity may one day even manage to have more people who follow it for the right reasons than fools-in-lambs-clothing who use religion in unhealthy ways, or merely for social reasons.

Christianity has a core in its teachings and scripture that is there for all to see; one of Love. It today can be, and always has been, a potentially dangerous religion (I.e. Fred Phelps, Torquemada) but is not inherently so by the structure and teachings of its chief scriptures.

I do think that, despite the quantum jump that The Enlightenment enabled in society’s evolution, Christianity has shown a definite tendency to speed humanity’s growth due to the focus of many of the faithful being on Jesus’ ministry rather than the “died for your sins” part.

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Now, about Islam.

tolerantislamIslam teaches much about peace and love. There are verses equal to any in the other Abrahamic writings. I will not comment here about those who feel it was the work of someone passingly familiar with both religions. But Pat Robertson did get one thing right; Islamic theology IS inherently aggressive.

The Islamic scriptures consist of three parts:

The Qur’an, the Sunnah –basically a biography of Mohammed’s life, and the ahadith – stories about Mohammed from people who knew him. If you read it all it is clear that there can only be peace when everyone has submitted to Allah.

Even the most fanatical religion tends to mellow over the years; people are basically families, people who want to live and work and laugh and have the space to find God before they die. Even individuals attracted to a “religious” life for evil reasons can be shocked to learn that Love of God and Love BY God can blossom in their hearts; that is the core of any religion.signe

Islam unfortunately is working uphill in the all so human battle against hubris while trying to find truth. But, by having such an aggressive set scriptures; by having so much to draw from that feeds the darker hungers of man, Islam will, I believe spend more time orbiting around radical aggression before submitting finally to that peace and love that is God, is Allah.

Islam is inherently dedicated by its self-declared scriptural doctrine to naturally one day  rule the world by TAKING control of it and forcing Dar al-Harb(‘House of War’) (Non-Muslim controlled regions) into Dar al-Islam(‘House of Islam); then all people will be free, in the Islamic view, to “choose” the “right” religion.

Sadly, it is not hard to justify all sorts of atrocities on infidels (non-Muslims) with the Qur’an; by contrast there are very few Samaritans or Philistines around for Jews or Christians to use their scripture as an excuse to start a pogrom against.

In Islam it does not matter that reformist Imams do not support something. In fact it is literally forbidden in Islam to use your ‘conscience’ as a guide in a religious dilemma; the only proper way to get an answer is to ask the proper authority, and then submit to the “truth.”

In Christianity, the violent books and verses are all somewhat shielded by being in the OT and considered to be superseded by the Love of Jesus when any conflict occurs. Islam does not have a NT to mellow its hard edges, though it does recognize the concept of abrogation (what a prophet says later is ‘rock’ to the ‘scissors’ of any earlier pronouncements or doctrines).

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This makes “insulting” Islam dangerous at times in the modern world of high tech, and horrific weapons that you can make in your garage.

Solutions

butcherinnameofislamI mostly find it sad that the bulk of Muslims are not more vocal about denouncing their radical Brethren in both the private and the public arena. It is every person in the world’s duty to restrain the fundies of all aggressive religions until they grow up. Until a religion’s devout – highest clergy to clueless souls just born in it – recognize to their core’s that it is ok to DIE because of your religion but, that it is NEVER anything but evil to use religion as an excuse to KILL, that religion should be watched, and kept on a leash in polite company.

Islam has yet to show that it can stay grown up. They are younger though, lets give them time…but, keep the rolled up newspaper ready to smack their noses if they sh*t on the rug. We have too many permanent stains from Christianity and its messes; AND the Islam’s’ earlier messes. Of course Christianity STILL pees on the floor now and then. We just have to be patient and rub their noses PROMPTLY in their messes; but, we don’t have to worry about them eating the neighbor’s cat anymore.

I am not too PC to call a club a club (well, I can’t say spade anymore can I?); religion can be very wonderful but, people need to get over their BS and realize that the basic code of ethics that most religions have can also be formulated by simple common sense and an understanding of psychology and social dynamics. Go read a little about Neuro-Linguistic Programming and such. Real secular morality is what the world needs, not the Fascist pretend kind, only then can religion truly flourish; when we get over all this bickering on who is actually the only ones in touch with the “ONLY source of Morality™”; which they cannot even prove exists.

Faith is the problem; submission to something you do not feel yourself is the problem. Beliefs have reasons, sometimes bad ones but, reasons that can be ‘reasoned with’; faith has no reason therefore the most reasonable argument does no good, your head still rolls on the floor.

Have faith in Jesus of Mohammed; I will Believe in Bugs Bunny!bugslastsupper1

For My New Friends at Scripps; Run With It Girls!

 

hereticscrusadethumb

Hear now the words of Kipling, as he reminds America that colonialism was more of a burden than a benefit to Western cultures:

(I make one small change, in the common language of Kipling’s time the difference between race and culture was very blurred if seen at all. If you change the words White Man to Westerner I believe you free the full truth of Kipling’s poem without tainting it with racism.)

Take up the Westerner’s burden–

Send forth the best ye breed–

Go bind your sons to exile

To serve your captives’ need;

To wait in heavy harness,

On fluttered folk and wild–

Your new-caught, sullen peoples,

Half-devil and half-child.

 

Take up the Westerner’s burden–

In patience to abide,

To veil the threat of terror

And check the show of pride;

By open speech and simple,

An hundred times made plain

To seek another’s profit,

And work another’s gain.

 

Take up the Westerner’s burden–

The savage wars of peace–

Fill full the mouth of Famine

And bid the sickness cease;

And when your goal is nearest

The end for others sought,

Watch sloth and heathen Folly

Bring all your hopes to naught.

 

Take up the Westerner’s burden–

No tawdry rule of kings,

But toil of serf and sweeper–

The tale of common things.

 

The ports ye shall not enter,

The roads ye shall not tread,

Go mark them with your living,

And mark them with your dead.

 

Take up the Westerner’s burden–

And reap his old reward:

The blame of those ye better,

The hate of those ye guard–

The cry of hosts ye humour

(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:–

“Why brought he us from bondage,

Our loved Egyptian night?”

 

Take up the Westerner’s burden–

Ye dare not stoop to less–

Nor call too loud on Freedom

To cloak your weariness;

By all ye cry or whisper,

By all ye leave or do,

The silent, sullen peoples

Shall weigh your gods and you.

 

Take up the Westerner’s burden–

Have done with childish days–

The lightly proffered laurel,

The easy, ungrudged praise.

 

Comes now, to search your manhood

Through all the thankless years

Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,

The judgment of your peers!

To the common political “wisdom” these days, the words of Kipling seem to be the crowing of a classically arrogant, Dead White Man. But, when analyzed they show not a single lie, distortion, or untruth.

Today the term racism has been co-opted by the other side, and is now used mostly BY racists to demonize their opposition and mask their own agenda.

I was fortunate enough to have been raised in an environment that was very colorblind. Not in a hyper-PC “Oh, we NEVER talk about the color of Johnny’s skin” way, but more as in no one around me ever made any big deal about it; people were people, and that was about that.

As a result, I was puzzled on hitting college age when people put such an emphasis on NOT seeing the obvious when it came to cultural differences. What can there possibly be wrong with noting that say, the North Korean culture is seriously inferior to just about all other modern cultures?

Just who is racist, the one who sees people of all color as good, bad, and sometimes indifferent, or the one who sees their own RACE, not only culture, as the villain and excuses ALL other races with an argument that amounts to “they don’t know any better, so we can’t hold them to our high standards.”

Who is racist when every single sign in the Wal-Mart near my house (with many Hispanics in the area) has duplications of all signs in Spanish, while the Wal-mart in Diamond Bar, where there are a great many Asians, the signs are only in English?

Is it not an insult to put “Cosmeticas” under the word cosmetics? Even tourists are not usually THAT clueless.

To me it smacks of an arrogance that assumes certain races are less able to “cope” with our society than others.

On the other hand, if the impetus for these signs comes from the Hispanic community itself, it is also just another form of arrogance. It is then saying “hey, we don’t care HOW close your stupid English is to the Spanish, we do not want to have to even pretend to think we are not in a Hispanic country if we don’t want to.”

Just imagine a white American expressing that attitude. The Leftist lynch mob would be after them in a flash.

We have a term in America that we apply to, among other things, the kind of American who lives in a foreign land in an American enclave, and ignores the culture and language of their hosts…

We call them assholes. Unless they are from a developing land and act that way IN the West. Then we call them oppressed.

Is it not racism to think that Westerners should completely adapt to cultures wherever they go but, non-Westerners are not required to do the same, when THEY travel to the West?

What other than racist arrogance (on one side or the other, if not both), would make anyone think that ONLY the Spanish speakers need to have a special option on phone lines?

And on that note, what about the racism of the Spanish speakers toward all the Portuguese speakers? ALL anyone ever talks about in California is Spanish this, and Spanish that. Do we not get immigrants from Brazil, and the other Portuguese countries?

The HiSPANIC issue has been taken over by those who speak Spanish, and the entire Portuguese based culture has been suppressed in America. The general public is hardly aware that there are TWO major cultures in South America, not just one.

At some point simpleminded Humans seem to became confused about the difference between skin color and culture. As an American though, I have grown up with the glaring example of a place where about the only thing that really controls how a person lives is the cultural face they choose to show the world.

A Hispanic man, who dresses and acts like he wants all the world to know that he could have been type-cast in a remake of Zoot Suit will not have the opportunities given to him that a man who is assimilated (into WHATEVER country he lives in) and happens to have been born in Mexico will have. Or one born in China, or one born in America for that matter.

Even keeping to just white Americans, who will deny the profound differences between people who grow up in inner city Brooklyn, and those who grow up in suburban Southern California? Which one would you rather hire for a job dealing with customers in Japan?

Culture matters. Culture is values, and traditions, and ethics. One culture says stealing is not a crime when a person is legitimately desperate, while another says that a man raping his wife is no criminal.

Both think the other society is wrong. Who wins? In the West it is the one that provides the most freedom and opportunity to all, while oppressing none, is the best regardless of the details.

In the East it is one that protects the status quo, and those who fall between the cracks are just collateral damage in the pursuit of a pure society that will be completely benign; once all opposition is removed.

Yeah, right, we have heard that one before.

But if you take a person from ANY culture that is willing to adapt, and put them in ANY place where they are given the opportunity to do so, they will thrive and their children, and children’s children will be of the new country, not the old “race”.

So, what is the point of all this PC pretense that all cultures are equal and valid, and no one’s “cultural experience” should be held as less than any other’s?

Good question. I do not see how it can be anything that is meant for the good of all involved.

Anyone who travels far enough from their home culture will be seen as “wrong” in their ways.

Take two examples: A bunch of random California college students dumped in Saudi Arabia would be seen as tainted and evil and inferior to the locals, not for their race (which could be anything, including Arab), as much as for how they acted, and their moral, and ethic values, and what religion they belonged to.

And a bunch of the elite of Saudi Arabia let off the leash in America would offend MANY people with THEIR actions and values.

As an example, not too long ago a Saudi Prince was caught beating his servants in Switzerland and he was arrested. The Saudi Government’s response was to put political and economic pressure on the Swiss until THEY apologized.

Is this the response of a civilized nation? No, it is the response of a tribal mindset; A mindset that sees “us” as always to be protected right or wrong and “them” as always worth less than any of “us” regardless of actual individual merit.

I for one refuse to apologize for acting with vigor to defend against the destruction and defamation of the cultural paradigm that has brought the world from violence, ignorance and superstition to the point where the only thing keeping most people’s down is their own lack of commitment to those same ideals.

This is not to say that the West is perfect. There never has been a perfect society, and I do not expect to see one any time soon. I am content with protecting and improving the only one that has actually had significant results in improving the lot of all humanity.

To those who accuse me of only talking about non-Western tribalism I would like to say that I have spent a lot of my time highlighting the aspects of our own culture that retain tribal elements.

The deep South in America is one place where Tribalism is still fairly strong for a Western land. The Us and Them factor is ever present there in way a Californian like me finds boggling.

Institutional prejudices that I grew up thinking only were seen in the movies and on TV were shoved in my face when I had been living there for less than a month. I did not respond by assuming the locals knew best, and that I was just an interfering outsider.

I stood up for the values that made the West, and America, what they are. But even the worst of rural Louisiana culture has risen far above the level of the highest of the non-Western lands.

To pursue civilization means to pursue, fair, consistent laws for ALL people, instead of privilege for a few, with subservience for the rest, in pursuit of a FUTURE paradise that is promised to be “worth” the unfortunate “deviations” of the present.

So, do not be ashamed to stand up for the West. Do not be afraid to call non-Westerners to task for their barbaric treatment of minorities and women.

Stand for the West, and world civilization or you can be sure your apathy will be used by those who promote tribal and totalitarian thought to take your power away and use it ON you, instead of FOR you.

Bottom line, freedom of religion and conscience gives you a right not to be oppressed by others as you pursue your business, it does not give you a right to make others dance to your tune, or allow you to break commonsense laws protecting public health and safety simply because you do not “believe” in doing things that way.

The PC paradigm says we should pretend that the U.S. and Iran are equal in “civilization”, and that it is wrong and evil to even TRY to judge which might be the “better” culture.

But that attitude denies the three thousand years of developing human rights and government for the People we find in the West. If the values of the West; freedom of speech and religion and conscience, and Constitutional government designed to limit the excesses of individuals are not meaningless mental masturbations by a timid people somehow afraid to “deal with the nitty gritty real world”, then the “values” of Iran, and North Korea, and such places can ONLY been seen as evil, and inimical to those who are unfortunate enough to grow up in them, or are subject to their power.

To get any other answer is to say that all of the West’s evolution toward dealing with other nations and individuals humanely has been a meaningless game that has no moral ramifications at all in the eyes of any hypothetical “objective” observer”.

How did the progress of the West toward equal rights for all get derailed into favoritism to favored minorities, disdain for the un-favored, and outright institutional contempt for not only the indigenous peoples but, the entire indigenous culture of the West?

I think Neville Chamberlain could explain the phenomenon if he were here; in every group there are Hardliners, and Compromisers, and Appeasers.

Hardliners will not see the brick wall in front of their face if it means giving up one iota of their agenda but, the Appeaser willingly sacrifices, one by one, every vital aspect of their psyche and security for the promise of peace in the future, and to be seen as the “good guy”.

But, the Compromiser weighs each path in relation to the situation, and THEN chooses to compromise or to stand firm. Unfortunately Hardliners and Appeasers seem to be the dominant breed in politics today, and the result is hardly more than a tug of war between the hardliners and appeasers on BOTH sides of the political spectrum.

In the terror wars the appeasers seem concentrated in the West, and the hardliners are almost all on the Islamic side, when it comes to foreign policy.  But in domestic policy, the Appeasers of the West turn Hardliner towards their own people, and conspire toward the downfall of our culture as a means of “humbling” the “arrogant Colonial Powers”.

This is how we ended up with a “separation of church and state” that allowed the government to pay for Muslim footbaths at a state university.

This is how we see a couple in England put on trial for criminal racism, merely for responding to statements by a Muslim woman about THEIR religion, that TO THEM, Mohammed was a warlord, and Muslim traditional dress is oppressive to women.

For stating two truths that any third grader with a copy of the Koran and Ahadith could confirm, these people may lose their Bed & Breakfast (yep the woman was a GUEST under their roof when she initiated a conversation about their Christian beliefs), because they “insulted and offended” a member of the only religion that demands that YOU follow THEIR customs at all times when they MIGHT be present, or AWARE of your activities.

When was the last time a Jew, or Christian, or Hindu demanded co-workers refrain from eating in front of them during a fast? Why do they not? Because they subscribe to the ethics of the West when in the West, not the tribalism of the East.

Civilized people tend to not like appearing uncivilized, even when presented with those who are truly barbaric. We tend to give the benefit of the doubt, and bend over backwards to excuse the behavior of non-Westerners (in this Japan, and South Korea, and others like them are in “the West”), no matter how horrific, simply because at one time in the past our culture had “taken advantage” of them.

That the non-Western countries that were colonized are all dramatically better off (at least, as far as the people in the street are concerned), with the influx of Western Law, and Western Science, and Western concepts of Human Rights is deemed irrelevant.

That they treat their own people, or foreigners with no power, in ways that make the WORST of the colonial excesses look tame, also means nothing.

If you say that the English were preferred employers to the local Indian rich folk during The Raj because they treated their servants more humanely, and that Islamic attacks over centuries cost the lives of MILLIONS of Indians by DIRECT violence, you are called racist or Islamophobic.

Yet the fact remains, the English actually freed India from despotism, and the Islamics brought eventual barbarism wherever they won.

So, why are the English demonized as the oppressors of India, and the Islamics, who conquered with blood half of that ancient land, seen as “victims”?

Things like this happen because the Appeasers are not half as afraid of having their civilization destroyed as they are of being seen as barbarian themselves. They will excuse time and again those from non-Western nations that seek to bring their customs into our lands no matter how many laws are broken, or how many people, Western and Non-Western alike, have to suffer or even die so they can pretend that “all cultures are equal”.

So, what makes a civilized culture as opposed to a barbarian one? To the ancient Greeks who coined the word barbarian it meant any who were so benighted that they did not speak Greek. To the Shogun Japanese, it was anyone who was not Japanese, no matter how high their technology or cultural achievements.

To me, civilized cultures are those that allow their individual members the stability and safety to build their lives in peace, and a consistent and humane system of laws that apply to all people equally, so that all, rich and poor know where they stand in regard to acceptable behavior toward each other as humans, regardless of their “station” in life.

When these criteria are met a society can start building “civilizational equity” that grows over time.

Without them, a society will remain stuck in a feudal or tribal mode that has no checks and balances against abuses of personal power.

When every functionary, officer, and elected official seeks to build their own power base without duty to the people, and the people are expected to obey without question any who have power over them, cooperation drops to a minimum and consistency in law and its application are hard to find.

Let us come right out and say it, today “World Civilization” IS Western Civilization.

The most universal aspects of our world today, those of culture, and technology, and law, that are shared and sought by the people of almost every nation are almost exclusively the brainchildren of Western civilization.

We can fantasize all we want about how the many things the ancient Chinese invented, or how the many Greek and Indian works the Islamics preserved (and modestly improved) makes them the equal of the West, but it does not change the truth.

The Chinese invented things but, then used the knowledge as a means to horde power. Their lack of sharing of information between scientists and innovators caused many discoveries to either languish unused, like deep ocean navigation, or the secrets were never spread. When the inventers and their people disappeared, so did the knowledge.

The printing press was invented in China a thousand years before Gutenberg made his but, the Chinese still mainly used the older wood block printing when the Europeans were printing books by the gross.

Individual innovation inherent in the Chinese culture did not take up, and improve, and spread around the new ideas and inventions. Instead technology was horded like a secret weapon, to be used only for the benefit of the owner.

And because of this, most of the innovation by individuals in ancient China came to naught over time.

But in the West, with a different way of looking at power, the rate of progress, sustained, accelerating progress, has been unparalleled anywhere in human history.

Starting with the traditions of the Greeks and Phoenicians, and developed by the Romans, Western European – council based (as opposed to those controlled by kings and priests) tribes adopted many of the new ideas from their Roman conqueror, and blended them with their own rough and ready form of democracy and individual rights.

Westward rolled the tide of humane civilization. At the high tide of the changes and innovations from the Italian renaissance European thinkers shifted to an even higher civilizational gear and began what came to be called the Enlightenment. No longer would priests and kings be obeyed simply because they were priests or kings. With this evolution the value of ALL people came into its own, and then the tide jumped the ocean to America.

There all bets were off, as the West turned fully away from the old Eastern paradigm of the individual existing only to serve the society. Instead the West had recognized that all societies only exist to serve the people that make them real in the first place.

The most significant difference between the West and the East is this concept.

To a Chinese gentleman I once chatted up the nation of China is more important than the individual rights, or desires, or even the oppression of any of the subject peoples of that nation.

This man was not a bad person. In fact he was so nice and reasonable that when he said the above, as though it was completely obvious, it shocked me.

But to him, growing up in the East, people only had worth as they contributed to the WHOLE. To him, anyone who in any way diminished the whole was simply wrong, no matter what the reason.

To him, if Taiwan or Tibet once were “China” they always should be, and individuals who happened to live there needed to act like it.

In contrast the West sees the WHOLE as sick unless it promotes the well being of the individual, as well as the whole!

In the East, the state may oppress the people to keep order, in the West the people may dispense with the state if it does not serve them.

This was the whole premise of the American “revolution” and has spread all over the Western world. It is now “common sense” in the West that a people have the right to create a government that benefits them, and that The State has no right to put stability ahead of the law.

In the East, the only people who have the right to overthrow the government, are the people who belong to the winning faction in said revolution. “Treason doth never prosper, for if it does, none dare call it treason”.

To take power for “us”, for the “right thinkers”, is seen as a “legal” violation of the principal of putting the state first.

But, all this does is replace one set of thugs with another, then another, then another.

So now, let us compete abandon any pretence of PCism and declare that it is ONLY the hated values of the West that keep non-Western nations from barbarism and political instability.

Even China and India, the most advanced non-western cultures, routinely sacrifice the rights of the person to pursue the prosperity of the whole. India does it much less than China due to their greater orientation toward the West, and as a result is a “freer” place to live for its citizens (at least in comparison with completely non-Western countries that take our technology and try to ignore the rest).

As a result, the people in these lands do not know where they stand from year to year, and it is next to impossible to build stable institutions.

India especially has been a textbook of the evolution from a tribal society to a Western one based on law.

Compare its evolution to that of Pakistan, which retains its attachment to the tribal past.

When there is no underlying structure to the law, when each new ruler acts by whim, and not in accord with agreed rules, the citizen is left adrift in a sea of uncertainty and corruption.

Making nice with evil men is seen as simply the price a person must pay to be allowed any life at all. Success comes not from values but, from a willingness to compromise ALL values on the altar of the local boss’s power, and his ability to pull the strings of influence.

In the West, we know from experience that a few humane rules that apply to everyone produces more prosperity and stability and opportunity for all than all the strong arm rulers in history ever managed to give their people.

Those in the East know this too. But in their paradigm power is not to be shared lest someone else take it all and leave you nothing. Do unto others before they do unto you is the rule in lands that do not accept Western ethics.

Their leaders are willing to see their people live forever in fear and oppression,, as long as they can feel secure in their power as leader.

But this fails the very task of a leader, to protect and provide security for their people since to promote Western values is to undermine everything that made them powerful in the first place.

In these lands each time the people can stand no more and rebel the only point on the agenda for the new regime is to consolidate power in the same way that those who oppressed them consolidated it: By force, and without mercy for dissent.

By contrast the more a nation has embraced Western Values the more stable and prosperous that nation becomes. Nowhere is this more blatantly obvious than in Israel, and the Arab states surrounding it.

How can a tiny, oppressed, besieged people be the world’s most innovative and inventive nation? How can this tiny land produce so much good for all humanity in medicine and agriculture and science while surrounded by lands where civilization is something to be had only by those who can afford to import it from the West?

How can Israel give citizenship to Muslim Arabs and retain its integrity and yet Saudi Arabia will not even accept as citizens fellow Arab Muslims from neighboring Arab nations lest they lose some sort of Holy “Saudiness”? And of course, non-Muslims are far from equal to Muslims there in rights and privileges.

Power, and how it is used and protected, is what it all boils down to.

In the West, governing power is seen as naturally belonging to all of us, and is to be used for the benefit of everyone.

In the East, this power belongs to the collective group, be it nation or tribe, and is to be used to further the nation’s or tribe’s wellbeing.

However, the individuals of the East are seen as replaceable parts in a machine they serve rather than being served by. In the West it is the rulers who are seen as replaceable. Judging each paradigm by its fruits it is clear which one is better at delivering its promise of a stable, prosperous culture.

So, why do so many in the West trip over themselves to allow Non-Westerners to practice any and all of their tribal “values” in our lands, even when those practices are illegal, and universally condemned for Westerners?

How can a civilized Westerner ever allow things like forced marriage, and genital mutilation, and honor killings to resurface in the West.

Did all those who fought and died to make these horrors go away in the West act in vain? Is it our duty as “civilized” folk to allow “underdeveloped” people to re-establish in our own lands every horror we ourselves have outgrown?

About the only even partially reasonable answer I can come up with as to why this happens is that people are so scared of being seen themselves as uncivilized that they will not make ANY judgment on another person’s culture lest they somehow be tarred with the same brush as REAL oppressors from the past.

In embarrassment at the excesses of Western civilization (which are not very “excessive” compared to social policy outside the West) they will not only excuse, but PROMOTE worse excesses in their own lands by those who are less civilized.

It is somehow culturally insensitive for a Westerner to tell an immigrant they can’t keep their women ignorant and enslaved.

But it is not insensitive for that same immigrant to demand that the Western women in their new land conform to his notion of proper dress in order not to provoke rape (yes, that came from an actual Australian Imam, who said that Western woman should veil in order to get along better with the Muslim immigrants who were treating Western Women with violence and contempt).

We in the West need to get over this over-developed sense of guilt, and start acting with more responsibility to our hard won values.

We need to stop applying double standards to the values of Dead White Men (and women, Queen Elizabeth I and others made huge contributions; Q.E. I pioneered the concept of consolidating ruling power by serving the interests of the people instead of the nobility) and stop protecting those who want to strip away 500 years of advancement in favor of a return to tribalism, with them at the top of the pecking order.

A moderate Muslim Revolution


August 6, 2009 – by Ryan Mauro

The war on terror is largely a result of a civil war within Islam. The extremists use terrorism, oppress those who don’t agree with them, and establish states based on strict Sharia law. The moderates, who may disagree with U.S. foreign policy but stand for freedom and democratic principles while opposing terrorism, may not have as powerful of a voice, but they are decisively winning this conflict, making advances in almost every part of the Islamic world.

The Middle East is where the turnaround is the greatest. When the Iranian regime rigged the elections in favor of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on June 12, the population began a peaceful uprising and today protests against Ayatollah Khamenei, the supreme leader, and chants calling for democracy and human rights are commonplace. The regime is today facing the greatest challenge to its very survival since its creation in 1979. This instability has already caused problems for terrorists relying upon Iranian support and when the regime one day inevitably falls, it will have positive consequences across the world.

In Iraq, the provincial elections of January 31, 2009, were a blow to sectarianism and those against separation of mosque and state. The groups who focused on issues like security and less on religion and sectarian identity benefited politically. The party of Prime Minister al-Maliki, who had made the decision of taking on the Iranian-backed militias of Muqtada al-Sadr, won in a landslide, even winning in Baghdad, Basra, and Najaf, strongholds of the Sadrists and his more religiously conservative rivals in the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq. Gains were also made by the secular Shiite party of former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, while the moderate Sunnis affiliated with the Awakening, the movement that sparked an uprising among Iraqis against the insurgents and al-Qaeda-linked terrorists, have become a significant political force.

On June 7, the March 14 coalition led by Saad al-Hariri defeated Hezbollah in Lebanon, taking 72 of the 128 seats, even though the terrorist group had allied with the Free Patriotic Party, a Maronite Christian party led by Michel Aoun. Al-Hariri’s victory could only have happened with a large amount of Muslim support.

On May 16, four women were elected to Kuwait’s parliament and the Islamists were handed a political defeat. The Islamic Constitutional Movement, a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Islamic Salafi Alliance lost four seats. They now only hold three of the 50 seats in parliament.

Polls in the region show a dramatic drop in support for terrorist organizations and key pillars of extremist doctrine. In Saudi Arabia, for example, nearly half of all Saudis had a favorable opinion of Osama bin Laden in a poll conducted only a few months after al-Qaeda bombed Riyadh in May 2003. In December 2007, only 10 percent of Saudis had a favorable view of al-Qaeda and 15 percent had a favorable view of bin Laden. Forty percent view the U.S. favorably and more Saudis view Hamas and Hezbollah unfavorably than favorably.

All across the Middle East there are signs of hope, such as election victories by moderates, louder calls for human rights and democratic principles and against extremism, and reforms instituted by governments to ease popular pressure. This encouraging trend is also taking place in Southeast Asia.

In Pakistan, the liberal Pakistan People’s Party came in first in the February 18, 2008, parliamentary elections, ahead of the Pakistan Muslim League led by Nawaz Sharif, who has called for establishing a “truly Islamic system” in the past. The extremists even lost in Northwest Frontier Province, their stronghold. Although the PPP had to craft an alliance with Sharif’s group to form the government, the election results showed the Pakistani population was more moderate than many had thought.

There are other positive signs coming from Pakistan. Eight celebrities wrote a hit song called “This Is Not Us,” decrying the extremists and terrorists who are acting in the name of Islam. They helped promote a petition, now signed by 62.8 million Pakistanis, including especially large numbers in the Northwest Frontier Province, saying that true Muslims do not support terrorism. Some moderate clerics have openly sided with the military during the offensive into the Swat Valley, with one even offering to send volunteers to help. The actions of the Taliban have caused a popular backlash, with protests erupting against them.

In Bangladesh, the moderate coalition won a landslide victory in the December 29, 2008, general election over the Islamist parties including Jamaat-e-Islami, winning 263 of 300 seats. In Afghanistan, only four percent of the population favors a return to Taliban rule. In Indonesia, the president’s secular party won the May elections with 21 percent of the vote, a threefold increase, and support for the Islamist parties has dropped 15 percent over five years. And in India, over 6,000 Muslim clerics denounced terrorism after the attacks on Mumbai. The authorities had trouble burying the terrorists who died in the attack because local cemeteries didn’t consider them Muslims for what they had done.

Moderate Muslims are also taking a strong stand in the West.

A Muslim cleric named Dr. Taj Hargery is receiving intense pressure for his criticism of Wahhabism as well. He has described multiculturalism as “the biggest disaster to happen to Britain since World War II,” saying that “it has given the extremist mullahs the green light for radicalism and losing our faith.” He argues that Muslims must assimilate to British society and that “we can do so without losing our faith.”

In London, moderates confronted extremists who had protested a parade held for British soldiers returning from Iraq. Police had to intervene to keep the crowds apart. When asked about the clash, one of the moderate participants said, “We have been fighting these Muslim extremists for you. … The community decided to move them on because the police won’t.”

In Ireland, Imam Shaheed Satardien left his mosque, repulsed by their following of Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a top Muslim Brotherhood theologian. He has started his own mosque, where he preaches against Wahhabism and extremism and teaches moderate Islamic beliefs, such as the belief that women should be seen and heard freely. He’s received numerous death threats as a result.

The United States is seeing moderate Muslim organizations rise up to compete with Muslim Brotherhood fronts like the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has seen a dramatic decrease in support from the Muslim American community. The American Islamic Forum for Democracy, American Islamic Congress, Free Muslims Coalition, Islamic Supreme Council of America, and various groups and individuals dedicated to supporting democracy and human rights in overseas Islamic lands are becoming a force to be reckoned with for extremists. Even without the foreign funding enjoyed by more prominent Muslim organizations, these groups are making tremendous inroads.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that the war on terror is over. Somalia is falling to al-Qaeda affiliates and a terrorist offensive sponsored by Syria and Iran or a regional war could reverse many of these gains. The battle between moderates and extremists rages on in the West as well, as frightening percentages still express support for different elements of radical Islam. This is all true, but these victories are showing an unmistakable trend in favor of the moderates. I am in agreement with my friend John Loftus, who writes that “we may be witnessing the death throes of the fundamentalist terror states, and the birth of a renaissance of modernity in the Middle East.”

(HH: Let us hope so!!!)

Read it all

Tariq Ramadan: the liberals’ favourite Muslim

The post-modernist Muslim is worryingly short on ideas and tailors his message to different audiences, says Andrew Anthony

Plenty know who Ramadan is, but few know what he actually stands for

The grandson of Hassan al Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Ramadan is a senior research fellow at St Anthony’s College, Oxford, and president of the think tank European Muslim Network.

As such, he is often spoken of as a leading Muslim intellectual, a reformist who is able to move between the academic circuit, the clerical establishment (he’s been an ardent defender of the reactionary Sunni scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi) and the wider Muslim population with equal felicity.

But so far the size of his reputation comfortably outstrips the strength of his ideas. There are plenty of people who know who Ramadan is, but far fewer who know what he actually stands for.

And of those that do think they know, some believe that Ramadan tailors his message to different audiences – secular and Muslim – to such an extent that it amounts to deception.

In one case he argues for a modernised Islam, in the other for an Islamised modernity. The French journalist Caroline Fourest set out to expose these alleged inconsistencies and wrote a book entitled Brother Tariq: The Doublespeak of Tariq Ramadan.

Reading Ramadan’s latest book, Radical Reform: Islamic Ethics and Liberation (OUP, £16.99), does little to clear up the issue. In essence it’s an argument for a less literalist approach to Islamic texts, but also for upholding the primacy of these texts.

This, in many ways, is the job that’s confronted Christian theologians since the Enlightenment, and one need only look at the moral contortions that the Church of England regularly performs to see the problems of reconciling the ‘word of God’ with modern-day reality.

But better the muddle that anti-literalism entails than the inflexible certainties of religious doctrine. That is also Islam’s best hope, and Ramadan may have a role to play in realising it – he certainly has a gift for muddled thought.

One of Ramadan’s chapter headings is ‘The Growing Complexity of the Real’, and it serves the dual purpose of not only alerting the reader to an ontological challenge, but also to the more daunting challenge of Ramadan’s writing style.

A sample: “In the Universe, then, one can find definitive elements beyond the changing (natural laws and physical principles – as-sunan al-kawniyyah) as well as definitive elements at the core of the changing (the constants of history – sunan Allah), exactly in the same as there exist definitive transhistorical rules within the revealed text (belief and practice)…”

If you say so, Tariq.

Perhaps Ramadan’s most famous, or infamous, statement was his call for a moratorium‘ on stoning adulterers and the like to death. He refused to denounce the practice (his brother even wrote a defence of the punishment) because it was sharia law, but instead argued that a moratorium would allow for more reasoned debate.

… To his liberal critics, it showed an unwillingness to confront barbarity. What it really pointed to was Ramadan’s determination to do just enough to stay in with both Islamic traditionalists and secular sympathisers. But to what end, however, it remains worryingly hard to say.

Why are so many on the Left enamored with Islamism?

Romancing the Jihad
Why are so many on the Left enamored with Islamism?

By Clifford D. May

Ask those on the Left what values they champion, and they will say equality, tolerance, women’s rights, gay rights, workers’ rights, and human rights. Militant Islamists oppose all that, not infrequently through the application of lethal force. So how does one explain the burgeoning Left-Islamist alliance?

I know: There are principled individuals on the Left who do not condone terrorism or minimize the Islamist threat. The author Paul Berman, unambiguously and unashamedly a man of the Left, has been more incisive on these issues than just about anyone else. Left-of-center publications such as The New Republic have not been apologists for radical jihadists.

But The Nation has been soft on Islamism for decades. Back in 1979, editorial-board member Richard Falk welcomed the Iranian revolution, saying it “may yet provide us with a desperately-needed model of humane governance for a third-world country.” Immediately after Sept. 11, 2001, longtime Nation contributor Robert Fisk complained that “terrorism” is a “racist” term.

It is no exaggeration to call groups such as MoveOn.org pro-appeasement. Further left on the political spectrum, the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition sympathizes with both Islamists and the Stalinist regime in North Korea — which is in league with Islamist Iran and its client state, Syria. Meanwhile, Hugo Chávez, the Bolivarian-socialist Venezuelan strongman, is developing a strategic alliance with Iran’s ruling mullahs and with Hezbollah, Iran’s terrorist proxy.

In a new book, United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror, Jamie Glazov takes a hard look at this unholy alliance. A historian by training, Glazov is the son of dissidents who fled the Soviet Union only to find that, on American campuses, they were not welcomed by the liberal/Left lumpen professoriate.

Glazov’s book indicts artists and intellectuals of the Left — e.g. George Bernard Shaw, Bertolt Brecht, and Susan Sontag — for having “venerated mass murderers such as Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, and Ho Chi Minh, habitually excusing their atrocities while blaming Americans and even the victims for their crimes.”

Following the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Left spent several years wandering in the wilderness. Many of them, Glazov suggests, looked upon the terrorist attacks of 9/11 less as an atrocity than as an opportunity to revive a moribund revolutionary movement.

Jimmy Carter, Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, Ramsey Clark, Lynne Stewart, and Stanley Cohen are among the luminaries of the Left Glazov accuses of having found common ground with Islamists.

He notes that the novelist Norman Mailer called the 9/11 hijackers “brilliant” and their terrorism “understandable” because “everything wrong with America led to the point where the country built that tower of Babel which consequently had to be destroyed.”

And then there is Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, a.k.a. Carlos the Jackal, who in 2003, from his prison cell, published a book called Revolutionary Islam that urged “all revolutionaries, including those of the left, even atheists,” to accept the leadership of militant jihadists, Osama bin Laden key among them. His reasoning: “Only a coalition of Marxists and Islamists can destroy the United States.”

Glazov quotes the British lawmaker, George Galloway, elaborating on the rationale for this coalition. “Not only do I think [a Muslim-leftist alliance is] possible, but I think it is vitally necessary and I think it is happening already,” Galloway said. “It is possible because the progressive movement around the world and the Muslims have the same enemies. Their enemies are the Zionist occupation, American occupation, British occupation of poor countries, mainly Muslim countries. They have the same interest in opposing savage capitalist globalization, which is intent upon homogenizing the entire world, turning us basically into factory chickens which can be force-fed the American diet of everything from food to Coca-Cola to movies and TV culture and whose only role in life is to consume the things produced endlessly by the multinational corporations.”

And in 1979, the success of the Islamist Revolution in Iran depended, in large measure, on the support given by the Iranian Left to the Ayatollah Khomeini. Once firmly in power, the clerical regime repaid its leftist enablers with executions, assassinations, and prison sentences. Evidently, no lessons were learned.

Glazov concludes that the Left’s “romance with Islamism is just a logical continuation of the long leftist tradition of worshipping America’s foes. . . . The Left clearly continues to be inspired by its undying Marxist conviction that capitalism is evil and that forces of revolution are rising to overthrow it — and must be supported.” On that basis, militant Islamism is regarded as a “valiant form of ‘resistance’ against American imperialism and oppression.”

If such values as equality, tolerance, and human rights are crushed in the process, that’s a price many on the Left are willing to pay. Those on the Left who disagree should perhaps speak up more loudly and more often.

— Clifford D. May, a former New York Times foreign correspondent, is the president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on terrorism.

© Scripps Howard News Service