Friday, November 13, 2015

Thoughts on Another Islamic Mass-murder

* Why didn't Barack Obama deal with these guys when they were a few hot-shots with guns running around in the desert?  By running away from war (except with Republicans), Obama has given us more war.  But first, airliners bombed, theaters in Paris shot up, and families in tears. 

* Obama says Ben Carson doesn't have the foreign policy experience to be president.  He could hardly do worse.  Above and beyond knowledge or even experience, a good leader needs wisdom. 

* A Facebook friend posts that Muslims in America might be afraid and ashamed after this, so we should be kind to them.  We should be kind. "Speak the truth in love," not a la Trump.  But I see no reason for Muslims in America to fear: there was no violent backlash against Muslims in the US after 9/11, and there's no reason to expect one now.  Actually Muslims have far more often been violent against innocent non-Muslims in the US.

* As for shame, I think anyone who calls Mohammed a prophet,  half of the creed of Islam, should feel shame.  Mohammed killed four times as many innocent people on a single day, as did these terrorists in Paris.  And there was no one to comfort their families, who were made slaves and concubines.  It is a shameful thing, to so highly honor a tyrant, a murderer, a torturer, and a slave-trader.   (Though of course not a rare thing, in the West or here in China.  Here's looking at you, Chairman Mao.) 

* How foolish the Germans and some other Europeans were, to allow hundreds of thousands of young Muslim men to pour across their borders. 

* Why do we not also mourn the Nigerians whom Boko Haram abducts and murders?  The Pakistani Christians who are terrorized?  The Iraqi, Syrian, and Egyptian Christians who are murdered or driven off their ancient lands? 

* "Leading from behind."  What a concept.  And we see the results, Barry Chamberlain.  Those guys did not need to become so powerful. 

Maybe our next president can be the kind who leads from in front, and shows at least as much genuine hostility towards our enemies as he does to our allies and the opposing party. 

* The struggle between radical (traditional) Islam and the rest of the world doesn't look like dying out any time soon, unfortunately.  It has lasted 1300 years so far: we might as well dig in for the long haul, and plan for generations to come.  A Christian renewal of the West would be welcome not only for its own sake, but for the sake of world civilization. 


Loren said...

First, whatever happened to loving one's enemies and turning the other cheek?

Second, I think that if President Obama had committed large numbers of troops there, the right wing would have howled about what a warmonger he was. That's what they said about President Clinton.

"Wisdom" is no substitute for competence, and it is doubtful that Ben Carson has either. Consider his stupid remarks about the Pyramids of Egypt. He ought to have stuck to surgery.

As to feeling shame about Mohammed as a prophet, that is for doing things that the Old Testament treats as praiseworthy.

David B Marshall said...

First, loving one's enemy doesn't mean inviting him to live in one's house, in the room next to your teenage daughter, say. That's just stupid. Jesus was talking about personal relations, not national immigration policy.

Second, no, they wouldn't. Clinton and Carter got a great deal of Republican support when they began to grow backbones, as did Obama when he went on the offensive against the Taliban for a while.

Third, I expected something about the OT, probably Joshua. But I'm a Christian, and this is a Christian blog. The center of my faith is Jesus Christ, through whom I interpret the OT. If Joshua was a terrorist -- oh, but wait, most skeptics think Joshua was a legend. So we don't need to argue about that one.

What, 20 years ago, Carson suggested the Egyptians stored grain in the pyramids? Who cares where the Pharoah put the Corn Chex? The problem is ISIS has been storing the bodies of thousands of innocent people all over hell and beyond, and blowing up World Heritage Sites, while Obama has played golf and schemed to justify his Nobel Peace Prize by sending the Shiite terror-sponsors $150 billion. Well played, Barry. Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

Ben said...

"most skeptics think Joshua was a legend. So we don't need to argue about that one."

Somehow you think moral truths and moral falsehoods cannot be expressed, represented, or endorsed or condemned in fiction.

Loren said...

About turning the other cheek: "... personal relations, not national immigration policy." That seems to me like splitting hairs.

As to Joshua being legendary, we can still judge the morality of his alleged actions the same way that we can judge the morality of the likes of the Greek gods and fictional characters.

Furthermore, Ben Carson continues to stand behind his pyramids-as-granaries theory. It isn't just 20 years ago: Ben Carson's unusual theory about pyramids - CBS News. Also, if it's legitimate to bring up what a Democratic politician said 20 years ago, it is also legitimate to do so for a Republican politician.

What $150 billion has Obama allegedly sent Iran? I also note that Iran is Shiite and ISIS is Sunni -- and that ISIS has destroyed some Shiite shrines. So Iran and ISIS are, if anything, enemies. I think that this nuclear deal was a step forward. Iran can't be much worse than Saudi Arabia.

David B Marshall said...

Jesus was talking about personal behavior. It is hardly "splitting hairs" to point that out, nor is the distinction between forgiving a personal affront, and allowing an existential threat to your civilization when you don't need to, trivial. This is an enormous distinction, often made by wise Christian theologians: such distinctions are what make civilization possible.

Judge Joshua, or Odysseus (he had a nasty temper), all you like.

Did you bring up the connections of Barack Obama to terrorists when he was running for president? And he had just been a member of Jeremiah Wright's wild-rant-a-minute church. That's a heck of a lot more significant than grain in pyramids. Best I recall, the Democratic Party didn't think any of that was worth mentioning.

Iran is much worse than Saudi Arabia. They have killed hundreds of Americans, through proto-Hezbollah in Lebanon (they erected a monument in memory of the Iranian bomber), and by sending arms into Iraq to use against Americans -- among many other acts. They are our enemies, regardless of what other enemies we have, and they are bent on murder, mayhem, and the suppression of women and non-Islamic minorities. Time was, atheists in liberals despised those people. Now Russia is selling them weapons. Good play, Barry.

Loren said...

Jesus Christ didn't make that distinction. If he didn't intend his teachings to be a suicide pact, he ought to have been more explicit.

What "terrorists" has Barack Obama been connected to? Also, Jeremiah Wright is a Christian religious leader, and that presumably makes him automatically a Good Person.

As to Saudi Arabia, rich Saudis have financed the export of superstrict, militant Wahhabism, and that's what's behind a lot of Sunni Islamists. Saudi Arabia has likely supported Islamists in another way, as a side effect of its suppression of dissent. This likely means that the main dissenters to survive there are those who frame their dissent as wanting people to be better Muslims.

There is a further problem. Islamists have tried to recruit European converts to Islam, meaning that some Islamists now likely have blond hair and blue eyes. How would profiling keep such Islamists out?

David B Marshall said...

Loren: Jesus didn't make that distinction? Huh? What he said was,

"If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles."

If you want to extend that to, "If Muslims want to immigrate to your country and you are an official responsible for public safety and the future of your nation, let them all come!" You'll have to provide an argument for that. I can provide an argument against it: when Jesus met soldiers, he told them not to steal, but he didn't tell them not to serve as soldiers.

But the literal meaning of these words are personal, not public.

What fool said everyone who calls himself a Christian is a "good person?" The Bible certainly doesn't permit such stupidity. Jesus' own disciple turned out to a traitor.

"Rich Saudis?" We're talking about governments, not individuals. Not even the US government can be blamed for Donald Trump, for instance. The government of Iran is our enemy. The government of Saudi Arabia is not. Surely this is obvious.

Profiling? Apparently at least one of the murderers in Paris seems to have come with the wave of immigrants recently allowed in. A lot of Europeans seem to be finally waking up to the error of allowing massive immigration by people who do not share the values they cherish, either Christian or Secular Humanist. It may be too late.

Loren said...

Islam didn't exist in Jesus Christ's day, so that's a rather silly hypothetical.

As to rich Saudis exporting Wahhabism, they do so with the Saudi government looking the other way, if not approving of it.

Since quoting the Sermon on the Mount does not seem to be enough, I will quote George Adamski from Inside the Spaceships:

I could not help but reflect sorrowfully on the so different viewpoint of my fellow men on Earth; of the divided peoples, the nations even now engaged in a race to produce more dreadful weapons of destruction which would bring death, affliction and sickness to ever-increasing millions of their fellow beings throughout the world. I thought of the credo of hatred for the enemy instilled in the minds of young men as a necessary part of preparing them for killing. For it is not inherent in natural man who understands even a little of his place in Creation to want to kill. I thought of the indescribable blasphemy of prayers addressed to the loving Eternal Father of all, asking Him to bless them in thus betraying the very humanity of their heritage.

Later in that book, someone asks:

If you had two sons, born of your own flesh and blood, as you say, and if for one reason or another one of your Sons knelt before you and asked your blessing on his de­termination to slay his brother, who is also your son, would-you grant his request because he professed him­self right and his brother wrong?

I'll also quote J.C. Squire, who composed this jingle during World War I:

God heard the embattled nations sing and shout
"Gott strafe England" and "God save the King!"
God this, God that, and God the other thing –
"Good God!" said God, "I've got my work cut out!"

David B Marshall said...

Huh? You quote the Sermon on the Mount. I point out that Jesus didn't say anything close to what you imply he says. You respond, "That's a silly hypothetical, because the situation is completely different from the one Jesus was talking about!" Uh, yeah, that's my point.

As for your various quotes, they all seem to have one thing in common: they ignore the question of justice. It is morally depraved, in my opinion, to treat the murder of an innocent or friend the same as the killing of an enemy or terrorist. Determining justice may be difficult, but it is poor architecture to ignore the ground floor and then build castles on clouds.

Loren said...

Your argument about justice seems to be that following the Sermon on the Mount would lead to gross injustices. Meaning that the Sermon on the Mount's ethic is greatly flawed.

You also ignore that WWI jingle about how both sides claimed that God was on their side. At most one of them was right. How would you determine that? It ought to be some argument other than "my side is right and every opposing side is wrong".

David B Marshall said...

Loren: Surely you can read better than that. Whenever someone says "your argument seems to be," I can be sure of two things: (a) that won't be at all my argument, as it is not here, and (b) the misreading will be strikingly obvious, as it is here. That's just a massive straw man.

I don't recall saying anything at all about WWI; how could I "ignore" slogans about an event I don't mention? And where in the world do you see me arguing "my side is right and every opposing side is wrong?" (Still less that being my only argument, as you imply. Are you kidding?)

When the other side begins with such blatant misrepresentations, it may be time to talk about the weather or something.