Video: Pat Condell on “Why I support Israel”

July 27, 2014

This is from last June, but, given current events in the Levant, Pat’s words are still relevant. He certainly speaks for me:

In the Washington Free Beacon, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes (whom we’ve met before) is quoted as saying the administration is seeking “a common place” between Israel and Hamas to “stop the violence.”

Try as I might, I’m having a real hard time imagining a “common place” between one side that says “I want to live in peace with you” and another that says “I want you dead.”

Afterthought: “Stop the violence” is one of those mealy-mouthed phrases that bug the heck out of me. By not assigning responsibility, it declares everyone to blame and places the Israelis on the same moral level as their Muslim attackers, which is utter tripe. Hamas started this fight by firing rockets at civilians and even a nuclear reactor. Theirs is the responsibility, theirs is the blame, and there is no moral equivalence between the two. You want to “stop the violence,” Mr. Rhodes? Then disarm Hamas.

By The Way: And speaking of disarming Hamas, the latest ceasefire proposal from Secretary Kerry would have allowed Hamas to keep their rockets. With friends like these, Israel needs no enemies.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Moore’s Law: CO2 Good; Climate Change Bunk; Greens Follow Religious Fundamentalism

June 21, 2014

Phineas Fahrquar:

And for his honesty, I’m sure Dr. Moore is now reviled in the group he once founded.

Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:

Dr-Moore-Photo-2010-120x180[1]

Dr. Patrick Moore

“Climate change” is a theory for which there is “no scientific proof at all” says the co-founder of Greenpeace. And the green movement has become a “combination of extreme political ideology and religious fundamentalism rolled into one.”

Patrick Moore, a Canadian environmentalist who helped found Greenpeace in the Seventies but subsequently left in protest at its increasingly extreme, anti-scientific, anti-capitalist stance, argues that the green position on climate change fails the most basic principles of the scientific method.

View original 187 more words


UN climate chief sees her job as “sacred.”

January 26, 2014

"Our mission is sacred; let none deny it."

“Our mission is sacred; let none deny it.”

Courtesy of the dread William Teach of Pirate’s Cove, the United Nation’s “Executive Secretary for Climate,” Cristina Figueres, sounds like she’d be more at home in a temple to Gaea than in a position supposedly dealing with empirical science. Her job, you see, is sacred:

The top climate official at the United Nations has described her role in pushing nations to contain the Earth’s climate as a “sacred” job.

“We are truly defining the quality of life for our children,” Christina Figueres, the U.N.’s executive secretary for climate, told USA TODAY on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“We have to do everything we can because there is no plan B because there is no planet B,” she said.

“I fully intend my grandchildren and great-grandchildren to be able to live on this planet. This job is a sacred responsibility,” Figueres said.

She also notes that the world has spent a trillion dollars so far to fight climate change and that we need to spends trillions and trillions more. Every year. And all controlled by the UN, I’m sure.

Okay, we’ve all heard people at times sacralize their job, usually to show their dedication to a task that involves significant risk or hardship. Military and police come to mind. And, sure, politicians often prattle on about the sacred trust they’ve been given by their constituents, but most of us recognize that as a rhetorical device. Perhaps that’s the case for Ms. Figueres, too.

But I don’t think so.

Instead, it has the ring of sanctimony that brooks no debate or challenge. Indeed, if you question man-caused global warming or what, if anything, needs to be done to fight it, you’re putting her descendants at risk. It moves from being a matter of empirical, testable science, on which there can be reasonable disagreement, to a tenet of faith and morality, something holy. Disagree with her “sacred mission,” and you become a “denier,” one who has denied the faith. It’s a short step from there to being designated a “traitor to planet” and perforce evil.

It would be funny, if only these people weren’t in positions of influence and power, with the ability to implement their programs to our great harm, if we don’t keep a close eye on them.

That’s our “sacred responsibility.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


A&E so offended by Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson that they’re continuing marathon airings

December 19, 2013

In fact, I watched some episodes last night: good stuff, and I’d swear I could recognize some of my own family in there. As for the controversy over Phil’s comments, A&E thoroughly beclowned themselves over this. Phil did not call for gays to be persecuted in any way: he merely stated his belief in the Biblical view that homosexuality is a sin and paraphrased a verse from Paul’s 1st letter to the Corinthians to illustrate it. He did not compare homosexuality to bestiality: he was listing a category of sins. I don’t agree with Phil or St. Paul on this, but it’s Phil’s right to hold that opinion and express it, especially when it was in answer to a question. A&E cravenly caved in to a liberal fascist pressure group, GLAAD, and fired someone for the crime of “wrong thinking.” (Mao would approve.) As I said last night on Twitter, “@AETV’s fundamental mistake: assuming the audience was laughing at Phil and his family, rather than identifying with them. #LiberalBigotry.” I think they’ll get a hard lesson in that when the huge audience that follows Duck Dynasty walks away.


#IranDeal: It wasn’t just the Israelis and the Saudis Obama backstabbed

November 26, 2013
"Left to rot."

“Left to rot.”

There’s been a lot of talk since the weekend about the deal brokered between Iran on the one hand, and the US and its European partners on the other, that supposedly somehow represented a breakthrough in the quest to prevent the Iranian mullahs from getting their hands on nuclear weapons. Discussions have centered around diplomacy and grand strategy, and the motives of the Iranian and US governments. Matter of “high politics,” as they might have said in the 19th century.

But the agreement touches people on a very personal level, too. Left unmentioned in any of the negotiations are Americans trapped in Iranian prisons, men such as Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-American pastor from Idaho who was accused of the horrid crime (in Iran, under Islam) of preaching the Gospel and helping to establish home churches (1). Abedini was yanked off a bus, his passport taken from him, and he was consigned to Iran’s notorious Evin prison.

And, in the negotiations leading to this wonderful deal, the US never mentioned him once:

Two words are nowhere to be found in the pages of text that spell out a new interim nuclear deal with Iran: Saeed Abedini.

Now some supporters of the American pastor, who’s been detained in Iran for more than a year, are accusing U.S. officials of betraying Abedini by signing off on an agreement that doesn’t get him out of prison.

“We were across the table from the Iranians, and we did not bring home Americans. To me that’s a tragedy and that’s outrageous,” said Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, which represents Abedini’s family in the United States.

While analysts debated the nuclear agreement’s pros and cons, Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, said she was trying to comfort her two young children.

“It’s very painful,” she told CNN’s “The Lead” on Monday. “My kids were crying this morning, saying, ‘God, don’t let Daddy die. Bring him home.’ “

One would think an American government, leading a nation founded on principles of freedom of speech and freedom of religion, would have raised a stink about Abedini at these negotiations, something along the lines of “You want sanctions lifted and your sequestered cash released? Give us Abedini and we’ll talk.” (2)

But then one would remember Barack Obama is in charge. Defending Americans in danger abroad is a bit alien to him, as we learned in Libya.

Via Bryan Preston, who connects Abedini’s abandonment to his Christianity and draws a parallel to the Obama administrations attacks on religious liberty here. I disagree with Bryan on this: nations have often sacrificed individuals for “reasons of state” when a higher goal was at stake. In the Obama administration’s case, the nuclear deal with Iran was paramount, and if the government was willing to blindside Jewish Israel and Muslim Saudi Arabia with this, they weren’t going to let the fate of Saeed Abedini (or Robert Levinson) stand in the way. It’s shameful and cynical, to be sure, but not religiously motivated.

RELATED: There are several good articles explaining why this deal stinks. At The Weekly Standard, John Bolton calls this “abject surrender.” Writing at PJM, Michael Ledeen points out, among other excellent observations, that the Iranian treasury was almost empty, but we’ve now agreed to give them billions. Genius. Eli Lake at The Daily Beast quotes an expert who says this comes close to a “nuclear 1914 scenario.” How fitting, with the hundredth anniversary of World War I approaching. James Carafano calls this a deal based on a dangerous fantasy — Munich II. My own observation is this: Regardless of the restrictions placed on the Iranian public nuclear program by this deal, if you think there isn’t a secret program run in parallel by the military that is still going full-speed, you’re high.

This deal makes war more likely, not less.

PS: There’s a support page for Pastor Abedini at Facebook, and a web site for Robert Levinson.

Footnote:
(1) Abedini’s offense was compounded by being himself a convert to Christianity from Islam. Under Islamic law, that is the crime of apostasy and is punishable by death. I suppose the Iranians thought they were being merciful for just sticking him in jail for eight years.
(2) Not that I’m a religious person, but I believe very strongly in the natural right of all humans to freedom of speech and religion, and, within very broad bounds, government should stay the heck out. No law is legitimate that oppresses those rights, and an American government that won’t stand up for its citizens’ rights in the face of a tyranny that tramples both is craven.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Shutdown follies: Priests threatened with arrest for ministering to military

October 4, 2013

Jeez, first they threaten to arrest 90-year old WW II  veterans for visiting their own monument, now they’re going after priests who dare to hold services during the shutdown:

In a stunning development, some military priests are facing arrest if they celebrate mass or practice their faith on military bases during the federal government shutdown.

“With the government shutdown, many [government service] and contract priests who minister to Catholics on military bases worldwide are not permitted to work – not even to volunteer,” wrote John Schlageter, the general counsel for the Archdiocese for the Military Services USA, in an op-ed this week. “During the shutdown, it is illegal for them to minister on base and they risk being arrested if they attempt to do so.”

Kansas representative and Army veteran Mike Pompeo (R) is righteously angry:

“The constitutional rights of those who put their lives on the line for this nation do not end with a government slowdown,” Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo, a graduate of West Point and an Army veteran, said in a Friday statement. ”It is completely irresponsible for the president to turn his back on every American’s First Amendment rights by furloughing military contract clergy.”

Added Pompeo: “The President’s strategy during the slowdown, just as during the sequestration, is to create as much pain as possible. However, this action crosses a constitutional line of obstructing every U.S. service member’s ability to practice his or her religion.”

I’m not sure I agree with Pompeo’s 1st amendment argument; if there are Catholic churches near the bases, the soldiers can simply be given leave time. Also, while unusual, it is possible to hold a limited service without a priest present. Confession and absolution would be dicier, I imagine, and I’d can’t imagine they’d dare try to arrest a priest there to perform the Anointing of the Sick. But, at a minimum, Catholic personnel are probably feeling a bit picked on. (The article doesn’t say if the same restrictions are being applied to ministers and rabbis.)

But, as with the fiasco over the veterans and access to monuments, you have to ask what is going through the heads of people in the administration who gave this order. The optics are awful enough when the government, in effect, says “Your spiritual well-being is non-essential,” but to say no even to priests who offer to work for free? Really? The Republicans should send Team Unicorn a thank-you card; the campaign commercials on this would be just brutal.

All they need now to complete this is for Harry Reid to issue another one of his caring, empathetic, milk-of-human-kindness statements.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


North Korea: Dictator executes ex-girlfriend for doing porn, owning Bible

August 29, 2013
"I've got some bad news, boss..."

“She did what??”

I’ve figured it out: North Korea is the only nation founded on a bad acid trip:

Kim Jong-un’s ex-girlfriend was among a dozen well-known North Korean performers who were executed by firing squad on Aug. 20, reports said Wednesday.

Sources in China said singer Hyon Song-wol as well as Mun Kyong-jin, head of the Unhasu Orchestra, were arrested on Aug. 17 for violating North Korean laws against pornography and were executed in public three days later.

The victims of the atrocity were members of the Unhasu Orchestra as well as singers, musicians and dancers with the Wangjaesan Light Music Band.

They were accused of videotaping themselves having sex and selling the videos. The tapes have apparently gone on sale in China as well.

A source said some allegedly had Bibles in their possession, and all were treated as political dissidents.

According to reports (and we don’t know how reliable they are), Mun and her colleagues were mowed down by a machine-gun firing squad, which I suppose is merciful compared to dropping a mortar round on top of the condemned. And, really, who among us hasn’t at some time, however briefly, fantasized about doing the same to a pain-in-the-neck ex?

The families of the victims were all sent to North Korea’s hellish gulag, par for the course for the world’s largest prison camp masquerading as a nation.

It is good to be King psycho-dictator.

At first glance, the “porn and Bible” angle made me think this was some sort of fake, but it does make a weird sort of sense. Think about it: you live in a police state that takes most of your income and rations how much food you get. You get more than most, but you want more. Well, porn sells.

Plus, and here’s where the Bible comes in, these are acts of rebellion and defiance. Could it be that the sex-videos and Bibles were some weird equivalent to a teen “acting out” against a parent, giving them a sense, however fleeting, of a bit of freedom and individuality? We’ll never know. But, in an atheistic, puritanical, Confucianist-Stalinst state, both uncontrolled sex and religion threaten the totalitarian rule of the individual by the government — they become thought-criminals, a la 1984, and have to be destroyed.

In this case, instead of being grounded, they were shot and their families swept into non-existence.

Final thought: North Korea has to be one of the most thorough internal-surveillance states on the planet. I find it very hard to believe that no one knew this was going on and that it didn’t get back to Dear Leader III before now. As a friend asked, did Kim know, but tolerated it until the new wife found out and demanded “something be done?”

Again, we’ll never know, but anything twisted is possible in North Korea. Especially if it’s twisted.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Brave atheist ducks the question on Islam

March 3, 2013

Talk about the “courage of one’s convictions,” or, in this case, not:

While you may not agree with the views of the new breed of aggressive atheists who have emerged in recent years you have to admire their courage for bravely standing up and speaking truth to power against the various religious institutions whose integrity they seek to undermine. No matter what consequences they might face, they aren’t afraid to lay out their case against religion in terms that are often harsh and sure to offend. 

Here is an example from an article called Facing uncomfortable truths:

In a recent Al-Jazeerah interview, Richard Dawkins was asked his views on God. He argued that the god of “the Old Testament” is “hideous” and “a monster”, and reiterated his claim from The God Delusion that the God of the Torah is the most unpleasant character “in fiction”. 

As you can see, Dawkins has no trouble attacking the Hebrew God in a most direct and uncompromising manner. No atheist wallflower he. 

Asked if he thought the same of the God of the Koran, Dawkins ducked the question, saying: “Well, um, the God of the Koran I don’t know so much about.”

Followed by a quick changing of the subject, I’m sure.

Funny, isn’t it, how brave people are about “speaking truth to power” regarding religion, until it comes to the Religion of Peace? It’s almost as if Dawkins feared violent reprisal, or something.

Not that there’s any reason for that fear. Just ask Theo van Gogh.

Meanwhile, Mr. Dawkins can go back to bravely slagging faiths whose members won’t try to behead him.

Be sure to check out Frater Libertas for the rest.

via Moe Lane


Egyptian Muslim cleric threatens Copts with genocide

December 28, 2012

It’s that Religion of Peace-thing, you know:

Islamic leaders continue to portray the popular protests against President Morsi and his recently passed Sharia-heavy constitution as products of Egypt’s Christians. Recently, Muslim Brotherhood leader Safwat Hegazy said in an open rally, as captured on video:

“A message to the church of Egypt, from an Egyptian Muslim: I tell the church — by Allah, and again, by Allah — if you conspire and unite with the remnants [opposition] to bring Morsi down, that will be another matter…. our red line is the legitimacy of Dr. Muhammad Morsi. Whoever splashes water on it, we will splash blood on him.”

More recently, Dr. Wagdi Ghoneim — who earlier praised Allah for the death of the late Coptic Pope Shenouda, cursing him to hell and damnation on video — made another video, entitled, “A Notice and Warning to the Crusaders in Egypt,” a reference to the nation’s Copts, which he began by saying, “You are playing with fire in Egypt, I swear, the first people to be burned by the fire are you [Copts].” The video was made in the context of the Tahrir protests against Morsi: Islamic leaders, such as Hegazy and Ghoneim, seek to portray the Copts as dominant elements in those protests; according to them, no real Muslim would participate. Ghoneim even went on to say that most of the people at the protests were Copts, “and we know you hid your [wrist] crosses by lowering your sleeves.”

The heart of Ghoneim’s message was genocidal: “The day Egyptians — and I don’t even mean the Muslim Brotherhood or Salafis, regular Egyptians — feel that you are against them, you will be wiped off the face of the earth. I’m warning you now: do not play with fire!”

And to make that genocide even easier to carry out, he dehumanized them by comparing them to animals:

“Respect yourselves and live with us and we will protect you… Why?… because Allah has forbidden me to be cruel to animals. I’m not trying to compare you to animals … but if I am not cruel to animals or plants, shall I be cruel to a soul created by Allah? You are an infidel in Allah’s sight — and it is for him to judge you. However, when you live in my country, it is forbidden for me to be unjust to you — but that doesn’t mean we are equal. No, oh no.”

Ghoneim can weasel all he wants, but the idea is clearly planted. Copts are inferior, maybe even animals, and if they don’t act like good little dhimmis… If you noticed a resemblance to Germany in the 1930s, your mind wasn’t playing tricks on you.

The Coptic Christmas falls on January 7th this year. You can imagine what a merry season it is for them.

And speaking of Christmas, Islam’s birthplace (maybe…) demonstrated its dedication to tolerance for all by arresting 44 people who were engaged in a hideous plot.

They were planning to celebrate Christmas:

In the latest kingdom-wide crackdown on those who would violate the national religious policy of Islam only, Saudi Vice and Virtue Police arrested 44 on charges of plotting to celebrate Christmas, as reported on Dec. 27, 2012 by the Beirut-based Al-Akhbar news portal.

The raid took place in the northwest province of al-Jawf, at the private residence of an individual identified only as “an Asian diplomat.”

The fiends… It’s a good thing the watchful officers of the Vice and Virtue police were on the job. Who knows what might have happened? They might have sung carols, exchanged good wishes and presents, said a prayer or two — someone might have had a good time!!

Is it any wonder, in the kind of society that develops under Sharia law, that people can speak of another of the world’s major religions, Christianity, as being the most persecuted on the planet and even in danger of extinction in the lands of its birth?

A merry Christmas season and a happy New Year, indeed.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Cult of Personality Watch: “The Gospel According to the Apostle Barack”

November 14, 2012

“He walks among us”

I truly thought this was satire when I read the headline, something Iowahawk would come up with.

But, no. It’s real, and the author is serious:

The book’s premise is God spoke to Professor [Barbara A. Thompson, Florida A&M], telling her that Apostle Barack Obama’s 155 speeches made between February 10, 2007 and January 20, 2009 had the answers to unlock the kingdom of “heaven here on earth.”

And this is from the book’s promo text on Amazon:

Yes, Barack had worked tirelessly on behalf of the American people, especially those who elected him in 2008. His followers needed to re-elect him to a second term, so that he could continue to accomplish the promises he made, thus, realizing his vision of America as a more perfect political union or “heaven here on earth” Then, as I began to contemplate ways to assist Barack in his 2012 re-election bid something miraculous happened. I felt God’s (His) Spirit beckoning me in my dreams at night. Listening, cautiously, I learned that Jesus walked the earth to create a more civilized society, Martin (Luther King) walked the earth to create a more justified society, but, Apostle Barack, the name he was called in my dreams, would walk the earth to create a more equalized society, for the middle class and working poor. Apostle Barack, the next young leader with a new cause, had been taken to the mountaintop and allowed to see over the other side. He had the answers to unlock the kingdom of “heaven here on earth” for his followers. The answers were repeated – over and over – in speeches Barack had made from his presidential announcement to his inaugural address. Those speeches or his teachings contained the answers to the middle class and working poor people living in a “heaven here on earth” For when the answers were unlocked and enacted, Apostle Barack’s vision of America would be realized.

I’ll wait here while you go hurl.

Out of all the observations and arguments over the direction of our culture, it’s the tendency of some, mostly on the Left, to eschew self-government in favor of a Leader who somehow embodies the spirit of the nation and can divine the “national will” that perhaps disturbs me most. Ronald Pestritto describes this in his discussion of Hegel’s influence on President  Wilson in “Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism:”

“People follow the world-historical individual because they see their own spirit in him. This leader has in him the vision of the people’s future. ‘Their fellows, therefore, follow these soul-leaders; for they feel the irresistible power of their own inner Spirit thus embodied.’ Wilson laid out a similar concept of democratic leadership in his essay ‘Leaders of men,’ … As Hegel explains, leadership is necessary in order to uncover and bring to the surface the people’s true will, which become increasingly manifest as history progresses. Underneath the apparent clash of subjective interests and passions, there is a true, unified, and objective will, Leadership finds this true will and points it out to the people.”

(“Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism,” Kindle edition, beginning at location 276)

Adjust for the religious framing of Professor Thompson’s work and Hegel’s talk of “spirit” and “will,” and I think you can see the family resemblance. This veneration of the leader and the paternalistic “knowing the people’s will before the people themselves know” is part and parcel of American progressivism, not just in Wilson’s time (and, to an extent, his predecessor, TR), but in the present day in his modern acolyte, Obama. Goldberg discusses this tendency extensively in his must-read, “Liberal Fascism,” and it’s an unhealthy one in a democratic republic, something far too many succumb to.

While people like Obama cloak their beliefs in words of democracy, at their heart they’re statist, elitist, and anti-democratic. At the extreme end of their politics lies totalitarianism, wherein, as Professor Thompson anticipates as “heaven on earth,” God and the State become one.

RELATED: Some earlier examples of the Obama cult of personality.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Religious unity against HHS decision

February 4, 2012

I wrote earlier that Catholic bishops across America had come out strongly against the Obama administration decision requiring religious organizations to pay for the cost of providing contraceptives and abortifacients to their employees. Jewish and Protestant groups aligned themselves with the bishops.

Now Orthodox Christian bishops have joined in:

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion. This freedom is transgressed when a religious institution is required to pay for “contraceptive services” including abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization services that directly violate their religious convictions. Providing such services should not be regarded as mandated medical care.  We, the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops, call upon HHS Secretary Sebelius and the Obama Administration to rescind this unjust ruling and to respect the religious freedom guaranteed all Americans by the First Amendment.

As Joshua Treviño describes it, it is very unusual for Orthodox bishops to make an overtly political declaration. (Also h/t)

I really don’t think Team Obama quite knows what they’ve unleashed on themselves. But they’ll find out on Election Day.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Obama won’t be expecting the Spanish Inquisition

January 30, 2012

It isn’t bad enough that the majority of Americans oppose ObamaCare and want it repealed. No, the administration had to go and tick off the Catholic Church, too.

Background: As part of the implementation of ObamaCare, Secretary Sebelius of the Department of Health and Human Services issued regulations requiring religious groups to provide health insurance that would cover practices and procedures, such as abortion,  diametrically opposed to their beliefs. The groups were given a year to comply. (Or else?)

This was too much for Catholic bishops to take, and a letter denouncing this move as an assault on religious liberty was read in thousands of  parishes across the land this last Sunday. Here’s an excerpt from one:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers,including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees’ health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those “services” in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies.

In so ruling, the Obama Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. And as a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled to either violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so). The Obama Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.

We cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America’s cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture,only to have their posterity stripped of their God given rights. In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.

Each bishop sent out his own letter, so there’s some variation. Bishop Zubik of Pittsburgh said the HHS ruling amount to telling Catholics “to Hell with you:”

Kathleen Sebelius announced that the mandate would not be withdrawn and the religious exemption would not be expanded. Instead, she stated that nonprofit groups – which include the Catholic Church – will get a year “to adapt to this new rule.” She simply dismissed Catholic concerns as standing in the way of allegedly respecting the health concerns and choices of women.

Could Catholics be insulted any more, suggesting that we have no concern for women’s health issues? The Catholic Church and the Catholic people have erected health care facilities that are recognized worldwide for their compassionate care for everyone regardless of their creed, their economic circumstances and, most certainly, their gender. In so many parts of the globe – the United States included – the Church is health care.

Kathleen Sebelius and through her, the Obama administration, have said “To Hell with You” to the Catholic faithful of the United States.

  • To Hell with your religious beliefs,
  • To Hell with your religious liberty,
  • To Hell with your freedom of conscience.

Want to know how seriously the Church in America takes this? One bishop directed that the Prayer to St. Michael be read at services within his diocese (h/t PJM):

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle;
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray:
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen

Why is that significant? Between 1930 and 1965, when it was last included in regular services, the prayer was recited for the benefit of believers trapped behind the Iron Curtain.

This isn’t just opposition; this is a declaration of war.

It’s also incredibly risky (to put it nicely) for a president who badly wants reelection. Catholics amount to about 25% of the electorate and constitute significant voting blocs in several keys states. Naturally not all would agree with the bishops or think this as serious a matter as they claim. But I’m willing to bet that large numbers will, and that, combined with the already existing ire over ObamaCare and the economy, the President may well come to regret Secretary Sebelius’ highhandedness.

Especially on Election Day.

PS: About that subject line.

LINKS: Yuval Levin, Religious Liberty and Civil Society.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


A letter to Allah

November 12, 2011

A troubled young Muslim woman has questions for her god, presented in the form of a poem:

Good for her for using her mind and not accepting blindly what the clerics tell her must be so. Islam desperately needs more like her, if it’s ever to have any hope of reconciling with the modern world.

Then again, Islam does not have a happy tradition of tolerance toward critics, particularly women. I hope she stays safe.

via The Jawa Report.

RELATED: Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s short film “Submission,” which deals with the condition of women under Islam. Her partner in its production, Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, was murdered by a Muslim fanatic for “insulting Islam,” and she herself is under constant threat of death.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


I’ve never believed the “Obama is a secret Muslim” nonsense, but…

August 11, 2011

He is either appallingly naive about the religion or is doing his usual “say anything they need to hear to like me” act. Regardless, the kind of meaningless pabulum he served at the White House Iftar dinner last night is just jaw-dropping:

Welcoming guests at the annual White House Iftaar party, US President Barack Obama said, Islam has always been part of the American family and Muslim Americans have long contributed to the strength and character of our country in all walks of life.

Attended by some 100 special invited guests including ambassadors of mostly Muslim countries and eminent Muslim academicians and community leaders, Akram Syed of the National Association of Indian Muslims was among the few Indian-Americans to attend the high-profile annual event at the White House.

Other special guests included families of Muslim victims of the 9/11 attacks, as well as Muslim members of the US Armed Services.

Obama said the annual Ramadan dinner, a tradition that President Clinton began and President George W Bush continued, is quintessentially American.

“No matter who we are or how we pray, we’re all children of a loving God,” he said.

Tell that to the Copts in Egypt, Mr. President. And that’s just one example of the nearly 1,400-year legacy of Islam’s jihad against everyone else.

That quote is just the start. For more, and for a detailed deconstruction of the President’s blather, visit Jihad Watch.

PS: To clarify, I am not questioning the loyalty of Americans who practice Islam but who don’t seek to impose Sharia law here or wage jihad against the United States, and I especially do not question the loyalty and honor of the many Muslims who have served and do serve in the military. It is with Islam itself and its doctrines of (to name a few) jihad, Jew-hatred, female inferiority, enmity toward the outsider, and the supremacy of Sharia that I have deep problems.

PPS: Regarding Obama’s religious beliefs, if he has any, in my opinion he is most attracted to the Black Liberation Theology preached by James Cone, Cornel West, and Jeremiah Wright. (Although I’m not above believing that his time in Wright’s church was wholly cynical, and that Obama’s only real “religion” is himself.)

via Weasel Zippers, which has video.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


I almost feel sorry for global warming cultists. Almost.

July 29, 2011

Pay no attention to facts! The science is settled!

I mean, when one of the central tenets(1) of your faith is shown to be wholly, absolutely wrong and all you can do is stand there slack-jawed and watch like a Philistine as the temple comes crashing down around you, it can be a bit… disheartening.

Truth hurts, doesn’t it? (Emphases added)

NASA satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show the Earth’s atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted, reports a new study in the peer-reviewed science journal Remote Sensing. The study indicates far less future global warming will occur than United Nations computer models have predicted, and supports prior studies indicating increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide trap far less heat than alarmists have claimed.

Study co-author Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite, reports that real-world data from NASA’s Terra satellite contradict multiple assumptions fed into alarmist computer models.

“The satellite observations suggest there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show,” Spencer said in a July 26 University of Alabama press release. “There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans.”

In addition to finding that far less heat is being trapped than alarmist computer models have predicted, the NASA satellite data show the atmosphere begins shedding heat into space long before United Nations computer models predicted.

The new findings are extremely important and should dramatically alter the global warming debate.

Yeah, you bet they will, if they hold up.(2) Key to the “science” of dangerous man-caused climate change is the idea that the carbon-dioxide man dumps into the atmosphere, rather than being beneficial to plants and otherwise harmless, throws the Earth’s thermostat off and causes dangerous levels of warming — seas rising, ice caps melting, deserts expanding, etc. But not because the CO2 directly warms the atmosphere, though it may do that a teensy bit, but because it traps heat indirectly that should otherwise radiate to space by causing an increase in humidity and cirrus clouds.

See where this is going?

By discovering that the Earth releases far more heat than the UN’s models and releases it far earlier in the process than assumed(3), the central driving mechanism of anthropogenic global warming is shown to be nothing more than a myth, a chimera.

It is shown to be wrong, and with it the whole structure of dangerous man-caused climate change collapses.

Not that this will end this nonsense overnight. Too many people, businesses, and governments have too much false pride, money, and political objectives staked on AGW being true. The British government is enthusiastically driving its economy back into the dark ages in the name of solving  a problem that does not exist. The Obama administration is grasping for control over the US economy via EPA regulations meant to control “carbon pollution.” Alarmist scientists are desperate to preserve their reputations and grant money, and companies like GE and BP are investing a lot to profit from the “green technology” that’s supposedly meant to save us from global warming — and in government mandates that force us to use that technology.

Then there’s the question of faith, coming back to the title of this post. For many, “Green” or “Gaea” is a religion, though most might deny it. Full of loathing for capitalism and seeing an out of control climate as fit punishment for what we’ve done to the Earth, it’s important to them that carbon dioxide really be a demon, rather than plant food. Living the “green life,” rather than simply being sensible stewardship of the environment and not fouling one’s own nest, becomes a quest for virtue and atonement. And, like any zealot, they have to make sure we live their faith, too, whether we want to or not.

Thus Spencer and Braswell’s findings have to be devastating to alarmists who stop to think about them, and I almost feel sorry for them. Almost.

Nah. Not even close.

LINKS: Spencer and Braswell’s article in Remote Sensing (PDF). More at Hot Air, Power Line, and Pirate’s Cove.

RELATED: Oh, my. Polar Bear-gate? Fraud in the Warmist community? Say it ain’t so! *cough*Climategate*cough* A caution.

Footnotes:
(1) Pet peeve: people who either misspell the word as “tenent” or misuse “tenant.”
(2) Yes, if. Science is about testable hypotheses, not consensus or settled science. Spencer and Braswell’s results have to be subjected to falsification.
(3) All the UN/IPCC computer models are based on boatloads of assumption, guesswork, and very little (and that often “adjusted”) empirical data, unlike the study at hand. That’s not science, that’s a rigged game.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Nightmare in Norway: at least 92 dead, and the question of religion

July 23, 2011

How awful for them:

Norwegian police said Saturday that the death toll from Friday’s attacks has risen to 92 and confirmed that they have arrested a suspect whom they described as a right-wing Christian fundamentalist.

In a news conference Saturday morning in Oslo, police confirmed that they had arrested Anders Behring Breivik, 32, on suspicion of orchestrating both the Oslo bombing and the youth-camp shooting rampage and had begun searching two apartments that he owns.

Breivik reportedly owns four properties including a farm on the outskirts of Oslo, allegedly to enable him to store legally a large amount of fertilizer.

Police would not comment on whether he acted alone but said no other arrests have been made. They said Breivik had no criminal record.

They would not speculate on his motives, but said, based own his own Twitter and Facebook accounts, he appeared to be a right-wing Christian fundamentalist.

Police say he was arrested by security forces at the Labor Party youth camp on the island of Utoya after the shootings. They said 84 people were killed on the island. At least seven were killed in the Oslo bombing.

Police Chief Oystein Maeland told reporters that they could not confirm the number of victims would stop at 92, adding that the attack had reached “catastrophic dimensions.”

He said officers were still “looking in the water around the island for more victims.”

It appears Breivik stalked the island for an hour-and-a-half, shooting the teens wherever he found them. The survivor accounts in the rest of the article are just horrifying. And there’s something dreadfully wrong with Norwegian law if the worst he can face is only 21 years in prison.

The issue of “why” remains unresolved and it likely won’t be settled for weeks, though it bears resemblances to both the attack on the Murragh Building in Oklahoma City for its anti-government angle and the massacre of children that occurred at Columbine and Dunblane.

The role of religion as motive is obviously going to play a role, however. Yesterday I hypothesized that this might have been an act of jihad — inspired by Islam. I wasn’t alone in my speculation, as the pattern of the attack fit previous jihadist operations: near-simultaneous attacks aimed at mass casualties (Bali, London, Madrid), the focus on children (Beslan), and a history of Islamic terror threats against Norway, including threats to kill government officials. Violent jihad is central to Islam. And lest anyone say that, even if this were an act of jihad, Islam wouldn’t permit the killing of innocent children, let me point out that Muhammad himself defined “innocent child” differently than we.

Now it appears that a narrative is building that this sociopath acted out of “Christian fundamentalism,” whatever that is. If that takes hold, and I say this as a thoroughly secular person, it would be grossly unfair and a slander against religious Christians because, unlike Islam, their faith forbids just this kind of action and makes it a mortal sin. The Fifth Commandment is, “You shall not murder.”

In other words, for Breivik to do what he did here or, more locally, for a Christian to gun down an abortionist, he necessarily acts against his religion. Not so with the jihadist, and I can see another false equivalence being created that needs to be pushed back against for the sake of moral and intellectual clarity and truth.

And the core truth at this time is that Breivik, regardless of whatever reason he did this, is an immensely evil human being, and that our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and the Norwegian nation in this awful time.

LINKS: More from Power Line and Hot Air, and ST. Also The Anchoress (thanks for the link!).

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Obama’s spiritual adviser of 20 years to church youth: “Whites lie”

July 3, 2011

Presented without further comment:

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


America, Islam, and democratic tolerance

June 20, 2011

There’s an interesting post by Roger Kimball at Pajamas Media on Governor Romney’s problem with religion. No, not his Mormonism, though some blockheads might want to make that a problem, but his inability, thanks to the shackles of political correctness, to articulate why Islam poses a problem in America. And it’s not just Romney’s problem, but one shared by most politicians.

In his essay, Roger discusses the principle of religious tolerance and why it does not work when Islam is added to the mix:

Religious tolerance is a nifty idea.  As a Catholic, I’m pleased it exists. But here’s the rub: tolerance only works when practiced by all parties to the social contract.  It’s one thing for a Unitarian and a Catholic to tolerate each other.  They have  some important doctrinal differences.  But they do not endeavor to kill or enslave one another on account of those differences.

The friction of difference works differently when you add Islam to the equation.  Why?  Because Islam does not — in principle as well as in practice  — acknowledge a legitimate sphere of operation for the secular as distinct from the sacred realm.  There is no “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s” in Islam because Islam — that’s mainstream, garden-variety Islam, not just its wacko Wahhabist allotropes — regards everything as subordinate to the will of Allah.

Romney, like many well-meaning liberals, wants to regard Islam as a religious phenomenon.  The thought process goes something like this:

  1. We’re in favor of religious toleration.
  2. Islam is a religion.
  3. Ergo, we should tolerate Islam. (Q., isn’t it, e. demonstrandum?)

The problem with this syllogism is what it leaves out of account — namely, as McCarthy puts it, that Islam is a “totalitarian political program masquerading as a purely spiritual doctrine.”

As with all systems of belief in a liberal democratic regime, Islam deserves tolerance to the extent that it extends tolerance. That syllogism really should begin:

  1. We’re in favor of religious toleration for those religions that practice toleration.

And therein, as Shakespeare said, lies the rub. By misunderstanding the mutualism required for genuine tolerance, muddleheaded Westerners turn what originated as a pact into unilateral intellectual disarmament, refusing to think critically about Islam lest they be labelled “judgmental,” “intolerant,” or, worst of all, “Islamophobic.” And that in turn leaves us vulnerable to the cultural or  “civilizational jihad” that the Muslim Brotherhood is waging here and elsewhere through front organizations, the goal of which is the imposition of Sharia law on us all.

While I do sympathize with Romney’s plight (this is delicate, difficult ground for Americans to cover, and rightly so), particularly since he himself was slammed by religious bigotry in the last campaign, it is nonetheless essential for would-be American leaders to grasp, wrestle, and explain to the public then dangers of tolerating the intolerant. Seeing who does it best should be one of our criteria for choosing a nominee and future president.

PS: I urge you to read McCarthy’s article, linked above in the quote, but I disagree with his description of Islam as a political system “masquerading as a religion.” This is a misstatement; Islam is a religion, for it does what any religion does, arranging the relationship between Mankind and the Divine. It is, however, a religion that encompasses a totalitarian and aggressive political program. The distinction may seem minor or semantic, but I think it’s important, for to frame it as McCarthy does would be to ignore the spiritual appeal it has for those who find relief in submission to a higher authority.

PPS: And before anyone asks, no, I am not saying “ban Islam” or “deport all Muslims.” What I am calling for is an open, critical discussion of what Islam is and what its goals are, as opposed to the platitudes we’re fed by politicians and the media. And that includes challenging American Islamic leaders to defend what’s clearly in their scriptures.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Pat Condell: “Let’s blame the Jews!”

May 27, 2011

British comic Pat Condell rants about the rise of Antisemitism in Europe, Jewish conspiracy theories, and the pathetic truth behind Islamic Jew-hatred.

(Fair warning, both for a bit of rough language and for Pat making his contempt for all religion quite clear.)


Death to What’s-His-Name!

May 10, 2011

Yeah, I’d say it kind of spoils your big moment on TV when you pronounce death on the President of the United States … and can’t remember his name:

More seriously, while this is the usual (and not all that well done) condemnation of the Great Satan for killing a noble mujahideen (and sociopathic mass-murderer), note Sheikh Sa’id’s justification: that Obama is a Muslim who has left the faith and therefore, as an apostate, must die:

“Allah’s Apostle never killed anyone except in one of the following three situations: (1) A person who killed somebody unjustly, was killed (in Qisas,) (2) a married person who committed illegal sexual intercourse and (3) a man who fought against Allah and His Apostle and deserted Islam and became an apostate.” –Bukhari 9:83:37

This just goes to show that the “Obama is a Muslim” myth(1) has spread far and wide, even to faraway Sudan, and will probably never die. But I can see where Sa’id is coming from: Obama’s father was a (non-practicing) Muslim and, under Islamic law, if you are born to a Muslim father, you are a Muslim. (Daniel Pipes has a good discussion of this.) Practicing Islam doesn’t make a difference, so, in Sa’id’s view, it’s not unreasonable(2) to accuse Obama of being a murtadd — an apostate. That modern Christianity largely sees membership as a matter of some form of baptism and active profession of faith doesn’t matter; after all, as it says in the Qur’an, Christians are the ones who have “gone astray.”(3)

So… Death to What’s-his-name!

(1) For what it’s worth, I’ve never bought into that; it’s just a variant on the “Manchurian Candidate” meme. If Obama is drawn to any religion, its the Black Liberation Theology of James Cone and Jeremiah Wright, which meshes well with Obama’s Socialist politics.

(2) To a totalitarian mind straight out of the Middle Ages, that is.

(3) That passage is generally interpreted to mean the Jews (“…those upon whom Thy wrath is brought down…”) and the Christians (“…those who go astray.”)

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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