And No Religion Too

It’s symbolic – and ironic – that in Europe following terrorist attacks, the unofficial anthem of choice is that ode to atheism, John Lennon’s “Imagine.”

After the November 13 attacks in Paris, a pianist attracted the attention of millions via the mainstream press and social media when he played Imagine outside one of the places of carnage, The Bataclan. Last February in the aftermath of killings in Copenhagen by a radical Muslim, tens of thousands of Danes sang Imagine at memorials across the country.

“Imagine there’s no heaven …. No hell below us … And no religion too,” go the lyrics.

It’s symbolic because religionless is what Europe has become – particularly Northern Europe. Churches in France are closing for lack of worshipers. Only about 5-10 percent of the French go to church regularly. That percentage is even less in Denmark.

So the ethnic French (as opposed to ethnic Arabs in France) largely have attained one of the sentiments longed for in the song: no religion. They have abandoned the Christian faith.

Are they better off without Christianity? The tragic event of last weekend suggests they are not.

French society still retains some Christian values. They include a love of peace, justice, and civility, and helping the poor and downtrodden. The latter manifests itself in the form of generous foreign aid programs, and taking in refugees afflicted by war and poverty.

It is one thing for a country to open one’s doors to a certain number of the poor and downtrodden. It is quite another thing to open one’s doors to whole nations of poor and downtrodden – from radically different cultures. That is what France and other developed countries including the United States have been doing. (And it’s not just motivated by compassion, but also by a desire to import future liberal-left voters.)

Taking in what amounts to whole nations of peoples fundamentally transforms the identity and culture of the host nation. After decades of migration from the Middle East and North Africa, many aspects of French society are being upended, such as a rise in economic inequality. But worst is the importation of the culture of violence. It should not surprise anyone that terrorist attacks that always have been so common in the Middle East are now taking place in Europe.

Had the French remained devout Christians, it is doubtful they ever would have taken in such huge numbers of Muslims. They would have recognized the threat it would have posed to their Christian identity, to their freedom of worship, and to their security. Their leaders would have been more in the mold of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who keenly recognizes the problem of outsized Muslim immigration into traditionally Christian nations.

Europeans have taken to heart another piece of bad advice contained in John Lennon’s song: “Imagine there’s (sic) no countries…” The open-borders policy reflects that. And it’s devouring them.

Imagine also makes a nod to communism with the “Imagine no possessions” line. At least the French haven’t gone that far – yet.

But getting back to imagining no religion, the abandonment of Christianity in France invites another great danger: less protection from God.

All you atheists, agnostics, and Christians who don’t take your religion too seriously may laugh off what you just read. I would have, back when I was in your camp. But a couple of years and a lot of investigation later, I’ve become convinced that all those things that we associate with religion are actually true: God, the spiritual world, the divinity of Christ, the authenticity of the gospels, heaven and hell, angels, and fallen angels. Evidence of that will be presented in future articles. But for now, suffice it to say that fallen angels do exist. (The Drudge Report posts stories on that topic practically every few days – and many of them are credible.) The earth truly is the devil’s playground. His greatest triumph is convincing the world that he doesn’t exist.

According to theologians, God protects us from the evil one all the time. Without such protection, the whole of the earth would degenerate into one big slaughterhouse. When nations turn further away from God, His protective hand eases up.

That’s what’s happening in France. Last weekend we saw one of the consequences. As America turns further away from God, we too tread on more dangerous territory.

It behooves those in France, America, and other Western nations to return to their Christian roots. Otherwise, expect more tragedies such as what happened in Paris.

(Originally published in Newsmax.com)

Routine Events Don’t Make the News

Within days of the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 129 people, a string of terrorist attacks took place in Lebanon, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East, killing more than 80 people. Washington Post columnist David Ignatius laments the fact that the Middle East terrorist attacks got far less press attention than the Paris attacks. “Do Western nations think that Muslim lives matter less?”, he asks.

The reason terrorist attacks in the Middle East get less press attention is because they’re such a common occurrence there. It’s akin to how morning traffic jams on the George Washington Parkway near D.C. never get mentioned in radio station traffic reports – because traffic jams there are expected and routine. It doesn’t mean that the radio stations think that G.W. Parkway commuters matter less.

And that prompts the question: Given that terrorist attacks are so common in Middle Eastern culture, is it wise to transplant that culture into Western countries? We saw the consequences of that in Paris November 13.

It’s kind and compassionate to take in limited numbers of poor and downtrodden from the Middle East. It’s foolish to take in what amounts to whole nations of peoples from the Middle East, to the extent that our own culture and identity get transformed.

Sweden’s Accelerated Cultural Evolution

Sweden flagOf countries gradually transitioning culturally by immigration, Sweden is undergoing one of the most rapid transitions.

It’s a small country – just under 10 million in population – but it takes in more asylum seekers than European countries many times its size. In 2013 it accepted about 55,000 asylum seekers, many if not most from Syria. Germany took in about twice as many but its population is 80 million, so it arguably can better absorb such seekers than Sweden.

On a per-capita basis, Sweden is welcoming by far the most asylum seekers: 5,700 per 1 million inhabitants, almost five times as many as Germany. In 2013, Sweden accepted almost 20 percent of the EU’s asylum seekers – more than any other EU country. That’s amazing, considering Sweden’s small size.

Sweden’s foreign-born population was 16 percent in 2013, and including those born to two immigrant parents, it’s 21 percent of the total. The Muslim population is said to be around 10 percent. And rising fast.

This obviously has huge implications for Sweden’s cultural, political, and economic destiny, which could fill books. Here, suffice it to point out an interesting observation gleaned from an account by Theo Padnos, an American journalist who spent two years imprisoned by Islamic militants in Syria. His captors were brutal and sadistic, as you can read here. Yet it could be that some brutal and sadistic persons have made their way or are trying to make their way to Sweden, through its liberal asylum system. Writes Padnos,

That night as we finished Abu Farouk’s watermelon and were gazing up at the stars, I listened to the fighters musing about their futures. “Hey, Abu Petra,” they asked me, “what is Sweden like?” If they were to present themselves as Syrian dissidents to the authorities, what would happen next? Was I familiar with the procedures in Sweden for seeking political asylum? And what about Berlin, supposing they found their way to Germany?

One wonders how many of Sweden’s immigrants share the mindset of those fighters.

Padnos also sheds light on the phenomenon of European Muslims going to Syria and Iraq to join the fight. It’s not so much because Islamic militants there need the help. It’s because they want to instill in European Muslims the jihad mentality, so that they can go back home to Europe and teach the values of fundamentalist Islam to others in Europe. Padnos again:

The Nusra Front higher-ups were inviting Westerners to the jihad in Syria not so much because they needed more foot soldiers — they didn’t — but because they want to teach the Westerners to take the struggle into every neighborhood and subway station back home. They want these Westerners to train their 8-year-olds to do the same. Over time, they said, the jihadists would carve mini-Islamic emirates out of the Western countries, as the Islamic State had done in Syria and Iraq. There, Western Muslims would at last live with dignity, under a true Quranic dispensation.

Hundreds of years ago, Muslims staked a claim in parts of Europe suddenly and militarily. Now, thanks to the niceness of Swedes and other European peoples, they’re doing it gradually and peacefully.

Systematic Deception at High Levels of Government, With Devastating Consequences

There’s an organization called the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA) that reportedly published a paper in 2007 that instructed Muslim jurists to “do everything within their power to make the Islamic Shari’a supreme, even if that means engaging in deception in certain cases.”

I don’t know how influential AMJA is among Muslim jurists; hopefully not much. In any case it’s an outrage that it’s encouraging legal professionals to engage in deception in order to implement its agenda.

But you know what? Legal professionals in the Justice Department got caught red handed in what appears to be a clear case of engaging in deception. It wasn’t with the purpose of making Sharia law supreme, but it had the effect of making Obamacare law supreme.

In their attempt to convict Republican Sen. Ted Stevens (who later died in a plane crash) for alleged monetary improprieties – a conviction that was later overturned – at the trial the DoJ prosecutors allegedly withheld key evidence that would have exonerated Sen. Stevens, according to a report. Not only that, but they “selectively quoted the foreman to make it appear as if he had said the opposite, and they used his comments to falsely attack Stevens.” In other words they deceived and misled in order to convict him. That doesn’t reflect well on their character or integrity.

It has all the markings of how things get done in corrupt governments of third world countries. And this wasn’t some little private law firm in Podunk, Kentucky doing this. It was the United States Justice Department.

A report ordered by Judge Emmet Sullivan found that the attorneys engaged in “systematic concealment” of “significant exculpatory evidence which would have independently corroborated Senator Stevens’s defense and his testimony, and seriously damaged the testimony and credibility of the government’s key witness.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, the names of the DoJ attorneys in question are Matthew Friedrich, Rita Glavin, Brenda Morris, Joseph Bottini, James Goeke and Edward Sullivan. To be sure, some of them could deserve less blame, if any, than others; e.g. it’s possible that factors such as incompetence or naïveté rather than willful misconduct played a role, for some of them. Sullivan appears to have been the victim of management problems. And he, Goeke and Bottini reportedly urged disclosure of material that would have helped the defense, only to be rebuffed by Friedrich and Glavin. Still, the report concluded that Goeke and Bottini  deliberately withheld the information. Confusing, eh? (Update, March 23. In today’s WSJ a letter to the editor written by a partner of Matthew Friedrich states that “Mr. Friedrich was not among those under investigation and is not accused of any ethical improprieties in the report’s findings,” and that Mr. Friedrich is “a lawyer of the highest integrity.” But that adds to the confusion, because Friedrich appears to be one of those who rebuffed other attorneys’ request to disclose the key information. Still, If more information is forthcoming on Friedrich or any of the other attorneys, it will be duly noted.)

Despite the legal hot water they found themselves in, one wonders if they took solace in a certain event that took place a year and a half after the Stevens conviction. That was when Obamacare got passed, with all the devastation it’s wreaking on our healthcare system. You see, DoJ’s conviction of Sen. Stevens came just a couple of weeks before the 2008 election. That caused him to lose the election to Mark Begich, an Obamacare supporter. Sen. Begich provided the 60th vote to pass it.

The ends justify the means, perhaps some of them were thinking. Which is what the folks at the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America are probably thinking as well.

Medieval Middle East Thinking Gets Applied to U.S. Law

I just read one of the most unbelievably alarming things that I’ve read in a long time. A U.S. judge let off the hook someone who assaulted an athiest for mocking Mohammed, because “in many Arabic-speaking countries something like this (mocking Mohammed) is definitely against the law there. In their society in fact it can be punishable by death and it frequently is in their society.”

When I first cursorily read it I thought it was the assaulter saying that, and I was ready to tell him, “Dude, you’re not in the Middle East anymore, where they do those things. You’re living in America now. Let me tell you a thing or two about how things work here. We have freedom of speech. People are allowed to mock religions. Being able to do that without fear of physical punishment is one of the things that make our country so great. If you don’t like it, then go somewhere else.”

But then I read it again. I had to do a double take, and catch my breath, when I saw that it was the American judge who said that!

Yes, Mechanicsburg, Penn. District Judge Mark Martin said that. I’m still reeling over it.

So Judge Martin, let me tell you a thing or two about how things work in America. This isn’t the Middle East, where they do those things and where the standard of living and quality of life are substantially lower than here, largely because they do those things. You’re living in America now. We have freedom of speech. People are allowed to mock religions. Being able to do that without fear of physical punishment is one of the things that make ours such a great country. If you don’t like it, then move to another country. Or at least resign from your judgeship.

Let us hope that there are not more people of authority out there who think along the same lines as Judge Martin. If there are more and more like him, then say goodbye to America as we know it.

When a Liberal Meets the Paleoliberals

Great article by Eric Bell, a filmmaker and writer who started a project to document the events surrounding the building of an Islamic center in Murfreesboro, Tenn., with the aim of portraying the proponents of the center in a positive light and the opponents of the center in a negative light – not necessarily to be intentionally biased but because that’s what he genuinely believed. He got funding and support from Hollywood bigwigs to bring the film to fruition.

But then he started learning some truths about militant Islam – truths that would make any genuine liberal shudder. The Arab spring had turned into a winter, where non-Muslims started fearing for their lives. He informed the funders that he wanted to mention some of these issues in his film. “I wanted to show what happens to countries when they gain a Muslim majority, how women are treated, that homosexuals were executed, that free speech did not exist, that the forced Islamic Law was not consistent with Democratic Values – anything and everything I could think of.”

But he soon learned that he was dealing with a lot of paleoliberals. They didn’t want to hear any of those ugly truths. “Eric you are starting to sound like an Islamophobe,” they told him. “We don’t want to make a movie that promotes fear. Let’s just stick with the existing plan, okay?”

Bringing up those realities about militant Islam constituted  “hate speech” and “propaganda designed to spread fear”. There’s a site called “Loonwatch” where people – such as Bell – who criticize radical and violent Islam are called a “loon”, in the pejorative sense. (That’s ironic, because the loon is one of the most beautiful species of waterfowl. Its call is also one of the most beautiful sounds of nature.)

Unwilling to stick with the original script, Bell had to give the money back. He also got banned from writing for the Daily Kos, for revealing his liberal (as opposed to paleoliberal) tendencies. He suffered plenty of other blowback as well.

“Given the incredible density of the popular Liberal mind, …the readers of my articles were unable to see how the beliefs of Islam were in direct conflict with human rights, gay rights, women’s rights and basic Democratic Values.”

Those people are what you call paleoliberals. And unfortunately, they greatly outnumber the liberals.

Classic Hitch

Cool as a cucumber, smooth as silk. That characterizes Christopher Hitchens’ reaction  to a questioner in the audience whose voice seems fairly mature and articulate, until you hear what he’s saying – at which point he comes off as quite immature. In a nutshell the questioner says that it’s America’s fault that the jihadists attack us.

Gotta love Hitch’s initial response. He takes a drag from his cigarette, a sip from his drink, lets the man have his say, and keeping with the flow of things says “There you have it ladies and gentlemen,” as the audience applauds the questioner. Someone not familiar with Hitch may think that he’s going to agree with and expand upon what the questioner has to say. Hitch says again, “there you have it.”

And then he goes for the jugular: “You see how far the termites have spread.” (Disclaimer: This blog doesn’t endorse using such metaphors in describing others, apart from terrorists and the like. To Hitch, by contrast, it’s not a concern.)

Hitch then proceeds to coolly and methodically disembowel the man who just spoke.

It’s art.

Watch the five-minute video here.

Hat tip to TheDC.

Incentivizing Terrorists

In what has got to be one of the most bizarrely absurd rationales given by any presidential administration in the history of the United States, attorney general Eric Holder said Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will be tried in a civilian court because he killed civilians.

Deliberately killing civilians – particularly thousands of them – is the most heinous form of warfare one can wage. Those who do so are the lowest of the low, the scummiest scum of the earth. There should be special, hard-hitting tribunals set up just to deal with these kinds of rodents, as there was after WWII to deal with the Nazis who killed civilian Jews.

In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, columnist William McGurn crystallized the folly of trying KSM in a U.S. civilian court. It sends the perverse message that “if you kill civilians on American soil you will have greater protections than if you attack our military overseas.”

We have institutions, particularly the Geneva Conventions, that aim to incentivize those who wage war to target soldiers and not civilians. McGurn quotes William Burck who says that the Obama administration’s decision “demolishes this principle to give Khalid Sheikh Mohammed even more legal protections than the Geneva Conventions provide a uniformed soldier fighting in a recognized war zone.”

With this single step, McGurn points out, the Obama administration is giving al Qaeda a huge incentive to kill more American civilians on American soil, rather than to attack soldiers overseas.