Iraq and the Bloody Price of Lies

SellwynThumbby Selwyn Duke   6/23/14
Western civilization lied and people died. It lied, that is, to itself. I am referring to Iraq, but not to the hapless George W. Bush and the claim of WMDs’ existence, which wasn’t a lie at all. What is at issue here is more fundamental. It’s a lie that imbues Bushes, Clintons and Obamas, both the left and the right and most everyone in-between. It is the enlightened position of the modern man, a tenet of our times.

It’s the idea that all peoples are basically the same.

I wrote about this seven years ago in “The Folly of Deifying Democracy in Iraq,” in which I predicted that our “nation-building” would ultimately be fruitless:

While we often view democracy as the terminus of governmental evolution, the stable end of political pursuits, the truth is that civilizations have tended to transition not from tyranny to democracy, but democracy to tyranny (e.g., the ancient Romans). …Benjamin Franklin understood this gravitation toward tyranny well, for when asked what kind of government had been created when he emerged from the constitutional convention, he said, “A republic, madam, if you can keep it.”

This brings us to the crux of the matter: Even if we can successfully install democratic republics in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan, what makes us think they can keep them?

…To average westerners, all groups are essentially the same, despite profound religious and cultural differences. If a civilization — be it Moslem or Christian, Occidental or Oriental — suffers under the yoke of tyranny, it is only due to a twist of fate that has bestowed the wrong system of government upon it. Change that system and “voila!” all live happily ever after.  What eludes these Pollyannas is that politics doesn’t emerge in a vacuum but is a reflection of a far deeper realm, the spiritual/moral.  Alluding to this, Ben Franklin observed,

“Only a moral and virtuous people are capable of freedom; the more corrupt and vicious a society becomes, the more it has need of masters.”

…[S]piritual [and moral] health must precede the political variety….

A good way to illustrate this point is with Lord of the Flies, William Golding’s story about a large group of young British schoolboys who are shipwrecked on an island and who, after an initial effort at democratic governance, quickly descend into brutal autocracy. Being children, they are raw pieces of humanity perfectly illustrative of the “wild man.” After all, one thing distinguishing children is that they aren’t yet morally and spiritually developed enough to govern themselves. This is why a young child must be watched and controlled, with his life micromanaged by his (usually benign) nanny state, the parents. As he grows and matures, however, the parents can gradually allow an increasing degree of self-governance until, it is hoped, a day comes when he’s capable of complete autonomy.

But as our bursting prisons prove, this process isn’t always successfully effected; more to the point, as greatly varying levels of criminality among groups evidence, not all of our nation’s sub-cultures effect this process with equal success.

If this is true of some sub-cultures in our nation, however, why would it surprise anyone that it would be true of some cultures outside our nation?

In fact, I’ve long described moral and spiritual growth as movement toward “authentic adulthood,” which, at its pinnacle, yields that ethereal combination of innocence (meaning, absence of sin) and wisdom, and the former is actually a prerequisite for the latter. Yet some cultural norms can produce just the opposite: a loss of innocence and lack of wisdom.

However you describe this growth, the fact is that peoples mature very differently. George W. Bush was famous for saying that everybody wanted freedom, but this is an imprecise statement. No nation has complete freedom (to kill, steal, etc.), so what freedoms do the people in question supposedly want? But even if a given people does want freedom in the sense of democratic self-determination, wanting isn’t enough. Virtually everyone wants money, but not everyone has the discipline and wherewithal to acquire it; everybody wants health, but some people still can’t resist smoking, eating or drinking themselves to death. Ours is a world full of people too wanting to get what they want, which is one reason why unfulfilled desire is man’s constant companion.

Ironically, the very modernists who stress how foreign Muslims are “just like us” can easily comprehend culture/system incompatibility when our own culture war is at issue. No small number of liberals have concluded that the last opposition to their agenda won’t evaporate until we traditionalists — who, ironically, liberals sometimes liken to the Taliban — die off. Oprah Winfrey said that the old “racists” were just going to have to die; Judge Judy Sheindlin said that those who oppose faux marriage were just going to have to die. What they’re really saying is that the culture on the other side of the culture war has to die (and, believe me, I consider their “culture’s” demise no less necessary). And they figure that it won’t be perpetuated because they’re forging a new culture via the media, academia and entertainment.

So why is it so hard to understand that the same principle applies to foreign intransigents?

If certain moderns can resign themselves to this with respect to Western Christian culture, why can’t they realize that it’s no different with Islamic culture? They don’t think for a moment that they can talk us traditionalists out of our deeply held principles, so why do they think they can talk Muslims out of theirs? And they have only succeeded in shaping the younger generations because they have seized control of the aforementioned culture shapers. So why would they think that Muslim civilization could be reshaped without the same Gramscian march through the madrassahs and other Islamic institutions? They act as if their own domestic political opponents are more foreign than foreigners. But I will explain the reason why.

Just as absence makes the heart grow fonder, distance makes dreams grow fanciful.

As with an irritating neighbor who, owing to continual petty annoyances, you despise more than a tyrant an ocean away, liberals are close enough to us for our behavior to have affected them viscerally so that they feel on an emotional level what they’re incapable of apprehending intellectually. But Muslims are far enough away — and I don’t just mean physically, but, more importantly, psychologically — so that it’s easy to ascribe to them whatever qualities one’s fantasies may prescribe. It’s as with the starry-eyed, naïve young lady who is smitten with an exotic but flawed man and who is just sure (as women so often are) that she’ll be able to change him: after 15 years she can be a cynical old jade who will bitterly lament, “He’ll never change!” The man, you see, made that transition from theoretical foreign naughty boy to up-close domestic nightmare.

So do you really want to know what it would truly take to transform the ‘stan du jour? Alright, but most of you either won’t like it or won’t believe it:

  1. Go in with massive force and brutality, Roman style.
  2. Execute anyone who offers resistance after dousing him in pig’s blood.
  3. Forcibly convert the population to Christianity, and thoroughly infuse their institutions with the faith.
  4. Garrison troops there for several generations, repeating steps one and two as necessary to complete the transformation.

And, by the way, there is precedent for this: It’s a version of what the Muslims did when they long ago conquered the old Christian lands of the Mideast and North Africa.

Having said this, I’m not currently recommending such a course. I’m just telling you what would be necessary to effect the kind of change in question. You see, everyone talked about Mideast nation-building when we really just engaged in government-building and what was actually needed was something far grander than both: civilization-building. The moderns thought that if they put sheep’s clothing on a wolf it wouldn’t bite, that they could put the leaves of liberty on a tree of tyranny and they wouldn’t wither and die. We thought we were remedying causes when we were just treating symptoms.

So yesterday’s moderns called WWI “the war to end all wars.” Then their grandchildren gave us the political system to end all wars — democracy — with George W. Bush once saying that democracies don’t go to war with one another. And this is true. After all, when democracy’s birthplace, ancient Athens, democratically decided to launch a disastrous imperialistic war that ultimately cost her people their whole empire, the target was autocratic Sparta; there were no other democracies to war against at the time, you see.

So all we can really say is that democracies haven’t yet gone to war with one another. Perhaps even more to the point, democracies don’t always remain democracies; they often, sometimes quickly and violently, descend into tyranny.

Then they may go to war.

So while some commentators are saying that the current crisis in Iraq vindicates the neo-cons, it only proves that they were better than the liberals at herding cats. A wiser policy was the one we pursued during Cold War days. Understanding that the island boys were going to need a firm hand, we both kept them on their island and tried to ensure a firm hand we could handle: a pro-American dictator, such as Augusto Pinochet or Hosni Mubarak. Oh, the viciously vacuous condemned this as the authoring of tyranny, but they forget that, as Thomas Sowell often points out, in life there often aren’t any solutions, only trade-offs. And accepting this can help prevent making the wrongs ones, such as trading off blood and treasure for that fruit of folderol and fantasy — nothing.
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23 Responses to Iraq and the Bloody Price of Lies

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    I rather like your first two proposals for how to remake the Muslim “civilization” (especially the use of pig’s blood to send jihadists to Shaitan, an approach S. M. Stirling also used in his alternate history The Peshawar Lancers). Sadly, the 4th (though definitely necessary) makes it unfeasible; there is no one today (aside from the Chinese or Russians, maybe, and I wouldn’t want them to do it) who would be willing to maintain a large, open-ended commitment. However, what’s really needed may not be conversion to Christianity, but simply developing a modernized form of Islam, much as the Talmud did with Judaism.

    Liberal multi-culturalism, of course, is a fraud. They may prate about how all cultures are equal, but they don’t mean it. Even aside from having less respect for their own culture than for others, if challenged they would feel obligated to condemn the Muslim treatment of women and homosexuals. They would, of course, do their best to avoid confronting the issue. But that’s the behavior of people who don’t really mean what they say, and know that they don’t — but find it a politically convenient lie.

    The basic problem with the “people everywhere just want to be free” notion is that it conflates people as individuals with people as members of groups (or, to be precise, cultures). Despite the fraud of multiculturalism, not all cultures are alike. As you rightly point out, everyone (except extreme libertarians) believes that there must be some limits on freedom. Those limits are determined largely by culture, and the failure to realize that (and the implications) is where the Wilsonian ideal falls flat on its face.

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Selwyn links to it in his article, but be sure to read his article from October 2007: The Folly of Deifying Democracy in Iraq. In it he makes several very basic and wise statements.

    And he’s far too polite. As soon as George Bush referred to Islam as “the religion of peace,” I knew it was all over but the shouting. Islam is too backward and barbaric to host a modern form of self-government with protections for minorities. Churchill referred to it as a mad dog, and he was right.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      To be fair, Bush (however idiotic his statement) was speaking at least partly to head off possible anti-Muslim hate crimes. Given past history, such as the “liberty cabbage” (sauerkraut) and “liberty steak” (hamburger) of World War I, the internment of the Nisei in World War II (Elizabeth’s father was a minister to the camp at McGehee, Arkansas; when their landlord kicked them out, probably because of that, they moved into the camp and Elizabeth’s sister was born there), and incidents such as a laundry in Texas that once decided to take the name Baghdad because it sounded exotic — only to find the name had become undesirable in 1990 (a friend of mine was in Houston for the entire fall of 1990 on business, and reported on this to me), his concern was reasonable. (This is far different from those who falsely claim that such hate crimes were common afterward. Bush was trying to prevent them, and perhaps that’s why there were so few. Liberals and Islamist sympathizers falsely claimed a large number of hate crimes.)

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I believe there is a important difference in saying Islam is a religion of peace and that most Muslims are peaceful people. Bush should have said the later and been more honest. There are several mosques within ten miles from where I live and there has been no reported problem with any of them since 9/11.

        I think Bush’s statement and lack of clarity left too much open and damaged the long term effectiveness of the so-called “war against terror.”

        Instead of “terrorists” he should have come out very specifically against fanatical Muslim terrorists.

        He confused the situation further when going after Iraq, a Muslim country, but which had nothing to do with 9/11. You can be sure many people did not differentiate between the two. And then he included North Korea in his rhetorical equation which was dishonest and stupid in my opinion.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I believe there is a important difference in saying Islam is a religion of peace and that most Muslims are peaceful people. Bush should have said the later and been more honest.

          I don’t have Mark Steyn’s data at my fingerprints. But given that there are some 1 billion Muslims and at least (or about) 10% of them support violent Jihad, that’s a hundred million not-very-peaceful Muslims. And we should note that you never find any Muslims protesting against this violence. However, you will get instant condemnation from all sectors of Christendom whenever a Christian does something whacky like bomb an abortion clinic. But you’ll hear nary a peep out of those supposedly one billion “peaceful” Muslims when one of the Jihad wing of the movement murders.

          Mr. Kung, I’m not buying it. As Mark Steyn says about your “moderate” Muslim, they’re the ones who just can’t be bothered to strap on a bomb vest.

          Timothy noted that Bush may have given his “religion of peace” shtick as a political maneuver, a way to gain the cooperation of whatever Muslims he could in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia. And surely this was a factor. But looking back at the full spectrum of George W. Bush, it seem obvious that he actually believed that. These guys actually believed that they could “democratize” the Middle East. As Selwyn points out, they had little knowledge or appreciation for what it takes to form a modern civilization. Democracy is more of an outgrowth of a civilized people, not the cause, as he noted.

          There’s no shame in being a backward and somewhat barbaric tribal people holding onto a bloody and dysfunctional totalitarian religious system. By the measure of the world as it has always existed, Islam is nothing special, just as Nazism is nothing special. The world has seen rivers of blood in its history.

          But what is notable is the modern attitudes, principles, and institutions that have been an expression of man’s highest aspirations that have gone into forming modern Western Civilization. They go missing in Islam. Islam is not compatible with a peaceful, enlightened, and pluralistic world. We should understand that by now.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            If your number of 10% supporting violent jihad is correct, then there is larger number not supporting it.

            If, as Timothy believes, Bush was trying to head-off anti-Muslim hate crimes, I still stand by my formulation. If 90% of a people don’t support violent jihad then that equals most. I didn’t say go into the reasons they don’t support jihad. Perhaps many are peaceful people, perhaps many others are cowards, some might be afraid to lose their livelihoods. The reasons don’t matter as long as the result is peaceful.

            My formulation would have been truthful and less confusing.

            I think your other observations are for another discussion.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              I think we’re pretty much in agreement. I have no use whatsoever for Islam; nevertheless, I wouldn’t have liked to see an outbreak of hate crimes, and I think Bush’s concerns were well-intentioned — but also extremely naïve. One must remember that the neoconservatives have a strong Wilsonian streak, so it’s no surprise that they would believe in their fantasies of Arab democracy that doesn’t lead to results such as Hamas in Gaza, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and Maliki in Iraq.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                I wouldn’t have liked to see an outbreak of hate crimes, and I think Bush’s concerns were well-intentioned — but also extremely naïve.

                Islam is an ongoing hate crime, if we’re going to speak in the language of the Left, Timothy. And I’m not one of those who say that we must lie about what Islam is lest we spawn a rash of “hate crimes.” There are also dire consequences with softening the message…so dire that Europe may indeed die from that softening.

                Softening one’s stance on Islam because it might spawn “hate crimes” is basically letting Islam off the hook. It ought to be at least verbally challenged in every arena of life. Trying to normalize bloody Islam has left us morally confused…to the point where you have idiot Presbyterians divesting from Israel because they view it as an apartheid state when it is Muslims, not Jews, who are the problem in the Middle East.

                What we choose to do about Islam is a separate subject. But we need to stop telling ourselves pleasing lies about Islam. We must not be afraid to look at it head-on.

                If there was real investigative journalism in this country, journalists would go undercover and show what they are teaching inside of mosques in this country. From my understanding, they are a hotbed of “radical” Islam. We have a right to know if we are harboring a murderous enemy.

                And I think we are. As they say, the Constitution is not a suicide pact. Because we wish to live in a pluralistic society entails no necessity to excuse those who fight against that very thing. This is the conundrum the West has had thrust upon us. And we can either go all wobbly like George Bush and call it a “religion of peace” or we can call it what it is and expect and demand that Muslims forswear violence in the name of Allah.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              If 90% of a people don’t support violent jihad then that equals most.

              10% is probably a very generous number. According this article, a Pew poll shows:

              19% of American Muslims said suicide bombings are okay (2011). And the number jumps in other categories: 18% of foreign born Muslims said suicide bombings are generally okay. And (in 2007–figures not available in 2011) 22% of foreign born Arab Muslims said suicide bombings are okay. Yup, nearly one out of four Arab Muslims in America says it’s okay to blow you up. And those are the ones who openly said so to Pew. Again, the number is far higher in reality. In 2011, 31% of Muslims aged 18-29 said suicide bombings are okay–that’s one in three young Muslims in America, who thinks it’s okay to blow you and your families up.

              The numbers are much higher in some countries if I remember right from “American Alone.” And I think it’s an optimistic to say that those who (via polls) say the don’t support violent Jihad are against it. I think the norm is passive support of Jihad. Again, there is just not even a nascent movement in Islam (except for a few brave Muslim or ex-Muslim females) who are arguing against it. And Jihad, lest we forget, is an integral aspect of Islam and always has been. There are just certain things that come with being a Muslim. Ideas have consequences, as they say, as well as responsibilities. I’m not so quick to let so-called “moderate” Muslims off the hook. I just don’t believe they exist.

              Not all Germans threw Jews into the gas ovens. But they were passive participants. Even worse for Muslims is that Islam is not some new ideology that suddenly gripped a people as if in a momentary hysteria, as it did in Nazi Germany where it could be said that events outstripped many German’s ability to do much. But the very nature of Islam, as Robert Spencer notes, is supremacist. Its core doctrine is spreading itself by violence and considering all others as inferior.

              • David Ray says:

                Your 90% not-so-peaceful point has some simple common-sense validity. Need examples?

                One: a Danish cartoonist started riots.

                Two: cartoonist Molly Norris employed her liberal sensibilities to demonstrate how Islam really is a “religion of peace” by initiating an “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”. She received so many death threats that the FBI helped her change her name & location. (These weren’t the fake “blowing off steam” threats either.)

                Three: Robert Spencer looks Mediterranean and took strolls through Muslim “Ma & Pop” convenience stores. He found two things: videos to make your blood curdle and plenty of death threats preached from your friendly neighborhood mosque for pointing it out.

                Four: Theo Van Gogh

                Five: Pim Fortuyn

        • Rosalys says:

          Perhaps most Muslims are living peacefully, but it is also true that a good majority of Muslims support the idea of the Caliphate and would welcome the implementation of sharia law. It’s part of jihad to live peacefully with your neighbors if Islam is a minority religion. Trouble begins when the numbers grow. The Muslim terrorists are indeed fanatical for their hellish faith, but don’t make the mistake of calling them radical. What they are doing is perfectly and fundamentally spot on with the teachings Allah’s (Satan’s) prophet (from hell!) Apparently there are a few sects (like the Sufis?) which (I am told) reject the violence of the true believers. If so, then it is THEY who would be the radical ones!

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      As soon as George Bush referred to Islam as “the religion of peace,” I knew it was all over but the shouting.

      This whole religion of peace thing is strange. How can a religion which was spread largely through imperial conquest claim such a thing? One sees the peacefulness of the religion throughout the whole Middle East where the number of Christians has decreased tremendously in the last ten years.

      Perhaps many Muslims are really Leftist as the both have an amazing ability to ignore reality.

  3. Timothy Lane says:

    Responding to David Ray’s examples: 1. Interestingly, when some disgusting imams decided to use the Danish cartoons to rile up the Islamic masses, it didn’t work. So the vermin fabricated some even worse ones to get the results they wanted. 2. Norris received no support from her own paper, and had to disappear — one hopes into the equivalent of the witness protection program. 3. I gather that Spencer either is an assumed name, or he lives under one. Even describing what the Koran says about the Prophet is enough to get you marked for death if you don’t approve of (say) child marriage.

    4. Van Gogh worked with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who was forced to flee to America because of the death threats against her. She was unable to join a liberal think tank because of her anti-Muslim views, and (as I’m sure most here know) was rejected by Brandeis (named after a Zionist liberal judge) for an honorary degree and commencement speech. Her movie about honor killings has also been censored by liberals.

    Islam and liberalism are both incompatible with free expression, for much the same reasons.

  4. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Your 90% not-so-peaceful point has some simple common-sense validity. Need examples?

    David, I think at least 60% of Muslims worldwide are likely in favor of violent Jihad.

    But as Dennis Prager says about Nazi Germany, for example, (and I paraphrase), “So what that only a small percentage of Germans were Nazis? It was this small percentage that set the agenda. It’s irrelevant to talk about what so-called ‘moderate’ Germans were doing and thinking.”

    A conservative estimate would be that 30% of Muslims worldwide support violent Jihad. Even if it’s less (or more), it’s these Muslims who are setting the agenda.

    And one of the prime problems with calling Islam a “religion of peace” or assuming that “radical” Islam is some sort of departure from “normal” Islam is that Mohammed himself was a ruthless butcher.

    That is, the very ground of Islam is based upon violence and intimidation. However one feels about Hinduism, Buddhism, or Christianity, these religions are not based inherently upon violence and conquest. Again, as I say, the model Christian is Francis of Assisi. The model Muslim is Osama bin Laden. To murder in the name of Christianity is to do evil. To murder in the name of Islam is business as usual.

    For those who think that culture matters in terms of how humans think and behave, we can’t ignore what the culture of Islam is and always has been.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Islam is a religion designed for desert raiders, and until it’s modernized for civilized societies (which there’s no sign of yet), it will remain utterly barbaric.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I think that’s a very apt and succinct analysis, Timothy.

        Robert Spencer even surmises that Mohammed was a consciously manufactured character, one meant to coalesce and energize the military expansionist warlords of the time (which is one of the explanations I’ve read that he’s posited, although I haven’t read the book yet).

        Who knows if Jesus actually existed? But a Jesus who fulfilled every expectation of a political and military Messiah might be suspect. That the Jesus written about is (by the standards of the day) a disgraced criminal is certainly evidence in favor of more than mere story-telling going on.

        Mohammed is a mad Hitleresque character that gleefully has little old ladies killed who simply disagreed with his butchery (that’s part of their official written documents). Jesus, on the other hand, said “let he who is without sin throw the first stone.” He reported raised people from the dead. He did not line up people in front of a grave and behead them en masse as did Mohammed.

        Even if looked at in mere humanist dimensions, Jesus was a repudiation of the legalism and hypocrisy that was rampant in the Jews. Such critiques were, as I understand it, a normal aspect of Judaism. Debate was the norm, as was self-criticism. And other than turning over a few tables in the temple to act as an exclamation point to what he was saying, his methods were completely peaceful.

        Those who attempt a close and sincere adherence to Christianity become a better person. Those who attempt the same with Islam become murderers. At best a “moderate” Muslim is the equivalent of a Cafeteria Catholic. He doesn’t hold to the doctrine but just uses it as an outer veneer. For Catholics this is bad when they don’t hold to teachings about abortion. For Muslims this is good if they don’t hold to teachings about Jihad and the various supremacist, racist, and backward teaching of that totalitarian system.

        • Rosalys says:

          Who knows if Jesus actually existed?

          I do, and I suspect a few other regulars at this site do, too. I never examined the research myself, but I’ve been told that there is actually quite a bit of non-Biblical, historical evidence for the existence of Jesus.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            The best argument for the validity of the Christian religion is that the followers of Jesus remained steadfast in the face of lethal oppression. I don’t mean the later ones, but the early ones who had to know the truth, one way or another. I don’t know if there’s any proof that they actually were given the choice to abjure or die horribly and chose the latter (which they wouldn’t do if they had any reason to doubt his Messiahhood). But it’s not something one can ignore.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Here’s how Wiki sums it up, which seems a fair reading:

              Most modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed,[5][7][8] but scholars differ on the historicity of specific episodes described in the Biblical accounts,[12] and the only two events subject to “almost universal assent” are that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and was crucified by the order of the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate.[9][10][11] There is a significant debate about his nature, his actions and his sayings, but most scholars agree that Jesus was a Galilean Jew who was born between 7-4BC and died 30–36 AD,[13][14][15] that he lived in Galilee and Judea and did not preach or study elsewhere,[16][17][18] and that he spoke Aramaic and perhaps also Hebrew and Greek, although this has been disputed. . .

              . . .The problem for the historian, wrote Blainey, is not therefore, determining whether Jesus actually existed, but rather in considering the “sheer multitude of detail and its inconsistencies and contradictions”.[33] Although a small number of modern scholars argue that Jesus never existed, the great majority of scholars consider theories that Jesus’ existence was a Christian invention implausible.[12][26] Christopher Tuckett states that the existence of Jesus and his crucifixion by Pontius Pilate seem to be part of the bedrock of historical tradition, based on the availability of non-Christian evidence.[26] Graham Stanton states that “Today nearly all historians, whether Christians or not, accept that Jesus existed”.

              That said, one of the fair critiques of the Bible in regards to Jesus is that its purpose is not as a biography or history. It’s purpose it to spread the Word, nothing less. And given what this Word claims to be the truth, the historical details of Jesus become all the more interesting, as well as the desire to know more and to weed out the contradictions or resolve the areas that are murky. How unreasonable it would be to suppose anything less given the subject matter?

              It’s worth noting that no threats will be made, and no one will be killed, from talking about this subject. The same cannot be said regarding Islam. You will see movies such as “The Last Temptation of Christ” but never will you see the movie “Mohammed Fucked Nine-Year-Olds.”

              That is, there is a distinct difference between the madness of Islam and the higher state of man that is part and parcel of Christianity, whatever the ultimate truth is. And if there is a God, and he is a wise, just, and loving God, would that God spawn a religion such as Christianity or a brutal and obscene one such as Islam?

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Yes, many of us have pointed out for years that whereas some Christians merely marched against showing The Last Temptation of Christ (and the original novel, at least, was considered an interesting idea by many Christians, as I know from personal observation), there was an Iranian fatwa against Salman Rushdie over The Satanic Verses, and he had to be saved by the woman he called “Mrs. Torture”.

                Note, too, that even as the Crimson King and the Fire Witch blamed a video for Benghazi and talked of free speech and freedom of religion, a New York City art museum was displaying the vile “Piss Christ” — and it never occurred to them to use that as an example of what they meant, because neither really meant it. Or perhaps it never occurred to them that the Christian objection to that and other such blasphemies was not their display, but the use of taxpayer funds from the very people slimed by the “artists” to pay for them.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Yes, I’m aware that even questioning the existence of Jesus will gain an automatic “hallelujah” from the choir. 🙂

            But one of the things Robert Spencer notes about his book (linked above) is that it is politically correct to question the existence of Jesus, Buddha, and whomever, but not of Mohammed.

            I consider it normal and good to look at these historical figures through the lens of biography as well as faith. If Jesus existed, it’s not wrong to expect ample evidence. And this is said in the context of just how difficult it often is to gauge history. History is very often incomplete. And what there is of it is often riddled with myth and legend.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              Note that Killing Jesus was a work of history, not religion, and that O’Reilly and Dugard left out many Biblical details that they considered insufficiently confirmed (and have been criticized by some for doing so).

    • Rosalys says:

      I would go so far as to say that calling Islam a religion of peace is bearing false witness – and this lie is one which has devastating consequences for the entire planet!

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