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Friday, September 14, 2012

Our Government Responds

Having just watched the evening news re the blowup in the Middle East, I've decided I need to vent. This administration's responses to petty provocations to the Muslim world first by a backwoods preacher and now by some disgruntled Coptic immigrants (in the film _Innocence of Muslims_) leave me deeply disturbed.

It took this administration until Thursday before it mentioned Americans' First Amendment right to express themselves,
no matter how crudely. Why wasn't this tack taken in the Terry Jones kerfuffle? Why did this administration choose to blow such an obscure person into such prominence over the burning of a Qur'an? For Pete's sake, are they suggesting that we Christians now have the right to be "understood" if we burn down a few TV and movie studios over the nightly insults we get from the entertainment industry? I dare hope not!

Hillary Clinton should've clearly told the Muslim world that the same First Amendment that protects an Imam's right to call the Jews "relatives of apes and pigs" (it's there in Sura 2:65 or thereabouts and repeated again in Sura 7)--surely offensive to many of us, Jewish or not--Bill Maher's right to say downright nasty things about his Catholic upbringing (and I am not a RC), also protects Terry Jones' right to burn a Qur'an (which, BTW, is an act of which I do not approve) and a bunch of Copts' right to let out their true feelings about the majority religion of their Old Country when they're safe here in the USA. Mrs Clinton also ought to tell the Islamic world--where Christian girls are often kidnapped and raped in Egypt; Christian and Hindu girls meet the same treatment in Pakistan; where the 5% of the Bangladeshi population that is non-Muslim female experiences 98% of the rapes (and not from their own men)--that if it wants the respect of the rest of us, it really needs to clean up its own act vis-a-vis its religious minorities.

The prominence which both the administration and the MSM give to the justly obscure propagators of these supposed "insults" to Islam further suggests that, for supposed reasons of "the greater good" that our media and political elite would really like the First Amendment to go away. The tinny quality of Mrs. Clinton's Thursday remarks versus the strident tones attacking the film _Innocence of Muslims_ immediately after the assassination of Ambassador Stevens (may God grant his family comfort in this time of mourning) makes me sweat that perhaps we will see a large assault on the First Amendment at home.
Now, I will admit that I believe that the timing of the attacks is how Qaida and its affiliates are telling the world that they are still there.  Hence, I accept that these attacks are a warning that terrorism's war on us is not going to wind down--much as we would like to wind down our end of the matter.  I would also hate to see the American public respond to Islamic provocations in the manner chosen by the Islamic street.  But the response to this kind of trouble is not to suddenly become so solicitous of Muslim sensitivities that we become their Dhimmi.

Our elite has shown itself adept at dropping the ball on a possible teaching moment. Let's hope it isn't the harbinger of something truly sinister on the home front.


  1. My question is what can we do? We're in a situation where a fringe troublemaker can do something stupid and violence results all around the world. I'm not about to give up free speech, but what can we do? If the administration were to thumb its nose at the rioters in the name of free speech, what would that accomplish?

    According to Le Monde, the Pope today called on all Jews, Muslims and Christians to eradicate fundamentalism (in their own houses). Unfortunately, he didn't really define 'fundamentalism'.

  2. Well, the thing that bothers me is that our administration has taken so long to take a "teaching opportunity" to explain to the world that we have such a thing as a First Amendment. I also suspect that there are elements in our media and administration that have given such prominence to people like "Bacile" and Terry Jones in order to insinuate that the First Amendment is too dangerous a thing to keep when it might be used by the great unwashed.

    And, concerning the rioters, isn't it interesting that the attacks blow up on 9/11? I have a strong suspicion that the Morsi government in Egypt is playing the sort of double game with us which Pakistan has long played; yet we have just forgiven a hill of debt and continue to give them 1.6 billion in aid.

    No, we don't have many options for dealing with the mess. But it may warn us that we need to remain on guard.

    Re the Pope using "fundamentalism" as an undefined swear-word, isn't it convenient that it redounds to the discredit of the original Scripturalist movement, namely Protestantism?

    Good to hear from you, Craig. Keep well.

  3. The closest the Pope comes to a definition, at least in Le Monde, is this: "Utiliser les paroles révélées, les Ecritures saintes ou le nom de Dieu, pour justifier nos intérêts, nos politiques si facilement accommodantes, ou nos violences, est une faute très grave." My French is rusty, but basically I think he means "To use revelation, Holy writings or the Name of God to justify our interests, our easily accommodated politics or our violence is a serious error." So it seems he's suggesting that religious leaders police those in their various folds that mix politics and religion.

  4. The Pope is a fine one to condemn others for mixing politics and religion.

    Granted, I accept that the important thing is to be on the Lord's side rather than to expect the Lord to be on ours, but the Reformers didn't call the Pope "Antichrist" for nothing; especially the popes of those days.