Quote of the day

posted at 10:20 pm on August 18, 2007 by Allahpundit

“As for the American experience, it is utterly exceptional: there is no other fully developed industrial society with a population so committed to its faiths (and such exotic ones), while being equally committed to the Great Separation. Our political rhetoric, which owes much to the Protestant sectarians of the 17th century, vibrates with messianic energy, and it is only thanks to a strong constitutional structure and various lucky breaks that political theology has never seriously challenged the basic legitimacy of our institutions. Americans have potentially explosive religious differences over abortion, prayer in schools, censorship, euthanasia, biological research and countless other issues, yet they generally settle them within the bounds of the Constitution. It’s a miracle.

And miracles can’t be willed.

*

[W]e must somehow find a way to accept the fact that, given the immigration policies Western nations have pursued over the last half-century, they now are hosts to millions of Muslims who have great difficulty fitting into societies that do not recognize any political claims based on their divine revelation. Like Orthodox Jewish law, the Muslim Shariah is meant to cover the whole of life, not some arbitrarily demarcated private sphere, and its legal system has few theological resources for establishing the independence of politics from detailed divine commands. It is an unfortunate situation, but we have made our bed, Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Accommodation and mutual respect can help, as can clear rules governing areas of tension, like the status of women, parents’ rights over their children, speech offensive to religious sensibilities, speech inciting violence, standards of dress in public institutions and the like. Western countries have adopted different strategies for coping, some forbidding religious symbols like the head scarf in schools, others permitting them. But we need to recognize that coping is the order of the day, not defending high principle, and that our expectations should remain low. So long as a sizable population believes in the truth of a comprehensive political theology, its full reconciliation with modern liberal democracy cannot be expected.”


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In other words, allowing Islam into your country is political and national suicide.

doriangrey on August 18, 2007 at 10:27 PM

De Civitas Dei.

Weight of Glory on August 18, 2007 at 10:32 PM

In other words……the West will take the lazy route.

Don’t get me wrong….the content of the post is great, but the ears it falls on are listening to jingles and counting their toys. We ARE bread and circus and don’t care about anything else.

Limerick on August 18, 2007 at 10:34 PM

In other words……the West will take the lazy route.

Don’t get me wrong….the content of the post is great, but the ears it falls on are listening to jingles and counting their toys. We ARE bread and circus and don’t care about anything else.

Limerick on August 18, 2007 at 10:34 PM

Sad but true.

madne0 on August 18, 2007 at 10:37 PM

but the ears it falls on are listening to jingles and counting their toys. We ARE bread and circus and don’t care about anything else.

I think there are more people like you than you think there are. I really do.

Weight of Glory on August 18, 2007 at 10:41 PM

Islam should be banned in all democratic societies not because it is barbaric, (which it is) but because it is intrinsically ant-democratic. At it’s very core it is against all that we in the west hold sacred, you know those little things like:
Freedom of religion
Freedom of speak
Freedom of association
Freedom of the press
Equal rights
Freedom from cruel and unusual punishment

Maybe in a 1000 or so years Muslims will have civilized them selves and their religion of head chopping to a point where we might redress the ban.

TheSitRep on August 18, 2007 at 3:47 PM

here we go again.

TheSitRep on August 18, 2007 at 10:48 PM

Weight of Glory on August 18, 2007 at 10:41 PM

I hope you are right WoG…I really do.

Limerick on August 18, 2007 at 10:49 PM

zzzzz…….

TheBigOldDog on August 18, 2007 at 10:54 PM

It’s Fundamental. The Jihadists and the Muslims who want to rule the world with Sharia Law do so because their book and so called prophet tell them that is what they must do. They believe it with all their heart and so act it out with their various strategies. As long as they believe, they will lie, kill, cheat, and steal to achieve their goal (or die trying). As long as they believe what they believe, they will not be deterred. Only by death. By their way of thinking, that’s almost a guaranteed ticket to Heaven. The answer is conversion. Either away from the Muslim fundamentalist view, or to Christianity (best idea I’ve heard all day). It’s a spiritual battle for all to see. Fundamental Muslim’s say convert, submit, or die.

Fundamental Christians don’t have so much trouble understanding the Jihadist view. (although we understand it is the Spirit of anti-christ and such extreme deception) We know what it is to believe with our whole hearts that then translates to action. (although admittedly, imperfectly) The Christian says, Jesus already won at the cross! Love your neighbor as your self. Share the truth of His Love so others will believe! No forced conversions here. Only offering the truth in love and praying that many will accept it.

God also placed Governments and laws in the Earth as a minister of God. (see Romans 13) I think fundamentalist Christians and non-Christians alike expect our government to fight the war on terror on every front with everything we have. A very good reason to secure the border, for example, and win in Iraq!

Still, it could be a hot rest of the Summer… I pray not.

Jesus said, “in this world you will have trouble. Take heart for I have overcome the world.”

Ordinary1 on August 18, 2007 at 11:24 PM

“And miracles can’t be willed”

“A man can do as he wills, but not will as he wills”

- Schopenhauer

MB4 on August 18, 2007 at 11:36 PM

Read this article in print copy this morning.

I was surprised at the focus on Christianity, but it was necessary to understand how the separation of Christian religious government and the secularization thereof is necessary to understanding how Islam hasn’t done this, and doesn’t seem willing to.

Yet. So for NYT Mag, not too bad.

Good Lt on August 18, 2007 at 11:39 PM

Maybe in a 1000 or so years Muslims will have civilized them selves and their religion of head chopping to a point where we might redress the ban.

TheSitRep on August 18, 2007 at 3:47 PM

At the rate they are progressing it will take 1,789,987,995 years, approximately.

- Mr. Spock

MB4 on August 18, 2007 at 11:39 PM

I don’t have time to read the entire NYT article tonight, but I will say at first glance that it contains a great deal of hodgepodge and misunderstanding and confusion about the Christian faith as well as various historical events. For one example, Augustine wrote the City of God, and he was born in the 300′s, and in using the phrase Mr. Lilla should have clarified the author and time rather than stating in passing it was something debated in the Middle Ages.

I have read extensively on Reformation history and his condensed presentation of it is pitiful and erroneous. Unless I missed something, he also totally skips the impact of the Pilgrims and Puritans on American political thinking and does not mark the differences between the French and American Revolution and why one led to the Terror and the other led to the rule of Law.

This statement he made was true of France, and IMO it led to their Terror:

In order to escape the destructive passions of messianic faith, political theology centered on God was replaced by political philosophy centered on man. This was the Great Separation.

I have not read extensively on the French Revolution, but I think it was based more on humanism and truly was political philosophy centered on man. It did not turn out too well.

It is not true of the US. He states:

As for the American experience, it is utterly exceptional: there is no other fully developed industrial society with a population so committed to its faiths (and such exotic ones), while being equally committed to the Great Separation.

He misses the point as to why it is utterly exceptional. Our American Founders did not set up a theocracy, but neither did they believe in the Great Separation as defined by Lilla. Our Founders realized the nature and frailty of man and the need to set down safeguards to prevent the tyranny of the majority and the minority. The notion of the sinful frailty of man is a Judeo-Christian idea. Man-centered philosophies do not generally admit the weaknesses of man, and if they do they are not really sure what to do with them.

There are many references in the writings of the Founders of the place of Christian religion in the life of a nation and many of their ideas regarding the nature of man and power are reflections of biblical teachings.

John Adams:

We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

James Madison:

The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.

Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. What is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?

George Washington:

Of all the dispositions and habits which least to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indespensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism who should labor to subvert these great Pilliars of human happiness.

Mr. Lilla appears to do a great deal of religious equivalence talk with the Jewish and Christian faiths and the religion of Islam. He concludes with this statement,

We have wagered that it is wiser to beware the forces unleashed by the Bible’s messianic promise than to try exploiting them for the public good. We have chosen to keep our politics unilluminated by divine revelation. All we have is our own lucidity, which we must train on a world where faith still inflames the minds of men.

He obviously has not read his United States history either, or else chooses to ignore it. His words reveal what he thinks of faith and appears to have no discernment of the differences in their doctrine and practice.

In one of his earlier paragraphs he said:

We in the West are disturbed and confused.

Mr. Lilla is certainly confused. He needs to take his blinkers of bias off and read some history.

INC on August 19, 2007 at 12:11 AM

This statement he made was true of France, and IMO it led to their Terror:

In order to escape the destructive passions of messianic faith, political theology centered on God was replaced by political philosophy centered on man. This was the Great Separation.
I have not read extensively on the French Revolution, but I think it was based more on humanism and truly was political philosophy centered on man. It did not turn out too well.
INC on August 19, 2007 at 12:11 AM

Read up on the influence of Rousseau, and the fundamental differences between the two revolutions will be made more stark and undersandable.

billy on August 19, 2007 at 12:21 AM

And miracles can’t be willed. This as printed from that bastion of accurate information, the New York Times.

You want truth?

You got it

Kini on August 19, 2007 at 12:26 AM

Like Orthodox Jewish law, the Muslim Shariah is meant to cover the whole of life…

It’s actually quite unlike Orthodox Jewish law, whose adherents are not attempting to establish it the world over at the point of a gun.

infidel4life on August 19, 2007 at 12:27 AM

billy, it’s been a while since I read on Rousseau, but your words are jogging the dim memories. Thanks.

INC on August 19, 2007 at 12:27 AM

BTW, bravo for the preview feature!

infidel4life on August 19, 2007 at 12:29 AM

infidel4life, that’s one of his statements I thought was a ridiculous and dangerous attempt at religious equivalence.

Hey, I’ve been out of town. I just noticed there’s a preview feature now. When did this happen?

INC on August 19, 2007 at 12:29 AM

Hey all you Infidels,

If you know what’s good for you, stock up on tightie whities (sp??) in preparation for the coming worldwide umma.
This is your last warning!

Courtesy Jihad Watch:

http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1520.htm:

fred5678 on August 19, 2007 at 12:42 AM

A great analysis, for the Times, anyway.

Basically, Democracy and Islam are not compatable. OK I get that.

So, as un-American as it sounds, we need to co-exist with Muslims, just not share the same geography.

I want to believe otherwise. The Muslims I know are Kool. The Imams I have read about-are not.

Our struggle is with the radical teachers and imams. America needs to re-define; we are not in a “War on Terror”, we are in a war agianst the radicalizing of Islam.

If that is too complicated, remember that the overwhelming majority of muslims LOVE the USA, and its people. The Armenians and Kurds rock.

AZCON on August 19, 2007 at 1:01 AM

Like Orthodox Jewish law, the Muslim Shariah is meant to cover the whole of life

And unlike the Jews, Muslims base their law on the concept of a capricious, unknowable deity. What kind of law could come from such a god? A capricious law which changes it tenets at “God’s” will–a god of truthiness.

baldilocks on August 19, 2007 at 1:09 AM

Basically, Democracy and Islam are not compatable. OK I get that.

AZCON on August 19, 2007 at 1:01 AM

Why?
Why is Christianity so much more compatible with democracy than Islam?
Or Hinduism?
Or Judiasm?
Or Shinto?
Or atheism?
In all of the above there is much to suggest an anti-democratic impulse, but Islam (and its billion practicioners) is singled out as somehow incompatible with modern democracy.
Again, why?

billy on August 19, 2007 at 1:21 AM

And unlike the Jews, Muslims base their law on the concept of a capricious, unknowable deity.
baldilocks on August 19, 2007 at 1:09 AM

…and the God of the book of Job is certainly not capricious, nor are His ways unknowable.

billy on August 19, 2007 at 1:25 AM

but Islam (and its billion practicioners) is singled out as somehow incompatible with modern democracy.
Again, why?

billy on August 19, 2007 at 1:21 AM

Because only Islam teaches that Sharia Law must rule the planet and the infidels must submit or die. Most Muslims don’t believe that to the point of taking action, but enough do to be a threat to the rest of the world.

Everyone else, it seems, can play nice in a democracy. Fundamental Muslims have to take over. It’s what they believe to the death.

Ordinary1 on August 19, 2007 at 1:32 AM

Why is Christianity so much more compatible with democracy than Islam?

Great clip posted by: “fred5678 on August 19, 2007 at 12:42 AM”

No religion that boasts of how many religious laws they have on urination is going to be democratic. The imams believe they can determine Allah’s will, and then they use that to lord it over the rest.

The whole article speaks to the western people who have rejected religion in favor of doing whatever they feel like. Such an unguided, unmotivated society is doomed to becoming Muslim, just like all the other countries were before Islamic expansion was stopped.

The author assumes that modernism overran Christianity, and is unaware that Christianity at its core is what eventually overran human tendencies to authoritarianism. Luther and Calvin didn’t invent anything, they just rediscovered what Christ said in the first place.

pedestrian on August 19, 2007 at 1:51 AM

Luther and Calvin didn’t invent anything, they just rediscovered what Christ said in the first place. pedestrian on August 19, 2007 at 1:51 AM

Thanks.
I’m clear now.
Christianity was just all screwed up for 15 centuries until the Reformers came along and fixed it.
Because Jesus Christ himself got it wrong.
But Luther & Calvin got it right.
Now Christianity is compatible with democracy, and Islam is not.
QED.

billy on August 19, 2007 at 2:01 AM

AZCON on August 19, 2007 at 1:01 AM

‘Most muslims are kool’ – I’ve met 4 Saudis down here in flight school and my impression has been mixed. One is the son of a Saudi General and goes drinking with us on a regular basis (even though he’s not supposed to). He has said many times that he would stay and serve in the U.S. military if given the chance. I would love it if a majority of Saudis thought like him. One other is the son of a Saudi prince and has a generally neutral position towards us. He sees us as strong allies more than ideological enemies. The other two are strongly opposed to western society, and are training in the U.S. only because they have to. I think their worldview is much more common back home.

‘The Armenians and Kurds rock’ – Don’t forget about the Albanians, and the majority of the Iranian civilian population.

BadgerHawk on August 19, 2007 at 2:11 AM

Because Jesus Christ himself got it wrong.
But Luther & Calvin got it right.
Now Christianity is compatible with democracy, and Islam is not.
QED.

billy on August 19, 2007 at 2:01 AM

Dude, were you even listening? Luther and Calvin didn’t invent anything. They just brought Christianity BACK TO CHRIST. It’s Christ who always had it right and always will!

The Dark Ages were dark because “the church” had God’s Word hidden away from the people. Luther translated the Bible, Guttenburg printed it, and now everyone has one (or should :-) to read for themselves to see what Jesus said for themselves!

As far as Islam. (radical Islam, anyway) Any faith that believes they must overturn every democracy and make them theocracies based on Sharia Law is going to be incompatible with those democracies.

Ordinary1 on August 19, 2007 at 2:15 AM

Because Jesus Christ himself got it wrong.
But Luther & Calvin got it right.
Now Christianity is compatible with democracy, and Islam is not.
QED.

billy on August 19, 2007 at 2:01 AM

Apparently you didn’t read what I wrote to the end.

they just rediscovered what Christ said in the first place.

Christ didn’t law down a government system that we had to abide by. I don’t really understand why not, but it is part of his plan for preparing us for salvation. But the whole loving your neighbor, forsaking selfish material gains, and obeying your government even if you disagree with it are essential for democracy. The American system of representative democracy can be traced directly back to how Calvin read from Acts how the early church organized itself.
Why they didn’t start governing that way had to do with the RChristian Roman emperors being very weak Christians, and without affordable copies of the Bible, the people could not yet ccall out the early kings and Church on their un-Christian wways.

pedestrian on August 19, 2007 at 2:18 AM

billy on August 19, 2007 at (well, every time he posts)

If you wanna be the resident HotAir muslim apologist troll, you’re gonna have to bring some intelligence to the table. Otherwise, you’re just another moron with a computer.

infidel4life on August 19, 2007 at 2:40 AM

billy on August 19, 2007 at 2:01 AM

Christianity wasn’t even mentioned in the original comment. The comment was:

Basically, Democracy and Islam are not compatable. OK I get that.

You decided it was a statement about the compatibility of Christianity and Democracy.

Kowboy on August 19, 2007 at 2:40 AM

infidel4life on August 19, 2007 at 2:40 AM

Yeeeeahhh!

BadgerHawk on August 19, 2007 at 2:50 AM

Try to think of two documents that are more antithetical to each other than the U.S. Constitution and the Koran.

Try to think of individuals who were more antithetical to each other than the founding fathers of the United States of America and the founding father of Islam.

MB4 on August 19, 2007 at 3:08 AM

Try to think of some better use of your time, billy, than coming here with your Christian-baiting rhetoric.

It’s been done (better) here before; at least try to be logical with your *witty* ripostes.

hillbillyjim on August 19, 2007 at 3:32 AM

In all of the above there is much to suggest an anti-democratic impulse, but Islam (and its billion practicioners) is singled out as somehow incompatible with modern democracy.
Again, why?

billy on August 19, 2007 at 1:21 AM

Probably for about the same reason that Sick Vick is “singled out” as a dog killer.

MB4 on August 19, 2007 at 3:59 AM

“So long as a sizable population believes in the truth of a comprehensive political theology, its full reconciliation with modern liberal democracy cannot be expected.”

Can’t we come up with a solution knowing this one tidbit of information? I know I can.

Kevin M on August 19, 2007 at 4:57 AM

Hey all you Infidels,

If you know what’s good for you, stock up on tightie whities (sp??) in preparation for the coming worldwide umma.
This is your last warning!

Courtesy Jihad Watch:

http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1520.htm:

fred5678 on August 19, 2007 at 12:42 AM

That video is hilarious. A guy and a culture that wipes with their frickin hand telling us, the culture that;

Invented Plumbing,
Sewer Treatment,
Flush toilet,
Pasteurization,
Ultraviolet light bulbs,
The autoclave,
Antibiotics,
Anti-septics,
Disposable diaper,
The bidet,
Baby wipes,
Feminine thingies,
And toilet paper that we are unclean. For the love of Pete.! Is the guy insane?

What has the culture of Islam given us?
Backwardness, despair, stoning, honor killings, suicide bombers, road side bombs.

Gimme a break.

TheSitRep on August 19, 2007 at 7:36 AM

And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.—Luke 20:25

With those words, civil government was rendered distinct from Christian theology. End of argument.

HerrMorgenholz on August 19, 2007 at 8:31 AM

And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.—Luke 20:25
With those words, civil government was rendered distinct from Christian theology. End of argument.

HerrMorgenholz on August 19, 2007 at 8:31 AM


I guess that is a good start, but how about I just keep what is mine and God & Caesar can go F8*k themselves!

TheSitRep on August 19, 2007 at 10:01 AM

Just watched that MEMRI video, what a crock! And these creatures control the worlds’ supply of oil? C’mon hydrogen power! The sooner we stop dealing with these crackpots, the better.

countywolf on August 19, 2007 at 11:18 AM

Aesop has a pertinent fable about The Porcupine and the Snakes.
_____________________________________________________

As Fall chilled the land, a wandering, battered-down porcupine stumbled upon the entrance to a cozy cave where he thought to escape the elements, only to discover that it was already inhabited by a family of snakes.

Would it be okay with you if I moved into one corner of your cave for shelter?” the porcupine asked them.

The snakes generously offered to share their home with the sad-looking porcupine, so he moved in, and then, to their surprise, opened up all of his prickly quills to stretch out for the Winter.

The snakes soon realized that they had made a painful mistake, because every time one of them now moved, they would be jabbed by one of their vistor’s sharp quills.

The snakes finally got up their courage to complain about their discomfort to the porcupine.

Well, that’s too bad,” he replied. “I’m most comfortable here as things are. But if you snakes aren’t satisifed, why don’t you just move?”

And he stretched out his quills even wider.
_________________________________________________________

With Islam as the Porcupine and infidel lands as the Snakes, it fits perfectly.*

(*La Raza is a close second.)

profitsbeard on August 19, 2007 at 11:22 AM

A guy and a culture that wipes with their frickin hand telling us, the culture that;

Invented Plumbing,

I’m not sure that Western culture was the first to have plumbing. If I recall correctly, the Indus Valley civilization had plumbing.

This culture, which existed from around 2500 BC to 1500 BC in what is now Pakistan, is known mainly for two archaeological sites, Harappa and Mohenjo Daro. They also are reported to have traded with Mesopotamia to the west.

However, because this was pre-Islamic Pakistan, modern Pakistanis don’t have much respect for it, since muslims consider pre-Islamic cultures to be “darkness”.

Bigfoot on August 19, 2007 at 11:26 AM

Just watched that MEMRI video, what a crock! And these creatures control the worlds’ supply of oil? C’mon hydrogen power! The sooner we stop dealing with these crackpots, the better.

countywolf on August 19, 2007 at 11:18 AM

Hydrogen is not a power. It is just a state of power storage. There is no hydrogen that can be had freely or cheaply. It takes energy to get it and then gives a portion of that energy back when you join it back with oxygen.

We need massive amounts of nuke energy, wind, solar, hydro, and at the same time exploit every square inch of oil field in Ca, Ak,offshore, etc.

Also we all need to conserve as much as we can.

TheSitRep on August 19, 2007 at 11:37 AM

INC on August 19, 2007 at 12:11 AM

Great comments.

shooter on August 19, 2007 at 11:38 AM

Actually OrdinarlyStupid

corona on August 19, 2007 at 11:57 AM

it’s a pain when you press the wrong key accidentally!!!

Anyhow, what your buds L&C did was form a pseudo-Christianity, based on their personal opinions, not on the teachings of Jesus Christ. It’s not complicated – just read Matthew 16:18.

corona on August 19, 2007 at 12:01 PM

Matthew 16:15-18
“‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’
Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’
Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.’

Not complicated at all! Jesus built His Church on the confession of Jesus as Christ, the Son of the living God! Good news indeed!

Luther helped bring the Bible to the people. That’s all I’m saying. I’m not Lutheran, although I have great friends who are. I’m not particularly Calvinistic, although I know people who are. I prefer not to major on the minor points. Main point is, Jesus paid the price, all you gotta do is accept His awesome gift. Then if you allow Him too, He will conform you into the image of Christ! I think Luther and Calvin can get on board with that :-)

Ordinary1 on August 19, 2007 at 12:36 PM

Substantial reading for a Sunday morning! I must admit that I have yet to read Hobbes, Rosseau and John Locke. But how fortunate we are that the Founding Fathers studied them, along with the Bible. The American experience is exceptional. And despite the troubled history of it’s religeous wars, the Christian faith is exceptional.
The author’s concept of a Great Seperation may have some flaws but I’m in no postion to make that argument. I will say that the scenario he describes does resemble our political and cultural situation at the present, but the Founding Fathers fortunately had more in mind than simply seperating these two spheres of life. Their intent was to limit the power of government over men’s individual freedoms so that we may can enjoy God and serve him as we interpret the scriptures.
Rather than keeping a supposed wall of seperation between Church and State, they crafted a form of government that was limited in its ability to stifle Religion; indeed one that inherently encouraged Religion, which they correctly percieved to be the sorce of morality and civility in the flawed human heart. I think that our Consitution and form of government is more than capable of withstanding the fundemental Islam challenge, to the degree that we as a nation stay true to them. But as our Federal government steals more and more power from its citizens, moving us in the direction of this Great Seperation (Secularism), we incrementally disconnect from the Power that makes us a moral, civil and just society.

Dork B. on August 19, 2007 at 1:13 PM

‘The Armenians and Kurds rock’ – Don’t forget about the Albanians, and the majority of the Iranian civilian population.

The Albanians are not friendly towards the US, they just tricked the US/UK into bombing Bosnia on their behalf and are now trying to carve out a huge-sized chunk of Serbia and add it to the Dar al-Islam.

aengus on August 19, 2007 at 1:45 PM

I was trying to remember this quote last night and finally found it today.

Alexander Hamilton:

A fondness for power is implanted, in most men, and it is natural to abuse it, when acquired.

A couple more on power:

Thomas Jefferson:

In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.

James Madison:

All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree.

Maybe remedial US civics should be required in the halls of Congress and with the press corps.

INC on August 19, 2007 at 4:31 PM

shooter, thanks for the kind words.

INC on August 19, 2007 at 4:37 PM

INC on August 19, 2007 at 4:31 PM

Actually I believe that quotes of that nature are the reason that congress insured that civics are no longer taught in public schools. Wouldn’t want the up and coming electorate to understand that according to the Founding Fathers more government was not a desirable concept and that those holding office should not be given unquestioned trust…

doriangrey on August 19, 2007 at 4:38 PM

doriangrey, unfortunately, I think you have a point. Much of the media appears to have a vested interest in burying historical facts as well.

INC on August 19, 2007 at 5:23 PM

But we need to recognize that coping is the order of the day, not defending high principle, and that our expectations should remain low. So long as a sizable population believes in the truth of a comprehensive political theology, its full reconciliation with modern liberal democracy cannot be expected.

Mark Lilla would have liberal-democratic peoples stop defending high principle and learn just to cope with muslims’ own unwillingness to stop defending high principle. He says they should acquiesce in the low expectation that muslims will keep their own high expectation of universal Shariah. “The soft bigotry of low expectations” has gone in a single step from being the Right’s accusation against the Left, to being the explicit doctrine of a left-liberal writer. One-way multi-culturalism has gone, in a single step, from being sold as a progressive doctrine to being sold as a doctrine of despair.

This blog post would be improved by commentary to accompany the bare quotation of that Times writer and explicitly challenge his half-baked thinking. Unless someone can do better than my preceding paragraph, I propose it be made an update to the post.

Kralizec on August 19, 2007 at 7:55 PM

Kralizec, you make good points.

I do think perhaps AP figures we can fisk it ourselves. He doesn’t have any soft bigotry of low expectations of the commenters.

INC on August 19, 2007 at 8:05 PM

MM has a link to a Power Line post, Fundamentally Flawed, that I think relates to this one about the NYT.

On Tuesday evening, CNN will debut a three-part series called God’s Warriors. The series, devoted to an examination of “religious fundamentalism,” is created and hosted by Christiane Amanpour; the first segment, to be aired Tuesday, is called “Jewish Warriors;” Wednesday’s show is “Muslim Warriors,” followed by “Christian Warriors” on Thursday.

Kind of looks like the MSM decided to do an all out all-religions-are-equivalent propaganda push, doesn’t it?

PL goes on to say:

While these three topics are treated as though they were on a par, there are some obvious distinctions. Like, the Christian “warriors” are home-schooling their children, while the Muslim “warriors” are blowing people up. If this Associated Press account is accurate, CNN’s series is devoted to obfuscating such obvious differences rather than elucidating them.

For example:

Another segment tried to explain why so many devout Muslims are willing to give their lives to a cause.

“To the West, martyrdom has a really bad connotation because of suicide bombers who call themselves martyrs,” [Amanpour] said. “Really, martyrdom is actually something that historically was quite noble, because it was about standing up and rejecting tyranny, rejecting injustice and rejecting oppression and, if necessary, dying for that.”

Good grief!!!! Yet another uniformed liberal taking a word and trying to put it into terms of social revolution. The word martyr is a transliteration from the Greek word martus or martur and it means witness. According to W. E. Vine, it denotes one who can or does aver what he has seen or heard or knows. All Christians are to be witnesses to their faith, some have died because of persecution due to that witness.

Well, it should be interesting to see that latest unfolding of Leftist slander, in their continuing effort to try to paint conservative Jews and Christians with the same brush as terrorists who like to blow people up.

When I read things like this sometimes I begin to think there is a malicious game afoot to begin laying the groundwork to justify shutting down churches and placing legal restrictions on Christian and Jewish practice, all in the name of protecting America from fundamentalists. When in reality, the problem is not whether you’re a fundamentalist, but what the fundamentals tenets actually are that you believe.

INC on August 19, 2007 at 11:08 PM

I do think perhaps AP figures we can fisk it ourselves. He doesn’t have any soft bigotry of low expectations of the commenters.

INC on August 19, 2007 at 8:05 PM

Heh. Indeed.

Kralizec on August 20, 2007 at 10:49 PM