You’ve all heard by now about the group of Massachusetts school children taken to a mosque where they were taught utterly fallacious history about Islam and America, and then led in prayer:
A mosque spokesperson is seen teaching the children that in Mohammed’s 7th century Arabia women were allowed to vote, while in America women only gained that right a hundred years ago. This seems to be an increasingly recurring theme in American schools – the denigration of western civilization and the glorification of Islamic history and values. In fact, just recently, the American Textbook Council revealed that the New York State high school regents exam whitewashes the atrocities that occurred during the imperialistic Islamic conquest of Christian Byzantium, Persia, the African continent, and the Indian subcontinent, even as it demonizes European colonialism in South America.
The mosque spokesperson also taught the students that the only meaning of Jihad in Islam is a personal spiritual struggle, and that Jihad has historically had no relationship with holy war. As far as we know, the school has not corrected these false lessons.
The above, trip to the mosque, the propaganda, and the prayers were all in the name of multiculturalism, of course….
Every conservative I know (myself included) had precisely the same reaction, often in precisely the same words: This field trip would never have happened with a Catholic church. That is, not only would it have been inconceivable to the powers that be within the school to introduce their charges to a church, if it had been conceivable — if a maverick teacher had said, “well, let’s balance the mosque trip with visits to a church and a synagogue and a Hindu temple” — the fecal matter would have hit the fan so quickly that it would have been raining poop for days. The battle cry, of course, would have been that visiting a church (or synagogue or Hindu temple) violates the separation of church and state.
The interesting question is why the Left doesn’t perceive a similar separation problem when it comes to mosque and state. I think it has to do with the liberal’s perception of an institution’s potential power over the masses.
A few months ago, I did a post about Rush Limbaugh, and the inordinate fear Leftists, not just extreme Leftists, but garden-variety Democrats, feel when they think about Rush. After a lot of background talk (I do love my background talk), I boiled it down to my key thesis, which is that liberals fear Rush because he is the one they worry will penetrate their defenses, make them think, and change their minds:
It’s quite a high compliment to Rush that ordinary liberals believe he has extraordinary powers. It isn’t every conservative radio or talk show host who is perceived as so compelling and seductive that he can destroy people’s world view in an instant.
It’s also very frustrating to me because, in a funny way, I agree with my liberal friends that Rush can rejigger their world view very quickly. The only thing is that I don’t believe Rush works his magic through hypnotism and trickery. Instead, I think Rush’s real magic lies in his ability to view the political world as a vast chess board, one on which he can see multiple future moves; his prodigious memory; his well-informed mind; his logical analyses; and his funny persona. He convinces by appealing to our rational mind, our sense of humor, and our knowledge of the world as it is, and not as some Ivory Tower liberal tells us it should be.
So, whether by cajolery or challenge, I’m still trying to get my liberals to listen to Rush. For all the wrong reasons, they’re right about one thing: he will change their minds.
The same dynamic is at work when it comes to Leftists on the one hand, and mosques and churches on the other hand. For all their multicultural bloviating, so-called liberals don’t think much of Islam. They recognize that its moral teachings are limited (nothing clear and humanist like the Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, or the Golden Rule), that its history is ugly, and that its current practice, with all the demands about daily prayers and handwashing and fasting, is not going to be that attractive to the majority of Americans.
The Progressives therefore don’t seriously believe that anyone can go to a mosque and convert. Sure, if you go to prison you might convert, but anything looks good in prison. Further, as my cousin, the prison pastor, says:
It is not a contradiction to be a Muslim and a murderer, even a mass murderer. That is one reason why criminals “convert” to Islam in prison. They don’t convert at all; they similarly remain the angry judgmental vicious beings they always have been. They simply add “religious” diatribes to their personal invective. Islam does not inspire a crisis of conscience, just inspirations to outrage.
In other words, it’s not really a conversion at all.
Christianity, though, is scary. If you’ve got a good minister or priest or pastor, suddenly all sorts of persuasive stuff is going to appearing on people’s radars and penetrate their ignorance or defenses. You know what I mean: Stuff about justice, about dignity, about respect, about love, about forbearance. Worse, all this icky, non-Marxist stuff is going to fall on fertile soil, because even forty years of Progressivism in the public sphere hasn’t completely managed to leech away the Judeo-Christian beliefs that underlie American culture. Worse, Christ doesn’t demand of his followers grueling physical rituals. Instead, he demands faith. Not lip service and clean feet, but faith.
Just as Rush is a threat to the Marxist/Progressive/liberal mindset, so too is Christianity (and, if you’re me, Judaism). This cannot be said of Islam. Even the most slobbering dhimmis would be hard put to imagine a world in which people, instead of just admiring Islam from afar because it’s politically correct to do so, would actually want to transfer their allegiance from the Judeo-Christian tradition to the Muslim faith.