This is not how you get religious people to change their minds

Little Sisters of the PoorMona Charen has written an excellent article about the Obama administration’s use of Obamacare as a vehicle for attacking religion and religious people.  I urge you to read it.

I was particularly struck by one point Charen made, regarding Sebelius’s previously stated view about religious accommodation — to wit, that the religion, not the state, has to adapt:

Two years ago, announcing that non-profits like the Little Sisters would be required to go along with providing all contraceptives and abortifacients even if it violated their religious convictions, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sniffed that the religious would “have to adapt.”

Put aside the fact that the Constitution, by making freedom of worship religion one of the paramount rights vested in the individual, means that the state, not the individual (or corporate collections of individuals), must adapt.  After all, we’re now used to hearing this combination of ignorance and disdain when the Obama crowd talks about the Constitution and constitutional rights.  That Sebelius erred there is a no-brainer.

The thing is that Sebelius didn’t just err about the Constitution.  She also erred about the way assimilation has always worked in America.  It hasn’t worked by persecuting religions (which is what the administration is doing now).  Instead, if you want to get rid of religion in America, you make the secular popular culture so attractive that religious people voluntarily abandon their doctrinal and procedural commitments to God.  Coercion begets resistance.  Enticement is what gets results.

Perhaps I should be grateful that, when it comes to Obamacare, the administration is clueless about this fact.

Will God punish the world’s Jews because American Jews worship a false idol?

Obama at the Western WallI had lunch today with two friends, both conservative, neither Jewish.  Since we were talking politics, both asked me a question I hear repeatedly from non-Jewish conservatives — How can Jews support Obama?

It occurred to me — and this is a very depressing though — that Jews are repeating an old pattern.  American Jews are Jews in name only, insofar as theirs is, at best, a superficial association with the religion.  I’m a bit of an anomaly, in that I don’t practice the religion, but believe absolutely in its conservative strictures.

If I remember my Bible correctly (and with my memory, that’s a big “if”), the Bible is very clear:  when Jews start worshiping false idols, they are punished and they are punished horrifically.

BDS rallyThe most false of all false idols, of course, is the type of assimilation that sees Jews claiming to be Jewish while rejecting the Jewish God.  This is a type of assimilation that sees them losing all the way around.  They never fully integrate with their neighbors, even though that’s their primary goal, and they also break their covenant with God.

American Jews, by worshiping Obama as a false idol have set themselves up for another round of punishment.  Even worse, the consequences of their actions will fall most heavily, not on them, but on Jews in Europe and the Middle East.  While most Americans (outside of Ivy League colleges) are not antisemitic, the antisemites in the rest of the world are smart enough to know that Obama gave them a free pass.  As has always been the case, from the Bible through to the Holocaust, a core of true-believers will survive, and the rest are in for a hell of a time.

As you can see, Obama’s actions, not to mention rising anti-semitism around the world, make me nervous.

Whew!  I just depressed myself.

A quick riff on yesterday’s events in London

Beheading is a peculiarly devastating form of murder, more so than shooting or stabbing. Human identity is tied to the head. From birth, we are programmed to recognize faces and voices. It’s the human face and the mind behind it that separate us, not only from other animals, but from each other: The contents of our minds and the features of our faces are what make us unique. Decapitation therefore doesn’t just kill people, it effectively erases them. It seems fitting, somehow, that jihadists who buy into an extremist Islam that demands complete submission – the denial of the individual — would use beheading as their preferred form of execution.

The Islamic-inspired murder of a British soldier yesterday on London’s streets horrifies us because the men who carried out sought, not just to kill a man, but to erase him. The brave women who stepped forward to challenge these men remind us that, at least for now, in the West individualism still exists. The entire event, which played out before witnesses who were tweeting, photographing and videoing, therefore had a bizarre, Kabuki-quality to it, as if the actors were carrying out culturally defined roles in a play.

Richard Fernandez noticed much the same thing, only he said it a lot better than I could:

This incident illustrates, if nothing else, the endpoint of the social engineering of the West. It has been remarkably effective.

From a certain point of view, the British crowd behaved perfectly and this is the way “they” all want us to behave. The populace sheltered in place, didn’t do anything rash, talked to the perpetrators as people. They waited for the police to come and the hospital helicopter to take the corpse away. Some will doubtless get counseling to overcome their shattering experience.

And then they will congratulate themselves on how tough British society is; resilience and all that. The more caring will leave some flowers by a railing and hold a few candle vigils for healing and peace, until these wither and blow away and the news cycle washes up a new object of attention.

The attackers knew they were actors in a drama — as keenly watched in their communities as on the BBC. And in that other audience they were asking: “How will the locals behave?” We know now. And that other audience may derive an entirely different lesson from this tableau: “See? Only their women act like men. They follow orders. They are nothing anymore — these Westerners. They are a civilization whose core has been destroyed.”

Well, exactly.

What Richard didn’t know yet when he wrote those words is that, while Prime Minister Cameron did so the attack was terrorism, the Department of Defence had a different response:  it told its troops to shed their uniforms when on British streets.  The DOD assured everyone that this was a temporary move, while they figured out what to do, but the fact is that the damage was done the moment the order went out.  The once mighty British Empire had been told to stand down.  When I saw the Scottish play “The Black Watch,” I wondered whether it spoke to the end of the British soldier.  The verdict is still out on the troops, but that’s irrelevant.  Without leadership, even the best troops in the world are pointless.  They’re merely victims along with everyone else.  England has been turned into one vast field of sheeples, watched over by the wolves her Labor government deliberately invited in in order to destroy the Tory party.  (And yes, of course I’m thinking of the Gang of Eight’s amnesty . . . er, immigration reform bill.)

One more thing.  While I was trolling through my overflowing email inbox yesterday, I found a link a friend had sent me shortly after the Boston Marathon Bombing, in which Leftist talking head (or do I mean writing hand?) Marc Ambinder says “Folks, you must stop blaming Islam” and then tells us that America’s gun culture was the reason the Tsarnaev brothers killed.  Now we know, of course, that Islam was why the Tsarnaev brothers killed.

Ambinder is right that in America we have free speech, that people are allowed to disagree on things, and that ugly ideas can exist as long as they don’t become ugly acts.  Islam, though, is sui generis because the Western idea of free speech and individualism is predicated upon voluntary assimilation.  We allow things to happen on the fringe because we assume that everyone will gravitate to the bell curve portion of society, and embrace society’s values, whatever they happen to be.  Islam, however, does not assimilate.

Think about that for a minute, because it’s a rather staggering concept.  One of the hallmarks of being human is that we adapt.  I do believe that only cockroaches have the ability to adapt to as many climates, including extreme climates, as we do.  For humans to have adopted a mindset so impenetrable that it is incapable of change is really amazing.  In any group, of course, you’ll have some people who are more adaptable than others, but we’re talking about a religion/worldview that renders adaption impossible.

When I was a child, my parents told me (rightly or wrongly) that Turkish soldiers could not be brainwashed.  They were so self-assured in their Turkishness that they were invulnerable to lies, blandishments, fantasies, etc.  They were Turks.  End of story.  It occurs to me now that this myth might have been true, not in terms of modern, secular Turks, but in terms of the Janissaries, who were the most elite soldiers of the Muslim Ottoman Empire.  Once your brain has been steeped in Islam, perhaps you become incapable of blending….

It is (I hope) not futile to resist the Islamic Borg

One of the things the Leftist multiculturalists refuse to acknowledge is that Islam does not assimilate.  Individual practitioners of the faith may, periodically and superficially, espouse the culture in which they live, but the fact remains that Islam, by its nature, is the Borg.

Borg-like, the Islam collective’s motto is “Resistance is futile.  You will be assimilated.”  The Borg/Islam collective does not recognize the possibility that it might be the entity that assimilates.  As with the fictional Borg populating Star Trek : The Next Generation, when the Islamists move in on a territory, they move in to conquer and for no other reason.

I mention this pop culture analogy here, because one of Singapore’s past leaders, Lee Kuan Yew, in an interview to promote his new book, spoke about Islam’s failure to assimilate, and he made a statement that is, I think, full comparable to Churchill’s speech about the Iron Curtain dividing Europe:

In the book, Mr Lee, when asked to assess the progress of multiracialism in Singapore, said: “I have to speak candidly to be of value, but I do not wish to offend the Muslim community.

“I think we were progressing very nicely until the surge of Islam came, and if you asked me for my observations, the other communities have easier integration – friends, intermarriages and so on, Indians with Chinese, Chinese with Indians – than Muslims. That’s the result of the surge from the Arab states.”

He added: “I would say today, we can integrate all religions and races except Islam.”

He also said: “I think the Muslims socially do not cause any trouble, but they are distinct and separate.”

Mr lee then went on to speak of how his own generation of politicians who worked with him had integrated well, including sitting down and eating together. He said: “But now, you go to schools with Malay and Chinese, there’s a halal and non-halal segment and so too, the universities. And they tend to sit separately so as not to be contaminated. All that becomes a social divide.”

He added that the result was a “veil” across peoples. Asked what Muslims in Singapore needed to do to integrate, he replied: “Be less strict on Islamic observances and say ‘Okay, I’ll eat with you.’”  (Emphasis mine.)

Certainly if there’s one image that epitomizes Islam, it’s the veiled face, whether the veil hides women from all civic interactions or masks the men on Western streets who commit violence with impunity as they hide their faces from the authorities.

Yew, who is no longer a power broker, has the luxury of age and retirement to speak of this veil.  It’s interesting, however, that Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron has suddenly decided to speak up as well about the Borg in Britain’s midst:

In an attack on Britain’s previous government, Cameron said authorities there had been too hesitant to intervene when some sectors of society espoused abhorrent views.

“We have even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run counter to our values,” Cameron said. “We have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream.”

Cameron said a culture of tolerance had allowed both Islamic extremists, and far-right extremists, to build support for their causes. “We’ve been too cautious, frankly even fearful, to stand up to them,” he said.

Some European allies have criticized Britain for harboring hardline Islamic clerics and failing to clamp down on mosques that promote a perverted view of Islam.

Several terrorists involved in attacks or attempted plots in the U.S., Sweden, Denmark and Norway over the last two years have had links to Britain, or British-based clerics.

“If we are to defeat this threat, I believe it’s time to turn the page on the failed policies of the past,” Cameron said. “Instead of ignoring this extremist ideology, we – as governments and societies – have got to confront it, in all its forms.”

I am delighted to see people with bully pulpits begin to speak, although I don’t expect to hear anything intelligent on the subject from the world’s premier bully pulpit until January 2013 (assuming all goes well in the November 2012 elections).  As it is, my only hope now is that the Islamic/Borg invaders haven’t already reached to a tipping point from which there is no return.

Hat tip:  American Thinker

Cross-posted at Right Wing News