Posters for my illustrated edition have been hard to find lately, as smart people get worn down by media malevolence. What I can find, though, is great!
Fifty years of mis-education in American schools culminates when a lawyer provides a laundry list of myths to justify claiming the existence of a Christian ISIS.
A couple of days ago, the internet was abuzz with excitement because Qasim Rashid (Twitter name @MuslimIQ), an attorney and Muslim, claiming to have received a Direct Message from a “white supremacist” about the absence of a “Christian ISIS,” gave him a purported laundry list of Christian sins. It’s an impressive list of sins . . . if, as to many of the claims, one is ignorant about history and can be bamboozled with sophistry. Otherwise, well, not so much.
Because Rashid is not alone in his ignorance and, indeed, comes by it quite honestly considering the misinformation floating about, I thought it would be useful to go through the list of his accusations against Christians to correct out-and-out errors and to put factual statements in their proper context. One of the most important contextual points is that ISIS defiantly makes clear that Islam drives its conduct. That is, we’re not talking about bad actors who happen to be Muslim. Instead, we’re talking about Muslims who march under the banner of their faith to justify their bad acts.
Given the ISIS context, for Rashid to have properly rebutted the question about a “Christian ISIS,” he should have returned with examples of Christians who use their faith directly to justify their acts. It’s cheating to identify bad actors who happen to be Christian but whose conduct is not justified by, or in fealty to, their faith.
I’m not trying here to attack Rashid personally. I’m sure he’s a perfectly nice man and a good lawyer. It’s just that he summed up in a small space so many misrepresentations and misunderstandings about Christianity that he provides a perfect framework within which to challenge those errors. Also, I’m not trying to defend horrible things such as the world’s slave trade, the deaths of aboriginal populations around the world, white supremacy, or anything else. I’m just saying that, subject to a few exceptions that can be roughly analogized to Christian versions of ISIS, most of Rashid’s comparisons are inapt.
Having said that, here’s Rashid’s Twitter list, which I’ve broken into segments so as to address each assertion separately. First, to give context, here is Rashid’s own introduction to his DM conversation:
And here’s the subject-by-subject breakdown:
I’m too young to remember a time when dignity was considered a virtue, not only in individuals, but in entire groups. The other night, I was reminded of what I missed when I watched a 1944 U.S. Army Propaganda film, The Negro Soldier, which Frank Capra directed. The Army commissioned the movie because it was trying to reach out to blacks who were unwilling to enlist in the fight.
The movie qua movie was a resounding success, undoubtedly paving the way for Americans accepting Truman’s executive order integrating the military and, perhaps, moving the American conscience forward towards the Civil Rights movement:
The film began shooting in 1943. The movie crew traveled the United States, visiting over 19 different army posts. The final movie totaled 43 minutes long and received official support in 1944. At first, The Negro Soldier was intended for only African American troops; however, the creators of the film decided that they wanted to distribute the film to a wider military and civil audience. Nobody was certain what the impact of the film would have on viewers, and many people feared that African Americans would have a negative response to the film. However, when the first African American troops saw the film, they insisted that all African American troops should see it. Furthermore, after both African Americans and whites were surveyed about their response to the film, the filmmakers were shocked when over 80% of the white population thought the film should be shown to both black and white troops, as well as white civilians.
Although the Wikipedia article from which I quoted, above, does not say it, TCM stated that blacks did in fact respond to the movie’s message by enlisting in significant numbers. I think you’ll see why if you take the time to watch the movie yourself. Because of it’s importance in American history, the U.S. National Archives restored it and you can see the entire movie here:
Field Marshall Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, was politician who successfully took to the field to defeat Napoleon and then resumed his political career, eventually rising to become Prime Minister.
Given his alpha male status, and the rather loose morals amongst the aristocracy in the early 19th century, Wellington was consistently unfaithful to his wife. In 1824, one of his amours broke the rules of discretion that governed aristocratic peccadilloes, writing down her recollections about their liaison, including details that would have embarrassed the Prime Minister.
The publishing house that obtained the memoirs contacted Wellington and blackmailed him: pay us or we publish. Wellington refused. In the intervening years, the letter containing that refusal has been distilled to a single apocryphal (but accurate) quotation: “Publish and be damned!”
Those words keep running through my mind in this season of non-stop media attacks against Trump based upon his sexual habits. This time, though, the words come, not from the target of the attacks, but from the American public.
No matter the revelations, Americans are simply sneering at the media: Publish and be damned! We don’t care about idle boasts from a boastful man eleven years ago (especially since those boasts, contrary to Anderson Cooper’s repeated lies, clearly speak of consensual interactions). We don’t care that women are coming forward to claim that Trump misbehaved ten, twenty, or thirty years ago. Primarily, of course, we don’t believe what the media is telling us:
The older of my two dogs is very high-strung and she got so frightened by the wind that carried the fog in tonight that I’ve had to sequester her and me in my home office so that Mr. Bookworm, who needs to get up for work tomorrow, can sleep. She shows no signs of settling, so I’m blogging.
No matter how you slice it, Trump is the less risky gamble. Writing in the Claremont Review of Books, Publius Decius Mus quite graphically presents the issue that I have been arguing all summer:
2016 is the Flight 93 election: charge the cockpit or you die. You may die anyway. You—or the leader of your party—may make it into the cockpit and not know how to fly or land the plane. There are no guarantees.
Except one: if you don’t try, death is certain. To compound the metaphor: a Hillary Clinton presidency is Russian Roulette with a semi-auto. With Trump, at least you can spin the cylinder and take your chances.
Precisely. Trump, with all his flaws, is better than Hillary. Up until a few months ago, one could argue that Hillary is just another garden-variety Leftist and that the American republic will survive despite her.
That’s all changed now. Knowing as we do of her extraordinary corruption — whether in running the State Department as a Pay-for-Play profit center for herself, her husband, and her daughter, or deliberately exposing all of America’s state secrets to try to hide her gross malfeasance — electing her to the presidency means that America has fully embraced banana republic status.
In the wake of a Hillary victory, thanks to Comey and the American voters (including all those #NeverTrumpers), there will no longer be a rule of law in America that applies equally to all citizens. We will in one fell swoop have destroyed a legal system that goes back 1215 when England first put into writing in the Magna Carta a policy saying that no one, not even a king, is above the law. As of now, Hillary and her cronies are above the law and it will be a disaster if the American people put their imprimatur on that utterly corrupt, anti-democratic principle.
One more thing: As Publius Decius Mus explains, Hillary’s been wrong about every single policy stance she’s ever taken (including the ones where she’s changed her stance repeatedly according to the latest poll data), while Trump, in his fumbling, bumbling way, has been right about all of the most important policy issues facing America. So maybe he’s not so bad after all.
The Democrats are kvelling about Todd Akin. Indeed, at the New York Times, one enterprising writer has put together a list of a handful of Republicans who hold views that are outside of the mainstream (or who articulate arguably valid views in invalid ways). A cartoonist has also put together a crude cartoon that shows a doggy crate in which the RNC will hide “unsightly reminders of your party’s past.” Here’s what I need from you: help putting together well-sourced evidence showing that the Dems have some people of their own with views outside of the mainstream, not to mention an unsightly past. My memory being shaky, I thought I could use help from the collective knowledge that is the Bookworm Room.
Here’s my start:
Teddy Kennedy is one of the unsightly past winners. It was bad enough that he was cheating on his wife, but he made it worse when, probably under the influence of alcohol, he drove off a bridge, walked away from the car leaving a young woman in it, and then forget to get help for her. Mary Jo Kopechne took several hours to suffocate in the cold and dark.
If we’re counting dead Democrats, there’s the Ku Klux Klan Exalted Cyclops, Sen. Robert Byrd. (This article from Slate, written in the wake of Byrd’s death, is fascinating, because it manages to make a bloodless recitation out of what ought to be an appalling insight into the Democrats’ past.)
There’s Hank Johnson, currently representing Georgia’s 4th Congressional District, who was worried that overpopulation could cause the island of Guam to tip over.
Maxine Waters represents California’s 35th Congressional District. She’s responsible for quite a few gems that put her outside of the American mainstream. A short list includes (a) her deep and abiding love for Fidel Castro; (b) her demand that the U.S., 149 years after slavery ended, give reparations to this generation of American blacks; (c) her insistence that the CIA created the crack cocaine epidemic amongst American blacks; (d) her devout wish that the Tea Party go “straight to Hell,” and (e) the fortune her family made off the political perks she sent their way.
And then my memory fails me. I’m sure that there are more serving Democrats or deceased “lions” who have advanced views or engaged in conduct that, in a normal world, would get a column in a major American publication anxious to show that the entire party is a collection extremist nut cases.