Happy ‘anti-slavery day’

Diagram of a slave ship from the Atlantic slav...

Diagram of a slave ship from the Atlantic slave trade. From an Abstract of Evidence delivered before a select committee of the House of Commons in 1790 and 1791. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Apparently in 2007 the EU Parliament passed a law that made 18 October ‘Anti Human trafficking day’ and in 2010 the british Parliament made the same day ‘Anti-slavery day’. My take on that is: whoopee, maybe we could have a hashtag next–they’re all about as effective.

Why this is here is a reminder that it was the British, led mostly by Wilberforce, that ended the transatlantic slave trade, by putting the Royal Navy, and their money where their mouth was.

Still, I like Ann Jolis’ article here, she says some good things, and that’s her job. And she did a good job.

But we need to heed what the Spectator editors of an earlier age said.

We could not have believed for a moment, a year ago, that the Times and Saturday Review would both in the same week devote their ablest pens to an apology, not merely for Slavery itself, but for the Christian character of that institution. Yet so it is. . . .

The Times follows its bolder contemporary on the same track, modestly suggesting that it would be much more Scriptural and Christian in the abolitionists to preach the ‘amelioration of the negro’ (we suppose the writer means, of his lot), than his emancipation. . . .

For ourselves we do not hesitate to say that no religious scepticism of the present day seems to us so monstrous and so atheistic as this; nay, that if the Gospel were weighted with such a condition, it would be one that neither sign nor miracle could prove. It is, speaking relatively, of infinitely little importance whether we live under an aristocracy or a democracy, compared with whether we live under a God who loves freedom, or a Devil who loves Slavery. But, we confess, nothing seems to us more astounding than the assertion that the Divine revelation is indifferent on the matter. No doubt, the Divine education of the Hebrew people never attempted to ignore the actual historical condition of the nation. It recognized, under the strictest possible limitations, the fact of Slavery, at an era when no other people had learned to impose any limitation on the power of the master at all.

 

Via Happy ‘anti-slavery day’ to Clapham Christians, et al » Spectator Blogs.

Those are words we would be well advised to heed, and with more than our mouths.

There is still much work to do.

The way to defeat jihadis is to offer something better

Daniel Hannan has an outstanding article up on the Telegraph yesterday. He is talking about how to defeat the young Brits that wish to be jihadis. The thing is, you never defeat something with nothing, he’s right.

British history, like its niece American history, is the story of man’s ascent from slavery to individual liberty. In great measure, it is a story that is one of the most attractive in the world. But we have allowed it to be corrupted, by those who use it for  political ends, who have convinced many that Britain, and America, are evil incarnate.  We, like the Brits, have allowed this to creep in, unnoticed, over the years until this evil nonsense is what is being taught to our children as our history.

There are things in our histories that are cringeworthy, but that is true of everyone’s history. There is also the fact that of all the peoples in the world, the Anglo-Americans have done more for the individual, than anybody else.

And in a related matter, our young people are looking for something when they join the jihad, or even when they convert to Islam. I think they look for certainty, a system that knows right from wrong, good from evil. Islam is a system that is flawed of course, It reflects the flawed nature of its founder, and is easily corrupted to evil, if it is not evil in itself.

But, one knows that there is another system in the world that does the same thing, it offers a choice, and a stark one, between good and evil, but unlike Islam, it while rooted in antiquity, has grown. The wisest men of the last 2000 years have contributed to it, and enriched it.

But it, like Anglo-American history, has been greatly maligned and diluted, both from within and without. But also like our history, the record is still there, and accessible, we merely need to read, learn and share it.

A Polish friend, an MEP of my sort of age, was telling me the other day about how his life changed when Pope John Paul II toured his home country. The papal visit set in train the events that led to the Gdansk protests and, in due course, the unravelling of the tyranny. But my friend added a detail that I had never before appreciated. “The Holy Father never directly condemned the Communist authorities,” he said. “He didn’t need to. He was offering something better”.

When you put it like that, it’s obvious, isn’t it? Offer something better. It worked during the recent Scottish referendum. For months, Unionists had warned of the horrors that would follow from separation: companies leaving, markets collapsing, Scotland left without a currency. The more frenetically they warned, the further they fell behind in the polls. Only in the closing days did the “No” campaign make the positive argument it should have made all along: the UK was doing pretty darned well, Scots were prospering within it, and it was silly to discard a precious thing. That was when the polls turned.

Continue reading  The way to defeat British jihadis is to offer something better

And that is the thing that I find so frustrating, Anglo-American history is the story of man’s ascent from slavery to freedom, and its sharing all over the world. It is one of the most remarkable and uplifting stories ever writing, and written in blood by the common man.

And the other story that I referred to above is even greater, although the two are intimately entwined. Because the story of Christianity is also a story of free will, and enlightenment. It has justly been called The Greatest Story Ever Told, and it is. It the story of man’s civilization, from a violent past. Only Christianity has developed, and lived by a ‘Just War Theory’ . The rest still live by the rule of the most powerful, while we live by the ‘Rule under and through the law’ and apply y it not only to ourselves but even to those who presume to rule us.

That is what President Reagan, Prime Minister Thatcher, and Pope (St.) John Paul II used to defeat the Evil Empire of the Soviet Union.

It is a wonderful uplifting story. Because something always defeats nothing, and humanism, and Islam, are nothing, Simply the rule of the powerful.

Be For Something, Something Good

Plain Words; Well Spoken

In some ways, I’m cleaning out my files today but, you’ll find these are connected. In each case they involve the author telling the plain unvarnished truth as they see it. I find it very refreshing. You may or you may not agree with everything each author says, as it happens, I mostly agree with them. But then, I make no claim to be completely objective. I think you can learn from each of them.

Churchill’s Words on Obama, Congress, World.

Elizabeth Scalia (The Anchoress)

His scorn was withering. . .He had described his foes in Parliament as “good, honest men who are ready to die for their opinions, if only they knew what their opinions are.” Of Baldwin’s government, he said: “So they go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift…all powerful to be impotent.”
– Leo Rosten, on Winston Churchill**

Well, I read that last night and thought, were Churchill around here, he might rerun those sentiments about Obama and the Congress. He might also note with great sadness that upon the world political stage, there is currently no great leader, no one person capable — when the world is crying out for focus, as it is, today — of stirring a people to greatness by exchanging partisan postures for a larger, sharable vision and for decisiveness.

We are pursuing ISIS with the heart of Bartleby-the-Scrivener, who would prefer not to. Even as evidence mounts that they are here, and likely on every continent.

Churchill’s Words on Obama, Congress, World.

 

SHOCK! A Catholic bishop who speaks like – *gulp* – a Catholic bishop!

Father Z.

As you know, not to long ago Bp. Howard Hubbard was retired from his looooong tenure as Bishop of Albany.  He was succeeded by Bp. Edward Scharfenberger.

Recently Bp. Scharfenbeger gave a speech to an interfaith group in Albany.   At least one Protestant didn’t like what he had to say.

From the Times Union of Albany, NY.

Rev. Sam Trumbore
First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany[Unitarian Universalist... what is that, I wonder.]

Bishop Scharfenberger’s after dinner speech last night at the Capital Region Theological Center Fall fundraising dinner seriously missed his audience and likely ruffled a few feathers in the interfaith, largely Protestant audience of about 230 community leaders.

Many of us in attendance were very interested to hear the recent replacement for long serving Bishop Hubbard, to hear what his message to the interfaith community might be. The Capital Region Theological Center is a wonderful ecumenical organization founded by the collaboration of the founding partners: The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Reformed Church of America, Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Church of Christ. [...] Their values welcoming and supporting all faith communities seeking peace, justice and a more sustainable planet and a spirit of collaboration, discussion over judgment, and diversity rather than uniformityline up well with the values of my Unitarian Universalist congregation.

SHOCK! A Catholic bishop who speaks like – *gulp* – a Catholic bishop! | Fr. Z’s BlogFr. Z’s Blog.

 

Speaking Truth To Wussies.

GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD

Great Satan’s avuncular Veep spoke truth and really p.o.’d some of our valuable fickle on again off again ‘Allies” and have hurt their feelings LOL

“What were they doing? They were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war, what did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad — except that the people who were being supplied were al Nusra and al Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.”

“Now you think I’m exaggerating? “Take a look! Where did all of this go?”

“All of a sudden everybody’s awakened because [of] this outfit called ISIL [or ISIS], which was Al Qaeda in Iraq,” said Biden. He sketched the organization’s history: it was “essentially thrown out of Iraq” but “found open space in territory in eastern Syria,” then it worked with the al Qaeda subsidiary al Nusra, which the United States “declared a terrorist group early on.” And, still, according to Biden, “we could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them. So what happened? Now all of a sudden — I don’t want to be too facetious — but they have seen the Lord, [and] the President’s been able to put together a coalition of our Sunni neighbors, because America can’t once again go into a Muslim nation and be seen as the aggressor. It has to be led by Sunnis to go and attack a Sunni organization.

GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: Speaking Truth To Wussies.

What Islam Is and What To Do about It

Enza Ferreri

The following only reflects my position and not necessarily that of my party Liberty GB.

Islam has been distorted by Western politicians and media to such an extreme point that this doctrine is almost completely the opposite of what is being described as.

It is not a “religion of peace”: it is a non-religion of war.

It is not a religion in the sense that we in the West understand, through the experience of our own religion: Christianity. It doesn’t make human beings better, but worse.

Whereas Christianity establishes a separation of powers between church and state, Islam is a political ideology. Men’s laws are imperfect and should be rejected. Only God-given law, Sharia, should rule the state. Notice that “law” here doesn’t mean “moral law”, but the country’s legislation. Sharia has to be enforced with all available means, peaceful or violent, democratic or totalitarian.

Islam’s holy scriptures say – and real Muslims believe – that the world will be a much better place for human beings to live in if Islam and its law govern the whole planet. Under Islam’s domination, there will be justice, equality and all the good things that communists have also promised humanity. And in both cases (Islam and communism), followers are prepared to cause mayhem and slaughter to attain this utopian “paradise on earth”.

Read more: http://enzaferreri.blogspot.com/2014/10/what-islam-is-and-what-to-do-about-it.html#ixzz3FgWE81we

So there you are, around the world in about a thousand words, telling the truth, as the authors see it.

Is It Reasonable To Criticize Missionary Doctors?

ErinMeierIf you are anything approaching a traditional Christian these days, I’d bet that you are feeling, if not exactly persecuted, put upon may be the nicest way to say it. We have a lot of very noisy evangelical atheists around, don’t we? Well, I have a question for them, why aren’t your atheist buddies out there in the field, as volunteers, doing their best for all those people dying from the Ebola virus? I’d ask the same question of the Muslims, cause I haven’t heard of them doing any relief work either. This is excerpted from The Federalist by

In his wandering, disjointed article at Slate, Brian Palmer meant to convey his distrust of Christian missionaries who provide medical care, particularly those serving where Ebola is ravaging the population. Instead, he became another in a long line of critics unintentionally complimenting followers of Christ.

Reports are that the Twitterverse wasn’t very kind to him. I can’t say I feel very sorry for him, there entirely too much talk about this epidemic and not nearly enough help for it. Yesterday we wrote about what Firestone is doing on their rubber plantation in Liberia. As always it is American corporations, and (mostly) American Christian missionaries carrying the load.

Yet, if you look closer at Palmer’s piece, it is exactly what we should expect from a secular atheist trying to reconcile a sight of Christians loving others sacrificially. In speaking of a comparison between those seeking to export American consumerism versus missionaries spreading their faith, he writes:

There’s one other big difference between missionaries and Western merchants: The missionaries don’t profit personally from their work. They are compensated very poorly, if at all. Many risk their lives. How many people would risk death to spread the gospel of Western consumer goods gratis?

So? Where are they? These folks aren’t going to by your crap if they’re dead, after all. Get out there.

Such has been the conundrum in which those opposing Christianity have long found themselves. Followers of Christ often go into the hardest places where others frequently flee. When a pandemic swept through the Roman Empire around the year 250, government leaders fled to stay safe. But Christian leaders like Cyprian and Dionysius stayed to serve the poor and sick. In the years after the third-century plague, Christianity exploded across the empire. People saw how followers of Jesus responded, which led to more and more individuals choosing to follow Christ. When the Ebola outbreak has been contained and others finally consider it safe to return to Liberia and Sierra Leone, they may find the same.

I also note that:

[...]Pliny the Younger, a second-century Roman governor, and Julian the Apostate, the fourth-century Roman emperor.

In Palmer’s piece, you can particularly hear the echoes of Julian, who bemoaned the acts of charity displayed by Christians, not just for towards their own, but for all those in need. In a letter to a pagan priest, Julian wrote: “For it is disgraceful that, when no Jew ever has to beg, and the impious Galilaeans support not only their own poor but ours as well, all men see that our people lack aid from us.”

Read the whole article at Is It Fair To Criticize Missionary Doctors?.

I also note that Julian was the last pagan Emperor, which is rather interesting.

And that is an interesting point as well. Christianity spread long before Mohammed was born, from Ireland to China’s Pacific coast, and well into Africa, not by using the sword, as Islam did, but by caring for the least of us, as it still does.

And that’s the thing, I think. Christians and Americans (and a fair number of Europeans, as well) are always willing to take a risk, and try to help others. It’s called the ‘religion of life’ for a reason. The others are simply religions of death and chaos.

A Defense Department of Lawyers

I’m chary of Bill O’Reilly’s proposal to outsource the war on terrorism to a newly formed mercenary army for many reasons. Far from the least is the idea of a semi controlled force wandering around the world, we already have too much of that sort of nonsense. For me, it’s also a bit too reminiscent of the Romans hiring barbarian hordes to fight Rome’s battles.

But you know, Jonah Goldberg makes some good points here. American defense policy has become bogged down in the glut of policy and lawyers in the defense establishment. I’m not sure that it is possible for a soldier who know how to fight a war to succeed in the hierarchy anymore, it’s far more concerned with credentials and degrees than it is with effectiveness.

And that I think may be what O’Reilly is seeing as well, I haven’t read into his plan, I’m instinctively against it but, we need to do something, maybe anything, different. Because when the United States, which is immensely more powerful now, than it was 70 years ago when we defeated Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan and then proceeded to face down the Soviet Union for 50 years, can’t defeat a bunch of lightly armed and indifferently organized terrorists, we have a structural problem.

In any case, here is Jonah Goldberg

Fox News host Bill O’Reilly wants a mercenary army to supply the ground forces in the latest installment of the War on Terror.

And it seems the smart set can’t stop laughing. The Washington Post’s media blogger, Erik Wemple, called it an “insane” idea and suggested that allowing O’Reilly to peddle the idea on CBS This Morning was an “insane departure from that show’s standard.” The whole spectacle, Wemple opined, proved that O’Reilly will “never be much of a thought leader in policy circles.”

It’s true that on the left and the right, O’Reilly’s idea is being scorned fairly mercilessly. That’s understandable on the left. Arguably the most hated host at the most hated news network (in large part because both are so successful), O’Reilly could come out in support of the law of gravity and the usual suspects would run the headline, “Fox Host Supports Law Requiring Babies and Puppies to Fall from Great Height When Dropped.”

Continue reading A Defense Department of Lawyers | National Review Online.

War Weary?

2272458246_b77147169e_zIt seems Washington is convinced that America is war-weary. It’s not a completely inane remark. But I’m not sure that it is exactly accurate either.

I don’t think there is any doubt at all that America is very tired indeed of watching as Washington sends our matchless military into conflicts with one hand tied behind their backs and dragging a weight around behind them. That’s some idea of what the rules of engagement (ROE) that we have forced them to operate under have done to them. Not to mention the number of our guys killed and wounded (often catastrophically) to assuage the conscience of some twit in DC who couldn’t figure out (with the manual) which end the bullet comes out of.

If you say we are tired of fighting wars by rules that politicians designed without reference to the real world. We’d plead guilty, or I would anyway.

I think America is plenty tired of watching our military to which we have given our best young men and women and a large amount of our treasure, be wasted on doing silly crap like trying to build Iraq and Afghanistan into little United States, I’d say Yep, I’m weary of that as well.

You see in this Colin Powell was wrong (he was wrong about a lot of things actually), we’re America, if you anger us enough to get us to  come over and blow your little sandbox to smithereens, it’s your problem, we have no obligation to rebuild it. You angered us deeply, we broke it, you fix it if you can, if not, well, too bad. Let that be a lesson to you, Don’t make us come back. Mostly we figure if all you idiots would settle down, get jobs, or do something productive, pretty soon you’d have enough money to not want to break the china, but maybe that’s just a rule for the civilized world.

I don’t think America is really war-weary, we still love watching our guys do their thing, and making the world safe for Americans. We’re tired of the nonsense we talked about above, but I’ll bet we’d almost all enjoy sitting mesmerized again, as we were watching our guys and girls parade across the Iraqi desert a few years ago, and I doubt many of us will really forget the looks on the crowd’s faces as old Saddam’s statue came tumbling down. I liked that feeling, it had something of Berlin, 1945 about it.

Now they are trying to tell us that the war against ISIS will take at least three years. Three years–why? We gonna build new factories in Kurdistan first, and then recruit Koreans to fight and wait for them to walk over. Or maybe we are going to keep calling one bomb an air raid.

By the way, why are we using smart bombs or Hellfire missiles on a pickup truck with a machine gun and a short squad of idiots, in the middle of the desert? Yeah it makes neat videos, but 50 or so rounds of cal 50 would be at least as effective, and a hell of a lot cheaper

Here’s an even better idea, turn loose the Air Force, and the Navy, for say a week, every sortie they can manage, every target we can find. After that week, we ask anybody who’s still around if they want some more. If they do, how about a Marine Division through Iraq, another one through Syria, and say an armored corp through Kurdistan, should have it done in a couple of weeks. A month at the outside.

Three years, my foot!!

Let’s see, on 7 December 1944 (that’s three years after Pearl Harbor for you kids) Germany was just getting ready for its last gasp in the Battle of the Bulge, on the frontier of Germany itself, the Russians were rolling through East Prussia with most of their troops in GMC deuce and a half’s, and the officers in jeeps. Germany was a smoking ruin, the air forces were running out of targets, and mostly shooting up trains and making the rubble bounce.

On the other side of the world, The Imperial Japanese Navy, the remnants that hadn’t been sunk, was rusting away at its piers, out of fuel. The liberation of the Philippines was well in hand, next month North field on Tinian will welcome the 6th Bomb Group, which will commence to start burning down Japan which is already starving because of the American submarine campaign.

All of that was accomplished in three years, seventy years ago. They must have been supermen compared to us, huh? Since it will apparently take us that long to conquer a piece of the middle east the size of the United Kingdom and held by irregulars with ragtag equipment captured from here and there, instead of two of the foremost militaries in the world in 1941.

And I’ll bet that’s a lot of it as well. Americans are an impatient bunch, we got places to go, people to see, tyrants to topple, and all the rest. We don’t have three years to play around in some damned sandbox.

And if anybody is stupid enough to use the phrase ‘Boots on the ground’ in my presence-he won’t do it twice.

Let’s try something completely novel here. How about this: Decide what we need to do, and then decide what we need to do it. You know, instead of deciding we’ll put in ‘A’ so maybe we can do ‘B’, but what happens when ‘C’ unexpectedly does ‘D’. Now what are you going to do, Genius?

Or maybe we are just tired of leadership that can’t tie its own damned shoes, and is more worried about its cronies getting rich(er) than about the guys carrying the rifles. Maybe war really is too important to leave to the politicians (or the political generals).

“George Patton pick up the red courtesy phone, please.”

%d bloggers like this: