Lacking conviction?

code pink on Iran

Neo and I have sometimes quoted Yeats’ lines from The Second Coming:

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere   
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst   
Are full of passionate intensity.
This is because they seem as relevant to our times as they did to the 1930s. T.S. Eliot expressed it less pithily but with more exposition in his Idea of a Christian Society which was written around the time of the Munich Crisis of 1938. He, like many, was shaken by what had happened, and penitent and critical. But as he explained:

It was not…a criticism of the government, but a doubt of the validity of a civilization. We could not match conviction with conviction, we had no ideas with which we could either meet or oppose the ideas opposed to us. Was our society, which had always been so assured of its superiority and rectitude, so confident of its unexamined premises, assembled round anything more permanent than a congeries of banks, insurance companies and industries, and had it any beliefs more essential than a belief in compound interest and the maintenance of dividends?

Those words are I think even more relevant now than they were then. Back in the 1930s our civilization retained many of its Christian characteristics, and its morality and standards were those of our Judeo-Christian heritage – we did, in short, as we found in 1940, have some ideas to pitch against those of the Nazis, as we would, for the long Cold War, against the Communists. But what have we now?

I’m struck and penitential about the way in which so many feminists are quiet about what has happened in Cologne and elsewhere – it is clear that for them fear of being called ‘racist’ outweighs the principles they claim to stand for. Their ideas are not held with as much conviction as those of ISIS sympathisers. But they are hardly alone. Our governments do, indeed, seem to care only for banks and profit and not for anything higher. It leaves us, literally, vulnerable against those who hate our civilization and all it stands, or stood for. The reason I singled out feminists a moment ago was that they at least know, passionately I thought, what they stand for, but it is easy to be passionate when faced with an ‘enemy’ which isn’t really that. Western men can be misogynistic, but that fades when compared to the attitude of many Muslims – but best not cross them because unlike Western men, they will turn round and harm you. Is it cowardice? Or is it just that they are not that passionate?

It sometimes seems as though the effort of staying alert for so long against the enemy of Communism has sapped us of our energy. Was it too much for too long? No doubt it would be nice if the world was a better place where we did not face real enemies, but those liberal pieties are not true, they are a delusion. Perhaps Eliot was right, and we do not have values which will stand when the wind blows? But so it seemed in the 30s – and when the moment came, so too did the man – Churchill. We shall have to hope there’s one in the wings.

Clash of Civilizations: Islamic vs. Judeo-Christian

OK, gang, I give up for now, I’m fighting a cold and writing isn’t going well. But here’s a friend of mine. And Dan is right.

Judeo-Christian civilization has nothing in common with, and nothing to gain from, Islamic civilization as it now exists. They have been clashing for centuries. Now, Islamic civilization appears to be winning in much of the European Union and, to a lesser degree, in America. 

Can anything be done to slow and then to halt the spread of fundamentalist Islam? Ayan Hirsi Ali hopes there is and that Muslims will do it. I also hope they will, but am quite dubious that it will happen in the foreseeable future.We need to take other steps promptly. […]

Fundamentalist Islam is a culture of compulsion and hate

Americans should learn far more than we have from the recent experiences of Sweden, Germany, England, France and other European Union countries in welcoming Muslims to Islamise their cultures. I posted a lengthy article on that on December 13th. If you haven’t read it yet, please do so now. It provides very helpful background for an understanding of the clash of Judeo-Christian and Islamic civilizations.

Here is a lengthy video by Walid Shoebat, once an Islamic jihadist and now a Roman Catholic opponent of Islam. Born in “Palestine,” he imbibed the Islamic culture of hate and compulsion as a youth, as did most of his acquaintances. Eventually, he changed from what he was to what he now is.

via Clash of Civilizations: Islamic vs. Judeo-Christian | danmillerinpanama.

And see that’s the thing, whatever you believe, you have a much better chance of NOT dying for your belief under Christianity. But I also know this: If we don’t defend our culture, we will lose, and Islam will win. Not only will we (as Christians) lose, but the relativists, who don’t understand belief in God, will lose even more badly than we will, for unlike them, we are, at least, ‘People of the Book”. and may survive (by submission) if we wish. Them, not so much.

From the comments

English: Picture of Billboard put up by the Un...

English: Picture of Billboard put up by the United American Committee given to me by the group itself. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dan Hannan said recently that:

Americans are very good at assimilating newcomers. They go in for loud displays of national pride – flags in the yard and bunting on Independence Day and stirring songs – that strike some Euro-snobs as vulgar, but that make it easy for settlers to want to belong.

And that is true, we have welcomed and assimilated all sorts of people over the last 300 or so years. But can we assimilate a group of people who basically believe in a theocracy, and maintain our country, as designed?

My dear friend Isabella Rose commented on yesterday’s post to this point. She said:

It is such a sad mess. While I can understand that some Muslims might not sympathize with jihadis in their extremest measures, the problem is that it is fundamental to the Muslim faith to seek out the practice of Sharia law. I have witnessed this first hand in getting to know Muslims, and I have heard their explanations of how they are a people of peace, and not the monsters the media makes them out to be. Nonetheless, I have also heard them turn around and clearly state that if you offend them or your faith, you should be punished under their laws.

Their idea of peace is very different from ours. From what I have seen, a world under Sharia law would be a peaceful place to them. The problem is, can we accept the abuse of other humans in the name of their God? Do we want to be subject to their laws if a dispute should arise between us and them personally? They would want us to be, and to them, that would be peaceful.

I think we walk such a fine line here. On the one hand, they are human beings, who we must love. On the other, they are holding onto a belief system that is calculated to eventually destroy our own, and establish their religious reign. Sadly, this is the paradox that is so difficult in our world. Do we take the liberal approach, whereby we act kind to them but do not seek to also set limits and borders to their initiatives? Do we take the opposite extreme approach, whereby we retaliate by hating them all and being inhumanly cruel?

There are no easy answers to such complex questions. Sadly, prophecy is clear that eventually the continuing actions of Muslims will lead to an international war that will cause much loss of life and bloodshed. I feel as though I am living in a twililight zone, as the news unfolds what was once mere written words on a prophetic page of history.

I think that all we can do is strive for a balance, whereby we love them and pray for them in our personal lives, but find a way to charitably stand strong in our defenses against their errors. As for the greater arena of the international political spheres, I am just glad I am not in the shoes of those who have to make such fateful decisions. Yet in the end I am not unfamiliar with tough love, and if pushed enough, I can see where it may – very sadly – have to come to that. But who will we blame? The Muslims, or our world that has become so cold that it drives disillusioned young people to extremist motives?

I think she states it very well, and yes, I do agree with her as I often do. But what do we do? I don’t know, and I doubt anybody has really thought about it.

This morning Archbishop Cranmer also spoke of this. Here are some of his thoughts.

For the first time in almost 300 years, we’re facing a conflict that has a distinct theological and religious element which we have not faced before,” said the Archbishop of Canterbury in response to the Prime Minister’s statement expressing the desire of his conscience to bomb Syria. “Recent studies demonstrate the theological basis of extremist groups behind jihadist thinking,” the Archbishop added, mindful that ISIS/ISIL/Daesh clearly has something to do with Islam, even if politicians persist in their delusion that the Islamic State is a nihilist, godless, irreligious death cult which has “nothing to do with Islam”, which is a religion of peace, prophetic benevolence and infinite mercy. Archbishop Justin probed further:

Does the Government realise that in facing this conflict there must be an ideological response that is not only national in dealing with the threat of extremism here, but is global in challenging the doctrines that draw so many people to support ISIS internationally? And what steps are they proposing to take to put together the conflict at the ideological and theological level, as well as at humanitarian and military?”

As we move inexorably toward bombing Syria – which the Archbishop acknowledges is “almost inevitable” and which action he fully supports – we would be foolish to ignore the “distinct theological and religious element”, which bombs will not eradicate. Indeed, military conflict with the infidel West represents an Islamist theological apocalyptic consummation: those who reject the dominion of Allah and the mission of Mohammed are kuffar. What Mohammed did to unbelieving Meccans is what Daesh must do to the profligate Jews and Christian prostitutes of Paris, Brussels, London, Berlin, Rome..

There can be no refuge or safe havens for Christians in the Middle East without the hard power of military intervention, but bombs produce collateral damage, and the blood of innocents is inescapable. Yes, we might degrade ISIS/Daesh in the short term, but the theological narrative and dream of the Caliphate will simply slumber to wake another day.

Source: BOMB SYRIA? AIRSTRIKES AGAINST ISIS WILL NOT ERADICATE ISLAMIST IDEOLOGY

So what should we do, as American, and as Christians (most of us)? It starts, I think, with prayer for us to see the way forward. I think bombing may be useful, but it is not the answer, I also think ground troops will be required. Neither are they the answer, really, unless we are with the Bishop of Béziers, Renaud de Montpeyroux and say, “Kill them all, God will know His own”. I think we are better than that, or at least I hope and pray we are.

Friday Round-up: Freedom and Leaders

All you need to know about why this week’s debate was utterly useless.

Anybody surprised at NBC’s conduct? That what I thought.

Speaking of elections-

The Free World Has Lost Its Leader

From Dan Hannan.

The free world has lost its leader. In the absence of a vigorous American foreign policy, Canada’s Stephen Harper supplied his own. For the better part of a decade, he energetically championed Western interests. He was serious about fighting terrorism, keen on free trade and prepared to deploy proportionate force in defense of freedom.

His defeat in last week’s Canadian general election will be felt far beyond that sparse, chilly country. When other Western leaders fretted about Israel’s 2006 Lebanon war, he gave his full backing to the Jewish state. When others dithered over Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, he led international condemnation. Obliged to meet Vladimir Putin at a summit meeting, he was admirably curt: “I guess I’ll shake your hand, but I have only one thing to say to you: Get out of Ukraine.”

Source: The Free World Has Lost Its Leader

This is superb. It is also the most important article here, if you would understand how America got to the ugly place that we are now.

“Anatomy of a Juggernaut,” By Bradley C. S. Watson

The subtitle of Paul D. Moreno’s new book, “The Twilight of Constitutionalism and the Triumph of Progressivism,” is the thrust of a growing body of revisionist scholarship on the Progressive movement. Moreno adds a valuable historian’s perspective to this scholarship, which is associated largely with the “Claremont school” of political science. He notes the central conceit of twentieth-century American history: the triumphalist portrayal of an ever-expanding national state, one that would finally offer authentic liberty—freeing individuals not only from inequality but from the reactionary idea that human nature itself imposes permanent constraints.

Moreno suggests that the Obama presidency has brought this Progressive narrative squarely before the bar of public opinion. Enduring doubts about the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as “Obamacare,” conjoined with concerns about unprecedented levels of government spending, have shown that older notions of constitutional limits still animate at least some citizens. They demand a full hearing for constitutional arguments long after the political classes gave up on such arguments—nowhere better captured than in former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s dismissive response to a question about Obamacare’s constitutionality: “Are you serious?” she asked, with an incredulous laugh.

Our current situation, says Moreno, is that we occupy a “twilight zone between constitutional and unlimited government.” The political philosophy of the Founders is alive, if on life support. They were neither laissez faire libertarians nor statists, but constitutionalists. Their arguments are echoed today by Americans who believe that the US Constitution has a fixed meaning that binds political actors, a meaning that is informed by a moral and political philosophy anterior to the writing of that document. This view allows that a genuine common good exists, even in the face of considerable individual freedom—and that the government is bound to respect and pursue it. Under this older view, “class legislation” cannot be tolerated.

Moreno begins by considering the “old regime” left by the Civil War Republicans, who embraced the Founders’ constitutionalism even as they adopted Hamiltonian mercantilist economic policies in the midst of the American industrial revolution. He points to the postwar demobilization of the Union Army as evidence of Republicans’ commitment to the Founders’ idea of minimalist federal power. He further argues that the Republican revival of the “American System” of Hamilton and Henry Clay, “based on protective tariffs, banks, and internal improvements,” was largely within antebellum constitutional understandings.

Source: “Anatomy of a Juggernaut,” By Bradley C. S. Watson

A Heroine for our Time

Even as she held tightly to Islam, something was happening to Ali, thanks to her new English-language and reading skills:  She was exposed to a world of ideas that contradicted what she was learning through the Qu’ran about man’s subjugation to the Qu’ran’s rules and about women’s subjugation to man. Dickens (especially Oliver Twist), Alcott, and even Nancy Drew exposed her to the idea of an individual with free will, one who freely makes choices for good or ill – but that are his choices.  Even Nancy Drew was an inspiration, with her lauded brave and intrepid (albeit still feminine) spirit.

Armed with this growing intellectual arsenal, Ali began to ask the “why” questions that a repressive society cannot tolerate: Why must I be treated this way? Why don’t we celebrate individuality? Why do we force people to behave in a certain way when free nations achieve greater things?  Why are women subordinate to men?

Bookworm on the greatness of Ayaan Hirsi Ali via Ace

Europe’s Rape Epidemic:

w706I mentioned this in passing the other day, here, but it needs talking about. The main question is why Europe permits such an outrage. I can think of several reasons, none complimentary.

Perhaps, the only reason Europeans pretended to respect women was the thin veneer of Christianity they used to wear; that is possible since the advance in the rights of women has always been linked to Christianity.

Perhaps, Europeans are just too wimpish to any longer protect their women, in which case they are doomed because a man who won’t protect his wife and/or daughter will not protect himself or his civilization either.

Perhaps, the Europeans simply hate their (and our) civilization so much that any outrage committed against it is fine with them.

Perhaps all of the above, or maybe other reasons. It doesn’t really matter, Europe has given up. I suspect a secondary reason is the very reason they have always resented us Anglo-Saxons, as they call us, the very evident fact that historically we have made sure we are free to take action with or without government sanction, against a crime in the street. Sadly, Britons have largely given up that right, leaving it the sole possession of Americans, who firmly believe it.

Make no mistake, Westerners are about to be made to suffer from Europe’s Rape Epidemic and the reason is that our leaders fully believe that we deserve to.

Readers will be more than aware that Sweden has become Europe’s rape capital. Its government has blamed this on everything from increased reporting to the internet to the weather. Norway and Denmark also have some rather alarming rates of rape, but those countries are more readily willing to admit the cause. 

In Norway, recent statistics revealed that 100 per cent of violent street-rapes committed in the capital city of Oslo were committed by “non-western” immigrants.  It’s a similar story in Denmark, where the majority of rapes are committed by immigrants, usually Muslim.

In England, it’s been rape after rape – tens of thousands of young British girls are brutalised, tortured, beaten and raped by organised gangs comprised almost exclusively of Muslims. And now we have Germany. When Chancellor Merkel threw open the doors of her country to hundreds of thousands of migrants from the Middle East and Africa, she opened the door to the rape of German women.

Rape and sexual assault (as well as forced prostitution) is rampant within the refugee camps in Germany, and it has spilled out to the nearby towns. Rape in has already been described as an “epidemic” and one that the German authorities, and media, are keeping rather quiet about. The reality is that German authorities, who know that many of these asylum seekers are rapists, will allow those men to live freely among German women – they have decided to allow German women to be raped, just like authorities all across Europe.

Women of Europe must understand what is happening here. This is not Page Three, or aCarry On film sexist joke (for the record, I wouldn’t be without my Carry On collection); this is a truly brutal hatred of women that demands we are slaves and absolutely believes it has the right to rape women who don’t submit. The men think of women this way because that is where they come from, that is what they know. 

Source: Europe’s Rape Epidemic: Western Women Will Be Sacrificed At The Altar Of Mass Migration

via PUMABydesign001’s Blog

And there is this, from The Gatestone Institute

  • “They are also taught that white non-Muslims are easy, cheap, dirty sluts and that it is their right [to take them]. … On top of this, teaching people to hate anyone who is not a Muslim — as is done in many mosques — will, of course, lead to a lot of people hating anyone who is not a Muslim. … The problem, however, is also due to police, judges, lawyers, and teachers, fearing the words ‘racist’ and ‘Islamophobe’ — and nothing is being done to stop that.” — Toni Bugle, women’s rights activist, founder of Mothers against Radical Islam and Sharia, and victim of child-rape.

  • “When girls are raped, they are referred to by the rapists as ‘white trash,’ ‘white whores’ and ‘white kuffir.’ It is said to the girls quite openly. And the girls tell the police. Yet the assaults are never recognized as ‘racially motivated. … “I am sick of being told that I matter less because, I was born white, or that someone else matters less because he was born a different color. Such terms are themselves racist. People now seem to be using the race card to behave in the most appalling manner.” — Toni Bugle.
  • Many British girls still stay silent. The perpetrators threaten and intimidate them: “This would be enough to silence most girls. In addition, the police ignore the pleas of these girls, so they do not trust the police. I do think the silence of the community means it acquiesces.”
  • In Islam, only non-Muslims may be taken as slaves — a rule that is unfortunately only further evidence of a supremacist doctrine within Islam: that Islam is superior to other religions, and its adherents therefore entitled to privileges not afforded to members of other religions.

Source: Sexual Slavery: “Nothing to do with Islam”?

I would remind you that slavery ended in the west (including the United States) because British and then American Christians decided that it must. Nobody else cared, really. Apparently, our so-called leadership elites no longer care either, and so an old evil returns to Europe, and soon the United States as well.

David Cameron’s ‘British values’ agenda is anti-Christian

CMMxrnmWEAA8qGKIs it? Yes, and its also anti-Islamic, anti- Jewish, anti-Hindu, anti-Sikh, and anti-secular humanist. It’s also anti-British, anti-American, and anti-western civilization. Unless you worship David Cameron as the one true god, it’s against whatever you believe. Here’s Cameron’s money quote:

For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone’.

In other words do as I say, not as the law of the land says. Even Obama isn’t crass enough to say this out loud.

Here’s Professor Charmley:

Legislation to counter ‘extremism’ will threaten free speech for all faiths and give the state the final say on what we can, and cannot, teach our children

With ISIS in the news, and with young people leaving this country to join them, ‘‘extremist disruption orders’’ (EDOs), designed to prevent the spread of extremism, appear both sensible and popular. This is, we are reassured, about defending “British values”. Again, this seems unproblematic, until you start thinking about it. During the Coalition, the Liberal Democrats asked some searching questions about what this actually meant, and the legislation was dropped; now it is back on the agenda – and in the absence of the Lib Dems, the rest of us need to step up to the plate. Why so?

We can get our first glimpse of why we should be concerned from the response of the Conservative MP, Mark Spencer, to a query from a constituent as to whether EDOs would erode free speech. After the usual airy generalised reassurances about free speech being protected, Mr Spencer volunteered the suggestion that they might, though, be used against someone teaching that gay marriage was wrong. So, espousing the traditional Christian, Muslim and Jewish teaching on marriage, one which until a couple of years ago was the law of the land, can now be considered espousing ‘‘extremism’’? What other aspects of the teaching of our faith might fall under suspicion? It is not, after all, as though our ruling elite has shown itself particularly literate when it comes to religion. As Prof Tariq Modood of Bristol recently commented: “The decline of public religion in Britain in the second half of the 20th century has meant that British society, including higher education and its leaders, has little understanding of religion.”

Our leaders lack the ability to understand what faith means to people. They seem to think we should regard it in the same way they treat their party’s principles – something infinitely malleable and, in an emergency, saleable for something more serviceable.

The Welsh Government, not usually a fan of the Conservatives, has jumped on the bandwagon of the “extremism” agenda to suggest that because religious education is badly taught in Welsh schools, it should be scrapped and replaced with something that fits with the “social cohesion” agenda. This sort of thinking is the fruit of the old narrative, taken as normative in the West, that religion is a fading force in the world which can be generally done away with in the public sphere, and which, if it must exist, should be strictly confined to the private sphere. That this is not true of much of the rest of the world, or of many in this multicultural country, appears to be beyond the grasp of a political elite which fails to see the dangers that will follow by treating public affirmations of faith as signs of “extremism”. Mr Spencer’s blithe assumption that his constituent would agree with his definition of extremism is precisely what should worry us, because he is far from alone in sharing it

With so many examples before us to choose from, it would be futile for anyone to argue that this is not the thin end of a wedge; it always is. Every time our liberties are curbed, we are assured that this is the end of it, but that will come only when the relevant authorities are satisfied we are all on message.

and

The Government’s instinctive mistrust of what it does not understand, combined with an equally instinctive desire to ban opinions it dislikes, is worrying. Claiming to be progressive, the Government is, in fact, in danger of regressing to the days of the Test Acts of the period from 1689 to 1828, when membership of the political nation required a Confessional Test – were you or were you not a communicating member of the Established Church? We already see, with Andy Burnham, that it is necessary to jettison authentic Catholic teaching on matters such as birth control, abortion and gay marriage to secure support in the Labour Party, while Education Secretary Nicky Morgan’s about-turn on the issue of same-sex marriage tells us the same is true of the Tories.

Politicians who are practising members of the Catholic Church are wise to either self-censor or change their views on fashionable issues if they wish to get on. The monstering of Tim Farron by a media shocked at the idea of a believing Christian leading a political party reveals how hostile our political life is to confessed Christians, while his own muted reaction on the issue of same-sex marriage shows how hard it is to speak against the fashionable consensus which so illiberally enforces its writ. Is it wise to give this political elite such wide-ranging powers to decide what we can and cannot express with regard to our faith?

It is, perhaps, hopeless to expect a Conservative Party bent on erasing all traces of it to remember its own history, but the last time it legislated directly on matters of belief was the Public Worship Regulation Act of 1874. Designed to stem the rising tide of ritualism within the Established Church, it forbade various practices such as candles on altars and the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament. The result was that some patently holy men ministering in the poorest parishes of London found themselves in jail for obeying their consciences rather than the government. The law quickly fell into disuse, but not before creating a generation of Anglo-Catholic martyrs. Perhaps Mr Cameron and Theresa May cannot conceive of men and women so principled that they would go to jail rather than defy their own consciences?

via CatholicHerald.co.uk » David Cameron’s ‘British values’ agenda is anti-Christian.

Professor John Charmley is head of the Interdisciplinary Institute at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. His speciality as a historian is modern Britain, with a focus on the Conservative party.

I’m not convinced that people like Cameron and May even understand what a conscience is. And do understand, it is happening on this of the pond as well.

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