Sam Harris, says in his book The End of Faith that faith and religion are “the most prolific source of violence in our history.” The three-volume Encyclopedia of Wars, which chronicles some 1,763 wars that have been waged over the course of human history, begs to differ.
For those wars, the authors note the causes of each. Consider this; they categorize 123 as being religious in nature, which is an astonishingly low 6.98% of all wars. However, more than half of them, 66, were fought in the name of Islam. Take those out, and the percentage of non-Islamic religious wars is a mere 3.23%.
So the next time someone tries to use the Crusades as a way to paint religion as the primary source of all war, just ask them, “Is that the best you can do?” Takes quite a bit faith to believe that.
Reverend William Owens from the Coalition Of African American Pastors in an interview with John Hawkins: "Again that’s the reason I took such a stand against President Obama. In every election, in every campaign where the marriage amendment has been on the ballot, blacks in large numbers have been against it and Americans have been against it. But he’s not interested in what the people want. He’s interested in what a few people who can give him big money want."
"Antarctic sea ice set another record this past week, with the most amount of ice ever recorded on day 256 of the calendar year (September 12 of this leap year)." I blame global warming.
UN Secretary General George OrwellBan Ki Moon: "Freedoms of expression should be and must be guaranteed and protected, when they are used for common justice, common purpose," Ban told a news conference. "When some people use this freedom of expression to provoke or humiliate some others’ values and beliefs, then this cannot be protected in such a way."
Bullying works. "The Christian-rooted fast food restaurant [Chick-filA] agreed to stop funding groups such as Focus on the Family that oppose same-sex marriage in a meeting with the Chicago politician who had been blocking the company’s move there."
And finally, competing mottos (from Chuck Asay, click for a larger version):
A suicide bomber killed 15 people and wounded dozens more in an attack at a funeral in the Pakistani city of Peshawar today. The attack appears to have targeted a senior provincial government official who has raised an anti-Taliban militia in the area.
Pakistani officials confirmed that a suicide bomber carried out today’s attack as mourners were offering prayers for a woman during a funeral in the Badaber area of Peshawar.
Had you heard about this? If you had, was it a news headline or merely another one-of-many filler stories?
In a way, perhaps the fact that such stories get so little airplay, and stories of U.S. military personnel committing crimes get so much airplay is an indication of the very difference between our moral high ground and the terrorist enemy’s.
Over the past five years, the Taliban and allied Pakistani terror groups such as the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and the Punjabi Taliban have shown no reservations about striking inside mosques and other religious sites, as well as during religious processions and events. There have been 36 major attacks on mosques and other Islamic institutions in Pakistan since December 2007, according to information compiled by The Long War Journal.
One of the most brazen attacks took place on Dec. 4, 2009, when a suicide assault team stormed a mosque frequented by military officers in Rawalpindi. Two senior generals were among the 40 people killed.
Another major attack took place on July 1, 2010, when suicide bombers struck the Data Ganj Bakhsh shrine in Lahore, killing 41 people and wounding more than 170. Three suicide bombers detonated their vests at the shrine at a time when it was most frequented, in an effort to maximize casualties.
The last major attack against religious targets took place on Sept. 15, 2011, when a suicide bomber killed 31 people in an attack at a funeral in Lower Dir.
All told, The Long War Journal lists 36 major attacks since December 2007 (in Pakistan alone), resulting in 805 people killed. That’s an average of 22 people killed per attack – attacks at mosques and other Islamic institutions.
If Samuel L. Jackson voted for Obama because he’s black – using as his reasoning, "’Cuz that’s why other folks vote for other people — because they look like them … That’s American politics, pure and simple." — then is it OK for white folks to vote for white guys just because they’re white? Could those white folks expect the non-reaction to their reasoning as Jackson got for his?
Jen Engel asks a pointed question. Do you think that Tim Tebow would be subjected to the same ridicule and scorn from other football players, sports journalist and other pundits if, instead of being a Christian who thanks God for his talent, he was a Muslim facing Mecca after every touchdown?
Relative bias in the media vs actual bias. A new book from a UCLA political science professor demonstrate how, because the media is so generally slanted to the left, outlets like Fox appear more right-slanted, when in reality they’re far more centrist.
Trevor Phillips, chairman of Obama’s Equality and Human Rights Commission accused Christians, particularly evangelicals, of being more militant than Muslims in complaining about discrimination, arguing that many of the claims are motivated by a desire for greater political influence. Hmm, define "militant".
What if Charles Schultz had done cartoons of Doctor Who characters? The result would probably have looked like this.
Democrats pilloried George W. Bush for "not listening to his generals" when he made decisions counter to the Pentagon. When Obama does it, not so much.
Would ID requirements for voting amount to a Jim-Crow-style poll tax on blacks? E. J. Dionne thinks so. James Taranto wonders if ID requirements for Amtrak, hotels, air travel and employment are equally as "racist"?
Nancy Pelosi said that they had to pass the bill before we could find out what’s in it. Apparently, some surprises are buried in there.
President Barack Obama’s health care law would let several million middle-class people get nearly free insurance meant for the poor, a twist government number crunchers say they discovered only after the complex bill was signed.
The change would affect early retirees: A married couple could have an annual income of about $64,000 and still get Medicaid, said officials who make long-range cost estimates for the Health and Human Services department.
Whenever there is a budget shortfall, taxes are always on the table. How about we take them off just this once?
Medicare spending is unsustainable, and the CBO itself admits that its tools for determine any consequences from Obamacare are flawed. Yeah, that should "fix" health care.
And finally, define "emergency" (click for a larger version):
Last week was Spring Break for us, but that doesn’t mean I stopped reading the news.
The long arm of “Pastor” Terry Jones. Obama bombs a Muslim country, and all’s quiet, but one nut half a world away burns a Koran, and gets disproportional media coverage for it, and Afghans riot, killing at least a dozen people. Jones may be overreacting, but he’s got nothing on the angry mullahs in Afghanistan. And after all, according to NBC, burning the Koran is worse than burning the Bible because the Bible was written by men, not God. (Where do they get their religion experts?)
Jimmy Carter equates Christianity with Islam in how both religions view women as inferior. Really, Jimmy? I guess if nations that are (or were) historically Christian would do things like, oh, allow women to vote, or hold jobs, or drive, or not have to cover their entire bodies with tents, then perhaps we can revisit this question.
And finally, two nuclear questions. (Click for a larger image.)
The Left has been energized lately about Charles and David Koch; the brothers who run Koch Industries and give to right-leaning causes. What’s interesting is that the Left simultaneously ignores the money that comes in from George Soros. Personally, I don’t mind rich people giving their money away to causes they agree with, whether liberal, conservative or otherwise. But the Left has been apoplectic over the Kochs, or, as John Hinderaker says, they have an unhealthy Koch habit. Charles Koch wrote an op-ed in the Wall St. Journal on Tuesday laying out what his issues are; getting rid of "crony capitalism" and massive government spending & debt so that entrepreneurs aren’t stifled at the expense of the politically connected. So…why is the Left against this?
A Christian politician in Pakistan, the country’s minister for minorities’ affairs, was assassinated yesterday for speaking out against the proposed blasphemy law, that would make it a crime to insult the Prophet Muhammad. This is the second high-profile murder related to this law. This may have been perpetrated by Islamic militants, but moderates within the "religion of peace" are getting a bad name from all of this. The problem is, there are a lot of those militants all over the world.
And finally, a civics lesson. (Click for a larger image.)
Reuters is reporting that the ancient Cairo-based Sunni center of learning al-Azhar has broken off dialogue with the Vatican after Pope Benedict expressed objections to church massacres in Iraq and Egypt and “urged Christian communities to persevere in a non-violent manner in the face of what he described as ‘a strategy of violence that has Christians as a target.’”
Al-Azhar issued a statement with the following explanation: “[Al-Azhar’s] Islamic Research Council reviewed in an emergency meeting Thursday the repeatedly insulting remarks issued by the Vatican Pope toward Islam and his statement that Muslims are discriminating against others who live with them in the Middle East. . . . The council decided to freeze dialogue between al-Azhar and the Vatican for an indefinite period.”
Because nothing it more insulting that urging people to be non-violent, and pointing out that, indeed, Christian are indeed being persecuted.
Most notably in the middle east (Egypt, Iran), Christians are coming under an increasing number of attacks, and an increase in their brutality. Also, when the Pope asked for religious tolerance in Pakistan, he was burned in effigy.
The deficit commission that President Obama convened agrees that most of ObamaCare should be kept. Unfortunately, they believe in order to keep it fiscally sustainable is for it to include Death Panels. They laughed at Sarah Palin for predicting this. I don’t hear anyone laughing now.
Speaking of Sarah Palin, Richard Cohen (no conservative, he) just can stop reading about (and apparently, can’t stop writing about) the former Alaska governor. And in writing about her and her beliefs, he includes this bit of honesty:
The left just doesn’t get America. I say this as a fellow-traveler of liberalism and as one who recognizes that many liberals fear the heartland. They see it as a dark place of primitive religions and too many guns. For such a person, Palin is the perfect personification of the unknown and feared Ugly American who will emerge from the heartland to seize Washington, turning off all the lights and casting America into darkness. The left does not merely disagree with the right; it fears it.
Hospitals closing or ridden with crime. Doctors quitting the medical practice or leaving the country to find greener pastures in which to practice. Shortages of medical supplies. While these are predictions of what will come with ObamaCare, we have yet another example of where socialized medicine is failing. Mr. Obama, call Mr. Chavez to find out how well it’s working in Venezuela. (Hint: It’s not.)
The character of Aslan in the Narnia series of books, as well established in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, is an allegory for Jesus Christ. That was C. S. Lewis’ purpose. But Liam Neeson, who provides the voice for Aslan in the movie series, has apparently been infected with the political correctness syndrome that pervades Hollywood.
Ahead of the release of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader next Thursday, Neeson said: ‘Aslan symbolises a Christ-like figure but he also symbolises for me Mohammed, Buddha and all the great spiritual leaders and prophets over the centuries.
‘That’s who Aslan stands for as well as a mentor figure for kids – that’s what he means for me.’
Bryan Longworth had an interesting tweet the other day. “Comprehensive sex ed has been taught in schools 4 over 40 years. The results? Epedemic #STIs. How’s perversion working 4 U?” Not so well, judging by the results.
And finally, Chuck Asay has some words for Democrats who are ostensibly fighting for the workers. (Click for a larger version.)
Who said this, after hearing that "Muhammed" was now the #1 baby name in Britain?
“Am I a racist to feel alarmed by that? Because I am. And it’s not because of the race, it’s because of the religion. I don’t have to apologize, do I, for not wanting the Western world to be taken over by Islam in 300 years?”
No, not Juan Williams, who said something similar and got fired for it. No, not Mark Steyn, who’s written a book on this subject. In fact, it’s not a conservative at all.
Conservative Margaret Hoover replied, "If you’re with NPR, you’d be fired." I disagree. Nina Totenburg has been spouting opinion for years and that hasn’t jeopardized her job.
You’ll not hear much of this, if any at all, from the media or the left-wing bloggers because Maher is still extremely useful to them in a host of other areas. For them it’s not about principles, it’s about politics. If you have the right stance on the issues, a few minor indiscretions will be tolerated. (Or even major ones; see the NOW crowd’s muted reaction to Bill Clinton).
In this video, slam poet Chris Tse apologizes for being a Christian (warning: a couple of instances of foul language). Before you watch the video, think for a moment which actions Tse might have singled out as worthy of apologizing for. Consider our culture, its worldviews, and especially how Christians are portrayed in secular media.
How did you do? It really wasn’t that difficult to guess which sins he’d be apologizing for, was it?
As one would expect, some of the politically correct sins presented were: the crusades, homophobia, anti-abortion protests, culturally insensitive missionaries, etc. Now, regardless of whether or not Christians, in general, are guilty of some or all of these infractions, does anyone else find it unsettling that the infractions listed match up with how the Christian and Christianity is portrayed in secular media?
While it appears that Mr. Tse is sincere, albeit naive, I’m concerned about how this type of “apology” dovetails with the secular worldview of the liberal west. I find it interesting that we live in a world which considers all ideas valid, yet demands apologies from those whose ideas which, truth be told, they consider wrong (i.e., not valid). It’s the old, “We will not tolerate intolerance!” mantra. Recall that one of President Obama’s first actions, as President, was to travel ’round the world apologizing on behalf of the United States.
Apologizing, evidently, is in vogue.
I’ve read some commentators who state that we live in a post-modern society which is not really interested in viewing the world through rational, enlightenment eyes. Therefore, any discipline which presents an argument to make its case, such as that of apologetics, is considered old-school. Instead, we’re told, we need to expend our efforts to reach the heart of the person – namely by means of anything relational.
Hence, we see efforts such those to administer so-called social justice to the less fortunate in our midst – or – to deliver apologies for hurting other people’s feelings.
Yet we humans are neither wholly rational or wholly emotional creatures – we are much more than that. We have, after all, been stamped with the Image of God.
As such, worldviews which tout the truth of pluralism are self-defeating, not because they don’t feel right but because they don’t work. In the same vein, apologies for the past actions of a particular group had better have the facts and context of those actions objectively correct, lest such apologies be nothing more than a meaningless flapping of wind.