A vehicle for venting on philosophy, religion, and the general state of things. Proprietor: C. W. Powell

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Dennis Prager: They shoot children, don't they?: "Given this background, it is with the greatest sadness that I feel compelled to ask two questions:

"First, is there anything in Islam or in the way Islam is now taught and practiced that dulls the conscience and thereby enables many religious Muslims to engage in or support atrocities that other groups, religious and secular, find inconceivable?

"Second, the laudable condemnations of Islamic terror made by the Islamic Center notwithstanding, why are there virtually no public demonstrations of Muslims against the unspeakable evils committed by its adherents?

"And while posing questions, here are two for liberals: Why are almost the only people asking these questions aloud conservative and religious? Where are you when it comes to acknowledging evil?

"Yes, some people do shoot children, and good people have a right to ask why. "

Dennis Prager is no bigot, and Dennis Prager is no fool. Yes, he's a Jew [my favorite one], but he is a liberal Jew who is a dynamic spokesman for religious tolerance and for political and economic conservatism and for the Judaic/Christian moral framework. This is a dynamite article, and you should read the whole thing. The truth is, there is a deadening and deadly flaw in Islam that attacks the essence of humanity, and people who subscribe to Islam must make a choice between their faithfulness to their humanity and faithfulness to their religion. They must choose between being a good Muslim or being a good human, to a refuse the very things that make a man a man, in distinction from the animals. Very few religions require that choice.

But Prager misses the point, too. The question could be asked a bit broader. What is there in liberalism that does the same thing. Would the murderer Arafat still be around if he were not propped up by liberals in the West? Why the outcry from liberals in America and Europe over the overthrow of Saddam? Why the bleeding heart support of cold-blooded criminals and the resistance to capital punishment? Why the support of absolute abortion rights by the morally corrupt liberals in the West? What is wrong with liberalism that requires them to choose between their religion of moral and religious tolerance and their basic humanity?

In reality 9/11 was a very religious event and people in America sensed it immediately, even if they couldn't articulate it. But I will articulate it: 9/11 was an act of God that struck at the very core of the American idolatry. It isn't power and it isn't money. It is the idolatry of tolerance, the pretended belief that religion doesn't matter; what matters is sincerity, that we all worship the same God under different names.

Somehow the crashing of airliners into the Twin Towers by devout religious people did not fit our fundamental religious idea. Maybe it does matter what people believe. But that idea is intolerable, because so many of our institutions and ways of looking at things will have to be revised if that is true. We may have to look a religion differently if it matters. If proponents of some religion believe that they have a duty from God to destroy all people who do not accept their faith, then it matters acutely what religion teaches. Can even free speech be given to those who are recruiting others to carry out their religion of murder and ruin? Where is the world that we imagined of peace and joy and lamps romping in the fields? What are these locusts that are ascending from the bottomless pit? [Revelation 9]
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