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Recent Publications by New English Review Authors
The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
Karimi Hotel
De Nidra Poller
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
An Introduction to Danish Culture
by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
by Theodore Dalrymple
Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky

These are all the Blogs posted on Monday, 14, 2006.
Monday, 14 August 2006
It's the religion, stupid

Muriel Gray's politics are about as far removed from mine as it is possible to get, but we agree on one thing:

Frightened for your life in these days of madness? It’s not about religion, stupid. It’s about foreign policy, and silly us for thinking any different. So let’s have a look at the unique feelings of those young Muslim men who are so deeply affected by international politics and certainly not religion – no, no, goodness me no – and examine those gaping differences between us. We can use the martyrdom tape of July 7, 2005, as a guide to why we’re on such opposing sides and take it from there.

It seems that these suicide bombers are really, really different from us non-Muslims because they’re against the war in Iraq and we aren’t. But didn’t one million people demonstrate against the war, hasn’t the media pounded the government constantly ever since about the terrible error, and have you ever spoken to anyone recently who thinks it was a jolly good idea and it’s all going terribly well? So no real difference of views there. So far the suicide bomber and the majority of British infidels are pretty much in agreement...

So how come if that’s the case, that every imam, Respect party activist, and Muslim “community leader” keeps telling us that religion has nothing to do with these attractive, intelligent young men, with comfortable, safe lives in Britain ahead of them, deciding to turn into mass murderers, and that politics is the only reason?

If we take two groups of young British men of equal ages, all equally angry about these things as so many are, why do the Muslim leaders agree that the Muslim men may be induced to plot to kill in response, while the non-Muslim men are likely to plot only to protest, change their voting pattern or maybe just play a game of five-a-side football and rant about the world’s injustice in the pub later? Religion. That’s why. It may be ugly, but if we don’t keep saying it over and over, out loud and often, that these murderers believe that this life is worthless, a mere test for the one to come, that non-believers are lower than animals, that the British society that protects them, houses them, educates them and keeps them healthy is disgusting and vile only because it is filled with non-believers, that the world must be dominated by their religion and only theirs, and that in dying to help bring it about a reward waits for them and their families that is unimaginable in its pleasure, then how can we ever understand this conflict?

Foreign policy my eye. I, like thousands of others all over Britain, agree profoundly with almost all of the bombers’ “political” grievances, but I do not hate those who believe differently from me and will never kill. Why not? I haven’t got a god telling me to.

Posted on 08/14/2006 4:52 AM by Mary Jackson
Monday, 14 August 2006
Let's Stop Pretending
Crusader gives us a photo essay making the undeniable point.  Here's one of the pics:

(Hat tip: Gates of Vienna, apropos of their world war slogan contest.)
Posted on 08/14/2006 5:24 AM by Robert Bove
Monday, 14 August 2006
an experiment

BALTIMORE - A protester staked out the home of a Muslim candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates, holding a sign and wearing a T-shirt that mocked Islam

Timothy Truett sat in a folding chair Saturday on the cul-de-sac outside Saqib Ali's home in Gaithersburg with a sign reading "Islam sucks," and a shirt with the slogan, "This mind is an Allah-free zone."

Montgomery County police sent a trespass notification form to Truett warning that he would be subject to arrest on trespassing charges if he steps onto Ali's property within the next year.

Truett called his protest "an experiment," explaining: "I had heard that Muslims were generally intolerant of views other than their own, and so I thought I would put it to the test."...

Posted on 08/14/2006 6:11 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 14 August 2006
more cellphones

CARO, Mich. -- The wife of a Texas man accused of amassing cellphones for terrorist purposes said Saturday that her husband traveled so far to buy phones because demand is so high in North Texas.

Lina Odeh said the men planned to sell the phones to a man in Dallas for a profit of about $5 per phone. She said they were in Michigan because so many people in the Dallas area are doing the same thing that the phones are often sold out.

Humm and the Michigan men were traveling through Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina buying up cell phones to sell to a man in Dearborn...

Posted on 08/14/2006 6:34 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 14 August 2006
E Pluribus Nihil
Beyond the several military fronts opened up against Islamic fascists--and those opened by jihad that we have yet to acknowledge--the war is being fought on multiple fronts.  One such front is the college campus.  Why?  Because in what is clearly a multi-generational war, higher education in America is ill-prepared to produce graduates who have a clue.

In wartime, toleration of beligerant alien cultures is suicidal, "celebration" of such cultures is perverse, and failure to defend traditional Western values would make Swedes of us all, watching supine while our mothers, wives, and daughters run from Islamic rapists.

Is it any wonder that, according to the National Association of Scholars,
"diversity outpolls freedom on university Websites"?

A study of university websites (pdf) released [...] by the National Association of Scholars reveals an obsession with diversity unparalleled in any other sector of American opinion leadership. Only on university websites do the overall references to diversity exceed in number references to traditional American ideals like freedom, democracy, and liberty. In striking contrast, the websites of the major media (both print and broadcasting), national business associations, leading churches, labor unions, "the new media," and the major political parties, typically referred to freedom far more often than diversity. Both Republican and Democratic National committees, for instance, refer to freedom about eight times as often as diversity, "the blogs" about seven times as often, television about five times as often, print media and religious denominations about four times as often, and even unions twice as often. References to freedom exceed those to diversity on the websites of the major business associations by a ratio of three to two.

By contrast, the references to diversity on the websites of the top 100 U.S. News & World Report Universities and Colleges exceeded those to freedom by a ratio of four to three, even though "academic freedom" is an issue higher education presumably holds dear. Other traditional liberal/democratic watchwords faired even worse. For the same group of academic institutions diversity references exceeded liberty by a ratio of five to one, equality four to one, and democracy three to one. No other opinion leadership sector in the nation has such a pattern of preference.

"In current intellectual usage, the word 'diversity', has acquired a meaning largely antithetical to the ideals that have given America its distinctive character," observed Stephen H. Balch, president of the NAS. "In 'diversityspeak,' America is a collection of ethnicities and lifestyles rather than a common cultural identity, and group membership trumps individuality. Given the caste mentality associated with the term, and its emphasis on grievance and victimhood, it is especially alarming that university references to diversity exceed those to freedom and liberty, words emblematic of individual autonomy and national pride."

"The endless reiterations in academe of this corporatist term," continued Dr. Balch, "indicate the great gulf that has opened between our universities and the rest of the country. And interestingly, it is in contrast with those sectors closest to the people that the chasm yawns widest. It is the media and both of our major political parties, relying as they do on the American people for patronage and votes, that most stress freedom, liberty, and democracy over diversity -- as, in great measure, do our labor unions, as well. The separation is smallest, although still substantial, between the universities, on the one hand, and Washington business lobbies and mainline churches, on the other."

"Unfortunately," concluded Dr. Balch, "our universities are educators, and hence leading indicators of cultural change. During the 1980s, diversity was little more than an ideological term-of-art confined to the discourse of assorted humanities faculties. Today it has extensively penetrated into the national psyche, even recognized by the government -- albeit by the judiciary, the least popular branch - as a 'compelling state interest.' If diversity is not now central to the American people's vision of itself, it may eventually become so. Accomplishing this, alas, is a mission to which our universities appear resolutely pledged."
Posted on 08/14/2006 7:16 AM by Robert Bove
Monday, 14 August 2006
Baghdad this morning

BAGHDAD, Iraq Aug 14, 2006 (AP)— Car bombs and a rocket barrage struck a predominantly Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad Sunday, killing at least 47 people and wounding 148. The rockets apparently were fired from a mostly Sunni district targeted by U.S. troops in a crackdown against the sectarian violence roiling the capital.

Should American soldiers be risking, and in some cases sacrificing, their lives, so that Sunnis no longer kill Shi'a, especially if those Sunnis are often targeting not merely Shi'a but supporters of Moqtada al-Sadr or, alternatively, those who are admirers of, or at least collaborators with, the Islamic Republic of Iran? Should American soldiers be risking, and in some cases sacrificing, their lives, so that Shi'a no longer kill Sunnis?

I presume that the reason for bringing "democracy" to Iraq, and in so doing to ignore both the nature of real democracy in the Western sense, and the kind of moral and intellectual underpinnings that it requires, developed slowly in time, and the nature of the three-vilayet pseudo-nation-state of Iraq, is to make the threat from Islam, that is the Jihad in all of its forms, or "terrorism" as the Bush administration likes to misleadingly and soothingly and reductively call it, was to weaken the threat of that Jihad.

Weaken it. By all means. Win the "war on terrorism" in Iraq. Get out, because only by getting out can the sectarian and ethnic divisions so apparently obvious for so long to so many, can only weaken the camp of Islam, and not only, thank god, in Iraq.

Posted on 08/14/2006 7:25 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 14 August 2006
Islamic fascists

"Islamic fascists" has both good and bad points. It is a great improvement over that idiotic phrase the "war on terror." It is no longer possible for our government, or other Western governments, to pretend that Islam has nothing to do with the assorted terror plots foiled, or in some cases carried out, all over the world, and the Administration must have sensed the fury, directed at it not least from those whom it might have counted on to support it and that, for good reason, is opposed to the timidity and the stupidity with which the Administration has so often behaved.

But "Islamic fascists" is only a milestone along the way. Islam appears only adjectivally here, modifying the noun "Fascists." This still hints at a group that has possibly "hijacked" or "perverted" a great religion. Much remains to be made clear. What are these things about Islam, and the Jihad, that need to be made clear?

They include the following:

That Jihad to spread Islam until all barriers to its dominance are removed, and it does dominate, and Muslims, the Best of People, rule. This is as Allah wishes it, this is the just and natural outcome that all Muslims must work toward and for. The fact that some do not means merely that they are insufficiently devout, or lazy, or unobservant. No one should take comfort in this, for at any moment a lapsed or lazy or unobservant or insufficiently devout Muslim may become the real thing, prompted by some event in the great world, or often prompted by some event in his personal life which we, the Infidels, have no way of knowing will set him off. And then there is also the "My Son the Fanatic" phenomenon, where the child of immigrants who may themselves not have the leisure to dwell on their "humiliation" in this or that Infidel land, while the children, sons or daughters, proudly "return" to Islam, in a way that of course spells danger to Infidels and to their laws and even, in the end, their lives.

Jihad is both a collective and at times individual duty. It is to be pursued using whatever instruments come to hand. In 7th century Arabia the main instrument was "qital" or combat. But Islamic texts, Islamic commentators, are well aware of all the other instruments of warfare: the "wealth weapon" (which today means oil revenues, and the use of boycotts, bribery, support for mosques, madrasas, propaganda, armies of Western hirelings ready to defend and promote Muslim and Arab interests), and "pen, speech" (again, propaganda to spread Islam, or to protect Islam from those inclined to question or oppose its spread), and the newest instrument, openly discussed and even boasted about by Muslims, but hardly noticed by Infidels, or if noticed, those Infidels simply throw up their hands and say "What can we do" as if the initial mistake of allowing large numbers of Muslims into the Western world cannot possibly be rectified, not a single idea can come to any Western people as to how they might halt and reverse this Muslim presence, as if it were simply an impossibility to figure out ways to protect the laws, customs, the civilizational legacy and the very lives of those Infidels, from those who do not wish, and who cannot wish, those laws, customs, that inherited civilization created according to Infidel freedoms, and Infidel ideas of what is to be allowed, and those Infidel lives, well.

The phrase "Islamic fascists" implies that there are those among good Muslims, obedient Muslims, devout Muslims, those who could be other than "fascistic." But is this possible? Is this belief-system (do not call it a religion because the word "religion" in many quarters commands automatic respect) capable of permitting mental and other kinds of freedom? It presents itself as a Total Regulation of Life. Everything is either forbidden or commanded, and there are lists of such things, from foods and hairstyles, to matters of the most intimate personal hygiene. All written down, all carefully collected. And then there is Islam as a Complete Explanation of the Universe, with vague passages in the Qur'an supposedly containing all of modern science, from vulcanology right to Benoit Mandelbrot's fractals and the nature of DNA, the nature of atom and subatomic world. It's "in the book." But, you will answer, there are Muslims who do not decide everything according to the Qur'an, do not follow Muhammad in every particular. True, but irrelevant. As long as, in the population of Muslims, most of them are primitively wedded to the real Islam or can be made to do so because the textual authority is entirely on the side of those "Islamic fascists," then one has a problem with Islam that never goes away.

Furthermore, as we can see from the observable behavior of Muslims in the West, they do not express loyalty to the Infidel nation-state. Everywhere, whatever Infidel land they manage to end up in, the same disturbing attitudes of anger, hostility, a sense of "humiliation" and growing, not lessening, hatred of the Infidels, can be observed. That a handful are not like this, and in fact have become merely "Muslims-for-identification-purposes-only" Muslims, does not make for the very large number who openly demonstrate their insensate loyalty to the most cruel acts of Muslim terrorists, who attempt always and everywhere, it seems, to mislead us as to the nature of Islam, with such obvious examples, to those who have studied something about Islam, of taqiyya-and-tu-quoque, easily exposed, and who everywhere, despite the studied efforts of our masters in the media and government to protect them, to explain things away, to mislead us as to what Islam teaches or at the very least to do nothing to teach us about what it is all about (ask the soldiers returning from Iraq what they were taught about Islam, and what they more or less picked up, about the nature of Islam, from the behavior of the Muslims they were sent to "liberate" and to "help" -- never mind those they were asked to fight).

"Islamic fascists"? Perhaps one will now go beyond this formulation, better for the moment, but only just, then the previous efforts to hide the Islamic nature of the enemy, the Islamic goals of the enemy, the Islamic tactics of the enemy ("War is deception" said Muhammad, and it is around us, we are swimming in Islamic deception, all over the world), the Islamic attitudes toward Believers and Infidels (loyalty is owed to the first, no matter what they seeming wickedness they may do, and hatred owed the second, no matter what kindnesses they do).

It has taken nearly five years for President Bush, who in the many months following the 9/11/2001 attacks, when the American ruling elites should have, as part of their duty to protect and instruct us, begun to study the contents of Islam -- and not relied on armstrongs and espositos, or part-time "experts" on Islam of the kind known to have advised Bush -- and not only what is in the Qur'an, but what is in the Hadith collections of al-Bukhari and Muslim, and not only what is in the Qur'an and the Hadith, but what the Life of Muhammad, that Perfect Man, the man whose every word and deed and even silences tell the Believer how he should act, what he should do. That was not done. It still has not been done. Bush is said to have taken to the Crawford Ranch three books. Two of them are, we are told, about Lincoln. But it is silly for Bush to think he can learn about how to deal with Islam by reading about Lincoln during war-time. He can't. What he should have done is do what Abraham Lincoln would have done. He would have studied Islam. He would not have been satisfied to call it a "religion" and then without any grounds at all proceed to tell us that this "great religion" had been "hijacked" by a "handful of extremists." Lincoln would have studied the matter, and he would have looked at history -- he would have asked himself what he could learn, what one was taught, by an examination of the 1350-year history of Jihad-conquest, and of subjugation of non-Muslims everywhere. He would, in short, have known how to study. But then, Lincoln was also a man who could debate for hours, without notes or a speechwriter, Douglas and other opponents. He knew the value of words. He knew the importance of framing things correctly.

We are waiting for someone, anyone, to frame things correctly. It took Bush five years to get to the point of using that phrase "Islamic fascists." A tiny step, and insufficient. It must be followed by many more, until everyone understands that the duty of Jihad, to spread a belief-system which uncompromisingly divides the world between Believer and Infidel, is the problem. And it is a problem not only when terrorism is the instrument, but when the money weapon, and Da'wa, and demographic conquest, are the instruments. The plotters picked up in London are obviously the enemy, but so to are those Muslims who lie to us about Islam, who lead campaigns not to save souls, but to acquire, within the Infidel lands, more recruits for the army of Islam.

One of the least convincing arguments about the fiasco in Iraq is that "we have to fight them over there so we won't have to fight them over here." It is unconvincing because each passing day shows that they are "over here." Each passing day shows that they do not have to find a place to train in Iraq, or Afghanistan. They can train in Pakistan -- are we ready to invade Pakistan? And they do not even need Pakistan, or any country in Dar al-Islam. They can train down the street, in a basement, in a park, in an empty building, in a gymnasium, in a squat in Brick Lane over a curry takeaway, or in a posh apartment on Park Lane, funded by some rich Arab trying to atone, Islamics speaking, for his decadent Western life by supporting such plots to kill Infidels, storing up points for his Muslim Heaven.

Bush is not there, and one doubts if he will get there. Why? He had a plan in Iraq, and now the plan has him. He still thinks that in Iraq there are those who are fighting against "freedom" and those who demonstrated that they "love freedom" by engaging in that purple-thumbed vote. Is that what happened? Did the Shina who voted in such numbers vote because they "love freedom"? Is that why they were so enthusiastic about the vote? Of course not. They were told to vote. They were issued a fatwa to vote. They wanted to vote because they knew that they constituted 60-65% of the Iraqi population, and they could win, or for those very rich American invaders, handing out all sorts of gifts and rewards, could legitimize, the transfer of power to them from the Sunnis that became inevitable once the regime of Saddam Hussein collapsed. Had the Sunnis constituted 60-65% of the population, instead of 19%, do you think they would not have enthusiastically gone to the polls and held up those purple thumbs? Of course they would.

The phrase "Islamic fascists" still shows how far Bush is from understanding, how timid he will remain. For if he were to declare, or even to hint at, the fact that it is Islam itself, not "perverted" nor "hijacked" but rightly, straightforwardly, understood, that is the source of the menace to us, and if further he understood that these clumsy or awkward attempts to not-quite-understand, not-quite-comprehend, have real consequences for the fashioning of policies, policies that in Iraq and Afghanistan were, after the initial destruction of Al Jada's setup in Afghanistan, and by the scouring of Iraq for all major weapons and weapons programs (the reason we were given for the invasion of Iraq, and a reason that, according to the information Congress and the public were given, was a rational one, for no Muslim state can be permitted to acquire or retain such weaponry), allowed to metastasize idiotically, pushed by the smooth Iraqi exiles, into becoming an attempt at instant makeover in Iraq.

If Islam is correctly identified as the source of the menace, so that Believers, to the extent that they are Believers, and take Islam seriously, even if this must be expressed synecdochically by the word "Jihad," then the folly of remaining in Iraq becomes clear. It may be that the Bush Administration is working backwards. It has a policy in Iraq. It doesn't know how to get out of it in a way that is face-saving. And so the fiction that we must support those good Muslims, those Muslims who "love freedom" (does Al-Maliki strike you as someone who "loves freedom," a regular reader of Spinoza and Hume, a man entranced by Jefferson and Madison, and the First Amendment? Does he? Does Al-Hakim? Does Moqtada al-Sadr? Do any of the winners in the winner's circle in Iraq today strike you as a true friend of freedom, democracy, the individual rights enshrined in the American Constitution, and in the Declaration of the Rights of Man, and in the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man? Even close?), against that other group, the "Islamic fascists," becomes a drama that does not exist, or is hardly useful.

There is the camp of Islam. There is the camp of the Infidels. Any Muslim who is a true Muslim is hostile to the camp of Infidels. It is not a question of "Islamic fascists" but of Muslims, and of the extent of their belief and their commitment and the choice of the instruments they use to further Jihad. But whatever instruments are used to further Jihad are, from our Infidel point of view, dangerous to us.

In Iraq we have available, at the same time, two of the three main divisions within the camp of Islam. Those sectarian and ethnic divisions, between Sunni and Shi'a, and between Arab and non-Arab Muslims, are just waiting to be exploited.

That Bush cannot see this, that he persists in his inability to name, or even to identify for himself, the enemy rightly, and thus pursues this policy in Iraq is both wasteful and dangerous. It is wasteful because of the expending of the lives of soldiers, who by the time of their second or third or even fourth tours, know what a crock the whole thing is, and if they return, it is not out of any love for the so-called "Iraqis" but only out of a sense of duty and loyalty to fellow soldiers. But in the end the harm done to the morale of soldiers and officers has long-term consequences, and the indifference to this by the Administration, with those Potemkin-village arranged meetings with Bush and a backdrop of a dozen soldiers carefully instructed not to say anything controversial, merely disgusts. And the damage to civilian morale, and to encouraging the forces not that want a withdrawal in order to more effectively deploy resources, of men, matériel, and above all money (what could the costs, past, present, and committed for the future, because of this Iraq tarbaby, of some $400 billion, if it had been used entirely for nuclear, solar, and wind energy projects, and subsidies to mass transit, and other energy-saving programs, done to diminish the "money weapon" of Arab and other Muslim members of OPEC, and hence taken away the main weapon of Jihad, the one that after 1973 permitted the world-wide goals of Jihad to be undertaken instead of merely this or that local, or Lesser, Jihad against Israel, against India).

Some will be full of praise for Bush. In my view, the only praise will come when he finally understands that the camp of Islam must be weakened, and he acts accordingly in Iraq, using whatever excuse ("we can't get involved in a civil war" or "we've done our part, now it's up to all Iraqis who love freedom to do theirs" or other plausible mountebank's patter to the same general effect) he needs.

Until then, until this or any other Administration instructs us in the nature, the promptings, the goals of Jihad, and in the various instruments of Jihad, and acts against not merely "terrorism" or those who "fund terrorism" but against all the instruments of Jihad, and articulates the problem cleverly and convincingly, in a way that CAIR and other spokesmen for the Jihad (for what is CAIR if not an organization determined to spread the role, and therefore rule, of Islam?") will find, no matter how hysterically they scream, unanswerable -- because based, unanswerably, on a knowledge of what is actually in that Qur'an, in those collections of Hadith, in that Life of Muhammad.

Posted on 08/14/2006 7:59 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Monday, 14 August 2006
protest poster of the day

From Bridget Johnson's blog - a Marxist- feminist-Hezbollah solidarity rally in LA.

Posted on 08/14/2006 8:38 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 14 August 2006
Kurtz: Message for the Belgian Government

Stanley Kurtz has this message up at The Corner in support of Brussels Journal.

Posted on 08/14/2006 9:03 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 14 August 2006
Flat Fatima
Flat Fatima - Revolution In News Photography

Having learned of the growing trend at Reuters, BBC, and other progressive media to doctor photographs, stage events, and use choreographed footage in the best Pallywood traditions, researchers at Karl Marx Treatment center decided to make it even easier for news organization to re-educate their audiences and advance the Greater Good™.

  • Laminated on 5mm corrugated plastic board
  • Water resistant, durable for short term outdoor use
  • Great for quick mounting in the ground
  • No Photoshop required!
  • Fits most popular models of travel bags

The People's Cube comes through again.

Posted on 08/14/2006 11:39 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 14 August 2006
Caution: offensive photo

A five-year-old girl's passport application was rejected because her photograph showed her bare shoulders.

Hannah Edwards's mother, Jane, was told that the exposed skin might be considered offensive in a Muslim country...

A woman behind the counter informed them that she was aware of at least two other cases where applications had been rejected because a person's shoulders were not covered.

Posted on 08/14/2006 12:43 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 14 August 2006
Who would captain a raft on down to the slough of despond?
The Mainstreamers, of course.  Losing audience: Mainstream media.  Losing tithe-payers in the pews: Mainstream churches.

Apt post  from the wonderful Joseph Pearce:

Further to my post about marriage and cohabitation, it is interesting that the subject was debated at length at a recent meeting of the Church of England’s General Synod. The bishop of Winchester, the Rt. Rev. Michael Scott-Joynt, complained that marriage was being “airbrushed” out for reasons of political correctness, and that even his own church was not immune from the practice of doing so. He noted that neither Labour nor the Conservatives had mentioned the “M” word in their respective manifestos at the last general election.

Alas, however, the honorable bishop was criticized by many of his own Anglican colleagues for seeming to suggest that the Church of England “did not approve of unmarried couples.” In the end, the Church of England’s governing body surrendered once again to the meretricious zeitgeist, affirming that marriage was “important” but that it should not be given preferential treatment over cohabitation or lone parenthood. In reality, therefore, according to the powers-that-be in the Anglican Church, marriage is no more “important” than any other lifestyle choice.

Compare the Church of England’s abject surrender to the time-spirit with the spirit of times past that still prevails in the quiet English village of Great Dunmow. For more than nine hundred years, the ancient tradition of the Dunmow Flitch has been honored in this corner of Essex, in which married couples appear before a counsel and jury to prove that they have honored their marital vows steadfastly and that they remain truly devoted to each other. The victorious couple are carried through the town on a special chair and presented with the “flitch,” a salted and cured side of bacon. One wonders how much longer such a healthy tradition can be maintained before it is condemned by the local Anglican vicar as an archaic remnant of a society that discriminated between marital fidelity and fornication.

Great Dunmow, U.K.

And, thank you, Crusader, for linking to us here.
Posted on 08/14/2006 3:14 PM by Robert Bove
Monday, 14 August 2006
Derb article sparks controversy
Check it out at Stubborn Facts
Posted on 08/14/2006 5:11 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Monday, 14 August 2006
Among several highly disputable things the President said at his press conference today was this:  "Elected leaders cannot have one foot in the camp of democracy and one foot in the camp of terror."  


That's a remarkable statement given that (a) Lebanese Prime Minister Siniora has spent the last couple of weeks praising Hezbollah, thanking it for fighting Israel on behalf of Lebanon, and doing his best to protect it from being disarmed by an international force, while the U.S. has propped him up (and the President had nothing but nice things to say about the fledgling Lebanese "democracy" today); and (b) Hezbollah, which has already been elected into this "democracy" now stands to increase its influence in it in light of its strength and prowess, which the Lebanese are likely to see as more reassuring than Siniora's patent weakness.

If we are going to pretend that popular elections equal democracy, and the voters proceed to vote for terrorists, why is it not the case that elected leaders certainly can have one foot in the camp of democracy and the other in the camp of terror?  The two are not mutually exclusive, however much we may wish it were otherwise.

Posted on 08/14/2006 7:20 PM by Andy McCarthy

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