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derbyshire loses me again

Back in January, Judge Roy Moore - you know, the guy who idolizes a graven image - said the following:

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore warned a religious audience Tuesday night of "great consequences" when America turns away from God and suggested the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks might be an example....
"How many of you remember Americans running to get gas masks because (of) some bearded man in Afghanistan?" Moore asked during his address at Georgetown University. "Fear struck this country...You see, there are consequences when we turn away from our source of our strength."

Take from that what you will. What puzzles me more than Moore's assertion that 9/11 may have been caused by a lack of faith in his God is what John Derbyshire had to say yesterday:

Roy Moore's comments...that 9/11 was a judgment on us, were common at the time, and are theologically perfectly respectable in both the Judaic and Christian (and therefore, presumably, also the Muslim) traditions.

Perfectly respectable. Then Derbyshire points us to a "brilliant and perceptive" article he wrote on the subject one month after 9/11.

Perhaps from his point of view, the article was perceptive. I would hardly call it brilliant in terms of what Derbyshire wrote yesterday because he doesn't really make the point of what he believes, but he makes his views knowb by taking what certain evangelists believed right after 9/11 - Pat [Robertson] and Jerry [Falwell] think that the events of last week are a judgment on us for our sinful ways, a call to repentance and saying:

Theologically speaking, the position Pat and Jerry are promoting has a long and respectable pedigree.

I find it no more respectable than the terrorists who claimed the same thing, than the jihad-makers say they are exacting revenge for their god, when any religion - be it Christianity, Judaism, or any kind of ism or theism - claims that world events are a direct result of us not being religious enough or straying away from a, no their, god.

I do understand that neither Moore nor Derbyshire is saying that God is the one responsible for planes being flown into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon; they are more or less preaching that if we were more religious, more in tune with God, then we would, in turn, not be idolizing celebrities and dollar bills or making R-rated movies or being fat, lazy Americans, and then we would not be so hated by the practitioners of radical Islam and they would have no reason to attack us.

So, if we accept God, accept the ten commandments as written, bow before the deity that Moore and Derbyshire and Falwell believe in and behave according to their moral standards; if we go to church and take communion and confess our sins or, better yet, don't commit any sins, then we will be safe from terrorist attacks from those praising Allah and waiting for their virginal rewards in the afterlife.

Sure, I'm being obtuse and maybe just a bit belligerent, but that's the way I'm reading Derbyshire and Moore, and that's why I am just a bit pissed off that Derbyshire thinks Moore's views, and the views of those other evangelical Christians, are respectable. Even within the confines of their respective religious beliefs, I cannot fathom that placing the blame for 9/11 on the downfall of religion in America is in any way respectable.


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They really can't help but think any other way.

Whether or not they believe in what they say, that America as a whole would be better protected from terrorism or any kinds of -ism if the entire populace suddenly became righteous before God or whatever they espouse, this is the party line they must take. They have little choice in the matter.

Because they need the money.

The more people they can convert, the more cash becomes available to them via $50 dollar love gifts and what have you through the mail. It may go to God's Work (whatever that is) or it goes into their personal account to pay for more pornography, but either way, they have to say these things or else they will just fall by the wayside, penniless and without FCC broadcasting privleges.

Especially since western Europe shows us exactly what the "downfall of religion" actually leads to - no moral compass, then snuggling up with mass murderers, and eventual surrender to sharia.

The rantings of these evangelicals on this subject always struck me as absurd anyway. America is already acknowledged to be one of the most religious industrialized nations on earth. If God had really wanted to teach the supposedly non-religious a lesson, wouldn't he have commanded the terrorists to attack, say, France? In any case, even if Americans all belonged to the same sect that Robertson and his cronies belong to, or spent their days immersed in Christian prayer instead of looking at boobies or whatever, that would not have lessened the terrorists ire one iota, since the main problem they have with everyone else in the world is that we have not converted to Islam.

The problems with the evangelicals thinking is this. While I understand the social problems that can occur when a society massively ignores the Ten Commandments (and I will add that you see more violations of social norms in totalitarian states than in free states. Massive theft, murders and rapes are routinely committed as part of governmental policies as proof of this is the mass graves found in Iraq.)

The Islamic world hates us for two reason. The first is that we actually believe in the Ten Commandments. If anything, the reality that we are a Christian nation offends these guys and the fact that many Christians organizations are today vying for souls of many developing nations in direct competition with Islamic missionaries are one reason that 9/11 occurred. Many of these Christian missionaries happen to be evangelicals. (There is evidence to show that Christianity may in fact be growing faster than Islam but this is a fact can be disputed. ) My point is that many of these Islamic fundamentalists fear Christianity and view us as the enemy based on our faith. You could argue that 9/11 could have been avoided if we quit being Christian and quit being free and wealthy and surrender to the fundamentalist Islamic forces. Most Americans would feel that this is too high of a price to pay to stop terrorism. The point that I am making is that we marked because of our faith, not because we ignore our faith!

We also marked because of our freedoms and success. We have overcome the Islamic world and there are many who still in the Arab world that still pine for a world that Islam was the king of the known world. Of course that was in the medieval times and since then the West has soared ahead of the Arab world.

It is interesting that Muslims have more freedom to practice their faith here in the US than many Jews, Christians and even some Muslims do in their own country. Many moderate Muslims find their own lives threaten by their more extreme brothers in faith.

So the Falwells need to understand that is their evangelical fervor in the third world that threatens these barbarians along with our wealth and freedom as well. So my conclusion is that unless these barbarians accept the reality that we are here to stay and that they will eventually lose, then the war on terror continues.

Here is another thought. While some on the religious right are quick to point out that 9/11 is part of God's judgment on us, I wonder how some Muslims feel about God's justice now that two of their bases of operation-Iraq and Afghanistan-have been lost to them. So how I don't feel that those are warring with us, hiding from us , feel any more vindicated by their faith.

Falwell and Robertson are anti-Christian, they do everything they can (it seems) to paint Christianity as a religion of hatred and bigotry. Those two are no different to the mullahs preaching bile from their pulpits in Mosques around the world (thought not in all Mosques.) The fact that any at all pays attention to those two cretins after their post-9/11 remarks is beyond me. You want to know who hates America and Americans: its Falwell and Robertson!

The Muslim extremists must have laughed hysterically when they saw F&Rs comments. It was if F&R were PR front men for OSB.

Best thing to happen to the image of evangelicals in the US would be for those two to join "their" God. At least one of them called for God to "recall" some of the more moderate Supreme Court justices recently.

Just as "moderate" Muslims need to decry the extremists at every turn, so Christians must decry loons like Falwell & Robertson every chance they get.

I have a real problem with the idea that 9/11 was a judgement on us. God hasn't sent a punishment like that since the flood and he promised to never do it again. (Gen. 9:9-17) I for one believe him when he promises something!

The people saying that 9/11 was God's judgement on America, or that AIDS was his judgement on gays need to go read their Bibles again.

Regardless of the attack on the WTO, Alabama was not happy with Moore before, and we're certainly not feeling any love for him afterwards.

It's a shame you can't recall a judge, because he'd be out of there right quick.

Just give him time... he'll eventually die.

Remembers the protestors at the court house only numbering in the dozens.

These guys are worth less than those shifty "Blood lied; Hitler is oil" protestors.

Ah well... every state must have its pariah.


What about the plagues visited upon the Egyptians prior to the Exodus? Weren't those punishments from God?

Preachers, Pat and Jerry are good at what they do, just as good as Ben and Jerry are in manufacturing ice cream for national consumption. Individually, they have been beatified on television and in print, albeit by their own selves. Has there ever been a period in Cro-Magnon
history where a Pat or a Jerry has not been a part of the cast of characters around a campfire for a religious ritual selling their trinkets of causation? The stage where psychological and religious cloning can be accomplished for professed self-improvement without the inducement of Guyana Koolaid has not been reached yet in human evolution. Oil is the cause of the terrorism directed at our American homeland, rather than our citizens’ inadequate or improper religiosity. Proof of this is simple: just take oil out of the equation and terrorism would cease to exist along with the non-coincidental American presence in the Mid-East. Terrorists fail to realize that the average American does not reap the benefits with which they justify their hatred for our country. The profits that the terrorists imagine that us pagans worshiping by bowing to capitalism for every mile we drive by using gasoline from Mid-East oil is a tragic misconception. By targeting the World Trade Center, the terrorist are guilty of what they, themselves, use as a rationale for their crimes--that of causing harm to innocent people just as they have accused the U.S. of propping up unpopular and unilateral preferential sheikdoms or dictators for reasons of regional stability since oil pipelines always work better under an in-force peace (take for example, the contrast in the instability currently in Iraq and its effect on oil production. It would make more sense, but not any less of an atrocity, if the terrorists had targeted the majority stockholders of our capitalist society. Those people in the World Trade Center were equivalent to everyday muslims selling their wares in the stalls of their town’s marketplace. They were just going to work--not much unlike what an average muslim would be doing on a typical day. The terrorists have a major malfunction in their brains and certainly they have not created a better world if that was clearly an intention. But that’s just one bloggee’s personal opinion on one day in August.

The point of the above post, is that Jerry and Pat are blaming the American people for the 9-11 tragedy. The average American has never been to the Mid-East. We’re not the ones insulting the muslims.

I just wanted to bring up something in response to Michelle's quote that Moore "idolizes a graven image" and the issue relating to Moore.

This past week Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech was honored in D.C. in front of the Lincoln Memorial. At that celebration they unveiled a new monument with the speech engraved on it. In his speech King talks about we are God's children.

Let me ask. Does anyone have a problem with this monument being built? What about those who do not believe in God. How do you feel that there is a new monument on government property calling you God's child?

I am just curious as to what your thoughts are on that.

Sorry for the link problems in the previous post. It should point to this news article.

Hopefully this one works.

another reason why I'm so in love with organized religion

Richard, I think that's a little different. It's a monument to that specific speech (that happens to mention God), as opposed to a "direct quote" from God, stating his fifteen crash Ten, Ten Commandments, for all to obey.

"Theologically perfectly respectable" is another way of saying "lacking any relationship to reality". If the beliefs were rational and based in reality, they'd just be called "perfectly respectable" without the qualifier. If my car breaks down and I attribute this to engine failure, that's a "perfectly respectable" theory. If I attribute it to punishment for my excessively sinful lifestyle, it becomes "perfectly respectable" only from a religious point of view.

"Perfectly respectable theology" is like "perfectly respectable Communist ideology". It's only respectable if you embrace the underlying concepts.

Especially since western Europe shows us exactly what the "downfall of religion" actually leads to - no moral compass, then snuggling up with mass murderers, and eventual surrender to sharia.

The Vatican snuggles up to the same mass murderers. So do the Anglican and Lutheran churches -- and, of course, most Moslems. What's your theory on that one?

Remember the Holocaust? Germany, Poland, et al, were still deeply religious when that happened. A few thousand dead Israelis are nothing compared the the mountains of corpses religious Europe gave us, courtesy of governments that enjoyed Church support for most of their existance. Today, Europe coddles the Palestinians because the Palestinians' enemies are Jews. That's the whole of it. You didn't expect two millennia of church-sponsored hatred to just vanish overnight, did you?

Also, have you perhaps heard that sharia is religious in nature? Perhaps you meant "the downfall of Christianity", not "the downfall of religion".