Anti-War Protesters

It's not so much that people are anti-war that bothers me - after all, who is "pro-war" except the munitions manufacturers - it's that the loudest and most publicized protesters are all so damned stupid!

It wasn't all that long ago that morons like these were kept in the basement because they embarrassed their families and so nobody ever heard from them. But today, the basement people have become the un-silent majority. They have access to media, and they wear their ignorance like badges of honor. The current lot of protesters aren't even all that anti-war... they are simply anti-Bush, anti-Republican, anti-conservative and anti-American. Fonda, Robbins, Sarandon, Penn, Sheehan and the rest... everywhere you look on the internet, and on talk-radio - these people never had an idea of their own in their lives! They are incapable of independent, rational, critical thought. They only have just enough of an IQ to memorize the buzzwords and to repeat the same '60s mantra over and over until even a peaceful person wants to cut their tongues out with a rusty hedge clipper.

Imagine, arriving at your political views through the piercing insights of the likes of Jon Stewart and David Letterman. Now don't get me wrong. I actually think Jon and Dave are in many ways decent and entertaining people. Likeable. Even Clooney is a very likeable guy when it comes to just "hangin' out." But when the subject turns to politics, as it inevitably does on the air, this bunch becomes bloody morons!

Say you wanted to know how to run a large water purifying plant, or how to properly treat a rare heart disorder, would you ask ME!? Of course not... not unless you're a bloody moron. You'd listen to somebody who knew something about the subject, right? Somebody whose ability to think farther than the end of his nose, or get past his hatred for George Bush. Why would anybody care about Letterman's views on solving world political problems? The man has no clue what's on the other side of the Hudson from Manhattan for Christ's sake. Nor do any of these "progressive" schmendriks. And yet we are constantly reminded of how much more "nuanced" they are in their thinking. Nuanced? Ha! Would you listen to Rosie O'Donnell's advice on how to generate elctric power using a steam turbine? Only an idiot would. Which explains why many tv junkies listen to the advice of these nuanced noodniks about dealing with terrorists. They are idiots.

How many times have these "stars" been asked, point blank to their faces, by people like O'Reilly, Hannity, Hewitt and others, "Do you want America to win the war in Iraq?" Not one of them has ever once simply said "Of course." No, they have "nuanced" answers... code for "no."

It's like being in the stands at your hometown football game, and sitting with you among the fans of your home team is somebody like Sean Penn, cheering anytime the opposing team gets a first down. What? He doesn't realize how disloyal that is? How much it makes people like me want to... nevermind.

Any American who actually wants the US to lose this war in Iraq is a disloyal traitor. Traitors are begging to be hanged. Judging by what I see and hear, we're gonna need a lot of rope.


The Religion of Peace

This compilation of statistics is making its way around the www. Whoever started this has the right idea, but fails to see how for every item on the list, the perpetrators have a clever, if irrational, excuse. Clever enough so that they can continue to rationalize their behavior to the like-minded. The statistics go something like this:

The Pope says that jihad violence is against God's nature. Muslims, enraged by this insult, commit jihad violence. Why should we be surprised?
Muslims murder 3,000 innocents in New York and expect no criticism.
Muslims murder 202 tourists in Bali and expect no criticism.
Muslims murder 333 schoolchildren and their teachers in Beslan and expect no criticism.
Muslims murder 292 innocents, mainly Kenyans and Tanzanians at two US Embassies and expect no criticism.
Muslims murder 241 US and 58 French peacekeepers in Beirut and expect no criticism.
Muslims fire 4,000 Katyusha rockets into Northern Israel killing over 50 innocent civilians and expect no criticism.
Muslims murder 52 in London and 191 in Madrid and expect no criticism.
Muslims murder 200 in Mumai and expect no criticism.
Muslims behead Western hostages in Iraq, Buddhist monks in Thailand and Christian schoolgirls in Indonesia and expect no criticism.
Muslims murder 500,000 in Darfur and expect no criticism.
Muslims regard Jews as 'sons of pigs and monkeys', and vow to nuke Israel and expect no criticism.
Muslims force women to wear hideous sacks, stone to death women for getting raped and for leaving the home unescorted, engage in honor killings of sisters and daughters for unapproved dating, and expect no criticism.
Muslims danced in the streets and handed out sweets to their kids to celebrate the 9/11 atrocity, and still expected no criticism.
Muslims have killed over 26,000 and wounded over 50,000 in terrorist attacks worldwide since 9/11 and expect no criticism.
Since 9/11 Muslims have committed terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Belgium , Chad, Chechnya, Dagestan, Denmark, East Timor, Egypt, England, Eritrea, Ethiopia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ingushetia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Jordan-Iraq, Kabardino-Balkans, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Gaza-Palestinian Authority, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Somalia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Arab Republic, United States, Uzbekistan and Yemen, and still expect no criticism.
Muslims have carried out over 5,800 fatal terrorist atrocities since 9/11, and countless thousands since Islamic conquest began in 623 AD and expect no criticism.

But if a Pope dares to make an historical comment about Islam, or Danes publish cartoons about Mohammed, the outpourings of Islamic hate and outrage begin. And by some twisted reach of logic, the "religion of peace" criticizes the Pope and demands he issue an apology. Have your eyes stopped spinning yet?


Loving the Unlovable

In one of his letters to early Christians (which became part of The New Testament), The Apostle Paul opines that Christ would have us "hate evil." But in this same book, Paul exhorts us to love our enemies. How can we mere mortals possibly do both when they seem to be contradictory?

Let's say someone in your own family, or a good friend, is committing acts which by all measures are wrong. Maybe they have a bad drug problem, with all its peripheral evils. Or maybe they are abusing their spouse or children. Maybe they are having homosexual affairs or otherwise behaving in ways you believe are wrong. We separate the person from his deeds, and continue to love that person even though we hate the "evil" he does. But this is easy. After all, he is not really your "enemy."

What if you are the one he is abusing? Are you expected to love the one who abuses you? He may not exactly be an "enemy" but the spiritual presence has to be mighty in our hearts to overcome our instinct to go on the defense. But if we are strong, we find the core of that person, the very thing which caused us to love him in the first place, and separate this from his abuses. But we must also be courageous and confront the evil he does. While protecting ourselves first, we must attempt to enlighten this person to help him change his ways. Most of us say to hell with him, a practical but decidedly un-Christian response.

What if it's an avowed enemy like Hitler or Kim Jong Il or Ahmedinijad, or Charles Manson, or that new boss or landlord or client who's declared he doesn't like you and "wants you out?" No problem in hating the evil they do, right? But how is it possible to love these, our very, very misguided brothers? This is the great challenge of Christianity, yet one of the things which makes it the most noble of belief systems. For its namesake asks that we love the unlovable.

Let's be practical. Despite what today's news looks like, most people, left to their own devices, are basically decent. Of course none of us can know "most people" but at least the ones I know are decent. Most of us - we can thank God for this - will never be acquainted with such despots as Hitler or Pol Pot, and therefore it doesn't really matter what we think about such enemies. The problem weighs upon someone else's shoulders. Psychologists believe it is the very fact of not feeling loved that triggers cruel impulses. Had Hitler's father, the hapless Herr Schicklgruber, not beat young Adolph within inches of his life, putting him in hospital with shattered bones on more than one occasion - had he instead shown the boy some measure of affection, perhaps history would have been different. Perhaps. The same can be wondered about Joe Stalin, and for the same reason.

Few who feel loved feel the need to hurt others. It is simply not natural. But the hard question must be asked: did the beatings of the young Hitler and Stalin cause them to become vengeful, cruel, evil adults, or were they born sociopaths - causing fathers to beat them out of frustration? I think not. This cruelty was passed from one generation down to the next, growing until one generation exploded in a worldwide orgy of death.

I am not here advocating that we should love Hitler or Stalin or Manson. I am merely wondering if they had been loved at an early age by the people closest to them, if they might not have grown into monsters.

Most of us can rejoice in not having relationships with up-and-coming monsters of this sort. Our more down-to-earth challenge is that nasty boss or landlord or client or neighbor or family member who acts with animus toward us. Most difficult of all, can we love that person who is just a plain asshole?

Just what kind of love are we asked to give? Tender love would be casting pearls at swine because odds are it is they not we who are the problem. The best response is tough love. This takes more courage and emotional control than most can muster. If we turn away because it is too troublesome, or in haughtiness, then according to Paul we fail the Christian calling.

We fail because in our moment of stirred passion, we instinctively revert to the reptilian side of our brain. We think Paul's admonitions are hollow words. Or that they don't work in modern times. But the truth is we fail to understand the deeper meaning of the message... Christ's message... in the higher part of our brain. And so we surrender to our base impulses to strike back at our enemies, either real or perceived. I confess my immediate impulse is to hurt them worse than they hurt me. I know that while this may feel good in the moment, it rarely makes anything better in the long run. It takes an educated and disciplined mind to figure out how to "love" an enemy. I would go so far as to say it happens so rarely that when it does, the enemy is so completely taken aback that he has no idea what to do.

Arcane Biblical teaching aside, if you ask me, we all think it "feels better" to hurt our enemies. Slice the loaf any way you like; in these instances it is our courage and intellect which fail us.