Sunday, June 26, 2005

Liberal Judenhass Watch - Pt. 2

While doing a search that started with this post at Mere Christianity I discovered liberal judenhass at the UCC (shocka!). Not only is there a sharp debate going on as to whether or not Jesus is Lord (or even particularly important - many UCC "clergy" are atheist), they hate Israel. Of course they don't hate Jews as such (wink, wink), just Zionism. I was not surprised. Resolutions recommended to be referred to a General Synod committee

This resolution - Calling for a Study of Divestment of Church Funds from Companies that Profit from the Perpetuation of Violence and Injustice in Israel and Palestine
This resolution proposes that the United Church of Christ of the USA conduct a study of divestment of church funds invested in companies that may be profiting from the perpetuation of violence and injustice in Israel and Palestine. If such investments are found, the resolution asks for a study of the desirability and efficacy of divestment as a means of promoting peace and justice for both peoples.
While giving a single sentence to recognition of the historical suffering of the Jews it goes on several times about Jewish taking of "Palestinian" land.

This resolution calls the church and the U.S. government to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a just manner and requires the United Church of Christ’s Corporate Social Responsibility Ministry to begin the process of divestment from companies involved with Israel’s illegal (by UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338) occupations of the West Bank and Gaza, the building of the “security fence,” and the Israeli settlements within Palestinian Territory.
where they hide behind the "we cannot be anti-Semitic because both Palestinians and Jews...". And if you had any doubt as to who is responsible for Palestinian terrorists blowing up busses and pizzarias, rest assured it is the Jews.
WHEREAS, we condemn the violence on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but also believe that the roots of terrorism begin in the unjust and inequitable situation in Israel/Palestine, and...
And, Tear Down the Wall where, in addtion to the usual jabber about International Court of Justice rulings (the same Court that would try George Bush as a war criminal if given the opportunity), they throw in a completely gratuitous remark about U.S. aid to Israel (but no mention of U.S. aid to the Palestinians).
In a more broad-reaching ruling on the barrier, the International Court of Justice ruled on its legality in a July 9, 2004 verdict. In sum, the decision rendered the construction of the barrier contrary to international law, recommended that the State of Israel end its construction and dismantles existing segments and that Israel pay reparations to those who have suffered loss as a result of the construction, and instructed the United Nations to pursue necessary means to address the illegality of the barrier. Both Israel and the U.S. disregarded this ruling and thereby dismissed the relevance of international law to Israel. The U.S. continues to provide more aid to Israel than to any other country in the world. [what does that have to do with the point that they are trying to make? - ed.]
Yep, you counted right, that's three anti-Israel (but not anti-Semitic?!?!) resolutions for be voted on in the General Synod, which convenes on July 1st. Here is the list of resolutions. With the exceptions of Resolutions 11, 17, and 18 they are a list of favorite far Left™ causes. My money says that all will but those three will pass.

Anything that upholds the divinity of Jesus the Christ or the traditional idea of marriage will fail.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Monday, June 20, 2005

'Grandma' Mae Magouirk dies

A couple of months ago I wrote about Mae Magourik in a shocking case where her daughter tried to deny her food and water even though she was alive, not dying, conscious, and had stated clearly that she was to receive medical care. Her daughter found a soft-headed judge to help her, and Mae was almost killed.

Liberal Death Cult Suffers Setback

After being reunited with her family, Mae has died. 'Grandma' Mae Magouirk dies - 81-year-old was at center of post-Schiavo euthanasia controversy
Mullinax told WorldNetDaily that his aunt's condition had improved considerably since her ordeal last month, but took a turn for the worst Wednesday when her vital signs began to weaken. On Sunday an apparent stroke hit her, causing her to have difficulty with speaking, and her blood pressure dropped to 60/30.

She died surrounded by family, including her brother, A.B. McLeod, 65, of Anniston, Ala., who had spent eight hours with her Sunday, Mullinax said.

Mullinax said his aunt responded well to treatment of her aortic dissection at the University of Alabama-Birmingham Medical Center in Birmingham, despite having been denied food and water from March 29-April 9.

When her condition was stabilized, the doctors who were treating her at the medical center recommended transferring her back to a hospital in LaGrange.

She continued recovering, and was eventually sent to the Bryan Nursing Home for convalescent treatment and rehabilitation. Members of the Oakside Baptist Church in LaGrange, which Magouirk attended – having learned of her earlier plight at the hospice from the media and her relatives in Alabama – kept Magourirk surrounded with love and companionship.

"Although she was cognizant, speaking, sitting up, eating/drinking and communicating until her last day alive, her family had decided not to tell her of the terrible ordeal she had endured at Hospice LaGrange until she was discharged from the nursing home. She was spared this final pain by God," Mullinax said in a press statement.

In his statement Mullinax credited the friends of Terri Schindler-Schiavo, readers of WorldNetDaily, and talk show host Glenn Beck with saving his aunt from the death by starvation that had been instigated by her granddaughter, Beth Gaddy, 41, of LaGrange.

"We, her closest living next of kin, her Alabama family, feel Mae was blessed to have died without being thirsty and having food in her stomach," Mullinax stated. "We thank God for moving all the WorldNetDaily readers for their phone calls, prayers and active participation in saving her life."
And we are being told that mistreatment such as what Mae had to endure is being inflicted on the helpless many times every day and that, because of that fact alone, we must accept it.

Well, I do not.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

The Courts vs The House

A reader of that formerly great newspaper the New York Times is unhappy with House Republicans.

Congress Assaults the Courts, Again
During consideration of an appropriations bill for the Departments of State, Justice and Commerce, Representative John Hostettler, Republican of Indiana, introduced an amendment to prohibit any funds from being used to enforce Russelburg v. Gibson County. In that case, a federal court ruled that a courthouse Ten Commandments display violated the First Amendment and had to be removed. Mr. Hostettler declared that the ruling was unconstitutional, and inconsistent with "the Christian heritage of the United States."
This reader thinks it somehow wrong for Congress to exercise its responsibility with respect to budget writing.
Since the Supreme Court decided Marbury v. Madison in 1803, it has been clearly established that the courts have the ultimate power to interpret the Constitution. But right-wing ideologues, unhappy with some of the courts' rulings, have begun to question this principle as part of a broader war on the federal judiciary. The amendment that passed this week reflected an effort to use Congress's power to stop the courts from standing up for the First Amendment and other constitutional principles.
First, Marbury vs Madison is the reason that liberals and leftists™ can use the Courts to force the creation of "laws" that would never pass muster in a democratic process. The democratic process is overturned by exercise of judicial power and establishment of law by judicial fiat - which is something that liberals like.

Secondly, the Courts DO NOT stand up for the First Amendment and they create "constitutional principles" as needed to support desired results. The discovery of a "constitutional right to privacy" is just such a case and was needed to find a "constitutional right to abortion" for mothers who wish to kill their children. All the while the Courts are being willingly used to remove all specifically Christian expression from public life (with no similar effort against other faiths).
The budget amendment was truly radical. The genius of the American system is that the founders carefully balanced power among three coequal branches. Mr. Hostettler's amendment would throw out this brilliant structure, and 200 years of constitutional history, and make Congress the final interpreter of the Constitution. If the amendment succeeded, Congress would no doubt begin designating other cases and constitutional doctrines the courts would be barred from enforcing.
Since Marbury vs Madison the branches of government have not been coequal. The Supreme Court has the power to overturn any laws or actions of all other branches of government. It is just a matter of getting someone to file the lawsuit. Congress has every right and responsibility to "begin designating other cases and constitutional doctrines the courts would be barred from enforcing". Additionally, it is entirely up to the President whether or not to spend budgeted money or to implement enforcement of any Court rulings - so he gets to exercise power too.
There is little doubt that if the amendment became law it would itself be held unconstitutional, but it should not reach that point. The Senate should show the responsibility, and respect for the founders' vision, that the House did not and excise this offensive provision.
It is true that the amendment would wrongly be ruled unconstitutional as the Courts will not tolerate any weakening of their power. The Senate should support this amendment and act to preserve democratic power.

This letter is a fine example of the liberal's desire to allow the Courts to circumvent democratic processes and continue its assault on free speech.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

A Critical Analysis of 'Real' Islam

Here is an excellent one stop resource for understanding Islam, Islam Undressed - A Critical Analysis of ‘Real Islam’. Its People, Culture, Philosophy, and Practices Yesterday and Today by: Vernon Richards (Feb 13, 2005)

This one goes onto the sidebar.

From About the Author;
At the risk of alienating some, I must now delve into personal opinion, and even politics. It has been difficult to present this material factually, avoiding (or trying to avoid) personal opinion. I admit that separating my personal emotion from the passion, pain, and sorrow connected with all I have learned has been difficult, surely my feelings have leaked out all over. But now I must reveal my whole heart, the stakes being as high as they are. The issue, survival, should not be not politicized, but it is. Although I am a conservative Democrat at heart, I can no longer support the current direction of a National Democratic party that is largely ignorant of the nature and scope of the Islamic threat. It seems more a coalition of fringe myopic special interest groups than a truly National Party, none of whom seem to grasp the threat of militant Islam. My once great Party fell ill at the time of Jimmy Carter, our fierce peanut farmer appeaser, became morally and mortally ill with Clinton at the helm, and lost its heartbeat completely following the Gore Campaign. Great men like Zell Miller notwithstanding, nothing has come from the once great representative party since but the awful stench of moral death. Suffering from Hubris, it slips noisily into irrelevance, the entire country forced to endure shrill hateful screams of frustration from the likes of Al Gore, Ted Kennedy, Michael Moore, Howard Dean, and John Kerry. My hope is that reasonable people will seize the party back from the fringe of lunacy and make it great again.

A personal note to any truly pious Muslims who feel their faith is compromised by the truths and logic outlined herein. The truth, from the mouths of your leaders yesterday and today, is surly a bitter pill to swallow, but please accept the reality staring you in the face and balance it against what your heart tells you is good, true, just, and right. Truth can be hard to contemplate, but when humbly accepted it will always be redeeming and cleansing. For those inclined to believe in deity, God is still God, and surely is not threatened. His existence and plans do not depend on the man Muhammad. To all believers of a caring creator, there is no God, but God, …and God is indeed greatest! But such a Creator must also embody all-knowledge and all-power, and so He must also be a God of Truth, above any inclination or need to deceive or lie. It follows that any who truly know and represent Him would be similarly disposed. By that standard Muhammad, a man of deceit who created a cult of deceit and manipulation, could not have known such a deity, despite all his self-aggrandizing proclamations otherwise. If he was inspired by supernatural visits and direction, which considering what he accomplished may be entirely possible, then that ‘angel’ who directed him could be best described as the ‘father of lies’, ‘the author of slavery’, ‘the king of contentions’, ‘the purveyor of greed’, ‘the source of false pride’. In other words, Muhammad’s extraordinary exploits and achievements were helped by that old false angel of light, the devil himself. If God lives, so does His counterpart, and that very Lucifer must be laughing that so many have accepted his philosophy based on fear, forced compliance, and worship of him and all his evil methods so hurtful to victims, and in spirit to the victimizers. Would that I could be a bug on the wall as all Islamic terrorists arrive at that way-station between life and their spiritual holding place, to watch as shock and disappointment covers their countenances and to witness their anguish and panic grow as they realize they spent their last wage of agency on Earth serving the enemy of love and free-agency, …the enemy of God.

Despite the fear and difficulties faced by those seeking to separate themselves from the ‘faith’, the difficult question must be posed to any and all true peace loving Muslims, "Why follow Muhammad? Why follow Muhammad in every respect – including his commands to do violence against those who reject him as a prophet? If you truly disapprove of Muslim terrorist actions, why continue to tie yourself and your families’ eternal future to the man?" If you truly believe that Muslim terrorists are and were wrong, then find a way to separate yourself from it. A person who chooses to follow Muhammad and trust his eternal future to Muhammad’s word, by extension approves of Muhammad’s brutal teachings …including all his brutal acts. The same will surely reap the same reward, but it will not be the 72 virgins, thrones, and mansions so often spoken of and hoped for. There are already millions of ‘martyred’ Muslims on the other side of the veil separating life from death, who lament that fact today from their spirit prison, …but the dead cannot change anything.

Because one is the embodiment of the other, the religion can and should be judged by the behavior of the people who practice it; you cannot in fact separate the two. Isa (Jesus) identified this simple fact when he said: “By their fruits ye shall know them”, or in other words it is the acts of a religion or following that define the value of the theology, …not the beauty of words, the magnificence of buildings, robes, etc etc. By this standard, (the fruits of his totalitarian religion created to promote his vision of Arabic Imperialism), we know that Islam in fact has no connection with God whatsoever. Such bitter fruits as have been described herein, along with all the branches of humanity which made them, have no intrinsic value. The many who claim it as their religion notwithstanding, an incorrect opinion based on a false premise is still wrong, even if repeated by a billion people. As such, Islam cannot serve as any kind of guide to humankind, except as an example of the utter failure of all totalitarian systems of control.

The Muslim God is a god of deception, self-gratification, and war, whereas the Christian God is one of truth, self-sacrifice, and peace. Muhammad was a man of violence who bore arms, was wounded in battle, and preached holy war against non-believers. Christ, on the other hand, healed the wounded soldier’s ear who came to arrest him. If you openly disagree with a Christian on religious doctrine, he’ll probably pray for you. If you openly disagree with a Muslim on a matter of faith, he is likely to try and kill you. In Muhammad’s day, converts were gained to Christian Faith by witnessing the constancy with which its confessors cared for others and suffered martyrdom; whereas they were gained to Islam by the spectacle of the readiness of its adherents to inflict death on others. Indeed, for devout Muslims, there seems to be no limitation to act in vile and inhumane ways towards non-believers, jihadists being allowed to enslave, rape, rob, pillage, and kill to advance Islam. In Christianity, by contrast, the direction is to ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’. These two groups truly worship very different beings, and represent polar opposites in both belief and practice. Muslims claim to honor all prophets prior to Muhammad, including Jesus, yet conveniently dismiss all previous revelations regarding proper behavior in human relations. Muslims accept without thought that their great ‘seal’ of the prophets, ‘abrogated’ (canceled out) all previous revelation by all earlier prophets. Knowing almost nothing of earlier teachings, Arabs now and then swallow easily all the self-serving ideas the man Muhammad presented, whereas Christians and Jews, with some knowledge of those earlier revelations, were and are unable to accept a philosophy which effectively wipes out all previous understandings of the nature of God and directions on good behavior. Consider the radical change in religious philosophy born by Muhammad, whereas previously God loved all inhabitants of the Earth, then suddenly afterwards only Muslims. How terribly discontenting for the non-believers, for whom the newly reformed Muslim God unexpectedly had no more patience nor love. It completely escapes Muslim theologians how a perfect and fully developed and mature being (God) could suddenly decide that his previous feelings for His children, as revealed to his prophets, were in error and needed abrupt adjustment. Is the universe really that fragile, and can mans faith in God be based on that kind of uncertainty associated with a God whose feelings for his own children are in such flux? Obviously not, the concept fails all logical standards of reason. Muslim terrorists claim to kill people in the name of the one God, while vast numbers tolerate such actions, which surely is the greatest sacrilege and affront to God possible.
As an Orthodox Christian I would argue that Satan is not God's counterpart, he is a created being as are the other spiritual beings (angels, etc.) and as are we. That said, I think it is true that Muhammad did receive his inspiration from Satan and that Islam is the continuing work of Satan in the world.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Why Islam Fails

You have already probably seen the column in the Boston Globe, Why Islam is disrespected by Jeff Jacoby (subscription required, but this column is worth it). Here is a much more sophisticated analysis of the problems of Islamic/Arabic culture and the reasons that it is so backwards, The Land That Developmental TIme Forgot by Robert Godwin, Ph.D.
In his excellent book, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, the economist and historian David Landes writes that it is impossible to understand the dismal economic performance of Muslim nations "without attending to the experience of Islam as faith and culture."1 Likewise, Bernard Lewis, the pre­eminent scholar of the Muslim Middle East, blames the slow pace of progress in the Islamic world on various cultural factors - in particular, the theological shackling of independent analysis, which has tended to "suppress enterprise, experiment, and originality and to reinforce a fatalistic world view."2

After having gotten off to a fine start just four or five centuries earlier, Islamic civilization peaked in around 1200, since which time it has been "mostly downhill," leading to the "economic and intellectual backwater" of today. "History," writes Landes, "had gone awry."3 Perhaps it is not far­fetched to speculate that Islam may have gone the way of other large-scale dysfunctional civilizations, such as the Aztec, had it not been for the fortuitous discovery of oil under their feet, which essentially rewarded their cultural maladaptation with a constant flow of uncreated wealth.

In this article, I would like to attempt to define some of the variables that have caused Islamic culture to fixate, regress, decay, and fail to prosper on so many fronts. In today's politically correct academic climate, even raising this issue is a controversial proposition, because it assumes that some cultures are more healthy and advanced than others, and that it is possible for an entire culture to become "sick" and developmentally stunted.

However, since September 11 we have all learned many disturbing facts about the Islamic world that make it difficult for even the usual academic suspects to accuse us of being racist and Eurocentrist for criticizing such practices as female genital mutilation, stoning adulteresses, burying homosexuals alive, amputating limbs from suspected thieves, etc. In fact, it is more than just intellectually naive to think of all cultures as equally healthy - it is a dangerous delusion. [see original piece for footnotes - ed.]
Read this excellent piece. It is well footnoted, meeting accepted academic standards (and I thought those were dead).

Grab your favorite drink and read.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Day by Day

For those of you who read down to the bottom of the front page there is a little treat, the daily Day by Day cartoon. Enjoy.

Monday, June 06, 2005

The US Sunk the Kursk - Proof!

The French have never seen an anti-American conspiracy theory that they didn't like. The Australian reports, US 'torpedoed Kursk nuclear sub'
The French film shows stills of the Kursk raised above the water after being salvaged, with a precise circular hole in its right side. The hole clearly bends inwards, consistent with an attack from outside the submarine.

A US military source in the documentary declares the hole to be the trademark evidence of an American MK-48 torpedo, which is made to melt cleanly through steel sheet due to a mechanism at its tip that combusts copper.

The film suggests the attack happened while two US submarines, the Toledo and Memphis, were shadowing the Kursk in a routine military exercise.

The documentary says the Toledo accidentally collided with the Kursk, at which point the Russian submarine opened its torpedo tubes, leading to an attack from the Memphis, which was protecting the damaged Toledo while it retreated.
The BBC is, for once, able to rise above its own anti-Americanism,
BBC editor Nick Fraser called the claim a "pack of lies" and has refused to air the documentary, which attracted a record audience of more than 4 million when it screened on French TV.
What sort of idiot believes "the trademark evidence of an American MK-48 torpedo, which is made to melt cleanly through steel sheet due to a mechanism at its tip that combusts copper". And does THIS look like a "precise circular hole" to anybody?

It seems to me that if one wants to create a big lie one would try, at the least, to make it better than bad science fiction.

If the video URL does not open in your browser or media player, copy and paste it into the URL field of Windows Media Player. It will play then. The URL is

Chaotic Synaptic Activity and Chapomatic have it.

More personally, I was very sad when I heard the news of the loss of the Kursk. All submariners are bound by a common understanding and experience of what we do and the knowledge that there is no chance for us in the event of a catastrophe - if the ship goes down, we all go with it. Here is more on the Kursk.

RNS Kursk biography

CNN Special - Death of the Kursk

RNS Kursk Memorial and Information Page

Prayer for the Crew of the RNS Kursk

Sunday, June 05, 2005

North Korea Not Irrational?

Lee Harris at Tech Central Station may have figured out Kim Jong Il's thinking with respect to nuclear weapons. How We Called North Korea's Bluff. At the same time he also figured out one of the very biggest reasons for going to war in Iraq and knocking off the regime of Saddam Hussein (currently an unhappy man).

This is a piece that requires careful reading to fully grasp his point, which becomes very clear about two thirds of the way through. It is also a pleasure to read, with a reference to Dr. Strangelove at the top. It has everything to do with deterrence (a concept still not understood by liberals);
This seems to be a lesson that has not been missed by North Korea; and one must wonder whether Kim Jong Il, who is known to enjoy Western culture, might not be a fan of Kubrick’s movie. For that would explain why the North Koreans, unlike the Kubrick’s Soviets, are shouting from the rooftops: “We have nukes! We have nukes!” They want us to be in no doubt that they possess such weaponry.

To many this is an ominous sign -- and indeed, before the Iraq War, this is how I was inclined to see it. But with the fall of Saddam Hussein, the North Korean determination to let the world know that it has nukes -- while certainly not good news -- is not quite as terrifying as it would have been had Saddam Hussein been permitted to remain in power.

Let me explain.
Let him explain, read it all.

We Have Nothing Against Jews as Such

While wandering around at discarded lies I found an old post about a piece by Dr. Steven Plaut. This is worth repeating.

"Anti-Zionists. But We Have Nothing Against the Jews as Such"
Say What? Anti-Semites? Who, us anti-Zionists? Us? We have nothing against Jews as such. We just hate Zionism and Zionists. We think Israel does not have a right to exist. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such. Heavens to Mergatroyd. Marx Forbid. We are humanists. Progressives. Peace lovers.

Anti-Semitism is the hatred of Jews. Anti-Zionism is opposition to Zionism and Israeli policies. The two have nothing to do with one another. Venus and Mars. Night and Day. Trust us.

Sure, we think the only country on the earth that must be annihilated is Israel. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

Sure, we think that the only children on earth whose being blown up is OK if it serves a good cause are Jewish children. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

Sure we think that if Palestinians have legitimate grievances this entitles them to mass murder Jews. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

Naturally, we think that the only people on earth who should never be allowed to exercise the right of self-defense are the Jews. Jews should only resolve the aggression against them through capitulation, never through self-defense. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We only denounce racist apartheid in the one country in the Middle East that is NOT a racist apartheid country. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We refuse to acknowledge the Jews as a people, and think they are only a religion. We do not have an answer to how people who do NOT practice the Jewish religion can still be regarded as Jews. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We think that all peoples have the right to self-determination, except Jews, and including even the make-pretend Palestinian ''people.'' But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We hate it when people blame the victims, except of course when people blame the Jews for the jihads and terrorist campaigns against them. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We think the only country in the Middle East that is a fascist anti-democratic one is the one that has free elections. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We demand that the only country in the Middle East with free speech, free press, or free courts be destroyed. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We oppose military aggression, except when it is directed at Israel. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We really understand suicide bombers who murder bus loads of Jewish children and we insist that their demands be met in full. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We think the only conflict on earth that must be solved through dismembering one of the parties to that conflict is the one involving Israel. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We do not think that Jews have any human rights that need to be respected and especially not the right to ride a bus without being murdered. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

There are Jewish leftist anti-Zionists and we consider this proof that anti-Zionists could not possibly be anti-Semitic. Not even the ones who cheer when Jews are mass murdered. These are the only Jews we think need be acknowledged or respected. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We do not think murder proves how righteous and just the cause of the
murderer is, except when it comes to murderers of Jews. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We do not think the Jews are entitled to their own state and must submit to being a minority in a Rwanda-style ''bi-national state,'' although no other state on earth, including the 22 Arab countries, should be similarly expected to be deprived of its sovereignty. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We think that Israel's having a Jewish majority and a star on its flag makes it a racist apartheid state. We do not think any other country having an ethnic-religious majority or having crosses or crescents or ''Allah Akbar'' on its flag is racist or needs
dismemberment. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We condemn the ''mistreatment'' of women in the only country of the Middle East in which they are not mistreated. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We condemn the ''mistreatment'' of minorities in the only country in the Middle East in which minorities are NOT brutally suppressed and mass murdered. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We demand equal citizen rights, which is why the only country in the Middle East in need of extermination is the only one in which they exist. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

We have no trouble with the fact that there is no freedom of religion in any Arab countries. But we are mad at hell at Israel for violating religious freedom, and never mind that we are never quite sure where or when it does so. But that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

So how can you possibly say we are anti-Semites? We are simply anti-Zionists. We seek peace and justice, that's all. And surely that does not mean we have anything against Jews as such.

Dr. Stephen Plaut is a professor at the University of Haifa who pens many informative articles--and occasional satirical pieces like this one--about the Middle East.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Intelligent Design

Mustafa Akyol writes a clear answer to an attack on the idea of Intelligent Design Intelligent Decline, Revisited. He is gracious in his response to a sneering attack by Robert McHenry in his piece Intelligent Decline.

I'll return to this subject to discuss Robert McHenry's viewpoint, a viewpoint held by many. In this post I would like to use Mustafa Akyol's piece to introduce ID.
Before commencing, however, perhaps I should say that I acknowledge and respect the intention of Mr. McHenry. His concern seems to be with keeping science separate from religion, and that is fully justified -- mixing the two has resulted in pretty unpleasant episodes in history. Yet we, the "IDers" as they call us, are not trying to merge faith into science. What we are trying to do is actually rescue science from a monopoly of a secular faith called materialism, whose application to biology is called Darwinism.

In a nutshell, Intelligent Design is the theory that argues life on Earth is the product of natural laws, chance and intelligence. Darwinism, on the other hand, accepts only the first two causes, because, according to materialist philosophy, intelligence does not exist unless it evolves over time from mindless matter.
Proponents of ID are always (and I do NOT mean almost always) criticized as trying to sell a warmed over version of Creationism and, by not actually mentioning God, trying to inject religion into schools. Mustafa Akyol answers a particularly nasty version of this nicely;
Many critics of ID wrongly assume that we infer that intelligence from the Bible or the Koran, but in fact we infer it solely from nature. As Mount Rushmore compels an observer to conclude that an intelligent cause was at work there, the "specified complexity" of life points to an intelligent designer.

The identity or purpose of that designer can't be inferred from the evidence. That's why ID theory is silent on this subject, although we ID proponents might have personal opinions based on our philosophical or religious convictions. And that's why Mr. McHenry misses the point when he argues that we "have trained [ourselves] not to be too specific about the Designer" and we "carefully avoid" speaking about God for political purposes. The fact is that we just don't mix science and religion.
An infinite number of monkees locked in a room with a typewriter for an infinite period of time will still not produce a copy of Hamlet.