Friday, July 28, 2006

Doing My Best Monty Hall Impersonation

Posted by codemorse

Conservatives, Let's Make A Deal!

In all future argumentation about the War on Terror/Global-Extremism/Bad Guys, you will refrain from ceaselessly invoking the following names and terms:

1) Winston Churchill
2) Adolph Hitler
3) World War II
4) The combination of "liberal" with adjectives designed to be "funny" and/or "cutting". To wit: "Spineless Liberal," "Ivory-tower Liberal," and my personal favorite, leveled on me at Libertas, "Libtard".

In return, I will refrain from mentally dismissing your argument based upon over-reliance on said-names and terms.

I am also willing to refrain entirely from making any of the following statements:

1) Bush is stupid
2) Cheney is a "Sith Lord"
3) Everything is about oil

Deal?

16 Comments:

At 10:31 PM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

Assuming I'm the only conservative here, I'll say no deal. For a number of reasons, but among them, it's a deal without logical or substantive parity.

For one, references to Winston Churchill, Adolf Hitler, and World War II are real individuals and/or historical instances.

Name calling, as in Conservative issue number 4, or Liberal Issue number 1 & 2 is a waste and anyone who indulges in the same is generally not worth talking to.

Whether the War is about oil is an argument, worthless as it may be, and should rise and fall on its own merits.

Whether the present conflict mirrors the World War II fight against fascist tyrannies is hardly something to dismiss.

So, I'd simply say that the "deal" is better left to those Conservatives willing to part with an elementary grasp of history and depart from moral seriousness during more trying times. I regret that I am not one of them.

 
At 2:39 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

it's a deal without logical or substantive parity.

For one, references to Winston Churchill, Adolf Hitler, and World War II are real individuals and/or historical instances.


Since when are George Bush and Dick Cheney not real individuals?

Are you advocating for the theory that they are, in fact, elaborate holograms?

Name calling, as in Conservative issue number 4, or Liberal Issue number 1 & 2 is a waste and anyone who indulges in the same is generally not worth talking to.

Nevertheless, present company excluded, that seems to be the defacto posture for Conservatives and Liberals alike. I'm not even talking about pundits/bloggers now, I'm talking about commentors on sites and Joe and Jane Sixpack.

If I didn't talk to any of them I wouldn't have many conversations.

I say we cut it out and make things easier on one another.

Whether the present conflict mirrors the World War II fight against fascist tyrannies is hardly something to dismiss.

Whether the present conflict mirrors WWII is hardly something to repetitively and oft-times-illogically invoke, as well.

There is a difference between noting any mirroring that exists, and invoking that battle as a blanket justification for all actions involving the war on terror.

I cannot count the number of times Churchill has been invoked over the past few years and I have to ask: to what purpose?

In what way is it "morally serious" to use Adolph Hitler (a man with no current counterpart even remotely comparable to his enormous and terrible legacy) or World War II (in which the death toll numbered in the millions) in conjunction with the War on Global Extremism?

In what way is it helpful to the discussion?

 
At 9:51 AM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

Don't have much time, but will try and answer quickly.

1) Regarding the fact that Bush and Cheney are individuals, of course they are, it is who we are comparing them to that is pertinent. In other words, comparing Cheney to a "Sith Lord" or claiming that he is "evil," is a waste. Claiming that he is like a former historical character (with evidence to back it up) is fine, if it's a worthy analogy.

2) The analogy that has been invoked with regard to World War II and the present conflict has not been, to my knowledge, an analogy pertaining to the current human toll (i.e., death count), it has always been an ideological analogy. Which is to say, the ideology of Naziism and Islamofascism are similar in multiple respects, the similarities including, but not limited to: intent to dominate through that ideology, hatred for anything apart from said group and ideology, democracy, liberty, freedom generally, individual rights, America, and of course, the canaries down the historical coal mine, the Jews.

And it is helpful to the discussion because Hitler was only Hitler due to the failure to confront him before he developed the means to become, well, Hitler. The invocation, from some, is due to the very serious and sincere attempt to prevent the same or something similar from happening again.

Were not the potential for damage so great from the inevitable proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the purported frustration with multiple invocations of Mr. Churchill and WWII would be easier to tolerate.

 
At 3:11 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

As always, you remain a cool voice of reason. It's appreciated.

Responses:

Regarding the fact that Bush and Cheney are individuals, of course they are, it is who we are comparing them to that is pertinent. In other words, comparing Cheney to a "Sith Lord" or claiming that he is "evil," is a waste. Claiming that he is like a former historical character (with evidence to back it up) is fine, if it's a worthy analogy.

Respectfully, I disagree. Comparing a modern-day politico with a near-legendary historical figure is as flip and as questionable as calling Cheney a "Sith Lord." What of those fringe-libs that refer to Bush and Hitler in the same sentence? Is that a worthy analogy?

The analogy that has been invoked with regard to World War II and the present conflict has not been, to my knowledge, an analogy pertaining to the current human toll (i.e., death count), it has always been an ideological analogy. Which is to say, the ideology of Naziism and Islamofascism are similar in multiple respects, the similarities including, but not limited to: intent to dominate through that ideology, hatred for anything apart from said group and ideology, democracy, liberty, freedom generally, individual rights, America, and of course, the canaries down the historical coal mine, the Jews.

Thank you for the clarification. That's certainly a heck of a lot more understandable, but still useless to my eyes. What radical group doesn't fit those qualifications?

Certainly communist Russia did. As a matter of fact, so does the Evangelical Christian movement in this country.

intent to dominate through that ideology? Check. Hatred for anything apart from said group and ideology, democracy, liberty, freedom generally, individual rights? Double-check.

The canaries down the historical coal mine, the Jews? Triple-check and stamp it.

Hell, with the exception of the canaries in the damn coal mine, you can arguably apply those qualifiers to the Bush administration, can you not?

So my point is, what's the point? Isn't it essentially an empty intellectual exercise when the group you've compared to the Nazis is no different than a group currently and directly influencing American politics?

Or should every group that falls into those categories be labeled as a threat equal to Nazi Germany?

And it is helpful to the discussion because Hitler was only Hitler due to the failure to confront him before he developed the means to become, well, Hitler. The invocation, from some, is due to the very serious and sincere attempt to prevent the same or something similar from happening again.

I don't doubt that sincerity from you for one moment. Nor do I doubt the invocation's seriousness when it's invoked, well, seriously. But there's a casual air to the majority of these references and that frankly devalues them to me.

Were not the potential for damage so great from the inevitable proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the purported frustration with multiple invocations of Mr. Churchill and WWII would be easier to tolerate.

Well, my deepest and most insincere apologies for testing your tolerance.

 
At 3:30 PM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

Hell, with the exception of the canaries in the damn coal mine, you can arguably apply those qualifiers to the Bush administration, can you not?

So my point is, what's the point? Isn't it essentially an empty intellectual exercise when the group you've compared to the Nazis is no different than a group currently and directly influencing American politics?


If you honestly believe that the Bush administration is as similar to the Nazis as are the the current Islamofascists that we are fighting, I don't believe there is anything I can say that can further this conversation.

If we are incapable of distinguishing between Evangelical Christians and Al Qaeda and its offshoots, then I would respectfully suggest that we've lost entirely the perspective of what is currently happening in the world.

"Evangelical Christian(s)", for whatever their faults, are not organizing thousands of people in militias, preaching the role of martyrdom in the guise of suicide bombing missions indescriminately killing tens of thousands, kidnapping and murdering schoolchildren as in Beslan, attempting the hostile takeover of governments around the world (as in Sudan, Somalia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Chechnya, Lebanon, etc.), while attempting to enforce archane 7th Century Sharia law by subjugating all women, and killing all Jews and gay people
(as in Iran and the former Afghanistan) toward apocolyptic ends.

In what world are Evangelical Christians and/or the Bush Administration even vaguely comparable? By fighting stem cells or gay marriage?

I have my problems with the administration. I also do not agree with all Evangelical Christians. But please don't tell me I have to highlight the differences between them and the current fight against Islamic extremism.

 
At 3:44 PM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

One more thing:

Comparing a modern-day politico with a near-legendary historical figure is as flip and as questionable as calling Cheney a "Sith Lord." What of those fringe-libs that refer to Bush and Hitler in the same sentence? Is that a worthy analogy?

That's part of the problem. Hitler was a man. Who was the head of what during the 1930's was a Western Eurpoean power that appeared, in most respects to be an otherwise cultured and advanced society.

Who would have thought it would have happened?

The problem in some ways with fetishizing Hitler is that we forget that humans were capable of the horror that he imposed merely 60-70 years ago.

He wasn't a Sith Lord. He was a man. Similarly, men like him and societies with similar problems are entirely capable of wreaking the same destruction as he did. Take for example, Ahmadinejad. Hitler was rarely so brazen this early in his tenure. Men like him and Bin Laden are only limited by their military options. So too are their surrogates in Hamas and Hezbollah.

If someone wants to compare Bush to Hitler, that's up to them. But the analogy is so tenuous as to be laughable.

 
At 4:29 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

What I'm telling you is that your guidelines for comparison were equally applicable to groups currently operating freely in this country.

Always with respect, if you can't tell the difference between making a point (ie: under your qualifications, Evangelicals are a radical group) for the sake of slicing the legal salami, and advocating for a comparison between Bush and Hitler, then you're probably correct about being unable to continue the conversation.

But I know you can tell the difference. You've made points, and I've responded in a logical fashion.

I can't make a logical leap that you haven't provided for me. I responded given the criteria you'd established.

So allow me to respond to your further points in the spirit of debate, which is what this site is all about.

If we are incapable of distinguishing between Evangelical Christians and Al Qaeda and its offshoots, then I would respectfully suggest that we've lost entirely the perspective of what is currently happening in the world.

In the spirit of honesty, I should say that I'm a little offended by this. My comments don't suggest that I'm "incapable of distinguishing" between the two. That's the sort of comment I'd expect from someone of Schlussel's site, and you're NOT one of those people.

"Evangelical Christian(s)", for whatever their faults, are not organizing thousands of people in militias, preaching the role of martyrdom in the guise of suicide bombing missions indescriminately killing tens of thousands, kidnapping and murdering schoolchildren as in Beslan, attempting the hostile takeover of governments around the world (as in Sudan, Somalia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Chechnya, Lebanon, etc.), while attempting to enforce archane 7th Century Sharia law by subjugating all women, and killing all Jews and gay people
(as in Iran and the former Afghanistan) toward apocolyptic ends.


Let's tackle this a little at a time.

Certainly, Evangelical Christians are not doing any of those things. But I have never said they do. You stated that radical groups consist of people "intent to dominate through that ideology, hatred for anything apart from said group and ideology, democracy, liberty, freedom generally, individual rights, America."

In return, I pointed out that all of those qualifications apply to fervent Evangelicals. Because they do.

Examples:

Beliefs of the Evangelical: Christianity as the official religion of the United States, making sodomy, or homosexual sex, illegal and punishable by law, instituting Christian prayer as mandatory activity in public schools, a subservient and home-based role for women in society, governmental control over the kinds of entertainment and information we are permitted to purchase, sexual imagery is bad, etc.

None of these are minority views, really. Some of the people who hold them are more fringe than others, but that's an apt summary of what your standard Evangelical tends to believe.

You can see the spectrum for yourself at Focus on the Family, Raptureready.com, or better yet, Godhatesfags.com.

I have no intention or desire to "compare by numbers," but Evangelicals are also the group statistically most likely to be involved in violent, radical activism of the sort practiced by radical groups. Here are some brief statistics on abortion clinic violence, as just one example:

http://www.religioustolerance.org/abo_viol.htm

All that touches on the intent to dominate through ideology and the violent aspect, if briefly.

It also touches on the hatred of individual liberty.

As for the hatred of America? No less than Tim LaHaye, author of the phenomenally-successful Left Behind series, has advocated in print and in person for a return to "Puritan" values, which predate the founding of the United States.

He follows in the footsteps of Christian radicals who, LaHaye included, promise that the "End Time" is coming, and that all non-Evangelicals will be brutally murdered by either God or God's followers. They lament the corrupting influence of "secular democracy," and promise that violent retribution is coming. Soon.

This is not an exaggeration.

For your "canary down the proverbial coalmine," look no further than the Left Behind novels, which describe with action film vividness the massacre of thousands of jews by the hand of Christ himself.

It's right there in print, if you can keep your food down long enough to read it.

You're arguing ideology, right? The beliefs of radicals? How is all of the above NOT similar to the list you gave me?

No one would disagree that terrorists the world over have caused much, much more real-world carnage, but I thought the point you were advocating, pretty much from the get go, was to stop an ideology before it can become a Nazi-sized threat.

Isn't that why it's okay to invoke real individuals and/or historical instances?

 
At 5:27 PM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

Beliefs of the Evangelical: Christianity as the official religion of the United States, making sodomy, or homosexual sex, illegal and punishable by law, instituting Christian prayer as mandatory activity in public schools, a subservient and home-based role for women in society, governmental control over the kinds of entertainment and information we are permitted to purchase, sexual imagery is bad, etc.

None of these are minority views, really. Some of the people who hold them are more fringe than others, but that's an apt summary of what your standard Evangelical tends to believe.


I guess I sort of thought that there is such a substantial difference between Evangelicals and the radical Islamists that it went without saying. No insult intended, but I could not even conceive of a purported connection.

That being said, here we are. To further parse it out, then, let me explain why I think the difference is so substantial.

I think there is something so substantially different between a mainstream of a religious culture that will, in the case of Evangelicals, protest the extension of marriage rights to gay people than, for example, the mainstream religious culture that treats homosexuality as a capital crime, as in Iran. Or so horrible as to warrant the offenders being burried alive (as in the former Afghanistan). I have never heard of an Evangelical advocate for the burrying alive of gay people.

Moreover, no matter how subservient women are supposed to be in Evangelical culture, I doubt seriously that any mainstream Evangelical individual would ever advocate that women must be covered entirely (as in Afghanistan and parts of Iran), women should not be allowed to enter public soccer stadiums (as in Iran), family members can kill their sisters or daughters who have been raped as part of an "honor killing" (per Pakistan), or that women should not be able to drive (as in Saudi Arabia).

Additionally, whatever government control is advocated by mainstream Evangelical individuals, none of them would specifically advocate for the specific dissemination of hate propoganda as in Syria or Egypt. Nor does the uproar after witnessing Janet Jackson's breast on live television compare to the wholesale removal of any "Western music" from Iranian streets.

There is also something inherently different between attempting to institute prayer in school and advocating for the death of the infidels or those that do not abide by those prayers.

I said that there were similarities in the "intent to dominate through that ideology, hatred for anything apart from said group and ideology, democracy, liberty, freedom generally, individual rights, America."

At the end of the day, while Evangelicals may not be the most progressive group of Americans, history has shown that they can exist, thrive and coexist amongst other peoples of different religions in the United States without regularly and violently clashing. The same cannot be said for the current strain of Islamic extremists, Sayyid Qutb, et al. There is such a difference in degree as to be a difference in kind.

As far as the historical analogies, there is something different between an ideology that (1) takes over multiple countries, and is currently attempting to take over a host of others, including Pakistan, Chechnya, Somalia, Sudan, etc. through indescriminate murder and
(2) taking over the Kansas School Board through electoral means.

Not even the Nazis would place munitions under schools to use their own schoolchildren as human shields to prevent those munitions from being destroyed. Hezbollah has no such qualms.

 
At 10:13 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

I think there is something so substantially different between a mainstream of a religious culture that will, in the case of Evangelicals, protest the extension of marriage rights to gay people than, for example, the mainstream religious culture that treats homosexuality as a capital crime, as in Iran. Or so horrible as to warrant the offenders being burried alive (as in the former Afghanistan). I have never heard of an Evangelical advocate for the burrying alive of gay people.

From Pilgrim’s Covenant Church(http://www.pccmonroe.org/Homosexuality/Truth.htm):

Q. But what is wrong with adapting a "live and let live" attitude toward the
homosexual community? After all, they are only hurting themselves, right?

A. Aside from the immorality of standing idly by as others destroy themselves, the answer to that question is still a resounding NO! Their advocates may present a different picture; but the fact is, the homosexual life is a depraved one; and depravity always begets more depravity and destruction. Consider just these few facts: Owing to the filthy practices in which they engage, the bulk of all bowel diseases in America is carried by homosexuals. They also have a higher incidence of STDs, tuberculosis, and hepatitis A and B as well as account for the vast majority of all AIDS cases. The average life expectancy for homosexuals is approximately thirty-four years shorter than the average life expectancy for married non-homosexuals. Homosexuals are three times more likely than heterosexuals to be drug and alcohol abusers.3 Although less than three percent of the population is homosexual, such individuals account for at least one-third of all child sexual molestation.4 There are many historical examples, starting with Sodom and Gomorrah, which prove that violence is woven into the fabric of the homosexual culture. For instance, a vastly disproportionate number of American mass murderers, excluding abortionists and terrorists, were homosexual.5 Some Nazi death camp survivors have estimated that up to twenty percent of the guards were homosexuals who raped inmates, especially boys.6 The infamous Ludwig Tiene is just one example of such a guard.7 Homosexuality is a "lifestyle" which revolves around perverted sex; and the results are obvious—obvious and dangerous to all of society, especially the young and vulnerable. Most dangerous of all, homosexual acts are forbidden by God; and any society which condones and facilitates those acts will be the object of His wrath. Regardless of what "gay theologian" revisionists claim, the Bible contains repeated commands for Christians to speak against evil, and sexual perversion is evil.


Did you know that none of this is actual “fact,” but merely the regurgitation of other, fact-free sources? You can source his sites if you’d like. They’re laughable. And they’re not at all dissimilar to the sorts of hateful propaganda distributed by other radical groups. The enemy is demonized – made to look monstrous. See: the Jews as “rats,” the blacks as “apes.”

The site has a lot of helpful information on homosexuality, including whether or not it’s okay to treat gays as human beings:

Q. I am against the "special rights" homosexuals demand, but I do not believe that homosexuals should be discriminated against. Isn't that a proper stand on this issue?

A: No. If citizens are not allowed to discriminate in any way with regard to out-of-the-closet homosexuals, then there is no basis for denying those involved in sexual perversion the right to adopt and teach children, marry one another, be policemen or medics, serve in the armed forces, be elected officials and judges, work for you, and rent from you. It is because of the no-special-rights approach that we now have open homosexuals involved in many activities from which they should have been banned, and principled property owners and businessmen are required by law in many states to rent to and employ persons of low moral character engaged in immoral conduct which flies in the face of the deepest beliefs of the landlords and employers.


As for what’s motivated a majority of hate-crime and violence against gays? It’s “personal morality,” of course.

From the NY Times:

http://www.skeptictank.org/hs/gayhate3.htm

In studying the virulence and tenacity of anti-gay feelings, psychologists are finding clues to the deeper sources of homophobia. The new findings confirm the theory that some men use hostility and violence to homosexuals to reassure themselves about their own sexuality. But the greatest portion of anti-homosexual bias, psychologists now say, arises from a combination of fear and self-righteousness in which homosexuals are perceived as contemptible threats to the moral universe.

…"Such people see hating gay men and lesbians as a litmus test for being a moral person," said Dr, Herek, who has done extensive research on attitudes towards homosexuals. Often they act out of adherence to religious orthodoxy in faiths that hold homosexuality to be a sin.

…The affirmation of one's own values through anti-gay sentiment, his research has found, is the most common motive.

….In 1989 just over 7,000 incidents of violence and harassment were reported against gay men and lesbians in the United States, including 62 bias-motivated murders.


Here’s an international perspective on the violence:

From Anti-Gay Hate Crimes (http://www.csvr.org.za/papers/papgay.htm)

On the basis of what is known about the committing of hate crimes in the USA it appears that no other minority group is more exposed to hate crimes than gays. In this regard, D'Augelli (1989:318) states that, "lesbians and gay men were the most often victimized groups in the nation". Furthermore, research has shown that lesbians are more victimised twice as often as heterosexual women, while the chance of a gay man being victimised is four times that of a heterosexual man….

….The most common anti-gay hate crimes gays are exposed to involve verbal insults, threats of assault, gay-bashing and murder.


And let’s forget gays for a moment. What about those abortion statistics?

Does it follow that because our government does not, at this point, criminalize sodomy (and how long ago was that Supreme Court case? Two years? Three years?), those who share the views of Pilgrim’s covenant aren’t radically religious in their beliefs? Or that those people who murder or beat gays because of their 'immorality' aren't violent in their actions?

Would you tell Matt Shepard’s mom that you’ve never heard of a gay being as horribly treated as they are under Islam?

Moreover, no matter how subservient women are supposed to be in Evangelical culture, I doubt seriously that any mainstream Evangelical individual would ever advocate that women must be covered entirely (as in Afghanistan and parts of Iran), women should not be allowed to enter public soccer stadiums (as in Iran), family members can kill their sisters or daughters who have been raped as part of an "honor killing" (per Pakistan), or that women should not be able to drive (as in Saudi Arabia).

Well, the Evangelicals may not choose the same oppressive fashion-statements, but…

From H. Wayne House (http://www.hwhouse.com/Current%20Articles%20Downloads/Theology/paul.htm):

Third, Genesis 3:16 does not introduce the hierarchical structure of male and female. That structure is found in the creation narrative of Genesis 2. The Genesis 3 passage reveals the distortion of the original pattern. Rather than man lovingly ruling and woman willingly being submissive, the war of the sexes had begun. Man would seek dominance, with woman vying for his position.49 This conflict, not the hierarchical structure, is gradually to be done away in Christ (Eph 5). Man is to love as he leads, and woman is to submit herself to her husband. In Christ the creation intentions for male and female are restored. Paul understood this; unfortunately the feminists do not.

(emphasis mine).

No Burka, sure. But is the philosophy so different? And if one guy advocates a woman’s submission as “loving” submission, does that mean that a woman’s submission is always loving? Or would be under these beliefs?

Additionally, whatever government control is advocated by mainstream Evangelical individuals, none of them would specifically advocate for the specific dissemination of hate propoganda as in Syria or Egypt. Nor does the uproar after witnessing Janet Jackson's breast on live television compare to the wholesale removal of any "Western music" from Iranian streets.

What about the infamous “Chick Tracts,” designed as cartoon moral lessons for children, that feature homosexuals pictured with demons on their shoulders?:

http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/1052/1052_01.asp

Is that not hate-propaganda? Or does it not count for some reason?

Does it need to be law to be serious? Or is the mindset itself enough? What is the substantive difference in thought between that cartoon and drawing a picture of George Bush with horns over the title “Great Satan”?

Does the fact that Chick's tracts reach thousands instead of millions make the leering, grotesque caricatures of homosexuals he draws less harmful?

What's the difference between a religion that motivates you to ban all Western music in a country and a religion that motivates you to ban/destroy music or attack musicians in certain states (See: 2 Live Crew, Dixie Chicks, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry)? Is it the amount of governmental control over the action?

Or is it the ideology?

There is also something inherently different between attempting to institute prayer in school and advocating for the death of the infidels or those that do not abide by those prayers.

I refer you again to the passage above citing “Left Behind” and its constant message of death to the infidels. Where Jesus returns to destroy the unbelievers. Where every “positive” character in the book advocates those thoughts and ideals.

What about the once-proudly-Evangelical Ku Klux Klan? Do and did their pleas for/actions of violence not qualify either?

What about chasing a little jewish girl out of her school district with anti-semetic slurs and an insistence on following the established, “Christian” way?

But now I'm just quibbling. Here's the meat of it:

At the end of the day, while Evangelicals may not be the most progressive group of Americans, history has shown that they can exist, thrive and coexist amongst other peoples of different religions in the United States without regularly and violently clashing.

Remember Eric Robert Rudolph? Jim Jones?

From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Terrorism):

•October 2, 2004- Christian terrorist group kills 44 Hindus, wounds 118 in Northeast India.
•2003- Preacher Michael Evans calls for a holy war and "cleansing" against non-Christians.
•January 16, 1997- Christian Identity terrorist Eric Robert Rudolph bombs nightclub.
•July 27, 1996- Christian Identity terrorist Eric Robert Rudolph bombs Centennial Olympic Park. Kills 1, wounds 111.
•1989- Mormon group kills 5 people for opposing religious teachings.
•1983- Posse Comitatus militia member Gordon Kahl kills two Federal marshals in North Dakota. Three others were wounded.
•1978- Christian cult "the Peoples' Temple" leader Jim Jones allegedly kills 913 people with cyanide-laced Kool Aid. People trying to escape the compound are shot.

What’s interesting is how many of these terrorist acts happened inside the United States, as opposed to half a world away.

You’re free to insist that Evangelical extremism extends only to badly-staged protests or to Harry Potter rallies, but it ignores the facts and that isn’t like you. You’re like Fact-Man to my presumpto-boy.

Evangelical extremism exists, is violent, is radical, and is close to home.

You’ve created an argument where there wasn’t one. I’m not saying that Evangelical radicals are “just as bad” as middle-eastern terrorists. I’m pointing out that radical ideology is radical ideology. It comes from crazy, desperate people, and it erupts out of whatever prejudice is handiest.

The beliefs of radical religious extremists are similar, even if the prophets differ.

Know how the anti-Christ is created in the Left Behind books? He’s grown in a test tube, by an international cabal of bankers, from the sperm of two homosexual men.

What brings about the end of the world and the rise of earth's greatest evil? Jews, Homos and science.

I rest my case.

 
At 6:44 AM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

Ugh. This is boring and tedious.

Look, anyone can take any religion and anecdotally compare its most violent and/or extreme strains to those of Islamic Extremism, turn around and say, "every religion has extreme ideologies. You said ideology."

The assumption being that arguments aren't taken in a vaccuum.

The only reason Naziism was dangerous is because its violent ideology was paired with violent means. Are certain strains of every religion ideologically similar to fascists in certain ways? Of course. But the reason the threat of Islamic extremism is worth comparison is that certain of those strains are developing or attempting to develop the means to inflict mass murder.

 
At 6:57 AM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

In any case, sorry if that was snippy. Ziva (my seven month old pug) was apparently convinced that I am way too well rested, and took it upon herself to wake me up every hour and a half last night.

Note to Ziva: Mission accomplished. I am exhausted.

 
At 1:13 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

What's tedious is watching you ignore reams of violent, hardly-"anecdotal" evidence in favor of using convenient, empty insult.

It's tedious to watch someone avoid having to address the Olympic bombing, the Jim Jones cult massacre, the murders in India, the 7,000 yearly instances of morality-motivated violence against gays, the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard, and pretty much everything else that I've taken the time and effort to put together for reasons still unclear.

Overlooking the portions of the argument you do not agree with is not good debate. Contradicting yourself does not improve matters.

From your last post:

The only reason Naziism was dangerous is because its violent ideology was paired with violent means. Are certain strains of every religion ideologically similar to fascists in certain ways? Of course. But the reason the threat of Islamic extremism is worth comparison is that certain of those strains are developing or attempting to develop the means to inflict mass murder.

Really? Because that's not what you said in your previous posts:

The analogy that has been invoked with regard to World War II and the present conflict has not been, to my knowledge, an analogy pertaining to the current human toll (i.e., death count), it has always been an ideological analogy. Which is to say, the ideology of Naziism and Islamofascism are similar in multiple respects...

And it is helpful to the discussion because Hitler was only Hitler due to the failure to confront him before he developed the means to become, well, Hitler. The invocation, from some, is due to the very serious and sincere attempt to prevent the same or something similar from happening again.

Hitler was a man. Who was the head of what during the 1930's was a Western Eurpoean power that appeared, in most respects to be an otherwise cultured and advanced society.

Who would have thought it would have happened?


Every bit of your argument supports the idea that what matters is ideology, not how many people are killed.

Yet, when that argument is used to show that terrorists are not solely middle-eastern, not solely Muslim, and that there are groups in the U.S. who fit the violent profile of radical Islam that you yourself provided, you reverse tactics completely:

Look, anyone can take any religion and anecdotally compare its most violent and/or extreme strains to those of Islamic Extremism, turn around and say, "every religion has extreme ideologies. You said ideology."

No, you said ideology. That's why we got involved in this in the first place. It's only after I started making ideological comparisons that you brought in numerical figures.

The above is a 180 from your previous quoted positions, and it makes no sense.

That you disagree with me is clear. Why you disagree with me is entirely unclear, because you've essentially refused substantive argument.

So, game over. An honest intellectual debate cannot occur where one party is utterly and wrongly dismissive of another.

Apology appreciated and accepted, but the fact remains that you've ignored enormous and disturbing evidence; The same evidence you've claimed identifies future Hitlers.

And your further methods for identifying the "real" threats remain conspicuously vague.

Because in order to qualify for the ultimate threat that facist tyrannies represent, apparently you have to have killed thousands, and instituted bloody reigns of terror.

Only, the whole point of you using Hitler, and WWII, and Winston Churchill, was to identify fascist leaders before they got to that point.

That makes no sense, Jabs. It's illogical. That's not an insult, it's just fact.

 
At 1:56 PM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

Woah, woah, woah. Relax, my friend.

The argument seems simple in my head, but perhaps I'm not explaining it right. I often take logical leaps on my head without bringing the reader along. I also generally assume certain facts that appear to me to be unassailable so as not to get bogged down in minutia. Doing so runs the risk of being misinterpreted, which appears to be what we have here.

Nevertheless, I think everyone needs a time out to take a deep breath. The summer heat appears to be taking its toll.

 
At 3:32 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

Perhaps.

But I'm not doing anything except responding to your tone and argument.

I didn't start this discussion to pick a fight, and I'm not ending it for that purpose either. You know I respect your opinions, obviously, or they wouldn't be on my main page. I've tried to respect yours in this discussion. What I've sensed, rightly or wrongly, is a lack of respect in return.

You don't have to agree with me on any issue, and you hopefully know me well enough to know that I sort of prefer it when you don't. It's interesting and exciting to me to talk about issues in a philosophical/theoretical frame. It's liberating.

I started in on this whole conversation with the intent to have a healthy, un-combative debate. I've tried, throughout, to make my points in a non-confrontational way. Many of my "points" have been questions, actually.

It would be one thing for you to address the violent statistics or gaps in logic I point out. Then we could disagree amicably. We could, through discussion, agree on what we consider to be radical extremism. Your definition might very well differ from mine. In fact, I suspect it would.

And that would be peachy. It would enlighten us both. I'd walk away with more of an understanding of your position. You'd walk away with more of one on mine.

But you haven't done that.

You know I love and respect you as a brother. You also know that I'm not one to back down when I think I'm being unfairly dismissed on an issue I feel strongly about. It's usually just the opposite.

P.S.

I suggest - in the spirit of good-will - that you pick up "Under the Banner of Heaven" by Jon Krakauer, which discusses Mormon Evangelical extremism entertainingly and disturbingly.

 
At 4:46 PM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

Now you'll get to see what I've learned in my pre-marriage training classes:

I hear that you think you didn't start this discussion to pick a fight, and you're not ending it for that purpose either. And that you have tried to respect my opinions in this discussion. What you've sensed is a lack of respect in return.

I hear that and understand.

What I have been trying to do is disagree, not to show disrespect. I feel like there's a misunderstanding because I feel like I'm responding, and then you keep on asking why I'm not responding. It feels like you keep on asking me, "what's 2 + 2?" And when I respond, "4," you ask me, "why won't you enlighten us with your answer?"

So then I start to give up. I am still not entirely sure I understand what point you are trying to make, and that likely is part of the confusion. Is it that Evangelicals are as dangerous as radical Islamists? Or is it that you would like me to acknowledge that Evangelicals are dangerous at all? Or that they are ideologically similar to Islamists and/or Nazis?

I would rattle off statistics, but you can just look at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_terrorism#_note-15
along with dozens of similar websites and come to your own conclusions.

Without citing incidents of Islamic terror (which I am sure would eclipse those you have cited regarding Evangelicals), the comparative incitement of violence regarding Islamists and Evangelicals, the comparative difference between active terrorist cells and or government support for the same for Islamists vs. Evangelicals, and the comparative acceptance of Islamic terrorist organizations by those of similar faith compared to a similar acceptance of those methods and groups by Evangelicals generally, the argument essentially boils down to this:

Based on the circumstances of the last 40-50 years, it appears to me that the threat to this country from Islamic terrorism is far greater than that from Evangelicals. In case you think I'm ignoring them, I fully take into account your claims and statistics. For my money, though, I'd bet the house that we have a lot more to fear from radical Islamists than Evangelicals.

To further clarify, I thought I acknowledged that the Nazi analogy was an ideological analogy to differentiate it from a human death toll analogy, but I don't think I ever intended to suggest that the analogy was apt only in terms of ideology. The ideology is relevant and analogous (I think we'd agree), but only relevant insofar as it incorporates the relative threat faced.

Now, I am trying very hard to clear up any misunderstanding and outstanding questions. If I have missed something, please do not look at it as an attempt to ignore or dismiss. I am not attempting to do either of those things. Nor am I trying to be disrespectful.

My points are what they are. You can take them for what they are. If you feel it's necessary, I'll even delete them (or I'm sure you could if you wanted to).

 
At 6:32 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

Heard and understood.

I think we've officially crossed-over from political debate to soap opera.

Is this the part where I reveal myself to be your long-lost, evil step-cousin? :)

 

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