Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Intellectual pygmies in Michegan

The stuff about the special bunny in the text below reminded me of old-time communist revisionism. Communists changed even the name Santa Clause to Grandfather Frost. And of course one wonders what the educator/pygmies in the state of Michegan might be doing in their private lives if their concerns focus on revisionist history as opposed to teaching something of meaning to students who are no doubt being taught the singular importance of homosexuality, gender rearrangement, sterilized ejaculation, the sanctity of "choice" and of course the great, one size explanation that explains all social problems--racism. This sort of thing makes me think fondly of the Sharia of Islamic law. Indeed, if students were exposed to the teachings of Islam, many of them would take to it given the vast vacuum generated by the vice ridden pedagogy that currently drags down public education at the high school level.

Communism may have died in Russia but it seems to be thriving in the public school unions.

Sean O'Reilly


From Maggie O'Reilly

Subject: Re: two books I recommend

Hey Sean,
Another interesting book might be/ The Right to be Wrong /by Seumas Hasson. (We know him fairly well through fundraising connections. He is the head of the Becket Fund which defends religious liberty cases). It seems that the point of his book is to defend religious liberty not because one religion is right or wrong but because the human person has the right to religious freedom. A slightly different take on religious belief being "dangerous" --so in the spirit of rounding out the viewpoints I thought I would throw this one out there. I 'm passing along an interview that National Review did recently. I like his group because they do not just defend "Christians" or even Christian conservatives--He is out there as invited guest to Al Jazeera...Read on!

*NRO: *You've been fighting court battles for religious liberty for over a decade at the Becket Fund. What's the most frustrating case you lost?
*Hasson: *Well, none actually. So far, thank God, the Becket Fund is undefeated in court (although I should add we're behind in the fourth quarter in a couple cases currently.)

I like to joke that we have an unfair advantage — we're right.
Seriously, there is tremendous force that can be brought to bear if we tee up the issue correctly. On the other hand there is a great amount of energy to be wasted if we don't. If we insist on fighting the culture war as if it were a contest over who God is, both sides will be in their respective trenches for a very long time. But if we fight it on the question of who we are, then we really can end it. Religious liberty, properly understood as a human right, is something that can unite a wide variety of Americans against a common enemy — religious oppression.

*NRO: *You're undefeated? Why isn't Becket a household name?
*Hasson: *Well, gee, and all this time I thought we were a household name . . . .
*NRO: *There's always a household or two in the dark, man. We're a busy country.
Going outside the American household: You do both domestic and foreign work, don't you? What foreign work are you doing right now that's close to your heart?
*Hasson: *We're representing a mosque in Azerbaijan that the government is trying to close because it teaches tolerance for all. We're also representing Christians in Sri Lanka against a government-sanctioned program of violence by militant Buddhists, of all people.
*NRO: *What do you think is the biggest threat to religious liberty in the U.S. today?
*
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Practically speaking, the threat comes from lawyers, judges, and political elites who think that nativity scenes and menorahs are like secondhand smoke — something that decent people shouldn't be exposed to in the public square.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
**Hasson: *The biggest threat comes from people who think that religious truth is the enemy of human freedom — that the only good religion is a relativist one. When Andrew Sullivan says something called "fundamentalism" is the seedbed of terrorism, he's making this fundamental mistake. At a more amusing level, when school officials ban Valentine's cards (because after all, the holiday is named after St.
Valentine), but tell schoolchildren they can still send each other "special person cards," that's the same basic error. In Lansing, Michigan, public-school bureaucrats worried that the Easter Bunny isn't secular enough, now offer "Breakfast with the Special Bunny."
Practically speaking, the threat comes from lawyers, judges, and political elites who think that nativity scenes and menorahs are like secondhand smoke — something that decent people shouldn't be exposed to in the public square.
This theory of our Constitution is not only wrong, it is inhuman. If we frame the battle for religious liberty correctly, both the courts and the vast majority of Americans — and not just Christian conservatives — will be on our side.
Aren't you going to ask me what the second biggest threat to religious liberty is?
*NRO: *Chill there; patience is a virtue.
Hey, I have a question! What's the second biggest threat to religious liberty in the U.S.?
*Hasson: *The second biggest threat is believers who let themselves be goaded into accepting the same false dichotomy between truth and freedom, only on the other side. They fall into the secularists' trap and think that in order to defend the truths of faith they have to oppose the whole idea of human freedom. Like the bureaucrats in a Cobb County, Georgia, jail who tried to prevent Catholic priests from ministering to prisoners because they were afraid some Protestant prisoners would decide to convert. A threatened Becket Fund lawsuit fixed that, but the episode still provided secularists with ammo for their argument that there should be no such things as official chaplains at all.
When people of faith go that route, and accept the secularist premise that truth is opposed to freedom, we surrender the high ground in the culture war.
My goal in /The Right to Be Wrong/ is to persuade all Americans that we can end the culture war honorably. There can be "pluralism without
relativism": A vigorous commitment to religious liberty that is not based on the notion that all religions are somehow equally true, but in the truth that all human being have rights. It is moral truth, not moral relativism, that underwrites our freedom, including our religious freedom.
By the way, this is a big issue the Muslim world is wrestling with:
Thoughtful Muslims are struggling to understand how they can have an Islamic society without the state imposing Islam coercively.
Some people say they need a Reformation that separates mosque and state.
I've argued that what they really need is a Vatican II: They need to discover within the roots of their own tradition the human truth that undergirds religious liberty: Coercing conscience is wrong, because human beings are born with an innate thirst for transcendence, a demand to search for the true and the good, and the need to express that truth in public, not just private. And that can only be done with integrity when it's done freely. That development within Islam would go a long, long way towards guaranteeing the religious freedom of people in Islamic countries. Muslims and Christians can't agree on who God is, but we can agree on who we are.
*
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Well, I've been invited twice to make religious-liberty arguments on Al Jazeera. So yes, I know first-hand there is an enormous hunger out there, especially among young people, for a new vision about how one can build a democratic, stable, and free society without incorporating atheism into the heart of government. State-sponsored atheism is how many of them see the current church/state separation as typically promoted in the West.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
**NRO: *Do you think there's any real interest in this idea in Islamic countries?
*Hasson: *Well, I've been invited twice to make religious-liberty arguments on Al Jazeera. So yes, I know first-hand there is an enormous hunger out there, especially among young people, for a new vision about how one can build a democratic, stable, and free society without incorporating atheism into the heart of government. State-sponsored atheism is how many of them see the current church/state separation as typically promoted in the West. That's another thing we're trying to change, with this book, /The Right to Be Wrong/, as well as in a host of other ways at the Becket Fund.
*NRO: *The Iraqi constitutional debates on this note are really a milestone moment for that part of the world aren't they?
*Hasson: *You can't overestimate how important they are. But I still have to emphasize that, as important as it is, the new Iraqi constitution won't supplant — and cannot limit — the full human right of religious liberty.
*NRO: *In your book, you dub these two sides in the culture wars, the "Pilgrims" and the "Park Rangers." What's that all about?
*Hasson: *Well, I call the pilgrims after the Pilgrims. I realize they were a brave little band of Christians who helped give birth to our country and did other things we all have reason to be grateful for, but in terms of religious liberty, their halos need readjusting. The Pilgrims weren't in favor of religious liberty for all, they just wanted a refuge where they could live in perfect purity, apart from everyone else. From the very first they tried to suppress the religious expression of the non-pilgrim artisans who traveled with them — Anglican Christians mostly. Pilgrim Gov. William Bradford not only banished the Anglicans' clergy, he actually forbade Anglicans from publicly celebrating Christmas.
Other colonies did far worse things. The Massachusetts Bay Colony, for example, solemnly hanged several Quakers on Boston Common simply because they persisted in preaching their faith.
In fact, the Quakers were persecuted almost everywhere from colonial times through the Civil War. Their heroic patience in the face of over a century of legalized persecution in America eventually persuaded most of America that religious persecution is always a bad thing. The story of this intense moral struggle in American history is not well-enough known. But the Quaker persecutions gave birth to the idea of conscientious objection, an important component of religious liberty for all. It wasn't radical secularists who gave us that idea, it was believers.

*THE AUTHOR*
Kevin Seamus Hasson is the founder and chariman of the Becket Fund for
Religious Liberty <http://www.becketfund.org/>, a nonpartisan,
interfaith, public-interest law firm that protects the free expression
of all religious traditions. He holds a law degree and an M.A. in
theology from the University of Notre Dame and lives with his wife,
Mary, and their children in Fairfax County, Virginia. /The Right to be
Wrong: Ending the Culture War Over Religion in America
<http://www.nationalreview.com/>/ is his first book.

1 comment:

Riky said...

Blog is good. Dont't stop. No better time than now to stop on this website about scommesse calcio . Just scommesse calcio