Quote of the day from David French. Longer article here:
Incredibly, ISIS won not just in Orlando. It’s winning the aftermath. The American response to the attack has been beyond ineffective, veering decisively toward the counterproductive. We’re doing nothing more to deter or prevent terror attacks and everything to deceive our own people about the true nature of the threat. Rather than unite to fight a common enemy, we’re dissolving into partisan, polarizing stupidity. . .
This is perhaps the most astounding aspect of the aftermath — leftist thought leaders are responding to the massacre by condemning Christians. In other words, rather than educating Americans about the truly vicious nature of jihadist theology and encouraging Americans to remain vigilant, the New York Times, CNN, and similar news outlets are training their fire on Republican governors and attorneys general. To the extent that ISIS follows domestic American debates, there have to be high-fives all around in Raqqa. A Muslim kills gay people and ISIS’s Christian enemies face blowback? They couldn’t conceive of a more complete propaganda coup.
Western powers have been fighting jihad for more than 1,300 years — but for the American trained in cultural relativism and silly university ideals of diversity, reality can be so shocking that it’s simply easier and more satisfying to deny its existence.- David French
Western elites remain constitutionally unable to acknowledge that there are greater forces of evil in the world than the West itself. - Heather MacDonnald
The sexual revolution. . . is the centerpiece of a new orthodoxy and new morality that elevates pleasure and self-will to first principles. This has become, in effect, a rival religion. - Mary Eberstadt
A woman accosted Fiorina to ask, “How can you as a woman not support our health care?” In a firm and frank exchange, Fiorina probably left the woman determined never to try that again. “Oh, I support your health care,” the candidate shot back. “I don’t support butchering babies.”
... “Liberals and progressives will spend inordinate amounts of time and money protecting fish, frogs, and flies,” she said last week after a visit to a pro-life pregnancy center. “They do not think a 17-week-old, a 20-week-old, a 24-week-old is worth saving.”
If tolerance is so important, why aren’t Third World immigrants asked to be tolerant of American laws and morals? To the contrary, in any cultural conflict, Americans are expected to give way to immigrant values — or be accused of opposing “inclusivity.”
"For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver." - Martin Luther
"The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well" - Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Young man, what we meant in going for those Redcoats was this: we always had governed ourselves and we always meant to. They didn't mean we should." - (Captain Levi Preston, of the Danvers militia, at age 91)
“Little by little the look of the country changes because of the men we admire.” – Melvyn Douglas, (1963)
"Climate change has become what philosophers call a “non-falsifiable hypothesis.” Everything—Hurricane Sandy, warm winters, cold winters—is said to be proof of climate change.
"Try this parlor game out at a cocktail party next time you’re clinking ice-free glasses with a warmist: ask him to specify what climate or weather phenomenon would not be consistent with the general theory of climate change. And then step back and enjoy the fun." - Steven Hayward at Powerline blog. (more . . }
From Robert L. Short's dedication of The Parables of Peanuts:
For My Own Sweet Ellen Kay . . . of whom Professor Barth must have been thinking when he wrote,
"If there is a way of bringing man to repentance, it is the way of the woman who refuses to let herself be corrupted and made disobedient by his disobedience, but who in spite of his disobedience maintains her place in the order all the more firmly . . ."
Roger Ailes is the head of Fox News. The other night he described America this way:
“Are we losing America to the inevitable onrushing tide of history? No. But we’re in a storm, the mast is broken, the compass is off , and there’s a damn big hole in the boat. We have allowed ourselves to be manipulated by others, many of whom want to impose their culture and laws under the manufactured utopian idea that all all cultures are equal and most of them are better than America….America is a culture, it has a culture, and it must be recognized….We must not allow our collective memory to fade or morph into trendy revisionist versions of political correctness, which become a substitute for the truth.”
It would not be a stretch to call Mr. Obama’s health care Mandate a "kulturkampf." If he can force Catholic institutions—hospitals, schools, and para-church ministries—to provide drugs that can cause abortions now, why wouldn’t his next move be to mandate they actually provide for surgical abortions next year? And why not force all of us to pay for sex change operations, too?
Me: Why not indeed? There is no logical stopping point to curtail government's expanding power to mandate whatever it wants over the will of the American people.
Kathryn Jean Lopez interviewed Michael Novak (author of two recent books), who came forth with the thought for the day:
NOVAK: A wise teacher once told our class: Keep a worn journal by the bed, and write in it every night — five minutes, no more — jotting down the most memorable image (or even insight) of the day. Four minutes if you must. But do it. You will be surprised how this will teach you to notice many vivid images each day, and many insights. Only choose one at night, though, “to snatch from the flames.”
We've won the war on boredom! If you have a smartphone in your pocket, a game console in the living room, a Kindle in your backpack and an iPad in the kitchen, you never need to suffer a minute without stimulation. Yay!
But wait—we might be in dangerous territory. Experts say our brains need boredom so we can process thoughts and be creative. I think they're right. I've noticed that my best ideas always bubble up when the outside world fails in its primary job of frightening, wounding or entertaining me. . . . [more . . .]
Pakistani-born Church of England Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali responds to an article on "Islamophobia" in Britain: (my bolding)
'Diversity cannot be mere diversity. It must be consistent with the best of British values, such as human dignity, freedom and equality, which derive from the Judaeo-Christian tradition of the Bible.
'I know from personal experience that extremism as a mind-set is spreading throughout the Muslim world. We do not want it to spread here through the teaching of hate and the radicalisation of the young.
'That is why we must distinguish between those Muslims who want to live peacefully with their non-Muslim neighbours and those who wish to introduce Shari'a into this country, restrict freedom of speech and confine women to their homes, not to speak of introducing draconian punishments such as death for blasphemy recently awarded to a poor Christian woman in Pakistan.
'If relations are to improve between Muslims and other people in the world, these are the kind of issues that must be tackled.'
Wise words from Myron Augsburger, the former president of Eastern Mennonite Seminary:
"I believe in justice: but I am not a preacher of the gospel of justice, but the Gospel of Christ who calls us to justice. I believe in love, but I am not a preacher of the gospel of love, but the Gospel of Christ who calls us to love. I am committed to peace, but I am not a preacher of the gospel of peace, but the Gospel of Christ who calls us to peace. I believe in the value of the simple life, but I am not the preacher of the simple life, but of the Gospel of Christ that calls us to the simple life. Let us beware of the ultimate plagiarism of borrowing some great concepts from Jesus then running off proclaiming these concepts and not sharing the Christ that empowers these concepts."
Rep. Peter King of New York, the leading Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, tells National Review Online
that the Obama White House has built an “iron curtain” around
national-security information in order to block Congress from
investigating Northwest Airlines Flight 253. “This administration is
not cooperating,” says King. “They have a stonewalling mentality.” . . .
The following, excerpted from Costa's short post at the Corner as well, could qualify as the "quote of the day": (my bolding)
“Some people call it profiling, but I call it common-sense screening,
and that’s what we need to do,” says King. “When the FBI went after the
mafia, they investigated Italian groups. When they investigated the
IRA, they went to Irish bars. If you’re looking for the Ku Klux Klan,
you don’t go to Harlem. When you know that nearly 100 percent of the
terrorists coming after us are Muslims, you need to put aside political
correctness and focus on young males from Middle Eastern countries.
Israel does it and it makes sense. Otherwise, we’re wasting time by
grilling the Scandinavian grandmother. The overwhelming majority of
Muslims are good people, but we have to be frank. The terrorists are
Muslims. We need the president to come out and admit that we’re at war
with Islamic terrorism.” [more . . .]
Update: Ralph Peters posts a scathing article related to the above, "Lying to Ourselves."
We proclaim that the terrorists "don't represent Islam." OK, whom do they represent? The Franciscans? We don't get to decide what's Islam and what isn't. Muslims do. And far too many of them approve of violent jihad. . .
On Christmas Day, a Muslim fanatic attempted to butcher hundreds of
Christians (dead Jews would've been a bonus). Our response? Have
airport security analyze the contents of grandma's mini-bottle of
shampoo -- we don't want to "discriminate." [more. . .]
Ibn Warraq in Forbes magazine: [my bolding] HT: NRO Corner
There are said to have been at least 14,396 acts of Islamic terrorism
(if we include the latest blast in Peshawar, Pakistan) since the World
Trade Center atrocity; more people are killed by Islamists each year
than were killed in all 350 years of the Spanish Inquisition; more
civilians were killed by Muslim extremists on 9/11 than in the 36 years
of sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland. Then let us not forget the
recent acts in Bali, Madrid, London, Mumbai, Thailand, India, Somalia,
Nigeria, the Philippines and almost on a daily basis in Iraq,
Afghanistan and Pakistan. And yet, it is Muslims who are offended when
we raise these facts. [more . .]
On the road today I came unexpectedly upon a major book sale being held in a small town about an hour and a half away. I happened to see a sign on the road advertising the sale, and since I had a few extra minutes, I wandered in. I picked up Willliam F. Buckley Jr.'s Nearer, My God: An Autobiography of Faith which I expect to enjoy perusing. I also picked up Philip Yancey's Reaching for the Invisible God.I read a few pages a moment ago and came across this quote from C.S. Lewis: "The Christian has a great advantage over other men not by being less fallen than they, nor less doomed to live in fallen world, but by knowing that he is a fallen man in a fallen world." Of this Yancey says, "That recognition forms my starting point in understanding a journey to know God." I appreciate that starting point. It liberates us from a lot of false notions and expectations. I shall look forward to reading this book.
President Obama: “The yearning for peace is universal.”
Cliff May: Unfortunately, it is
not and has never been. Genghis Khan did not yearn for peace. Napoleon
did not yearn for peace. Hitler did not yearn for peace. People who
call themselves “jihadis” — by definition — do not yearn for peace
except the peace that follows the defeat of all infidels who are — by
definition — their enemies.
doctrine of objective value [is] the belief that certain attitudes are
really true, and others really false, to the kind of thing the universe
is and the kind of things we are. . . . Because our approvals and disapprovals
are thus recognitions of objective value or responses to an objective
order, therefore emotional states can be in harmony with reason (when
we feel liking for what ought to be approved) or out of harmony with reason (when we perceive that liking is due but cannot feel it). No
emotion is, in itself, a judgement: in that sense all emotions and
sentiments are alogical. But they can be reasonable or unreasonable as they conform to Reason or fail to conform." --The Abolition of Man (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1975), 31-32. (HT: Doug Groothuis)
Me: This is a great quote. A bombshell, really. So many people assume that their "feelings" tell them truths about the universe and about ethics. Not so. Anyone who absorbs the message and insights of "The Abolition of Man" will find themselves at revolutionary odds with the insanity of contemporary Western culture.
[...] The president of the United States congratulates himself on his
fearlessness in standing up for the right of a woman to choose to wear
a hijab but won't say a word about the young Muslim girls murdered by
their families in America, Canada, Britain, Sweden, Germany, and around
the world for choosing not to wear a hijab. As is now
traditional for the observances of the anniversary, the media offer
their doleful reports on American Muslims' "fears" of a "backlash" against them, even though the post-9/11 period has been an era not of Islamophobia but of weirdly insistent Islamophilia. And in our broader culture, self-loathing, trutherism, and other fin du civilisation poses run rampant, even unto the heart of the government.
9/11 was bad news if you were enjoying the good life in a jihadist
training camp in the Hindu Kush. But, over the long run, it was a
useful lesson in the limits of western will.
Earlier today I was going through an old computer file and came across the following quote. I don't know where I picked it up. If anyone knows the source, I will be glad to give proper credit. [Update: A reader informs me that this was spoken by the late Dr. Adrian Rogers of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, TN.]
Here's the quote:
The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government
does not first take from somebody else.
When half of the people get the idea that
they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them,
and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because
somebody else is going to get what they work for,
The theater of thoughtfulness is critical to the president’s success.
He has the knack of appearing moderate while acting radical, which is a
lethal skill. . . But underneath the thoughtful look is a transformative domestic agenda
that represents a huge annexation of American life by an ever-more
intrusive federal government. One cannot but admire the singleminded
ruthlessness with which Obama is getting on with it, even as he hones
his contemplative, unhurried, moderate routine on primetime press
conferences. On foreign affairs, the shtick is less effective . . .
Let us take it [meaning in life] to refer simply to a sense of worthful purpose in what we do and the life
we lead. A man possesses a sense of "meaning" when he feels there is a vital connection between the goals he values and the activities and relationships in which he is involved.
Then what he does each day becomes a coherent means to ends he really prizes, his life and work accomplish something of value to him and so "make sense." Consequently his energies and powers are called forth in creative effort; he is vigorous, hardworking, and, in the good sense of that word, ambitious. In this sense, meaning in life is the spiritual fuel that drives the human machine. Without it we are indifferent and bored; there is no ambition to work, we are inspired by no concern or sense of significance, and our powers are unstirred and so lie idle. Without "meaning" we are undirected and a vulnerable prey to all manner of despair and anxiety, unable to stand firm against any new winds of adversity.
Me:Shantung Compound remains one of the top 10 most insightful books I have ever read. I first read it years ago. It's the true story of men and women from all walks of life interned in a Japanese prison camp durng World War II. One won't find a better exposition of "lived" psychology, sociology, philosophy, anthropology and morality anywhere-- better than textbooks!
The mainstream media did not vet President Obama. His transnational
progressive positions were not scrutinized — and even though
the President is even now on an important trip, crafting new global
regulatory arrangements with other heads of state, we still have not
gotten anything approximating an examination of Obama's views.
Bluntly, the public has been better informed about Gov. Sarah Palin's
handling of the Alaska State Police than about their President's
fondness for international redistribution of wealth, international
treaties, and the transfer of national sovereignty to transnational
bureaucracies and tribunals.[my bolding]
Me: McCarthy made this statement in the midst of a larger blog post concerning the upcoming confirmation hearing for Yale Law School Dean Harold Koh for the job of State Department legal adviser. I encourage you to read McCarthy's whole post. It's important.
Christianity preaches an obviously unattractive idea, such as original sin; but when we wait for its results, they are pathos and brotherhood, and a thunder of laughter and pity; for only with original sin can we at once pity the beggar and distrust the king.
Me: One could draw all manner of applications from this quote, but perhaps the most relevant would be to distrust all would-be "messiahs."There are none, except Christ alone. All who suppose otherwise will have their hopes and dreams dashed.
If you view circumstances from God's point of view, you may be called on to do something that the average non-Christian, who sees nothing but the visible world, would consider foolish and a tragic waste of time and talent. - Paul LIttle
- Senator John McCain could never convince me to vote for him. Only
Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama can cause me to vote for McCain.
- There is no question that Barack Obama is a clever and glib fellow.
There is also no question that some of the most foolish, dangerous, and
horrific things done around the world in the past hundred years have
been done by clever and glib fellows.
is more fraudulent than calls for a “dialogue on race.” Those who issue
such calls are usually quick to cry “racism” at any frank criticism.
They are almost invariably seeking a monologue on race, to which others
are supposed to listen.
At the Villages:
"It’s more and more apparent to me every day that the average 20 year
old who is serving us in Iraq knows more about national security than
many of the 20 year veterans in Congress.” (HT: K.J. Lopez)
No blind observer to the passing scene, Thomas Sowell offers his take on cultural craziness. A sampling:
- Will those who are dismantling this society from
within or those who seek to destroy us from without be the first to
achieve their goal? It is too close to call.
- "Women's Liberation" and
the "sexual revolution" have not liberated women. They have liberated
the sort of man who is a "love and leave 'em" kind of guy, who lets the
woman deal with the consequences, including pregnancy.
- Amid all
the media hysteria over the price of gasoline and the profits of "Big
Oil," one simple fact has been repeatedly overlooked: The oil
companies' earnings are just under 10 percent of the price of a gallon
of gas, while taxes take 17 percent. Yet who ever accuses the
government of "greed"?
- After President Bush fired a handful of
U.S. attorneys, it has become a big scandal in the media. But when
President Clinton fired all the U.S. attorneys in the country —
including those who were investigating him for corruption in Arkansas —
it was no big deal. Yet many in the media still claim that there is no
If America abandons its
Judeo-Christian values basis and the central role of the Jewish and
Christian Bibles, its founders' guiding text, we are all in big
trouble, including, most especially, America's non-Christians. Just ask
the Jews of secular Europe. - Dennis Prager
"Without faith and love your Christianity will be a hollow thing, no matter what its intellectual credibility."
"Failures for the believer are always temporary. God loves you and me so much that he will allow almost any failure if the end result is that we become more like Jesus. Forsake your wimp factor, take a step and be proactive."
"We need a constant work of the Holy Spirit.
I often tell the story about D L Moody who would
emphasize the need to be filled with the Spirit again and again. One day when asked, "Mr. Moody why do you
keep saying we have to be filled again and again?"
he replied, "because I leak".
Thank God for free refills."
The New York Times today printed a surprisingly flattering picture of Phyllis Schlafly, the arch opponent of the Equal Rights Amendment and one of the most influential figures in modern American politics. Here's the line that caught my eye:
A regular lecturer on college campuses, she is often asked to speak on
the subject of balancing work and family. "Feminism has changed the way
women think, and it has changed the way men think," Mrs. Schaflly said,
"but the trouble is, it hasn't changed the attitudes of babies at all."
Like many others, I have posted meaningful quotes in my Bible. Also, like many others, from time to time I actually read them! The following is a quote, positioned innocently between the Old and New Testaments, that has sat quietly challenging me for over 25 years.
The majority of men are subjective towards themselves and objective towards all others, terribly objective sometimes – but the real task is in fact to be objective towards oneself and subjective towards all others.” - Soren Kierkegaard, Journal
C.S. Lewis has a way of unsettling habitual ways of thinking. Here's food for thought - and grounds for making us feel uneasy:
He [Jesus] was not at all like the psychologist's picture of the integrated, balanced, adjusted, happily married, employed, popular citizen. You can't really be very well "adjusted" to your world if it says you "have a devil" and ends by nailing you up naked to a stake of wood. - The Four Loves (chapter on "Affection")
On Christ's behavior - "It is clear from many of His sayings that our Lord had long foreseen His death. He knew what conduct such as His, in a world such as we have made of this, must inevitably lead to." - C.S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm
On the Shortness of life - "Life is a pilgrimage between two moments of
I attended the funeral of a good and godly man on Sunday. The quote above came to mind as a great commentary on the New Testament passage, I Timothy 6:6-8: “There is great gain in godliness with
contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything
out of the world; but if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content."