Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Weigel on "moral democratic realism"

Worth reading. Excerpt:

"Moral democratic realism" follows Augustine in its determination to see things as they are and Thomas Aquinas in its resolve not to leave things as they are, when prudence indicates that positive change is possible. "Moral democratic realism" is one 21st century embodiment of what used to be called Catholic International Relations Theory — although few Catholics today (including many publishing in America and Commonweal, where Catholic I.R. Theory used to flourish) remember that this distinctive way of thinking about the world ever existed.

Kaufman rightly rejects alternative grand strategies on prudential grounds. Isolationism of the Pat Buchanan sort ignores the lessons of history and, to our eventual endangerment, abandons any American commitment to helping build order out of chaos in the world. Neo-realism (think Brent Scowcroft, James Baker, and most of the permanent State Department bureaucracy) imagines that messes like the Middle East can be managed by manipulating "our thugs;" yet this is precisely the approach that helped create conditions for the possibility of 9/11. Jimmy Carteresque multilateralism is hopelessly unrealistic, and thus dangerous.


  1. Abortion and sexual libertinism are currently illegal and frowned upon in most of the Middle East. Working to Westernize or modernize the Middle East, as Weigel advocates doing, would undoubtedly mean exporting the sexual revolution of the West. I know Weigel doesn't want this, but I'd gather that he'd say it's worth the trade off, i.e., the goods that would come of modernizing the Middle East (dumbocracy and all that) wouid outweigh the evils. But would they? I say they wouldn't. --Andy Nowicki

  2. yes, the sexual morality of the middle east is definitely worth emulating. honor killings? child brides? inbreeding? why, it's God's Way.

  3. When someone includes "dumbocracy" as one of the goods that the Western world exports, I'm not surprised he doesn't see the benefits of Westernization to be worth the tradeoffs, and he shouldn't be surprised if others -- rightly or wrongly -- perceive him to be unduly negative about the West.

    Kathleen is right that the sexual morality of the Middle East is hardly worth emulating, but it should also be said that abortion is an odd thing to emphasize, since the Arab world doesn't have a great track record either on defending the sanctity of life or on going out of one's way to protect the weak. We do have just such a track record, rooted in Christianty, particularly when faith is combined with the Enlightenment values that inspired men like Wilberforce to oppose evil institutions.

    Our track record is spotty and has been weakened by post-Christian and post-Enlightenment fatalism and relativism, but at least we have such a track record.

  4. Abortion is in most cases explicitly forbidden in Muslim law, which is hewed to by most Arab Middle Eastern governments. Not as perfectly as it is in Catholic doctrine, of course, but far better than it is in most of contemporary secular Western culture. I for one don't want them to become more like us in this way, and don't think exporting the sexual revolution would be worth the trade-off, however one might calculate it.

    Tens of millions of dead babies is no track record at all, Bubba. Middle Eastern culture is far from perfect, but I'm not sure we're much, if any, better. (And when I say "Middle Eastern culture," I mean it in its totality-- I'm not drawing moral equivalence between the U.S. and Osama Bin Laden, so please spare me that line.)

  5. That last was me, of course --Andy Nowicki

  6. "Middle Eastern culture is far from perfect, but I'm not sure we're much, if any, better."

    what utter tripe. If you really believe that, you're complicit in staying here. move to Baghdad, or Damascus, or Cairo. seriously, what's stopping you (other than the fact that you're Christian, which might make things a little, uh, scary)? and while you're there, why don't you ask your average middle easterner which culture he thinks is better?

  7. Am I incorrect in believing that Saudi Arabia allows for capital punishment, not merely in cases like murder and rape, but for being homosexual and for apostasy?

    Please tell me again that the Arab world promotes a culture of life, Andy, and tell me again how you're not sure that our culture is better than theirs.

    It seems to me that, by referencing Arab culture "in totality", you want us to downplay things like suicide bombing that involves children targeting other children. Legalized abortion is an atrocity, but it isn't the totality of Western values, either, but you apparently think it trumps any possible benefit in exporting our values.

    Yes, elective abortion is evil, and the legalization of such abortion is also evil. We have trivialized the institution of marriage and removed many social stigmas from the sexual sins of promiscuity and infidelity.

    At the same time, we don't treat women as property. And though I wish sexual sin was more clearly criticized, I'm glad we don't stone women for infidelity and that adults in our culture are free to live their own lives. I believe homosexual behavior is sinful, but I'm very glad it's no capital offense.

    And let's not forget this key difference between Western values and Arab values: freedom self-corrects. The internal reforms of a Wilberforce is probably impossible in the Arab world unless it already has the blessing of the clerical dictatorship of sharia law, because if the ruling clerics don't agree with you, they kill you.

    Put simply, there's no contest between liberty and sharia, and it's appalling that a Westerner would be (at best) only tepidly supportive of supporting liberty when, since nothing is truly static, either one or the other will grow.

  8. How many innocents have been murdered in recent years due to suicide bombings, honor killings, and the like? Even including 9-11-01, the number is surely not much higher than the low 5-digit range.

    Now how many innocents have been murdered in the West by abortion? Tens of millions, if not more.

    So tell me, in this "clash of civilizations," this "war on terror," who's civilized and who's savage? Who's evil and who's good? Who's zooming who?

    As far as dueling "cultures of death," as it were, please see my article:

    Andy Nowicki

  9. The link to my piece got cut off. If you're interested, just go to www.thornwalker.com/ditch, and click on my name in the left hand column, then scroll to my article published on Sept. 11, 2006 entitled "Loving Death: How the West is Lost"

    Andy Nowicki

  10. I was just reading about how Cardinal O'Connor once said "If anyone has an urge to kill an abortionist, kill me instead." Point made, but a little safer to say that than if you're an Imam and decide to condemn suicide bombing. It appears that the more true to his religion a Christian Westerner is the less chance he'll kill people (including via abortion) and the more religious a Muslim is the greater chance he'll want to blow people up or slit their throats.

    I don't buy the idea that advocating a freer society like ours demands "exporting the sexual revolution of the West." This is an intuitive leap which no one has ever bothered explaining to me. As far as I know history, the sexual revolution did not start at the crack of the liberty bell, but I am always hoping to be corrected when I am mistaken. Sometimes I hope against all hope, I am afraid.

  11. Andy, there are actually a couple rational responses to your rhetorical questions, starting with the fact that the death toll from suicide bombs has been limited by means and not by will: jihadists target innocent civilians and try to kill as many as they can, they bomb crowded discotheques for a reason, and it's not as if they would hesitate to use WMD's to kill millions in New York or London.

    But let me focus on the main point.

    You're comparing the number of abortions to the death toll resulting from suicide bombs, and then asking, "who's civilized and who's savage? Who's evil and who's good?"

    The way you frame the question, it's obvious what you think the answer is. You think we're the evil savages, so don't give us this bullshit about how you're "not sure we're much, if any, better."

    You're quite confident that we're much worse.

  12. Bubba, the post-Christian West is certainly worse when it comes to abortion, which should give pause to any pro-life advocate tempted to shout "hurray for our side" in this war. The Muslim Middle East is worse in other ways. Overall, I'd call it a draw.

    Pauli, it's no intuitive leap to say that exporting Western values means exporting the sexual revolution. Given the contemporary state of things, the sexual revolution is an integral part of the West's cultural identity.

    Andy Nowicki

  13. Overall, I'd call it a draw.

    Ain't moral relativism lovely?

    And by lovely, I mean completely nauseating.

    So the West isn't perfect and pure. It is made up of fallen sinful people. Always has been. In your book, that means they have nothing good to offer. We are no better than a bunch of Islamist barbarians. Okay, whatever...I guess as long as they keep those uppity women in line they have some good points, right?

  14. Andy, you put the millions of abortions alongside the body count from suicide bombings, to ask rhetorically, "who's civilized and who's savage? Who's evil and who's good?"

    The obvious answer you're trying to elicit is "we're the evil savages." This is hardly the tactic of someone who is ambivalent about the conflict between the West and jihad.

    Nor, for that matter, is your dismissing one of the benefits of Western civilization, by sneering at individual political freedom as "dumbocracy".

    Even the article that you wrote and now recommend is hardly ambivalent.

    You write that you are "certainly not inclined to debate who, between radical Islam and the secular West, has a healthier perspective on life and death." That doesn't imply that, in the end, you support the West, and the only positive you can offer about the West is that we were (PAST TENSE) spiritually rooted in Christianity.

    Do you support the West at least in the hope that our freedom would permit a spiritual revival? Nope.

    "I do think the West would be well-served by a return to its spiritual roots, but I don't see such a thing happening."

    You write that, so long as things stay as they are, the West is "bound to lose" and you give no reason for the reader to believe that you don't think we should lose.

    And even though you write that motive doesn't exonerate murder, you almost admire the jihadist in comparison to the abortionist, writing, "the Muslims' stated love of death is of a different stripe from our propensity to be a culture of death; they murder for the sake of a believed transcendent principle, while we murder for the sake of our own comfort and convenience."

    You're really ambivalent in picking between the West and the Arab Muslim world? What you write simply doesn't back that up.

    If I were to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that your rhetoric is simply overshooting your actual position, it's still really stupid to be ambivalent about picking sides between the West and jihad.

    Once again, because freedom allows and often encourages self-correction, the West can reform itself. It has before, it sometimes admittedly required violence, but no external force required us to outlaw slavery and extend suffrage to women and minorities. The belief that we will not revive our Christian roots and abolish abortion the way we abolished slavery is fatalistic.

    Equally fatalistic is your apparent belief that we must be morally perfect before resisting evil. We were right to wage war against despotic regimes in the 20th century even though we were still working through serious issues on race and sex, and we are right to fight jihad even though I agree that we need to address abortion.

    In general -- and certainly in this case -- time is not on our side, so we must act to preserve a flawed Western world now so that we can continue to reform it in the future.

    Your attitude is less than useless, it's positively counter-productive.

  15. And let me add that I oppose the sexual revolution and all its works and ways...always have. I am vehemently pro-life. I really do think that a sexual counter-revolution is on the horizon because people are slowly but surely are starting to see that feminists and pornographers have sold them a pack of lies.

    I see no comparable thing happening in the Islamic world, where people are starting to question terrorism, Jew-hating and woman-enslaving. Those things seem to be pretty well entrenched.

  16. Bubba,

    Once again, because freedom allows and often encourages self-correction, the West can reform itself. It has before, it sometimes admittedly required violence, but no external force required us to outlaw slavery and extend suffrage to women and minorities. The belief that we will not revive our Christian roots and abolish abortion the way we abolished slavery is fatalistic.

    We posted at the same time and you said what I was trying to say a lot better than I could. How neat! :-)

  17. Susan, I'm not a moral relativist. Moral relativism denies the existence of an absolute standard by which different moral systems can be evaluated. I believe in the existence of such a standard. It's through employing that standard that I find the post-Christian West wanting to such an extent.

    Bubba, a few points:

    I DO sneer at democracy. I find the notion that the majority should determine what's true and what isn't true to be completely absurd. If you're interested in knowing more, I've written about this too, also on the Last Ditch site, under the title "I Loathe Democracy"

    I make no bones about being a fatalist and a pessimist as regards Western culture on the skids. Guilty as charged. I'd like to have more hope, but I value the truth more than I value false hope.

    The notion that I demand moral perfection from the West is a canard. If we're going to aggressively promote, even enforce, Western values in the non-Western world, then Western values had better not just be worth defending, but worth imposing on others. I simply don't think the contemporary West has much to offer, particularly in light of the sexual revolution. I'd rather such values NOT be inflicted on others, in fact.

    Lastly, I will admit to "admiring"-- if such a word can be used-- the suicide bomber more than the abortionist. I think they are both detestable, of course. But the abortionist simply kills the innocent for profit, while the suicide bomber sacrifices himself for a perceived greater goal. But to be sure, they both ought to burn in Hell.

  18. Andy, I too oppose the idea that majority rule should be used to determine the truth value of a proposition, but that doesn't mean that political freedom, self-determination, and self-government through democracy and/or a representative republic has no place. I have no problem with the idea of majority rule determining whether noise pollution -- such as very loud partying in a residential area -- should be made illegal. This isn't a matter of objective truth but a matter of prudential human law: why shouldn't the members of a community have input on the laws of that community?

    I too oppose false hope in the teeth of truth, but I deny that it's readily apparent that all hope for western civilization is a false hope. Fatalism and pessimism might be fun, but -- first -- hope is a Biblical virtue for a reason; with God all things are possible, so fatalism is indulging the sin of faithlessness. Second, the history of the West gives us reason to hope, since we've experienced spiritual revivals before.

    I too believe that, if our values are to be spread, that they should be commendable. Let's go through the list:

    - The individual's right to worship as he pleases; to read holy Scripture for himself and be responsible to God alone for the conclusions he draws and for the relationship he has with the Almighty; to gather and worship corporately with others who share his faith; to speak openly about his faith to encourage others to join with him; and even to deny all faith and live as a peaceful atheist.

    - The individual's right to have a voice in the government that enforces the laws that constrain him; to speak freely, even in criticism of that government; to assemble peaceably with like-minded people.

    - The individual's right to make a livelihood for himself and his family as he sees fit, to offer whatever goods and services he likes (at whatever price he likes) in an attempt to persuade his fellow man to trade with him; to keep the fruit of his labor and to do with that property as he sees fit.

    - The individual's right to make his own decisions in the bedroom as much as in the polling booth, the confessional, or in the marketplace; to be free to have relationships with any other consensual adult, be those relationships purely platonic or based in nothing but raw sexuality; to be free to join in the lifelong, heterosexual monogamy as commended in the Bible, not because to do otherwise will result in death, but because it is the conviction of your relationships both to God and to your beloved.

    The religious liberty and dynamism that comes with pluralism; the open arena of ideas and allowing that arena to impact law through self-government; the prosperity and self-realization that comes through the free market; and the sexual freedom that lets adults make their own decisions: add to that the rule of law that constrains even the highest office-holder, the idea of constitutionally limited government that keeps its coercive power in check, and the system of federalism that allows for variety and self-determination at the local level. With all that, you're absolutely right I think Western values should be promoted.

    No, we're not perfect, but freedom is good, both moral and effective, and the West is this planet's greatest champion of freedom. I can't quite grasp how you think things like property rights and religious freedom are things that are "imposed" on others, but they should be promoted.

    Finally, this rhetoric must be addressed:

    Lastly, I will admit to "admiring"-- if such a word can be used-- the suicide bomber more than the abortionist. I think they are both detestable, of course. But the abortionist simply kills the innocent for profit, while the suicide bomber sacrifices himself for a perceived greater goal. But to be sure, they both ought to burn in Hell.

    Surely some abortionists believe that they are protecting their patient's rights. They are wrong to deny or downplay the unborn's right to live, but they are living their convictions. At the same time, the families of many suicide bombers are given thousands of dollars after the completion of successful attack.

    But you admire the suicide bomber's pure faith while you criticize abortionists as being mercenary. For someone who values truth, you sure seem willing to paint the jihadist in the best possible light and the abortionist in the worst. I believe there may be a fundamental immorality in that tendency.

  19. I'll take the bait: please enlighten me on what you suspect to be my suspected "fundemental immoratlity."

    A large number of suicide bombers are teenagers or young adults who were raised in squalor and ignorance and are utterly brainwashed. There are mititaging factors there which one doesn't find in the case of the typical abortionist, who is generally well-educated, fully grown,well-fed and housed, and knows exactly what he is doing.

    To imply that there is something mercenary about a suicide bomber because his family financially benefits following the attack is
    problematical, to say the least. A mercenary does dirty deeds for cash, not in order to die so that his family can have cash posthumously.

    Finally, I'm sorry I can't be nicer in my assessment of abortionists. In case it wasn't clear, I think they're scum. I suppose it's possible that some may be in their profession out of a desire to "help" women, but the fact is, they're still murdering innocent children for profit.

    Now for the "Scruples" question of the day: what would be the proper way to react to news that a suicide bomber blew himself up in a room full of abortionists? Hmmm...

  20. The fundamental immorality is what you continue to demonstrate in your attempt to make excuses for our enemies while both exaggerating the West's immorality and utterly ignoring what's commendable about the West.

    I notice you took the time to talk about the "mitigating factors" that lessen the immorality of suicide bombing while dismissing abortionists as pure "scum," but you apparently have nothing to say in response to my lengthy list of reasons why, yes, Western values should be promoted.

    Religious freedom, political freedom, economic freedom, sexual freedom, the rule of law, constitutionally limited government, and the principle of federalism: you write that you "simply don't think the contemporary West has much to offer," I give a lengthy list to the contrary, and you're too busy defending jihadists to be bothered.

  21. Andy,

    Did I say "moral relativism"...oops looks like I did. I meant moral equivalency. My bad. I suppose I had relativism on the brain because you seem to be saying that, relatively speaking, the West is more evil than the Islamic world.

  22. One more thing Andy should consider, if he thinks the Islamic world is more virtuous and moral than the West. If the only reason people are virtuous is because a theocracy forces them to be, what real spiritual good is that? If people are modest and chaste in the West, it is from their own free will, because they want to do what is right and please God. If someone is modest and chaste in the Islamic world, it is to avoid being beaten by religious police or being the target or an honor killing. In other words, they are motivated by fear and not by love of God.

  23. Bubba, I DISAGREE with you about the relative merits of contemporary Western culture. It's not immoral to disagree.

    I don't think I'm making excuses for anyone. I think it's evil to kill innocent people, no matter who you are. I've made that clear, over and over again. I think it's reasonable to say that being young, uneducated, ignorant, brainwashed and in much more desperate circumstances MIGHT constitute mitigating factors in the case of the typical suicide bomber. This doesn't nullify the evil of the action he takes. In saying the abortionist is worse than the suicide bomber, I'm certainly not saying that the latter is good or that his actions are excusable.

    I didn't comment on your laundry list about what's right with the West because the first time I read it, it had roughly the same effect on me as a Lee Greenwood song. To be fair, after re-reading, I think that you are mostly talking about POLITICAL aspects of the West rather than CULTURAL ones. If politically, we can be represented by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, culturally we're better represented by GLADD, NAMBLA, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, "My Humps" by the Black-Eyed Peas, and boozed-up celebu-sluts. It's our cultural influence that I fear, not our poltical influence. Unfortunately, you can't really have one without the other.

    In previous ages, I would have favored cultural imperialism, when I felt our culture was actually superior. But not today, when we plainly aren't.

    Andy Nowicki

  24. Susan, I plead guilty to moral equivalency. Guilty as charged!

    Andy Nowicki

  25. If you want brownie points, Andy, for just saying that abortionists are worse than suicide bombers while not saying that suicide bombers are moral, you won't get them from me. You still think that the Islamic world offers a more moral civilization than the West, and even if you think both of them are on the wrong side of the moral/immoral divide, you can't muster up enough appreciation and frankly gratitude for all the good things Western civilization provides to bring yourself to supporting that civilization against what is increasingly becoming an existential threat.

    I was going to ask if you would support the West in fighting jihad if Roe v. Wade was overturned -- never mind that Iran's nuclear program is waiting for that particular court case to be reviewed -- but I think it's clear you wouldn't, since you oppose Western cultural aspects that would be unaffected by any political event like a court ruling or new federal law.

    You invoke NARAL and Planned Parenthood as if they have no opposition, and as if groups like NRLC aren't actually making headway against them in the arena of ideas. And you mention NAMBLA of all groups, as if there is any organization that is more marginalized in this country, short of those that involve white hoods.

    You're right about one thing, though: between political institutions that insure individual liberty and a culture that can abuse that liberty and become decadent, "you can't really have one without the other."

    I think we can improve our culture, certainly, but I think our political institutions are worth promoting despite our culture. A culture that allows gay political organizations and excruciatingly bad Black-Eyed Peas songs is still superior to the culture that the Taliban was trying to create, stoning gays and banning music altogether.

    But there's a flipside to this coin, Andy. Yes, my supporting the promotion of Western political institutions entails an implicit condoning of Western culture, flawed as it is and as much as I support reforming the culture. But, in your refusal to support the West, you can't parse the culture from political instutions, either. You're apparently so pissed off that people exercise their First-Amendment rights to promote abortion that you're unwilling to do any real work in preserving those rights. You're so disgusted with the culture that freedom has wrought you can't bring yourself to protect and promote freedom itself.

    It seems to me that whatever love of freedom you have, it's for freedom in the hypothetical or in a whitewashed version of the past, so it's absolutely useless in defense of freedom as it now exists.

    You write, "In previous ages, I would have favored cultural imperialism, when I felt our culture was actually superior." The problem is, our culture has never been perfect. Now, radical egalitarianism denies the differences between men and women, but it wasn't that long ago that their basic equality was denied. Now, people treat other human beings as less than fully human when they visit an abortion clinic, but the equality, dignity, and rights of man weren't exactly embraced by the slave trade. Now, far too many people deny objective truth, but it wasn't very long ago that people were prevented by force from exercising their liberty of conscience.

    And yet you're so enamored of the past that you are of no use to the present, and despite the fact that human freedom is an extraordinarily rare and fragile thing to be embraced in human history, you're willing to let the future be dictated by freedom's enemies.

    Let history record and judge, that Andy Nowicki thinks that Britney Spears' presence on the tabloids is too high a price for the right to speak and worship freely -- that he would sooner see the Bill of Rights burn than see MTV broadcasting in Baghdad.

  26. No brownie points???!!!! Aw, man! Say it ain't so!

    I mean, why bother forcefully arguing your unpopular convictions if you can't be awarded brownie points by your opponent when you and he share a conviction in common (in this case, that suicide bombing is evil)? Why engage others in debate unless you can successfully kiss up to them and win brownie points in return? What really is the point, otherwise?

    It just breaks my heart, Bub, that you can't see what a swell guy I really am, underneath my blustering exterior. But as Celine Dion says, my heart will go on.

    As far as history goes-- well, I have a difficult time believing that history will really give a flying f___ about little old me. But if it does indeed end up judging me harshly, then I've got to say that I will be happy to return the favor.

    Andy Nowicki

  27. Andy,

    I would also say that you have a strong nihilistic and theocratic streak.

    I know you will dismiss this as cornball jingoism, but I maintain it is better for people to be free to choose to be virtuous than to be forced. Yes, freedom means that many people will choose not to be virtuous...that is the risk. But even with the risk, it's better than some theocracy forcing people to be "good". After all, how "good" and virtuous are they really if they are being forced? I suspect that underneath the pious facade, there is as much (if not more) wickedness as there is in the West. (This is aside from really obvious wickedness like terrorism, lack of religious freedom, treating women like subhumans, etc.)

  28. "I have a difficult time believing that history will really give a flying f___ about little old me."

    I'd have to agree with you on that one.

  29. Susan: I'm nihilistic AND theocratic? That sounds tricky.

    I understand your point about the difficulty of enforcing virtue, but it really doesn't seem related to the question of the state of our culture, or the desirability of making over the world in our (the West's)image.

  30. Andy, I believe Susan's point is that what you admire in Arab culture isn't truly virtuous: it's a veneer of virtue imposed through coercion. A truly free culture that often misses the mark on what's moral is better than a culture in which the appearance of morality is imposed from above, and the former is better simply because it is free.

    I think gay pride parades are actually sad in that the participants don't know what they're doing, mocking a good God and His good plan for our lives. But I would take our culture even with its gay pride parades over a Taliban culture in which homosexuals are stoned to death. Ours isn't wholly healthy, but it's healthier simply because it is more free.

    And about remaking the world in our image, I think you miss the fact that cultures are never in stasis. That fact is exacerbated by modern technology, but all cultures are either thriving or dying, expanding or shrinking.

    I think our culture ought to be reformed, certainly, but even before we become a perfect culture (which won't happen anytime before the eschaton), I support our culture being promoted and expanded, because -- since stability is an illusion -- the only realistic alternative is our culture shrinking.

    Look at the demographic and cultural changes in Europe, which is fast becoming Eurabia; look at the Danish cartoon controversy. If the West's values do not triumph, Islam's values will. If we don't defend free speech and make it clear that the Muslim world must learn to tolerate even blasphemous free speech, we will absorb into our culture the ridiculous notion that their offense trumps our freedom.

    We're already doing so.

    So, while you're complaining about MTV, others are pushing sharia onto the West. If your disgust at the worst of Western culture keeps you from defending that culture, you risk losing that culture altogether. It won't matter much that you acknowledge the evil of suicide bombing or the immoralities of Muslim culture: by failing to man your own post in defense of the West, you're inviting its defeat.

    You don't apparently care about that, and it would be futile of me to try to make you see reason.

    I might leave this comment thread simply by noting that the culture of sharia is incompatible, with not only the filth of modern pop music, but also -- as has been pointed out in response to Dinesh D'Souza's book -- a church-sponsored square-dance in Colorado of the late 1940's. Ours is a culture that has produced filth, yes, but it has also produced transcendent art from Shakespeare to Shawshank: radical Islam appears to be incompatible even with the works of Shakespeare. I think preserving Shakespeare is worth the cost of putting up with Britney Spears, and it's a damn shame that there are some on the right who let trash tabloid culture keep them from defending the West.

  31. Bubba:

    That was one of the most eloquently stated comments I have ever read. Thanks so much.

  32. Boy, talk about earning your brownie points....

    Andy Nowicki

  33. Boy, talk about earning your brownie points....

    Sorry, Andy, I guess it's more fitting for the blogosphere if I just called Bubba a backwards asshole and cussed him out. Sorry for my momentary lack of blog etiquette.

  34. Andynonymous writes: "Now for the 'Scruples' question of the day: what would be the proper way to react to news that a suicide bomber blew himself up in a room full of abortionists? Hmmm..."

    A more pertinent question here would be how would certain people react to news that a suicide bomber had blown up George Weigel.

    I agree with Bubba: Kurtz’s response to “The Enemy at Home” is the definitive response to much of what A.N. is saying here. But I take Andynonymous's point insofar as I would like to see a "healthier" West fighting the war against Islamic extremism. But just as you go to war with the army you have, I don't see why a country can't go to war with the culture it has when it's attacked. I would like to see a general increase in sexual morals among American Christian’s on the whole, but the Moslems can keep their incest and genital mutilation to themselves, thanks.