Posts Tagged ‘ ISIS ’

The Tyranny of Silence

Usually, I wait until I have at least started a book before I might comment on it (tho I prefer to finish reading a book). I used to know a woman who loved to read murder mysteries, and she invariably figured out whodunit by about the second or third page (of course, she was a voracious reader, so she always finished the book, even tho she knew how it ended). Me, I would often finish the last page scratching my head wondering where the butler was. But, if I wait until after I finish Rose’s book, it might be years from now: at the moment, I have a stack of about 30 on the floor next to my bed. But, I can’t resist this one, even if I might be premature.

 

While I personally endorse respect, and don’t find humor is most things that apparently pass for humor in this day and age, I also vehemently do support the right of free speech. So, if someone wants to call something art that I wouldn’t dignify with a second glance, well then, I won’t give it a second glance. But, do I have the right to say they don’t have the right? Hell no. First and foremost: I definitely do not have the right to do something because it is me doing it, than I have the right to prevent someone else from doing the same thing because it is them doing it.

 

That’s the first thing: I want free speech, so you must also have free speech. If I don’t want you to prove how stupid you are then I don’t get to either. Or, something like that.

 

Second, who’s to judge? The government? Some committee of persons (I almost said “citizens” but that is becoming a thing of the past)? Individual persons? How about if we ask the man in the glass? Yeah: I mean self control. Yes, I do bite my tongue a lot. May I ask: “Why don’t you?”

 

But now that ISIS (or IS or ISIL or whatever) is in our faces every single day, it is getting harder and harder to keep my mouth shut – or my hand off of my own firearm. Having said that, I thank GOD that I don’t live in any countries where they (it?) are in control. As bad as the shooting in San Bernadino was, that abomination is nothing like what happens in the Middle East every day. It is no wonder that the people who live in the Middle East say nothing; but it is a wonder that people who don’t live in the Middle East also say nothing. Yet, the terrorists have no trouble at all saying they are linked/associated/affiliate with Islam – and sometimes, some Islamic group says they know the terrorists.

 

So, what I am to do? Well, whatever GOD had in mind for me, I know I’m not going to turn the other cheek – I’m just not built that way. And now that I have these two little packages of wonder and hope and immeasurable joy in the house, I will do anything I can to ensure their future.

 

The first thing I can do, is this blog. I’m not much of a voice and there aren’t many who hear me; but it’s a start. Then, because the Islamic extremists can function only with violence and nothing else, then I must be prepared to be physical. They want to use guns, guess what I’m going to do? I will not sit by and let anyone – anyone at all – threaten my family.

 

But, that’s my family, I have no right to interfere with ISIS and other families. Or do I?

 

Well, yes, I do. You see, I’m a firm believer that someday, I will be standing in front of the Pearly Gates and a voice will thunder out of the heavens (where else?) and ask: “What have you done for Me?” What am I going to say, “Well, Lord, you really didn’t give me very much to work with.” (Maybe Adam should have tried that line?) Somehow, I am supposed to convince Him that I don’t know the Bible story of the three servants who were given different amounts of money from their master to invest? If I just bury my talent – or my head – and then expect Paradise, that’s got to be unconscionably insulting. In other words, I have the GOD-given right and obligation to help others. In fact, since my life is not about me, then it must be only about other people.

 

I’m not proposing that I be the self-appointed mouth-piece of the huddled masses (whether they are yearning to breathe free, or not). But I am very much stating that neither does ISIS – and certainly not in my backyard.

 

Someday perhaps, I will read Rose’s book; but if I am not too far off the mark, then I have to agree that silence is not a good thing. I mean, what’s the first thing that ISIL does? Just so I am not accused of being one of those people, I should be shouting from the roof tops. Yes, I do believe that being silent is a mistake – now and for the future.

Islam Bulldozes the Past

It is easy to find examples of the destruction of antiquities and relics at the hands of Islamic extremists: Bamiyan Buddhas, Mosul Museum Iraq, Mosul Public Library (8,000 books and manuscripts), Palmyra, Syria, etc. Countless.

This reminds me of how the Nazis and the Communists of the Soviet Union and Red China tried to erase existing cultures in areas they over-ran. But, I digress.

It’s no good pointing fingers at others when our own house is in such a shambles. You know: I should take care of the 2-by-4 in my eye before I dig around for the speck in yours (Matthew 7:3, Luke 6:42). Although we Americans don’t really have much of a past to destroy, what we have in common with the Muslim extremists is a lack of vision of the future.

Vision is not defined by running from anything. Running away is characterized by fear. Rather, vision is the act of moving toward something. So, while the Muslim extremists are hell-bent (no, it took no effort at all come up with that pun, it just rolled off my fingertips naturally, almost organic, you might say) to destroy everything that is older than today, they will soon find themselves in the position of sweeping their arms across a landscape of nothing. No doubt they think themselves better than nothing; but in fact we are all known by the company we keep, and so they will be known as, well, nothing.

Americans are not so different. In our past, we have the invasion of a continent (something we seemingly have never stopped doing) and slavery. Yet, what is the biggest topic these days? Nothing to do with Native Americans or African Americans. It’s as though we have bulldozed those issues under the currently fashionable “everything I am has to do with sex.”

In the movie, “The Bridges of Madison County,” Clint Eastwood asks Meryl Streep to describe her husband. She pauses, searching for an answer, and comes up with: “He’s clean.” Of course, this gets some mileage, and eventually Meryl is able to offer some other adjectives. But all we hear about these days in the media (“press” hardly fits in this internet age) is someone’s sexual preference.

I just read an article that talked about Obama’s administration and how diverse it was. The opening paragraph spoke about Obama’s nomination of an “openly gay man.” While the article does spill some ink on other non-white-male demographics (oh, wait: Eric Fanning looks white to me; apparently the “male” part is up for debate), it does focus on those who identify themselves strictly by sexual orientation. Well, what else do you know about Eric Fanning?

Another paragraph states: “…members of the LGBT community have also made similar advances under Obama: There are now hundreds of openly gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender appointees in the executive branch….” When I was growing up, there was only one minority, and that the one whose roots were in Africa. Now, Blacks hardly get a mention – even from a president who seems to have the same roots. Ironically, Blacks are hardly any better off under Obama than they were under Clinton (14.4% now, “just over one percentage point higher”).

Evidently, the “vision” of this country is not to actually make progress, but merely to ignore the past. Isn’t that what ISIS is doing? I will grant you that the white Europeans did their utmost to destroy the peoples and their cultures that existed for thousands of years, and “we” imported millions of Africans to die in the name of capitalism; but this country has been in a position to help others far less fortunate than us white males for some time. And what are we focused on? Trying to legitimize a life-style. More than that: impose a life-style on those who would rather not. Sounds like homosexuals are the new “white Europeans.” Manifest destiny all over again? Not to worry, they say, we have bulldozers, too.

We need intimate knowledge of the past. Nor that the past has any magic about it, but because we cannot study the future, and yet need something to set against the present.

C.S. Lewis

References:

Islamic State Destruction Renews Debate Over Repatriation of Antiquities,

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/31/arts/design/islamic-state-destruction-renews-debate-over-repatriation-of-antiquities.html?_r=0

Antiquities Scholar: Islamic States Destruction of Museum & Library is Cultural & Ethnic Cleansing

http://www.democracynow.org/2015/2/27/antiquities_scholar_islamic_states_destruction_of

Muslim clerics call for destruction of Egypt’s Great Pyramid and other antiquities

http://freethoughtnation.com/muslim-clerics-call-for-destruction-of-egypts-great-pyramid-and-other-antiquities/

Raymond Ibrahim

http://www.raymondibrahim.com/islam/huffington-post-msm-facilitate-destruction-of-egypts-pyramids/

Islamic State accelerates destruction of antiquities in Syria

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/middle-east/islamic-state-accelerates-destruction-of-antiquities-in-syria-1.2328087

Islamic State militants bulldoze ancient Nimrud city

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/06/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-nimrud-idUSKBN0M20GZ20150306

Islam Bulldozes the Past

http://www.danielpipes.org/15650/islam-bulldozes-the-past

Waqf continues to destroy Jewish antiquities

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/163528#.VgEK3mPdU2s

Retired army general wants Egypt’s St. Catherine’s Monastery demolished

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/98907/Egypt/Politics-/Retired-army-general-wants-Egypts-St-Catherines-Mo.aspx

Obama has vastly changed the face of the federal bureaucracy

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-has-vastly-changed-the-face-of-the-federal-bureaucracy/2015/09/20/73ef803a-5631-11e5-abe9-27d53f250b11_story.html

graphic:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-ups-diversity-in-appointees/2015/09/20/5b042aac-5ffb-11e5-8e9e-dce8a2a2a679_graphic.html