Left, Right Left, Right–How Wide the Divide?

Our Commander in Chief is both loved and hated by folks all over the political spectrum. Why has this President brought out such strong feelings? Other presidents put themselves in wartime situations, some with better results than others. Most of our Presidents have claimed Christian faith. Why does W make conservatives warm and fuzzy and the rest saying, “I never thought I’d miss the Nixon administration?”

40 thoughts on “Left, Right Left, Right–How Wide the Divide?

  1. Seems like Clinton was equally loved and hated. What gets me is the pathetic voter turnout in every election. I’ll quit now before I get riled…

  2. Honestly, for me as a person of faith who is against abortion and who is not supportive of a gay lifestyle, I resent the fact that these two issues have been used by this administration to polarize us as a nation. I feel it is a deliberate tactic used to draw our attention away from other moral issues which are equally as important, such as when and where, and why and if we should declare war.
    I don’t understand how anyone can claim to be pro-life and yet support the death penalty and refer to innocent civilians who are killed in combat as “collateral damage”. Yet we fuss and fume with pro-choice people over calling an unborn child a fetus rather than a baby. We understand the importance of word connotation surrounding causes we support . . . Are they collateral damage because they may have brown skin and speak with an accent?
    I was so irate when Bush called Iran part of the “Axis of Evil”. At the time that comment was made, the people of Iran had just elected the most moderate pro-Western government they have had in decades. One ill conceived and uniformed remark from our prez and all hopes for progress were annihilated.
    Which only leads me to wonder if progress in Iran is something this government actually wants. The inflated oil prices due to this conflict haven’t hurt the Bush Oil empire I am sure. Why make peace when war is so much more profitable?

  3. You know, I attend a conservative charismatic A/G church although I am not particularly conserative myself and not a fan of our current president. Sometimes I wonder have we, like Israel, been given a Saul. Did God give us what we asked for along with all its consequences?

  4. Why is it so difficult for some people to recognize Islamic fascism for what it is? To say that Iran has been “moderate” at any time since the takeover by the mullahs in the late 70’s shows a true ignorance of Persian affairs. War is hell. And, unfortunately, sometimes inevitable. Sadly, innocents die; witness New York and D.C. on 9/11/2001.

    One question I’ve always wanted to ask the Cindy Sheehans and those of her ilk, is why do they think Bush wants a “profitable” war? He’s already the most powerful man in the world. He will never want for material needs for the rest of his life. (Witness Clinton and his $200,000 lecture fees.) What would he hope to gain by sending Americans into harm’s way? To demonize Bush in this manner is simply illogical. But then, most media propagandizers and the naive souls who believe them, think we can reason with the proponents of Wahabbi Islam, the face of evil.

  5. Why is it so difficult for some people to recognize Islamic fascism for what it is?

    Oh I don’t know – maybe for the same reason that it is so difficult for so many Americans to recognize Right wing religious fascism for what it is.
    Is our government “moderate”? But fascism is fine as long as its our own brand of it and our own religion . . .

    Sorry – I don’t go in for double standards – ours or anyone elses. In one breath you state that we demonize Bush and in the next you do the very same thing to the Wahabbi Islam, whom you call “the face of evil”.

  6. Anyone see the Mike Wallace interview with the president of Iran? Fascinating on many levels.
    Ange & Orwell–let’s define what you mean by ‘fascism.’

  7. My definition of fascism is the same as Wikipedia: “A radical totalitarian political philosophy that combines elements of corporatism, authoritarianism, extreme nationalism, militarism, anti-anarchism, anti-communism and anti-liberalism. The original fascist movement ruled Italy from 1922 to 1943 under Mussolini; and fascism covers a class of authoritarian political ideologies, parties, and political systems, most notably Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler.”

    Wahabbi Islam is fascist in this sense due to its desire to destroy any infidel, or any Muslim, who does not agree with its interpretation of Islam. The noted Mideast scholar from Princeton, Bernard Lewis has stated: “…So what you are getting now in the Muslim world, all over the Muslim world, and more particularly among the Muslim communities in non-Muslim countries is the spread of the Wahhabi version of Islam, which is about as typical to what you might call mainstream Islam as the KKK is to mainstream Christianity.”

    The main immediate aim of Wahhabism is to capture and subject the global Islamic community, and its doctrines are also deeply suffused with hatred of the other religions. This is different from the claim of ultimate revelation and authority in traditional Islam. While traditional Islam draws a firm line between itself and the earlier monotheism of the Jews and Christians, it does not command the Muslims to despise and murder Jews and Christians. Wahhabism is a nihilistic, violent, Islamofascist movement that seeks not only to impose conformity on the world’s Muslims, and to completely wipe out Shi’a Islam, but also to attack the world’s Jews, Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, and other worshippers. Its ideology is evil.

    To equate “right-wing” Christians, or the Bush administration with fascism, or something as extreme as Wahhabism is simply being intellectualy dishonest. Notwithstanding the media propoganda, our civil liberties remain intact and “right-wing” Christians do not want to set up a theocracy.

    And speaking of George Bush, if I believe God is sovereign, which I do, then He had some purpose to allow this Texan to become the President.

    While we may not understand this purpose, it is still incumbent upon me, as a Christian, to love George Bush and pray for him (and others), as the leader of our country.

    And it is incumbent upon me, as a Christian, to love the people who follow the evil poison of Wahhabism, and pray for those who despitefully adhere to its tenets.

    Even so, come Lord Jesus.

  8. My definition would be the same. My dispute would rise out of the fact that I see every one of the elements Orwell listed and equated with Wahhabism equally present withinour own government. We are indeed violent , and guilty of corporatism, extreme nationalism,authoritarianism and every other “ism” on the list. And when we impose our brand of “democracy” on the rest of the world, demanding that other governments be reshaped in our image and likeness we are nihilistic as well.
    But as I said – double standard, which is the worst form of intellectual dishonesty.

    By the way, I’ve broken bread with Wahabbi Islamics. They were gentle, non-violent, and freedom loving.

  9. I’d like to see some specifics as
    opposed to rhetoric. To compare this country with any as cited above is a misguided and sad form of moral equivalence.

    The history of Islam, while authoritarian, records its caliphs being subject to the opinions of it citizenry. The Iraqi constitution does indeed contain its own “brand” of democracy.

    Wahhabism the ideology, is evil, and promotes evil. God loves its followers as much as He loves me.

  10. “I’d like to see some specifics as
    opposed to rhetoric.”

    Funny – that’s exactly what I was thinking . . .

    Okay how about this specific – Wahabbi Islam is the form of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia – our alliance in the war on terror. Explain that one.

    Or you could just engage in more, name calling, one sided generalizations, double standards and condescension if you prefer.

  11. Big Brother,
    You’re naive to think that Bush and all westerners are not in over their heads in this conflict. Violence always begats violence.

    Ange,
    You’re naive to think that the hatred that Osama and others feel transcends the person who happens to be president. Remember the first bombing at the Trade Center was in the Clinton administration. The bad blood is as old as the creation of the nation of Israel, if not centuries old. We’re dealing with a clash of world views. They percieve our President, our Media, our immorality and our Christianity as an ‘all in one’ package. Our Christianity=our military=our entertainment industry=our promiscuity,etc. They also perceive us as supporters of the ‘oppressive Zionists,’ that is. the nation of Israel who took the land from the Palestinians. We’re looking at a rat’s nest of huge proportion.

  12. Specifics in regard to the U.S. being a fascist state.

    I reviewed my postings, and I don’t see where I called anyone names. I categorized an ideology that promotes the killing of innocents in the name of Allah.

    In a truly fascist state, we’d be unable to even have this debate.

    In an effort to refute premises based on illogic and error, I realize I didn’t address the good Padre’s original question: Why has this President brought out such strong feelings?

    During this country’s post-Christian era, the idea of absolutes is seen as archaic and intolerant. We are taught in our schools that all ideas have equal relevance. Some of our media (Reuters), refuses to even catagorize “terrorists” under the belief that “…one man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter…”

    So when you have a leader who comes along talking as if there are absolutes, people recoil at this hideous suggestion. They become intolerant of the tolerant. And who likes or wants war?

    Couple this with a 24-hour media cycle, we are inundated with negativism, irritation and look to blame those who have the audacity to mess with my life.

    I also think there is a “blame America first” philosophy permeated in our schools and media. While I know there are many skeletons in our historical closet, and there are many areas where this administration has dropped the ball, we still are this world’s best hope for that “shining city on a hill” alluded to by Ronald Reagan.

    This tendency to blame ourselves may come from what noted author and Stanford professor Shelby Steele calls in his latest book “White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era”. In a recent interview Steele states: “…white guilt, which I think defines liberalism, is a response to the stigma that white Americans bear for practicing racism for four centuries. Whites live with this constant pressure of having to demonstrate to the world that they’re not bigots, and this manifests itself in many facets of American life. You see it in our politics, you see it in war, you see it in our immigration debates–the real topic at hand is always secondary, because we’re first trying to prove we’re not racist. Political correctness is an outgrowth of white guilt. It’s a way for guilty-feeling whites to constantly indicate that they’re not racist, not colonialists, not imperialists, not warmongers, and so on. It’s a kind of ritualization of life by which some whites free themselves of the stigma that history has left them. History has left whites stigmatized as racists, just like blacks were stigmatized as inferior. Both of those are irrational conclusions, but that’s how stigma works. And political correctness is a way to address that. So you can’t even get to the problem of immigration and what we’re going to do about people streaming across the borders. On Iraq, a lot of the anti-war movement is so concerned that America not appear to be a racist country fighting poor brown people that they can’t even think about whether we need to be at war. So even the debate on the war on terror is tainted by white guilt.”

    I think Steele is right on in his assessment, and since most of acedemia and media is white, this “guilt” is taught and preached to us until we believe it to be true, whether we are white or not. (I’m not).

  13. Naive? I’m the one calling the rat’s nest what it is rather than trying to make it out to be some kind of God ordained quest for the Holy Grail of freedom American style- –

    I was out on the streets holding my sign over my head in protest BEFORE the war began, while everyone else was draping flags over their crosses and singing God Bless America. I didn’t need to see 2000 body bags,Abu Gharab, a dive in the polls or outrageous prices at the gas pumps to see where this was headed.And I’m naive Seraph?

    Puleeze.

  14. And Orwell – I’m still waiting for an answer to my specific question regarding why we are in alliance with the Wahabbi of Saudi Arabia who you called “the face of evil”. Which I believe is a very nasty name to call anyone.

  15. C’mon Ange,

    To imply the House of Saud is the same as Wahhabism is disingenuous.
    The ruling party in Saudi Arabia is
    very afraid losing power to the Wahhabists. Why do you think one of Bin Laden’s main reason for 9/11 was the presence of “infidels” on Saudi soil?

    And to not see an ideology espousing murder of its own people and other innocents as anything but evil is beyond the pale.

    Incidentally, there are no easy, if any solutions to this cancer that has infected Islam and the rest of the world. I too, have broken bread
    with Muslims, ones who describe Wahhabism as evil.

  16. I don’t know what happened to the long comment I left yesterday, but back to the original topic I’ll try to distill it. I think what gets me personally about Bush is his willingness to alter facts to suit his agenda; he flip flopped more about his reasons going to war than Kerry did the entire campaign. Documentation has surfaced indicating the Administration was aware that the intelligence used to justify his action was false. Based on what the President and his advisors knew to be false, there was action taken that toppled a sovereign government in no way connected wtih Bin Laden. Of, course, nobody would argue Saddam was a swell guy, but there are many other nations the committing human rights violations that we ignore. Most allegations of corruption associated with the Adminstration ends up buried with the supermarket ads within 24 hours, and the actions taken against Valerie Plame have a definite cast of personal retribution to them.
    The President has lied and manipulated the emotions of a frightened nation to achieve his ends and expanded the power of the Executive office beyond its prescibed limits. He decalred the result of the closest election in history to be a “mandate frome th masses” na dhasn’t looked back.
    It would seem that the religious right focuses on two issues-pro life legislation in the form of abortion law asnd stem cell research and the question of gay marriage. They see support for their concerns in this President, and we do elect leaders to serve the interest of the people. This does not make them evil; they are brethren. We all wait for the reign of the LORD; this is our hope. He’s coming back and it’ll all be made right. I have no idea why Bush is president (God Does) and I personally can’t stand him, but I have prayed for him because it’s what my LORD commands.
    It would seem the religious right focuses on personal purity more than love. A great many clanging cymbals. And the progressive movement, of which I am a part, sometimes focuses too much on warm fuzzies and not enough on the reality of sin. On of my fave verses is the one about seeing darkly, but then we will see clearly. This says to me we all have the details a little bit wrong, and we should be more willing to love those created in God’s image rather than our own.

  17. Jaimie,

    I disagree with most of the first part of your posting. Methinks you have substituted propaganda for fact. To wit: Bush did not declare “a mandate from the masses”. He said he had “political capital” and stated this only after the 2004 election, where he recieved more votes than any presidential candidate in history. The 2000 race was the closest in history. Time does not permit me to refute your other statements which I believe to be in error.

    And Jaimie, while I disagree with your categorization of the right’s
    “focus on purity”, I heartily applaud the 2nd half of your posting. If we truly love God, then we must love our neighbor.

    Lord, make me willing. I want to see You face to face.

  18. Oh come on – now you have me laughing outloud Orwell – really.
    After spending three post denegrating all Wahabbi Islam and my calling you on it you now want to separate the House of Saud from Saudi Arabia.You’ve got to be kidding.

    The friend I broke bread with was a Wahabbi from Saudi Arabia.

  19. I’m sorry I’ve missed out on this discussion.

    I’ll just add, “GO, Ange! Give ’em heaven!”

    For now. Maybe more later…

  20. I’ve been here before with Ange. She does believe, truly believe that “right-wing Christian fascism” is morally equivalent to Wahabbism. She thinks you are from the dark side, Orwell.

    Fr. Neo’s question on the table brought out these reasons: 1. Bush has used abortion and gay rights to polarize the nation; 2. He has diverted us from considering the real issues, i.e. war is wrong, capital punishment is wrong, and 3. Bush has picked on poor, democratic Iran, calling them axis members, which has forced them, I guess, into defying the United Nations about nuclear weapons, asking repeatedly for the removal of the state of Israel, and using billions to target and kill Iraqi and Israeli civilians and American soldiers. Bush made them do it. Hard to argue with. Refute this reasoning in any of the islamic countries mentioned and you will lose your head. Refute it here and be trivialized and derided. Aw, c’mon indeed.

  21. Morpheus, not only does she believe “right-wing Christians” are fascists on par with the Wahhabis, she also believes the current US government is akin to the reigns of Il Duce and Der Fuhrer.

    I’m still waiting for specifics instead of rhetoric.

    Ange, to bring you a little more laughter to your day, I remind you
    history is replete with totalitarian leaders trying to play ends against the middle in order to retain power. The Saudi royal family, of which there are hundreds, are no different in this regard.

    In the 1960’s, with modernization and innovation threatening Islam, the Saudi religious authorities pressured King Faisal to allow Saudi Arabia to become a sanctuary for extremist Muslims from Egypt and Syria where the governments were cracking down on fundamentalist scholars and professionals. Faisal invited them to teach Saudi Arabia’s youth.

    His decision had far-reaching consequences; many of today’s Saudi radicals studied under Egyptian and Syrian fundamentalists.

    In 1996 Osama bin Laden declared war against the Americans occupying the lands of the Two Holy Places, (Mecca and Medina), and called on Muslims everywhere to fight the Jews and crusaders. He also accused the Saudi royal family of pocketing the national wealth.

    Today, King Abdullah and the Saudi royal family face the most severe challenge in its one hundred-year history. Ultimately, the Saudis believe an oil dependent America cannot afford Saudi Arabia’s demise. The House of Saud prays it will survive, and not be overthrown by the radical Wahhabists and their evil ideology.

    You’re right Ange, to question the relationship between our government and the House of Saud. Many on the “right” question it as well. But the Saudi royal family is still not the same as radical Wahhabism.

    And I didn’t quite get your comment on “inclusiveness”. Both Christianity and Islam are exclusive. They can’t both be true.

    Anyway, it’s good to know all of our
    problems in the world are George Bush’s fault. I didn’t realize a mere human could be so powerful. I don’t need to feel guilty anymore.

  22. Don’t worry-not insulted. I’m used to more conservative folks saying I’m wrong :-). Madate form the masses or political capital (yes, I know that’s what he actually said, but I was trying to encapsulate and even longer blurb), alot of whatever he had is eroding. I’ll just keep on loving my neighbor with abandon, praying for Bush as I count the days til he leaves, and praying that I don’t start kneeling at the altar of progressive politics as an idol instead of at the feet of Jesus. It’s easy to fall into that trap when you feel passionately about something. If I’m wrong, He’ll tell me. Until then, the Bush adminstation in myt eyes is an astoundingly corrupt and has lied repeatedly to the American people to suit its own ends. Not letting his yes be yes and his no, no.
    Definitely give ’em heaven, Ange. I haven’t had the fortune to know any Muslims at all, so I can’t comment one way or the other on your dinner experience.

  23. We just had a visiting guest preacher who is from Morocco at our church on Peace Sunday. She was telling us how her Baptist husband finds much more of a faith community in the Muslims they break bread with than the fundies that dominate the denomination he grew up in.

    For what it’s worth.

    Anyone I know who knows Muslims personally often say similar things. I think the point would be that dangerous extremists who happen to claim to be Muslim are not especially more commonplace than dangerous extremists who claim Christianity. Or, at least they weren’t until our policies validated and encouraged such action.

    I’m still thinking about your central question, Fr. Neo…

  24. How wide the divide and why?

    A few thoughts.

    1. We have this divide for some good reasons. We are a people with a strong belief in doing right, stopping “terrorism,” standing up to evil. Left, right and middle, humanity is nearly unamimously united in this opposition to evil.

    And this is a good thing. We ought to stand in opposition to evil, right? Where we depart communion is what is and isn’t evil. Some few extremists believe the US to be “the Great Satan.” And, if they were right, they’d be right in standing opposed to us, right?

    Some inclined to support Bush believe many Muslims are “evil terrorists,” and, if they’re correct, they’d be right in standing opposed to them.

    Those of us opposed to Bush’s actions are thus opposed because we believe HIS actions to have evil results. If we’re right, then this too would be a good thing.

    I would think this an obvious point, but I’m not so sure, so I’ll start with that.

    Am I correct in stating that, as a starting point, our division is reflective of a good thing: The desire to stand opposed to evil?

  25. Thank you Dan – I’m not sure why Orwell is soooo stuck on the evils Wahhabi Islam since anyone who watches the news even infrequently knows that terrorist come from very sect of Islam, and that whatever particular tenant said terrorist lay claim to has more to do with the geographical region they came from than anything else. Only 5% of muslims believe in and support terrorism. I’m pretty sure that the House of Saud would take exception to your claim, Orwell that they aren’t really Wahhabi, just as my very normal Islamic friend would have. But since you are demanding “facts” and you used Wikipedia as your source here you go – a direct quote dear heart –
    “The House of Saud is also linked with so-called Wahhabism through the marriage of the son of Muhammad ibn Saud with the daughter of Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab in 1744.The history of the House of Saud has been marked by a desire to unify the Arabian Peninsula and to spread what it claims to be a “more pure and simple” but also controversial view of Islam embodied by Wahhabism”

    I guess its easy for some to lay exclusive claim to “fact” based ideology while dismissing everyone else’s argument as “rhetoric”, but any one who has even a modicum of common sense knows that the issues of the Middle East are based on oil and Zionism. And if it weren’t for the oil, the peoples of the Middle East could annihilate each other with impunity with barely an eyebrow raised by the West – just like in Sudan.

    And BTW Morpheus – Nice to hear from you my old friend. I thought you described me very well. Still have that Guiness waiting in the fridge?

  26. And the crack about inclusiveness was a joke – really. I don’t think that harshly of my friends from the land of Matrix.

  27. Also – for those of you who are still convinced that Iran is full of American hating extremist I would like to recommend the book “Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi and offer a quote from her:
    “…this old and great civilization has been discussed mostly in connection with fundamentalism, fanaticism, and terrorism. As an Iranian who has lived more than half of my life in Iran I know that this image is far from the truth. I believe that an entire nation should not be judged by the wrongdoings of a few extremists. I also don’t want those Iranians who lost thier lives in prisons defending freedom, who died in the war against Iraq, who suffered under various repressive regimes, or who were forced to leave their families and flee their homeland to be forgotten.”

  28. For comedy relief, the goy Dennis Miller recently said the following about the Mideast situation:

    “A brief overview of the situation is always valuable, so as a service to all Americans who still don’t get it, I now offer you the story of the Middle East in just a few paragraphs, which is all you really need.

    Here we go:

    The Palestinians want their own country. There’s just one thing about that: There are no Palestinians. It’s a made up word. Israel was called Palestine for two thousand years. Like “Wiccan,” “Palestinian” sounds ancient but is really a modern invention Before the Israelis won the lan d in the 1967 war, Gaza was owned by Egypt, the West Bank was owned by Jordan , and there were no “Palestinians.”

    As soon as the Jews took over and started growing oranges as big as basketballs, what do you know, say hello to the “Palestinians,”weeping for their deep bond with their lost “land” and “nation.”

    So for the sake of honesty, let’s not use the word “Palestinian” anymore to describe these delightful folks, who dance for joy at our deaths, until someone points out they’re being taped.

    Instead, let’s call them what they are: “Other Arabs Who Can’t Accomplish Anything In Life And Would Rather Wrap Themselves In The Seductive Melodrama Of Eternal Struggle And Death.”

    I know that’s a bit unwieldy to expect to see on CNN. How about this, then: “Adjacent Jew-Haters.” Okay, so the Adjacent Jew-Haters want their own country. Oops, just one more thing. No, they don’t. They could’ve had their own country any time in the last thirty years, especially two years ago at Camp David but if you have your own country, you have to have traffic lights and garbage trucks and Chambers of Commerce, and, worse, you actually have to figure out some way to make a living.

    That’s no fun. No, they want what all the other Jew-Haters in the region want: Israel They also want a big pile of dead Jews, of course — that’s where the real fun is — but mostly they want Israel.

    Why? For one thing, trying to destroy Israel – or “The Zionist Entity” as their textbooks call it — for the last fifty years has allowed the rulers of Arab countries to divert the attention of their own people away from the fact that they’re the blue-ribbon most illiterate, poorest, and tribally backward on God’s Earth, and if you’ve ever been around God’s Earth . . . you know that’s really saying something.

    It makes me roll my eyes every time one of our pundits waxes poetic about the great history and culture of the Muslim Middleast. Unless I’m missing something, the Arabs haven’t given anything to the world since Algebra, and, by the way, thanks a hell of a lot for that one.

    Chew this around & spit it out: 500 million Arabs; 5 million Jews. Think of all the Arab countries as a football field, and Israel as a pack of matches sitting in the middle of it. And now these same folks swear that, if Israel gives them half of that pack of matches, everyone will be pals..

    Really? Wow, what neat news. Hey, but what about the string of wars to obliterate the tiny country and the constant din of rabid blood oaths to drive every Jew into the sea? Oh, that? We were just kidding.

    My friend Kevin Rooney made a gorgeous point the other day: Just reverse the Numbers. Imagine 500 million Jews and 5 million Arabs. I was stunned at the simple brilliance of it Can anyone picture the Jews strapping belts of razor blades and dynamite to themselves? Of course not. Or marshaling every fiber and force at their disposal for generations to drive a tiny Arab State into the sea? Nonsense. Or dancing for joy at the murder of innocents? Impossible. Or spreading and believing horrible lies about the Arabs baking their bread with the blood of children? Disgusting.

    No, as you know, left to themselves in a world of peace, the worst Jews would ever do to people is debate them to death.

    Mr. Bush, God bless him, is walking a tightrope. I understand that, with vital operations in Iraq and others, it’s in our interest, as Americans, to try to stabilize our Arab allies as much as possible, and, after all, that can’t be much harder than stabilizing a roomful of super models who’ve just had their drugs taken away.

    However, in any big-picture strategy, there’s always a danger of losing moral weight. We’ve already lost some. After September 11th, our president told us and the world he was going to root out all terrorists and the countries that supported them.

    Beautiful. Then the Israelis, after months and months of having the equivalent of an Oklahoma City every week (and then every day), start to do the same thing we did, and we tell them to show restraint.

    If America were being attacked with an Oklahoma City every day, we would all very shortly be screaming for the administration to just be done with it and kill everything south of the Mediterranean and east
    of the Jordan.”

    He’s a little harsh and polemic to make his point, kind of a male Ann Coulter don’t you think. We’re all trying to make a Christian response to a very bad situation. Let’s try to do it with love and understanding. If the current British intervention had not worked we would have had an estimated 4000 more deaths of innocents to deal with and we may need a lot of love and humor to survive that without resorting to the “Miller Solution”.

  29. Monco, If you’re referring to today being the celebration of the Dormition of the Theotokos, I’m on pretty safe ground saying that Fr. Neo definately finds today to be a high holy day.

    As for me, Liturgy was wonderful this morning. Truly, all nations shall call her blessed, ever blessed Theotkos, more honored than the Cherubim and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim. Without corruption, she gave birth to God the Logos, truly Theotokos, you do we magnify.

    As for thread hijacking, well, here I am. (grin).

  30. Monco,
    Welcome to the Matrix. We call it the ‘Feast of St. Mary the Virgin’ rather thant the ‘Assumption’ or the ‘Dormition’ of Mary, but I’m right there with y’all.

    Morpheus,
    Arab Supermodels?

  31. I believe Mr. Bush got his tactics from the Isralis. Strike first, strike often, instill fear. That was Israel’s policy until the kinder gentler UN interventions. I agree with Big Brother and Morpheus that we ain’t dealing with gentle, peace loving folks here. Some tough questions: Are we as a nation acting ‘in the name of Christ?’ or are we purely looking out for America’s ‘best interests?’ Are America’s ‘best interests’ the best interests of the Church, Christianity and the gospel? This is why I am not a politician or the son of a politician.

  32. Morpheus – I love you man, but I refuse to even dignify that post by responding to it. My God – go drink my guiness, you need it more than I do, obviously.

    Why don’t we discuss politics at the dinner table? Perhaps because we are holding a knife in one hand and a fork in the other.

  33. Okay then, continuing my thoughts from earlier…

    1. As I stated, it is on the surface, a good thing that we have these differences between us, because they’re there because we are striving to oppose injustice. This is a good, wholesome desire. BUT…

    2. From there, too many of us have decided that because we’re standing against evil, those who disagree with us must be standing in support of evil.

    3. And from there, it becomes relatively easy for many of us to speak ill of They That Support Evil, to twist their words (“He said he doesn’t trust Bush’s leadership. He obviously hates America!” “She said that it’s a good idea to try to understand WHY the terrorists are acting like they do. She obviously supports terrorism!”) – EVEN if the twisted words are patently false – and to generally demonize the enemy.

    4. Once we’ve accepted that the “other side” are not merely brothers and sisters with whom we have a disagreement over vital issues, but are in fact monsters or monster-supporters, then they become less than human.

    5. Once the enemy is less than human, it becomes all that much easier to further twist their words and demonize them and even want to see them stopped, even with violence, EVEN with deadly violence. EVEN deadly violence that kills innocent bystanders in the process.

    And so, even though the initial starting place of opposing evil is a good, if we allow that opposition to begin to allow us to demonize the other side, then we have taken steps down a twisted path that leads to terrorism, that can lead to evil, that leads to becoming that very thing which we had hoped to oppose to begin with.

    What say ye?

  34. Breath of fresh air, Dan. Yes, we have to have another angle, one that rises above the Dennis Miller rant and the DailyKos screed. The Guiness is still your’s, Ange.

  35. Thanks Morpheus – I’m looking forward to it.

    And Dan, I couldn’t have said it better,than Morpheus. A breath of fresh air indeed.

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