The Club

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

It’s no secret that Democrats like Ilhan Omar are openly anti-Semitic and actively seek to destroy Israel.
President Trump says Jews who support such Democrats are betraying their own people and the nation of Israel. 
Paul Mirengoff, writing at Powerline, is upset the President would point this out. Trump is not a Jew.  It’s “inappropriate” for him to speak out.  He “slanders” Jews.
Mirengoff says there are lots of reason Jews might prefer Democrats over Trump, policy reasons or domestic issues.  True, but irrelevant.  If Candidate A says he will give you everything you ever dreamed of, for free, and also will destroy Israel, then voting for Candidate A means you are voting to destroy Israel. 
Mirengoff is the perfect stereotype of the Dave Durenberger – Arne Carlson style of Republican.  It’s no wonder conservatives were sold out time and again while liberals advanced their agenda. 
Being nice is not more important than telling the truth.
Joe Doakes

I suspect Mirengoff (whom I’ve interviewed) is speaking more or less clinically about Jews’ reasons for preferring Democrats, but Joe is correct. It’s easy to “clinical” your way into despotism.

Minnesota’s Intellectual Titan Strikes Again

Former Miss Iraq Sarah Idan lights up Rep. Ilhan Omar – and Muslim extremism:

“Omar does not represent me as a Muslim, (she) does not represent millions of Muslims in the Middle East. You know like in Arab countries we call her the Muslim Brotherhood,” Idan, 29, said on the podcast The Sara Carter Show on Aug. 4.

Now, do you remember when Omar was sworn in? The way she got lionized for representing the future for Muslim women in America?

Apparently Rep. Omar does not (I’m adding emphasis):

Shortly after the interview aired, Omar, 37, fired back at Idan on Twitter, saying, “Hey, I might be wrong but I don’t think you are a #MN05 resident and like that makes be [sic] not your representative.”

#IntellectualHeftAtWork

The former Miss Iraq replied, “Seriously @IlhanMN this is your intellectual come back?” She then went on to lambaste Omar as anti-American and antisemitic. In a series of follow-up tweets she accused Omar of pursuing a “Muslim Brotherhood agenda using this democracy to further YOUR & YOUR FRIENDS Islamic socialism goals of dividing & weakening our country.”

I don’t know who I want to see reading this piece more; DFLers, or the rump Xenophobe coalition in the GOP, who keep asking “where are the Muslims pushing back against the extremists?”, and ignoring when…well, Muslims push back against extremists:

On Friday, Idan also blasted Omar for using her platform as congresswoman to advocate for the freedom of Hoda Abdelmonem, a senior member of the Muslim brotherhood, but not to help women “enslaved by mandatory sharia/in jail awaiting an imminent death for speaking out against dictatorial regimes.”
Idan, who now lives in the US, called out antisemitism taught in Muslim countries and voiced support for Israel at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, last month. She was forced to flee Iraq with her family after receiving death threats in November 2017 for taking a selfie with Miss Israel Adar Gandelsman at the Miss Universe beauty pageant.

Maybe Idan can be persuaded to come to Minnesota and run against Omar?

I doubt the DFL will have her, of course.

The PCUSA And The Big Sort

I’m a Christian.

Beyond that, I’m pretty committed to the Presbyterian church. Part of it is that the church traditionally favors ministers who give really good sermons; my dad was a speech teacher, and “giving speaker points” is kind of the family business. More importantly, I believe the Presbyterian book of worship puts less temporal fuzz between man and Christ than any other denomination.

And American democracy was influenced for the better by the Presbyterian church’s manner of temporal government.

But the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA), the largest Presbyterian denomination in the US, has been pulling *hard* to the left since I was in my twenties. They’ve dived deep into the “social justice” swamp; some congregations go out of their way to make it *extremely* uncomfortable to dissent with church leadership, not on matters of faith, but on matters of temporal government policy and social belief.

And it shows. The PCUSA is on track to disappear, demographically, by 2040 – worse than the Episcopals. Its membership is collapsing faster than the Cleveland Indians every June. It’s easier to find a closed PCUSA church than an operating one in most of the Twin Cities these days. And church leadership – the “General Assembly” – publicly calls this a feature, not a bug; they rejoice at all those dissenters leaving the PCUSA and going elsewhere. They are, in short, participating enthusiastically in tribalizing America – in pushing “The Big Sort” that is polarizing every facet of American life.

The hiring of a full-time gun control activist wrapped in an ecclesiastical costume is just a further nail in the PCUSA’s demographic coffin. I left the PCUSA 12 years ago; it’s a pity, because I’d leave them again if I could.

And I hate that – the fact that the PCUSA is driving people away from their spiritual home over matters that, in the eternal scheme of things, aren’t what the church is supposed to be into. Several of the most important, formative figures of my life are or were PCUSA pastors. Much of what I am today, at least the good stuff, is because of the influence that my church’s pastor and youth group leaders, and some of my Presbyterian-affiliated college faculty, had on me.

I don’t think that matters to the PCUSA anymore.

And when I say “ecclesiastical costume”, I’m being pretty charitable and neutral:

I expect resistance because when you talk about guns, you are tapping into the part of the brain that protects one’s identity. Guns and identity are linked for many people; that is why I have developed a spiritual practice that helps us shift our bodies from fight-or-flight mode and teaches us to welcome and hold with compassion all the sensations that arise in our bodies. When we connect with one another on the level of personal experience, it leads to empathy. Establishing empathy is key in peacemaking.


I’d be tempted to ask if she thinks that’d work with Nik Cruz, Dylan Roof, Omar Matteen and the like – but then, I’m pretty sure “dodging reality” is the reverend’s stock in trade.

If you’re a Presbyterian? There *are* options. I’ve moved to the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. The “Presbyterian Church in America” is also out there. I recommend you take a look at it, if you can.

By the way: “thoughts and prayers” – also known as reflection and rational thought – are *exactly* what is needed after a tragedy or atrocity – and nothing about thinking and praying rules out needed action. But thinking (and if you’re a believer, prayer/meditation/mindfulness) are nothing but a benefit when it comes to taking the *right* action.

And anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to logroll you…

…oh, yeah. Never mind.

The Snowiest Flake

75 years ago, thousands of Americans – teenagers or not far removed from it, mostly – waded through the surf into machine gun fire to begin liberating Europe.

This is their legacy of boldness and forthright courage:

Mr. Ford: the National Day of Prayer “stigmatizes” you in exactly the same way the Irish Fair “stigmatizes” Norwegians.

If Atheists managed to jam down a “National Day of Skepticism”, all it would do is keep them occupied (presumbly withe the vegans and crossfitters) while I go about my business.

But then, I’m not nearly that “woke”, so what do I know?

Sign O The Times

Back about the time I took my first carry permit training, the late great Joel Rosenberg told the story of the time in the early 2000s, during a spate of attacks on synagogues, when a very “progressive”, DFL-leaning local congregation called him and a few other prominent gun rights activists who are also of the tribe, and asked if they might not mind – privately and discretely, mind you – bringing a little “insurance” to services with them.

Just in case.

To the best of my knowledge, they did.

It was probably 2-3 years ago I interviewed the guys from Archway Defense, who discussed how frequently places of worship of all faiths are targeted, by everyone from mentally disturbed vandals to outright hate-criminals and terrorists. The rate – for Christians and Muslims, but especially Jews, is far out of proportion with their numbers in society.

And for all the smug, self-righteous virtue signaling of some congregations, the record is pretty clear; congregations who at least quietly take self-defense into their own hands and leave temporal forgiveness to God tend to do better when someone decides to stage their final blaze of glory in their “sanctuary“.

And common sense is driving some of those congregants and congregations to ask the questions that need to be asked.

And Minnesota’s Second Amendment community has some answers.

We've been contacted by a number of folks in the past day inquiring about arming parishioners at their church, mosque,…

Posted by Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus on Sunday, April 28, 2019

Remember – if you want to deter a spree killer, the only thing that needs to be publicly recognized as “potentially armed” is your congregation, school or group’s reputation.

An Opportunity

To:  The Council for American/Islamic Relations
From:  Mitch Berg, Crabby Peasant
Re:  Well, You Know

Dear CAIR:

For starters – condolences about last week’s shooting.   It’s a horrible thing and proves that even the most placid parts of the First World can be awful, anarchic places.  This should be a lesson for a lot of privileged, white, First World “progressives”…

But I digress.

Your Minnesota chair called for Minnesotans to reject Islamophobia:

The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) held a press conference Friday morning in Minneapolis, with a number of speakers highlighting the threat of anti-Muslim bigotry in the United States and across the world.

Jaylani Hussein, the executive director of CAIR-MN, called for all Minnesotans to stand against Islamophobia.

“The only way we can move forward is when the average Minnesotan says, ‘Not in my state, not on my watch,’” he said. “That is the only way we can move forward.”

On a couple levels, I couldn’t agree more.  I’ve fought with some of my political party’s moron bigot fringe against “Islamophobia”.  And like a lot of  people like me, I’ve offered to take any Muslim citizen who wants to learn a more active form of self-defense to the range (given that the closest thing to a positive lesson one can take from last week’s atrocity is that “a good guy with a gun” works for Muslims too).

But while we’re talking about bigotry – let’s see to all the antisemitism?

Don’t be coy.  You know it exists. You may not agree it’s a bad thing…

…and right there, there’s the problem.

Any chance you could speak out against that?

Have your people call my people.

That is all.

The Real Problem With Ilhan Omar

Some of my conservative – and in some cases “conservative” – circle of acquaintances are exercised over Ilhan Omar’s Muslim faith. Some of the more hysterical believe she’s the vanguard of an invasion bringing “Sharia” law to the United States.

In its time, the US has withstood attacks by the greatest empire the world has ever known, by international socialism, Naziism and Communism. A seventh-century ideology that can barely feed its own people isn’t going to conquer us. And Muslims make up less than half a percent of the American population; if they manage to impose Sharia on the other 99.5% of the population, the majority will probably deserve what befalls them.

But the problem with Ilhan Omar isn’t that she’s Muslim. It’s that she’s a “progressive“:

Ilhan Omar attended a 2017 conference in Istanbul with left-wing advocates, including a pro-abortion group that calls for “abortions beyond laws and borders,” and activists who aim to “challenge patriarchal structures.”
Rolling Stone recently lauded the congresswoman, who has repeatedly made anti-Semitic comments, as “everything Trump is trying to ban.” Omar told the magazine she was afraid to leave the country in early 2017 after President Donald Trump signed an executive order restricting travel from seven Middle Eastern countries the administration identified as terrorist hotbeds.
“I had just gotten sworn in [to the Minnesota Legislature] two weeks before,” Omar said, remarking on the executive order 13769, signed on Jan. 27, 2017. “There was lots of chaos, people being stopped at the airports. I had a flight scheduled a week after to speak at a human-rights conference in Turkey. I didn’t know whether I could go.”…The conference was in Istanbul, Turkey, which was not affected by the travel ban. Nevertheless, Omar used her upcoming appearance at the International Human Rights Defenders Conference, which was organized by the local Turkish government and the British Embassy in Ankara, as a cudgel to attack the president.

“Progressivism” will destroy this country long before Islam will.

“But she’s an anti-Semite!”

So are “Progressives”. Any antisemitism that comes from her Muslim background is an intersection with her real religion, “progressivism” – not an addition.

The GOP Dumbass Bigot Caucus

GOP precinct in Texas is working on removing a high-ranking officer…

Because he’s Muslim :

 Republican leaders in one of the most populous counties in Texas want to remove a party vice chairman because he’s Muslim, according to emails between party leaders.

The emails delivered anonymously to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram indicate the Tarrant County GOP executive committee plans to vote Jan. 10 on whether to remove Shahid Shafi from his leadership position.

Some in the party say Shafi, a surgeon and city council member in a Fort Worth suburb, may be more loyal to Islamic law or not supportive enough of the party’s pro-Israel platform.

Shafi counters that he supports American laws and the court system, and says he has no affiliation to “any terrorist organization,” as some have alleged. Shafi, who became a U.S. citizen in 2009 and shortly after joined the Republican Party, says he supports the Second Amendment and has never promoted Sharia, or Islamic, law.

Members of the Republican Party’s burgeoning “Dumbass Bigot Caucus” would respond by claiming “every Muslim in the universe obeys every “Hadith” in the Koran to the letter, including the ones about deceiving infidels”, implying that Muslims, regardless of sector or even observance (25% of ethnic/cultural Muslims are non-observant) adhere to their holy texts absolutely, without question and all in the same way, in a way that no other faith does (or perhaps you’ve noticed how not a single Catholic gets divorced or get an abortion, no evangelicals ever root for Notre Dame, and no Jews ever, ever eat pork).

Radical Islam – Wahhabism and radical Shia – and attendant Muslim laws are a threat to western civilization – or at least to weak, fundamentally corrupt and decaying ones, like in Europe. The United States is still, despite the best efforts of progressives, a vibrant, strong, resilient nation, the kind of place people want to come to. We cannot, and will never be, defeated by an external threat – List of all by one that wants to drag humanity back to the seventh century A.D.

Progressivism, on the other hand, is a clear, present, immediate threat to this nation and everything that made it strong, vital and resilient. And this kind of bigotry drives pro-life, pro free market, pro second amendment, pro constitutional, people who happen to be Muslim straight into the arms of the progressives.

It is – I’ll be diplomatic – cripplingly shortsighted, and the kind of thing that needs to be expunged from the party.

Rena Moran And The Pro-Mutilation Lobby

In the last session, legislation that would have added penalties to parents for subjecting their daughters to “female circumcision” – more accurately called “genital mutilation” – passed by a near-unanimous margin in the House, but stalled in the Senate.  The DFLers who opposed the bill carried out the wishes of the far-left “there are no bad cultural traditions in a multicultural society!” crowd, who believe that further regulating the practice of forever crushing a young female’s chance of enjoying sex would keep families from going to the doctor, lead to troubles with immigration authorities, and push the barbaric practice even farther underground.

Not sure I remember having the same deference to Christian parents who were also snake-handlers.  I’ll have to look into that.

The practice is illegal in Minnesota – but taking children to one of the 23 states where it’s not is currently a loophole under Minnesota law.

Mary Franson, the author of the last bill, is back – and pushing it into the face of the multi-culti majority in the House:

Rep. Mary Franson, an Alexandria Republican, said Friedman’s ruling underscores the need for her bill, which passed the House 124-4 in 2017, but never got a vote or hearing in the Senate in the 2017 or 2018 sessions. The Michigan case was the impetus for her bill.

“I will never stop fighting for the safety of little girls, and will keep working to put an end to this barbaric practice and punish parents who subject their daughters to these horrors,” she said in a statement.

Franson is asking for hearings on the bill with the House Health and Human Services Committee.

The committee is chaired by Rena Moran – one of the four DFLers who voted against the bill in the house during the last session.

So the question becomes:  will Rena Moran be standing up for the rights of parents to mutilate their children?

Logic Akbar

SCENE:   Mitch BERG is browsing for saw chains at Menards’ in the Midway, when Fudd GLUNK, vice chair of the Ramsey County chapter of “Sharia is Coming!  Sharia is Coming!”, walks around the corner.

GLUNK:  Merg!

BERG:  Er…hey, Fudd…

GLUNK:  Islam’s goal is to impose Sharia Law on all of us!

BERG:  [Looking as if he knows he’ll regreat asking] And we know this how…

GLUNK:  Because the Koran say so!

BERG:  And because Muslims, like all the the world’s major faiths, always follow their holy texts to the absolute word, in exactly the same way.

GLUNK:   Yes!

BERG: Which is why you will never, ever find a Catholic gettng divorced, a Jew eating bacon, an Evanglical protestant fornicating, or a Hindu eating beef, ever.

GLUNK:  They’re different.

BERG:  Different how?

GLUNK:  Because the Koran tells them exactly what to do.

BERG:  As opposed to the BIble, the Torah…

GLUNK:  Their goal, every last one of them, is to impose Sharia on the world.  By force if needed, by guile if possible.  They Koran allows no exceptions.

BERG:  So Muslims, unlike all the world’s faiths, are unanimously diligent in obeying their various holy texts.

GLUNK:  Yes.  The Koran says so.  There is only one Koran.

BERG:  That’s pure baked wind.  There are six major branches of Islam, and probably six dozen minor ones – they may be more fragmented even than Christianity with its 3-4 major divisions.  And one of the things they fragment over is waht “Jihad” actually means.  To radical fundamentalist Sunni like ISIS, and radical fundamentalist Shi’a like the Iranians, it means “impose Islam by all means necessary”, while Sufis are downright pacifistic, and have gotten clobbered through the centuries by their Sunni and Shi’ite neighbors for the trouble.

And pretty much any imam can tack on his own interpretation beyond that – which was why the Imam at exactly one mosque in Minneapolis decided that touching pork, not eating it, and being in the presence of dogs rather than owning and being in contact with them, was a sin, thus becoming the only Muslims in America to actually practice such beliefs.

GLUNK: Haha, Merg. The Koran says that all apostates must be killed!

BERG: And among the acts that qualify as “apostasy” in purist Islam are living in a non-theocratic country – Muslim or not – much less voting for a government, since the only non-apostatic government is the Caliph. And all those Muslim girls in our public school systems? They and their parents are all in biiiiiig Koranic trouble, since educating girls is trayf.

GLUNK: Trayf?

BERG: Never mind.

GLUNK: The Koran allows Muslims to deceive the infidel! It’s called tak…er, takk…

BERG: Taqqiya.

GLUNK: Yeah!

BERG: So every Muslim in a non-theocratic Muslim country is a sleeper agent?

GLUNK: The Koran says so!

BERG: You’re aware that the Christian churches of Europe, after decades of free fall, have finally plateaued, almost entirely from Muslims converting?

GLUNK:  They are just laying low until they get their opportunity.

BERG:  Yeah, that must be it.  Interesting fact; the first mosque in the United States was in Ross, North Dakota; the Syrian/Lebanese community that built it pretty much intermarried with the local Swedes and Germans, and is pretty much indistinguishable from the locals 120 years later – in fact, I went to high school with some of their descendants and didn’t even know about it.

If they’re sleeper agents, they’re pretty dang effective.

GLUNK:  You must be some kind of Muslim accomodationist!

BERG:  Not at all.  I’m a Christian, a conservative, and an American nationalist and exceptionalist.    I’d never convert to Islam, and I can argue articulately exactly why.    Our nation needs to accept immigrants – and insist that they assimilate.  Which is why when we get a Muslim coming to the GOP, I welcome them – because “going to a Republican party event” is as assimilatory as buying a house in Burnsville with a freaking white picket fence.

GLUNK:  You’re just a useful idiot for Sharia Law!

BERG:  About half a percent of Minnesota’s population is Muslim.  If we get Sharia imposed on us by half a percent of the population, we’ll probably deserve it.

But think about this for a moment.  Radical Islam – the Wahhabi, the Shi’ite fundies in Iran – that is most definitely a danger.

But progressivism is a danger to this country right now – and if we take every single new immigrant to this country and, via ignorant intolerance, turn them into Democrat / “progressive’ voters, we’ll be doing for our enemies what they could never do for ourselves.

GLUNK:  I suppose now you’re going to come up with some clever punchline to end this sketch?

BERG:   At this point, it’d be redundant, wouldn’t it?

And SCENE

Get Woke, Go Empty

So if you have a church that softpedals the Jesus stuff to focus on social-justice scolding, you’re telling me people will take their spiritual quests elsewhere?

Who’da thunk it?

This article from the Strib doesn’t call out “social justice warfare masquerading as a church” directly.   But…:

The Mainline Protestant churches are emptying the fastest, according to the Star Tribune.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has nearly 200,000 fewer members in Minnesota than it did in 2000. It’s lost around 150 churches. More than 1,000 of the churches still in existence have fewer than 50 members… Since 1990, the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. and United Church of Christ have lost nearly half their national members. The ELCA has lost a third. The Catholic church still shows membership growth, but has 2,000 fewer parishes today, according to Catholic studies.

While fewer Americans are going to church, the Strib’s article focuses on the complete collapse of “mainline” – which may as well be “code for ‘co-opted by progressivism”” Protestant churches.

(And the Catholics have their own problems).

The article doesn’t talk a  lot about evangelical Protestants – probably for good reason.

I was about to write “…it’s a theological, not partisan, issue” – but of course, that’s the rub; the fact that the mainline protestant sects – including the Presbyterian church I grew up in, whose book of worship puts less temporal BS between man and God than any other, and whose traditions (traditionally) better facilitate at least my own personal faith than any other – have been so completely cheapened and debased by facile, frivolous progressism – is a huge net loss to this nation’s faith community.

 

 

Epic Fail

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

This guy lacks the intellectual rigor to preach Christian morality.  “If it feels good, do it” appears nowhere in the Gospels and that’s the basis of the abortion problem.

If we encourage young people to have sex, some will get pregnant.  If we make marriage optional and divorce a matter of whim, there’s low probability a pregnant young woman can look forward to a stable future with the baby’s father helping her raise their child.  If we insist young women must go to college to have careers, the pregnant ones facing an unstable family life burdened with a child, will feel compelled to terminate the pregnancy by abortion.  At that point, it does no good to say “abortion is a matter of personal choice” because the deck already is stacked to create the predictable outcome.

The chain of moral failures started in the backseat of the boyfriend’s car.  That’s where the preacher ought to focus.  He’s abdicating his moral responsibility to the unwed mother and to her unborn child.  He’s not an evangelist, he’s a hedonist.  Oh, and he’s against Trump.  How could I have predicted that?

Joe Doakes

It’s pretty much a 1:1 correlation.

Grab A Hammer

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A Jew turned Christian turned Evangelical says Christians “sold” their principles in supporting Trump.  Time to move beyond social battles and forsake the politics of hate, fear and violence.  Time to embrace gun control.  Time to be like Episcopalians.

In other words, Never Trump.

He’s not alone.  Catholic bishops in the United States have embraced Open Borders, climate change, gun control . . .

In other words, Never Trump.

I don’t understand the New World Order.  I’m stuck in the Old World, the world in which the purpose of religion was to save my immortal soul from eternal damnation, a risk posed by my personal moral failings.  Hellfire and damnation were the punishment for sin, not the result of global warming caused by greenhouse gasses emitted by the engine in my car. I was admonished to live in the world, but not be of it, that I might someday be worthy of salvation and heaven.

Either everybody has been doing it wrong for the last 2,000 years or modern religion has completely lost its way.  I’m beginning to think it’s time to write out a few theses and find myself a hammer.

Joe Doakes

When progs finally get around to rewriting the Bible, Christ will work for a non-profit that sought justice for carpenters.

Faith-Based

As I’ve pointed out in the past, few things annoy me more than the “people” who, when people respond with “thoughts and prayers” after some sort of tragedy or another, bellow “F**K YOUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS – WE’VE GOT TO DOOOOO SOMETHING!”, where “SOMETHING” invariably means “some emotion-driven knee-jerk response that will do nothing to deal with the problem, but will serve Big Let’s agenda nicely”.

So it’s interesting to note that we, in fact, are right:

Prayer might make people feel better, but, as some critics have argued, does it direct their attention away from problems that need to be addressed? In other words, is prayer a distraction? Recent behavioral science experiments suggest that it isn’t, that prayer helps people focus their attention. In one study, research participants with varying levels of religiosity completed cognitive tasks that assess attention. After finishing these tasks, they were instructed to bring to mind one concern in their lives. One group of participants was then asked to spend ten minutes praying about that concern. Another group was asked to spend ten minutes thinking about that concern. A final group spent that time working on a puzzle. Then they repeated the attention tasks. Researchers looked for changes in their performance and found that among highly religious individuals, praying about a life concern, compared with thinking about it or being distracted with a puzzle, improved cognitive performance. No differences were observed among the less religious. These findings are consistent with the researchers’ proposal that prayer frees up cognitive resources needed to focus on mental tasks by reducing the extent to which people are distracted by negative emotions.

I’ve found that metaphysics and theology aside, it helps put emotional turbulence in context and free up mental resources for the rational thought actually needed after a crisis.

Which is another weapon Big Left thinks only the government really needs…

 

An App I’m Working On

Earthquake

Americans who are weary of Muslim excuses ask “so when will ‘moderate Muslims’ take a stand against the radicals?”

Here you go; one of them is taking a stance against the radicals:

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman invited Egypt’s Coptic Christians to visit Saudi Arabia after a rare meeting in Cairo’s main cathedral.

Speaking to Egyptian media after the visit the head of the Egyptian church, Pope Tawadros II said: “In the name of the Coptic Orthodox church we welcome Prince Mohammed’s visit to his second country Egypt.

“Prince Mohammed spoke a lot of his affection for the Copts,” the Pope said, adding that the kingdom’s heir to the throne invited him and all Copts to visit Saudi Arabia.

The two men walked together through St Mark’s Cathedral, in what Egypt’s state news agency described as the first tour of its kind.

The visit came on the second day of the Saudi Crown Prince’s visit to Egypt – his first foreign visit since he became heir to the throne. …

He also met Egypt’s top Islamic official, Ahmad Al-Tayyeb at Al-Azhar, the foremost seat of learning in Sunni Islam.

Thomas Lifson notes in AmThinker:

Simply stated, MbS is seeking to defang Muslim extremists who seek to destroy Christianity in Arab- and Muslim-majority countries. Garnering support from the most respected source of Islamic scholarship (no doubt accompanied by the offer of funds from the Saudi treasury) is the carrot to be used in persuading Wahhabi clergy to change their preaching, with the denial of Saudi funds to recalcitrant advocates of armed jihad supplying the stick.

This is potentially huge.

So why is it getting zero reporting in the Big Media?

Blame Truimp!

American media mostly are clueless about religion and lack any understanding of the momentous changes underway in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with the full support of the Trump administration. The fact that MbS is reputed to be close to Jared Kushner seals the deal: the mainstream media have little interest in extolling the world-historical transition underway in the nation that is pre-eminent in Sunni Islam, the Guardian of the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina, and which has been the moneybags for radical jihadists for three generations.

Bin Salman is taking a huge risk – the Wahhabi aren’t going to be happy, being cut off from all that oil money.

But if it goes right, this – and the very quiet Saudi discussions with the Israelis –  could be an epochal change the religious war in the middle east.

And if it’s tied to Trump, Big Left will deny, or scupper, it.

Billy Graham

He may have been the greatest evangelist in history, claiming to have preached to over 200 million in person over the years.  Billy Graham passed away yesterday at age 99.

Like Charlton Heston, he broke a lot of Big Left’s narratives:

In the 1960s, he ardently opposed segregation, refusing to speak to segregated audiences.

“The ground at the foot of the cross is level,” he once said, “and it touches my heart when I see whites standing shoulder to shoulder with blacks at the cross.”

He was incredibly influential:

Graham also was noted for consulting and praying with every U.S. president from Dwight Eisenhower to Barack Obama, who in April 2010 visited Graham at his mountaintop cabin in North Carolina. He also met with President Harry Truman in what was initially a contentious meeting after Graham spoke to the press, but the two men later viewed the episode as a humorous incident.

Modern times tangent;  I’ll be staying away from Twitter today.  I can imagine the left’s comments about Graham will be down to their usual standard.

What’s The Fastest Way For An Obscure Republican To Get Famous Instantly?

Republicans aren’t much for celebrity.  We don’t care much about them, and we tend not to be them.     Even among ourselves.

But if you are a Republican – and, redundant to say, obscure – there still are a few ways to become famous.

The big one?   Express any view that is grossly out of whack with society at large, to say nothing of the GOP (which, outside most metro areas, reflects “society at large” pretty completely).

For example, you could be like this fellow in Illinoiis,who is running for. Congress in the greater Chicago area:

Arthur J. Jones, 70, of Lyons, is the lone candidate on the March 20 Republican primary ticket for the seat that includes Western Springs, La Grange and parts of southwestern Chicago. Jones, a former member of the American National Socialist Workers Party, has run for political office several times in the past but has never made it past the primary stage in the 3rd District.

He may get on the ballot as a “Republican” because there’s no other GOP challenger in the Illinois’ stultifyingly blue 3rd District.  The IL GOP has been fighting against the guy for years; I have no idea what the rules are to run as any given party on a ballot in Illinois, and it’s for damn sure the Chicago Tribune isn’t going to explain them; they got their headline:  Holocaust denier likely to appear on ballot for GOP for Chicago-area congressional seat”.

And that’s all that really matters, isn’t it?

Of course, the issue strikes a bit close to home for me; last week, the chairman of the Fourth CD GOP – Republicans in Ramsey and parts of Washington county – made a posting on the district’s Facebook page that went (hold on to your hats, here)  viral – at least among people who are watching an obscure GOP official in an utterly blue district.

Or this fella in Coon Rapids who’s become perhaps the most famous caucus attendee  in Minnesota.

A thousand of us could descend on Cedar Riverside and plaster the place an inch deep in “All People Are Created Equal” flyers and it wouldn’t get a second on the news, anywhere.  And I’m tempted to try it, if only to cover an entire neighborhood in paper.

Oh Grouse All Ye Faithful

I left the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) a few years ago because of the relentless politicization of their services,

But on Christmas even, I went back to a local PCUSA congregation for their Christmas Eve concert service; the church has a choir and chamber orchestra and they do a really really excellent musical service. Given how awful Presbyterian choirs usually are, it’s doubly surprising; it’s one of my favorite ways to spend Christmas Eve.

Musically, anyway. Which is a wonderful thing.

But the pastor’s homily was kind of jarring. He asked why we were there – which is far from an unusual Christmas sermon theme, and the pastor asked it far from unusual; we might be there, he speculated, because we were seeking the familiar, or because it was something our loved ones who were no longer with us might have loved, or even because it was our home congregation.

Or maybe, he said, it was out of fear. Fear of the craziness of today’s politics. Fear for some amorphous group he called “the dispossesed”. Fear of the “very real threat” of nuclear war breaking out.

And after almost asking out loud “where WERE you during the Cold War?”, I thought to myself; here’s a minister of a *very* well-off congregation, full of people who gave off visible signs of not just “privilege”, but that self-assured sense people have when they have several generations of assurance that Their Opinions Matter in this world; legislators and city councilpeople return their calls, their agendas find their way into the halls of power, and they were very, very well-represented in Saint Paul’s and Minnesota’s political class.

And this on top of the fact that, for the vast majority of this world – especially in its less tony quarters, far removed from green leafy Crocus Hill – *things have never been better*. For the first time in the history of the world, obesity is a bigger problem to the people of this world than malnutrition. While there are some ugly situations around the world, more of the world has been at peace longer than at virtually any time in history. Outside of a few flashpoints, fewer people per capita are dying violently in this world than at any time in history I can think of.

The minister was talking less about “fear” than about “lingering anger about the wrong person winning the last election”. Which is indistinguishable from fear in some people.

If I were inclined to be bothered by, well, anything on Christmas (and I am not), it would have put an ugly blot on an otherwise beautiful service.

(Which makes it an ugly blot that doesn’t bother me, I guess)

Virtue Preaching

The Methodists, like the Presbyterian Church in the USA that I grew up in (and, it’d seem much of American Catholicism to boot) is slowly spinning itself into an institution that observes a holy trinity; social justice the mother, political correctness the other mother, and virtue-signaling the spirit.

Witness the United Methodists’ bishop, Dr, Karen Oliveto – herself a virtue signal, as the UMC’s first Lesbian Bishop.

Oliveto was elected with a flurry of virtue-signalling glee a few years ago – and has spent her term basically turning the United Methodists into even more of a pseudo-Unitarian cult than it was before:

“Too many folks want to box Jesus in, carve him in stone, create an idol out of him. But this story cracks the pedestal we’ve put him on. The wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting one, prince of peace, was as human as you and me. Like you and me, he didn’t have his life figured out. He was still growing, maturing, putting the pieces together about who he was and what he was supposed to do. We might think of him as the Rock of Ages, but he was more like a hunk of clay, forming and reforming himself in relation to God.

As one person put it: ‘Jesus wasn’t a know-it-all, he was also learning God’s will like any human being and finally he changed his mind…if Jesus didn’t have to know it all innately, but rather could grow into new and deeper understanding through an openness to God’s people [even those he formerly discounted], maybe if Jesus could change his mind then maybe so can we!”

When it comes to the Christian Trinity, it’s said that Catholics obsess over God the Father, the dealer of punishment and guilt, shorting the whole “Salvation” via the Son and Spirit bit.  Evangelicals, on the other hand, focus on the spirit, sometimes to the detriment of the authority, and often to the shorting of the humanity, of Christ.  And mainline American protestants?  They focus on the Son – the redemption, the forgiveness – sometimes shorting the authority and the spirit.

But other than gutting the traditional understanding of who and what Christ was…

…well, she’s LGBTQ…

Nice Try, Snowflake

A guy named Richard Lindsay, a professed Christian writing on “Patheos” – a “progressive” Christian megablog – “renounces” his right to keep and bear arms:

I hereby renounce my right to bear arms.I will not keep guns in my house, in my car, or on my person. I will not rely on guns for self-protection. I do not believe owning a gun is a fundamental human right like freedom of speech or freedom of religion. I do not believe owning a gun is the responsibility of a citizen in a democracy. I am capable of functioning in society without resorting to the threat or use of lethal force.

Isn’t that special?

Sorry, Rich.  Your rights are endowed to you by your creator.  You can choose not to exercise them.  You can even choose not to value them, or fight to allow government to illegitimately strip them away from us if you’d like.

But you can’t “renounce” your actual human rights any more than you can renounce the species you were born as.  You can tell everyone you want that you’re a dog; you can even lobby to have the law classify you, and all humans, as dogs if you’d like.  It doesn’t make you a dog.

You’re a human.  With a miserably subservient view of human rights.

I’m a Christian too – rather militantly so, actually – and there are few things in this world that nauseate me more than “Christian” gun control activists.

Appearances

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Somebody threw an improvised explosive from a moving van onto the lawn at a mosque in Minneapolis at 5:00 a.m. last Saturday.  Blew out some windows, nobody injured.  Governor Dayton is all over this ‘act of terrorism’ which is part of a massive upsurge in violence against Muslims nation-wide, all caused by Trump, no doubt.

Except . . .

Most Minnesotans couldn’t identify a mosque if they were standing in front of one.  Most Minnesotans couldn’t identify an imam if they were standing next to one, nor would they know his daily schedule to target him. Minnesota has no history of violence against Muslims (Catholics, yes; Muslims, no).  IEDs are not a weapon commonly used in Minnesota crimes.  It doesn’t feel like a Minnesota crime.

You know who could identify a mosque, uses terror as a weapon and is familiar with IEDs from the Old Country?  Muslims.  You know who blows up buildings all over the world?  Muslims. You know which Minnesota minority has contributed the most new members to Islamic terror groups?  Muslims. You know which religion has sects utterly devoted to killing each other?  Shia and Sunni Muslims.  This feels like a Muslim crime.

 

If the bombing was a real act of terror, how does the Governor know this was Minnesotans persecuting Muslims?  How does he know it’s not ordinary Islamist sectarian violence?

And what if it wasn’t a real crime at all?  The bombing was carefully timed to avoid hurting people and to do only cosmetic damage. Nobody has claimed responsibility.  There are no suspects.  What if this is another in a long string of hate crime hoaxes? You know who has the most to gain from a hate crime hoax?  I’ll give you a hint: remember the ‘flying imams’ fake hate crime at the airport and who benefitted from that?  Muslims.

The Governor insists this is an act of terrorism committed by cowardly Minnesotans.  I’ve been skeptical since day one and now, we have more evidence it may have been a publicity stunt.  Muslims are complaining Trump hasn’t dropped everything to rush to Minnesota to condemn the bombing.  “He has to come here and at least express his feelings and say this is bad.”

No, that’s precisely what Trump does NOT need to do.  Amazingly, he’s sharp enough to know it.  The press secretary got it right.  It’s a local crime, if it’s a crime at all.  There are no national security implications. There is no federal government component that is being ignored.  This is not a matter for the President.

Listen up, guys. You are not the boss of him.  You don’t get to tell him where to go and what to say.  Acting like you’re so special that the President himself is at your beck and call . . . is the attitude that got him elected in the first place.  And Muslims setting off bombs in America is the reason his ban on travel from war-torn Muslim countries ban is entirely justified.

Joe Doakes

We don’t know much about the bombing – which was nearly two weeks ago – yet.

But Joe articulated a few points that I felt, but couldn’t quite put my finger on.

“Terrorism”

Earlier this week “Governor” Dayton declared the firebombing of a Bloomington mosque “terrorism” – notwithstanding the fact that no investigating agency has released any conclusions about motive.

Which is a little strange, given that tis’ been five days, now.

Make no mistake; there is a xenophobic minority in this state.  Eventually, one of them could – or may have – done something stupid.

But on Monday, I pointed out that if I were a betting man (and I’m not), I’d put at least a little money on the idea that the Bloomington attack was a hoax.   Too much says “contrived” to me:

  • The “firebomb” was tiny; it scorched the floor and burned some drapes.  Not that there’s such a thing as a good firebomb, but still.
  • It landed in an unoccupied room.  Now, that could have been blind happenstance.  But…
  • …the actual sanctuary of the mosque was full of people conducting morning prayers – who would, of course, be “witnesses” to this hate crime.

I could very well be wrong – but I say even money it was a hoax.

Oh, yeah – one other factor.  Nearly every other “hate crime” since November 8 has been a hoax as well.  By my unscientific but focused count, it’s not even close; among “hate crimes” that’ve gotten any publicity, it’s been overwhelmingly hoaxes.

Seems like people think being a victim includes victimizing oneself.

And there is, unfortunately, precedent; the vandalism at a Saint Cloud mosque two years ago, which was trumpeted far and wide as a sign of gathering xenophobia, turned out to be a parishioner – who, to his dubioius “credit”, turned out to be operating less from misplaced political victimology-mongering than from being, from the press report, kind of an impulsive idiot.

Which didn’t stop Minnesota’s Big Left from trying to pin that attack on, well, you and me.

Blast From The Past

Robert Fisk – the gassy far-left Brit columnist upon whose oeuvre the term “fisk” was launched – is back with a bit of virtue-signaling…

…that actually has a point, although I’m not sure Fisk knows it.

The headline – “When you watch Dunkirk, remember that it’s a whitewashed version which ignores the bravery of black and Muslim soldiers” – set off a bit of a teapot-tempest on social media over the weekend.

He’s got about a third of a point.

About a third of the French Army in 1940 was from France’s overseas colonies; black troops from Guinea and Cameroon, Muslim Arabs from Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria, and Black Muslims from Senegal and Chad.    They were among France’s best troops, too – solid fighters who didn’t bother much with hardships in the field.  They were a significant part of the French First Army, the vanguard of the French armed forces which had joined with the Brits in advancing into Belgium, only to be cut off by the Blitzkrieg through the Ardennes.

And when Churchill decided to evacuate the “British Expeditionary Force” – the British Army in France and Belgium – with the original stated intent of sending them back to Franch to continue the battle – it was the French First Army that held the Germans off long enough to carry off the evacuation (and then, long enough to get about half of its own troops evacuated).

And among those troops – among the best and bravest of them – were the colonials.

Fisk:

A justly cynical revue of Nolan’s Dunkirk by Francois Pédron in Paris Match points out, correctly, that 18,000 French troops paid with their lives to hold the Dunkirk perimeter and 35,000 were made prisoner – almost 140,000 French soldiers were rescued from Dunkirk – but that not only do the victors write history. Filmmakers write the “history” too, Pedron wrote. He is right. The true story of the Algerian and Moroccan units has still to be filmed. It would make a terrifying drama. The Germans threw raw meat into the prison cages of Algerian and African troops – to show cinemagoers how they fought for the food and tore it to pieces like animals. Algerians were massacred by the Nazis on racial grounds – an act which strongly supports the suspicion of some intellectual Arabs today: that Hitler, after destroying the Jews of Europe and the Middle East, would have next turned his exterminating fury against their Semitic Arab brothers.

All true enough.

(SPOILERS FOLLOW)

But if you remember the movie, there really was exactly one filmic depiction of the French Army holding the line; the squad of metropolitan French holding the roadblock in the town of Dunkirk, in the first two minutes of the show.  That’s it.

So yes – Christopher Nolan, in telling the story of three British people at Dunkirk, neglected the stories of black and Muslim French soldiers.

Also those of the rest of the French Army – Catholic, atheist, and otherwise.

It’s the French as a nation, stupid.

And just to show that Robert Fisk is still the fisk-worthy fella he’s been for a decade and a half:

Much has been made, inevitably in The Guardian, of Nolan’s failure to acknowledge the presence of Muslim troops at Dunkirk – Muslim Indian Commonwealth soldiers (from what is now Pakistan)

Which may be because Christopher Nolan is a racist.

Or, perhaps, because the British Expeditionary Force included no “Bengali” (what they called Pakistani) troops – or, for that matter, any of the much more numerous Indian Hindi troops that also served the Brits in the millions.  While the British military included millions of troops from colonies like India and Hong Kong, like the French, colonial troops served in colonial units.  The Indian and Bengal troops served in large numbers in North Africa, the Middle East, and southeast Asia – including defending India itself from a Japanese invasion – but only rarely did they serve in Northwest Europe during /world War 2.

While PC virtue signaling is easy, facts are hard.