August 20, 2010


Around the time of the Kennedy-Nixon campaign in 1960, I had a brief, adolescent fling with a girl who was both Irish and Roman Catholic. I'm Protestant and not Irish. In the northeast of that time ethnicity and religion mattered a lot, so we were pioneers of ecumenism. We had a little fun together until the subject of religion came up. As I recall it ricocheted off her parents' infatuation with JFK.
She said it was "easy" to be a Protestant because we had so few religious requirements, and hard to be Catholic because they had a lot. She intimated that I would probably go to Hell. I knew a little about Catholicism, so I let her have it. Protestantism was hard, I said, because we didn't have the escape hatch of Confession, or Hail Mary's, Purgatory for the semi-bad, Limbo for infants or any "mumbo-jumbo" - a poor choice of words. I lied that we Protestants encountered God face to face, without intermediaries.

That pretty much ended our relationship, and not much later I had a fistfight with her Italian cousin because she reported my heresies to him. I resented that, but I wasn't surprised. To be clear, I didn't get my opinions at home. My parents were largely prejudice-free. I'm pretty sure that I just picked them up, in the post-war ethnic hothouse of old industrial Connecticut.

There were also some hard facts in my head, like my horror at an open-casket, Catholic wake I attended in 1959, for one of our football players who died of a brain injury suffered in a game. The kid was Polish. He lay in his coffin with a white linen cap covering his shaved head and surgery scars. Rosary Beads were coiled around his hands.

His wake, what we Protestants call "viewing" or "visiting hours", was scary, with lots of praying, sobbing, bead-fondling, kneeling, crossing, and prolonged painful viewing of the body. Protestant visiting hours were as they should be, with visitors as apparently dead as the deceased, and quieter than a catnip mouse.

There was also a nunnery in our town, at the Italian parish on the east side. It sent squads, platoons, companies of nuns to the Saturday streets, looking for any of my Catholic schoolmates who might be in line for a banned movie, or smoking a cigarette; swearing near the open windows of the YMCA gym, or in a variety store browsing the mags.

And there was the Friday fish thing, First Communions, Confirmations, the secretive CYO and the fey priests at Little League games. Protestants had none of this. We were free to smoke, swear, watch horror films, read "Cavalier", sit during the Doxology and lose a baseball game manfully, without consoling prayers.

I moved away from there, and learned much later that my girlfriend was radicalized by the ethical sham and humanist platitudes of The Age of Aquarius. She went off to some precious ladies' college up north. If I wonder who she's making miserable today, she was right about Protestantism then. It was easy; even easier now.

The "mainstream" Protestant churches in the suburbs of my old home town offer an insipid poster-art Christianity. Denominations no longer matter, because having nothing controversial to assert, they agree on everything and cook up a bland theological slurry to feed victimized groups rather than plainly ministering to sinful individuals.

The old forms of self-disciplined, personal Protestant belief are preserved by the members of independent churches, some of whom I know and respect, and most of whom (as I was), are Baptists. Attend a service in one of their little building-block sanctuaries and you hear none of the cant that dilutes The Gospels for temporizing clerics and ambivalently repentant sinners. They refuse to make it easy, and I admire them for it.

The old urban American Gothic Protestant churches are about all gone now. The uptown, white-steeple Protestant churches hang on, but like Anglicanism, their days are numbered. And lo, the urban parishes of Italian, Polish, Irish, Latino (and others)Catholic churches are still there and thriving. They've outlasted several architectural cycles, countless assaults by the world, liberalism, Guido Sarducci, Pope-on-a-rope-soap, priesthood scandals, and some have revived the Latin Mass. They labored on, in spite of the odds, and their flocks kept coming.

I've been thinking about this a lot. In this world, the penalty for spiritual sloth is your own cold, indestructible rationalism. You're free of religion but imprisoned by your ego. In the next world, if you're lucky, the mild penalty is just non-existence; if you're not lucky, it's Judgement Day. During his lifetime, the morally apathetic man will, if he's lucky, be simply superseded and not conquered by enemies who will subdue him without breaking a sweat. You don't prevail by just sticking around. I was lucky to have been superseded by devout Catholics and anti-establishment Protestants. It could be a lot worse.

Biden On The Street

GNN - Amiable former Senator and current Vice President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Sesame Street today. Always in search of a laugh, the Veep donned a helmet and striped cape, and posed (far left above) with old stand-by Muppet characters, and the newest resident of Sesame Street, the simple-minded, hair-plugged, illegal Dutch immigrant, building inspector Mister Gunter Dunzkap.

Biden stayed for the latest episode's taping, and he squealed with delight when he received the guest's standard granola bar, 4-ounce cup of plain tonic water, a pair of bio-degradable paper slippers, and an almost new issue of Consumer Reports.

"Street" writers gave this reporter a sneak peek into the politically incorrect Mister Dunzkap, a character of ambivalent sexuality but brimming with masculine bravado, and known for his tag line"This is a big fudging deal!" I was there when the script called for Dunzkap to discover a chip in the red semi-opaque lucite lens on a market's lighted "Exit" sign, demanding an explanation from the market owner, levying a fine and screaming "This is a big fudging deal!". Biden loved the routine.

Producers hope for tag-line gold with an audio-sensitive Mister Dunzkap doll.

August 18, 2010

When Rights are Wrong and Wrongs are a Right

So, timJ commented in response to my post re: Obama's channeling John Kerry with his backtracking and double-speaking -- in true post-modern fashion -- after his statements in favor of the "Victory Mosque."

Now, let's break down Tim's argument:

Tim: "As a conservative, which of Obama's two statements are you opposed to? His statement that we have freedom of religion in the US, or his statement that the the mosque maybe shouldn't be built because it offends some people? It seems to me that these are both ideas that conservatives hold dearly, so you are really just opposed to Obama stealing your own apparent hypocrisy."

DC: Tim, I'm opposed to his usage of both statements because both were utilized by Obama to obfuscate his true message. In the first instance, Obama claimed that this whole episode has anything at all to do with freedom religion (it doesn't) to argue that the mosque should be placed right next to a hallowed ground where 3,000 American were murdered by Muslim jihadis. The right to worship is different than the right to build a building ... and in any place. The "constitutional scholar" Obama knows this. In the second instance, Obama argued that, well, maybe it wasn't such a good idea (even though it's a "right") to build the mosque. But this obfuscated his true purpose -- he wants the mosque there, for reasons that he has a hard time fully explaining to us. His problem is that most Americans oppose the idea, and most strongly, and thus he now must obfuscate his true belief. In other words, his true beliefs are bad politics, so he backtracked. I have a problem with all that he said.

Tim: "Or maybe I'm mistaken on the first part-- maybe conservatives are NOT in favor of freedom of religion, there certainly have been a lot of anti-Muslim statements from conservatives. If you want to give the government the right to stop this mosque, then you are giving the government the right to stop churches and temples of all kinds. If you are just anti-Muslim then come out and say it, and petition the government to remove all Muslims from US soil, but make to claims to being in favor of religious freedom."

DC: Tim, Tim, Tim ... Conservatives invented freedom of religion, if you will, not just in America, but in the world. It's a God-given right, but our forebears secured it by their blood and their sacred honor. Again, though, rather than being a matter of legal "rights" this is a matter of what is right.

But to be clear, yes, I do have a problem with Islam. Actually, I have several, really more than that. I have a problem that virtually all the terrorists in the world claim to be Muslims. I have a problem with child brides, which Mohammed had and some of his modern-day followers (i.e., Zarqawi) have. I have a problem that no major Muslim cleric has ever denounced armed jihad. I have a problem with the way Muslims treat women. I have a problem with the way that Muslims treat people who disagree with them. Although I believe homosexuality is wrong, I have a problem with the way that Muslims treat homosexuals. I have a problem with how Muslims tolerate and encourage anti-Semitism, and also I have a problem with any religion that says "convert or die." I have a problem that Islam makes democracy difficult. I have a problem with Sharia law.

I have a problem seeing all these "moderate" Muslims and I am coming to believe that maybe "moderate" means that they really don't believe in Islam. I have a problem when the jihadis quote Mohammed and the Koran to make their case while the "moderates" either do cricket imitations or talk about how Islam promotes "peace."

I have a problem in that Islam itself is internally inconsistent in recognizing Jesus as a prophet when Jesus said that He is much more ... indeed, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. John 14:6.

I have a real problem with Muslims and their useful idiots in the media and elsewhere utilizing the Judeo-Christian ethic and American freedoms to enslave America. Yes, I have a problem with Islam.

Two more things: 1) I have no problem at all with any one here (or anywhere) believing in any religion they want. That is their God-given right. I have a problem when they use their religion to try to enslave me or kill me; and 2) Speaking of 1) I have a problem that Muslims' best tactical weapon is the sneak attack upon innocent civilians. What more evidence do you need than this that the god of the jihadis is a false god?

Tim: "Ultimately this all moot, because conservatives aren't going to actually do anything about the mosque other than complain from now until November. There's already another mosque in lower Manhattan that predates the WTC. And even if Mayor Bloomberg tried to stop the mosque it would go all the way to the Supreme Court, where even the conservatives would agree: the government has no right to interfere in religious matters of any kind."

Truth, Justice, and the American Way: You make the point that there's another mosque in lower Manahattan. Great. So, why the need for new one ... except to utilize it to foster Muslim propaganda at Ground Zero? This is as appropriate as a Japanese cultural center would be at Pearl Harbor. And again, this is about doing what is right, rather than what is a right. I agree that, if local authorities okay the mosque per zoning ordinances that it can go there just like Gutfeld's gay bar next door. Rights have nothing to do with this. (By the way, you are absolutely incorrect on how the Supremes would rule. Houses of worship always lose battles with local authorities in court over where they can be located. Trust me. I'm a lawyer.)

Tim, what we are going to do is use this as another example of how misinformed and disrespectful to American culture and sensibilities that the Left is. Thank you for the opportunity.

August 16, 2010

Channeling His Inner John Kerry

I thought then, and I think now, that John Kerry is a fraud and no war hero. Watching fawning blowhards bend over, bow, and such because the guy was in Viet Nam made me ... and makes me nauseous. The Swift Boat Vets were right on target, in my view, just as Kerry was when he wounded himself by discharging his own weapon.

So, when a guy like Kerry says, "I was for the war before I was against it" and such a statement makes it all the way from the brain to the vocal chords and out before being summarily arrested for being outrageously nonsensical and cowardly, well, you can see that such incongruence makes perfect sense in the world of John Kerry.

So, now we have Barack Obama coming out with a strong statement supporting the rights of Muslims to build the "Victory Mosque" at Ground Zero, followed shortly thereafter by the calculated, "I mean the mosque may be a bad idea; I was just talking about theory and such, you know, private property, freedom of religion and the American way, etc.," well, it sounds eerily familiar.

He was for the "Victory Mosque" before he was against it.

Such ghastly, post-modern bilge can scarcely be called thought. It's akin to speech without subjects and verbs.

But the type of moral vacuum that defines Obama and his android supporters ultimately leads all who would draw near into a dark abyss.

How can one be ambivalent over a war that will cost a nation the lives of its troops?

How can one be ambivalent over 9/11 and how Muslims -- whether they claim to be "moderate" or not -- may utilize the murder of American civilians to proseletyze and promote Islam?

The denial of all truth leads eventually to the affirmation of all injustice and the loss of the ability to think.

So, we say, with a somewhat straight face that electing a Farrakhan icon, indeed a comrade of Bill Ayers, Van Jones, and Jeremiah Wright is no different than electing a Republican ... for there is not a dime's worth ofdifference, don't you know?

Meanwhile, rather than announcing from Ground Zero that our enemies will hear from us, Barack Obama paves the way for America's jihadi enemies to be heard.

But I'm sure Obama will claim he is saying the same thing that Pres. Bush did from Ground Zero.

But what does this say about us?