Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Men, Women and Islam

The 60 Minutes interview with Hassan Butt--a former terrorist recruiter in Britain who, apparently, is now going straight--was very interesting. Hassan Butt claims that one of the best recruiting tools for guys like him is that the Imams would give them permission to marry whomever they liked (provided she was Muslim) if they joined the cause. Otherwise, as is still customary among more traditional elements of Islam, they might be forced into an arranged marriage.

At the same time that this came out I was reading this review of Mark Steyn’s America Alone by Theodore Dalrymple in the latest CRB. In it, Dalrymple argues that one thing Steyn misses or--at any rate does not convey as fully as Dalrymple might like--is how attractive radical Islam is to young Muslim men in the west who wish to dominate women:

The principal immediate attraction of Islam to young Muslims brought up in the West is actually the control and oppression of women. After all, if you can be sultan of your own home, you need hardly look elsewhere for a sense of achievement or importance; this is hard luck on the women, of course, but it does give a clue as to what les jeunes were fighting for during France’s riots in autumn 2005. They wanted extra-territoriality, as it were, free from the incursions of the French state, so that in their slums they could continue their one economic activity, drug-dealing, and their domination of women without interruption.

Now, both of these arguments, taken by themselves, seem to make a great deal of sense. I’m not sure how or if they fit together, but I am inclined to think that they do. Another part of Dalrymple’s review alludes to Steyn’s thesis that the worst bits of Islamic and of Western culture have come together among certain elements of radical Islam--particularly in the West. Dalrymple (perhaps quoting Steyn) calls it the "multiculturalist equivalent of the Black Mass." That may be. But I wonder if it might more aptly be described as the Jihad equivalent of LA street gang culture. In all thuggish sub-cultures, there is this element of dominating and using women. Perhaps the western recruits Mr. Butt was after had only been westernized enough to want to choose their own B****?

I am not prepared to offer a fully digested thesis about this--but all of this begs a host of other questions on the subject of relations between the sexes in the West. I would not head down the path of D’Souza and suggest that they hate us because of our feminism--but I might suggest that feminism has made it more difficult for the West to assimilate these young men. The parallels between the activities and motivations of these young radical Muslims and the activities of young disaffected black and Latino men in street gangs are striking. One should be careful of overdoing the comparison--but failing to notice the similarities is intellectually dishonest.

The war that the West is engaged in is at least as much about persuasion and conversion as it is about battles and national security. If we are facing a situation--and I think it is fair to say that we are--where there is a significant number of young men born and raised in the West who, having not been sufficiently convinced of Western culture’s superiority in all those years of western education, have flocked to the closest radical Mosque in search of answers . . . it may be fair to ask if we’ve done something wrong. That is not to say that we deserve what we’re getting, but rather to suggest that we need to re-think our defense of ourselves. Perhaps we could use a surge here too.

Discussions - 49 Comments

At the core of most of civilizations problems have been "the women". Whether to steal them, marry them, burn them up upon men’s deaths, treat them as whores or nuns. Reproduction is after all an imperative of the species homo sapien unlike the rest of the animal kingdom. The story of genesis says it all. Power!

I had begun to explore the aspect of the lack of sexualization of the Muslim male that has been truncated by religion and culture. It "feels" spot on to me. Martin Amis’ "Horrorism" explores this aspect. Whether he meant to is another question.

And yet it is hard to say that Muslim men in the West suffer from a lack of sexualization--and what of the street gang connection? Lack of sexualization is certainly not a factor there--unless you mean "proper" sexualization. Whatever the case, the question does not seem to be one of "sex" or "no sex"--but rather the more eternal ones of "when, where, with whom and why?" But it is true that "the woman question" is the probably one of the most central to every civilization. At the moment, it seems no one is answering it well.

Sue, I don’t see quite what you are getting at up there. I assume this article by Amis is your reference.

There has to be some comfortable point between feminism and wife-beating, not that two are necessarily incompatible. It seems to me that this post begs the question, what exactly is feminism? Once, an education outside of the home for a woman was feminism Is that a threat to young men? This post was about the ratio of men and women graduating from colleges, and the predominance of women in that equation. What would we do about that, assuming we could do something? It is interesting, given history, to think that higher education might become a prerogative of women. Is this the feminist threat, or is female economic independence the real threat to men and to marriage?

My choice to stay home and raise my children was just that, my choice. I appreciate having had the option. It felt like a virtuous choice, but if it had been forced on me the virtue would not have been so evident. At least, not to me. How much do we want to assimilate Muslim men if their presupposition about the place of women includes subjection? Julie, what are you looking for? What is the correct answer to "the woman question"?

His name’s "Butt." Heh-heh. Heh-heh.

Would the comment by leaders of SNCC in the 1960s that "the position of women in the civil rights movement is prone" be relevant here?

Oh dear, the old " Woman question".
Juxtaposed to "die Judische Frage"?

I don’t think Richard S. has it.

Kate, you are asking me to open Pandora’s box. I tried to be vague for a reason but I suppose you are right. I need to be more specific.

Young men need to feel important in the eyes of the world. Young women need to feel attractive--at least to one man. Really, all men need to feel important and all women need to feel attractive but the older ones tend to get over it a bit--perhaps because of necessity. Perhaps it is a weakness in their respective natures--but it certainly is in their natures. What is to be done about that? Feminism’s answer, by and large, has been to change them both in order to prove that there really is no significant difference between the sexes. Women should be made to want to feel important (or at least as important as men) and they should be made to feel less important. (Some feminists gave up the need to feel attractive but others could not--interesting that the more consistent feminists never really caught on, isn’t it?)

In many ways we’ve accomplished these changes. Women have become more aggressive and ambitious and men have become less so. But this bargain has consequences and, because it is somewhat of an artificial change, it is in need of constant and perpetual reinforcement. People have to be groomed to accept this yoke. Some come more prepared for this grooming than others--from years of preparation and family experience. Still others will never accept it and their reaction is violent when cornered.

Like you Kate, I value and embrace my choices and--were they not freely made--I would not and could not so love them. But the feminists have misunderstood the nature of men and the nature of small "l" liberalism that allows this choice. They have so misunderstood them that they are leading us down a path that may take us right back where we started before civilization gave us the freedom to make choices.

At a minimum, I suppose I am suggesting that we consider padding the yoke of true equality and coaxing the beast more gently to accept it. That means negotiations. So my answer to "the woman question" may sound somewhat lame. It is this: There is no "answer"--or rather there are many answers. They have to be guided by a rational understanding of male and female and their relative equality and they have to be made with prudence. But there must be negotiations--we used to call it courtship.

The beast will want something in return. He is going to want to feel important. If it doesn’t hurt or compromise us, why not let him have this? The way that has worked best up till now has been to allow men to be the breadwinners--or at least to be the one that earns more money. (There may be other ways to achieve the same end and I wouldn’t rule them out if they work--but this one is tried and true.) That does not mean that men are smarter or more entitled--just that they are often better suited (partly because they enjoy the competition) and generally don’t enjoy (or very well accomplish) the alternative of household management. Feminists will object that this sometimes allows men to get too big for their britches and to oppress their wives. Sometimes, I am sure that is true. So is it better to prefer the reverse and allow an obnoxious wife to lord it over her husband? Which of the two is best prepared to fight defense?

A society will have to come down in favor of one or the other--and that must be based on what is good for society--not for one or another group. My response is harsh, I admit. So what? If you are married to a man who lords it over you, whose fault is that? (Instead of teaching our girls to compete with and emasculate men, perhaps we would be better served to teach them how to choose a good and wise husband and keep him so?) Besides, even after one make such a mistake, there are remedies. We are not a harsh society--we’re a very forgiving society. That should be enough to satisfy the claims of the individual without doing too great a damage to the common good--provided, of course, there aren’t too many making this mistake. Our problem now is that so many are making mistakes. We should do what we can to stem that tide before the claims of these extremists ring true to untrained ears.

Islam is heresy in arms.

I can’t think of any enemy that Christianity has had like islam. Nothing really comes close. The decades unfold, centuries yield to the next, but the menace of islam endures. The entire history of Europe was deranged permanently when islam came out of the deserts, and swiftly conquered and plundered North Africa.

War against all outsiders, war against everybody, war against all other religions. Universal war, universal conquest. As if the Almighty could possibly be pleased by his creation drenched in the blood of his children

It’s almost impossible to view islam other than a demonic counterpart to the Kingdom of Christ. Against which it has striven, vied and warred for 1,300 years.

Islam is without any shadow of a doubt, the longest lasting totalitarian movement in history. The sum of human suffering that cries out from within the bosom of islam is something that only the mind and the beating heart of a loving Father could possibly encompass.

Remember the words of Ronald Reagan, when he visited the Berlin Wall, before he was President. He was heard to remark "that it’s as ugly as the system it represents," {loose paraphrase that, the exact quote escapes me}.

The exact same could be said of islam.

I don’t know what’s worse, islam, or the modern mind, which has lost any ability to be shocked, sickened and disgusted by what happens behind the veil of islam.

There are many conservative elements of Islam we should respect. The conversion of the Middle East to liberal democracy is left-wing Jacobinism, not conservatism.

That being said, Muslims will be best left alone, but in the Middle East, and we should stay in the West. In short, for a sound foreign policy, we should (1) completely withdraw from the Middle East, (2) stop giving aid to all Middle Eastern countries, and (3) deport all Muslims from the West.

Paleo--your prescriptions make comment 3 sound intelligent. But at least you do us the favor of clarifying what it means to be a paleoconservative. Thank you for that.

Dan: if you are right, no good will come from your saying what you say. 1.5 billion people are Muslim. That’s rather a formidable obstacle if fighting them is the only answer. If you are wrong, a great deal of harm will come from garnering support for what you say. Persuasion is necessary here and this kind of sentiment forcefully expressed does not really help to achieve that.

Julie, I am sorry to have pressed you, and not sorry, because I like the way you try to think the thing through.

I think you like a Christian marriage, though you don’t put in those terms. A Christian marriage in St. Paul’s terms is a woman’s voluntary submission to a benevolent male tyrant. We know we are equal in God’s eyes, and in some other ways, but not in all ways and we exploit the differences to the benefit of all. If the tyrant forgets or neglects his benevolence, or is inept in leadership, marriage becomes ugly. If the wife declines to submit, obnoxiousness is the least of it.

It would be better to teach our children, especially the girls, to make wise decisions in marriage! In a Christian high school senior English class, I reaped a storm when the Bible teacher, male, told the class that the girls would have to submit to their husbands when they were married. I won’t go into all of their horror and distress and circumstantial arguments, but will mention their shock when I agreed with the essential point. However, I said, the husband has the harder part, as he is supposed to die to himself and live for you as Christ lived and died for the Church. You must be careful only to marry a man who will be able to do that. Silence. The boys looked especially uncomfortable. They had come from that Bible class with an insufferable smugness, but now they looked enervated. "So I can’t marry him just because he has pretty eyes." said one girl, "I’ll have to be really, really careful who I choose." Exactly.

Still, men and women must submit to an ideal of marriage, or they do what feels right at the moment, which is nearly always wrong. If we no longer believe in honor and in honoring our promises, we haven’t a hope of stability in either marriage or in society. Negotiations? I suppose that might work, and does work in the instance, but for the long term, there has to be something more stable, more permanent or why should the center hold? In our marriage, there is more involved than he and me. If we were all there was, God knows if I would put up with further unsatisfactory negotiations. We have family, and extended family, and church, and friends, and all of society that knows us, expecting correct behavior: expecting us to keep our promises. I think they have a right in the expectation, and unless there is dire need - I mean life and limb are at stake - we keep our honor and the promise made.

Is there really no parallel between the young leaders of the student movement of the 1960s and the young Muslim men of Europe today?

They seem to think similarly about women.

Good posts, ladies, and interesting. And paleo [head shakes], you do realize that even if we weren’t in the Middle East they’d still want to kill us, right? They hate "The West", not our presence in their backyard.

Richard S., too many men think as you suggest, about women. What can we call it? Male-ism? It is the other side of the our sexual currency to feminism and the culture is full of it.

You see, unlike most of you neocons, I am a real conservative. As Russell Kirk (the "father of American conservatism") said, neocons have "mistook Tel Aviv for the capital of the United States." I do not confuse what is in the USA’s interest, and what is in some other country’s interest. If you really want to end terrorism in the West (you cannot end it in the Middle East, nor should we try, as it is not our problem), if you really want to end it in the West, (1) stop giving aid to all Middle Eastern countries (including Israel), (2) withdraw from the Middle East, and (3) deport all Muslims from the West. Regarding #3, I mean deport every last Muslim and akin third-world invader from the West. Send them all back to the Middle East, Africa, Asia and India. Send them all home. This would help substantially to reduce any terrorist risks. It definitely would do more than perpetual neocon wars in the Middle East that are draining our economy and prestige. George Washington must be turning over in his grave.

John, even naturalized citizens of the United States who are good citizens and moderate practitioners of Islam? Isn’t it the government’s job to protect our rights? What about the rights of good Muslim citizens? Finally, have you ever read any Washington? I think there’s a link on this site to which has most of Washington’s speeches availible online. Give ’em a read sometime.

Julie, my comments were about islam, not necessarily about 1.5 billion muslims.

But we’re not going to break their shackles, without truth, hard, brutal truth, being spoken, being proclaimed, being shouted from the mountain tops. We’re doing them no favours pretending that they aren’t living in the longest running GULAG in history.

It grew by force, it began with the raiding of caravans, it began with the capture and rape of women outside of the tribes, and it’s gone on from there. Islam IS THE ONLY "religion" in the world with a body of doctrine on terror raiding, it’s called RAZA, it’s Koranic, it dates back to the times and practices of their "prophet."

Julie, have you read the Pope’s speech at the University of Regensburg? If you haven’t read all of it, please take the time to do so.

And I want you to recall that the Pope delivered the speech in the birthplace of Don Juan of Austria, the victor of Lepanto. The Byzantine Emperor that the Pope approvingly quotes from, had other things to say about islam, Those "other things" were drowned out in the din that followed the speech. But the questions that the Emperor raised stand, namely: What has islam introduced to an understanding of the Divine, that is in anyway, unique; what has islam introduced that is not bloodthirsty, that is not violent, that does not enjoin violence?

Those questions were not answered satisfactorily then, and the questions still crave an answer to this very day.

We can’t devise successful strategy WITHOUT a sound understanding of what we’re up against. And what we’re up against is 1,300 hundred years of islam and jihad. No one has yet found a way to sever the sick pathologies of jihad, from the rest of islam. They’re intertwined.

Is it prudent to speak the truth of islam?

Is it MORE prudent to allow muslims to CONTINUE TO THINK that there is nothing wrong with islam, that there is nothing wrong with jihad?

God cannot be God and crave the blood of his children offered in sacrifice to him.

God cannot be God and consider some of his children "less than apes and pigs."

OBJECTIVELY, as a SHEER matter of theological inquiry, Allah cannot be a loving father. He is what he is. A desert, solitary deity. There is no Trinity for the deity of the desert. There is no seat before which justice makes claims, but mercy pleads forgiveness. We have allowed these grave matters to go clouded for far too long. Our Catholic forefathers did not leave us unarmed before the heresies from the East. Don’t you think the Church Fathers examined the matters raised by islam thoroughly. Especially since for them it was a matter of life and death.

Has political correctness made us safer in our dealings with islam?

Has political correctness advanced our understanding of islam?

Can political correctness serve as the strong foundation necessary for the creation of a war winning strategy?

Where is it written "Ye shall know the false, and the FALSE, shall make you free?" Where, in what writ, on what walls is that statement engraved?

We have an ally, the NATURAL LAW, which 1,300 hundred years of islam can mar, but not wholly efface. We are not without our ally, and that ally exists in the breast of every single human on this planet, be he Western or Eastern, Christian or muslim. And we need to speak in such a matter that the conscience of muslims dictates to them to put an end to the bloodlust, to put an end to the jihad, to put an end to the delusion that the Almighty desires the blood of infidels.

This is a point I’ve made before. We’re not in a war of civilizations. That’s too flattering to islam. For islam is not a civilization, it’s the longest running totalitarian movement in history. So this isn’t a war of civilizations, it’s a war ON civilization, on THE civilization, by its greatest enemy throughout it’s long history.

If "by their fruits, ye shall know them," then what do we know about islam?

If "by their fruits, ye shall know them," then what do we know about their long war against the Church of Christ, against the message of Christ?

If "by their fruits, ye shall know them," then what are we to conclude about the words of their prophet: "First Constantinople, then Rome."

We have to allow ourselves to see what the 1,300 hundred year track record of jihad has to tell us. We can’t pretend that this war began in 1979, with the hostage drama, or in 1972, with the Munich Olympics, or in 1948, with the birth of the State of Israel. We can’t draw a date certain, as if jihad didn’t exist prior to.

There isn’t any MODERN TERROR in islam. It’s ALL THERE FROM THE BEGINNING, it’s called Razza. That’s why they’re so keen on cutting people’s heads off. It’s Koranic, it’s in accordance with the instructions of their prophet of sowing terror, thus defeating your enemy before the main engagement, before the main clinch of arms and armies. It’s no coincidence that the very first thing that the Ayatollah did when he took power was take hostages. Hostage taking too has a long, long track record in islam. It’s a process whereby your enemy is weakened, it creates a mindset where your enemy begins to treat with you, bargain with you, it’s a psychological tactic. What mind of man could have conjured such a tactic.

Islam is such a perverse blending of the truth with the lie, that it cannot possibly be man made. When islam says that God exists, that judgement occurs, that heaven and hell exist, that the existence of God entails certain consequences on the lives and attitudes of his children, then islam speaks the truth. Often islam refers to Allah with the words "in the name of Allah, the compassionate, the merciful...." You’ve all heard the lines. This leads the stranger to islam to conclude that it has a parallel to Judeo-Christianity. That’s false. For from the initial statements about the compassionate nature of Allah, islam soon morphs into a demand for blood, a demand for jihad. It’s as the Ayatollah said, and so aptly put it, "islam exists under the shade of the sword." And when a person within the shackles of islam desires to leave that shade, then the sword no longer shades, but falls, severs, the head from the body.

Islam hasn’t changed. If there was the Holy Spirit pervading islam, if the grace of a loving Father was stretched over islam, wouldn’t you expect some amelioration of doctrine, some diminishment of the severity of the early message. Within Christianity, Christ promised that he would leave the Paraclete, {the Holy Spirit} "which shall lead you to all truth."

Where is anything similar in islam?

Again, "by their fruits," shall ye not know them ................... ??????????

As Russell Kirk, "the father of American conservatism," said: "all of America’s problems in the Middle East are the result of one country and its amen corner in the U.S."


I could care less about "rights," which are born of the liberal Enlightenment. Stressing rights puts you on the side of the historical Left (Jacobins), not on the side of the historical Right (Burke, or De Maistre, who stressed tradition, institutions, and ancestral duties).

Sorry, Julie, we don’t have a "woman problem", we have a "Muslim problem".

Dan, that’s why there is a call for a Muslim Reformation. As Islam has always been, the rest of the world can’t live with it. But I have to ask you and others of the "Sacred Duty of Islamic Elimination" persuasion, do we, as Christians, have no choice but to respond to Islam on their terms? I don’t think that either author of Julie’s original post has any delusions about Islam, nor does Julie, nor anyone writing here. How we respond is the real question, and I don’t think I am seeing any answers here. "Send them all back!" or "Wipe them all out!" are not reasonable answers. Nor is it a particularly American answer, as our nation was founded on religious tolerance. I don’t have time to search through the documents Andrew mentions above, but in one, Washington says (roughly paraphrased) he would rather see a mosques in America than see America without religious tolerance. To be religiously intolerant is not conservative in American terms. It IS conservative in Islamic terms, and is that what you would have us be, like them? No, thank you.

How to live with their intolerance is the question of the world, right now. How we can do that without becoming something other than the USA we are, or maybe I should say, ought to be, is our problem.

John, if you don’t care about rights, then you do not care about historical American freedoms. If the signers of the Declaration of Independence were Jacobins, then yes, I am on their side. If that looks like the Left to you, then I will tell that to all of those who tell me I am blindly conservative.

As Russell Kirk, "the father of American conservatism," said: "all of America’s problems in the Middle East are the result of one country and its amen corner in the U.S."

Surely you realize that by using the term "father" you’re implying that there was no American conservatism before him. This probably makes sense, given your obvious contempt for the principles of the Founders.

Also, please take your Jew-baiting elsewhere.

It’s an irony that this site is called "No Left Turns" but John Moser just took a left turn by defending "rights." If you support this left-wing "rights’ nonsense, then you clearly are on the side of the historical Left (Jacobins), and not the Right (Burke, De Maistre, et al., who stressed tradition and ancestral duties).

Charlie (or whatever name you went by yesterday, or might choose to use tomorrow), I’m an American conservative, which means I want to protect the principles of the Founders. If you want to defend European traditions like aristocracy and the divine right of kings, and denounce the Founders as "Jacobins," you are of course free to do so, but it hardly makes you a conservative in the American sense.

John Moser, I am an American conservative. Like me, Russell Kirk and Richard M. Weaver were American conservatives, and they, unlike you, saw no contradiction. You seem to have bought into the neocon propaganda that to be a good American you have to worship the strictures of left-wing Jacobin propaganda. No, I do not, and, like John Jay, Washington or John Randolph, I do not see America as a radical break from tradition, but rather as a continuation of the European tradition. Kirk vividly makes this point in the Roots of American Order, where he argues that the USA is a continuity of Europe. Moser, you may be a left-wing neocon, but you certainly are not a conservative.

As far as my tradition goes, being a good Euro-American, I trace it back to Bibllicak times, the Greeks and Romans to the present. The Bible, Homer, Aristotle, Cicero, Vergil, St. Augustine, Dante, Shakespeare, Filmer, David Hume, John C Calhoun, Edmund Burke, De Maistre, Kirk, Weaver, Thomas Fleming, Jean Raspail, etc. Our tradition did not begin in the 1960s nor in the 1770s. It goes back thousands of years.

Dear Charlemagne, there are conservatives, and there are those who reach back into the past, grasping for justification for their own self-righteousness. I can find human rights announced, proclaimed, supported, and justified in the tradition you cite. Why can’t you?


Read Thomas Fleming’s The Morality of Everyday Life.

Our very notion of “rights” was invented during the liberal Enlightenment. No historian, or certainly no classicist, would argue otherwise. One only need to look at the OED or the Oxford Latin Dictionary and trace the use of political and legal terms to see that these concepts were born in the liberal Enlightenment.

Prior to this, as with the notion of aequitas (e.g. “fairness before a judge), there was a notion of fairness and justice, but no left-wing notion of “rights.” What did exist was a notion o natural law, which used history as a guide. Cicero said it was based in the mos maiorum “tradition of the ancestors,” and thus one would look to his ancestral traditions to find guidance.

The principal immediate attraction of Islam to young Muslims brought up in the West is actually the control and oppression of women.

Too easy - the thesis smacks of a Freudian world view. The role of women in Islam is a result of a larger believe system about life, the universe, and everything, not a result of "the battle between the sexes".

The older I get, the more I am convinced that it is better to listen to what people are actually saying, and not go digging around in the psyche for subconscious motivations that always end up sexual. What do the Muslims SAY is their reason for terror??

John Moser,

I have my beefs with Kirk. He is better described as a "father" of the modern conservative movement (MCM). Clearly he is not the father of a tradition that pre-dates him. Although the extent to which the MCM has gotten away from it’s Kirkean roots is instructive.

But pointing out the influence of Israel on American foreign policy is not "Jew -baiting." It is a legitimate line of discourse in the same way that discussing Islam (this thread) is a legitimate line of discourse.

The conservative policy in line with the Founders seems clearly to be neutrality.

Roman citizens had rights both in the Republic and in the Empire. A right can be a liberty, an immunity, a protection of law. When you write "rights" what are you writing about? Natural rights were not discovered in the Enlightenment, but were discussed then. Biblically, we had rights given by God. If "Thou shalt not murder," then one has a right to one’s life. "Thou shalt not covet...," means we have rights in our property. In the second book of Samuel, God told Samuel that the people would lose their rights, personal liberties, if they took a king, and therefore ought not do so. When Jesus said of taxation that we should render to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God that which is God’s, it indicates a limitation to what is owed to society. That there were free men as distinct from slaves in any society, indicates that those free men had rights that slaves did not.

The whole point of law is to define rights, and I only have the pocket Oxford Latin Dictionary, but "law" is part of the definition of "right" there, as in the OED. "Natural rights" or "Rights of Man" may be Enlightenment phrases, but that does not mean that the rights defined by those phrases did not exist before.

If there is no God, we might not have rights, or only have rights as defined by man. If we were created by God, and in His image and likeness, then He has given us rights since our creation. If I look to history and tradition, I can see those denied and abused, but say that is wrong, and not right.

I’ll look for the book you suggest, but if it tells me that as a human being I have no rights, I’ll wash my hand after I read it.

In Horrorism, Amis tells us about Sayid Qubt who is very representative of what I mean by the lack of sexualization of Muslim men. I don’t mean "sexual" as in sex, but as in the reproductive identity homo sapiens need to become adult beings with a fair balance. Without it, for men and women, the psyche is twisted and cannot mature with any stability. We see today what has happened with the "feminization " of our men and the butching up of our women. You can see what Islam has done to Muslim males who cannot be normally sexualized and who must look to death and their belief in the 72 virgins.

Kate, few conservative would quarrel with the idea of legal rights. It is the concept of natural rights that is problematic. Life and property sound fine as natural rights. But there is no logical way to limit them. You end up with no way to defend against claims to a right to "adequate housing" a "living wage," "sodomy," etc.

Plus, I think your Biblical example is problematic. Why must a proscription against murder infer a "right to life?" When you do that you take a conservative, proscription grounded in Revelation and attach the liberal baggage of rights language. No need. What is wrong with do not murder, and leave it at that? Conservatives have adopted the liberal language of natural rights so they can compete on a liberal playing field. Why step on that liberal playing field to begin with? Make it a debate between a conservative idea (proscription, Revelation) against a liberal idea (natural rights).

Why must a proscription against murder infer a "right to life?" When you do that you take a conservative, proscription grounded in Revelation and attach the liberal baggage of rights language. No need. What is wrong with do not murder, and leave it at that? Conservatives have adopted the liberal language of natural rights so they can compete on a liberal playing field. Why step on that liberal playing field to begin with? Make it a debate between a conservative idea (proscription, Revelation) against a liberal idea (natural rights).

Because we would lose. Like it or not, we live in a secularized world. The only alternative to stepping on the "liberal playing field" is utter irrelevance. Most conservatives through history (think of the British Tories, or the Prussian Junkers) have understood that it is their sad obligation adapt themselves to a changing world. Those who have failed to appreciate this (the classical Confucian scholars of 19th century China, or the Polish magnates of the 18th century) have simply died out. Burke, I think, would fully agree with this assessment.

Was every single German "wiped out" in the process of "wiping out" the Third Reich?

Was every single citizen of Japan "wiped out" in the process of destroying Japanese militarism?

Was every single Italian "wiped out" in the process of annihilating Italian fascism?

Distinguish sharply between the muslim, and islam. Maintain that distinction. Islam is a profession, a thought system, more precisely, a thought control system. It’s all about control. The Union did not kill off every single citizen of the South in the process of destroying the Confederacy.

My point is that it’s feasible to end islam without reconciling ourselves to the destruction of every single one of its adherents. There’s no need for anything like that. We need to begin formulating plans for the end of islam, at least the islam that we’ve known and lived with, a menace, a threat, an ongoing GULAG. And it’s going to take far more than the campaign in Iraq to even remotely start that process of throwing jihad up on the ash heap of history.

We have to begin to speak the truth. We have to. Otherwise, we consign them, and ourselves, to a nightmare.

I brought the Bible into my argument because Big Charlie, up there, cited it as part of the Western tradition, which it is. I also mention it because I believe it, in its essentials, and to me there is nothing more natural. John, I do NOT live in a secularized world, in the fullest sense, although I do know understand what you are saying and am content to leave the Bible out of most debate. However, if someone opens that door, I am willing to walk through it and really limited my points above for lack of time.

Dan Phillips, clearly I disagree that natural rights are unlimited. In your list, I might add a right to health care, which I do not see as a natural right, either. However, I may not murder you, because you have a right to your life. I may not take your life, no matter how inconvenient you are, except in self-defense, because you have that right to your life. Your life is forfeit is when society says so, which it may only do in extreme cases, as when you are threat to the life of others. You have a right to own property, but do not have a right to claim someone else’s property, because he also has a right to property. Any person’s natural rights are necessarily limited because we live in society with other people who have rights as human beings. I do not see what is particularly conservative about saying that we have no rights as individuals, as that is how totalitarian governments work, and who needs that? Modern liberal demands for rights that would take us into socialism need to be resisted, and proposing individual and inherent rights as a counter-balance to government’s right to operate in total efficiency is the only way I know to effect that resistance.

I hope I am clear here, as I am writing on the run and haven’t time to polish. I apologize for refuting, maybe inadequately, and running, which I must do.

Dan, is your reason for not killing other people nothing more than because God said not to? If God appeared to you and a dream and told you to kill someone, would you do it?


A very direct question.

My answer to the second part of that question would be no. If I had a dream where God was directing me to kill a certain person, or a group of people, I would ignore it. If the dream were recurring, then I would go find myself a good therapist.

To kill someone, or a group of people, you need a good reason, and that reason has to pass moral scrutiny. A dream of God ordering me to kill someone would not be sufficient reason. For the act itself would still be violative of Natural Law.

As for the first question, am I against killing people for reasons in addition to a religious prohibition? Uhm. Never thought about the issue that way, {not having had occasion to ponder killing that seriously}. But having given a quick thought to your question, I can’t help but think that without the Natural Law, the entire moral order collapses into incoherence. Life itself then becomes a quest for personal enrichment and self-realization. It’s no coincidence that the first society to try to organize society without God became a society that was ultimately organized against man. Which is a lesson from "The GULAG Archipelago."

But you must have had a point you desired to make by posing those questions, what was it?

If you thought God told you, in a dream or otherwise, to do something that you knew was contrary to scriptural truth, then you would know that it was not God telling you to do it.

I expected the sort of answer that Kate gave, and I think Dan’s answer comes pretty close to that same idea. Of course, what else could you say--if your answer was yes you’d be marked as a nutcase, and if it was no you’d be in the uncomfortable position of saying that you’d disobey the Almighty.

What you’ve both ended up doing, though, is to subordinate God to an even higher authority which Dan calls Natural Law. I like that term as well. Your faith in revealed religion tells you to listen to God. Your reason tells you otherwise, and you in the end you rationalize your disobedience by saying that it must not really be God. It’s sort of like the tacit agreement that existed between kings and feudal lords in Medieval Europe--the lords promised to obey the king, but the king promised not to issue any orders that the lords might be inclined to disobey.

But once we’re at Natural Law, we’re already more than halfway to Natural Rights. If, under the Natural Law it is wrong to kill another person (except under very specific circumstances), does it not logically follow that people have the basic Natural Right to life? And can we not from there clearly derive Locke’s other two Natural Rights--liberty and property?

Kate expressed the idea far better, and far more succinctly than I did.

But she said "scriptural truth," which I deliberately avoided.

Sorry, I think I got Dan confused with Dan Phillips again. My question about killing was actually directed toward him.

Don’t worry about it. Such things happen.

note 34 (and #1):


Well, I guess I disagree with the statement "At the core of most of civilizations problems have been "the women". Whether to steal them, marry them, burn them up upon men’s deaths, treat them as whores or nuns.". Again, it borrows from the same worldview you seem to criticize, "feminism". What you are calling "sexualization" is a symptom of a larger problem (i.e. the "religious"). In other words, sexualization flows out of the religious, not the other way around...

The point I would make is that I would not trust myself to know that I was hearing from God, knowing that man is capable of hearing the most ungodly things in his head. Dreams go all over the place, and to try to sort out which is revelation and which is inspiration without some sort of guideline or standard is just silly. If I dream of another man, do I sensibly think that it "means" something? Or do I wake up, say "Wow. Where did THAT come from?" and get on with my day. If I dream of flying, does it mean that I ought to go attempt it? Please. In those cases, it is a matter of reason.

In the case of God telling me to kill someone, or do anything that I know is contrary to even the simplest scripture, like "Love your neighbor as yourself," to act on that dream is to place my understanding above God’s revealed truths. I was not writing about subordinating God, but of subordinating my understanding of God and revelation to something established.

Without reading the comments posted ...

Islam, especially as practiced by the fundamentalists, which appears to be a huge portion if not a majority, is a major devolution in humanity and in freedom.

Sorry Christopher, I do not agree with your view at all! Religious? Religion may be a "johnny come lately" but the normal sexualization of homo sapiens is something that goes back tens/hundreds of thousands of years. Nothing has or is or will be perfect ever. Problems today are problems of yesterday and the future. We can try to be the best we can be, but not all of us can even come up with that thought.
But, religion has made the sexualization of homo sapiens almost impossible in the last 2000 years. The culture of the Christian and Muslim is such that religion can twist the soul of its adherents.

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