Wish I'd said that!

In recent decades, the ACLU has used its so-called "wall" to fight tooth and nail to prevent government sponsorship of the Pledge of Allegiance, memorial crosses, Ten Commandments displays, nativity scenes, Bible displays, and virtually every other acknowdgement of America's religious heritage.

At the same time, it is worthwhile to note that there have been some instances in which the ACLU has endorsed public displays of religion. For example, When New York City Mayor Rudi Giuliani threatened to cut taxpayer funding from the Brooklyn Museum of Art for displaying a painting of the Virgin Mary with cow dung and pictures of female sexual organs pasted all over her body, the ACLU was first in line to defend the display. U.S. District Court Judge Nina Gershon ruled that New York City's elected officials were not allowed to place conditions on the museum's funding.

In another instance, the ACLU offered its support to the taxpayer-funded National Endowment for the Arts, after the agency sponsored an art show featuring "Piss Christ" - an exhibit consisting of a crucifix submerged in a jar of urine.

In the ACLU's myopic world, it appears that the only permissible publicly-funded displays of religion are those which blatantly mock or disparage the Christian faith.

-- Indefensible: 10 Ways the ACLU is Destroying America, Sam Kastensmidt, 2006

Monday, October 5, 2009

Not the Top Dog?

An insightful article from the very good American Thinker website puts forth the hypothesis that Barack Obama may not be the 'Alpha Male' so many American voters thought he was. Greg Lewis posits that the world's perception of our president's nuanced passivity in regard to international relations is a sign of weakness at the highest level, which could in turn jeopardize our national security in profound ways by emboldening our enemies and alienating our allies.

From his reluctance to acknowledge our war on international, primarily-Islamic terror organizations, to his 'world apology tour', to his less-than-patriotic UN speech, to his seeming non-interest in fighting to win in Afghanistan, it appears that President Obama is displaying classic signs of being a 'beta male'.

Note of explanation: the 'alpha male' in a pack of dogs is the undisputed leader of the pack. The 'beta males' are the dogs that roll over, purposely exposing their weakest parts to the alpha in a gesture of submission to the alpha's authority. While 'betas' may growl at each other or at 'outsiders', they cower before the alpha.

In a world overwhelmingly run by dominant personalities (at least within their own spheres), I think that despite his posturing of superiority, the message Obama sends outside our own country through his reluctance to seriously challenge other leaders puts us at greater risk in the short and long run, especially in a world that is governed by the threat or use of intimidation and force.

No major in free speech. Another college - this time the Catholic-run St. Louis University - has chosen to withdraw from the battle for freedom of speech and its responsibility to actually educate by cancelling a speech by David Horowitz. Horowitz, a radical '60s leftist turned arch-conservative, was hired by the school's College Republicans to present a talk on "Islamo-Fascism Awareness and Civil Rights". Apparently, the school isn't interested in either the threat or our rights. School officials stated their concern that the talk might be interpreted as "attacking another faith." Duh!

OK; allow me to say what so many others are unwilling to say. Every religion (faith system) believes it has the right answers, and every true believer - whether they are Christian (of whatever denomination), Roman Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Communist, everyday Atheist or any other - is convinced his belief is the only true one. Anyone who believes there can be more than one Absolute truth is fooling himself.

While there are superficial similarities in some belief systems, the profound differences in all cause logic to present us with only two choices; either one is true, or none of them is true (and therefore the actual Truth remains unknown). This necessarily means that advocating the superiority of one's own faith system automatically puts it at odds with all others. We each must make the choice of which one to believe, or to believe none (which, in the case of religion, is itself a belief system based on an unsustainable paradox: since one cannot possibly know all things, to presume there is no God is to presume oneself to be an all-knowing god).

Various faiths can choose to interact peaceably, and even without rancor; but each must - at least within himself - be certain that all the other guys are wrong. Of course, human nature being what it is, in most cases individuals have a tendency to cherry-pick which parts of that faith they are willing to adhere to, and to conveniently disregard those parts that interfere with their personal desires. God must be so proud of us.

Pardon the digression: St. Louis University is either being hypocritical to cancel Horowitz' speech on the grounds of offending other faiths, or they are being supremely disingenuous about the validity of their own faith.

How dare they?! CNN recently did a piece criticizing Saturday Night Live's parody of President Obama's ineffectiveness, from a liberal point of view. Yea, I know, hard to believe. ( Of course, they were never that hard on the George Bushes.) But what was harder to swallow was that the CNN report actually went to a fact-checking website to defend Obama, in order to push what they think he's accomplished. That effort fell flat, however; for example, they tried to portray Obama as strong in Afghanistan, even though (as noted above) he's wasted weeks without giving his own pick for theater commander - General McChrystal - the manpower and other resources he's requested, forcing the general to do the militarily unthinkable - going public. It isn't bad enough that Obama seems intent on losing the war, as it is that for every day he procrastinates or outright refuses to beef up our forces, Americans are dying and being terribly wounded for nothing. Mr. President, get off the pot (take that however you wish); bring the troops home or fight all-out to defeat the enemy.

To an unsuspecting audience that swallows the Kool-Aid unflinchingly, it probably appeared as though SNL was trashing Obama - with an uncharacteristically lame portrayal by Fred Armison - for the same reasons conservatives might. But actually, many liberals such as the SNL crew are PO'd because they think Obama hasn't pushed the liberal agenda far enough, especially given the Democrat Party's current on congress and another potential voice on the Supreme Court. Either way, it looks like the honeymoon may finally be over for The Man Who Would Be King. We can only hope - for change.

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