An attempt at realism


“There’s a number of pieces of evidence which has essentially pushed us off the cliff to say we are considering this an act of terrorism.” (David Bowdich, the F.B.I. assistant director in charge of the Los Angeles office.)

“Pushed us off the cliff.” How telling! Is there any remaining doubt that Obama FBI policy has been pusillanimous denial until denial becomes utterly untenable?

Few, probably, read this blog for real political insight, but here goes anyway: San Bernardino is our Alamo.

  • It exposes the delusion of our constant government pronouncements on the terrorist threat (Bush’s before Obama’s too. We can only hope that behind the stultifying and pacifying lies was a bit more realism).
  • It makes me doubt the efficacy of screening Syrian refugees (though I still tend to think that’s one of the hardest ways for a terrorist to enter the U.S.)
  • It makes me wonder if the many Koranic texts about violent Jihad aren’t themselves a sort of Islamist Terrorist “sleeper cell,” not in any way exegeted into oblivion.

It became much likelier Wednesday that the next President is going to be a Republican, if only because of Republican rhetorical toughness on terrorism and under-restrained immigration. When terror takes center stage, nobody’s paying attention to much else. My own distaste for the whole GOP field today feels more like “isn’t there a pony in this stable somewhere?”


We Christians can understand the frustration and anger that motivate such attacks, for the same secularizing forces have been attacking our faith as well.

We are a people who believe in human rights, yet are faced with a religious ideology that has no democratic tradition and a history of forcing submission upon others.

Like the struggle against fascism and communism, we will most likely be engaged in this battle of religious ideology for a generation or two. In all truth we can not claim to know God’s will in everything, so must patiently move forward, fighting for liberty and justice.

For Christians the knowledge that our own country has spread her culture of violence, secularism, greed and immodesty throughout the world, is cause to wonder if it is not God’s judgement that we are experiencing.

When Muslim theologian Ayatollah Baqer al-Sadr has said that, “The world as we know it today is how others shaped it. We have two choices: either to accept it with submission, which means letting Islam die, or to destroy it, so that we can construct a world as Islam requires”, we Christians must wonder what our response should be.

[T]he answer to these jihadist attacks around the world, as well as the ISIS threat to the Western World, begins with us. We must turn back to God as a nation, and repent as a people.

These radical Muslims see themselves as the righteous, charged by their god to purge the world of evildoers, because they do not distinguish between the paganism or the Christianity of the West, precisely because they believe the former to be part of the latter.

(Abbot Tryphon) The italics indicate the parts that are particularly challenging to me.

I’m starting to think there’s no alternative to fighting back physically, even though I know there’s going to be all kinds of innocent civilian casualties inflicted by both sides, deliberately or not, and even though I have so little respect for what we have become and what we will be defending. I just think that when terrorism is contained, in the dotage of my great-grandchildren, there may be some chance of cleaning up the great American cesspool. I’m not sure we’d ever cast off dhimmitude.

If only we would start that turning back to God, in repentance, as a nation, even as we fight. I see little sign of that, which was my hope after 9/11 but which quickly faded.


The power of the press in America is a primordial one. It sets the agenda of public discussion, and this sweeping political power is unrestrained by any law. It determines what people will talk and think about — an authority that in other nations is reserved for tyrants, priests, parties and mandarins.

(Theodore White, The Making of the President 1972, via Pat Buchanan) Note that this is not the power to tell people what to think, but the power to tell what to think about. The very power to say “this is news,” tacitly excluding all else as topics of common discussion, is the awesome power and it seems to me that it largely remains. Fox and MSNBC may disagree about X, Y & Z, but they agree that X, Y & Z are the news.

The internet has some slight power to break that, and my own tacit motivation in much of what I write is “could we think and maybe talk about this important topic instead of the commercial crap, toxic entertainments and other ephemera mainstream media tell us are newsworthy? I’m not smart enough to figure it out on my own, but it seems to me that it’s important.” This blog installment is exactly that. 

I’d like us, for instance, to clean up our culture of violence, secularism, greed and immodesty, whereupon we will automatically cease spreading it throughout the world. But that is not the only gripe the traditionalists of the world, including Islamists, have with us.

The mainstream press seems to think that the problem with Islamic terrorism, now officially homegrown or immigrated legally to the U.S., is that someone will be mean (or worse) to one of the many innocent Muslims in the U.S. I’d like for us to return to the past sensible policy of considering religion in immigration policy, since there’s some reason to think that Muslims are not assimilating as well as other immigrants. They adhere to a religion that from its founding refused to co-exist peaceably and equally with other religions when it gains power to make the rules. It will gain power to make the rules if we admit as many highly-fertile Muslims as has Europe (to do the work of the children we’re not ourselves bearing).

I’m not very sanguine about revival of Christendom, either religious or demographic. I do indeed wonder if it is not God’s judgement that we are experiencing. Muslims are aware that American global hegemony is toxic to Islam and will kill it. American Christians — sincere-ish ones — haven’t even figured out that American public schools are toxic to Christianity and were designed to be, replacing it with America Civic Religion that has proven barely worth the pipe bombs to blow it up.


In the end, this is not “Hatfields verus McCoys,” with no clarity on “who started it.” Islamism was on the march for centuries before Christendom responded with the Crusades, trying to recover Christian holy sites like Jerusalem. Islamdom has been subdued for centuries, but not really pacified.

Traditional peoples, including those of Islamic countries, have much longer memories (and grudges) than amnesiac Americans, and I fear they’re starting to march again.

* * * * *

“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.


Tofu Tidbits* 12/3/11

  1. Good news on religious freedom.
  2. A little religious humor.
  3. Ancient religious wall paintings.
  4. Saddleback Satchel Send-Up.
  5. Republican terrorism promoters (and their harems).
  6. Slanted journalism.
  7. Poetry recommendation.

* Temporarily renamed in honor of the Nativity Fast, about which Mystagogy has some more information.

Continue reading “Tofu Tidbits* 12/3/11”