Thursday, May 20, 2004

From antiwar.com via LRC
The hypocrisy of forcing modern American ways onto Iraq
by Pat Buchanan
Wake up, Protestant religious right and your RC fellow-travellers - by supporting this war you're supporting everything you hate in America and persecuting fellow believers in the God of Abraham.

"So, how do we advance the cause of female emancipation in the Muslim world?" asks Richard Perle in An End to Evil. He replies, "We need to remind the women of Islam ceaselessly: Our enemies are the same as theirs; our victory will be theirs as well."

Oh, yes, 'the white man's burden'. See, the neocons and Hillary Clinton - 'we Methodists know what's good for you (Third World people)' - are on the same team. They're not conservatives. This is a meddling liberal 'do-gooder' crusade - like Vietnam.

In June 2002 at West Point, President Bush said, "Moral truth is the same in every culture, in every time and in every place."

Stopped clock, you know.

...conservative Americans have more in common with devout Muslims than with liberal Democrats.

What some of us view as the moral descent of a great and godly republic into imperial decadence, neocons see as their big chance to rule the world.

If he
(Mr Bush) intends to impose the values of MTV America on the Muslim world in the name of a "world democratic revolution," he will provoke and incite a war of civilizations America cannot win because Americans do not want to fight it. This may be the neocons' war. It is not our war.

When Bush speaks of freedom as God's gift to humanity, does he mean the First Amendment freedom of Larry Flynt to produce pornography and of Salman Rushdie to publish The Satanic Verses, a book considered blasphemous to the Islamic faith?

Yes, if they stopped to think about it, what would the Protestant religious right and their friends make of the campaign to bring Hustler to the Muslim world? I'm libertarian on the First Amendment because the freedom that protects Mr Flynt protects me while at the same I say it's the church's job to spread the truth and tell its people and anybody else who'll listen that, er, using Mr F's product is a mortal sin.

When the president speaks of freedom, does he mean the First Amendment prohibition against our children reading the Bible and being taught the Ten Commandments in school?

OK, for the reason given above here's where Pat and I part ways in our opinions/prudential judgement. Kids can and should be taught those things in school - in religious schools and home schools. If one sees government schools as necessary - and there are real conservatives who don't - keep them secular to protect everybody's freedom, including Catholics. One reason immigrants started the RC school system Mr Buchanan grew up with was the government schools were trying to force Protestantism down their kids' throats as the de facto American state religion. 'We Methodists know what's good for you, Giuseppe.' Liberals still love the government schools, too, only PCness has replaced the King James Bible.

Unfortunately, Pagan America of 2004 has far less to offer the world in cultural fare than did Christian America of 1954. Many of the movies, books, magazines, TV shows, videos and much of the music we export to the world are as poisonous as the narcotics the Royal Navy forced on the Chinese people in the Opium Wars.

A society that accepts the killing of a third of its babies as women's "emancipation," that considers homosexual marriage to be social progress, that hands out contraceptives to 13-year-old girls at junior high ought to be seeking out a confessional – better yet, an exorcist – rather than striding into a pulpit like Elmer Gantry to lecture mankind on the superiority of "American values."

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