Sunday, September 23, 2007

Let Him Speak

Unlike a lot of folks, evidently, I don't have a problem with Columbia University inviting Iranian president Ahmadinejad to speak on campus this week.

I think it will be an excellent way to spark discussion among people across this nation as to exactly who Ahmadinejad is and what he is trying to do. I'm afraid that most Americans have no idea of the extent of Iran's horrific machinations in the Middle East, and if it takes the controversy around Ahmadinejad's appearance to educate them then the invitation is a good thing.

My concern is not with the invitation, rather it's that this pyschopath Ahmadinejad who's responsible for the deaths and maimings of hundreds of American soldiers, who is seeking to build nuclear and chemical weapons with which to destroy Israel, who presides over a nation which supports terrorism around the globe and which savagely executes gays, women and children who transgress their barbaric laws at home, will be treated with more fawning deference and respect by the Colombia faculty and students than would, say, Ann Coulter.

I say let him speak, but I hope tens of thousands of people turn out to protest not his appearance, but his existence.


Why We Shouldn't Leave

There's a discussion going on over at Politics, Sex and Religion around a column I wrote for the newspaper on why it would be a mistake to leave Iraq at this stage of the mission. Check it out and join the discussion.


Hillary's Religious Faith

Mother Jones features an article on the nature of Sen. Clinton's religious faith. Reading this it's hard to think that Mrs. Clinton's faith is not genuine, although there are stories about her tenure with Bill that certainly raise doubts. Even so, none of us is perfect. Here are some excerpts:

Through all of her years in Washington, Clinton has been an active participant in conservative Bible study and prayer circles that are part of a secretive Capitol Hill group known as the Fellowship. Her collaborations with right-wingers such as Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and former Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) grow in part from that connection. "A lot of evangelicals would see that as just cynical exploitation," says the Reverend Rob Schenck, a former leader of the militant anti-abortion group Operation Rescue who now ministers to decision makers in Washington. "I don't....there is a real good that is infected in people when they are around Jesus talk, and open Bibles, and prayer."

When Clinton first came to Washington in 1993, one of her first steps was to join a Bible study group. For the next eight years, she regularly met with a Christian "cell" whose members included Susan Baker, wife of Bush consigliere James Baker; Joanne Kemp, wife of conservative icon Jack Kemp; Eileen Bakke, wife of Dennis Bakke, a leader in the anti-union Christian management movement; and Grace Nelson, the wife of Senator Bill Nelson, a conservative Florida Democrat.

Clinton's prayer group was part of the Fellowship (or "the Family"), a network of sex-segregated cells of political, business, and military leaders dedicated to "spiritual war" on behalf of Christ, many of them recruited at the Fellowship's only public event, the annual National Prayer Breakfast. (Aside from the breakfast, the group has "made a fetish of being invisible," former Republican Senator William Armstrong has said.) The Fellowship believes that the elite win power by the will of God, who uses them for his purposes. Its mission is to help the powerful understand their role in God's plan.

It'll be interesting, if Sen. Clinton wins the presidency in 2008, to see whether she receives the kind of media criticism for depending upon divine guidance as has George Bush.

At any rate, there's much more in the story that reveals fascinating details about the people who have influenced her religious development and how that development has played itself out in some of her political positions.

HT: Hot Air