Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ugly Americans

Frenzied mob scenes in the capitol building, death threats directed to GOP lawmakers, mobs trying to break the windows of lawmakers' cars, recall petitions being circulated to force GOP lawmakers out of office. This is the modern progressive left. Either the taxpayers and their representatives let them have their way or they'll throw a tantrum in the streets.

The Republican legislators have been called cowards for passing this bill, but that's simply, and typically, absurd. These men and women have been exceedingly brave to stand up to the mobs of people screaming at them, thugs trying to intimidate them, and the threats against themselves, their families, and their homes. On the other hand, if you want to see cowardice consider the Democratic senators who fled the state rather than stand and fight.

In light of the fact that I've not heard a single criticism of the Madison demonstrators' behavior on any mainstream news media outlet, I hope the people in the major media have a sufficient sense of shame to never again talk about incivility among the tea-partiers. If they do they deserve to be treated with utter scorn and derision.

One last thought: I wonder how many of the protestors in the Wisconsin capitol were university students and public employee union members. It seems from the pics that it could be a sizable majority. That means that most of the people demanding that the taxpayers continue to fork over their cash are people who either pay no taxes themselves or live off the taxes paid by others. Swell.

Hot Air has a good summary of events.

Baptists and Muslims

Most people who have commented on the Snyder v. Phelps case agree that the behavior and views of Mr. Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church are contemptible and not deserving of the respect of decent people. Many commentators and cartoonists have reviled and mocked them in print, not just for their awful behavior at funerals, but for the beliefs they hold about homosexuality and American decadence.

But here's an interesting thing. The Westboro baptists are on the fringe of American Christianity, but they're roundly condemned for holding views that are actually in the mainstream of American Islam.

Whether it's their conviction that God hates homosexuals, or that God rejoices in the deaths of American soldiers, or that America is a fundamentally decadent society which deserves to be destroyed, there are a lot of devout Muslims in this country who would fervently assent to all of these.

So why do the media and others, if they find the views of the Westboro baptists so revolting, bend over backward to extend the palm of good will, understanding, and tolerance to other Americans who believe the same thing, but do so under the aegis of a different religion?

It might be replied that Muslims don't declare their beliefs at soldiers' funerals, but is this restraint due to the dictates of decorum or of prudence. Is it that Muslims simply have more sense than the Westboro folks and realize that there's no point in alienating the entire population of non-Muslim America, or is it that Muslims have a stronger sense of propriety and don't wish to offend the families of the soldiers who have died in combat against other Muslims?

Maybe I'm wrong on this, but I'll bet it's more often the former than the latter. At any rate, I wish those inclined to mock and despise Fred Phelps and his clan would ask themselves how they would respond if it wasn't the Westboro Baptist church they were ridiculing, but rather members of the local mosque. If their response would be different, if they'd probably not draw that cartoon if it were Muslims holding those placards, maybe they should ask themselves why.

Here's a video of one of Fred Phelps' daughters on Fox News Sunday last weekend. She's a lawyer and she seems very bright, but I can't imagine that she says very much here that, mutatis mutandis, many devout Muslims in this country wouldn't agree with.
As a postscript I wonder whether the Supreme Court majority in Snyder v. Phelps would have ruled the same way had people stood outside a Muslim funeral with signs that instead of saying Thank God for Dead Soldiers read Thank God for Dead Muslims. I suspect the Supreme Court would have found that intolerable, as they should, but then why is it not intolerable when the funeral is for a Marine?