Tuesday, 16 November 2010

U.S. Left: Onward Muslim Soldiers

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When I think of modern America, conjured up is an image of a boxer who, while sometimes bobbing, weaving, blocking, and occasionally directing a blow with his right, intermittently hits himself in the head with his left. I also might then imagine how the other man in the ring would laugh upon witnessing the spectacle of an opponent who, inexplicably, does half his job for him.
The latest hard left thrown in our masochistic, self-flagellating land is the reaction to the Oklahoma constitutional amendment forbidding judges from using international or Sharia law when making decisions. First, and not surprisingly, a lawsuit was filed. The plaintiff was executive director of the Oklahoma CAIR chapter Muneer Awad, who claimed that the amendment’s targeting of Sharia violates First Amendment rights. This prompted U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange to block the measure by issuing a temporary restraining order that will remain in effect until a November 22 hearing. So, as is the modern American way, this issue will be hashed out in the courts.

More interesting, however, are the diverging reactions in the courts of public and pundit opinion. While most Americans are cheering the 70 percent of Oklahomans who passed the amendment, the left-wing media’s and fogosphere’s reaction is as predictable as the lawsuit: They are leveling accusations of bigotry against the good residents of the Sooner State. For example, Michael Stone at Examiner.com writes, “The law is an embarrassing absurdity that reflects an unflattering portrait of ignorance and bigotry on the part of many Oklahoma voters.” And NationalPost.com pulls no punches, stating right in a headline, “Anti-Sharia law in Oklahoma has smell of bigotry.”

Now, since people become inured to their own odor, there’s some question as to what the Left is actually smelling. And I sense the smell of hypocrisy.

It’s not that it might take industrial-grade chutzpah for the set that preaches the separation of church and state to complain about an amendment banning the use of religious law in government courts. After all, opponents of the law could say that they don’t oppose any such blanket prohibition, just the targeting of a certain religion.

And I don’t buy it for a second. Leftists are the ones who for years have used the Establishment Clause as a pretext to relentlessly attack Christianity and strip longstanding Christian symbols and sentiments from the public sphere while remaining deafeningly silent about Islam’s inroads into it. For instance, in October of this year, Christian students at a Chattanooga, Tennessee, high school were told they may no longer pray before athletic practice and competition; in July, students from an Arizona Christian School were ordered by a police officer to stop praying outside the Supreme Court building during a school trip; and in June, four Christians were arrested five blocks from the Dearborn Arab International Festival for distributing the Gospel of John. They were, writes Janet Levy at American Thinker, “[led] away in handcuffs to shouts of ‘Allah hu Akbar’ from Muslim bystanders.” The official charge was disorderly conduct. I think the de facto one was "evangelizing while Christian."

At the same time, a red Persian rug is rolled out for Muslim practices. Excelsior Middle School in Discovery Bay, California, adopted an Islamic immersion course in which seventh-grade students had to take on Muslim names, recite Islamic prayers, and celebrate Ramadan. The ACLU doesn’t seem to object, either, and the courts find it palatable under the umbrella of multiculturalism.

Additionally, writes Levy:

After Carver Elementary School in San Diego absorbed Muslim students from a defunct charter school in September 2006, a special recess was provided for the students to pray, classes were segregated by gender, and pork was removed from the school menu. A teacher's aide at the school led children in prayer and was provided with a lesson plan allotting an hour of class time for Islamic prayer.

…the University of Michigan, a taxpayer-funded school, has provided separate prayer rooms and ritual foot baths, requiring bathroom modifications costing over $100,000, for Muslim observances.

At Minneapolis Community and Technical College, where religious displays, including those for Christmas, have been strictly prohibited, foot-washing facilities are being installed using taxpayer dollars after one student slipped and injured herself washing her feet in a sink.

These are just a few examples of a consistent double standard, one that I’ve addressed on numerous occasions. And the Left’s hypocrisy is especially profound, as they don’t just violate their separation-of-church-and-state legal principle but also their philosophical ones.

I can subordinate one system of religious law to another without descent into contradiction because I believe in Truth (objective morality), that yardstick for judging values. Thus, I understand that because different religions espouse different values, they cannot all be morally equal. Yet, being morally relativistic, the Left does assert the moral equivalence of all religions just as they do that of all cultures. In fact, they often say that you’re a bigot if you believe otherwise. Despite this, they still tell Christianity to sit at the back of the bus. What gives?

Answer: prejudice.

The truth is that this fault drives the Left’s opposition to Christianity far more often than it does opposition to Sharia law. And, to understand this, let’s be clear on what prejudice is and is not. Prejudice is not having a negative opinion about a certain group; it is not even having a negative opinion about any group. It is, rather, informs Dictionary.com, “1. an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason. [Emphasis added.]” In other words, it’s a negative opinion that has no basis in reality.

If it has that basis, however, it’s a different story. For example, is opposition to Nazis and communists necessarily a prejudice? Well, the reality is that the ideologies they embrace make them destructive people.

So what can we say about the Left and Christianity? For sure, the Left treats Christians as if they were destructive people. And as I wrote last year to illustrate the absurdity of it:

Let's say that I'm obsessed with eliminating the many American Indian names dotting our map. And let's say that the cultural climate is conducive to this endeavor and I can thus find support and a legal basis for such a cultural rending. So I scour the nation looking for “offenses” and file lawsuits against Chappaqua, N.Y., Alabama, Illinois, and Kentucky as part of a long crusade. Would a clear-thinking person find this normal?

Of course, the above analogizes the Left’s behavior with respect to Christianity. And it presents a question: Is the faith the kind of destructive force that would justify such an attack? For if it is not, the Left’s attitude is a prejudice. The only question that then remains is whether a given militant secularist is hateful or simply ignorant — or both.

Whatever the specifics, prejudice is a characteristic leftist fault. Here’s why: Our emotions will always prescribe some prejudice, be it against a person, group, or thing. After all, as evidenced when a child hates healthful vegetables, a man loves cigarettes, or a woman likes “bad boys” because nice fellows seem boring, our likes and dislikes will never completely accord with reality. The question is, how can we resist the siren of the heart?

The first thing we must possess is a yardstick with which we can judge our preferences. We know cigarettes should be avoided and vegetables are good because we have the objective reality known as the laws of human health — and we know bad boys are bad because we have the objective reality known as Moral Truth. And the latter also can tell us when our like or dislike of a certain belief or group is misguided.

But what if you were unaware of objective moral reality? What if you were a moral relativist — as leftists virtually always are? What then would be your yardstick for judging beliefs and people? Well, you could refer to consensus opinion, but if there were no Truth, what would opinion be, anyway?

It would be nothing but consensus taste — those likes and dislikes themselves.

And if that’s all consensus opinion is — the emotional preferences of others — why should you defer to it? Is the collective to be thought a god? After all, you are just as human — and as godlike, by your own lights — as your fellow citizens. And you have tastes of your own.

So, ultimately, the main guide the leftist has for governing attitude and behavior is his own emotion. This is why leftists are so feelings-oriented, why they have made “If it feels good, do it” a rallying cry. And emotion is the very realm of which prejudice is usually born.

To top it all off, unless leftists rise from their relativistic morass, they will remain blithely unaware of their prejudices. For the very thing that generates them, emotion, is also the thing that judges them. And a yardstick cannot fail to measure up to itself.

This is why the Left can preach non-judgmentalism, make all the wrong judgments, practice discrimination, and feel morally superior all the while. In the mind of the self-deified, every idea is immaculately conceived.