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America First, errr, Second!

Glenn Greenwald offers an interesting perspective on the Right Wing Blogosmear's (over)reaction to a recent poll showing a small percentage of young American Muslims believe suicide bombings are justifiable:

Today's anti-Muslim warrior ritual is based upon nothing more substantial than the series of exciting loud noises and bulk cell phone purchases at various Wal-Marts that proved to be so disappointing. They cite the findings that minorities of American Muslims can conceive of circumstances in which suicide bombings are justified to defend Islam, and that a majority of the respondents (a) believe the war in Afghanistan is wrong; (b) think of themselves as "Muslims first," rather than "Americans first"; and (c) favor larger government. How much longer can the Republic withstand the grave Islamic Threat From Within?

Greenwald cites a Pew Research poll on American attitudes on torture to point out their hypocrisy moral position on the matter (emphasis his).

Note that majorities of white Christians want to torture not merely actual terrorists, but they also want to torture "terrorist suspects" as well, i.e., a group that almost certainly includes perfectly innocent people.

And majorities of white Christians -- Catholics, evangelicals and protestants -- believe in torture not merely in the improbable-in-the-extreme "ticking time bomb" scenario; rather, they believe in torture as a matter of course (i.e., more than "rarely" -- either "often or "sometimes"). (By stark and revealing contrast, "secularists" oppose torture in far greater numbers). Think about how depraved that is: what kind of religious individual affirmatively believes that people should be routinely tortured, including people who have never been proven to have done anything wrong?

Furthermore, the Pew Poll from today itself revealed that 42% of American Christians -- 42% -- consider themselves "Christians first," not "Americans first." A very substantial portion of Christians, then, place allegiance to their religion above that of allegiance to the United States.

And if that wasn't enough to make the Malkin-tents shriek, he tosses in a Newsweek poll for good measure:

Nearly half (48 percent) of the public rejects the scientific theory of evolution; one-third (34 percent) of college graduates say they accept the Biblical account of creation as fact. Seventy-three percent of Evangelical Protestants say they believe that God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years; 39 percent of non-Evangelical Protestants and 41 percent of Catholics agree with that view.

These people don't see themselves as Christian Americans, they see themselves as American Christians, and that's fine... but that position has no place in the White House.


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Comments (8)

Steve Crickmore:

Pretty high percentage 48%.. on the rejection of evolution...About the same believe that humans didn't exist 10,000 years ago..How do the explain this?The Oldest Homo Sapiens: Fossils Push Human Emergence Back To 195,000 Years Ago. They haven't abolished science yet, in America's high schools, have they?

Heralder:

I would like to point out that once again, this complete absence of morality. Beheading and blowing up innocent men, women and children, well that's ok, but some Christians thinking it's ok to make someone feel like they're drowning in an effort to STOP PEOPLE FROM BLOWING UP INNOCENT MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN, well that's simply reprehensible and displays their hyposcrasy...even though the two issues aren't even comparable.

Is there no morality whatsoever in the mind of the progressive, or liberal or whatever people who think like this classify themselves as? Apparently not. Moral relativity reigns. If apparently a small percentage of American Muslims thinks it's fine to violently and indiscriminatley kill people to fulfill their perverted zealotry, then apparently it's equally as bad for their would be victims to take the gloves off when wanting to stop them from doing so.

Why run to the defense of Muslims that believe it would be great for pieces of infidel Glenn Greenwald to be smeared across the street in an explosion?

The answer is, there's a greater enemy in our midst, and it's those evil suicide bombing beheading Christians, look out. I have Rosie O'Donnell on line one.

Google it.

And Lee, you say a small percentage of American Muslims as if it's no big deal. Well for the sake of argument, let's say you take this poll at face value, because I do not.

But let's examine "small percentage". According to this Poll that tiny perentage is 13%.

That's 13 (thirteen) of every 100 (one hundred) young American Muslims that thinks suicide bombing is accepetable under "some" circumstances, and 2 (two) of every 100 (one hundred) young American Muslims that thinks it's often acceptable.

Guess what, those two people who think it's justifiable to load an explosive device with ball bearings into a belt and blow themselves up on a bus or at a church or on the subway or on a plane... they are perfectly capable of killing the other 98 people. You cool with that Lee? Not good odds is it?

I realize what I just did there...they said they found it justifiable, not that they would actually do it.

But, as Glenn writes:

Note that majorities of white Christians want to torture not merely actual terrorists, but they also want to torture"terrorist suspects" as well, i.e., a group that almost certainly includes perfectly innocent people.

Amazing how that works isn't it? Loads of Christians are roaming the country with saran wrap, a bucket of water and a radio, just dying to find an innocent terrorist to make uncomfortable.

Something must be done about these roving bands of rabid Christians, before several Muslims are made to feel less than good.

Disclaimer:

Given my stated position on polls, I don't give any credence to the results of either.

Heralder:

As a side note, I find it funny that it's somehow shocking that almost half of Christians believe in their religion.

Wow.

I have an idea, while you guys are busy dogpiling Christians for what they believe, don't spare the Muslims any love. Oh that's right, you couldn't criticize them because that wouldn't be multicultural or it would be racist.

Paul Hamilton:

Heralder, what do you think the results would be if fundamentalist Christians who believe abortion is murder were asked if they thought violent means were appropriate to stop abortions? It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if 2% believed it would "often" be acceptable to set off a bomb at an abortion clinic or that 13% think that would be okay under "some" circumstances.

That's the trouble with fundamentalism of any kind. It divides the world into "us" and "them," and those other peoples' lives aren't worth much, so it becomes acceptable to kill off some of them to advance your religious agenda. And if you don't think Christians would do that, just look at the following people like Paul Hill gained. Even if some people would only admit their tolerance for that kind of thing if you twist their arms, it's still an indication of how religion can warp peoples' minds if misused.

Beheading and blowing up innocent men, women and children, well that's ok, but some Christians thinking it's ok to make someone feel like they're drowning in an effort to STOP PEOPLE FROM BLOWING UP INNOCENT MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN, well that's simply reprehensible and displays their hyposcrasy...even though the two issues aren't even comparable.

You appear to have set up a classic strawman argument here, Heralder. Nobody has suggested that beheading and blowing up innocent people is ok.

"If apparently a small percentage of American Muslims thinks it's fine to violently and indiscriminatley kill people to fulfill their perverted zealotry, then apparently it's equally as bad for their would be victims to take the gloves off when wanting to stop them from doing so."

"Equally bad", no. Opposing the use of torture doesn't mean I think the use of torture is "the equal" of violent murder - another strawman argument from you - and you remember the Stawman from the Wizard of Oz's motto, right?

I just think torture is a bad idea, as does Greenwald, especially when its applied to "suspected terrorists."

Greenwald:

Note that majorities of white Christians want to torture not merely actual terrorists, but they also want to torture "terrorist suspects" as well, i.e., a group that almost certainly includes perfectly innocent people.

"And Lee, you say a small percentage of American Muslims as if it's no big deal."

Nope, I don't suggest its no big deal, just a statistical fact who's "bigness" is left to you.

"Guess what, those two people who think it's justifiable to load an explosive device with ball bearings into a belt and blow themselves up on a bus or at a church or on the subway or on a plane... they are perfectly capable of killing the other 98 people. You cool with that Lee? Not good odds is it?"

Uhm, no - if I left you with the impression that I was "cool with that", Heralder, please point me to the words I used in doing so so that I can clarify my position. I'm not "cool with that" at all.

"Amazing how that works isn't it? Loads of Christians are roaming the country with saran wrap, a bucket of water and a radio, just dying to find an innocent terrorist to make uncomfortable.

No one's suggested that, Heralder, but perhaps some Christians are motivated to elect political leaders to torture non-Christians for them -- after all, it's much cleaner and neater, and this way their "going to church" Sunday best clothes aren't soiled.

Just look at the hate that was seething through young Christian Mark Uhl.

Heralder:

Paul,

Heralder, what do you think the results would be if fundamentalist Christians who believe abortion is murder were asked if they thought violent means were appropriate to stop abortions? It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if 2% believed it would "often" be acceptable to set off a bomb at an abortion clinic or that 13% think that would be okay under "some" circumstances.

The proof is in the pudding. How many abortion clinics are blown up by Christian Fundamentalists every day? Compare, constrast. You don't need a poll to tell you the results.

I can however agree that a certain extremism in thought and heart has negative consequences. I take issue with the fact that Greenwald decides not to add his thoughts on the subject matter here, but since he can't take his usual tac of defending murderers he attacks Christians.

He's an apologist whether he likes it or not.

Lee,

First, let me clarify. I realize that I strongly inferred that you are fine with the prospect of a small percentage of Muslims thinking it acceptable to kill you. I know you're not, so that's out of the way with my apologies.

"Equally bad", no. Opposing the use of torture doesn't mean I think the use of torture is "the equal" of violent murder - another strawman argument from you - and you remember the Stawman from the Wizard of Oz's motto, right?

If the torture argument as presented by me is a strawman explain to me why it was brought up as a counter argument to Muslims who find mass murder acceptable, and presented by you in it's sheer idiocy as showing the (in your words) "American attitudes on torture to point out their hypocrisy on the matter"

It's an incompatible argument. There was no condemnation on the Muslim position to murder, only condemnation to the Christian position on torture.

It's called moral relativity, and its despicable.

I just think torture is a bad idea, as does Greenwald, especially when its applied to "suspected terrorists."

That's fine in of itself, but as I stated, not as a counter argument.

No one's suggested that, Heralder, but perhaps some Christians are motivated to elect political leaders to torture non-Christians for them -- after all, it's much cleaner and neater, and this way their "going to church" Sunday best clothes aren't soiled.

Yes, no one is suggesting that except for Greenwald, and you by association. I'll cite once more:

Note that majorities of white Christians want to torture not merely actual terrorists, but they also want to torture "terrorist suspects" as well, i.e., a group that almost certainly includes perfectly innocent people.

My take on the issue of torture as a non-Christian is extremely mixed. But I'll ask you the age old question. If U.S. authorities captured a man with evidence that he was planning a terrorist attack with the help of others, but no information on who those others were...would you find waterboarding him to get said information acceptable?

Realize that the answer of "no" means you are likely consigning innocent people to death. So which is it?

And don't even try to tell me he's going to give up the information willingly.

Just look at the hate that was seething through young Christian Mark Uhl.

Interesting. What percent of Christians does he comprise?

-

If the left if so sensitive about being called to task about letting Islamists off the hook, an occasional post about it would go far. Instead you see blaming other people, like ourselves, or Christians for instance.

Lee:
If the torture argument as presented by me is a strawman explain to me why it was brought up as a counter argument to Muslims who find mass murder acceptable, and presented by you in it's sheer idiocy as showing the (in your words) "American attitudes on torture to point out their hypocrisy on the matter"

It's an incompatible argument. There was no condemnation on the Muslim position to murder, only condemnation to the Christian position on torture.

It's called moral relativity, and its despicable.

Only in the mind of strawman, Heralder.

Moral relativity is not the same as moral equivalence, and your suggestion to the contrary is still full of straw. I can point out the hypocrisy of the Christian right in supporting the torture of innocent people without suggesting in the least that such torture is the equivalent of the murder of innocents. It stands on its own, there's no connection between the two except in your mind.

As you yourself said -- you reached a long distance to equate the Muslims youths in the poll with actual suicide bombers -- and here you've illustrated just how far you're willing to stretch this (frail and fragile strawman) argument.

Young Americans responding in this poll ARE NOT the same as mass murderers actually committing the deed, and yet you just can't seem to differentiate between the two -- it's just too much of an emotional, gut reaction for you to let go.

That's exactly the kind of overreaction Greenwald and I are citing - thanks for stepping up and hitting it out of the park for us.

Next you'll want to round up the 13% of the young Muslim poll participants whose answers you didn't like and waterboard them all to find out their true intentions - if they really intend to kill Americans or not, right?

After all - you have "evidence of their intent to kill" in their poll responses, don't you, so torture is justified, right?

THAT, my friend, is the kind of moral equivalence you attributed to me - and I'd like to believe that you'll now admit that my suggestion that you'd like to round up the poll participants and waterboard them on the basis of the poll "evidence" is a specious argument -- and at the same time I'd like to believe that you'll admit that your arguments were straw-ful as well, but I know you better than that :)

Heralder:

Lee,

You've missed the point...serveral times actually.

I've directly quoted, what you quoted from Greenwald, twice, even conveniently bolding the accusatory phrases that illustrate what I was speaking of. I'm not going to bother doing it again.

I can point out the hypocrisy of the Christian right in supporting the torture of innocent people without suggesting in the least that such torture is the equivalent of the murder of innocents.

No Lee, you cannot do that when it (here it is again) is presented as a counter argument. You treated Greenwald's article on Christians supporting torture as both proof of hypocrasy as well as response to "the Right Wing Blogosmear's" reaction to the Muslim poll.

After you do this, and it's in print, you try to tell me that the two are unrelated.

Lee, YOU'VE related them, that's what I'm saying, and that's why I've labelled it as I have.

Now that I broken it down for you the third time, more plainly, perhaps it'll stick.

As you yourself said -- you reached a long distance to equate the Muslims youths in the poll with actual suicide bombers -- and here you've illustrated just how far you're willing to stretch this (frail and fragile strawman) argument.

Of course I said that, because the entire reason I was doing it was to call Greenwald's accusations to task. I said it when I did it...the point only changed in your mind. Think of it as applying the same rules to both arguments. That might threaten to circumvent your well established double standards though, and as evidenced, you'll completely look past it without computing the information.

So, in summary Lee. Were I to use GREENWALD'S OWN LOGIC, I could deduce from the polls, that said Muslims want to suicide bomb (just as Christians "want to torture" remember that? he said it not once, but twice in a single paragraph).

Are you seeing it now?

I'm also still curious to see how you would answer the question I posed to you in my last post.

On a positive note, I've somehow managed to blockquote, bold and italic numerous items without screwing them up.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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