Eco-Fascism Leading the Way To Democrat Utopian Ideals (Updated)

(Foden Toons: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Fodentoons/)

“Fear is the most powerful enemy of reason. Both fear and reasoning are essential to human survival, but the relationship between them is unbalanced. Reason may sometimes dissipate fear, but fear frequently shuts down reason. As Edmund Burke wrote in England 20 years before the American Revolution,” no passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning past fear.” …. “Facts no longer matter. We simply decide how we want to see the world and then go out and find experts and evidence to back our beliefs.” (WUWT)

The above cartoon notes this recent story (h/t to Climate Depot) from a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing where Democrat Senator (RI) Sheldon Whitehouse asked Attorney General Loretta Lynch if there “are there other circumstances in which a civil matter under the authority of the Department of Justice has been referred to the FBI?”To which the AG responded,

This matter has been discussed. We have received information about it and have referred it to the FBI to consider whether or not it meets the criteria for which we could take action on,” Lynch answered. “I’m not aware of a civil referral at this time.

  • In a poll of 1,000 likely voters, Rasmussen Reports asked if the “government [should] investigate and prosecute scientists and others including major corporations who question global warming?” A full 27% of Democrats replied in the affirmative, as did 12% of Republicans. (Breitbart)

This is an update to my very frightening post about where Democrats are headed in this country. And that is, where every other leftist government has ventured into… fascism. Except this time, it is “eco-fascism.”

More in this UPDATE from IBD (hat-tip to GAYPATRIOT):

Conform or else. That’s the message of the global warming alarmists. Those who don’t buy into the man-made climate change narrative should be prosecuted as criminals.

“Put officials who reject science in jail,” someone named Brad Johnson who says he’s executive director of something called Climate Hawks Vote tweeted last month.

At roughly the same time, Mark Hertsgaard typed a screed in The Nation which ran under the headline:

“Climate Denialism Is Literally Killing Us: The victims of Hurricane Harvey have a murderer — and it’s not the storm.​”

“How long,” Hertsgaard asked, “before we hold the ultimate authors of such climate catastrophes accountable for the miseries they inflict?”

And then there’s Bill Nye, the Junk Science Guy, who hasn’t been able to cover up his apparent desire to see “criminal investigations” against those ignoring his truth. It’s not hard to see through him, though. He dissembles like a politician but his appetite is clear.

The urge to prosecute and imprison those who don’t believe as they have been commanded to is not a new wrinkle among the alarmist tribe. Three years ago, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., sounding like, well, a Kennedy, said the Koch brothers “should be in jail, I think they should be enjoying three hots and a cot at The Hague with all the other war criminals.”

“Do I think the Koch brothers should be tried for reckless endangerment? Absolutely, that is a criminal offence and they ought to be serving time for it.”

The Kochs’ crime? Selling energy resources to willing buyers and funding organizations that have reservations about the climate change story we’re constantly being told……..

AL GORE

…For the third time in the last few years, Al Gore, founder and chairman of the Climate Reality Project, spoke at the festival on Friday. Naturally, his interactive discussion focused on addressing the climate crisis. The former vice president focused on the need to “punish climate-change deniers, saying politicians should pay a price for rejecting ‘accepted science,’” said the Chicago Tribune.

Gore said forward-thinking investors are moving away from companies that invest in fossil fuels and towards companies investing in renewable energy. “We need to put a price on carbon to accelerate these market trends,” Gore told the Chicago Tribune, referring to a proposed federal cap-and-trade system that would penalize companies that exceeded their carbon-emission limits. “And in order to do that, we need to put a price on denial in politics.”…

(Eco Watch)

Bill Nye

Via Moonbattery (more at: Climate Depot):

Climate commie Bill Nye the Pseudo-Science Guy has joined the ranks of totalitarians who want skeptics of the floundering global warming hoax imprisoned

[….]

Science? This isn’t about science. Global warming, climate change, climate chaos, or whatever they call the hoax next week is about hard left authoritarian politics. The Bill Nye–level pseudo-science is strictly window dressing.

Meanwhile, there has been no statistically significant warming for the past 23 years despite rising levels of beneficial CO2, shedding light on why warmists have been resorting to coercion to prop up their hoax.

Various Democrats

Also note that Democrats are actively investigations into people who counter the anthropogenic global warming narrative:

Dem Congressman “sent requests to seven universities asking for detailed records on the funding sources for affiliated researchers who have opposed the scientific consensus on man-made global warming.”

(Washington Times)

Harassment prompts scientist to stop his research debunking extreme weather claims – CU Climate Expert Dr. Roger Pielke Jr.: I am Under ‘Investigation’ – Accuses Dems of ‘a politically-motivated ‘witch hunt’ designed to intimidate me (and others) and to smear my name”

(Climate Depot)

As The Post’s Joby Warrick reported earlier this week, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D- Ariz.), the ranking member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, asked seven universities for detailed records on the funding sources for seven scientists, many of whom are unconvinced that humans are the driving force behind recent climate change.

In a letter to Grijalva released this afternoon, the American Meteorological Society (AMS) — a scientific and professional society representing atmospheric and oceanic scientists — expressed strong opposition to the inquiry.

“Publicly singling out specific researchers based on perspectives they have expressed and implying a failure to appropriately disclose funding sources — and thereby questioning their scientific integrity — sends a chilling message to all academic researchers,” the AMS wrote.

The AMS joins a cast of individual scientists who have spoken out against the inquiry…

(Washington Post)

Here are some of tha main Democrat Culprits:

Democrats may be flustered after a week of being accused of engineering an anti-science “witch hunt,” but they aren’t backing down from their investigations into the financial backing of climate change researchers who challenge the movement’s doomsday scenarios.

Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona, the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, told National Journal this week that he may have been guilty of overreach even as he defended his probe into the funding sources of seven professors, now known as the “Grijalva Seven.”

Three Senate Democrats — Barbara Boxer of California, Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island — are conducting their own probe of 100 fossil fuel companies and trade associations funding climate research….

(Washington Times)

Senator Bernie Sanders

No Dissent Allowed: U.S. Senators introduce amendment to muzzle climate ‘denial apparatus’ – Senator Bernie Sanders co-sponsors

Via: DesmogBlog: U.S. Senators Introduce Amendment, Call On Fossil Fuel Industry To End ‘Climate Denial and Deception‘ – Democratic U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Ed Markey (MA) and Brian Schatz (HI) introduced an amendment into the energy bill yesterday intended to express Congress’s disapproval of the use of industry-funded think tanks and misinformation tactics aimed at sowing doubt about climate change science…Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) joined the amendment as a co-sponsor once it was introduced.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

Hat-tip to Climate Depot. This comes from the Weekly Standard:

  • Sen. Whitehouse (D-RI): ‘In 2006, Judge Gladys Kessler of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia decided that the tobacco companies’ fraudulent campaign amounted to a racketeering enterprise…The parallels between what the tobacco industry did and what the fossil fuel industry is doing now are striking.”

….That’s right — a sitting U.S. Senator is suggesting using RICO laws should be applied to global warming skeptics. Courts have been defining RICO down for some time and in ways that aren’t particularly helpful. In 1994, the Supreme Court ruled RICO statutes could be applied to pro-life activists on the grounds that interstate commerce can be affected even when the organization being targeted doesn’t have economic motives. 

Obviously, there’s a lot of money hanging in the balance with regard to energy policy. But when does coordinating “a wide range of activities, including political lobbying, contributions to political candidates, and a large number of communication and media efforts” go from basic First Amendment expression to racketeering? The tobacco analogy is inappropriate in regards to how direct the link between smoking and cancer is. Even among those who do agree that global warming is a problem, there’s a tremendously wide variety of opinions about the practical effects. Who gets to decide whether someone is “downplaying the role of carbon emissions in climate change” relative to the consensus? If message coordination and lobbying on controversial scientific and political issues can be declared racketeering because the people funding such efforts have a financial interest in a predetermined outcome, we’re just going to have to outlaw everything that goes on in Washington, D.C.

Who are the cigarette execs? Morano explains:

  • …it’s the global warming scientists who are the ones fulfilling a narrative. I mean we have Michael Oppenheimer, one of the lead U.N. scientists, took an endowment from Barbra Streisand. Hollywood – he’s the climatologists to the stars. It’s so insulting to imply that somehow skeptical scientists are on the pay like tobacco companies. It’s the height of arrogance when you look at the actual data, the global warming scientists, through government grants, foundations, through media empowerment, have the full advantages of government money, foundation money, university money. There’s not even any comparison.’

Green News also notes proposed “jailing” of “deniers:

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) has a new plan to combat climate change: sue fossil fuel companies for fraud. In a May 29 op-ed in The Washington Post , Whitehouse argued that the fossil fuel industry’s efforts to discredit climate science and attack environmentalists may constitute deliberate deception of the kind the tobacco industry perpetrated in previous decades. In 2006, a federal judge found the tobacco industry guilty of fraud in a civil lawsuit brought under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Cigarette companies’ efforts to hide the health effects of tobacco consumption included lying about the findings of…

ROBERT F. KENNEDY, Jr.

GayPatriot adds some commentary:

Robert F. Kennedy took his private jet and his motorcade of SUV’s to the Climate Alarmist for Socialism Party in New York City, pausing long enough to explain how people who don’t believe in man-caused Global Warming should be jailed and punished…. Almost half of Americans admit to being skeptical of climate change; the progs better plan on building a lot of camps.

A not so surprising thing happened as they do at all large Democratic gatherings, a whole bunch of trash was left behind. Continuing with Breitbart:

This week in New York City somewhere around 400,000 litterbugs descended on the Big Apple, and not to celebrate the wonderful news that the planet hasn’t warmed in 18 years. Instead they gathered to do, uhm, whatever this is , and to pretend Global Warming is real and dire, so that those pushing this phony crisis can tell the rest of us what to do and how to live our lives. (Breitbart)

Here, PJTV interviews the hypocrisy flowing from JFK Jr:

JOHN KERRY

John Kerry is blaming future calamities on those of us who deny the Left’s main contention that man-made CO2 is the main driver behind our planet’s weather system. Here is the WaPo article via Climate Depot:

…Kerry noted that he was speaking in Hampton Roads, where the land the city is built on is sinking as sea levels are rising twice as fast as the world’s average. He said political opponents who doubt the science of climate change are posing a threat to everyone.

  • “The science tells us unequivocally, those who continue to make climate change a political fight put us all at risk,” he said. “And we cannot sit idly by and allow them to do that.”

Kerry called climate change more than a threat to the habitats of butterflies and polar bears. He said it has a direct impact on military readiness…

Various DEMOCRAT Leaning Person’s

….In 2009, New York Times Paul Krugman accused Congressmen who voted against climate cap-and-trade bill of ‘treason against the planet!

‘Execute’ Skeptics! Krugman’s sentiment joined by fellow climate fear promoters

In June 2009, a public appeal was issued on an influential U.S. website asking: “At what point do we jail or execute global warming deniers.” The appeal appeared on Talking Points Memo, an often cited website that helps set the agenda for the political Left in the U.S.

The Talking Points Memo article continues: “So when the right wing fucktards have caused it to be too late to fix the problem, and we start seeing the devastating consequences and we start seeing end of the World type events – how will we punish those responsible. It will be too late. So shouldn’t we start punishing them now?” (For full story see: ‘Execute’ Skeptics! Shock Call To Action: ‘At what point do we jail or execute global warming deniers’ — ‘Shouldn’t we start punishing them now?’ – June 3, 2009)

After all the attention drawn to it by Climate Depot, the Talking Points Memo article was later pulled and the website published a retraction and apology, but the sentiment was stark and unequivocal and has significant company among climate fear promoters.

On June 5, 2009, Joe Romm of Climate Progress defended a posting on his website warning that climate skeptics would be strangled in bed for rejecting the view that we face a man-made climate crisis. “An entire generation will soon be ready to strangle you and your kind while you sleep in your beds,” warned the message posted on Climate Progress.

Romm, a former Clinton Administration official, pulled the comments after Climate Depot drew attention to them. “The original was clearly not a threat but a prediction — albeit one that I certainly do not agree with. Since some people misread it, I am editing it,” Romm wrote.

Small sampling of threats, intimidation and censorship:

NASA’s James Hansen has called for trials of climate skeptics in 2008 for “high crimes against humanity.” In 2006, the eco-magazine Grist called for Nuremberg-Style trials for skeptics. In 2008, Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki called for government leaders skeptical of global warming to be thrown “into jail.” In 2007, The Weather Channel’s climate expert called for withholding certification of skeptical meteorologists.

A 2008 report found that ‘climate blasphemy’ is replacing traditional religious blasphemy. In addition, a July 2007 Senate report detailed how skeptical scientists have faced threats and intimidation.

In 2007, then EPA Chief Vowed to Probe E-mail Threatening to ‘Destroy’ Career of Climate Skeptic and dissenters of warming fears have been called ‘Climate Criminals’ who are committing ‘Terracide’ (killing of Planet Earth) (July 25, 2007) In addition, in May 2009, Climate Depot Was Banned in Louisiana! See: State official sought to ‘shut down’ climate skeptic’s testimony at hearing.

November 12, 2007: UN official warns ignoring warming would be ‘criminally irresponsible’ Excerpt: The U.N.’s top climate official warned policymakers and scientists trying to hammer out a landmark report on climate change that ignoring the urgency of global warming would be “criminally irresponsible.” Yvo de Boer’s comments came at the opening of a weeklong conference that will complete a concise guide on the state of global warming and what can be done to stop the Earth from overheating.

October 28, 2008: License to dissent: ‘Internet should be nationalized as a public utility’ to combat global warming skepticism – Australian Herald Sun

U.N. official says it’s ‘completely immoral’ to doubt global warming fears (May 10, 2007) Excerpt: UN special climate envoy Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland declared “it’s completely immoral, even, to question” the UN’s scientific “consensus.”

Weather Channel Climate Expert Calls for Decertifying Global Warming Skeptics (January 17, 2007) Excerpt: The Weather Channel’s most prominent climatologist is advocating that broadcast meteorologists be stripped of their scientific certification if they express skepticism about predictions of manmade catastrophic global warming. This latest call to silence skeptics follows a year (2006) in which skeptics were compared to “Holocaust Deniers” and Nuremberg-style war crimes trials were advocated by several climate alarmists.

Professor Lawrence Torcello

This comes way of WUWT, and highlights the tendency of the Left towards totalitarian thinking in order to make their vision “work.

Scientists who don’t believe in catastrophic man-made global warming should be put in prison, a US philosophy professor argues on a website funded by the UK government.

Lawrence Torcello – assistant professor of philosophy at Rochester Institute of Technology, NY, writes in an essay at The Conversation that climate scientists who fail to communicate the correct message about “global warming” should face trial for “criminal negligence”. (H/T Bishop Hill)

What are we to make of those behind the well documented corporate funding of global warming denial? Those who purposefully strive to make sure “inexact, incomplete and contradictory information” is given to the public? I believe we understand them correctly when we know them to be not only corrupt and deceitful, but criminally negligent in their willful disregard for human life. It is time for modern societies to interpret and update their legal systems accordingly.

More @ Breitbart

What next, numbers tattooed on our arms because we hold an opinion different from Torcello?

DAVID SUZUKI

Here is David Suzuki calling for jail, and the PBS host more worried that there isn’t enough space [yet?] for us to be jailed:

David Suzuki has called for political leaders to be thrown in jail for ignoring the science behind climate change.

At a Montreal conference last Thursday, the prominent scientist, broadcaster and Order of Canada recipient exhorted a packed house of 600 to hold politicians legally accountable for what he called an intergenerational crime. Though a spokesman said yesterday the call for imprisonment was not meant to be taken literally, Dr. Suzuki reportedly made similar remarks in an address at the University of Toronto last month….

(Marquette Warrior; See also the National Post)

Scientist Suggests Imprisoning Former Canadian PM For Anti-Global Warming Views

  • Suzuki: “I really believe that people like the former Prime Minister of Canada should be thrown in jail for willful blindness. If you’re the CEO of a company and you deliberately avoid or ignore information relevant to the functioning of that company, you can be thrown in jail… And to have a Prime Minister who for nine years wouldn’t even let the term ‘climate change’ pass his lips! If that isn’t willful blindness, then I don’t know what is.”

Reason.org ends with a great commentary on this freedom restricting idea of the above lunatic:

In 2012, in a proceeding straight out of the Inquisition, an Italian court convicted six scientists for providing “inexact, incomplete and contradictory information” in the lead-up to the earthquake. Now, a philosophy professor says that case may provide a worthwhile example for the treatment of scientific dissenters—specifically, “climate deniers who receive funding as part of a sustained campaign to undermine the public’s understanding of scientific consensus.”…

…He ultimately allows that he wouldn’t actually criminalize poor scientific communication—just anybody who might support dissenting scientists, or receive such support.

If those with a financial or political interest in inaction had funded an organised campaign to discredit the consensus findings of seismology, and for that reason no preparations were made, then many of us would agree that the financiers of the denialist campaign were criminally responsible for the consequences of that campaign. I submit that this is just what is happening with the current, well documented funding of global warming denialism….

We have good reason to consider the funding of climate denial to be criminally and morally negligent. The charge of criminal and moral negligence ought to extend to all activities of the climate deniers who receive funding as part of a sustained campaign to undermine the public’s understanding of scientific consensus.

If you’re trying to figure out how that doesn’t threaten the free exercise of speech, Torcello assures us, “We must make the critical distinction between the protected voicing of one’s unpopular beliefs, and the funding of a strategically organized campaign to undermine the public’s ability to develop and voice informed opinions.”

InquisitionSo…You can voice a dissenting opinion, so long as you don’t benefit from it or help dissenters benefit in any way?

By the way, according to RIT, Torcello researches “the moral implications of global warming denialism, as well as other forms of science denialism.” Presumably, his job is a paid one. But this is OK, because…the majority of scientists agree with his views on the issue?

Let’s allow that they do—and that a majority of scientists agree about man-made climate change and a host of other issues. Just when does the Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition meet to decide what is still subject to debate, and what is now holy writ? And is an effort to “undermine the public’s understanding of scientific consensus” always criminally negligent?…

More @ Reason

20-Scientists Write Obama

In a recent article, 20-leading scientists have come out to recommend legal action (jail) for those of us who use science to counter AGW types:

Twenty climate scientists called for RICO investigation in a letter to Obama and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch. The scientists argue that the systemic efforts to prevent the public from understanding climate change resembles the investigation undertaken against tobacco. They draw inspiration from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse who said on the Senate floor that there might be a similar conspiracy here, and a civil trial could provide the tools of discovery needed to find out.

[….]

[Note: This call for treating skeptics as racketeers comes the same week that the New York Times promoted equating climate skeptics to Hitler. See: The Next Genocide NYT OpEd: Climate “deniers” present “intellectual stance that is uncomfortably close to Hitler’s”….

(Climate Depot)

World Court

One law professor is calling for the World Court to “rule on climate science to quash skeptics” ~ leading one writer to say:

  • If this thinks that the World Court or any other court is remotely qualified to “settle the scientific dispute,” he is a total fracking moron advocating a crime against humanity on a scale not seen since the trial of Galileo. (WUWT)

Indeed.

Its “funny” how the left HATES profit.

Terror Ties at the Obama “Anti-Christian” Prayer Breakfast

Breitbart notes this crazy “bedfellow” syndrome Obama has with Islamists:

Sudan’s foreign minister, a hardcore Islamist with a long history of orchestrating mass atrocities and other crimes against humanity, has been invited to attend the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC on Thursday, February 4.

The National Prayer Breakfast is an annual event hosted by members of the United States Congress and organized on their behalf by The Fellowship Foundation. Religious and political leaders from around the world are invited to the breakfast, also known as the “Presidential Prayer Breakfast,” since the President of the United States is always in attendance. Reportedly, in addition to foreign minister Ali Ahmed Karti, the U.S. State Department has invited Dr. Ibrahim Ghandur, the deputy chairman of the National Congress Party – Sudan’s ruling political party – to the breakfast.

Sudanese and American activists will gather outside the event’s Washington Hilton location at 9:00 a.m. to protest the inclusion of these representatives of Sudan’s genocidal government as attendees are exiting the hotel. They have also created an online petition to the National Prayer Breakfast’s 2015 co-chairs, Senators Robert Casey (D-PA) and Roger Wicker (R-MS), along with Fellowship Foundation leader, Douglas Coe, urging that the invitation to Karti be rescinded.

Ali Ahmed Karti is well known by Sudanese and South Sudanese alike. He first attained notoriety in the early 1990’s as the commander of the Popular Defense Force (PDF), the Islamist militia tasked by Sudan’s National Islamic Front regime with raiding South Sudanese villages and taking women and children as slaves. The PDF went on to assist the murderous Janjaweed, the Arab militia used by the Sudanese government in Khartoum to commit genocide in the western Sudan region of Darfur.

Today Karti and the other top leaders of Sudan’s National Islamic Front/National Congress Party regime, including Sudan President Omar al Bashir, preside over ongoing genocidal war in the country’s Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile State. Karti committed to cleansing those regions of the black African indigenous groups through over three years of ongoing aerial bombardment, scorched earth campaigns, and the banning of international food aid. In addition, the foreign minister is accused of instigating the slaughter of hundreds of Darfurian refugees sheltering in Bentiu, South Sudan during an attack by rebels under the leadership of South Sudan’s former vice president, Riek Machar.

[….]

Remembrance of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide is one of the themes of this year’s prayer breakfast. Perhaps the breakfast organizers don’t realize that the massacred Armenians share a common enemy with the marginalized Sudanese people groups. Inviting officials of what is arguably the world’s most genocidal regime to the National Prayer Breakfast is an insult to the victims of that genocide as well as to the millions of victims of religious, racial, and ethnic genocide in Sudan and South Sudan.

…read more…

Shoebat sheds some light on some previously unknown [to me] information in regards to the recent prayer breakfast where the Presidents slammed Christianity:

In addition to Barack Obama comparing ISIS terrorists to righteous Crusaders at the National Prayer Breakfast, seated near him was Ali Ahmed Karti, the foreign minister of Sudan. Sudan is a country that has been listed as an official State Sponsor of Terrorism since 1993. One of the reasons for this is that five Sudanese nationals were found to have been involved in the first attack on the World Trade Center and in the subsequent plot to bomb New York City landmarks.

It’s worth noting that in addition to Sudan being led by President Omar al-Bashir who is wanted for war crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC), that country has a connection to both World Trade Center attacks (1993 and 2001). Al-Bashir’s regime was in power during both and has been since 1989, when al-Bashir joined a jihadist named Hassan al-Turabi in a coup.

Now it’s learned that the foreign minister of Sudan was present at the National Prayer Breakfast, an event sponsored by the Fellowship Foundation, a Christian-based organization (not Muslim):

Activists also say the presence of the foreign minister, Ali Ahmed Karti, at the breakfast as well as reports of meetings with administration officials could signal that Washington is considering normalizing relations with Sudan. The International Criminal Court (ICC) indicted President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan in 2009 for war crimes and genocide in the southern region of Darfur, where the United Nations says government forces have killed as many as 300,000 people in non-Arab rebel tribes….

…read more…

And more on this connection between the Muslim Brotherhood, the convicted war criminals of the Sudan, and terror:

It has been learned that the relationship between President Barack Obama’s half-brother Malik Obama and Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir is much closer than previously thought. Malik is the Executive Secretary of the Islamic Da’wa Organization (IDO) as reported by all major Saudi press, including Okaz.

How significant is this?

Very significant. The IDO has been created by the Sudanese Government, which is considered by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist state. This places Malik Obama in bed with terrorists and working as an official with a terrorist state.

We have the evidence to prove it – meetings, photos, et. al.

Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on seven counts relating to crimes against humanity. As such, Bashir is the head of a country that the U.S. State Department has identified as a State Sponsor of terrorism, a designation issued in 1993.

In 2010, Malik Obama attended the Islamic Da’wa Organization (IDO) conference in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. One of the objectives of the IDO is to spread Wahhabist Islam across the African continent.

Bashir wasn’t just present at the conference; he supervised it. In this photo, from the Barack H. Obama Foundation (BHOF) website, headed by Malik, Bashir can be seen dressed in black, to the right. Another man to take notice of is seated directly to the right of Bashir; his name is Suar Al Dahab (more on him later):

The Spanish Inquisition Was Bad, and Yes, Mostly Secular

This post is to just get on record some numbers about the Spanish Inquisition. A good summary is this one via Strange Notions, take note of the last bullet point:

• The Inquisition was originally welcomed to bring order to Europe because states saw an attack on the state’s faith as an attack on the state as well.
• The Inquisition technically had jurisdiction only over those professing to be Christians.
• The courts of the Inquisition were extremely fair compared to their secular counterparts at the time.
• The Inquisition was responsible for less than 100 witch-hunt deaths, and was the first judicial body to denounce the trials in Europe.
• Though torture was commonly used in all the courts of Europe at the time, the Inquisition used torture very infrequently.
• During the 350 years of the Spanish Inquisition, between 3,000-5,000* people were sentenced to death (about 1 per month).
• The Church executed no one.

[….]

In recent years, however, the Vatican opened up its secret archives for historical investigation. Inquisition records that were made by and for the Inquisition were allowed to be researched for the first time in history. Since then, the above facts have been generally discoverable in modern history books (whether Catholic or not). Corrected Inquisition history can be found in sources such as Inquisition by Edward Peters and The Spanish Inquisition: An Historical Revision by Henry Kamen. Comparative secular documentaries include The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition (BBC) and the more sensationalistic The Spanish Inquisition (History Channel).

(*See Kamen death totals below.)

Okay, the Catholic Church didn’t suppress science from Galileo, they didn’t kill him either, he died of old age. And in 350 years of the Spanish Inquisition, they killed about 3,000-to-5,000 people people due to it. here is this better understood history used in a debate between atheist

The above will play into another aspect of this story as well… that is, this was largely a secular movement. Continuing. The the years in which the Inquisition Inquisition was extremely active was between 1480 and 1530. Henry Kamen estimates about 2,000 executed, based on the documentation of the autos-da-fé, the great majority being conversos of Jewish origin. He offers striking statistics: 91.6% of those judged in Valencia between 1484 and 1530 and 99.3% of those judged in Barcelona between 1484 and 1505 were of Jewish origin. (WIKI, and Kamen’s book).

Here is Kamen’s commentarry on the death toll:

In Castile the incidence of executions was probably higher. In the auto de fe at Ciudad Real on 23 February 1484, thirty people were burnt alive and forty in effigy; in the auto at Valladolid on 5 January 1492, thirty-two were burnt alive. The executions were, however, sporadic and concentrated only in the early years. In rounded terms, it is likely that over three-quarters of all those who perished under the Inquisition in the three centuries of its existence, did so in the first half-century. Lack of documentation, however, makes it impossible to arrive at totally reliable figures.  One good estimate, based on documentation of the autos de fe, is that 250 people were burnt in person in the Toledo tribunal between 1485 and 1501 . Since this tribunal and that of Seville and Jaen were among the few in Castile to have had an intense level of activity, it would not be improbable to suggest a figure five times higher, around one thousand persons, as a rough total for those executed in the tribunals of Castile in the early period. Taking into account all the tribunals of Spain up to about 1530, it is unlikely that more than two thousand people were executed for heresy by the Inquisition.

Henry Kamen, The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision (London, England: Yale University Press, 1997), 59-60.

This is KEY!

Using Kamen’s numbers, about 6[-] people were killed a year by the Spanish Inquisition over its 350-year long stretch. If you use the high numbers, you get about 14[+] people killed a year. Below is Dinesh D’Souza referencing this information in a debate with an atheist

Secularism More Dangerous!

The Bible does not teach the horrible practices that some have committed in its name. It is true that it’s possible that religion can produce evil, and generally when we look closer at the details it produces evil because the individual people [Christians] are actually living in rejection of the tenets of Christianity and a rejection of the God that they are supposed to be following. So it [religion] can produce evil, but the historical fact is that outright rejection of God and institutionalizing of atheism (non-religious practices) actually does produce evil on incredible levels. We’re talking about tens of millions of people as a result of the rejection of God. For example: the Inquisitions, Crusades, Salem Witch Trials killed about anywhere from 40,000 to 80,000 persons combined (World Book Encyclopedia and Encyclopedia Americana), and the church is liable for the unjustified murder of about (taking the high number here) 300,000-women over about a 300 year period. A blight on Christianity? Certainly. Something wrong? Dismally wrong. A tragedy? Of course. Millions and millions of people killed? No. The numbers are tragic, but pale in comparison to the statistics of what non-religious criminals have committed); the Chinese regime of Mao Tse Tung, 60 million [+] dead (1945-1965), Stalin and Khrushchev, 66 million dead (USSR 1917-1959), Khmer Rouge (Cambodia 1975-1979) and Pol Pot, one-third of the populations dead, etc, etc. The difference here is that these non-God movements are merely living out their worldview, the struggle for power, survival of the fittest and all that, no evolutionary/naturalistic natural law is being violated in other words (as non-theists reduce everything to natural law — materialism). However, and this is key, when people have misused the Christian religion for personal gain, they are in direct violation to what Christ taught, as well as Natural Law.

A condensing of Gregory Koukl’s, The Real Murderers: Atheism or Christianity?


A recent comprehensive compilation of the history of human warfare, Encyclopedia of Wars by Charles Phillips and Alan Axelrod documents 1763 wars, of which 123 have been classified to involve a religious conflict. So, what atheists have considered to be ‘most’ really amounts to less than 7% of all wars. It is interesting to note that 66 of these wars (more than 50%) involved Islam, which did not even exist as a religion for the first 3,000 years of recorded human warfare. [That means that 2.6% of all wars fought are split up between Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, and the like.]

Even the Seven Years’ War, widely recognized to be “religious” in motivation, noting that the warring factions were not necessarily split along confessional lines as much as along secular interests. And the Thirty Years’ War cannot be viewed as “religious” either… read more

Not only that, the inquisition was largely secular. Ahhh, too bad history has a way of proving pop-theories of history and peoples use of misconception to tarnish the church when it was mainly secular authorities that did these horrible acts.wrong:

“The Inquisition had a secular character, although the crime was heresy. Inquisitors did not have to be clerics, but they did have to be lawyers. The investigation was rule-based and carefully kept in check. And most significantly, historians have declared fraudulent a supposed Inquisition document claiming the genocide of millions of heretics…. But the grand myth of thought control by sinister fiends has been debunked by the archival evidence….. he approach is purely historical, and therefore does not delve into ecclesial issues surrounding religious freedom. But perhaps this is proper. Because the crime was heresy, the Church is implicated, but the facts show it was a secular event……

…Sixtus IV promulgated a new bull categorically prohibiting the Inquisition’s extension to Aragon, affirming that,

▼ many true and faithful Christians, because of the testimony of enemies, rivals, slaves and other low people—and still less appropriate—without tests of any kind, have been locked up in secular prisons, tortured and condemned like relapsed heretics, deprived of their goods and properties, and given over to the secular arm to be executed, at great danger to their souls, giving a pernicious example and causing scandal to many.

In 1482 the pope was still trying to maintain control over the Inquisition and to gain acceptance for his own attitude towards the New Christians, which was generally more moderate than that of the Inquisition and the local rulers….

(Two different sources: Catholic Education Resource Center, and, Wiki [which is well referenced for further review].)

All this is to note the idea that skeptics have a distorted view of history precisely BECAUSE this view fits their presupposition that the “Church” (Christianity) is bad. Keep in mind it was still bad, Kamen notes right after the toll numbers: “The final death toll may have been smaller than historians once believed, but the overall impact was certainly devastating for the cultural minorities most directly affected.” We must keep in mind many were displaced and peoples faith were shaken as well as honed in trial and tribulation.

This is merely a side note and has nothing to do with the Spanish Inquisition as much as merely pointing out another time in history that is often overblown. Sensationalized in the aspect that mob mentality will quickly spread rumors and innuendo and act on IT rather than truth (ahem, Furguson), as was the case for the beginning of the Frech Revolution… which was opportunism taken by radicals in that society.

Dennis Prager interviews Ann Coulter in regards to her new book, Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America. Ann points out a fact that I wasn’t aware of in regards to the mob mentality that set the standard for the French Revolution. Much like the misunderstanding in regards to the Crusades, the witch trials, and the like, numbers are not the forte of the left… nor is putting into context meaning behind them.

For more clear thinking like this from Dennis Prager… I invite you to join Pragertopia: http://www.dennisprager.com/

A Rebuttal Of The Lefts View of Columbus and the New World


…let’s move to Columbus and the charge of genocide. The historical Columbus was a Christian explorer. Howard Zinn makes it sound like Columbus came looking for nothing but gold, but Columbus was equally driven by a spirit of exploration and adventure. When we read Columbus’s diaries we see that his motives were complex: he wanted to get rich by discovering new trade routes, but he also wanted to find the Garden of Eden, which he believed was an actual undiscovered place. Of course Columbus didn’t come looking for America; he didn’t know that the American continent existed. Since the Muslims controlled the trade routes of the Arabian Sea, he was looking for a new way to the Far East. Specifically he was looking for India, and that’s why he called the native peoples “Indians.” It is easy to laugh at Columbus’s naïveté, except that he wasn’t entirely wrong. Anthropological research has established that the native people of the Americas did originally come from Asia. Most likely they came across the Bering Strait before the continents drifted apart.

We know that, as a consequence of contact with Columbus and the Europeans who came after him, the native population in the Americas plummeted. By some estimates, more than 80 percent of the Indians perished. This is the basis for the charge of genocide. But there was no genocide. Millions of Indians died as a result of diseases they contracted from their exposure to the white man: smallpox, measles, cholera, and typhus. There is one isolated allega­tion of Sir Jeffrey Amherst (whose name graces Amherst College) approving a strategy to vanquish a hostile Indian tribe by giving the Indians smallpox-infected blankets. Even here, however, it’s not clear the scheme was actually carried out. As historian William McNeill documents in Plagues and Peoples, the white man generally transmit­ted his diseases to the Indians without knowing it, and the Indians died in large numbers because they had not developed immunities to those diseases. This is tragedy on a grand scale, but it is not geno­cide, because genocide implies an intention to wipe out a people. McNeill points out that Europeans themselves had contracted lethal diseases, including the pneumonic and the bubonic plagues, from Mongol invaders from the Asian steppes. The Europeans didn’t have immunities, and during the “Black Death” of the fourteenth century one-third of the population of Europe was wiped out. But no one calls these plagues genocide, because they weren’t.

It’s true that Columbus developed strong prejudices about the native peoples he first encountered—he was prejudiced in favor of them. He praised the intelligence, generosity, and lack of guile among the Tainos, contrasting these qualities with Spanish vices. Subsequent explorers such as Pedro Alvares Cabral, Amerigo Ves­pucci (from whom we get the name “America”), and Walter Raleigh registered similar positive impressions. So where did Europeans get the idea that Indians were “savages”? Actually, they got it from their experience with the Indians. While the Indians Columbus met on his first voyage were hospitable and friendly, on subsequent voyages Columbus was horrified to discover that a number of sailors he had left behind had been killed and possibly eaten by the cannibalistic Arawaks.

When Bernal Diaz arrived in Mexico with the swashbuckling army of Hernán Cortes, he and his fellow Spaniards saw things they had never seen before. Indeed they witnessed one of the most gruesome spectacles ever seen, something akin to what American soldiers saw after World War II when they entered the Nazi con­centration camps. As Diaz describes the Aztecs, in an account generally corroborated by modern scholars, “They strike open the wretched Indian’s chest with flint knives and hastily tear out the palpitating heart which, with the blood, they present to the idols in whose name they have performed the sacrifice. Then they cut off the arms, thighs and head, eating the arms and thighs at their ceremonial banquets.” Huge numbers of Indians—typically cap­tives in war—were sacrificed, sometimes hundreds in a single day. Yet in a comic attempt to diminish the cruelty of the Aztecs, How­ard Zinn remarks that their mass murder “did not erase a certain innocence” and he accuses Cortes of nefarious conduct “turning Aztec against Aztec.”

If the Aztecs of Mexico seemed especially bloodthirsty, they were rivaled by the Incas of South America who also erected sacrificial mounds on which they performed elaborate rites of human sacrifice, so that their altars were drenched with blood, bones were strewn everywhere, and priests collapsed from exhaustion from stabbing their victims.

Even while Europeans were startled and appalled at such blood­thirstiness, there was a countercurrent of admiration for what Euro­peans saw as the Indians’ better qualities. Starting with Columbus and continuing through the next few centuries, native Indians were regarded as “noble savages.” They were admired for their dignity stoicism, and bravery. In reality, the native Indians probably had these qualities in the same proportion as human beings elsewhere on the planet. The idealization of them as “noble savages” seems to be a projection of European fantasies about primitive innocence onto the natives. We too—and especially modern progressives-have the same fantasies. Unlike us, however, the Spanish were forced to confront the reality of Aztec and Inca behavior. Today we have an appreciation for the achievements of Aztec and Inca culture, such as its social organization and temple architecture; but we cannot fault the Spanish for being “distracted” by the mass murder they witnessed. Not all the European hostility to the Indians was the result of irrational prejudice.

While the Spanish conquistadores were surprised to see humans sacrificed in droves, they were not shocked to witness slavery, the subjugation of women, or brutal treatment of war captives—these were familiar enough practices from their own culture. Moreover, in conquering the Indians, and establishing alien rule over them, the Spanish were doing to the Indians nothing more than the Indians had done to each other. So from the point of view of the native Indian people, one empire, that of Spain, replaced another, that of the Aztecs. Did life for the native Indian get worse? It’s very hard to say. The ordinary Indian might now have a higher risk of disease, but he certainly had a lower risk of finding himself under the lurid glare of the obsidian knife.

What, then, distinguished the Spanish from the Indians? The Peruvian writer and Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa offers an arresting answer. The conquistadores who came to the Americas, he concedes, were “semi-literate, implacable and greedy.” They were clearly believers in the conquest ethic—land is yours if you can take it. Yet these semi-literate greedy swordsmen, without knowing it, also brought with them something new to the Americas. They brought with them the ideas of Western civilization, from Athenian rationalism to Judeo-Christian ideas of human brotherhood to more modern conceptions of self-government, human rights, and property rights. Some of these ideas were nascent and newly developing even in the West. Nevertheless, they were there, and without intending to do so, the conquistadors brought them to the Americas.

To appreciate what Vargas Llosa is saying, consider an astonishing series of events that took place in Spain in the early sixteenth century. At the urging of a group of Spanish clergy, the king of Spain called a halt to Spanish expansion in the Americas, pending the resolution of the question of whether American Indians had souls and could be justly enslaved. This seems odd, and even appalling, to us today, but we should not miss its significance. Historian Lewis Hanke writes that never before or since has a powerful emperor “ordered his conquests to cease until it was decided if they were just.” The king’s actions were in response to petitions by a group of Spanish priests, led by Bartolomé de las Casas. Las Casas defended the Indians in a famous debate held at Valladolid in Spain. On the other side was an Aristotelian scholar, Juan Sepulveda, who relied on Aristotle’s concept of the “natural slave” to argue that Indians were inferior and therefore could be subjugated. Las Casas coun­tered that Indians were human beings with the same dignity and spiritual nature as the Spanish. Today Las Casas is portrayed as a heroic eccentric, but his basic position prevailed at Valladolid. It was endorsed by the pope, who declared in his bull Sublimns Deus, “Indians… are by no means to be deprived of their liberty or the possessions of their property… nor should they be in any way enslaved; should the contrary happen it shall be null and of no effect.” Papal bulls and even royal edicts were largely ignored thou­sands of miles away—there were no effective mechanisms of enforce­ment. The conquest ethic prevailed. Even so, over time the principles of Valladolid and Sublimus Deus provided the moral foundation for the enfranchisement of Indians. Indians could themselves appeal to Western ideas of equality, dignity, and property rights in order to resist subjugation, enforce treaties, and get some of their land back….

[….]

The white men who settled America didn’t come as foreign invad­ers; they came as settlers. Unlike the Spanish, who ruled Mexico from afar, the English families who arrived in America left everything behind and staked their lives on the new world. In other words, they came as immigrants. We can say, of course, that immigration doesn’t confer any privileges, and just because you come here to settle doesn’t mean you have a right to the land that is here, but then that logic would also apply to the Indians.

Dinesh D’Souza, America: Imagine a World Without Her (Washington, DC: Regnery, 2014), 93-97, 98.

Do You Deny Anthropogenic Warming? Off With Your Head!

This comes way of WUWT, and highlights the tendency of the Left towards totalitarian thinking in order to make their vision “work.

Scientists who don’t believe in catastrophic man-made global warming should be put in prison, a US philosophy professor argues on a website funded by the UK government.

Lawrence Torcello – assistant professor of philosophy at Rochester Institute of Technology, NY, writes in an essay at The Conversation that climate scientists who fail to communicate the correct message about “global warming” should face trial for “criminal negligence”. (H/T Bishop Hill)

What are we to make of those behind the well documented corporate funding of global warming denial? Those who purposefully strive to make sure “inexact, incomplete and contradictory information” is given to the public? I believe we understand them correctly when we know them to be not only corrupt and deceitful, but criminally negligent in their willful disregard for human life. It is time for modern societies to interpret and update their legal systems accordingly.

More @ Breitbart

What next, numbers tattooed on our arms because we hold an opinion different from Torcello?

Reason.org ends with a great commentary on this freedom restricting idea of the above lunatic:

In 2012, in a proceeding straight out of the Inquisition, an Italian court convicted six scientists for providing “inexact, incomplete and contradictory information” in the lead-up to the earthquake. Now, a philosophy professor says that case may provide a worthwhile example for the treatment of scientific dissenters—specifically, “climate deniers who receive funding as part of a sustained campaign to undermine the public’s understanding of scientific consensus.”…

…He ultimately allows that he wouldn’t actually criminalize poor scientific communication—just anybody who might support dissenting scientists, or receive such support.

If those with a financial or political interest in inaction had funded an organised campaign to discredit the consensus findings of seismology, and for that reason no preparations were made, then many of us would agree that the financiers of the denialist campaign were criminally responsible for the consequences of that campaign. I submit that this is just what is happening with the current, well documented funding of global warming denialism….

We have good reason to consider the funding of climate denial to be criminally and morally negligent. The charge of criminal and moral negligence ought to extend to all activities of the climate deniers who receive funding as part of a sustained campaign to undermine the public’s understanding of scientific consensus.

If you’re trying to figure out how that doesn’t threaten the free exercise of speech, Torcello assures us, “We must make the critical distinction between the protected voicing of one’s unpopular beliefs, and the funding of a strategically organized campaign to undermine the public’s ability to develop and voice informed opinions.”

InquisitionSo…You can voice a dissenting opinion, so long as you don’t benefit from it or help dissenters benefit in any way?

By the way, according to RIT, Torcello researches “the moral implications of global warming denialism, as well as other forms of science denialism.” Presumably, his job is a paid one. But this is OK, because…the majority of scientists agree with his views on the issue?

Let’s allow that they do—and that a majority of scientists agree about man-made climate change and a host of other issues. Just when does the Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition meet to decide what is still subject to debate, and what is now holy writ? And is an effort to “undermine the public’s understanding of scientific consensus” always criminally negligent?…

More @ Reason

Its funny how the left HATES profit.

The Inquisitions Bush`s Fault? Almost ~ The Tale of Two Books

NPR has a left leaning bias, we all know that and I have proven it in the past. So reviews of a book they laud connecting the fanciful imaginations of the progressive in regards to history and Bush is a dream come true. In two reviews of the book/topic with the author of the book, God’s Jury, you can see a creeping bias, much like the pre-war Germany propaganda, has on the cover a “hooked nosed” Pope designating (implicitly or explicitly) the secular leftist hatred for anything Christian.

Cullen Murphey’s Cover:

WWII Propaganda:

Modern Islamo-Nazi Depiction:

Some NPR stories on the book/author:

1) The Inquisition: Alive And Well After 800 Years
2) The Inquisition: A Model For Modern Interrogators

NewsBusters has this in what they call a Liberal Two-Fer:

…NPR promoted it this way:

Murphy’s new book God’s Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World  traces the history of the Inquisitions — there were several — and draws parallels between some of the interrogation techniques used in previous centuries with the ones used today.

“A few years ago, the intelligence agencies had some transcripts released … of interrogations that were done at Guantanamo, and the interrogations done by the Inquisition were surprisingly similar and just as detailed,” he tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross. “[They were] virtually verbatim.”

“Many people in the Bush administration were insisting [it] was not torture at all. The Inquisition was actually very clear on the matter. It obviously was torture. That’s why they were using it.”

Murphy’s own website summarizes the book this way:

The Inquisition pioneered surveillance and censorship and “scientific” interrogation. As time went on, its methods and mindset spread far beyond the Church to become tools of secular persecution. Traveling from freshly opened Vatican archives to the detention camps of Guantánamo to the filing cabinets of the Third Reich, Murphy traces the Inquisition and its legacy.

Surprise, surprise! Murphy sought out a blurb by leftist New Yorker writer Jane Mayer, one of the most prominent Bush-trashing journalists (and a favorite of Terry Gross):

“From Torquemada to Guantanamo and beyond, Cullen Murphy finds the ‘inquisitorial impulse’ alive, and only too well, in our world. His engaging romp through the secret Vatican archives shows that the distance between the Dark Ages and Modernity is shockingly short.”
—Jane Mayer, author of The Dark Side.

…read more…

This book is at odds with the most renown scholar and author of the book, The Spanish Inquisition, Henry Kamen. Take note of the difference in tone and most probably scholarship — as this interview shows… his [Cullen Murphey] connections are so general that any religion or government can be connected to this event. These generalities are not to connect a historical event to a modern one but in progressive fashion the goal of stoking emotions rather than basing something in fact/history is the prime mover.

From an Amazon book reviewer and author of Author of “Mission,” an African novel set in Kenya:

Henry Kamen’s The Spanish Inquisition is an amazing experience. It is a highly detailed, supremely scholarly and ultimately enlightening account of an historical phenomenon whose identity and reputation have become iconic. So much has been written about it, so many words have been spoken that one might think that there is not too much new to be learned. But this is precisely where Kamen’s book really comes into its own, for it reveals the popular understanding of the Inquisition as little more than myth.

He explodes the notion that the busy-bodies of inquisitors had their nose in everyone’s business. It was actually quite a rare event for someone to be called before it. And in addition, if you lived away from a small number of population centres, the chances were that that you would hardly even have known of its existence.

Also exploded is the myth of large numbers of heretics being burned at the stake. Yes, it happened, but in nowhere near the numbers that popular misconceptions might claim. Indeed, the more common practice was to burn the convicted in effigy, since the accused had fled sometimes years before the judgment, or they might have died in prison while waiting for the case to reach its conclusion. The intention is not to suggest that the inquisition’s methods were anything but brutal, but merely to point out that perceptions of how commonly they were applied are often false.

Henry Kamen skilfully describes how the focus of interest changed over the years. Initially the main targets were conversos, converts to Christianity, families that were once Jewish or Muslim who converted to Christianity during the decades that preceded the completion in 1492 of Ferdinand and Isabella’s reconquest. Protestants were targeted occasionally in the following centuries, but it was the families of former Jews that remained the prime target, sometimes being subjected to enquiry several generations after their adoption of their new faith. A focus on converts to Christianity gave rise to a distinction between Old and New Christianity, an adherent of the former being able to demonstrate no evidence of there having been other faiths in the family history.

What consistently runs through arguments surrounding Old and New Christianity, a distinction that was also described as pure blood versus impure blood, is that at its heart this apparent assertion of religious conformity was no more than raw xenophobia and racism. Henry Kamen makes a lot of the contradiction here, since Spain at the time was the most “international” of nations, having already secured an extensive empire and sent educated and wealthy Spaniards overseas to administer it. In addition, of course, Spain was emerging from a long period when Muslims, Jews and Christians lived competitively, perhaps, but also peacefully under Moorish rule. It is worth reminding oneself regularly that the desire and requirement for religious conformity during the reconquest was imposed from above.

Completing Henry Kamen’s The Spanish Inquisition prompts the reader to reflect on which other major historical reputations might be based on reconstructed myth. One is also prompted to speculate on the future of an increasingly integrated Europe, a continent forcibly divided for half a century where xenophobia and religious intolerance might be closer to the surface than most of us would want to admit.

One of my favorite quotes comes from a debate between Dinesh D’Souza and the late atheist Christopher Hitchens:

  ✦ Atheists regimes killed more people in a week than the inquisition could kill in three-centuries

 

And another reviewer:

The Spanish Inquisition by Henry Kamen is a balanced overview of this sad part of Spanish History. At 300 plus pages the author shows the motivation behind the Spanish Inquisition and that this inquisition was just that, “Spanish.” By sourcing Inquisition, Spanish, and other documentation author Kamen traces the roots and history of the Spanish Inquisition. He shows how this was a tool of the unified Spanish Crown that resulted in its own fear of it past and inability, at times, to deal with contemporary Spain, which came to be at the end of the Muslim domination of Spain and rise of the Protestant Reformation in the rest of Europe. The author does not gloss over the suffering it caused to both Jewish and Muslim converts to Christianity, but shows that overall people were better treated by “The Holy Office” aka the Spanish Inquisition than the secular courts. Remember, heresy was a secular crime, punishable only by the secular authorities. And while those Jews and Muslims who did not convert might be considered heathens they could not be heretics. So, those who suffered at its hands were Catholics. The author also shows that, for its time, the Spanish Inquisition acted rationally. For example, when the great witchcraft scare was dominating Europe and its colonies (lets not forget the Salem Witch Trials) for its part the Spanish Inquisition so this phenomena as mental illness or an overactive imagination. In other words Witch hunting stopped dead in its tracks when it got to Spain. Henry Kamen does not gloss over the torture or burnings of the inquisition’s victims, but does show that for all of Europe, Catholic and Protestant, this was not uncommon for most crimes. And, many of the victims of the Spanish Inquisition were burnt and punished in effigy. Kamen shows how the Spanish Crown used the Inquisition to deal with its fear of an Andulus (former Muslim rulers of Spain) Fifth column and the rise of Protestantism in Western Europe. Remember Spain controlled a good part of the present day Netherlands and Belgium as well as Parts of Germany. So some Lutheran ideas did make their way to Spain. But, Kamen also shows that much of Spain, mainly the rural areas, was never even touched by the Inquisition. And that the Inquisition never had whole hearted support from the crown, those in positions of power, and the common folk. It was not the Gestapo like machine painted by many of its critics. But, criticized it should be and author Kamen shows the sad effects of the Inquisition not only on its victims, but on Spain itself. The author concludes by showing that people’s view of the Spanish Inquisition is not based on the historical data available but on the imaginations of those who have not reviewed or studied this data. Overall a great work of history is this book.

A great video by a fellow arm-chair apologists is a good introduction to the topic:

A Starbucks Encounter with Michael Berryman

I love to go to Starbucks, grab a cup of coffee, and read/study my favorite topics in book form. Once and a while I will bump into people well known in pop-culture. Michael Berryman was recently one of those people. Of course, he is best known to me from an 80’s classic, Weird Science. But he has been in many others, as his bio shows, another being a favorite of mine, The One Who Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. Mistaking him for an officer that served in the SCV that looks — believe it or not — very similar, my mistake was quickly corrected and small chit-chat began. Michael is an amiable enough guy and I had planned on letting him go on his way after he very nicely allowed a photo to be taken. However, during this small talk that was very general, Michael mentioned news, and then interjected into his own point that one shouldn’t watch Fox News because it is not news, far from fair and balanced, he said.

Well, this is where the brakes on the rest of my plans happened. Wanting to engage the level of this man’s reasoning towards truth vs. merely spewing bumper-sticker thinking as fact [ad hoc] became the goal for the rest of my scheduled reading time. (This led to a 40-minute conversation.) After Michael drove deeper into the political abyss of commentary common from the Left, I slowed the conversation down a bit by mentioning he had touched on many topics in just a few sentences. …(con’t)…

(A tactic seemingly used by those who wish to just be “right.” They obfuscate the issue by interjecting many topics and points in the hope — apparently — of showing the person listening they have a handle on this topic. Granted, many do not realize they are doing this… they have just never had anyone around them that disagree with them. They live in sound rooms surrounded by only those who think like them.)

Before continuing with the encounter, due to the length of the post I feel the nee to update it with a “contents” section as well as headings. This will make it easier for the “topical” reader to find a response to a challenge he or she is interested in. So the following contents are based on responding to comments made during conversation:Me and Con CLEAR

Enjoy the conversation, I did.

1. Fox News Is Biased

…(from con’t)… I mentioned to Michael that “just a short while back he mentioned something that needed revisiting to exemplify a correlation between what many people say is true in general conversation compared to what is actually the case.” So bringing him back to the Fox News statement I asked if three reasons could be offered as to why maybe his statement might be wrong.

The first reason I gave was that “during the 2010 election Fox News had NPR, The Baltimore Sun, The Times, U.S. News and World Report, and Politico, all said [in some form or fashion] the coverage by Fox was the best in breadth (most in-depth guests) and most fair in their political stance (equal number of liberal/conservative guests, interviews and opinions). Whereas they all bemoaned MSNBC for their far-left commentary and CNN for their lack of depth.”

The second reason given was that “according to a Pew Research poll, and separately a university poll, found that between the party splits of Democrat, Republican, and Independents, there is about an equal mix of viewers of Fox. Whereas — in Contradistinction to MSNBC and CNN — there is a much larger demographic of Democrats versus Republicans that watch those channels.” Pointing out that more Democrats watch Fox than watch CNN or MSNBC (and that stat may even be combined[?]) segwayed nicely to exemplify that “if someone is saying that Fox news is not News or unfair, they may be out of the mainstream… since the stats show a much more balanced viewing audience.” This fair mix of people from differing political views is what has made Fox (posted in March of this year) the most-watched news channel in total viewers for both Total Day and Primetime for the 110th straight month.

Before making my third reason known, Michael interjected and started to again make multiple points which included anecdotal stories which surely he thought would prove his position. But they were just non-sequitur stories from his past… emotionally laden. Interjecting politely I steered him back to the topic and to my third point, which was Fox’s reporting on the 2008 election. “Fox News offered a fair mix of positive/negative stories on Obama and McCain when they reported on the two candidates than MSNBC or CNN.” Continuing I mentioned “that George Mason University’s (during the conversation I merely mentioned “a university,” here I am including the actual studies or some referring links) non-partisan Center for Media and Public Affairs concurred as well as another media watch org, The Project for Excellence in Journalism.” Not letting up I pointed out that maybe, just maybe what he was saying did not fit with the facts. This is a hard thing to admit — pride gets in the way.

2. I Like Ron Paul

Then came more anecdotal tales, many of which were personal references to his meeting famous people or his mother meeting famous people. All stories that only he has access to, nothing offered by Michael could be taken and used by another party to make an informed decision from these facts that lay outside him and myself — like the information given in the Fox News discussion. He asked me if I liked Ron Paul. Reservedly I responded that Ron Paul had some positions I liked, others I did not. He responded to this by merely stating that he liked him. A short while later in his ramblings he intimated that he hated Ronald Reagan. Which brought us back to his previous statement about Ron Paul. “Mentioning that I hear a lot of people from the left say they like Ron Paul without actually knowing what Ron Paul stands for,” continuing, “Much like Reagan, Ron Paul would like to shut down many Federal Departments, like the Dept. of Education, of Agriculture, the EPA, and the like.” Granted, I already knew this is something Michael would not agree with, and he didn’t. My implicit point had been made, there was a disconnect between something said (in this case the liking of a particular candidate) and said facts easily known (in this case, many of Ron Paul’s positions). Of course the conversation steered towards drugs, most conversations about Ron Paul do. I mentioned I was for the legalization of marijuana if there  were someway, much like with alcohol, for law enforcement to tell if someone is under the influence of the drug. But Ron Paul would legalize (or at the least stop Federal enforcement of) heroine, speed, and the like. Later in the conversation Michael challenged my libertarian side by asking derisively if I would want to get rid of the national parks. I said no, but I pointed out that Ron Paul would… another thing he wasn’t aware of in regards to Ron Paul.

3. Reagan Caused the Homeless Problem

Mentioning Reagan again as being one of the most evil men in his life time caused me to inquire why he thought this. He started to intimate why, but then stopped himself and asked if I knew what he was going to reference. I did. “Are you going to mention the insane asylums,” I said.  Knowing this is a popular mantra of the Left in regards to Reagan which proved correct. He asked me what i thought of this situation to which I responded that the movement to release these “mentally ill” persons was not Reagan’s alone, that the Democratic Left was very much involved. Michael merely dismissed this position out of hand, almost laughing as he did. (An aside should be noted. The left thinks this event happened nation wide, however, this happened when Reagan was governor of California.) An interesting conversation on Snopes forums can help the reader, as well as myself, gain information so a well informed response to an emotional position. You can trust me when I say Michael was very animated in expressing his disgust of Reagan. Here are some of the conversations from the older Snopes forum:

Snopes started the conversation off:

(Snopes Posted) For over three decades I’ve been hearing people say “those crazy people are out here walking the streets in California because Ronald Reagan removed them from State institutions.” Ronald Reagan was last California Governor in 1972. AS I recall, it’s the legislature that passes laws and then the Governor signs the law. Did that happen with the California ‘crazy people?’

Since 1972 there have been several times when the governor, the state senate and the state legislature were all controlled by the Democratic Party. Why didn’t they change the law and house the ‘crazy people?’ It’s very likely if the ‘crazy people’ were de-institutionalized during the Reagan governorship that the legislature was controlled by the Democratic Party. What’s the truth and what’s the lie? Who introduced this bill, if there ever was one that de-institutionalized ‘crazy people’, how did the vote go down, and what was Reagan’s role?

Following are some thoughtful responses:

Advocatus Diaboli posted:

I think I can successfully field this one. My father has worked for Agnews Developmental Center going on 4 decades. Having retired twice and begged to come back each time working first as a Nursing Coordinator and later on Health and Safety officer. I also have worked there in the offices as part of the youth work program.

Quite simply mental health and developmental professionals want the State/ State of California out of the business of caring for “crazy people” So acting on there recommendations that’s what the government gave them. Overall it’s probably better in most cases. A great number of these people are not “crazy” they are developmentally disabled a crucial distinction in my opinion.

I know of one girl whom I was very fond of and who loved it when I visited her that was placed in a community home and was better for it. She was not “out on the street” and some institutions still operate at some capacity for those who can not be placed, and hopefully they always will.

Politics has little to do with this at all.

G.I. Joe posted:

My wife worked for the chief of the psychiatric department at the Brentwood VA in California during the early 80s. From the mid-70s to mid-80s there was a strong ‘patients rights’ movement generated by the mental health advocate community. Although there were many facets to this movement, one of the primary elements was a re-examination of the criteria for institutionalizing patients.

The point of contention revolved around interpretations of what it meant for a patient to be able to ‘take care of himself.’ Prior to this the interpretation was rather strict; if a patient could not earn an income and provide shelter and food for himself (and if there were no family members able to care for him), then he would normally be institutionalized.

Beginning in the late 70s, the advocacy groups began to demand a lower standard. As long as a patient could merely wash and dress himself, and could perform the mechanical tasks of shoveling food into his mouth, then every effort was made to force the institutions to release them. My wife’s boss spent many months both in court and testifying before the state assembly trying to stop this lowering of standards. Unsuccessfully.

Predictably, most of the newly discharged patients were unable to take care of themselves in any meaningful sense of the word, and became the homeless people on the street. It’s no coincidence that the decline in California’s mental health institution population closely matched the sharp increase of homeless (in California, at least) during the same period. In fact, for about two years, my wife literally was on a first name basis with every homeless person we ran across in the Westwood/Santa Monica area. They were all former patients who had been ‘sprung’ from the VA by well meaning advocate groups who then simply walked away and left these guys hanging.

Reagan was not involved in this movement, nor was he a symptom or symbolic of it. Quite the contrary. The people who ‘liberated’ the inmates tended to be on the opposite end of the political spectrum. In fact, it was the ACLU who provided legal representation to force the VA to release these patients.

G.I. Joe responded to a previous comment:

Originally posted by Jason Threadslayer:
Also, since the 1960s and 1970s, it is generally illegal to forcibly treat the mentally ill.

Yeah, there are many provisions intended to protect both the patients and the doctors, but it makes the system very complicated. For instance, in order to involuntarily medicate an institutionalized psychiatric patient it requires a ‘Riese Hearing’ (in California), which is administrated by the court system. The patient gets a deputy public defender to represent him and the whole nine yards. So . . . it is not unusual that a patient has been institutionalized against his will as a result of a court order, but at the same time he can win court authority to refuse treatment (at least treatment via psychotropic medication).

It’s a complicated issue and determining right and wrong and what is best for the patient is not at all easy.

“Life is complicated. So you have to look out for the less complicated things.” ~ from some of the last words of a young man’s grandfather [thank you for sharing his final thoughts].

So we see that this issue, as encapsulated by the Left, is wrong. It is a straw-man, in other words, they define their proposition as a historical fact (wrongly), and then tear it down. The only problem is that they present an unhistorical case and feel like they are justified in their hatred for Reagan by making a fool out of themselves. The ACLU was the main catalyst behind fighting for the rights of these people to be free, even the freedom to live in alleyways and eat from trash cans. Anything but a conservative or Republican institution, they were one of the main thrusts behind both California and later a nationwide release of patients.  They [the ACLU], have long held that involuntary institutionalization of an unwilling person, even if mentally or physically incapable, is the worst of two evils. Not to mention that many times since the 1970’s Democrats have controlled both houses and the governorship of California, the questions has been raised, why didn’t the Democrats re-institutionalize these people?

A question I suspect is entwined in the complexity of how these people were actually released, versus merely a politician waving his or her wand. in other words the Democrats hands were just as tied (actually more-so) as the Republicans hands because the genesis of the movement for patient rights was not political. Not to mention that this myth serves Democrats and Liberals well… they wouldn’t want to change this “silver bullet,” or what they wrongly presume is one.

4. Sarah Palin Kills…. Wolves

Before entering the odd conspiratorial and religious parts of the conversation, we should end the political aspect of this portion of the conversation with his hatred for Sarah Palin. The reason for this disdain, he said, is because he is an environmentalist and that “she shot 17 wolves.” Included in his reasoning was her policy on the matter of Alaska offering a bounty to cull the wolf population. His vitriol is very similar to this:

The earth, in Palin’s view, is here to be taken and plundered. The wolves and the bears are here to be shot and plundered. The oil is here to he taken and plundered… Sarah Pal in does not much believe in thinking. From what I gather she has tried to ban books from the library, has a tendency to dispense with people who think independently. She cannot tolerate an environment of ambiguity and difference Sarah believes in guns. She has her own custom Austrian hunting rifle. She has been known to kill forty caribou at a clip. She has shot hundreds of wolves from the air… If the polar bears don’t move you to go and do everything in your power to get Obama elected, then consider” Palin’s support for oil drilling. “I think of teeth when I think of drills,” the author continued. “I think of rape. I think of destruction. I think of domination. I think of military exercises that force mindless repetition, emptying the brain of analysis, doubt, ambiguity or dissent. I think of pain.” (Taken from The Persecution of Sarah Palin: How the Elite Media Tried to Bring Down a Rising Star)

Again, Michael’s animated hatred was present when he talked of her, similar to when speaking of Reagan. Part of this is that the hunters were payed $150 bounty on the wolves. Partially true. For instance, this is implicitly referenced in a Slate article on the topic:

Back in the 1950s, Alaska paid government employees and bounty hunters to take out thousands of wolves, but today’s aerial wolf killers are unpaid. (They can make some money by selling the wolf pelts.) Palin tried last year to have the state pay $150 for every wolf killed, but the state superior court shot that down as an illegal use of bounty payments, which were outlawed in that state in 1984.

Take note also that the cost of helicopter hunting of wolves is very expensive, so this form of hunting (shooting from the chopper) was/is rare. Hunters typically drive in and-or hike to the hunting area. Some can afford to be helicoptered into and dropped off in an area. But the story of mass wolf shootings by helicopter is just a myth. Also note that I couldn’t find anywhere a number given for Sarah Palin hunting of wolves. In fact, if she did kill a wolf in a hunting trip, I cannot even find that. That being said, the Lefts opening up of Sarah Palin’s emails backfired in every account, even this wolf myth. The left like to say she “championed aerial hunting,” however, this is not the case. For instance, here is one email on the above topic from Sarah Palin… Stuff:

The governor told her fish and game commissioner in blunt terms that she opposed using state helicopters to hunt wolves and preferred paying private hunters.

“We have to act quickly on this as predators are acting quickly and rural families face ridiculous situation of being forced to import more beef instead of feeding their families our healthy staple of Alaskan game. Nonsense. Unacceptable – and not on my watch,” she said.

Her source of information? “Todd interviewed buddies who live out there… Some confirmation that state intervention isn’t first choice w/the locals,” Palin said.”We need to incentivize here,” including providing money for trappers.

Again, the narrative received from Michael just did not stand up to the facts.

5. New World Order

Alright, let’s switch gears a bit and enter into Michael’s views on the New World Order (NWO) conspiracies, black helicopters (yes, he believes one was getting ready to come grab him, as you will see), and religion. In our previous conversation about reasons for disliking Ron Paul it was mentioned by myself that Ron Paul had some conspiratorial views, like the New World Order. He retorted that the NWO is a fact, and he knows a server at the Bilderbergers compound, therefore, he [Michael] knows the truth… end of story. Sharing with him a bit about my previously held beliefs and my affinity to such theories even going as far as involving myself with the John Birch Society in the mid to late 90’s. Continuing, I explained three “events” that caused me to question these beliefs and spurred me to really investigate these claims, references, and quotes so often used with these theories.

My eventual shift in thinking were spurred by an article in the New American article (the magazine of the John Birch Society) blaming the Oklahoma bombing on the U.S. Government; the failure of predictions made about Y2K from many I listened to; and listening to radio talk show host Michael Medved’s “Conspiracy Show” where for one day each month he takes calls only from those who believe in conspiracies. These three things caused me to compare and contrast the positions previously accepted as fact. After a couple of years of wrestling with position after position, I eventually gave up my thinking on the NWO and embraced true history.

6. Black Helicopters and FEMA Gulags

This talk led to Michael positing that gulags exist in America. How did he prove this to me? By an anecdotal story of course. He told me a story where he called some representatives/senators about why it is important to control the border. He says he talked to someone from Diane Feinstein’s office. After a fruitless conversation with someone from her office he said he ended the conversation with a retort that he didn’t mean, but that nonetheless caused a call from a local Sheriff to where he lived within minutes of ending his call with Diane Feinstein’s office. Being that this Sheriff was a fellow Freemason (more on this later), he told Michael to hold on after hearing his explanation. When this Sheriff got back on the line with him he said the pick up was called off. Michael said he inquired with his fellow Mason what he meant, to which he was told that a black helicopter was dispatched from Langley to come get him and take him to a gulag, but was now called off. Granted portions of this story may be true, like when the person from Feinstein’s office called him a racist for wanting to control the border, but I think he added much to it. This happens with many a person, they tell a story and twist the truth here and there, however, with some this form of embellishment becomes habitual. I could see that Michael lived a life unchecked by truth (John 8:32). That being said, he was merely offering unproved, personal information as an anecdote to jump into the larger point that gulags exist. He didn’t offer any information that anyone outside his head could take and use to make a choice with. It was all emotive.

The following topic I did not deal at the time, so I will here in the hoped Michael reads this at some point.

A lot of this thinking revolves around crazy conspiracy stories pushed by people like Alex Jones in regards to FEMA Camps/gulags, coffin liners, and black helicopters. Popular Mechanics (PM) has a great article debunking this conspiracy story. And the video to the right is Glenn Beck talking about the debunking PM gave this theory. Likewise, there is a good short video debunking the supposed coffins that are part of this theory as well. What interested me was that he was a Freemason. In fact, in the photo of him and I you can see a pin of the Masonic symbol just over my left shoulder (click to enlarge). At one point during our conspiracy discussion he rejected the claim that the Masons are part of any conspiracy for “world domination.” Mind you he was just telling me that the Bilderbergers, the Council of Foreign Relations, and the like are out for world domination. “What justification do you have to make this distinction,” I asked. He moved on to other subjects.

Freemasonry is said to be a modern evolution of the Illuminati, and so, would be an older extension of this conspiracy thesis. His rejection of one aspect of the same conspiracy theory and acceptance of another portion of it, then, must be based on emotional reasons: he is a member of one and not of the other.

We did talk about religion[s], which led to a sub-extension of the conspiracy portion of the discussion. I explained to him that Freemasonry is really a modern form of gnosticism, I intimated — not too well — this post on the matter, which I have wanted to import here to RPT — why not now, at least in part:

7. What “is” Freemasonry?

(Original Post) Below is a scan from page 567 of my copy of Morals and Dogma. What you have here is an example of Gnostic thinking on spirit-material dualism; Freemasons are merely modern day Gnostics. Roles are reversed in comparison to how historic Christianity has viewed them since its inception. I will explain, but first look at page 567 (click on it to enlarge):

So let’s get into the meat of the matter. Gnostic thinking is a combination of Judaism, Platonism, Zoroastrianism, and Christianity. (By-the-by, the below is much to do with a professor’s input I had, Dr. Wayne House.)

Judaism – early Gnostics followed the thinking of Marcian, and Marcian taught that the God of the Old Testament was a demiurge. A demiurge would be what we would typically call the “devil.” Since anything 100% spirit is “good,” anything material is “bad.” So the God of the Old Testament created the world, which is material, and so this God is the Gnostic’s mortal enemy (pun intended). So Judaic thought and Judaism’s God is what Gnostics are “fighting” against. This is Judaism’s contribution.

Platonism – plutonic thought is basically the codifying of Hindu thinking into Grecian thought. He taught that innate ideas (that is: existing in one from birth; inborn; native) were the ideas the mind beheld in the world of pure Forms before birth. This world, then, is but a shadow of reality… pure spirit. This is Platonic contribution to Gnostic thinking.

An aside here for clarity of thought. Platonic thinking shares a point in common with Gnostic thinking, so you could be a Platonist and not a Gnostic. You couldn’t be, however, a Gnostic without being a Platonist. This is important because many “scholars” get this concept mixed up when describing the points of contact between Gnostic thinking and Christianity. Okay, on we go.

Zoroastrianism – Zoroastic thought has contributed what is called ethical dualism. It has said that there is a battle between good and evil, light and dark. Its addition to this is that anything material in nature is evil, and anything spiritual is good.

Christianity – Christian theology provided a “vehicle” in which to express the above. It is then, the “vehicle of expression” for Gnostics. Jesus becomes the way in which they Gnostics explain the working of impersonal deity in human existence and the offering of salvation through secret knowledge, or, Gnosis. Gnosis means knowledge of spiritual matters; mystical knowledge.

Gnostic’s, then, only have a complete “system of thought” when they combine all four of these major aspects into their thinking. If their thinking were to lack any one of these, they would cease to be Gnostic. The combining of the major aspects of these four lines thought, then, make up the Gnostic “worldview.” What do Gnostics believe then? I will explain a bit more in this crude drawing taken during notes from a class at seminary. one should note as well that “Eon” should be spelled “Aeon.”:

Much like Eastern philosophy, there is an impersonal spirit which is 100% spirit. Brahma as it is referred to in Hindu thought. Out of this impersonal force emanated “Eons.” These Eons were 99.9% spirit and .01% material, to put it layman terms. (Also, the percentages are not to explain exactly what Gnostic’s believe, I am just using these numbers as examples to get the analogy across.) These less impersonal, or more corrupted Eons, created other Eons who themselves were more deficient in their spirit/matter balance. Until finally you have very “diluted” beings. One diluted being — referred to as a “Demiurge,” what we would sometimes call the “Devil” — created our world. He also created smaller more diluted beings called “Archons.” These archons would be what we view as demons; Gnostics would say Paul referred to them in Ephesians 6:12 when he said:

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Jesus comes into the picture as an Aeon who has a higher percentage of spirit left and sneaks past the demiurge and the archons and enters our world. He is “born,” not physically, but is an ethereal image of mankind (hard to explain) to point the way to a saving knowledge that is secret or hidden.

Freemasons are the most modern day representation of Gnostics; they have symbols that as you climb to higher degrees become clearer in their real meaning and are explained more-so as you climb this “knowledge ladder.” Secret handshakes, elaborate rituals and secrecy until finally at the 33rd-degree you are presented with a true understanding (a Gnostic one) of reality and “God.”

From three separate Mason’s saying each part of the name of God, “Ja-bul-on,” to the meaning of the dot or “G” in the square and compass symbol. All these serve as layers for the initiates to come to realize that this material world is evil.

The Gnostics and hence, Masons, believe that there is a war going on with the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament. As this thinking has progressed throughout history it has adopted other philosophies and has become more and more convoluted in its history and thinking. The New Age, much of your occultism, cults, and even Christianity (Trinity Broadcasting Network for instance) has been influenced by this thinking in one way or another. From Madam Blavatsky and her influence on Germany’s occultism that led to the Aryan philosophy of Hitler to Benny Hinn’s healing crusades.

All sorts of writers, especially conspiratorial writers, have had a plethora of facts to misuse and misrepresent and to twist to their own agendas. Their agenda have resulted in many people believing that “secret societies” control both parties and were behind the Twin Towers so they could implement a world government. This view that combines, “sun” worship from the ancient Egyptians to the Illuninati, from the Knights Templars and Rosicrucians, to today’s Skull and Bones and Council on Foreign Relations ~ is defunct mainly due to the lack of understanding gnosis and the philosophy that has driven it.

(Read More)

8. “Religion” Defined

He did ask me to define “religion,” not being able to recall a decent definition then, I do so here:

Webster’s New World Dictionary defines religion as “a specific system of belief, worship, often involving a code of ethics.” Faith is defined as “unquestioning belief… complete trust or confidence… loyalty.”

Funk and Wagnalls Standard Desk Dictionary has this to say about religion, “The beliefs, attitudes, emotions, behavior, etc., constituting man’s relationship with the powers and principles of the universe.” On the matter of faith it says, “Confidence in or dependence on a person, statement, or thing as trustworthy… Belief without need of certain proof.”

Atheism, Taoism, and other non-god beliefs, like Buddhism, fit into this definition. I explained my relational position with God was more personal than the cut n’ paste definition.

9. Priests Molesting Kids

Of course during the conversation Michael brought up all the deaths associated with Catholicism, and the molestations associated with the Catholic church. I responded quite well in conversation on this topic. First let me speak to the portion we discussed on molestation/rape.

Using his logic, dentistry, counseling, teaching, and the like are evil. They drive the person to do such acts. The N.E.A. (National Teachers Association) and school district/union even ship the guilty party from district to district, much like the priest. Does that mean education is evil? He thought religion was evil with this example. Having dealt with this in the past — this would be a perfect place to re-post a response to this charge:

(From a cataloged discussion)

Sean, no one was lost at the Burlington Coat Factory (where the COMMUNITY CENTER, not “mosque” will be based). If we are to follow your logic, I guess no Catholic churches should be located within a few blocks of daycare centers, no? Anyway, I am a New Yorker and I also realize polls can be made to indicate almost anything. Most of the people I know think it is more important to hold up sacred tenants of our constitution than to cave in to very misguided xenophobia. There have been a LOT of people bussed in to protest and the anti-Islamic rhetoric is very damaging. http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/08/25/cab_stabbing_update/index.html

Thanks Nora for hopping into this conversation. This can be an emotional topic, so know that even though I cannot see your facial expressions, hear concern, humor, or consternation in your tone — I afford you the best of intentions. I do wish to, however, point out some mistakes in your thinking. I may take a post or two to do so as I respect where you are coming from… so bear with me. FIRST POINT, there will be a mosque in the community center. In fact, it will be the top two floors and be tall enough to view the site of the Twin-Towers. That’s number one.

NUMBER TWO, I wish to discuss this issue of molestation by priests that you intimated about.

School counselors, dentists, Buddhist monks, foster parents, and the like — all have abused children. Men who are pedophiles look for positions of AUTHORITY OVER [*not yelling, emphasizing*] children that afford MOMENTS OF PRIVACY with these same children. Dentists do not violate children or women in the name of dentistry. Buddhists monks do not sodomize children in the name of Siddhartha. School counselors in the name of psychology, foster parents in the name of Dr. Spock, etc, … you get the point.  Likewise, priests do not violate children in the name of Christ.

In other words, would Columbia University have to stop teaching about education because the N.E.A. shuffles around rapists and child predators? The argument is a non-sequitur designed merely to stir up feelings of animosity and then direct them towards an entirely different subject. There tends to be a blurring of subject/object distinction on the professional left. Here is a short list of what I alluded to above:


A woman who alleges she was sexually assaulted by a monk at a Theravada Buddhist temple in Chicago holds her 11-year-old daughter, who was conceived, according to her mother, during the assaults. (Stacey Wescott, Chicago Tribune / July 24, 2011)


1) Religious News Online reports from an original India Times article, another source that cites this is Child Rights Sri Lanka:

Two Buddhist monks and eight other men were arrested on Wednesday, accused of sexually abusing 11 children orphaned by the island’s 19-year civil war, an official said.

Investigations revealed that the children, aged between nine and 13, had been sexually abused over a period of time at an orphanage where the men worked, said Prof. Harendra de Silva, head of the National Child Protection Authority….

2) Washington County Sheriff’s Office Media Information reported the following:

Mr. Tripp was arrested for sexually abusing a former 15-year-old foster care child.

The investigation started when the Oregon Department of Human Services was contacted by a school counselor who learned that there may be sexual abuse involving a student and Mr. Tripp. DHS workers then contacted Sheriff’s Detectives who took over the investigation.

Detectives learned that Mr. Tripp has been a foster parent since 1995 and has had at least 90 children placed in his home during that time. Sheriff’s Detectives are concerned that there may be more victims who have not yet reported sexual contact involving Mr. Tripp….

3) A therapist who worked at Booker T. Washington Middle School in Baltimore was arrested in Catonsville and charged with molesting a 13-year-old boy, Baltimore County police said yesterday.

Robert J. Stoever, 54, of the 1500 block of Park Ave. was arrested Sunday night after a county police officer saw him and the boy in a car in a parking lot at Edmondson Avenue and Academy Road, said Cpl. Michael Hill, a police spokesman.

Stoever was charged with a second-degree sex offense and perverted practice, according to court documents. He was sent to the Baltimore County Detention Center, Hill said….

4) A Bronx dentist was arrested yesterday on charges that he twice raped a 16-year-old patient whom he had placed under anesthesia during an office visit on Thursday, police said.

The girl, a patient of the dentist for several years, was hired for a summer job as his receptionist on Thursday, and had an appointment with him for treatment that afternoon, said Lieut. Hazel Stewart, commander of the Bronx Special Victims Squad.

[….]

“She went in and she changed into a little uniform that he gave to her, and he gave her some files to work on,” the lieutenant said. “Then he said that it was time to take a look at her teeth.”

At that point, Lieutenant Stewart said, “he used some type of anesthesia on her and he allegedly raped her.”

The young woman told officers that she was never fully anesthetized, Lieutenant Stewart said, but that “the effects of the anesthesia were strong enough to render her helpless to such a degree that he was able to rape her again.”

These folks that commit these crimes are atheists, Christians, Buddhists (which are epistemologically speaking, atheists), and every other ideology and from every stripe of life and culture in the world. Thus, the argument is as strong as this:

There have been many cases of dentists molesting and raping children, therefore, dentists cannot take moral positions on secular society.

The conclusion just doesn’t follow the premise.

There have been many cases of priests molesting and raping children, therefore, the Pope (insert Catholic here) cannot take moral positions on secular society.

In the case of religious comparisons, you would have to isolate the founders and their lives in order to properly judge a belief, not the followers. I would engender the reader to consider well this quote by Robert Hume:

The nine founders among the eleven living religions in the world had characters which attracted many devoted followers during their own lifetime, and still larger numbers during the centuries of subsequent history. They were humble in certain respects, yet they were also confident of a great religious mission. Two of the nine, Mahavira and Buddha, were men so strong-minded and self-reliant that, according to the records, they displayed no need of any divine help, though they both taught the inexorable cosmic law of Karma. They are not reported as having possessed any consciousness of a supreme personal deity. Yet they have been strangely deified by their followers. Indeed, they themselves have been worshipped, even with multitudinous idols.

All of the nine founders of religion, with the exception of Jesus Christ, are reported in their respective sacred scriptures as having passed through a preliminary period of uncertainty, or of searching for religious light. Confucius, late in life, confessed his own sense of shortcomings and his desire for further improvement in knowledge and character. All the founders of the non-Christian religions evinced inconsistencies in their personal character; some of them altered their practical policies under change of circumstances.

Jesus Christ alone is reported as having had a consistent God-consciousness, a consistent character himself, and a consistent program for his religion. The most remarkable and valuable aspect of the personality of Jesus Christ is the comprehensiveness and universal availability of his character, as well as its own loftiness, consistency, and sinlessness.

The World’s Living Religions (New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1959), 285-286.

Also see: “Love”

10. What About the Crusades?

[See my new post on the Crusades]

Michael’s bad thinking just isn’t him, it is a large portion of society that base important positions on emotion (they want to believe it), on hearsay (hear it from somebody), or bias, or: all of the above! Michael is merely living out societal ignorance. I can’t blame him, but I was surprised at how many of these mantras and myths he could back into a few short sentences. The other issue we talked about was violence done in the name of the Church. I intimated that according to the World Book Encyclopedia and the Encyclopedia Britannica that the total historically known deaths from the Crusades (all 7), was about 40,000. It may have been horrible and wrong I told him, but the Christ doesn’t teach this. In contradistinction, when Nietzsche prophesied that the death of God would produce a bloody 20th century, he was right. Non-God movements in the 20th century alone killed over 166-million people. I continued the discussion using two books for examples: Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence, and, A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion. I contrasted religious views of violence and those of evolutionary standards. The Church had a reference point to return to, the non-religious person as well has a point to return to. I explained to Michael that Hitler in Mein Kampf explained this “point” well:

“The stronger must dominate and not mate with the weaker, which would signify the sacrifice of its own higher nature. Only the born weakling can look upon this principle as cruel, and if he does so it is merely because he is of a feebler nature and narrower mind; for if such a law [natural selection] did not direct the process of evolution then the higher development of organic life would not be conceivable at all…. If Nature does not wish that weaker individuals should mate with the stronger, she wishes even less that a superior race should intermingle with an inferior one; because in such a case all her efforts, throughout hundreds of thousands of years, to establish an evolutionary higher stage of being, may thus be rendered futile.”

Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, translator/annotator, James Murphy (New York: Hurst and Blackett, 1942), pp. 161-162.

“I freed Germany from the stupid and degrading fallacies of conscience and morality…. We will train young people before whom the world will tremble. I want young people capable of violence — imperious, relentless and cruel.”

Adolf Hitler, A sign of his quote hangs on the wall at Auschwitz; Ravi Zacharias, Can Man Live Without God, p. 23.

In fact, current day biologist, Richard Dawkins agrees:

“What’s to prevent us from saying Hitler wasn’t right? I mean, that is a genuinely difficult question.” (Stated during an interview with Larry Taunton, “Richard Dawkins: The Atheist Evangelist,” by Faith Magazine, Issue Number 18, December 2007)

If evolution is true in its natural philosophical sense, then the highest moral plain (if you can call it that) would be survival of the fittest. At some point in our evolutionary past it may have been necessary for the stronger male species to forcibly dominate the weaker female species in order for our “kind” to survive. Rape is said to not be a pathology but an evolutionary adaptation – a strategy for maximizing reproductive success (The Natural History of Rape, p.p., 71, 163; referenced on page 7 of my chapter on natural law and homosexuality.)  At some point in our evolutionary future it may become again the only way for our species to survive (since without the theistic God rape is only currently taboo, socially speaking). This was the only time I became animated, and I did so knowingly to try and drive my point home, and the point is simple:

The Bible does not teach the horrible practices that some have committed in its name. It is true that it’s possible that religion can produce evil, and generally when we look closer at the details it produces evil because the individual people [Christians] are actually living in rejection of the tenets of Christianity and a rejection of the God that they are supposed to be following. So it [religion] can produce evil, but the historical fact is that outright rejection of God and institutionalizing of atheism (non-religious practices) actually does produce evil on incredible levels. We’re talking about tens of millions of people as a result of the rejection of God. For example: the Inquisitions, Crusades, Salem Witch Trials killed about anywhere from 40,000 to 80,000 persons combined (World Book Encyclopedia and Encyclopedia Americana), and the church is liable for the unjustified murder of about (taking the high number here) 300,000-women over about a 300 year period. A blight on Christianity? Certainty. Something wrong? Dismally wrong. A tragedy? Of course. Millions and millions of people killed? No. The numbers are tragic, but pale in comparison to the statistics of what non-religious criminals have committed); the Chinese regime of Mao Tse Tung, 60 million [+] dead (1945-1965), Stalin and Khrushchev, 66 million dead (USSR 1917-1959), Khmer Rouge (Cambodia 1975-1979) and Pol Pot, one-third of the populations dead, etc, etc. The difference here is that these non-God movements are merely living out their worldview, the struggle for power, survival of the fittest and all that, no evolutionary/naturalistic natural law is being violated in other words (as non-theists reduce everything to natural law — materialism). However, and this is key, when people have misused the Christian religion for personal gain, they are in direct violation to what Christ taught, as well as Natural Law.

In other words, if one rejects Christianity for the violence it has committed against its principles, how much more should you reject non-faith for living up to its?

11. Was There a Reason for the Crusades?

Of course even this response doesn’t explain the reasoning behind why the Church went to battle to begin with. The Crusades were a mandatory action, and since the church was the only real organization in that day to see the threat and to sound the alarm bells, the net good caused by the Church’s actions — even if wrong decisions and actions took place during this conflict — is commendable. For instance, I critiqued geneticist Francis Collins position (in his book) on religion and evil for a college paper, which a portion of is below:

…Not to mention that just saying the Crusades were wrong is almost juvenile. Robert Spencer talks a bit about the lead up to Christendom finally responding — rightly at first, woefully latter.

The Third Crusade (1188-1192). This crusade was proclaimed by Pope Gregory VIII in the wake of Saladin’s capture of Jerusalem and destruction of the Crusader forces of Hattin in 1187. This venture failed to retake Jerusalem, but it did strengthen Outremer, the crusader state that stretched along the coast of the Levant.[1]

The almost Political Correct myth is that the crusades were an unprovoked attack by Europe against the Islamic world.[2] I can see with quoting Tillich and Bonhoeffer, although worthy men to quote, they are typically favorites of the religious left. Robert Schuller and Desmond Tutu on the back of the cover of Collins first edition are also dead give a ways. So PC thought is entrenched in Collins general outlook on religion and life. Continuing:

The conquest of Jerusalem in 638 stood as the beginning of centuries of Muslim aggression, and Christians in the Holy Land faced an escalating spiral of persecution. A few examples: Early in the eighth century, sixty Christian pilgrims from Amorium were crucified; around the same time, the Muslim governor of Caesarea seized a group of pilgrims from Iconium and had them all executed as spies – except for a small number who converted to Islam; and Muslims demanded money from pilgrims, threatening to ransack the Church of the Resurrection if they didn’t pay. Later in the eighth century, a Muslim ruler banned displays of the cross in Jerusalem. He also increased the anti-religious tax (jizya) that Christians had to pay and forbade Christians to engage in religious instruction to others, even their own children.

Brutal subordinations and violence became the rules of the day for Christians in the Holy Land. In 772, the caliph al-Mansur ordered the hands of Christians and Jews in Jerusalem to be stamped with a distinctive symbol. Conversions to Christianity were dealt with particularly harshly. In 789, Muslims beheaded a monk who had converted from Islam and plundered the Bethlehem monastery of Saint Theodosius, killing many more monks. Other monasteries in the region suffered the same fate. Early in the ninth century, the persecutions grew so severe that large numbers of Christians fled to Constantinople and other Christians cities. More persecutions in 923 saw additional churches destroyed, and in 937, Muslims went on a Palm Sunday rampage in Jerusalem, plundering and destroying the Church of Calvary and the Church of the Resurrection.[3]

One person (my pastor) said to paint a picture of the crusaders in a single year in history is like showing photos and video of Hitler hugging children and receiving flowers from them and then showing photos and video of the Allies attacking the German army. It completely forgets what Hitler and Germany had done prior.


[1] Robert Spencer, The Politically Correct Guide to Islam and the Crusades (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2005), 147-148.
[2]
Ibid., 122.
[3]
Ibid., 122-123.

12. Conclusion

One can see that the narrative that Mr. Berryman was speaking from is even flawed from its foundation. The liberal thinks the “big, bad corporate church” went over and started slaughtering people minding their own business. Nope. So the net good that came out of those actions is why Michael is not forced to his knees five times a day. I bet you Mr. Berryman would be floored to realize that only 2,000 or so people were killed directly because of the Spanish Inquisition! This is not an anecdotal story, but referenced in one of the leading historians of Spain and the Inquisition’s book, The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision.

We talked about other issues and I can respond to them as well, but these are the main topics I touched on with him and expanded a bit here for the reader to use as examples of some responses to the many straw man statements we often hear. If Michael contacts me after the “beating” he took above, this means he is a man’s man. Sometimes we have to swallow our pride and admit that maybe, just maybe, there is room to learn — and life offers opportunities in the people we meet to do so. Michael met one such opportunity. I would ask that if Michael read this that he consider reading my book. It answers some other issues he mentioned. For instance when I mentioned the Bible, he said “which Bible, there are many.” Or when I presented a few positive aspects of the Christian worldview verses the non-believers. All that can be found in my book: Worldviews: A Click Away from Binary Collisions (Religio-Political Apologetics) The whole encounter was congenial for the most part. We left on good terms and I would be more than happy to sit down with him and have a beer.