The Latest Whopper from the TMLC

I think the Thomas More Law Center must be feeling neglected after all the attention I've given to the ADF recently, and they're out to get their place of honor back. And if they keep saying things like this, they'll get plenty of it. I'm just going to quote the first part of the article:

A Michigan-based law center that defends the religious freedoms of Christians says the courts, the schools, and even the military should stop favoring religions that don't represent the values and traditions of America.

I'll give you a moment to pick your jaw up off the floor. Their evidence for this alleged bias - you're gonna love this - is that the military in Iraq recently underwent training concerning the Islamic tradition of Ramadan so they would better understand the people they're trying to work with and avoid insulting them or interfering with events or practices that are considered sacred by that nation's population.

Now, a sane and rational person would applaud that. We are trying to rebuild Iraq and build a better relationship with the people there and the more our military understands about them, the easier that will be. But in the fevered little minds of the TMLC, this amounts to "favoring" Islam. You can only shake your head at how completely irrational someone has to be not to understand the point of such training. For crying out loud, even the Pentagon, which has done virtually nothing right in this war, recognizes the need for our troops to understand the cultural traditions of the people they are living among and fighting for (and against). But it escapes this dolt.

The attorney points out that America was founded on Christian principles -- so "that's the one that should be advanced," he says.

Ah, this old canard. Quick, Mr. White, find the concept of freedom of conscience anywhere in the Bible or in Christian theology prior to the Enlightenment. Point us to concepts like "separation of powers" or "checks and balances" in the Bible or in Christian theology. You won't find them, they don't exist. The principles on which this nation was founded can all be traced to Enlightenment philosophy, not to the Bible.

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I forget who said "The weak mind is like a microscope: it magnifies small things and can't handle big ones."

Our prison camps are run by incompetent torturers, we can't keep order anywhere outside the Green Zone, and Bush suddenly can't bring himself to admit he ever used the words "stay the course" -- but Heaven forefend our innocent young soldiers should learn something about foreign cultures!

And that, I suspect, is pretty much what this fuss-fest is about: provincial simpletons who don't want their sons and daughters to come home with any weird foreign ideas.

Maybe they agree with Ann Coulter that the reason for invading Islamic countries is to convert people to Christianity?

By Bill Jarrell (not verified) on 26 Oct 2006 #permalink

But facts don't matter to them, and neither does helping our troops do better in that god-forsaken quagmire if it means learning about another religion. Jesus would be too offended if they were, you know, prepared.

The U.S. Army's lack of understanding of Iraqi culture, and the inevitable bungling and resentment caused by this ignorance, was a key factor feeding the insurgency. Just take a look at Tom Rick's 10 Non-Iraq Books for Understanding Iraq -- it's full of books that give deep insight into fighting war within an Islamic culture, such as:

The Portable Kipling (Viking Portable Library): I carried the Viking Portable Kipling with me on my last trip to Iraq, earlier this year. Call him an imperialist if you like, but his story "The Head of the District" is built on a powerful understanding of the interplay of radical Islam, tribalism, and terrorist techniques such as decapitation. And no American has yet written about fighting in Iraq remotely as powerfully as in his "Mesopotamia," in the same volume.

The TMLC and their ilk are dangerous know-nothings.

Thank you for the microscope quote. I hadn't heard it before.

"A weak mind is like a microscope, which magnifies trifling things but cannot receive great ones."

-- Lord Chesterfield (English statesman and author, 1694-1773)

"A weak mind is like a microscope, which magnifies trifling things but cannot receive great ones." -- G.K. Chesterton

I was not familiar with that quote; thank you, Raging Bee.

Hmmm. There is a significant difference between Lord Chesterfield and GK Chesterton. Anyone know who really said that? It's a great quote.

It is attributed to Philip Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield, at nine of the top ten off google. It is attributed to GK CHesterton at two of them. Judging by the number and prevailing quality of the sites attributing it to Lord Chesterfield, I would assume it was him.

Also, judging by a number of other quotes attributed to him, it sounds like Lord Chesterfield.

Of course, does it really need to be explained that this same hamfisted, idiotic attitude is why American tourists are disliked the world over to begin with?

The attorney points out that America was founded on Christian principles -- so "that's the one that should be advanced," he says.

I guess he's thinking of the principle of bringing not peace, but a sword.

By Nebogipfel (not verified) on 26 Oct 2006 #permalink

Of course the U.S. was founded on Christian principles. After all, we believe that our leaders derive their authority from the Most High, just as it says in the Declaration of Independence:

"Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed"

THERE! See? It's right there in black and white!

. . . Oh, wait . . . I got that wrong.

By Daniel Kim (not verified) on 29 Oct 2006 #permalink