January 16, 2021

Saturday Ramblings 9.15.12

Good Saturday morning, fellow iMonks. Welcome to the Slim Pickens edition of Saturday Ramblings. No, we are not going to go bronco on an H-bomb. There just hasn’t been that much news to report this week. But we do have birthdays to celebrate, and a bonus video to watch, so we’ll have to fill in the space between now and then with something, won’t we? And while the pickins may indeed be slim, that doesn’t mean we won’t pick ’em. So grab your cowboy hat, jump astride a bomb, and let’s ramble.

In case you didn’t catch the humor in the above paragraph, I recommend turning off football today and watch Dr. Strangelove, Or How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love The Bomb. You may thank me afterward.

Words are very powerful things. And when you mix words with pictures, it can be a deadly combination. That was seen this week with the violent death of several Americans serving overseas at embassies or in the military. Muslims protesting an obscure movie that insults Muhammad are blamed for the deaths. The movie was produced, edited and distributed by three men claiming to be Coptic Christians. I am not going to link to the 14-minute-long trailer for this film here (you can find it easily enough if you want), but I have never seen such horrible acting, sets, costumes, editing—it truly is laughable. And when these men arranged for a screening in a Los Angeles theater, no one (literally no one) showed up to watch. Yet it is this film that has set in motion the riots that are raging across the world as I write.

Terry Jones, the Florida preacher and ebay furniture salesman who set off a firestorm several years ago by proposing to burn a copy of the Koran in public, is tied to this movie. In an interview with the Voice Of America, Jones says he has talked with the filmmakers many times and plans to post the trailer on his web site. Amazing how much damage the “pastor” of a church of 30 people can do.

Slate magazine says in the internet age, everyone’s religion is going to be insulted, so get over it.

Just who are Coptic Christians? Here is a brief look at this group of Christians that are in the news a lot these days. And here is a bit longer look at them.

In other news, Christianity Today continues to look at David Jang, the Korean businessman who started Olivet University and the Christian Post, among other ventures. Some who worked for him claim that he purports to be the “second coming of Christ.” After CT’s first story on Jang, the Christian Post offered a very overt spin job designed to discredit CT and the authors and defend Jang. This tells me that Jang most definitely holds the reigns at the Christian Post. Olivet University, you will recall, wants to buy Glorietta near Santa Fe, New Mexico from the Southern Baptists so they can house their university there. The controversy regarding Jang has made the Baptists reconsider. This is a story that is only going to get bigger. I have a bad feeling about this.

Pope Benedict arrived in Lebanon this week to celebrate the Honey Bee Festival and participate in the live bee beard contest, and … wait. That’s Lebanon, Ohio, my hometown. PB 16 is in Lebanon, as in Israel’s neighbor. Got it straight? Good.

And finally, from the Seriously, I Cannot Make This Stuff Up department, the virgin birth is evident … among snakes. There is some deep theological mystery here, but I don’t have time to ponder that just now. It is time to wish happy birthdays to …

Sid Caesar; Peter Sellers; Patsy Cline; Billy Preston; Michael Buble; Arnold Palmer; Roger Maris; Ferdinand Marcos; Bear Bryant; Leo Kottke; Amy Madigan; Barry White; Bill Monroe; Roald Dahl; Clayton Moore; and Woody Woodpecker.

One of the funniest men ever to walk this planet was Peter Sellers. He played three different roles in the aforementioned Dr. Strangelove. Here he is playing two of the three in this memorable movie. Enjoy.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iesXUFOlWC0&feature=related’]

Comments

  1. That video was just an excuse. Like the cartoons of Mohammed (Muhammed…whatever) or the burning of Korans (Quorans…whatever).

    Any excuse will do for a opportunity to murder and rage against the world in the name of Islam.

    “The Arab Spring”. Give me a break.

    • The so-called “Arab Spring” has turned into an “Islamist winter”.

    • “Any excuse will do for a opportunity to murder and rage against the world in the name of Islam.”

      For extremists? For hateful, Muslim versions of the KKK? Sure. For most Muslims? No. Look at these pictures of Muslims protesting the attacks: http://www.thedailybeast.com/galleries/2012/09/13/protests-against-libyan-embassy-attacks-photos.html

      • “most Muslims” are irrelevant. They are afraid to speak out. They will not speak out, except for a very few. So what good are they in all of this?

        There were many good German families and people in Nazi Germany. What good were they?

        • So, when shown pictures of people speaking out, you declare that they are too afraid to speak out. I guess evidence is not as important to you as your bigotry.

          • As I said. it is a very tiny number. When was the last time you saw a Muslim rally against Hamas, or Hezbolah or Al Qaeda?

          • Radical Islam, which has an enormous number of adherents, in the tens or hundreds of millions (and growing), and commands (growing) influence even over many other Muslims who may not entirely share all its viewpoints , is a militant faith that is incompatible with the values and goals of liberal democracy. The low regard for freedom of expression that is predominant in the Muslim world becomes complete intolerance for any speech that criticizes Islam among the Radical Islamists. Remember that this is a growing movement, growing in numbers and commitment, even as the commitment and numbers of those practicing liberal democracy, and its values, wane. Demographically there is no question who the future belongs to unless there is a significant change in trends. And yet the “progressive” Euro-American elite refuses to name and acknowledge the threat, the evil, that we are facing. If I weren’t a Christian who places his faith in the triumph of Jesus Christ I would despair.

          • Steve Martin says:”When was the last time you saw a Muslim rally against Hamas, or Hezbolah or Al Qaeda?”
            Answer: Yesterday

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Probably in America, where Hamas or Hezbollah or al-Qaeda doesn’t have power of life and death over them.

          • No, not America, Libya.

        • Steve, when was the last time you saw a Christian rally against Terry Jones? I haven’t seen any, nor have I seen any against that group that protests at military funerals? These are extremists but I don’t see a huge mainstream Christian outcry against them.

          • They aren’t worth the effort. Everyone who matters knows these people aren’t Christians. I’m not big on spending my time telling people what they already know.

          • Suzanne, surely you are not equating the ugly (but non-violent) behavior of a very small fringe group in the US with that of radical Muslim governments like Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia or radical and very violent Islamist organizations like Hamas, or Hezbolah or Al Qaeda? That seems like an example of moral equivalence to me.

            And, BTW, there actually are counter protests, groups so large that they often dwarf that hate-filled church group at military funerals, including biker groups who try to shield the families from the view of the crazies.

          • No, br. thomas, I’m not equating the two. I’m responding to the mentality that obviously since moderate Muslims are not out in the street with counter protests, they obviously agree with these extremists thereby proving that Islam is a religion of violence.
            With those thought processes, I’d have to conclude the same thing about Christians since the silence following the outright murder of George Tiller was deafening, as an example. Sure, there are groups that come out to shield funeral goers from the Westboro Baptist crowd, but protest against them? I haven’t heard anything approaching the level of protest many people seem to feel that moderate Muslims must use to prove that they aren’t all radicals.

          • Sure, there are groups that come out to shield funeral goers from the Westboro Baptist crowd, but protest against them? I haven’t heard anything approaching the level of protest many people seem to feel that moderate Muslims must use to prove that they aren’t all radicals.

            There’s not point. And likely it would be counter productive. The Westboro group needs publicity to survive. And counter protesting feeds the publicity.

            And I’ve read several analysis of them that suggest they are really a semi-legal extortion group. Taking payments to go away. And that’s what funds their operation.

        • Steve Martin says: “most Muslims” are irrelevant. They are afraid to speak out. They will not speak out, except for a very few. ”

          Non-irrelevant Muslims are speaking out: “Muslims should not be dragged by wrath and anger to shift from legitimate to forbidden action and by this, they will, unknowingly, fulfill some aims of the film,” Saudi Grand Mufti Sheik Abdel-Aziz al-Sheik.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            But will the non-extremist, non-relevant Muslims prevail? The extremists have shown no hesitation to kill as many as needed to make sure THEY are the ones in charge. Kill one, silence a hundred through fear.

            I think the only hope for Islam will be American Muslims, who can balance Islam with today. Otherwise, you may as well transmit the go code and turn the keys in the silos for the Final Solution to the Islamic problem before they take us down with them. Because otherwise it turns into Us or Them. And if it continues, the only hope us kufars will have is to take the Mark of a Vlad the Impaler and become Vlad the Impalers ourselves until the world drowns in blood. (In Europe, the neo-Fascists are already growing on their claim of being the only ones who can oppose Euro-Islam and Do What Has To Be Done.)

          • No, not “non-relevant”, I wrote “non-irrelevant”. This guy is one of thosein charge, top Sheikh in Saudi.

        • “Most Muslims are irrelevant.” So have been most of your comments. I wish you would take your schtick elsewhere.

      • Thank you for that, Michael. I hadn’t seen those pictures.

      • Thanks for sharing the link.

      • Listen, the vast majority of Muslims worldwide are not terrorists. Fine. However, the vast majority of terrorists worldwide are Muslim. At this point, we are not being remotely bigoted to demand that they own this and work against it. Christians doing similar atrocities in the name of Christ would be condemned from every Catholic, Evangelical and Orthodox soapbox in the free world. I do appreciate that some speak out. But the silent of the multitudes is deafening. Islam is not, and has not ever been, a religion of peace. Unless, of course, it’s their version of peace, which would be the entire world subjected to the socio-political system of Sharia. It’s in their doctrine.

        • “However, the vast majority of terrorists worldwide are Muslim. At this point, we are not being remotely bigoted to demand that they own this and work against it.”

          You’re right.

          I think the left and the right both have blind spots on this. The right’s is that there is a significant amount of racism and bigotry towards Muslims. Not, “yeah there’s a few racists but no one likes them,” but a big, politically significant, “let’s use the institutions of government to discriminate against them because those brown people with funny names want to blow us up” element. Big enough to be catered to by conservative media. The left’s blind spot is that there is a really ugly, violent, extreme element within Islam that is a lot bigger and a lot uglier than in any other major world religions. If you hear about a religious suicide bomber, you don’t need to ask what religion. Hell, you don’t need to know it was religiously motivated.

          So the left rails against racism and bigotry towards Muslims, and the right rails against Islamic violence. And they’re both making good points, but refusing to acknowledge that the other has a point. So they talk right past each other.

          Anyhoo, I just realized that I took a discussion about a really monstrous act of murder and made it about the state of political dialogue in America. Ugh. First world problems. Maybe THAT’s why the terrorists hate us.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            So the left rails against racism and bigotry towards Muslims, and the right rails against Islamic violence. And they’re both making good points, but refusing to acknowledge that the other has a point. So they talk right past each other.

            And so just like France between WW1 & 2 with its ever-bickering, the situation just festers and grows and festers and grows until one day it all blows sky-high. And future historians will record World War One, World War Two, and the Cold War only as the minor foreshocks ramping up to the Great Islamic Wars. (Won by the People’s Republic of China, sitting on the mountain and watching the tigers fight.)

          • I think it’s more that the two sides have different ways of dividing the world. No one denies that there is a lot of political violence in the developing world, and a lot of the developing world is Muslim, but the left sees these problems as being mostly political rather than cultural or religious.

          • Richard Hershberger says

            ” And future historians will record World War One, World War Two, and the Cold War only as the minor foreshocks ramping up to the Great Islamic Wars.”

            I am always bemused by people who predict that the United States will be brought down by countries far away with economies a fraction the size of ours and fly specks for military forces. What a small opinion of the United States this shows!

          • I don’t know what country or countries will be on the top of the heap 100 years from now but as Vietnam and many later conflicts have shown, if the “bad guys” don’t care about death rates of their late teens and 20 somethings the “good guys” basically can’t win. Because if the general “bad guy” population is determined by religion or politics to fight forever until the “good guys” leave, the good guys will eventually leave. Or become much less good by adopting a scorched earth policy of fighting.

    • I recommend reading this take on the events, from a Christian man who’s spent his life loving and living overseas with Muslims:

      http://www.middleeastexperience.com/muslim-anger-american-response/#.UFS-cCK-2So

      Carl Medearis also wrote a fascinating book called “Speaking of Jesus: the Art of Not-Evangelism”.

      From personal experience, it’s really hard to hate/fear Muslims when your neighborhood is full of them. We happen to live by the local mosque (in good ol’ Mid-Western USA!). I think the “action points” at the end of the article I posted are excellent advice of what the average person can do to dispel fear and stereotypes.

  2. Don’t forget precious bodily fluids

    and this very a typical role play by George C. Scott.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxLe8MWdWe0&feature=fvwrel

    Great movie. But if grew up after about 1990 it likely doesn’t make much sense. Way too many WWI and Cold War references. Absurd references but references just the same.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      When I was in high school, we had this one kid (“Gasoline Gardner”, the school pyromaniac) who could pull off a PERFECT Dr Strangelove impression. You think the original was absurd…

  3. “Gentlemen please! You can’t fight in here- this is the war room!”- great movie. Thanks for keeping us all informed every Saturday.

  4. I’m getting tired of reading and hearing that this “obscure movie that insults Muhammad” (which I have not watched and do not intend to watch) is responsible for the violent protest and murder that are unfolding in the Muslim world. Words and images do not kill people. I also find it ironic that many of the same “progressives” (I’m not referring to the author of this post) who claim that playing thousands of hours of violent video games does not cause people to act in violent ways are now claiming that a single movie can cause widespread violence and unrest across a widespread region among tens of thousands of people.

    • Playing thousands of hours of violent video games… Let’s see. Of course, we must exclude “Left Behind: Eternal Forces” from that definition, because it is not gratuitous violence, but God-honoring violence. Our God, not theirs. So let’s all stand up with Brother Jones “for truth, for righteousness, and …to exercise our freedom of speech”. There’s only one lesson to be learned here, and its that kerosene-soaked Korans make a toasty fire. Inflammatory speech has the potential, if not the intent, to trigger raw emotions. But should random acts of violence occur, it certainly is not the result of our incendiary speech – no way! James Dobson, Tony Perkins, even vile Bryan Fischer – their pronouncements on “crimes against humanity” stop short of encouraging others to harm homosexuals or abortionists. But there are plenty of others who lay their coats at their feet. Someone tries to attack Family Research Council and the SPLC is immediately to blame. I’m not a pro-choicer, but I have to ask – what about Barnard Slepian or George Tiller? Evangelicals decry the escalation of violence around the world, but at the same time, hate speech within their number is tolerated as normal. And what about the deplorable gun violence in America? NAE doesn’t even have a position on it, maybe because evangelicals are one of the largest gun-owning constituencies. Is there a possibility that I am missing something here?

      • Ichabod,
        I’m unable to answer for all the positions that you criticize because I do not hold all of them. I’m a Christian in my ultimate loyalty to Christ and the Kingdom of God; penultimately, I’m committed to the practice of liberal democracy as the only practicable political compromise for people to live together who hold differing viewpoints and ultimate values. Free expression is a vital necessity for the practice of liberal democracy. If a version of a religion (and religion can be defined for this purpose in a very loose way to include PETA, radical environmentalism, white supremacists, etc., etc.) is unable to tolerate valid or invalid criticism of its loyalties (by intolerance of criticism I mean violently taking to the streets to attack, injure and kill critics or targets that symbolize critics), then it is incompatible with the values of liberal democracy. Burning a Koran can no more cause Muslim people to riot and destroy than burning an American flag could cause an unhinged , violence prone American militiaman to kill the protester who performed the burning. It is their worldview that prompts them to do so, and for this they are responsible.
        BTW, I neither own a gun nor do I play “Left Behind: Infernal Forces.” And it seems to me that the repetitive practice of violence-simulating video games of ANY KIND habituates the practitioner to thinking in violent ways that exacerbate and amplify the violent tendency that we already possess as members of a fallen race of beings. Which is quite different from choosing to respond with actual violence to an outrage to our sensibility resulting from images or words.

        • So, Robert, if I yell “fire” in a crowded building, I bear no responsibility for the stampede that ensues. After all, I didn’t MAKE those people stampede and if they’d just have kept their senses about them….
          I saw this mentality played out far too often when my kids were in school and some kid would suffer the indignities of being bullied. “Well, little Johnny IS a little odd, and really, he just needs to develop a tough hide.” It was rarely seen as the bully’s fault.

          Islam does not allow images of the Prophet. Most of us Christians don’t understand how egregious it is to Muslims. Many of these countries also have no concept of complete free speech, so when our government says they can’t really do anything to stop these yahoos who made and then spread this silly film, this is difficult to process among people for whom the government has controlled every aspect of life. It seems, to them, like that can’t be true.

          There are people who don’t support the rioting.
          http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/pro-american-rallies-benghazi-libya-gallery-1.1158457

          I recommend you read two books. The Battle for God by Armstrong which lays some history for extremism and Marie Antoinette: the Journey by Fraser which will give you some insight into lies taking on their own lives, a government not acting quickly enough, and the bloodshed that ensues once the mob rule takes over.

          When a strong man is sent packing, for whatever reason, there is usually a power vacuum and what fills that vacuum can be scary. Again, to reference the French Revolution, things took years to sort themselves out, with a whole lot of death and destruction in between.

          Talk about world view? Ours in America seems to be that everybody all over the world will welcome democracy, elect nice and competent leaders, and set about the business of becoming Middle Class American clones. We are shocked when it doesn’t work out that way and then the blaming comes.

          • Suzanne,
            Do you realize that in the analogy about the bullies and the schoolyard you are equating Muslims rioters and murderers with helpless children? Is that not somewhat patronizing? And in this case, if the analogy did hold, which it doesn’t, wouldn’t it make more sense to compare the murderers and rioters to bullies who should be held responsible for their violence rather than excused?
            I’m familiar with Armstrong’s work and find it unconvincing.
            And finally, do you believe that the maker of this video should be extradited to Libya for the crime of violating the sensibilities of the rioters and killers? Do you want the yahoo to get his proper punishment at the hands of other yahoos? Because if you don’t believe that (and I hope you don’t), the rest is just academic.

          • Yes, I am in a sense, equating the rioters with the bullied. We have some yahoo’s who taunt them, do something that they know will be considered a complete and utter blasphemy, and then many are surprised when there is a negative reaction, just like so many are surprised when the bullied kid brings a gun to school and starts shooting. Is he justified in shooting? No. But the bullies are also responsible for pushing, and pushing, and pushing just as someone who yells “fire” in a crowded building is held responsible for the mayhem that he causes.

            My view goes back to so many who claim that these riots prove all Muslims are radical and violent. All? All?? I know a number of Muslims who are wonderful, caring, and decent people. In all honesty, I know a number of Christians who really don’t feel that this Jones guy is doing anything wrong by taunting Muslims.

        • > If a version of a religion (and religion can be defined for this purpose in a very loose way
          > to include PETA, radical environmentalism, white supremacists, etc., etc.) is unable to
          > tolerate valid or invalid criticism of its loyalties (by intolerance of criticism I mean violently
          > taking to the streets to attack, injure and kill critics or targets that symbolize critics), then
          > it is incompatible with the values of liberal democracy.

          I’m OK with this statement if we rephrase it: “If a *person* (and people include members of PETA, radical environmentalist groups, white supremacist groups, etc., etc.) is unable to tolerate valid or invalid criticism of their loyalties (by intolerance of criticism I mean violently taking to the streets to attack, injure and kill critics or targets that symbolize critics), then that *person* is incompatible with the values of liberal democracy.”

          Identifying groups based on the actions of people is always dicey. These violent groups are committing the same error – conflating the actions of some people in the America with “Americans”. Always trying to tease these distinctions apart is exhausting and fruitless – evidence that it is based on a flawed notion.

          And, BTW, (a) people who speak out don’t get covered – because people speaking out is not interesting, so you never hear about them, the problem is naturally selected. And (b) WHY ASK THEM TO? I do not feel compelled to speak out as a Christian against “Christian” soldiers who torment prisoners with dogs and brutalize prisoners sexually. There technically grouped with me and their conduct is disgusting. But I am not answerable for them. And any given Muslim is not answerable for these crowds of thugs and rabble-rowsers. WHY SHOULD THEY HAVE TO SPEAK OUT ABOUT THEM? Expecting or demanding they do so is incorrect and, I’ll say it – immature.

          • Suzanne,
            You are putting words in my posts because nowhere do I blame all Muslims. And I haven’t seen any use the words “all Muslims” in any of these threads. You are creating straw men to argue against.

            Once again, Suzanne, what do you think the proper punishment for the creator of the video should be? Imprisonment? Extradition to a nation with Sharia law? And how would you square this with our Constitution?

            Adam,
            In my comments I indicted certain versions of religions, that is worldviews, and not individuals or groups; and that indictment is based on actions, not beliefs.

          • Robert F. I’m not trying to put words in your mouth. You said, “Burning a Koran can no more cause Muslim people to riot and destroy than burning an American flag could cause an unhinged , violence prone American militiaman to kill the protester who performed the burning.” You could say the same about yelling “fire” in a crowded room when there is no fire. Aren’t the people injured or killed in the ensuing stampede really at fault? They didn’t smell smoke, didn’t see fire, so they just wanted an excuse to run.

            What would I have done to these guys who made this movie and then made darn sure people who would be greatly offended by it, saw it? I think you are putting words in my mouth now as I don’t recall saying anything about punishment. My point, in part, was acknowledging that in this case, words and actions did lead to people’s deaths.

  5. I heard somewhere–I don’t remember where though, so it might not be true–that the “Mein Fuehrer!! I can walk!!” line happened because Peter Sellers momentarily forgot his character was in a wheelchair, and stood up, then realized his mistake and improvised that line.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      If true, that was a good improv.

    • Suzanne,
      For a Coptic Christian (which I understand the video maker to be), a member of a group persecuted by Muslims in Egypt and elsewhere, to express his personal hatred of Islam, though it may be distasteful and hateful and inaccurate, is not the same as yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater. Under the Constitution, people have the right to express even erroneous and hateful viewpoints. That is an essential value in a liberal democracy.

  6. You have to be a fool to believe the movie is the reason for these protests. These violent protests were planned in advance to be committed on 9/11.

    They are not burning pictures of the movie they’re burning American flags. It is about America it is about freedom and it is about our response to 9/11.

    They picked the narrative of the movie for suckers like you and the liberal media who they knew would blame the victim and not the perpetrator.

    • Amen!

    • Whoa whoa whoa. No one’s blaming the victim. People are saying that the racist yahoo who released the movie bears some responsibility, sure, but he is NOT a victim. The victims are the people who died and their families, and no one is blaming them.

      • The “racist yahoo” is responsible for having erroneous and hateful views (although, not having seen the movie, I have to take your word for the fact that he is in fact both racist and yahoo) , expressing and propagating them. But much as I may despise racism and yahooism, I can not see how any of the responsibility for the violence and destruction that have taken place can be attributed to the moviemaker. What is responsible for the violence and destruction is a worldview that is unable to tolerate and absorb criticism or opposition of any kind, whether that criticism and opposition is truthful or hateful. Which is a more hateful expression, a scurrilous and insulting movie, or killing people and destroying things?

        • I will never say that the racist, hateful, Muslims yahoos who murdered the people at the American Embassy in Libya are not responsible for their murders. It is dehumanizing and unjust to make excuses and refuse to hold people to account for their freely chosen actions. They will be held to a terrible account, in this life or the next. And I have not heard anyone saying that the ultimate responsibility does not lie with them.

          But the hateful, racist, non-Muslim yahoos don’t get to say really ugly, blasphemous things about Islam, then say that they are shocked–shocked!–that terrorists got angry about it. The filmmakers can’t be intentionally provocative towards murderers, and then claim their hands aren’t even the least bit dirty when the murderers are provoked. Especially when the provocation involved little risk to themselves, safely in America, and quite a bit of risk to others.

          I see your point, I really do. There’s a world of difference between a dumb, hateful movie and murder. But do you see my point?

          • Michael,
            I do see your point and I do think that there is a kind of moral responsibility that those who express provocative viewpoints may sometimes bear. For instance, I know that when that minister burned Korans part of what he was doing was trying to trigger Muslim expressions of anger to prove his criticisms about Islam, and I believe that, to the degree that he succeeded and there were such violent responses in the Muslim world, he is morally culpable. More accurately, spiritually culpable. What happened was what he wanted to happen. He was intentionally provoking people who hold a worldview that cannot tolerate such provocation. But this can never be legal responsibility. And what makes provocations like his possible is the existence of such worldviews that in a certain very real sense are just waiting for provocation, looking for offense. Because there will inevitably be, and have been, those who do and say things that are not provocations, but also legitimate criticisms, and then the response on the part of those with outraged sensibilities will be the same. For God’s sake, in Iran people can be executed for blasphemy. If I go into the street in Iran to openly present the gospel, and I’m executed for it, am I responsible for my own death because I was provocative? How can I present the gospel without being provocative? Should Jesus have been less provocative?

    • Most of the protests weren’t even on 9/11. So much for planning ahead, they missed the day.

  7. We only know the tip of the iceberg,

    To see how widespread these attacks by Muslims are around the world look at this:

    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com

    And notice the deafening silence about it from the world’s Muslims.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      So we kill them all before they can kill us?

      Final Solution to the Mohammedan Problem?

      Nits Make Lice?

      Ever read Mark Twain’s “The War Prayer”?

      • Honestly, HUG, no one has suggested “kill them all” except you and the leader of Iran whose name I can never spell correctly.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          You sure have a short memory. I remember exactly that sentiment — word-for-word: “Mohammedans. Kill them all. KILL. THEM. ALL.” — all over the political and Christian blogosphere from 9/11 through most of 2002, only gradually fading away.

          To this day, I hear on drive-time radio how we should have propped up Saddam and his sons, propped up Gadhafi, and how we should be propping up Assad because these dictators are all that stand between us and the Mullahs. How whenever Muslims overthrow a dictator and try democracy, they ALWAYS vote in Radical Islamist Theocracy. And how the real victors of the Arab Spring are the Ayatollahs of Iran. Over and over and over.

          • Well, I was referring to this thread, but I did go amiss because obviously the leader of Iran is not posting here. There is no doubt that there is a lot of atavistic thinking all over the globe. That’s because we are after all a fallen race of beings, Christians and Muslims alike.

          • HUG,
            My memory is at least long enough to remember this: a few years before 9/11, I worked with a devout Muslim man of Indian descent from Guyana who had become a naturalized U.S. citizen. He was affable, funny, intelligent, hard-working and a family man. When I expressed interest in learning more about Islam, he gave me a beautiful hardcover Quran as a gift, an interlinear edition in English and Arabic. I think he had hopes that I might become Muslim. His name was Mohammed.
            One day, as we were discussing politics and religion instead of working, the subject of Israel came up, as it had on other occasions along with many other subjects. In a candid moment, Mohammed said, “If only America would stop supporting Israel, by God,” (no, he did not use the name of Allah, so I cannot use it here, though some might doubt me because the account loses verisimilitude due to his not using the name of Allah) “WE WOULD DRIVE THEM INTO THE SEA!!!” “DRIVE.” “THEM.” “INTO.” “THE.” “SEA.” “!!!”

            I can remember his words exactly. I almost became a predispensational millennialist on the spot, though I have resisted that temptation even to this day. But I learned something valuable about how extremism can come wrapped in very attractive packaging.

          • HUG,
            Make that, “premillennial dispensationalist.” My bad. Just a touch of dyslexia, you know.

          • HUG
            Make that , “pretribulational dispensationalist.” I always get dispensational terminology mixed up. Good thing it’s not essential doctrine.

    • Steve, I clicked that link and read a few of the headlines about how savage Muslims are supposed to be.

      But don’t forget the US drone strikes killing innocent civilians like it was a video game.

      And this evening I read about a NATO attack in Afghanistan that killed eight (8) women.

      “Why do they hate us?” Why do we have to ask? It’s in the news every damn day.

      • And whenever I get an email with vile propaganda like that I hit “reply-all” and let the sender and others know that it’s not welcome and that it’s time to stop the chain. Usually I can include a Snopes expose too, to debunk it.

        Christians should never forward s**t like that. Nobody should.

  8. Sigh…this thread’s going to get real ugly, real fast.

  9. In related news, The Onion posted a quite vulgar, tasteless (even for The Onion) image of the symbols of major world religions (except Islam) engaged in an orgy with the caption, “No one was murdered because of this image”. I don’t recommend looking up the post, unless you have a gallon bottle of eyeball wash. It was a shocking way to make a point, but they were right: it resulted in no violent protests, no bombings, no murders. But it also resulted in zero head-spinning from cultural warriors, who this week blew up over Dr. Pepper ads using the “e” word (evolve…oops, there, I said it.). Have we become too tolerant for our own good? Are the symbols of other faiths far more resilient to insult? Have such religious symbols simply lost significant meaning altogether? Or perhaps American religion has abandoned its religious symbols for those of its new, true religion of power, materialism, and politics?

    • Clearly you weren’t familiar with The Onion before this. What we call “vulgar” and “tasteless,” The Onion calls “standard operating procedure.” That being said, they often make very good points in the midst of the vulgar tastelessness.

  10. Anyone who thinks the actions in the mideast are because of this movie are clueless as our government. The movie has been out since August. This was a planned attack for 9/11 directed towards America.The more we pretend, as our government has that it is not about us, will only lead to more problems. Obama has certainly changed the Arab view of America !!!!!

    • Obviously, I’m clueless, but I do happen to live here in the Middle East. Actually, the movie has been on you tube since July, exciting little interest. It was translating it into Arabic and showing it on TV in Egypt that set things off. The killings at the US Embassy in Libya were indeed revenge attacks for the death of an AlQaeda member, merely using the protest as cover, but the protesters are in most cases genuinly enraged by defamation of the prophet. In most cases the protests did not even take place on the 11th. But there is no doubt that those instigating the protests are often cynical manipulators seeking violence for any reason. Why else air such an offensive film on your TV channel? (Yes, it was an Islamist Sheikh who aired the film in Egypt)

      The “right-wing christian activist” involved in putting out the film claims that it was designed to provoke anger and expose violent muslims, so I guess he did his job well. The anger was supposed to be aimed at Jews, and “Sam Bacile” who produced the movie claimed to be an Israeli, bank-rolled by American Jews. All lies, of course, but hardly an innocent expression of “freedom of speech”.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Any chance this “right wing christian activist” was trying to “Immanentize the Eschaton”, i.e. deliberately touch off Armageddon to Fulfill Prophecy? Because a second, nuclear Arab-Israeli War has been part of the kickoff since Hal Lindsay.

  11. Oh, Peter Sellers is a riot! But how could you forget Woody Woodpecker? I have been trying for years to imitate his laugh, but haven’t succeeded yet!

    • Actually, Woody’s laugh was performed by the wife of cartoonist Walter Lantz who invented the character, and you’d have to have a voice like hers to do it accurately. Having a conversation with her was a hoot! …literally. 🙂

  12. Jeff, how did you miss Ken Ham’s League of Extraordinary Myopics and their protests against that tool of Satan, Dr. Pepper? http://mashable.com/2012/09/13/dr-pepper-facebook-controversy/

    • Randy Thompson says

      In an attempt to link together some of these diverse posts. . .

      I gather their protest has nothing to do with a concern for their precious bodily fluids.

      As I recall, General Jack D. Ripper only drank pure, distilled ethanol for the sake of his precious bodily fluids in “Doctor Strangelove.” Do you think the six day creationists would consider doing the same, for health benefits?

      Man, could you imagine what they’d come up with after a glass or two of ethanol? Yikes!

      • It used to be that you could buy bottles of 190 proof alcohol straight up on military bases. Some guys lived on a cocktail of that mixed a packet of Kool-Aid.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        As I recall, General Jack D. Ripper only drank pure, distilled ethanol for the sake of his precious bodily fluids in “Doctor Strangelove.”

        That brings back echoes of Crazy Doc Kellogg of Battle Creek, Dr Whats-his-face and his Mucusless Diet, or similar health faddists of the 19th Century. Most of these fad diets were for the sake of a certain “precious bodily fluid” or the total suppression of it. (It was a common belief of the time — even among the educated — than a man’s virility and manliness were determined by his supply and reservoir of such “fluid” and the less you ejaculated of it, the more you retained and the more manly you became.)

    • Ray, simply a lapse in my reporting skills. I will work harder this week …

  13. Maybe we need to park that car and bring the dog back. I take it that this week’s Ramble is just more of the ongoing murderous energy field that has been gripping the world lately. What I can’t figure out is if it is a sequel to Dr. Strange or that movie that no one has seen. And is it a parody or what? And what do you call a parody of a parody? Wouldn’t surprise me if even Jesus is scratching his head over today’s session. Strange love indeed.

    • Randy Thompson says

      If you’ve never seen Stanley Kubrick”s “Doctor Strangelove,” you’re missing one of the funniest movies ever made about a world-ending nuclear holocaust. If you’re not sure what “black comedy” is, this film will serve as a good introduction. This is a savagely funny film, and a classic. The final scene of atomic bombs exploding to the tune of “We’ll Meet Again” is a phenomenal commentary on original sin and human nature.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        You didn’t mention the opening credits — a B-52 tanking up from a very well-hung KC-135 while erotic music plays in the background. Ever seen a USAF mid-air refueling boom? And where it hangs from on the tanker aircraft?

        • I’ve been back down next to the boomer many times – and it is so absolutely scary to see this big honkin’ B52 or KC10 pull up for gas and hover 30 feet behind. Lots of stress there and nobody thinkin’ bout sex then.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            I ain’t talking about the guys on the controls or the refueling boom, I’m talking about whoever choreographed that opening sequence. Probably ties in with Precious Bodily Fluids (TM).

  14. Steve Newell says

    What in the Wide Wide World of Sports is going on here?

  15. I love this site and have read so much wisdom in the comments here before, but it is scary how everyone seems to loose the plot when the word “Islam” is mentioned. As one who lives in a Muslim country, the comments today have saddened me. If you knew how USA looks from over here, you might understand a little better. The question “why do they hate us” is not asked enough, or answered in ignorance “because of our freedom”.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      “Islam” has joined “Homosexuality” and “Evolution” as the one-word crazy-maker.

    • Jenny,
      Well, since you’re in on the secret, tell us: why do “they” (surely you don’t mean all of “them”, or do you?) hate “us”(and surely you don’t mean all of “us,” or do you)? And in your opinion, do “we” (or the ones they are referring to) deserve to be hated?

      • No, not in on any secrets, sadly. I just think “they hate us ‘cos we’re the good guys and they’re evil” is a tad simplistic.

        • Jenny, you’re absolutely right. It’s the modern equivalent of “four legs good, two legs bad” from Orwell’s Animal Farm.

          But it worked for the pigs.

        • How about “they hate us because they’ve been propagandized by fanatical mullahs and tyrannical rulers and militant agitators to think that we and Israel are the cause of all their problems when in fact the cause of most of their problems are fanatical mullahs and tyrannical rulers and militant agitators who would continue to exist even if we and Israel were to disappear..”? Is that too simplistic?

          • That too. Propaganda works on both sides.

          • So the Obama Administration has been feeding us propaganda about the situation in the Muslim world? Israel and America are the cause of most their problems? And those drones that Obama is using are really aimed at Muslim liberators and civil rights activists? It’s quite counter-intuitive but I guess I’ll have to take your word for it. I’m glad you didn’t buy into the propaganda, Ted. You’re a very subtle thinker.

          • I’ll take that as a compliment, Robert F.

    • I lived overseas in a Muslim country for 8 years. My next door neighbor invited me to share the sheep tongue during Eid. It might have been considered quite an honor, but we both saw it as love. There are Muslim men whom I kiss on the cheek – we are not gay, only close. (Muslim men who are close but straight have no problem holding hands in public, horror of horrors). When I left that land, there were many tears on both sides. I wanted them to see a bit of Jesus, and maybe they had as they waived goodbye to me.

      Interesting how culture informs and subconsciously perverts our faith. I was touring the D.C. Holocaust Museum with my daughter, when she pointed out a document to me. It was an Ahnenpass, the official record of one’s genealogy. Yes, they were required of Jews, but all Reich citizens had to possess one. In fact, I pointed out to her, I came across her grandmother’s after she died. She had been an ethnic German living in Poland. Growing up as a young girl, she was taught Jews would cook and eat little Christians. So she always crossed over to the other side of the street; they were Other: weird and dangerous. This is what they were taught, what they believed, and so it must have been true, right?

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      I find it interesting that Jeff has teamed up the current flare-up around Islam with Dr Strangelove. Since he’s never struck me as an End Time Prophecy fanboy, I can only conclude he’s pointing out a thematic connection.

  16. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    I refer you all to this older essay in the Internet Monk archives:

    A Marriage Made in Hell: Christian Pessimism. Radical Islam. Bad mix.

  17. It’s not all bad news. That Iranian pastor who was sentenced to death has been freed from prison after almost 3 years and that Pakistani girl who was accused of burning a Quran had the charges against her dropped.

  18. MelissatheRagamuffin says

    A small group of jerks made a movie insulting Islam and depicting Islam as a violent religion. So, how do some in the middle east react? By reinforcing those stereotypes. *face/palm* I agree with Spin magazine…. in the age of the internet everyone’s religion is going to be insulted. Get over it.

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