Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Words to live by

Mark Steyn: "[F]irst they came for Piglet and I did not speak out because I was not a Disney character."

He's talking about the Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council in Britain announcing that, following a complaint by a Muslim employee, all work pictures and knick-knacks of novelty pigs and "pig-related items" will be banned.

Stupidity of this type takes such a hold on the mind it becomes almost impossible to restart the brain.
When every act that a culture makes communicates weakness and loss of self-belief, eventually you'll be taken at your word. In the long term, these trivial concessions are more significant victories than blowing up infidels on the Tube or in Bali beach restaurants. An act of murder demands at least the pretence of moral seriousness, even from the dopiest appeasers. But small acts of cultural vandalism corrode the fabric of freedom all but unseen.

Is it really a victory for "tolerance" to say that a council worker cannot have a Piglet coffee mug on her desk? And isn't an ability to turn a blind eye to animated piglets the very least the West is entitled to expect from its Muslim citizens? If Islam cannot "co-exist" even with Pooh or the abstract swirl on a Burger King ice-cream, how likely is it that it can co-exist with the more basic principles of a pluralist society?
Precisely. You get religious freedom in Western societies, because Christianity went through a long period of various sects killing each other until everybody accepted that religious leaders should not be corrupted by allowing religion to dictate to governments.

See allso this piece by Steyn in The Australian.

Presumably God is able to impose his will on all of us if he wishes. If he exercises restraint and tolerance, what business does any human being doing otherwise? I think that God's laws are more strict that most of us like to believe, but they are his laws, not those of some judgmental hypocritical cleric. He tells us to be peacemakers, to avoid condemning others, to repent. The thought that keeps coming back to me as I contemplate these Islamist "warriors" is that if God wants to destroy non-Muslims, he has more power to do it than Al Qaeda or anybody else. If people think that God doesn't speak through prophets anymore and that he said all he had to say to Mohammed, what gives them to exclusive authority to interpret those words for all other believers?


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