Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Saving Our Tradition by Saving Wren Cross

I want to answer the worthy call of Beach Girl and post about the developments and commentary concerning the Wren Cross fiasco.

The Wren Chapel at William & Mary's College in Williamsburg used to contain a cross, until, in October 2006, college President Gene R. Nichol decided to remove it, cowardly bowing to PC pressure. You know the usual specious arguments: we want to be inclusive (by removing the most inclusive symbol in the world), we don't want to offend the minority (but it's OK to outrage millions of Christians and traditional Americans), we receive Government money so it's public property in a sense (is there any place left that is NOT somehow public property? Mars?)...

Natasha Altamirano has recently penned an excellent op ed on the subject. Here is part of what she said:

"WILLIAMSBURG -- The simple altar at the College of William & Mary's Wren Chapel befits the austerity of the Anglican tradition in which the school was founded. There are no ornate icons or stained-glass windows, just a few candles and an empty space where a brass cross once stood. To some, that empty space marks the triumph of diversity over exclusivity. To others, it represents unchecked political correctness at the expense of free expression. [...]"

"Opponents of the decision say it shows inconsistent reasoning: removing the religious symbol of one faith to appease people of other faiths. 'We are going to support someone who is so intolerant that, when they see someone else's religious symbol, they leave?' asked junior Joseph Luppino-Esposito."

Here are my thoughts on the matter:

1 - Holding the majority hostage to the thinnest-skinned among us is not a badge of enlightenment for a free country; it is a form of flabby tyranny where a single pusillanimous soul can trump the peaceful traditions of millions.

2 - The "separation of Church and state" canard is just that. A canard. And I don't care if it is a canard with Common-Law precedents. Those who invoke this interpretation of the establishment clause conveniently forget a few key things:

a) It is the power of the Government, not of free individuals or institutions that the Constitution specifically limits, but this concept has been turned on its head. The Constitution was erected as a "wall" to protect the citizens and their beliefs from the intrusions of Government, not the other way around. Thus, when the founders said "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or the free exercise thereof" they meant just that: Congress cannot pass a law outlawing one or any religion in favor of others. Occam would roll in his grave to see how this simple sentence has been perverted to mean just its opposite. So, according to the new wisdom it is citizens' institutions like universities that "shall not allow free religious exercise" if held hostage by the unconstitutional protection money of Government funding. Which takes us to point b.

b) It seems that this righteousness about the letter of the Constitution is rather selective, because in most areas the Government is already trampling rough-shod on the limits imposed on it by the Constitution. Apart from the blatant example of the 2nd Amendment and gun-control laws, what about all the other areas of our lives where the Federal Government is intruding in open violation of the 10th Amendment? Government schools, anyone? Where God is banned but sexual, political, social, environmental and cultural indoctrination is the norm? Government social security? Government health insurance?

c) When we say "wall of separation between Church and state" it always seems that we are talking about a rather univocal relation between the two entities and the direction of the wall. It's always the State's "wall" that pushes back the Church's. Again and again. By PC standards, it's OK for the state to expand its scope on our life, cancer-like, and whatever new realm it starts devouring, in must be instantly sanitized of any trace of Christianity.

d) How do we define "taking offense"? Do we define that as any and all instances when you are not just positively and wrongly, but merely incidentally and neutrally excluded from a situation? If so, why stop at Christian symbols? How about separate-sex locker rooms or bathrooms? Other's wives' bedrooms? Other individuals' bank accounts? How about using the simple standard of having to show actual injury--or shutting your despicable trap and growing up?

In any case, this of the Wren Chapel Cross is a symbolic battle for how Western Civilization and Traditions are being savaged by a section of society for whom nothing short of political socialism, cultural libertinism and the total expunging of traditional American values are the enforced norm. And the majority is taking this, silently but with increasing anger and frustration. All the while, our vermin-like leaders quabble about who's going to win the next election so they can, in turn, campaign for the next one, and the next one after that.

We are one strong, charismatic leader away from something momentous in America. Here's whishing for him or her to arrive soon.

Friday, January 5, 2007

2007 -- A Year of Cautious Optimism

As 2007 opened and I looked back at the political events of the past year, I couldn't help feeling that history is on an accelerating path. Many things that have been hazy in the first four years after 9/11 have suddenly come into sharp focus in the course of 2006. And the picture we are left with may be chilling, but it is also enough awe-inspiring that I'll maintain my optimism.

Here are things as I see them.

Point 1: 2006 was the year when many Americans rightfully wrote off government as a potential source of positive change. Never in my life have I seen so little faith in our elected leaders--because never in my life have I seen a political class more undeserving of it. Our two National parties are like two autistic children monomaniacally locked in a hair-pulling fight with one-another, while the frightful hailstorm gathering above their playground goes all but unnoticed.

Jockeying for electoral advantage has replaced governing according to what's right and Constitutional; perennial campaigning and grandstanding for political gain has replaced problem-solving; and cheerleading for one party or the other has replaced journalism, the one activity that could have helped maintain politicians honest and on track. World events are seen, both by our leaders and our media, only in terms of their bi-chromatic reflections on the wall of the Cave of partisan politics, no longer as real images of the Upper World, that can lead to real consequences.

Corollary to point 1: it has become obvious that our wishful thinking regarding passing laws, sealing the border, deporting this or that group or any other meaningful change is just that--wishful thinking. Our political class won't act. Period. So spare your gray cells for other activities than coming up with dreamy political solutions.

Point 2: 2006 was the year when a majority of right-thinking Americans became unafraid of identifying our common enemy--Islamism. So far so good. Now, even in polite conversation many of us are unabashed in stating that Islamism is an evil death-cult that needs to be stopped before it engulfs us all in its cancerous advance. Enough of us have readily-memorized Koran verses that only a complete imbecile wouldn't see as murderous and (most importantly) closely tied in a cause-effect relation to what's going on today.

However, I have a feeling that the number of Americans who can be persuaded of this evil is reaching a saturation point. Yes, the platitude of winning one mind at a time may be palatable, but some plainly don't have the willingness to reason through their political preconceptions, and are therefore deaf to reason. Those cannot be persuaded. They can only be made irrelevant.

Corollary to point 2: it's a worthwhile mission to inform the truly uninformed--the few adult souls that still have absolutely no clue about what's going on in the world--but have the potential to get it. It's right and just to speak your mind clearly about the existence of evil and its location. It is, however, a waste of time to convince a hate-America-first type about your point of view: you're better off finding ways to defeat him or his likes.

Point 3: it was inevitable that so many of us who want to fight this fight would find each other. Now, thanks to groups like the 910 Group and web logs like Gates of Vienna we have. Moreover, with these venues we finally found an outlet where we can make ourselves heard as well as devote our time, our skills and our ideas to the cause in a focused and unified manner. As I read the contributions of many individuals who blog for Western freedom, I see more cohesion, more talent, more skilful analysis and more political intelligence than I had ever seen before in any one place. And although the precise tools with which our newly-found alliance will achieve its first victories are still on the drawing board, the mission is clear--defeating Islamism--and the determination to pursue it is growing every day. So my main source of optimism for 2007 revolves around this community of patriots--and not just American patriots, but also defenders of Western civilization across the whole globe.

Corollary to point 3: we've found each other. Now we need to lay out our strategy in as clear and pragmatic way as possible. Politics are the art of the possible, not of the wishful. We have incredible strength in terms of knowledge, determination and ideas--if not in numbers. Let's not squander it by just trying to sound smart to one-another. Let's find some actionable ways to make a difference, step-wise but with the inevitability that only Right can prevail against Wrong.

So I'm cautiously optimistic for this new year. We've just broken up from a bad relationship with Government, but we are finding solace with our newly-found friends. So here's to all the good people at the 910 Group, all the fine minds who contribute to blogs like Gates of Vienna and--ultimately--here's to our dear Western civilization, the finest and most beautiful achievement of the most god-like creature on Earth.

A warm thanks to Beach Girl for being a fellow optimist and for giving me the idea for this post.