Posts Tagged ‘christian’

Riddle: How Many CNN Reporters Does It Take to Write a One-Page Article On Morality? Answer: Two.

September 17, 2010

Yesterday, two children who go by the strange and possibly made up names of Yaron Brook and Onkar Ghate spent their whole summer vacation coming up with a one-page article entitled: “Our Moral Code is Out of Date.”  They submitted it to their fourth grade teacher who immediately emailed it to CNN and it was of course summarily published on the CNN website.  By the way, for any of you public high school teachers who would like to use this CNN primer as a short-cut to actually doing your job, you may find the article here:

 //edition.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/09/16/brook.moral.code.outdated/index.html

(Just do me a favor and don’t tell anyone I sent ya.)

Anyway, I, for one, was very interested and excited to learn just how our morality–being around for two thousand years or so–had suddenly gotten out of date and was in need of an extreme makeover.  I mean, since CNN has been a premier (tee-hee) news agency for about two or three decades, you would have thought they might have jumped on this story earlier.

Anyway, if I understand what these two kids are saying, our morality is out of date because Christianity (there ya go, blame those damn Christians again!) screwed up.  By failing to predict the advent of the industrial revolution and the benevolent greed of the robber barons and their modern-day P.C. equivalent (e.g. Bill Gates), the Bible and other similar undisclosed texts have basically become obsolete, and hence let us down. Until, in the words of the authors, “science, freedom and the pursuit of personal profit” are embraced, our morals cannot truly be caught up with the morality of September, 2010. Now, what the shifting standards of moral relativism will be like in October, 2010 is anyone’s guess, so I suppose we’ll just have to wait for CNN to find two more smart fourth graders to explain it to us.

Oh, by the way, there is just one little thing in the article written by these kids that should be pointed out: They assume that “giving money away to strangers” is not a morally significant act inasmuch as morality is only about pursuing one’s own happiness.  Assuming, for the moment, that their definition of individual morality  is the correct one, since when does the personal decision to give one’s own money away fail to meet the definition of the pursuit of happiness?

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Why I Love Ann Coulter

April 5, 2010

“Thousands of years ago the first man discovered how to make fire.  He was probably burned at the stake he had taught his brothers to light.  But he left them a gift they had not conceived, and he lifted darkness off the earth.  Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision. The great creators, the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors, stood alone against the men of their time. Every new thought was opposed. Every new invention was denounced. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered, and they paid – but they won.   No creator was prompted by a desire to please his brothers. His brothers hated the gift he offered. His truth was his only motive.”

— Excerpt from Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead (Howard Roark’s closing statement in his own defense.) 1

First, let me say that this is not a defense of Ann Coulter.  As far as I’m concerned, she needs no defending.  And if she ever did, she’d be able to acquit herself quite well.  On the other hand, if you are looking for any semblance of objectivity here, stop reading.  I freely admit my bias.  This is instead a kind of open love letter to Ann: an offering of homage to someone whom, for reasons I expand upon below, I hold in very high regard.  I can only hope she reads it!

Now, I could gush all day about Ann’s charming ebullience, her rapier wit, her gifted erudition, her unapologetic boldness, her sexy blonde mane, or the immense joy I get at seeing how she afflicts liberals with apoplectic fear and rage.  But I find that this unique woman possesses one quality above all others for which I truly admire her.  That quality is her love of the truth.  You see Ann, believe it or not, is a moral person.  She lives by a moral code — her own principles and sense of right and wrong as rooted in her Christian values — to which she steadfastly adheres no matter what the consequences.  And among the tenets of that moral code, she champions speaking the truth above all.  In other words, I believe that her truth is her only motive.

Ann speaks the truth openly and unreservedly and, yes, sometimes even offensively.  I am not going to recount here all of the controversial statements made by Ann Coulter.  (Remember, I’m biased.)  Besides, they are widely known.  And if you are not aware of them, a ten second Google search will satisfy your curiosity (the liberal blogosphere is all agog about even her most casual remarks.)  Regarding these controversial statements, most people simply dismiss them or relegate them to hyperbole, satire, or just bad jokes.  A few of us view these comments in their context and see the larger point being made.  The rest are liberals.  These comments are Ann’s signature rhetorical devices and, while sometimes they are indeed over the top, one cannot say they are unoriginal, and they almost always make a big impression.  As General George S. Patton once said when asked why he used profanity while addressing his troops: “When I want my men to remember something important, to really make it stick, I give it to them double dirty.  It may not sound nice to some bunch of little old ladies at an afternoon tea party, but it helps my soldiers to remember.” 2

Of course, it has reached the point now where no matter what Ann says she gets herself in trouble with liberals and progressives.  In fact, she doesn’t even have to say anything anymore.  The mere prospect of her speaking is enough to make them all aflutter.  The most recent incident was the “welcome” she received by the students and administration at that world renowned institution of higher learning, the University of Ottawa.  To make a long story short, Ann was prevented from speaking at the school after the school’s provost sent an email warning her to watch what she says as certain speech may run afoul of Canadian “hate speech” laws.  The obvious innuendo being that Ann is incapable of opening her mouth without potentially saying something tantamount to a crime!  Needless to say, this touched off a firestorm and an on campus student protest ensued (a protest against Ann, not the provost) which created a dangerous environment and caused Ann’s security detail (yes, she needs that now) to call the whole thing off.  For the full story, click here:

https://culturecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/03/23/gem-of-the-week-oh-canada-what-a-houles-you-are/

The attitude among liberal and progressive opponents to Ann Coulter’s right to speak is best summed up in their own words.  When interviewed, University of Ottawa student protest organizer Mike Fancie stated he was pleased that they kept Ann from speaking.  “What Ann Coulter is practicing is not free speech, its hate speech,” he said. “She’s targeted the Jews, she’s targeted the Muslims, she’s targeted Canadians, homosexuals, women, almost everybody you could imagine.” (Source: The Boston Herald)  Well, if according to this genius “she’s targeted … everybody,” including groups on either side of a particular debate, then she can’t really be said to be targeting anyone, can she?  It is this kind of aggressive stupidity that Ann comes up against almost every time she speaks in public.  But worse than that, it is political correctness run amuck.  It is liberal-progressive oversensitivity codified into absurd laws and rules and enforced by academicians and apparatchiks like the University of Ottawa administrator. The sick irony, though, is that they do so in the name of tolerance.  Only in their Orwellian world could suppressing freedom of speech and expression be viewed as “tolerant.”

The face of liberal tolerance: A University of Ottawa student protester

Liberal rules regarding hate speech and free speech raise all kinds of subjective questions: Precisely what is hate speech?  What is appropriate speech?  When is speech offensive?  When is it not?  Which groups can you offend and which can you not?  Is no group or individual at any time ever deserving of offensive speech?  What about child rapists and murderers?  What about terrorists? What about racists, adulterers and sleazy politicians?  What about liars in general?  Are all of these exempt from being the target of offensive speech as well?  And if not all, then which are and which aren’t?  What about the bogeymen of liberals: conservative speakers and commentators?  Is there also a prohibition on speaking offensively to or about them?  It would appear that there is not!  I guess targeting conservatives, like Ann, is a-okay with liberals and progressives because they level their hate-filled rants and offensive slurs against her all the time.  Apparently when Ann is the object, it is open season on hate. All of this points out the absurdity and insidious evil of liberal and progressive “rules” when it comes to what can and cannot be speech. Lies and corruption are the tools of the collective: they are the means by which it pushes around the individual and stifles any free thought or expression that does not fit into their agenda of political correctness.  The status quo of political correctness and moral relativism are phenomena that have become entrenched in modern American culture, much to our great misfortune. Ann attacks and roots out this liberal hypocrisy wherever she finds it: whether it be in academia, the mainstream media, the Democratic Party, or Hollywood.  She tears away at the façade of their lies and reveals the faulty edifice underneath.  With a truth as hard as steel, she exposes their hypocrisy for what it is, and they hate her for it.  Speaking truth to power, I think is what it is called, and it has become, in a way, her mission.

But one needs to ask, why does Ann even bother with all this?  What is her motivation? Liberals assign a variety of motives: she is vile and malicious and can’t help herself; she is pure evil; she is a natural-born hater; she is only doing this to boost her book sales; etc. They lean on these rationalizations because they refuse to accept that anybody of her obvious intelligence would actually believe the outrageous things she says.  They are so arrogant (or perhaps insecure) in their belief that they are right, that they are convinced there must be some ulterior motive.

Howard Roark

Ann has only one motivation: she actually believes what she says.  And she says what she believes, no matter how offensive.  The truth trumps polite conversation.  Of course, Ann pays for this truth in the frightful extreme.  She endures insults, scorn, contempt, even threats, and like Howard Roark, Ayn Rand’s hero in The Fountainhead, outright hatred for causing the entire foundation of their corrupted structure to shake.  As in Rand’s novel, they would destroy her.  They would burn her at the stake with the very fire she’s introduced, if they could.  But therein lies the beauty of speaking the truth, it will always triumph over falsehood.  Some might say her enemies always fall into her trap, but really it is not a trap at all, it is the truth: the logic of truth which will always unmask a lie.  In the end, the status quo of the corrupt liberal collective is beaten.  The individual of vision wins.

But if indeed this is Ann’s motive and mission, is truth-telling really necessary even when it offends to the point of provoking hatred and fear?  I don’t think anyone would openly admit that it is better not to know the truth (though it would seem that for many, willful ignorance is truly bliss.)  But what about the truth that offends?  Is that really necessary?

It is truth, in all its forms and expressions that advances the human condition.  Truth in speech, art, music, poetry, literature, truth in invention and truth in creation of any kind has been the foundation stone upon which all else: cultures, societies, economies, governments and entire civilizations are built.  This is also the case when truth offends.  The truth is always opposed when it confronts men and women, governments and institutions, whose “principles” are warped and corrupted by lies and hypocrisy.  In these circumstances, truth is essential to the advancement of the human condition – not just when it offends, but because it offends.

The world as we know it today didn’t just come about over night.  Down through the ages, the broadening of views, ideas and perspectives and the shifting of paradigms in the religious, political, economic, scientific, social and cultural spheres all took place only because someone said something or did something or created something that offended the status quo.  In this country alone, the improvement of the human condition for blacks, women and other minority groups would never have happened unless someone ticked off somebody else.  Indeed, the country itself would never have come to exist unless a courageous few spoke certain truths that were an affront to a mighty many.  In all these instances, the offensive nature of truth was not just coincidental, it was essential. 3

At the end of Ayn Rand’s novel, the architect hero Howard Roark prevails.  He stands atop the steel framework of his creation, admired by the woman who has finally come to see the true meaning of his spirit.  His truth — the truth of one individual’s vision — wins out over the hypocrisy of the collective.  Whether or not Ann Coulter shall ultimately prevail, only time will tell.  But one thing is for sure: that quality of unabashed truth-telling is a rare and wonderful thing in this world, and it is why I love Ann.  You see, I am a recovering idealist who wakes up every day looking for an honest man.  Unlike Diogenes the Cynic, I do believe that at long last I have found one; only she’s a woman.

Diogenes Sitting in His Tub, by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1860)

________________________

Footnotes:

Fn. 1: See the Comments section to this post for a video clip of the entire Howard Roark speech from the film, The Fountainhead.

Fn. 2: For a fuller version of the Patton quote: “When I want my men to remember something important, to really make it stick, I give it to them double dirty. It may not sound nice to some bunch of little old ladies at an afternoon tea party, but it helps my soldiers to remember. You can’t run an army without profanity; and it has to be eloquent profanity. An army without profanity couldn’t fight its way out of a piss-soaked paper bag … As for the types of comments I make, sometimes I just, By God, get carried away with my own eloquence.”

Fn. 3: Of course, none of this is to suggest that all truthful speech need be offensive or that just because speech is offensive it is truthful.  On the contrary, there is plenty of offensive speech that is just plain offensive.

Gem of the Week: Porn Exchange

March 6, 2010

As a publicity stunt, it seems a cabal of Godless young enterprisers at the University of Texas at San Antonio are offering their fellow students porn in exchange for their bibles.  According to the student atheist group, pornography is no worse than the text of the Bible, so why not do a fair exchange?  Well, not to get too technical, but the standard dictionary definition of pornography is: “films, magazines, writings, photographs, or other materials that are sexually explicit and intended to cause sexual arousal.” (Emphasis added.)  While there appear to be arguments out there (way out there) that the Bible contains some passages that could be interpreted as slightly suggestive (eg., The Old Testament’s Song of Solomon), one can hardly seriously argue that these rise to the level of sexual explicitness intending to cause arousal.  Or to put it another way, if you’re reaching for the Bible to get your jollies, you’re pretty pathetic.

At any rate, there is nothing novel about yet another group of self-important college students employing sophomoric shock tactics to seek attention.  However, what is news is the school’s reaction to the event.  When asked for comment, school officials mildly replied that the atheist group is perfectly within its legal rights to conduct the swap.  According to University Spokesman David Gabler: “As long as students are not violating laws or violating the Constitution, they have the freedom of speech and assembly.”  He elaborated, “We are a marketplace of free ideas here at UTSA, and our students have all constitutional rights afforded to all individuals in the United States.”

Well isn’t that nice.  Apparently, the school is not the least bit scandalized by any of this.    At a time when colleges seem to think of every reason under the sun why a conservative group cannot have this or that speaker appear on campus, how refreshing it is to see the open-minded University of Texas officials suddenly standing up for free speech and assembly in the marketplace of ideas.  Given this new laissez-faire approach, one wonders if they would be quite so accommodating of other groups employing similarly obscene tactics.  Suppose a Christian student group decided to do a Bible for Quran exchange?  What if a white supremacist student group offered an exchange of Hitler’s Mein Kampf for copies of the Torah?  Or an even greater sacrilege: an exchange of Mein Kampf for Barrack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope.  Would the liberal thinking administrators of the University of Texas still be so tepidly neutral?

Our rights are guaranteed under the Constitution and are there for our protection, not for our abuse.  On the spectrum of bad examples the school could set for its students, the only thing worse than condoning the abuse of a right (in this case free speech), is the picking and choosing of when and for whom a right applies, and when and for whom it does not.  And that is nothing short of obscene.

For a related post, link to:

https://culturecrusader.wordpress.com/2010/03/23/gem-of-the-week-oh-canada-what-a-houles-you-are/