Saturday, August 06, 2005

Terrorism is the fault of ...

The kids at Run with Ryun approvingly quote Bill O'Reilly saying:
that the shrinking religious influence in the U.S. and Europe is empowering the terrorists.
Before I respond, let's see what other people have said on the topic

James Madison:
Nothwithstanding the general progress made within the two last centuries in favour of this branch of liberty, & the full establishment of it, in some parts of our Country, there remains in others a strong bias towards the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between Gov' & Religion neither can be duly supported: Such indeed is the tendency to such a coalition, and such its corrupting influence on both the parties, that the danger cannot be too carefully guarded agst.. And in a Gov' of opinion, like ours, the only effectual guard must be found in the soundness and stability of the general opinion on the subject. Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Gov will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together; [James Madison, Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822, The Writings of James Madison, Gaillard Hunt]
This is just one of many quotations from our founding fathers (both federalist and anti-federalists, proto-Republicans and proto-Democrats) illustrating that the religious influence in the U.S. has not been in decline in any meaningful sense. I dare say there is more of an effort to appear openly religious today than there was when Jefferson was editing the miracles out of the New Testament.

Let me say that, like the Hitler zombie, the "blame ________ for terrorism/"9/11"/" meme is idiotic (unless you want to blame Osama bin Laden). Secularism, gays, Jews, Darwin, or any other boogie men cannot be blamed. If Jim Ryun wants to blame America for 9/11, I want nothing to do with him.

It's particularly ironic that Ryun's minions chose today to blame society for terrorism, since:

Four years ago today President Bush received a daily brief warning him that terrorists planned to attack America. He spent the next three weeks on vacation.

This is a bad day to be assigning generic blame when so much personal blame can be assigned.
Need we remind Rep. Ryun that:

Ronald Reagan … played a major role in bringing on the terrorist war that followed—specifically, in abetting the rise of Osama Bin Laden.
I'm not blaming Bush or Reagan for 9/11, I'm just saying we should work from the most proximate causes towards other causes. And to claim that our problems with al Qaeda would be solved if we were more openly religious is pretty stupid. Since the stated aim of al Qaeda is to establish an Islamic caliphate, I don't see how a more Christian America makes anything better.

Besides, wouldn't it be appeasement if we did what al Qaeda wanted us to do? I'm just saying.