Menu

Some Things Said… (June 08)

Environmentalism has replaced socialism as the leading secular religion. And the ethics of environmentalism are fundamentally sound. Scientists and economists can agree with Buddhist monks and Christian activists that ruthless destruction of natural habitats is evil and careful preservation of birds and butterflies is good. The worldwide community of environmentalists–most of whom are not scientists–holds the moral high ground, and is guiding human societies toward a hopeful future. Environmentalism, as a religion of hope and respect for nature, is here to stay. This is a religion that we can all share, whether or not we believe that global warming is harmful.

Unfortunately, some members of the environmental movement have also adopted as an article of faith the be-lief that global warming is the greatest threat to the ecology of our planet. That is one reason why the arguments about global warming have become bitter and passionate. Much of the public has come to believe that anyone who is skeptical about the dangers of global warming is an enemy of the environment. The skeptics now have the difficult task of convincing the public that the opposite is true. Many of the skeptics are passionate environmentalists. They are horrified to see the obsession with global warming distracting public attention from what they see as more serious and more immediate dangers to the planet, including problems of nuclear weaponry, environmental degradation, and social injustice. Whether they turn out to be right or wrong, their arguments on these issues deserve to be heard. –Freeman Dyson in the New York Review of Books

Notable & Quotable

Conservatism is alive and well in America; don’t let anyone tell you differently. And by conservatism, I don’t mean the warmed-over “raise your hand if you believe . . .” kind of conservatism we see blooming every election cycle. No, I’m speaking of the conservatism grounded in principles based upon enduring truths: an understanding of the importance of human nature in the affairs of individuals and nations. Respect for the lessons of history, the importance of faith and tradition. The understanding that while man is prone to err, he is capable of great things when not subjugated by a too-powerful government. –Fred Thompson, writing at Townhall.com, and as recorded on The Wall Street Journal Editorial page 5.20.08

Obama Is Muslim?

Back in March, CBS’s Steve Kroft interviewed Hillary Clinton for “60 Minutes.” Something Mrs. Clinton said upset supporters of Barack Obama, including Bob Herbert of the New York Times:

Mr. Kroft asked Senator Clinton if she believed that Senator Obama is a Muslim. In one of the sleaziest moments of the campaign to date, Senator Clinton replied: “No. No. Why would I? No, there is nothing to base that on; as far as I know.”

As far as I know.

If she had been asked if she thought President Bush was a Muslim, would her response have included the caveat “as far as I know”? What about Senator McCain? Why, then, with Senator Obama?

Did Herbert really ask a series of rhetorical questions? Why would he do that? Didn’t it occur to him that someone might try to answer them? And indeed, we read this in Herbert’s own paper this week:

“As the son of the Muslim father, Senator Obama was born a Muslim under Muslim law as it is universally understood. It makes no difference that, as Senator Obama has written, his father said he renounced his religion. Likewise, under Muslim law based on the Koran his mother’s Christian background is irrelevant.

“Of course, as most Americans understand it, Senator Obama is not a Muslim. He chose to become a Christian, and indeed has written convincingly to explain how he arrived at his choice and how important his Christian faith is to him.

“His conversion, however, was a crime in Muslim eyes; it is “irtidad” or “ridda,” usually translated from the Arabic as “apostasy,” but with connotations of rebellion and treason. Indeed, it is the worst of all crimes that a Muslim can commit, worse than murder (which the victim’s family may choose to forgive).”

After Mrs. Clinton’s “60 Minutes” appearance, the Times’ Nicolas Kristof also weighed in:

“When Mrs. Clinton was asked in a television interview a week ago whether Mr. Obama is a Muslim, she denied it firmly–but then added, most unfortunately, “as far as I know.” To his credit, Mr. McCain scolded a radio host who repeatedly referred to “Barack Hussein Obama” and later called him a Manchurian candidate.

“Well, good for McCain, anyway. Even if some Times writers think Obama is a Muslim, that’s no excuse for calling him “Barack Hussein Obama.” How would Mrs. Clinton like it if people started calling her “Hillary Ruhollah Khomeini”? –excerpted from James Taranto’s column in The Wall Street Journal 5.16.08

Persuasion

He that goes about to persuade a multitude that they are not so well governed as they ought to be shall never want for attentive and favorable hearers. — Richard Hooker

Environmentalism – made for man not the other way around

Then God said: “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

The God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.

And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. –Genesis 1:26-29