Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Friday, July 06, 2007

Civilised Western Christian supporter of the ideals of America and Israel and proud of it

I just read this piece of drivel (helpfully linked via Islamophobia Watch).

"The other day when he was asked to react to the attempted car-bomb attacks on London, the city's mayor, Ken Livingstone, called for tolerance. Fair enough, you might say. But at whom was his call for tolerance directed? You are probably thinking, if you are a logical sort, that the call must have been directed at the fanatics who had come within an ace of killing and maiming possibly hundreds of people. But you would be mistaken. Instead Ken directed his call at his fellow, non-Muslim, Englishmen. He said that in the past Jews, the Irish and gays had been persecuted in England and now it was the turn of Muslims.....On almost every one of these shows the secular left representative did his or her best to impersonate Ken Livingstone..... Essentially you had the guardians of tolerance siding with people who would crush homosexuals under walls if they could, and who would turn women into property given half a chance. And why this horrid sympathy? It is because the secular left's hatred of Western civilisation, and certainly Christianity, America and Israel, is such that they will side with anyone, no matter how unsavoury, who shares that hatred."

1. Ten out of ten to Ken Livingstone for noticing what the Irish visitor clearly did not, to wit that Britain's Muslims are now the most persecuted group in the country,

2. Why should I stand by and allow an avowed Catholic (i.e. an adherent of the religion that recently suggested excluding members of the Scottish Parliament if they failed to oppose civil partnerships for gay couples) to suggest that I (as a member of the "secular left") am the one siding with homophobes? Perhaps hypocrites like David Quinn could be usefully crushed under walls, but I have no sympathy for those (like Mr Quinn) who support (explicitly or implicitly) the victimisation of homosexuals.

3. I am fascinated to discover that, contrary to my own understanding and that of all my friends, I hate "Western civilisation, and certainly Christianity, America and Israel". I would agree that I have little sympathy for the current administration in the USA, but I understand that I share that view with a great many Americans. I believe this is what is known as "pluralistic democracy", one of the values of the Western civilisation I apparently hate. The same goes for the present Israeli government, and I will cheerfully admit that along with the UN, Amnesty International and most of the rest of that "Western civilisation" I abhor the illegal forty-year-long occupation of the West Bank, the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem. I deplore the institutionalised discrimination against Israel's Arab minority. I deplore the refusal of successive Israeli governments to open their nuclear weapons programme to international inspection and verification. However, anyone wishing to destroy Israel will obtain no sympathy or comfort from this blogger. It would, after all, be illogical of me to demand adherence to UN resolutions from a country if I did not accept the legitimacy of its establishment under the auspices of that same United Nations.

As to my hatred of Christianity, while I will confess that I last attended mass in September 2001, I am still officially a communicant member of the Episcopal Church of Scotland (in probably its most High Church congregation, Old St Paul's, Edinburgh); and one of the wonders of the Episcopal denominations is their broad compass, such that even a mystically-inclined heterodox Christian such as I can feel accepted. I surmise that my supposed hatred for Christianity, America and Israel comes down to an unwillingness to accept Roman Catholicism, Republicanism and Zionism. I do not, however, "hate" those who do accept those creeds , any more than I "hate" Muslims, Creationists, Scientologists or the adherents of any other religions or sects. I can believe that they are mistaken without hatred.

So I ask Mr Quinn, soi-disant representative of a religious sect famous for its lack of toleration of opposing viewpoints, what gives him the right to denigrate my beliefs in such a bigoted and prejudiced manner?

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