Atheist book-burners

Book-shredders, anyhow:

“This boy got up and his visual aid was a Bible and a book. And he got up and started his speech by saying ‘Now, this piece of crap’ and pointed to the Bible…. He took the Bible and he said, ‘I’m going to do this because I can. I’m going to do something that your stupid, little minds aren’t going to be able to comprehend and he took the Bible and started ripping out pages.”

The funny thing about vicious little atheists like this is the way in which they project their own tiny, self-restricted minds upon others. What sort of cretin believes that it’s impossible for Christians to comprehend people attempting to destroy the Bible, considering that the Bible has been outlawed and destroyed by authorities in nearly every nation in which atheists have held power?

Destruction is what atheists do, it’s their historical idiom. The only thing the infantile infidel neglected was to announce that his ability to destroy the Bible was a proof of the non-existence of God. That was the common Soviet practice when destroying churches.

As for the brat, will anyone be truly surprised when he ends up as yet another school shooter?

UPDATE – if you’ll excuse a very bad pun, it seems the kid was taking a page from the Soviets after all: ‘See, I can do this to the Bible and not be harmed because it is not true.’

UPDATE 2 – Speaking of taking pages, it seems only right to pay homage to some of my more hysterical critics in noting Professor Myers’s unique approach to teaching: ” I think classrooms should be extremely uncomfortable places for students…. Slapping students… is a good thing”

Wodehouse on Rodham-Clinton

Alex Massie turns to the great comic novelist to explain why Hillary fills all rational men with horror:

In my sourer moments I find myself persuaded that Bertie Wooster’s verdict on aunts also applies to politicians: “It is no use telling me that there are bad aunts and good aunts. At the core, they are all alike. Sooner or later, out pops the cloven hoof.”

Never is this more the case than during a Presidential campaign. The sheer ghastliness of the front-runners is something to behold. Or not, as the case may be.

Try as I might, for instance, I find it hard to warm to Hillary Clinton even as I acknowledge that some of the hysteria surrounding her is absurdly overblown. And yet, there’s something to it too. This story in today’s Washington Post about Hillary’s struggle to appeal to male voters won’t have pleased the campaign much, (it’s pretty anecdotal for one, and, for another, she is doing slightly better with white men than might be imagined). Still, it’s undeniable that there’s something about Hillary’s demeanour that puts people off. It’s not as simple as her being a woman, though that doubtless disqualifies her in some folks’ eyes, but that she’s a particular type of woman.

The Rodham-Clinton’s come
How Hell is going to pay

And don’t miss the punchline on Massie’s post. We are most amused.

About the Liberal Fascism review

As I wrote in my column today, I was pleasantly surprised by Jonah Goldberg’s new book, which was of particular interest to me because it was a topic that I had once considered addressing myself. Goldberg utilized a very different approach than I would have, as those who read both LF and TIA will probably recognize, but his might be the more effective approach in dealing with a reading public that is almost completely ignorant of matters historical.

The bizarre thing about much of the foolish criticism that is being directed Goldberg’s way – the greater part of it by people who haven’t read the book and know literally nothing about Italian Fascism, American progressivism, the Social Gospel or “the politics of meaning” – is the confidence with which these critics proudly stand on an intellectual foundation of absolutely nothing. My atheist critics look like heterodox theological experts by comparison.

For example, I read Fascisti: Gli italiani di Mussolini, il regime degli italiani by Giordano Bruno Guerri earlier this year, and while the Italian historian’s focus is, understandably, entirely on Italian Fascism proper, his conclusions are often very similar to Goldberg’s. Guerri finds great significance in the religious aspect of Fascism, repeatedly referring to its “liturgies”, “myths” and “rites”, and describes how the sacralization of the State was not only a central aspect of Italian Fascism, but also Russian Communism and German National Socialism. Guerri even notes that Fascism was the first deliberate attempt to create a new secular religion – shades of both Jean Meslier and Michel Onfray – since the French Revolution.

Since I haven’t hesitated to flame the superficial and evanescent books put out by syndicated columnists such as Michelle “what is this ‘research’ of which you speak?” Malkin, David “Nostrawrongus” Frum, and Ben “water is wet” Shapiro, (to say nothing of the lightweight polemics written by the likes of Al Franken and Michael Moore), it only seems fair to put down the flamethrower and give credit on the rare occasion when credit is rightfully due. I should probably mention that I did not rate or review Dinesh D’Souza’s What’s So Great About Christianity but rather contented myself with an interview with the author because its subject matter has a fair amount in common with my own forthcoming book.

I am admittedly a harsh reviewer, but if you’d waded through as much sewage as I have in three years of sitting on one SFWA jury or another, I suspect you’d have a limited capacity for enduring literary drivel too. By the way, I’m interested in knowing what the Cavalcade of Evil aka the Dread Vox Ilk think of these interview/review columns, do you want more of them or are they likely to get tedious more than once every six months or so? My own experience tends to lead me to think that there’s a need for such things, but then, perhaps the reason there are fewer in-depth book discussions than books out there is because no one really wants to read them.

Reason 3682

Courtesy of an Althouse commenter:

Oh you missed the good part when he [Huckabee] spoke so condescendingly about women and abortions and “doing it because of inconvenience” or the if women who choose abortion just go out for a milk shake and some fries afterwards and talk about boys to the girls.

It was nauseating. My wife, daughter and daughter-in-law and two of their local friends were in the room. He lost 5 votes instantly.

You know, I really don’t care if your average member of the SS-Totenkopfverbände agonized over his specific role in the Endlosung or not. It is the evil act that condemns one, not whatever difficulty one happens to experience in deciding to commit it or not. This guy clearly doesn’t realize the irony of the situation he described, because the only reason the five women reacted so negatively to Huckabee – whom, I should add, I do NOT support – is because they wish to be able to murder their offspring for exactly the reason he denigrated.

It is impossible to discuss any political issue with the average woman for more than five minutes without concluding that women’s suffrage was one of the most significant avoidable disasters of the 20th century.

Stick to science

Sometimes PZ doesn’t even try to make sense:

Ron Paul isn’t just a small-government obsessive: he’s a no-government radical. And at the same time he wants every positive function of government to vanish, he wants what amounts to a police state in place to keep the rest of the world out, all out of fear of those strangers with different customs and ideas.

How, pray tell, would one go about running a police state with no government? PZ needs to travel more. Living as he does in rural Minnesota, he has absolutely no idea how migration – not immigration – is completely destroying civilized cultures everywhere from Scandinavia to San Antonio. Like many reactive atheists, he harbors too much hatred for Christianity to think through the massive differences between one theistic culture and another. If Christianity fades away, you don’t get Happy Happy Scientopia, but rather the slavery, child sacrifice and female chattel of unleashed pagan culture. If you’re lucky, you might get rule by enlightened jihad.

Interestingly enough, one Pharyngulan harbors a more sophisticated understanding of the relationship between Christianity and libertarianism than many libertarians and non-libertarian Christians. Libertarianism is philosophically incompatible with atheism, at least the right wing libertarianism tradition Paul comes from. The whole tradition is based around the Lockean arguments about liberty and the state of nature and property, and every single one of these arguments is based on scripture, every one. The liberties of the libertarian have a purely religious basis as does the argument for property.

This is why I’m so amused by ignorant folk like Feckles, who actually believe there is a fundamental dichotomy between evangelical Christianity and libertarianism. In fact, the primary appeal of libertarianism is that it easily encompasses those of widely diverse creeds, including atheism, so long as they reject the idea of using government force to impose their own creed on others.


Say what you will about Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots, however flawed they may be as individuals, they represent as close to perfection in coaching, execution and teamwork as exists in sports today. Last night’s game was excellent, as the Giants rose to the occasion and acquitted themselves far better than anyone expected, but were still unable to defeat the Patriot machine over a full 60 minutes.

The Patriots do have an impressive collection of talent, but as we’ve seen many times in the past, from Madrid to Miami, mere talent is no guarantee of victory. Belichick’s statement about there being 53 leaders on the team is nonsense, of course, but there is a kernel of truth in the statement as he clearly demands the same level of hypercompetitive commitment and effort from the weakest link as he does from Tom Brady. Whether they’re in front or behind, they never stop competing and that’s what makes them not only impressive, but downright inspiring.

All you need to really understand the Patriot mentality is to watch Wes Welker and the other wide receivers crushing linebackers and even defensive linemen when they need a yard or two on the ground.

The OC, on the other hand, has a rather different perspective: “Why, it’s as if the cheating scandal last September never even happened… Kind of like the way the massive voter fraud in every presidential election is magically erased from our collective memories every four years, and our election system starts all over again as a sacred process run by unimpeachable snow-white virgins.”

Now THIS is a book review!

PJ O’Rourke, at his cruel best, reviews Arthur Schlesinger’s Journals:

Journals is so much more than gush. Its pages also crack open a hellgate to give us a peek at the eternally consuming fires of egotistic solipsism to which the soul of a liberal is forever condemned. Not even the undying love that Arthur Schlesinger felt for Kennedy money, power, and prestige could redeem poor Art from the perdition that awaits the bien pensant. His is the sin of pride, such that produces the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the New Frontier, the Great Society. It manifests itself in the deeds of the mighty. Or in the case of Arthur Schlesinger, it manifests itself in mighty bad taste.

Sometimes I love PJ O’Rourke so much that it makes Umberto Eco’s mad passion for Charles Schultz look like a mere passing flirtation. This is one of those times.

The fight stage

It looks like Ron Paul has made it past the “laughter” stage:

According to the New Hampshire State Republican Party and an Associated Press report, Republican presidential candidate and Texas Congressman Ron Paul will be excluded from an upcoming forum of Republican candidates to be broadcast by Fox News on January 6, 2008.

Based on the increasing amount of hatred expressed by anti-Paul Republicans and declarations of their preference for Hillary Clinton in his place, he might do even better than I’ve been expecting in Iowa and New Hampshire.

UPDATE – The man himself speaks on the matter: “They are scared of me and don’t want my message to get out, but it will,” Paul said in an interview at a diner here. “They are propagandists for this war and I challenge them on the notion that they are conservative.”

He’s right. They’re little more conservative than the Clintons.

A rare planetary alignment

There must be something strange going on in the rotation of the celestial spheres, because I completely agree with PZ Myers on this subject:

Here is all that torture is good for: inspiring fear in a population. If you want it widely known that your ruling regime is utterly ruthless and doesn’t care about individuals, all you have to do is scoop up random people suspected of anti-government activities, hold them for a few weeks, and return them as shattered wrecks with mangled limbs, while treating the monsters who would do such a thing as respected members of the ruling clique, who are immune from legal prosecution. The message gets out fast that one does not cross the government.

It’s worth reminding everyone of Winston Churchill’s statement about the way in which World War I reduced the Allies to near-total barbarism.

All the horrors of all the ages were brought together, and not only armies but whole populations were thrust into the midst of them. The mighty educated States involved conceived — not without reason — that their very existence was at stake. Neither peoples nor rulers drew the line at any deed which they thought could help them to win. Germany, having let hell loose, kept well in the van of terror; but she was followed step by step by the desperate and ultimately avenging nations she had assailed. When it was all over, Torture and Cannibalism were the only two expedients that the civilized, scientific, Christian States had been able to deny themselves: and they were of doubtful utility.

As I pointed out more than a year ago, the bestial Bush administration has now openly embraced torture, and judging by the barbaric enthusiasm many of its more wild-eyed supporters have shown for this position, if one could make the case for cannibalism helping win the War on Terror, they’d be the first to reach for the barbecue sauce.