Saturday, April 19, 2008

Mark Steyn on God 'n' Guns

I really liked Mark Steyn's book, "America Alone," currently under attack as "hate speech" in Canada. This article in the OC Register proves that I'm not the only one with a sarcastic take on Fun With b-HO:
Sen. Obama's remarks about poor dumb, bitter rural losers "clinging to" guns and God certainly testify to the instinctive snobbery of a big segment of the political class. But we shouldn't let it go by merely deploring coastal condescension toward the knuckledraggers. No, what Michelle Malkin calls Crackerquiddick (quite rightly – it's more than just another dreary "-gate") is not just snobbish nor even merely wrongheaded. It's an attack on two of the critical advantages the United States holds over most of the rest of the Western world. In the other G7 developed nations, nobody clings to God 'n' guns. The guns got taken away, and the Europeans gave up on churchgoing once they embraced Big Government as the new religion.

How's that working out? Compared with America, France and Germany have been more or less economically stagnant for the past quarter-century, living permanently with unemployment rates significantly higher than in the United States.
Has it made them any less "bitter," as Obama characterizes those Pennsylvanian crackers? No. In my book "America Alone," just out in paperback and available in all good bookstores – you'll find it in Borders propping up the wonky rear leg of the display table for the smash new CD "Michelle Obama And The San Francisco Macchiato Chorus Sing "I Pinned My Pink Slip To The Gun Rack Of My Pick-Up,' 'My Dog Done Died, My Wife Jus' Left Me, And Michael Dukakis Is Strangely Reluctant To Run Again,' Plus 'I Swung By The Economic Development Zone Business Park But The Only Two Occupied Rental Units Were Both Evangelical Churches' And Other Embittered Appalachian Favorites."

Where was I? Oh, yes. In my book "America Alone," I note a global survey on optimism: 61 percent of Americans were optimistic about the future, 29 percent of the French, 15 percent of Germans. Take it from a foreigner: In my experience, Americans are the least "bitter" people in the developed world. Secular, gun-free big-government Europe doesn't seem to have done anything for people's happiness. Consider by way of example the words of Keith Reade. He's not an Obama speechwriter, he's a writer for the London Daily Mirror. And the day after the 2004 presidential election he expressed his frustration in an alarmingly Obamaesque way:

"Were I a Kerry voter, though, I'd feel deep anger, not only at them returning Bush to power, but for allowing the outside world to lump us all into the same category of moronic muppets. The self-righteous, gun-totin', military-lovin', sister-marryin', abortion-hatin', gay-loathin', foreigner-despisin', nonpassport ownin' rednecks, who believe God gave America the biggest d*** in the world so it could urinate on the rest of us and make their land 'free and strong.'"

Well, that's certainly why I supported Bush, but I'm not sure it entirely accounts for the other 62,039,073 incontinent rednecks. Reade, though, does usefully enumerate some of the distinctive features that separate America from the rest of the West. "Self-righteous"? If you want a public culture that reeks of indestructible faith in its own righteousness, try Europe – especially when they're talking about America: If you disagree with Eutopian wisdom, you must be an idiot.
Read the whole thing!

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

In the other G7 developed nations, nobody clings to God 'n' guns. The guns got taken away, and the Europeans gave up on churchgoing once they embraced Big Government as the new religion.

How's that working out?


That's a GREAT passage from Steyn.

He should have also mentioned the shocking, outrageous destruction of free speech in the European countries as well.

The 1A and 2A freedoms rise and fall together, folks. The evidence is in.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but as a conservative, who also happens to be an atheist, I detest such drivel.

Religion is used to keep the sheeple in line by telling them what to think. Religion numbs the brain to the point you can't think properly and really do believe the universe was created in six days. And religion makes people advocate school prayer, discriminate against gays, my religion is the only "true" one, etc.

Clinging to god is for the weak minded or brain dead.

Geoff aka Pathfinder on DRTV said...

Anonymous #2 (wonder why anonymous?) - the grace of the 1st Amendment is such that you are perfectly entitled to your opinion - to have it, to hold it, to express it even incognito as in this case.

Too bad Steyn is not afforded the same right in Canada, which is now trying him (as in criminal proceedings) for expressing his opinion against another group of people who have expressed their desire to kill you and me, atheist and Christian, in the name of their allah.

It is not the fault of religion which as an archaeologist I can safely say has been around a lot longer than you, and will continue long after you've departed to that great void of nothingness you are so looking forward to.

It is the fault of 2 cultures. One, so culturally blinded to anything since the 7th century that they feel compelled, like the inhabitants of the Planet Cricket in Hitchhikers Guide to Galaxy to kill and destroy everything not like them - and that includes fellow Wanna-Kill-Ems of the same faith (?) that are somehow different as well.

The second is a culture so culturally blinded to the threat that the first culture represents that they will actually persecute the prophets proclaiming danger.

Ponder these thoughts as you cling to whatever you cling to.

nj_larry said...

Yep Anonymous #2 does sound bitter...

Now I am gonna make him real mad!!!...may God Bless YOU.

Middle Man said...

Religion is a set of beliefs and practices which are often based on God, allah, buddha, et al. but can also be based on the sun or moon, rivers, trees, dead ancestors or whatever else can be developed in the mind of man.

In a nutshell, "religion" is the province and invention of man. Fallen man, greedy man, covetous man, prideful man, men that seek power and strive to hold it. Those beliefs and practices *can* develop into a corruptible bureaucracy that seeks to retain power if it's leaders lose those altruistic goals that were initially stated with the establishment of a religion's beliefs and practices.

Man has free will, man can choose God or not. His choice. The term religion is often bandied about when more correctly the subject of the discussion should be faith. Faith, often defined as that belief in something for which there is no proof, a sincerity of intentions, or complete trust. Faith is often looked at in the context of religion, yet faith is a distinctly different thing.

Faith in God is within the realm of the individual. Only God knows what lurks in the hearts of men and only the individual knows what lies in his own heart. Faith in God manifests itself in the manner in which those of the Faith live their lives. However, man's free will remains extant within his being and, as such, man may continue to exhibit attributes in conflict with his professed beliefs and practices (i.e. religion). At this point, God's grace, forgiveness, and salvation through his Son Jesus enters the picture.

Man enters into a covenant with God through His Son as a result of Jesus' death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven. An individual's faith abides in this relationship with God and God continues to honor His covenant with those individuals of faith even when their free will choices are at odds with God's will. God's grace and forgiveness (much the same as in a parent and child relationship) is sufficient to repair the breech in that covenant brought about by man's weak willed sin. God's promise of salvation provides man hope of something beyond this world and guarantees a eternal life with God after physical death.

Will said...

Nonny mouse #2, the problem with professing atheism, is that invariably this leads to replacing "religion" with some other "belief system". Humans seem to be hard-wired this way. So, if a person doesn't believe in a God, they simply transfer this to something else, such as ecology, global warming, evolution, socialism, communism, etc... Most don't see that they have a "belief system", whether they want one or not. So, what's yours?

Anonymous said...

" May the Great Spirit be with you until we meet again."
Life Member

Laitman.com said...

Americans haven’t gone through everything Europe has. They are a young nation that still has the inertia of the consumer society and the cult of the dollar. The public doesn’t yet fully comprehend phenomena like the modern crisis, because it still has faith in its society and democracy.

Bernard Shaw wrote: “Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many [like in America] for appointment by the corrupt few [like in Russia].”

We learn from the collapse of the system of the spiritual worlds (Shvirat Olam HaNekudim), that the higher a level (Malach) is, the lower it falls when it breaks. But this action takes longer than on lower levels due to the level’s height and reserve power, and hence its inability to recognize and predict the forthcoming developments that threaten it…

Similarly, faith in God and the feeling of safety one gets from carrying weapons delay one’s recognition of the forthcoming crisis. If society continues developing egoistically, the crisis will be devastating to all.

Nevertheless, we can already see the influence of Kabbalah’s dissemination. I don’t mean its mechanical dissemination, the fact that people know about Kabbalah. Rather, I’m talking about the fact that little by little, people are starting to think in Kabbalistic notions, even without being aware of it. Most of the dissemination happens through thought, through the Upper field of forces, and I hope that it will bring about recognition and a change in people’s attitude to the world, God and weapons.
http://www.laitman.com/2008/04/america-optimistic-and-why/

jay paul said...

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