Robert Spencer on Virgil Goode
UPDATE: Welcome NY Times 'The Caucus' Blog readers! We don't get many city folk out here in possum gravy country, but we love it when we do. We also love our Rep. Virgil Goode, though I hope you will take a moment to read the full discussion that follows.
At the suggestion of our good buddy Zimzo, I have looked into remarks made by Virginia Congressman Virgil Goode in his recent letter touching on the Koran, religion and immigration, as well as Goode's follow-up statement.
I take exception to Goode's argument that the current state of affairs and the problem of rampant, nonsensical multiculturalism should be blamed on Bill Clinton. Clinton might have initiated the diversity in immigration program, but the Republicans had at least a short spell controlling the levers of power, did they not? They could have fixed it if they had a mind to.
Robert Spencer has a very informed take on this controversy (as tends to be the case with any question regarding Islam and the West):
Goode is not opposed to having "many more Muslims in the United States" out of "bigotry," as CAIR has predictably alleged, but because he is aware that Islam presents a challenge, as we have explained here so many times, to "the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America." He also seems to be aware, when he warns that "our resources" could be "swamped," that Muslim immigrants, including mujahedin, cheerfully live on the dole in Europe -- a situation that is nothing less than suicidal.
Spencer is truly one of the "voices crying in the wilderness" about the threats facing America and the West in general. I've read most of his books and I think he is mostly on point. He knows a lot more than I do about Islam, to be certain.
I also think, however, that it is indubitably the case that the public face of any ideological or cultural movement can appear scarier than it really is - particularly in the case of religion.
Ideologically - and mythologically - religions can be pretty fearsome. A great example is the horrorshow that Roman Catholicism was made out to be in England and America from, like, 1600 until about 40 years ago. I mean, from the Pope right on down to the priests and the scruffy Irish foot soldiers, Catholicism was painted as a menace, an institutional force bent on subverting democracy and taking over the world.
It didn't quite work out that way because, whatever the Vatican might have been planning or not planning, western civilization has a way of smoothing the rough edges of any ideology that purportedly seeks to contravene basic human liberties, respect for the individual, rule of law, beer commercials, and all of the other things that have made the United States the shining city on the hill. There is no reason to think Muslims won't come around in a generation or two and start watching NASCAR and football with the rest of us. (And I do NOT mean soccer.)
As to the question of whether one should be allowed to take an oath on the Koran rather than the Bible: Spencer points out the Koran permits lying. That's a good point, and the Koran appears to permit quite a few additional behaviors one would not hope to see in a courtroom. Whatever criticisms one may have of Christianity's New Testament, you must admit the world would have far fewer religiously-justified murders if everyone followed its rules.
That being said, why do we need a holy book for the swearing in ceremony of a public official anyway? Christians can say "our book is holiest and true" and Muslims may counter, "no OURS is so we want to swear on it."
But the point is, you need to raise your right hand and make a public pledge. If you are a little "off" maybe you want to raise your left hand - sure, we can have that argument. But the pledge is what's important, whether you follow God or Gaia or Reverend Bob Dobbs.
I think an immigration policy that is discriminatory based on the ideology of the applicant is a great idea. Assimilation is a numbers game: Over time, over generations, the host society will influence newcomers as long as the number of immigrants who detest the basic tenets of American culture is much smaller than the number of people already here. Their kids will grow up learning to love football, freedom of thought and fast cars, and will gradually shed their alien cultural baggage.
Whether you are pledging on a Koran or Bible does not seem like such a huge issue because really you are pledging to tell the truth or uphold the Constitution or whatnot, and it seems to me that should be the focus. If Muslims make the pledge and keep the pledge, the law is happy. If they don't, the law will rain down hellfire on them as it will on anyone who breaks such a public oath.
And as long as all their offspring have the opportunity to watch the Daytona 500 every February, I think in the long run everything is going to turn out all right for America.
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