CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

When the West Sides With Its Enemies

Jan 28, 2009

In times of universal crisis, there is a great need for great men and great women to stand up and be counted. For example, when the Cold War was at its peak, it seems that three world leaders were providentially raised up to withstand the menace of Soviet imperialism. Thus Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II together helped to bring an end to this global threat.

Fortunately other heroes seem to come on the scene in times of national emergency or international challenges. When universal deceit prevails, such brave men and women act as prophetic voices. With the twin challenges of militant Islam and a West that seems hell-bent on bowing in subservience to it, a number of fearless individuals have risen to the occasion.

One of them is Dutch politician Geert Wilders. The 46-year-old Dutchman has been a tireless and outspoken critic of Islamism and the cowardice of the West. He has courageously spoken out on the dangers we face, not only from militants without, but appeasers within.

He even produced a short film last year called Fitna. It minces no words in exposing the radical agenda of the Islamists, and how the heart of Islam (the Koran, the hadith, and the life and example of Muhammad) all feed into the Islamist practices and objectives.

And for his troubles he has been a hunted man. But it is not just the angry Muslim world that wants his scalp. Western appeasers are also after him. Indeed, last week a Dutch court ordered the criminal prosecution of Wilders because of his “hate speech”.  The Amsterdam Court of Appeals has said his statements are “insulting,” and that they “substantially harm the religious esteem” of Muslims.

I will leave it for others to determine whether his film is indeed hate speech. But his recent speeches have certainly been clear-cut as to how he regards the Islamist threat. A few paragraphs from various recent speeches are worth reproducing here. Consider his thoughts on how Europe is faring:

“All throughout Europe a new reality is rising: entire Muslim neighbourhoods where very few indigenous people reside or are even seen. And if they are, they might regret it. This goes for the police as well. It’s the world of head scarves, where women walk around in figureless tents, with baby strollers and a group of children. Their husbands, or slaveholders if you prefer, walk three steps ahead. With mosques on many street corners. The shops have signs you and I cannot read. You will be hard-pressed to find any economic activity. These are Muslim ghettos controlled by religious fanatics. These are Muslim neighbourhoods, and they are mushrooming in every city across Europe. These are the building-blocks for territorial control of increasingly larger portions of Europe, street by street, neighbourhood by neighbourhood, city by city. There are now thousands of mosques throughout Europe. With larger congregations than there are in churches. And in every European city there are plans to build super-mosques that will dwarf every church in the region. Clearly, the signal is: we rule.”

Take Holland for example: “In some elementary schools in Amsterdam the farm can no longer be mentioned, because that would also mean mentioning the pig, and that would be an insult to Muslims. Many state schools in Belgium and Denmark only serve halal food to all pupils. In once-tolerant Amsterdam gays are beaten up almost exclusively by Muslims. Non-Muslim women routinely hear ‘whore, whore’. Satellite dishes are not pointed to local TV stations, but to stations in their country of origin.”

Other parts of Europe are also in crisis: “The history of the Holocaust can in many cases no longer be taught because of Muslim sensitivity. In England sharia courts are now no-go areas for women without head scarves. Last week a man almost died after being beaten up by Muslims in Brussels, because he was drinking during the Ramadan. Jews are fleeing France in record numbers, on the run from the worst wave of anti-Semitism since World War II. French is now commonly spoken on the streets of Tel Aviv and Netanya, Israel.”

And Europe seems to be standing idly by as all this happens: “It is very difficult to be an optimist in the face of the growing Islamization of Europe. All the tides are against us. On all fronts we are losing. Demographically the momentum is with Islam. Muslim immigration is even a source of pride within ruling liberal parties. Academia, the arts, the media, trade unions, the churches, the business world, the entire political establishment have all converted to the suicidal theory of multiculturalism. So-called journalists volunteer to label any and all critics of Islamization as ‘right-wing extremists’ or ‘racists’. The entire establishment has sided with our enemy. Leftists, liberals and Christian-Democrats are now all in bed with Islam.”

And Israel is only the tip of the iceberg: “Israel is simply receiving the blows that are meant for all of us. If there would have been no Israel, Islamic imperialism would have found other places to release its energy and its desire for conquest. Therefore, the war against Israel is not a war against Israel. It is a war against the West. It is jihad. Thanks to Israeli parents who see their children go off to join the army and lie awake at night, parents in Europe and America can sleep well and have pleasant dreams, unaware of the dangers looming. At present the front-line of jihad runs not just through the streets of Tel Aviv and Haifa, but through the streets of London, Madrid, and Amsterdam as well. Jihad is our common enemy, and we better start Facing Jihad before it is too late.”

He concludes one speech with these words: “We need a new way of thinking, a new paradigm, to defend our liberties. Just reiterating our devotion to tolerance and democracy is not good enough, as we are Facing Jihad. . . . If we don’t fight the Islamization we will lose everything; our cultural identity, our democracy, our rule of law, our liberties, our freedom. We have the duty to defend the ideas of Rome, Athens and Jerusalem. The ancient heritage of our forefathers is under attack; we have to stand up and defend it. A century and a half ago, on the other side of the world, a young President said exactly what I mean. This is what Abraham Lincoln said in 1862, and I leave you with that: ‘The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise – with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country’.”

Fortunately a few other concerned voices have been raised. This is what Melanie Phillips said about the court attack on Wilders: “So the inevitable has now come about in the teetering civilisation of Europe, and it has happened first in the Netherlands. One of the supposedly most liberal societies on the planet wants to criminalise someone for telling the truth.”

She concludes her Spectator article this way: “This is a defining moment for Europe. It is when people have to decide what side they are on. All those ‘human rights’ supporters who tell us endlessly that we can only defend our society against terror if we remain true to its values now must decide whether they are going to defend Geert Wilders against the attempt to criminalise him for exercising his freedom to speak in defence of life, liberty and western liberalism – or whether they are going to run up the white flag in the face of Islamist totalitarianism enforced by its already enslaved western dupes.”

And today in the Australian Janet Albrechtsen offers a similar warning: “The Netherlands – often lauded as the home of Western civility – has mistaken tolerance for anesthesia. Eager to filter out jarring, uncomfortable views, putting us to sleep with consensus and anodyne niceness, Dutch authorities have strayed far from the true value of freedom of expression. They have forgotten progress rarely occurs without controversy. The best ideas – including those that are uncomfortable or even, at first glance, outlandish – are the ones that prevail when tested in the furnace of opposition.”

She asks who in fact is threatening violence?: “The Dutch appeals court said that the prosecution of Wilders is justified on the grounds that his film was inciting violence. But it turns out that the only violence incited by Fitna, released on the internet in March 2008, was not against Muslims but by Muslims against the West. In other words, the phrase ‘inciting violence’ has been rendered meaningless, stretched to stifle views that merely offend.”

Concludes Albrechtsen, “The Netherlands is a striking example of how a noble quest to produce a tolerant society can be hijacked by social engineers opposed to free speech. With our myriad vilification laws, Australia needs to heed the lessons from the Dutch before we make the same disastrous blunders.”

But Australia is not heeding these lessons at all. In fact, it is going in the same direction. We already have had two Christian pastors dragged up to a Victorian tribunal simply for quoting from the Koran. And with a push for a Bill of Rights and an inquiry into religious freedom, things will only get worse.

Would that Australia and the rest of the West had more men with backbone like Wilders. But they are few and far between. Most of our politicians, leaders and elites are far too interested in Political Correctness and appeasement to take a stand. So that leaves it to you and me. And if we won’t stand up and be counted, who will?

facingjihad.com/about/mp-geert-wilders-chairman-netherlands-party-for-freedom/
facingjihad.com/sitefiles/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/andrew-bostom-141208.pdf
www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/3277841/a-defining-moment.thtml
blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/janetalbrechtsen/index.php/theaustralian/comments/caving_in_to_islamists/

[1636 words]

40 Responses to When the West Sides With Its Enemies

  • Bill, never mind Geert Wilders. How long before the thought police here in Victoria cart you off before a tribunal of leftist judges for what you have written above?
    Your ‘Islamophobia”! Tsk tsk!
    And siding with and giving credence to other Islamophobes! Double tsk tsk!
    It will not be tolerated, say the ‘tolerance’ advocates.
    Murray Adamthwaite

  • Thanks Murray

    If I am the first to be dragged away, you may not be far behind! But I am afraid this day will come, the way things are heading.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • It is just as well Britain had a free speech amendment, attached to the religious hatred bill that the British government brought in under pressure from the Muslim Council of Britain in 2006. Even that concession had nothing to do with government but an act of God. Someone told Tony Blair that the vote for the hatred bill was in the bag and that he could go home and put his slippers on. The government lost by one vote – his, whilst he was presumably sipping his coco!

    The claim by Muslims that freedom to report on Islamic practices of honour killings, of taking over whole areas of urban territory, of the subjugation of women and Islamic terror tactics, all of which are undermining Britain’s basic Christian values and beliefs, would result in a wave of violence against them, has not, apart from a few isolated incidents, materialised. This restraint on the part of the British public has nothing to do with censorship of the press but rather to do with the salting of our society with Christian values of respect and tolerance that allows others to hold beliefs different from our own.

    Unsurprisingly, where cases of needing to apply the religious hatred law have in fact been necessary, these have been used against the very group, the Muslims, that demanded them in the first place:
    http://timescolumns.typepad.com/gledhill/2008/02/has-the-archbis.html#more
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article3292032.ece

    As the west rots from within, Islam has do nothing except wait, before feeding off the rotting carcass.
    http://www.christian.org.uk/news/20090120/scouts-adopt-islamic-pledge/
    http://www.christian.org.uk/news/20080707/boys-given-detention-for-refusing-muslim-prayer/

    David Skinner, UK

  • We do indeed live in a fearful world, but let us not bow down to the god of fear but worship a fearsome god who is also a god of grace and mercy. Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.
    Ecclesiastes 12:13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
    Luke 12:4ff “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.

    Someone who could tell us something of what it is like to live in a fearful place and yet not be bowed by it, is Canon Andrew White, the vicar of Baghdad.
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article3585903.ece
    http://www.frrme.org/

    David Skinner, UK

  • Well the Gates of Vienna all over again. The Netherlands is in this mess because its Churches went largely liberal and the Gospel was neglected. Perhaps Australia will get the French and Dutch citizens who are leaving their countries. Yes and thank God for Israel, who I believe will be eventually deserted by the USA.
    Wayne Pelling

  • There are two threats to the west. Islam and secular humanism. Secular humanism has taken with their origins myth that this world evolved by itself over millions of years–eliminating the need for God. By hijacking science with this myth they have undermined the Christian worldview with the consequent exodus from the Christian church. That is what this whole fuss about Darwin is about this year.

    The second largest ‘religion’ in Australia is ‘no-religion’, which is running at around 25%. That is what is driving all the values issues in our culture, homosexual union, euthanasia, pornography, tv standards, abortion, etc. And the vacuum left by the loss of Christian belief has been filled with Islam, and there is virtually no resistance to it.

    Tas Walker

  • Tas,

    One of the major reasons that Christianity is losing ground to atheism is because of the work of young-earth creationists. When Christianity wages war with science it loses the respect of thinking individuals and looks no better than astrology, witchcraft and other silly superstitions.

    Christianity has to reconcile its beliefs with scientific knowledge in order to reach out to the young and the educated. The average age of church-going Christians is sadly getting older, and this situation will never be reversed until we can rid ourselves of the old men who preach fairy tales about earth history.

    Juliana Simbroski, Darwin

  • Juliana,

    I don’t know if the phrase to “reconcile” ones beliefs to that of science is the right thing to say, I think its quite dangerous.

    You talk about the fairy tales told by the “young earth creationists” or the “old men” I would say that it is the young and old Darwinian scientists that are telling the bulk of the myths today.

    As a Christian who has an interest in science I am wanting to have this open discussion with science just as much as anyone and I have found that many of the “facts” of Darwinian Evolution that I was told my whole life growing up are false.

    Whenever I have presented this information to people they seem to want to avoid them and would just cast me off as a Christian who wants to hold onto my old beliefs. I believe in God and the word of God. I will not water down my beliefs about God just to appease a group of university professors, not because to agree with them would be biblically wrong but also because its against the scientific method they all hold onto so dearly.

    Science is constantly changing, the things that we know about science is always fluctuating with the times. Look at the cell and the way that Darwin saw it in his day and the was we see it now. Darwin was quite confident that as we learned more about the cell the more we would realize that it gets simpler and simpler which would make sense considering we all came from a single celled organism. Now today of course we see that we can barely grasp the complexity of the cell. I think if Darwin would know this when he was alive it would change some things. Just throwing that out there.

    As science changes God’s word is final, its never changing its constant throughout the times. Many things in Darwinian Evolution have been “proven” but that just is not the case.

    I would ask you to challenge yourself in what exactly it is that you believe.

    Thank You, Ben Soleim

  • This “Juliana Simbroski” person hasn’t a clue. The Church has long appeased evolution, even apologizing to Darwin, and look where it has got us. Churchian “leaders” who don’t really believe their own book, and roll over to the Gay-stapo and Sharia Law.
    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  • One of the major reasons that Christianity is losing ground to atheism is because of the work of theistic evolutionists. When Christianity stops believing the Bible and instead prefers the myths of naturalistic science, it loses the respect of thinking individuals and looks no better than astrology, witchcraft and other irrational superstitions.

    Christianity has to reconcile its beliefs with scientific knowledge in order to reach out to the young and the educated. The YEC position is the only theological position that is true to both Scripture and science. The average age of church-going Christians is sadly getting older, and this situation will never be reversed until we can rid ourselves of the old men who preach fairy tales about earth history – i.e. the theistic evolutionists.

    Ewan McDonald.

  • Juliana,

    I seem to recall you being down this road before…

    Let me put it in a nutshell for you.

    If you think that Christianity needs to pander to ‘science’ (actually, naturalism) then Christ isn’t your God, but ‘science’ is your god.

    Why? Because you think it is the yardstick to which everything must conform.

    Too bad we all die. What does ‘science’ do then?

    Mark Rabich

  • Hi Juliana,

    You imply that you believe a plain Biblical (i.e. young earth creationist) viewpoint is irreconcilable with science. Might I suggest that a scientific way to test this hypothesis is to think of two or three main points where you are convinced there is divergence and then look at the YEC view of that matter in the FAQ section of the Creation Ministries site:

    http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/21/65/

    You may be surprised (as I first was) that there is good physical evidence in favour of a recent creation and a global flood.

    Mansel Rogerson, educated, (relatively) young, and a young earth creationist!

  • Juliana, I recall some of your earlier posts on this blog, and I wonder about you.

    It seems that you have not read enough of Dr. Stephen Jay Gould, who was a rarity – a rigorous and honest evolutionist, and (in-)famous for his “Punctuated Equilibria” version of the theory of evolution.

    If you can find his article “Return of the Hopeful Monsters” you will be surprised at what you find. He was prepared to admit that the evolutionists do not have logic or science on their side at the specific point of the appearance of life from non-life – hence his title.

    Pasteur scientifically disposed of the theory of spontaneous generation, yet evolutionists cling desperately to their enlarged version of same.

    Dr Gould had to admit that the only way to overcome this was by a “leap of faith” – nay, two leaps – to magically generate the first pair of reproducing life forms.

    You may also like to look for mathematician Murray Ball (‘Mathematics and Mind’ I think, not Footrot Flats) who wrote of the mathematical improbability of putting together all the intricacies of physics within the available (putative) timespan of the evolution of the Universe.

    His most potent illustration was to show that the permutations of 200 objects for which only one unique solution fits (eg. the human skeleton), tested at one permutation per second, could not be fully (ie. scientifically) tested within the 12 billion years currently used for the age of the Universe.

    Fellow respondents, my apologies for not being able to cite references. These were from offline reading a long time ago.

    John Angelico

  • Hi Juliana,

    I wholeheartedly agree with your statements regarding science and the Christian faith. We needn’t deny reality in order to be true Christians, and I found that abandoning belief in young earth’s and global floods actually strengthened my faith. This “Jonathan Sarfati” person can offer as many links to his creationist website all he likes, but those with a real understanding of science will see right through it. I think we can take comfort in the fact that young-earth creationism is almost extinct, with the large majority of Christians coming to accept reality and realise that evolution and an old earth do not undermine that which is most important – love of Jesus Christ.

    But back to the topic at hand… 🙂

    It is a shame that The Netherlands has allowed such a situation to arise. For a country which values personal freedoms in most areas it is a surprise that freedom of speech has been neglected. It is my understanding that Dutch citizens are becoming increasingly alarmed by these developments, and hopefully their politicians will sit up and take notice.

    Heather Bates

  • With my deepest apologies to W.H Auden for the liberties that I have taken with his “Refugee Blues.”

    Say this city has ten million souls,
    Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes:
    Yet there’s no place for us, my dear, yet there’s no place for us.

    Once we had a country and we thought it fair,
    Look in the atlas and you’ll find it there:
    We cannot go there now, my dear, we cannot go there now.

    In the village churchyard there grows an old yew,
    Every spring it blossoms anew;
    Old passports can’t do that, my dear, old passports can’t do that.

    The consul banged the table and said:
    ‘If you’ve got no passport, you’re officially dead’;
    But we are still alive, my dear, but we are still alive.

    Went to a committee; they offered me a chair;
    Asked me politely to return next year:
    But where shall we go today, my dear, but where shall we go today?

    Came to a public meeting; the speaker got up and said:
    ‘If we let them in, they will steal our daily bread’;
    He was talking of you and me, my dear, he was talking of you and me.

    Thought I heard the thunder rumbling in the sky;
    It was the European Union , saying: ‘They must die’;
    We were in their mind, my dear, we were in their mind.

    Saw a poodle in a jacket fastened with a pin,
    Saw a door opened and a cat let in:
    But they weren’t Christians , my dear, but they weren’t Christians.

    Went down the harbour and stood upon the quay,
    Saw the fish swimming as if they were free:
    Only ten feet away, my dear, only ten feet away.

    Walked through a wood, saw the birds in the trees;
    They had no politicians and sang at their ease:
    They weren’t the human race, my dear, they weren’t the human race.

    Dreamed I saw a building with a thousand floors,
    A thousand windows and a thousand doors;
    Not one of them was ours, my dear, not one of them was ours.

    Stood on a great plain in the falling snow;
    Ten thousand police marched to and fro:
    Looking for you and me, my dear, looking for you and me.

    David Skinner UK

  • I’m sure there must be some people reading this forum who, like me (and most Christians), find young-earth creationist claims an embarrassment. But not enough Christians are prepared to speak out about the problem, mostly I think because it’s largely a waste of time arguing with creationists.But the fact remains that those who deny the facts about our physical world do great damage to the Christian message of salvation.

    Almost all of the responses to my earlier post talk about evolution, but that’s a separate subject. The key issue is the age of the universe, which is established by objective data from several different scientific disciplines at about 13.4 billion years. The reason creationists deny this age is because they don’t want to admit enough time for evolution to occur. Changing the topic away from earth’s age suggests to me that you harbor some doubts yourself about the very basis of your claims.

    You can argue the toss about evolution, but to stand up and claim the earth is 6000 years old, against overwhelming evidence to the contrary, cannot be simply dismissed as the eccentric bloody-mindedness of a small but noisy Christian sect. It creates a confusion that reflects on all of Christianity and makes it all the more difficult for the rest of us to convince a sceptical world that there is truth in the central claims of Christianity.

    I know that some people in this forum make their living from promoting creationist propaganda. Surely that calls for a disclaimer on your part when you speak out.

    Juliana Simbroski, Darwin

  • Juliana, perhaps you could answer my question now?
    Mark Rabich

  • Mark,

    I didn’t think your question deserved to be dignified with an answer. Science only deals with the material world.

    Your remarks indicate that you have very misguided views about the nature and limitations of science and see advancements in human knowledge as a threat to your faith, which is exactly the problem that I raised in the first place.

    You seem to be suggesting that either we can’t trust our God-given senses and minds to make intelligent observations about the material world, or that God is deceitful and has deliberately left false evidence to mislead us. Either way it’s a terrible insult towards of God.

    Juliana Simbroski, Darwin

  • Juliana,

    It actually was a serious question – I just kept it brief to get to the heart of the matter – and your answer reveals a great deal. Leaving aside that your answer includes some very silly (and funny) assumptions about my faith and beliefs about science, hmmm, let me think about that issue of insulting God – should I believe His Son at His Word? …or believe a paradigm that shifts every few years, is unable to be verified empirically and has usually (or often) been perpetuated by rebellious and/or lying hearts as a reason to reject God…?

    I’m not even remotely worried that you think what I believe insults God! I also find that pretty funny! Do you think Jesus was a liar when He spoke about creation and His mission? (And of course, His ministry never challenged the laws of nature did it?)

    http://www.icr.org/article/2031/
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/us/newsletters/0801lead.asp

    Christians are not in a popularity contest, Juliana. I think you are more concerned about the changing opinions of man, than the constancy of the declarations of God. I’ll leave it for everybody else here to decide what is more reliable and what will actually change people’s lives to rescue them from their sin and its consequences.

    Mark Rabich

  • Juliana
    One of the major aspects of concern I have regarding your original post is an underlying attitude of superiority that any “thinking individual” must believe in long ages whereas those who reject, or at least seriously question the ‘interpretation’ of the facts you refer to must, according to your apparent logic and definition be “old”, “superstitious”, “preach fairy tales” and be no different to practitioners of “witchcraft”.

    I suspect, by your definition, that I fall into the category of being “old” and “unable to think” but recall a similar level of arrogance in a recent blog by a teenager from a Christian school who had also been indoctrinated by long-age thinking. For what it’s worth, I went to one of the best academic schools in the UK, have multiple degrees in both science and theology, and currently lecture in theology – although I do this on a voluntary basis and so do not make a living from it!

    In reality, I believe it is only recently – in the past 10 years or so – that I have finally learned how to “think” as opposed to accepting the indoctrination of an increasingly anti-theist education system. My own experience differs from that of Heather Bates since I lost my faith when the church was unable to answer my ‘scientific’ questions when I was in my teens. In my opinion, adopting evolutionary thinking – in all its guises – causes you to either lose your faith (as with something like 90% of American Christian youth when confronted with the secular university propaganda) or become a liberal Christian where the only thing that matters is “the love of Jesus” or other such phrases.

    My current area of interest involves ‘how people think’ and also how people can resolve different ethical issues (I also lecture in ethics). So, for example, how can an atheistic female consider the removal of a fetus to be little more than removing a wart from her body when a Bible-believing Christian female considers it to be murder? In this regard, one’s worldview becomes crucial to the process and, at the foundation of every worldview, there is a theology. In effect, there are only three possible basic theological positions, i.e. a belief in zero, one or many gods (although there are countless variations on these).

    This leads to the issue of ‘science.’ If those who set the rules have a theology stating there is no God, then to even invoke the suggestion of a God means, by definition, that you are no longer practicing ‘science.’ To extend this principle, anyone who then dares to question this worldview, is not a ‘real’ scientist or is “denying reality.” The question that leads from this, though, is “what is real?” A ‘scientist’ looking at the Grand Canyon can ‘see’ millions of years of erosion, but when confronted with the canyon near Mt St Helens, a similar hole in the ground cannot be classified the same way simply because we know it happened almost overnight through a catastrophic event. Put another way, facts can be, and are, interpreted in different ways.

    For what it’s worth, when I returned to my Christian faith after a 25 year absence caused by evolutionary belief, my greatest problem was not a 6,000 or so year-old earth (since there are a surprising number of ‘clocks’ which counter your assertion of “overwhelming evidence”) but the age of the universe since, as you rightly point out, the remotest galaxies are something like 13.4 billion light years from earth. However, if you know anything of Einstein, you will know that time is relative. So, what appears to be a nonsensical question, namely “How long does it take light to travel 13.4 billion years?” is actually valid and the answer may not be as obvious as first appears – provided you are prepared to challenge some of your own assumptions.

    Given the nature of your posts, I am not confident you are yet able to do that. However, if you wish to look at a book without instantly classifying it as a “fairly tale”, I would suggest you read Starlight, Time and the New Physics by Dr John Hartnett to provide an answer to this question. Equally, if you wish to open your own mind to see how constrained most people working in ‘science’ really are, then try reading The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. Kuhn – a ‘classic’ first published in 1962 but still very relevant.

    If you are unable to alter your basic worldview then perhaps at the very least you might extend a level of grace in the way you write to those of us non-thinking, old men who actually believe that God did what He said He did and who do not wish to insult God by claiming He couldn’t write something that was correct.

    Roger Birch

  • Roger,

    I hope one day I can write half as well as you! Just brilliant…

    Mark Rabich

  • Roger,

    Hartnett’s book is published by a creationist publishing house and is designed to appeal to those who aren’t in a position to critique it. I’m no astrophysicist, and so I would have to rely on the opinions of experts in the field. If he’s serious he should publish in the scientific literature where his theories can be properly debated and his equations can be analyzed by his peers. And if he’s right he will be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. I’m not holding my breath.

    Creationists seem to spend their careers scrambling to explain observations that show the earth and the universe to be billions of years old. It would have been easy for God to create a universe 6000 years ago that looked today like it was 6000 years old. But instead he created a universe that looks today to be 13.4 billion years old, and a planet that looks to be 4.6 billion years old. It is far more probable to me that the earth and the universe are actually the age they appear to be. Explain to me why you believe God deliberately set out to deceive us?

    Juliana Simbroski, Darwin

  • Juliana and Heather.

    I will bring this to the point:

    Darwinian Evolution = unguided. Humans are a random result.
    Theism = humans are planned by God.
    Theistic Evolution = irreconcilable.

    Truly truly, that’s it.

    Tristan Ingle, Sydney

  • Bill, I used to live in Belgium and on a recent trip to Brussels, noticed that the young Muslim women, who in my time tended to dress in Western clothes, are now almost all in headscarves and sometimes the full robe as well, just like their mothers. That speaks a lot to me about the islamicization of the Belgian-born Muslims.

    We used to live in a largely Morrocan neighborhood and I loved it at first, but things began to turn bad by the late 80s. I remember being called a whore after whacking (with a newspaper) two men who tried to grab my upper anatomy as I walked past them; I remember being followed and propositioned; I remember that by the time we moved, I no longer felt safe.

    At the same time, I saw the rise of the Belgian National Front and its “put our people first” message. I saw Morrocans (or anybody with darker skin) being subjected to regular ID card checks by police who never bothered white people. When I was the only white person standing in a long line at the Brussels city hall, I was taken out and served first.

    Paradoxically, I also experienced levels of mutual friendship, trust and understanding between ordinary people of all races in Belgium that I have never seen in my 11 years in America.

    I can’t give you an opinion on Wilders or on those who either defend or vilify him. I just want to say that the situation in Europe is incredibly nuanced, and very hard to understand at a distance. Christians who try to approach Europe from the outside need to do so with the greatest care. I believe that God is at work there but in ways that are so subtle that they are barely perceptible to American evangelicals (forgive me Bill, I know you’re in Australia but many of your commenters sound American.)The European outlook is not colored by American polarizations such as creationism vs. evolution. Any approach to reclaiming the Kingdom in Europe needs to bear this in mind.

    Jane Steen

  • Thanks Jane

    Yes this issue, like most global situations, is of course complex and multi-layered. But not all of us are merely making comments from a distance. I lived in Holland for five years, so I know a bit about the situation first hand as well.

    That there are plenty of nice Muslims who desire peace is of course quite true. I too know nice Muslims. And there are of course plenty of non-Muslims who can be not so nice. But that is not the real issue. The real issue is the nature of Islam (eg., is it really a religion of peace?), and whether true Muslims want to see everyone ultimately bow their knees to Allah and sharia law. And related to that is the nature of Western appeasement and dhimmitude which are growing by the day.

    But thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Juliana,

    you could consider this also:

    “It would have been easy for Jesus or Moses to make a statement about long ages. But instead they affirm six days and that Adam & Eve were the first humans and, indeed, the mission of Jesus makes no sense without consideration of original sin. It is far more probable to me that Jesus & Moses meant exactly what they said. Explain to me why you believe God deliberately set out to deceive us?”

    Given the impasse here, I’ll go with the firsthand witness (Jesus) I think… It’s purely a matter of credibility and authority.

    Mark Rabich

  • Juliana
    In reality, you are falling into a logic trap created by the secular, humanistic ‘science’ community, i.e. if the creationist position is worthwhile, why not publish papers in ‘serious’ journals and be critiqued by one’s peers. This has been covered several times in other posts, but it comes down to circular reasoning. So-called scientific journals only publish ‘true’ science. Creationism implies God, and so, by definition, is not science and so is not published! If it’s not published, it’s not science and so creationism is not science! As a matter of interest, such exclusion of creationist ideas is also rampant in so-called ‘academic’ theology circles which are dominated – contrary to your apparent assumption – by liberals.

    You have fallen into the same trap in your dismissal of my suggested answer to your question on the age of the universe, i.e. the publishing house of the book makes it invalid before it is even read! Even worse, you add that you are not an expert in astrophysics and so must rely on the ‘experts’ in the field, but who are the people YOU consider ‘expert’? You are again impugning someone for holding a position contrary to your own and yet also admitting you have no knowledge of the topic! You effectively establish your own set of rules to guarantee you are not proved wrong – and then accuse people such as me as being unable to think!

    If you were able to learn critical thinking and be able to actually read Hartnett’s book with an open, enquiring mind, you might be surprised at what you found. What Hartnett has done is to take the work of a non-creationist physicist, Moshe Carmeli, who in the early 1990s looked at the problem of Einstein’s physics that demands that over 90% of the universe be comprised of either dark energy or dark matter which we cannot see or prove – but must accept on ‘faith.’

    Carmeli, in his book and PUBLISHED papers, assumed the universe could be either infinite or finite but had to be unbounded, i.e. he omitted a fourth option, namely a bounded universe (i.e. one with a unique centre). Why, one might ask, did Carmeli dismiss this fourth option? The simple answer: his naturalistic worldview that stringently denies any special place in the universe for the earth. It was when Hartnett took Carmeli’s work and did the maths on that fourth option that he produced the results that he has published. Why, might I ask, does a publishing house negate such work?

    Your other comment regarding God’s ‘deliberate deception’ – in your terminology – is also logically fallacious since you are again approaching the topic from a humanistic, atheistic worldview. Who says the planet looks to be 4.6 billion years old? It’s YOUR ‘experts’ who INTERPRET the facts to their own particular worldview. Had the Canyon near Mt St Helens been created before modern observers, scientists would have interpreted it in terms of a millions of years paradigm.

    When the Psalmist says the heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands (Psa 19:1), I do not see deception! Also, when I read in Ex 20:11: “For in six days, the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day, therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath and made it holy” I would suggest that it is YOU who is calling God deceitful! Please don’t come back suggesting this is ‘poetic’ or some such excuse, because what does that do to the other 9 commandments!

    As I said in my previous post, I doubted whether you yet have the ability to counter the indoctrination you have obviously received. Your latest post only adds to my doubts.

    Roger Birch

  • Juliana,

    Who says the earth and universe look old? As Roger says, you are simply looking at the world through the ‘lens’ with which you have been indoctrinated. To me the earth looks exactly as old as God says it is – only about 6000 years. I didn’t always see it this way, like you I was also indoctrinated into believing it was millions/billions of years old, but unlike you, after becoming convinced of the logic and internal consistency of the YEC position, the ‘scales’, as it were, gradually fell from my eyes so that I no longer ‘see’ the imaginary ‘millions of years’.

    If, as you claim, it is so obvious that the earth and universe are millions/billions of years old, then how do you explain the fact that prior to the take-over of geology by uniformitarian thinking, most people who ever lived including the most educated had no problem thinking about the age of the earth in terms of thousands rather than millions of years?

    Ewan McDonald.

  • If, as you claim, it is so obvious that the earth and universe are millions/billions of years old, then how do you explain the fact that prior to the take-over of geology by uniformitarian thinking, most people who ever lived including the most educated had no problem thinking about the age of the earth in terms of thousands rather than millions of years?

    Ewan, are you seriously asking that question? It beggars belief.

    Chris Mayer

  • Getting back to the original topic, isn’t there a bit of a clash coming in respect to homosexuals and Islam? I mean, if the gay militants think Christians are ‘intolerant’ (which is a misused word), they may very well discover in some places in the future that they took quite a few basic freedoms for granted (never mind abusing them), all the while disparaging the foundation that gave them these freedoms in the first place.

    As for the anti-life feminists, they might get the rudest shock of all…

    Given that it’s clear that these things cannot co-exist, but Islam is being pandered to until it is strong enough to overthrow the authorities wherever, I wonder how those secular extremists will respond in that situation…

    Mark Rabich

  • Juliana

    I think your objections to young earth creationism, both as to its damage to Christian credibility and its segregation from the real scientifically revealed world, are entirely valid (as well as its scriptural and theological problems).

    I have mulled over this issue myself for quite some time and trying to understand the vehement antagonisms between those on either side of the evolution/creation or even young earth/old earth creationist divide.

    I suspect, though it is a hunch, that the true nature of the debate can be traced to a defunct philosophy of science. It is a conception of science that has come down to us from Rene Descarte and the like that has sought to remove the old Aristotelian metaphysics from science. So science has inherited a way of analysis that removes final and formal causation (the purpose, and the form or structure of the thing) and focuses on purely efficient causation which is focused on the stuff or the material of the thing only.

    This makes science purely mechanistic and atomistic and removes the teleology or purpose from the character of the universe. It seems to me, that the reaction from some members of the creationist community is to a universe that seems devoid of God, or like a wind up clock that has been left to run on its own. This is the effect of a mechanistic science that focuses purely on material cause and it seems it could be the reason why many creationists have been averse to an old earth creation as it seems to remove God entirely from the picture.

    I understand the impulse, but instead of denying what is becoming increasingly obvious (an old universe and earth) the defunct metaphysic needs to be discarded instead. Perhaps the works of recent philosophers on analytic Thomism, like Ed Feser, David Oderberg and John Haldane will help reverse the unfortunate legacy of Descarte. But I am not sure.

    Anyway, that is my two cents.

    Damien Spillane

  • Mark, too right. The British government (if one can call it that, for there is a mass exodus of the truly British), is presently going through the charade of debating the homophobic speech hatred crime which will carry a seven year prison sentence. Anyone saying DON’T PERVERT OUR CHILDREN will be caught by this new law. If in fact none of the members of the parliament committee assigned to “look into this matter” and thus report back to government is a “religious” person, someone who is either theist or deist, then this deliberately ignores the fact that 75% of the world’s population adheres to some form of religious worship. If the Muslim voice is not heard and the Muslims do not protest this will mean that they are biding their time. The other thing is that for the homosexuals to press on with this will be like turkeys wishing for Christmas; for sure as eggs if this hatred speech amendment goes ahead and the Muslims are growing at the rate suggested in the Times,
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article5621482.ece they will demand to get the religious speech amendment that they were denied in 2006. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article724179.ece .
    Game set match.

    David Skinner, UK

  • Chris Mayer,

    The concept of an ancient age for the earth and universe really is a modern (i.e. the past 200 years) idea not just within the church but also amongst scholars of chronology in general, not just Christian or Jewish ones. See: Old-earth or young-earth belief: Which belief is the recent aberration?

    ……when ancient chronologies are researched, we find that many cultures, not just those based directly on the Bible, attest to an age for the creation of thousands of years. It seems that no serious scholar believed in the old-earth fashion of today. It is very much a modernist invention.

    In the same article you will find a table of scholars and their estimates of the date of creation:

    ……None of them give a date for Creation of more than 9,000 years ago. Note that dates of Creation dates from various non-Christian/non-Jewish sources (India, Egypt, China, pre-Christian Greece, Babylonia, etc.) all testify to an age of thousands of years. Furthermore, both Catholic and Protestant scholars agreed on this issue. It seems that no serious chronologist believed in an old earth.

    Ewan McDonald.

  • To get back to the original topic, I think a big reason why the Western appeasers of Islamism don’t see it as a threat (apart from their spiritual blindness of course) is due to them viewing Islam as a religion only. As Wilders says, Islam is more than a religion, it is comparable to a “fascist ideology” in the way that it applies to politics, law, government and the state.

    There are a couple of video interviews of Wilders now available on the internet:

    Interview by Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs

    Interview by Robert Spencer in six parts

    Ewan McDonald.

  • Damien,

    It’s not about a “defunct metaphysic”, it’s about the words and mission of Jesus. As for “scriptural and theological problems”… LOL! I sure wouldn’t trade mine on this subject for any of the other models going around…

    With respect, you don’t seem to be taking any notice of what was written above, especially from Roger.

    Mark Rabich

  • As Tas stated earlier in this debate, the two main threats to the West – and biblical Christianity – are secular humanism and Islam. In a response to a previous article by Bill, I have referred to a 1924 cartoon entitled “The descent of the modernists” that shows a series of descending steps leading from the light of Christianity into the dark basement of atheism. The first of those descending steps was labeled “the Bible not infallible.” Those apologists above trying to lay the blame of the erosion of Christianity at the feet of creationists are all essentially on that slippery slope that ends in atheism.

    Given the liberal theological position of these apologists, I would suggest they try reading some of the works of Bishop Spong, an ardent non-creationist. Whereas I am diametrically opposed to his theology, he is useful to study for no other reason than to show where a dismissal of a straight reading of the Bible ultimately leads. Ironically, I believe Spong has done a great service to Bible-believing Christians in that he demonstrates where such a position ultimately leads when taken to its logical conclusion. I must add, however, that one of the saddest sights I have seen was a very large room full of people calling themselves Christians give this man a standing ovation at the end of his presentation!

    However, it is another religion, secular humanism, that now totally dominates the education system. Furthermore, it does NOT, despite the rather arrogant, superior claims by some responding above, teach people to think. The book I referred to above by Kuhn (which, by the way, is from the University of Chicago Press) actually helps demonstrate how scientists are taught to think and, more especially, the constraints imposed upon them in that thinking process. I can only repeat my suggestion that those above who are unable, or unwilling to read and understand creationist material and who seem to have an extremely narrow understanding of the REAL issues in science, try reading this book.

    Ironically, because secular humanism has restricted the way people think, it has created a massive problem for itself – which is the basis of the original article by Bill, i.e. Islam. Given that the focus of humanism is on Christianity, humanists (and Christians who have bought into this worldview) have failed to see the implications of the rise of Islam and all the humanists’ tactics to destroy Christianity with their attack on biblical inerrancy (especially in terms of creation) and their doctrines of rights, tolerance, etc., are being used by Islam to great effect. Such rights now even prohibit Christians speaking out against the threat of Islam in an increasing number of countries.

    The unfortunate impact of this for those who believe that God can actually cause to have written something that IS correct is that more attacks now seem to come from within, i.e. from liberal Christians who are repeating the 1924 issue of denying the inerrancy of the Bible. Rather than fighting for what the Bible teaches, they side with the atheists and invoke their god of ‘science’ and ignore the threat of Islam by joining the interfaith movement. Then, even more amazingly, if what is written in a response above is correct, some claim their faith is actually increased by DENYING what much of Scripture teaches and merely focusing on some wishy-washy concept of the love of Jesus.

    One of the benefits of this site is that at least it helps demonstrate where the real battle lies.

    Roger Birch

Leave a Reply