CultureWatch

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

Fort Hood, Terrorism, Appeasement, and the Media

Nov 11, 2009

The enemies of freedom and democracy are always at work. Sadly they are often helped by those whom Lenin referred to as “useful idiots”. That is, many in the West are wittingly or unwittingly assisting the enemies of the West in their purposes and plans.

Appeasement is often a part of this process. By not taking seriously our enemies and their intentions, and by seeking to placate them, or minimise their threats, Western appeasers often do more harm than good, even if they have good intentions.

This happened quite often during the Cold War. Western apologists for Soviet aggression tried to in fact justify totalitarian Communism, often blaming the West for their belligerence. They sought to make excuses for Marxist imperialism, and sought to blame the Cold War on the West.

The same is happening today with imperialistic Islamism. Plenty of Westerners are seeking to defend the jihadists, and make excuses for them. They buy the line that Muslims are victims, and somehow the West is to blame for acts of Islamic terrorism.

In the effort to appease Islam, these apologists will go to great lengths to deny the obvious, and end up blaming the West, even when it is the target of Muslim violence. The recent massacre at Fort Hood in Texas is a clear case in point.

Many in the MSM have done their best to play down the obvious Islamic motivation of the shooting spree by army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan. They do not want to mention the “I” word (Islam) and they do not want to mention the “T” word (terrorism). They certainly do not want to mention the two words together.

As just one example, when the story first broke, the Melbourne Age ran with the line that Hasan had been bullied and hassled by fellow military personnel. They wanted to make excuses for him, in other words. They certainly did not want to mention the I or T words.

That is because the Age is into appeasement big time. It is quite happy to regularly insult and offend biblical Christians, but it is always fearful of upsetting any Muslim readers. But they are not alone in this. The leader of the free world is sadly very much in the same boat.

Consider the most recent remarks of Barack Hussein Obama at the memorial service just held at Fort Hood. He said this at the service: “It may be hard to comprehend the twisted logic that led to this tragedy. But this much we do know – no faith justifies these murderous and craven acts; no just and loving God looks upon them with favor.”

Sorry Mr Obama, but there was no twisted logic going on here at all. It was all fully logical, from a strict Muslim point of view. Hasan was carrying out what his Koran says time and time again; what the hadith state; what the life and teachings of Muhammad exemplify; and what 1400 years of Islamic expansionism attest to.

Killing the infidels is a holy and sacred duty in Islam. And Obama is wrong in his second sentence as well. There is one faith that very much does justify such “murderous and craven acts”. Hasan’s acts have full justification, as mentioned, from all the major sources of Islamic authority, beginning with the Koran.

Fortunately a number of commentators are going against the censorious stream of the MSM, and are speaking out on these foolish and dangerous attempts at appeasement and subterfuge.

English commentator Melanie Phillips for example reminds us of a few simple truths here. She asks why her own country has allowed Islamists to be “recruited to serve in the British police and other parts of the establishment”. But then she notes that the US has been doing the same thing.

“America was going in a similar direction, albeit more slowly and with a quite different demographic. While the vast majority of its Muslim citizens appeared to be people who really had come to the US to get a slice of the good life and had signed up to American values, there was a growing element amongst US Muslims which was becoming steadily radicalised.

“Worse still, the FBI and other counter-terrorism agencies had been influenced by their appeasement-minded British cousins in the security world peddling their wholly false analysis of Islamic terrorism as having nothing to do with religion, encouraging US officials similarly to downplay or passively allow the rise of US radicalisation.”

As Dick Morris notes, this was an act of terrorism: “His statements right before opening fire would indicate that Hasan was motivated by fanaticism and a commitment to Islamic fascism, even though President Obama bends over backwards to avoid saying so.

“Obama’s refusal to call the attack terrorism, and to heed the warning signs about the porous nature of our security system that allowed it to happen on a military base, recalls President Clinton’s deliberate decision to downplay the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. He did not visit the site of the attack and treated it as a crime, promising to find those guilty and punish them, rather than to attack the international groups that funded and enabled them.”

He continues, “It was his failure to understand the difference between an act of war and a crime that undermined President Clinton’s administration’s anti-terror efforts and led directly to 9-11. It would appear that President Obama is going down the same road of denial and minimization of political harm. There may be casualties at Ft. Hood, but Obama is determined that his popularity will not be among them.”

Andrew Bolt is also incredulous at how the MSM is handling this story. Why is the obvious being denied here? “The Fort Hood killer, army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan, was a Muslim. He shouted ‘God is great’ in Arabic as he opened fire. What’s more, fellow doctors and students had complained about his fiery preaching of Islam and ‘anti-American propaganda’. He’d praised the killing in June of another US soldier by a Muslim American. Colonel Terry Lee also recalled Hasan telling him: ‘Muslims should stand up and fight against the aggressor.’ And these were all facts known to journalists within hours.”

He continues, “In fact, journalist after journalist advanced every possible motive of the massacre bar the one that was screaming in their ears. Oh, you think I’m exaggerating? Then let’s review, just for a start, the ABC’s coverage on Friday. Its first substantial report, by correspondent Lisa Millar, failed in eight minutes to even note the killer was a Muslim, hinting only that Hasan may have suffered harassment because of his unspecified ‘family background’. And, yes, I’m sure you noticed: a Muslim accused of murdering 13 non-Muslims was once more to be portrayed as the real victim.”

Indeed, there is plenty of evidence here. We have known about Hasan for quite some time. Michelle Malkin notes that back in 2007 Hasan gave a “chilling slide presentation … at Walter Reed Hospital while a senior-year psych resident” in which he said  “We love death more then [sic] you love life!”

Here in Australia Christian politician Fred Nile put out a press release asking some hard questions about Muslims in our military forces. “This is the second occasion in recent memory when a Muslim member of the US Armed forces has apparently sought martyrdom by a murderous attack on his fellows,” referring to the April 2003 grenade attack in Kuwait by Hasan Akbar which killed two officers and wounded a dozen soldiers.

“Australians would like to be assured that our Defence Forces have in place a system of assessment and review which would identify any person whose adherence to any alien ideology might one day override loyalty to mates and loyalty to the Crown. There is an argument for suggesting that the safety and morale of our troops may warrant a ban on dedicated Muslims joining the Armed Forces, who may be influenced by Islamic Fundamentalism.”

Then there is the foolishness of so-called hate crimes laws. Many Western countries are enacting them to give special clout to two minority groups: homosexual and Muslims. But as Rev. Scarborough asks, was not this a hate crime?

“We know that Dr. Hasan is a devout Muslim who once told a fellow officer that ‘Muslims have a right to stand up against the U.S. military.’ Clearly, yesterday’s rampage was not motivated by love. Given Hasan’s worldview, it’s probable that he was motivated in part by an animus toward Christians and Jews. Assuming that murder charges are brought against him, will Hasan also be charged with a hate crime?”

Scarborough said this highlights the absurdity of hate crimes laws. “If convicted, Hasan could face life in prison or the death penalty. Fanatics are not deterred by the prospect of an additional penalty for hating.”

Once again it is the alternative media that is getting the true story out, as the MSM again fails to do its duty, instead succumbing to political correctness and harmful appeasement. But how many more lives will be sacrificed for such reckless appeasement?

www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/5516891/jihadi-denial-syndrome-reaches-epidemic-proportions.thtml
www.dickmorris.com/blog/2009/11/08/ft-hood-attack-was-terrorism/
www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/we-demand-all-the-facts/story-e6frfhqf-1225796238307
michellemalkin.com/2009/11/09/muslim-soldier-nidal-hasan-to-fellow-military-doctors-we-love-death-more-then-sic-you-love-life/

[1514 words]

76 Responses to Fort Hood, Terrorism, Appeasement, and the Media

  • OK, let me be the first off the mark. Now an American mayor is blaming the American ‘gun culture’ for the Fort Hood massacre! I kid you not: http://biggovernment.com/2009/11/10/chicago-mayor-daley-blames-fort-hood-on-americas-love-of-guns/

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Hi Bill,

    What terrible betrayal the relatives of those murdered at Fort Hood must be experiencing. To have their loved ones killed whilst militarily serving their country is awful enough, but these men and women were betrayed by leftists ostensibly on their own side. Then to have the commander-in-chief and the world’s press rub salt in their wounds by immediately reiterating support for appeasement and making excuses for the murderer must bring terrible grief.
    It makes me think of Proverbs 12:10 – Even the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

    Mansel Rogerson

  • You have the most terrible interpration of the Qu’ran and cite ‘evidence’ which is not evidence at all. You attack the MSM yet quote sources ranging from Andrew Bolt to Michelle Malkin to Fred Nile….these people are often widely discredited. Bolt modus operandi is fire first facts later, Malkin is concerned with nothing but criticism whilst Nile is yet to advance worthwhile policy beyond the verbal. I would be interested to know exactly how you come to your conclusions about Islam or the situation in Fort Hood, have you perhaps read the Bible of late? There are plenty of nutty interpretations of that book too. No one has the ‘true story’ yet, you know this, stop using this incident to further your own presuppositions.
    Aaqil Murindi

  • Thanks Aaqil

    But you are simply shooting the messenger. However, just ignore Bolt, Nile, Malkin, etc. if you want. I have enough words and actions from Hasan (and countless others before him, reaching right back to Muhammad himself) to provide me with all the evidence I need.

    And I am not buying your phoney moral equivalence here. The simple truth is this: if a Christian murders in the name of Christ, he violates all the teachings of the New Testament, and goes counter to everything Jesus said and did. If a Muslim murders in the name of Allah, he has full support from the Koran, the hadith, the life, example and teachings of Muhammad, and 1400 years of Islamic imperialism.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Terrorists such as Usama bin Laden and his supporters are fanatics using Islam to further their own worldly causes.
    In order for people to generate support beyond their small group, they must latch onto universal symbols, and this is where Islam becomes a target of convenience for them,
    People combine pieces of verse from the Koran and use it to justify their actions.
    To understand the full meaning of any verse which appears to be justifying violence you have to read the one before it, the one after it, maybe five to six verses to get the full picture. You are not concerned with the big picture evidently. You are not a ‘messenger’ a messenger delivers a message, without their own input, you are assesing and digressing information through your own worldview, that is not a messenger.
    What’s phoney is your interpretation of the Qu’ran and the Hadith.
    Aaqil Murindi

  • Thanks Aaqil

    It is not my interpretation of Islam that is in question here, but Muhammad’s himself, and his followers, who used the Koran to justify murder, raids, looting, terror and oppression. Indeed, I fully encourage people to read the Koran, then compare it to the New Testament. The differences cannot be clearer.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Oh I see due to the differences between the texts Islam just must be bad. Sorry I was under the impression you were not a fan of ‘imperialism’, you appear to avoid the Old Testament..but encourage comparison with the whole Qu’ran.
    What is a hate crime? Be the victim of one and you will not full well what it is, coming to Australia from Pakistan to escape increasingly extreme interpretations of Islam I have been countlessly subjected to such crimes. In no way does this make me right and you wrong, I am not seeking sympathy as I can predict you will claim, yet you appear to lack a view driven by anything beyond self-interest.
    Good day.
    Aaqil Murindi

  • Thanks Aaqil

    But you very powerfully make my point. You fled an Islamic country, and came to a mainly Christian country, to get away from violence, bloodshed, and intolerance – not the other way around. How very telling. Thanks for helping to make my case.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Bill the hate crimes I experienced were in your country, so indeed thankyou for making my point. You seriously believe what you are presenting is not intolerant? How very telling indeed that you would assume I was talking of Pakistan, you should perhaps reasses your position on imperialism.
    I love Australia, by and large the country is accepting and safe, I would not dream of returning to Pakistan yet it is clear some in Australia have not yet moved beyond the vestiges of the white Australia Policy.

    My country has been destroyed by fanaticism and men with despair beyond your wildest accusations – not Islam.

    Australian Defence Force personnel perform a wonderful job in Afghanistan and Southern Pakistan, free from intolerance and with concern for reconstruction and safety. Perhaps you should consider focusing on something positive for a change, if your defence force is IN a place you are criticising and approaching the situation with decency what does that say about your position?

    Aaqil Murindi

  • I’d love for Aaqil to look at
    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com
    and tell us where we can find a Christian equivalent.

    There is no twisting of Islam here. There is a consistent, repeated direct line between certain beliefs and certain actions.

    Mark Rabich

  • Thanks Aaqil

    ‘Hate crimes’ in Australia? That’s a bit rich. I am aware of many Christians who have been killed by Muslims in Pakistan. I am not aware of any Muslims who have been killed by Christians in Australia.

    I am also aware of Australian Christians who have been hounded by Muslims under our specious religious intolerance laws, but I am not aware of any Muslims who have been so persecuted by Christians.

    It seems to me you really should be writing to Muslim websites. See how far you get there.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • That’s a bit rich? Wow you are clearly devoid of reality. I too am aware of Christians being killed by Muslims in Pakistan, I am also aware of infants being killed in Pakistan, and pregnant women being killed in Pakistan, and Muslims being killed in Pakistan. Who on earth would tell YOU if muslims were being attacked by Christians? Are you perhaps referring to Danny Nahlia? Shocking violence that judiciary, much worse than indescriminate drone attacks that destroyed my house and killed by 11 year old brother.
    Aaqil Murindi

  • Aaqil also makes a false comparison between Islam (a belief) and skin colour (genetically determined). He is clutching at straws and obfuscating hoping to divert attention away from the simple fact that Islam teaches violence and those teachings were at the heart of Hasan’s actions. I would also love for him to compare Jesus with Mohammed and try to tell me that the former wasn’t vastly superior.

    http://www.carm.org/religious-movements/islam/comparison-between-jesus-and-muhammad

    Mark Rabich

  • I refute moral equivalence between the Bible and Koran in Unfair to Islam? and Unfair to Islam? Round 2.
    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  • John your information is adopted from a website promoting Creation against all logicisms of science. You people need to read more widely, it is kind of weak to just pursue resources that only befit your reality.
    Aaqil Murindi

  • The difference between the Old Testament and the Koran is that the Jewish people said ‘leave us alone and mind your own business’ whilst a consistent Koranic Muslim says ‘we will force you to live under an Islamic caliphate and either force you to convert or provide you with second class Dhimmi status’. In reality Islam is the extension of the Jewish law to the whole world instead of being only applicable to the Jewish people.

    I have sympathy for you Aaqil and I’m sure that because you are endowed with a God-given conscience you genuinely recognise the abhorrent evil of violence and murder. However, this does not translate into the Koran also being a book which also abhors and despises these things.

    Before I arrived at my current conviction in regards to Islam I was prepared to concede the benefit of the doubt to there being a consistently benevolent form of true Islam. But it then struck me that for the fourteen centuries of Islam’s existence it had by violent conquest spread itself to the four corners of the earth. Where had Islam repudiated this? Where had it reformed itself ala Vatican 2 in regards to religious liberty? I haven’t found such an instance and I don’t think there will be such an instance as there is no wiggle room in the Koran for such reinterpretations of Islam and neither is it a unitary top-down religious body by which such reforms could take effect.

    What could Western governments do anyway if they did accept the true face of Islam? Nothing. Islam will always exist in some form on this side of the apocalypse so I think the only hope for the West is to democratise the Islamic world and have governments in those places which actively discourage and clamp down on any expression of violent Jihad. Indonesia and Turkey are two relatively good examples of this goal which the West should work towards.

    Best Regards
    Francis Kesina, Canberra

  • Thank you, Bill, for your clear-sighted analysis of the Fort Hood massacre and the treacherous ideology which lies behind it. I share your concern about appeasement in the West which is empowering radical Islam. William Wilburforce once defined the difference between appeasement and defeat as (simply a matter of) time.
    Karen Bos

  • Thanks Aaqil

    I have allowed your comment to sit for a while, since you are bringing in a personal element here. (Bear in mind therefore that the next several comments were made by people who had not seen your remarks.)

    It is of course always a tragedy when an innocent person dies prematurely. We offer our sympathy to you and your family. But with all due respect, it seems rather disingenuous of you to seek to use your family story to push your agenda. While not wishing to minimise your own story here, it still remains a fact that such emotive stories are no substitute for argument. Since you appear to be a logical fellow, you would recognise this as the argumentum ad misericordiam (appeal to pity).

    I know nothing about what happened, of course, but a few obvious points can be made. You cannot use this in any way as more moral equivalence here – the idea that some Muslims do bad things, but so too do some Christians. There certainly was no Christian missionary or pastor who made, fired and directed this missile at your brother. Instead, we have Americans and other nations fighting a war against terror – something supposedly you should approve of.

    The US military does not have a policy of indiscriminately targeting children in your region, and is always regretful when such civilian casualties occur. Thus there is no “Christian” element behind this tragedy at all. There were no deliberate attempts by Christians to kill young children, just because they were Muslim. There was however an attempt by the governments of the free West to stamp out murderous terrorists in your region. (But this is not the place to get into the pros and cons of that debate.)

    Thus what happened in your situation is in no way morally equivalent to a Christian who is deliberately killed in the name of Islam, which happens constantly in Muslim nations. The two situations could not be any more different, and I find it sad that you use a personal situation like this to establish a false moral equivalence.

    But as I say, a cooling off period may be in order here. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. As to you responding any further, I am not sure how much help it will be, so we may leave things as is for the time being. Thanks,

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Why are they not blaming Islam yet?

    Cast you mind 19 April 1995. I think it was the 20th here in Australia and speculation was rife about which foreign terrorist organisation performed the Oklahoma City Bombing. It was a white supremacist American Christian group.

    According to Wikipedea,

    Initially, the FBI had three theories on who had committed the [Oklahoma City] bombing. The first was that it was international terrorism, possibly by the same group who had carried out the World Trade Center bombing two years earlier. The FBI also thought that a drug cartel may have been acting out of vengeance against DEA agents, as the building held a DEA office. The last theory was that the bombing was done by Christian fascists acting on conspiracy theories.

    Maybe, the US law enforcement aren’t jumping the gun this time.

    Michael Boswell

  • Thanks Michael

    Of course Timothy McVeigh was not a Christian, nor did he commit his terror in the name of Christianity. See here, for example, for details: http://townhall.com/columnists/MaggieGallagher/2002/10/28/timothy_mcveigh,_christian_terrorist

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Aaqil Murindi, I am a moslem sufi and its ok. Its ok for anyone to read the Koran and have their own interpretation of situations. In fact it is encouraged. Bill has his reading of it and so do you. That is the purpose of the Koran. In Islamic sufism there are 4 levels of people those attached to this world and do not believe, those who pray, those who sees God in everything and finally the Elect, those chosen to teach us inwardly & outwardly the meaning of faith life & the secret of salvation.
    We all go through different levels of awareness and the Koran caters for all from just reading the “violence” and thinking thats all it is to those who choose to go further and deeper and see behind the veil. what the moslems cannot do is get defensive. We must allow healthy debate about it. We must improve and learn from the christians about debate. Crititcism is encouraged to find our way back to God whether its through Jesus or any other way.
    The moslems must also speak the truth & that is there is a lot of killings in the name and this case is another one and is emotionally charged. Then and only then can the moslems start repairing the image and damage and hurt caused. Its a long road ahead but the moslems must not be defensive all are allowed to read and investigate and ciriticise. Just like Bill has allowed us to speak here we must allow everyone to speak up.
    Siti Khatijah

  • Bill,

    Timothy McVeigh a professing Christian? You’re probably right but his biography on Wikipedea states states:-

    Throughout his childhood, he and his father were Roman Catholics and often attended daily Mass. In a recorded interview with Time magazine McVeigh professed his belief in “a God”, although he said he had “sort of lost touch with” Catholicism and “I never really picked it up, however I do maintain core beliefs.” The Guardian reported that McVeigh wrote a letter to them claiming to be an agnostic. McVeigh at one time said that he believed the universe was guided by natural law, energized by some universal higher power that showed each person right from wrong if they paid attention to what was going on inside them. He had also said, “Science is my religion.”

    Given this, I think Maggie Gallagher surprise that McVeigh requested a Catholic priest before his state murder suggests she was not aware of his past.

    McVeigh’s stated motivation for his mass murder in Oklahoma City was revenge at US law enforcement actions two ‘Christian’ groups: The Branch Davidian Seventh Day Adventists and Ruby Ridge Siege. No matter how much I think their Christianity is wrong, I am not prepared insist that they arenon-Christians. However, I will not argue if someone insists that they knew Christ as well as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir does.

    Michael Boswell

  • Thanks Michael

    But can I respectfully ask, So what? Stalin was born into a Russian Orthodox home. Hitler was born a Catholic. Mao was raised as a Buddhist. So what? Are we to believe they carried out their terror and murder in the name of these religions?

    Get back to the topic at hand. We are not talking about what sort of religious home Hasan lived in when he was two years old. We are talking about his own claims from his own lips as an adult. So you need to let go of this red herring.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Aaqil, you stated in reply to Jonathan Sarfati: “John your information is adopted from a website promoting Creation against all logicisms of science. You people need to read more widely, it is kind of weak to just pursue resources that only befit your reality.”

    It seems that you have done exactly what you accuse John of doing.

    You reject in advance the material Jonathan presented because it did not agree with your world-view.

    By choosing to hold to an Evolutionary world-view, and rejecting a Creationist world-view, you have restricted your reading to evolutionary materials.

    How does that Evolutionary world-view correlate with your faith in an all-powerful God?

    How do you explain all the ‘logicisms of science’?

    John Angelico

  • I agree it is a red herring.

    So is blaming Islam for the actions of Al-Qa’ida or for the actions of one deranged gunman. /they might use Islam as justification but they are not qualified to speak for Islam.

    Islam is not violent. Yes, the Qu’ran is a much more political text than the New Testament. It has lots more violence but that is not an endorsement of Holy War. Which is strange because ‘Holy War’ is the title of 1682 book by John Bunyan. It is about the struggle a Christian has with living in the world. A thousand years prior, similar to comments were made by Mohammad when he said, after a group of Islamic warriors returned from some battle siad that they had won the lesser jihard but now they had to fight the greater jihard.

    Michael Boswell

  • Thanks Michael

    Sorry, but with all due respect, you are simply uninformed in your views of Islam. You really need to actually read the Koran (such as Ali’s or Pickthall’s English translations), the hadith (such as Bukhari’s), and the approved sira (biography, such as the revised versions of Ibn Ishaq) of Muhammad. With 129 articles on this site dealing with Islam, I am not going to repeat myself here. But it is clear to any open-minded student of these texts that violence, compulsion, bloodshed and jihad (as armed struggle) are integral to Islam. Numerous former Muslims can tell you all about this. You really should listen to them and read their works.

    I have reviewed numerous books by high-ranking ex-Muslims, including one friend of mine who used to be an Iranian revolutionary guard. Such people will quickly straighten out your confused thinking here. But again, this is not the place to rehearse all the arguments and offer all the evidence.

    When you have done a bit of proper study, then feel free to come back here with your comments.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • A few additional things for Michael to consider:

    Copied off the Amazon.com description of John Bunyan’s The Holy War

    Once upon a time in the town of Mansoul, a fierce battle raged to take control away from the rightful Prince. Who will be the conquering Prince? Diabolus or Emmanuel? And what can the inhabitants do to resist the attacks of the evil one? Your soul is under attack from the forces of evil.
    Through this powerful allegory, you will learn how to:
    Build up your defenses, flood your moat, and prepare for war!
    Bunyan will illuminate your understanding and show you:
    When your will is in line with Christ, you can accomplish anything
    Spiritual attack is constant and can be deadly
    The enemy will stop at nothing to possess your soul
    Christ the Conqueror is on your side and with His help, you have nothing to fear!

    (my emphasis)

    Never mind that even the Wikipedia entry on this book also refers to it as “an allegory”.

    Also, what say you of this Bible verse, Michael?

    For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)

    or how about this one:

    So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18)

    and just so you know the concept of spiritual matters being more important than physical ones isn’t just confined to the New Testament:

    The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29)

    This isn’t even scratching the surface…

    I know you’re antagonistic against the Christian faith and everything needs to be filtered to conform with your irrational worldview, but your objections seem really rather weak and silly.

    Mark Rabich

  • Thanks guys

    Mark Durie has a good article on Hasan here: http://markdurie.blogspot.com/2009/11/jihad-seminar-of-major-nidal-m-hasan.html

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Actually, I did investigate becoming a muslim in the late 80s and early 90s. That were my information came from.

    PS I decided to remain a Christian.

    Michael Boswell

  • Mark,

    According to The Concise Oxford Chronology of English Literature (Oxford:OUP, 2004), pp. 143, 646 lists record the book thus: John Bunyan (1628-88) The Holy War, Made by Shaddai Upon Diabolus, for the Regaining of the Metropolis of the World. On page 143, it is listed under 1682 and on page 646 is listed under the author.

    Shaddai sounds like a Hebrew name for God and Diabolus a Greek name for the Devil. Sounds allegorical but i have never read it. Howver, every review I have read of it confirms what Amazon says.

    Michael Boswell

  • The former Pentagon expert on Islam, Maj Steve Coughlin wrote his MA thesis destroying the myth that Islam is essentially a peaceful movement;

    http://www.strategycenter.net/docLib/20080107_Coughlin_ExtremistJihad.pdf

    Damien Spillane

  • The other problem here, of course, is that the army personnel were completely vulnerable since the carrying of hand guns was banned last decade by the Clinton administration. But studies show that right-to-carry laws reduce the numbers killed by public shootings;

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=272929

    As John Lott Jnr puts it

    “Shouldn’t an army base be the last place where a terrorist should be able to shoot at people uninterrupted for 10 minutes? After all, an army base is filled with soldiers who carry guns, right? Unfortunately, that is not the case. Beginning in March 1993, under the Clinton administration, the army forbids military personnel from carrying their own personal firearms and mandates that “a credible and specific threat against [Department of the Army] personnel [exist] in that region” before military personnel “may be authorized to carry firearms for personal protection.” Indeed, most military bases have relatively few military police as they are in heavy demand to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The unarmed soldiers could do little more than cower as Major Nidal Malik Hasan stood on a desk and shot down into the cubicles in which his victims were trapped. Some behaved heroically, such as private first class Marquest Smith who repeatedly risked his life removing five soldiers and a civilian from the carnage. But, being unarmed, these soldiers were unable to stop Hasan’s attack.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2009/11/10/john-lott-ft-hood-end-gun-free-zone/

    Damien Spillane

  • One other point for Michael to consider:
    Wikipedia is NOT a reliable source of information, especially on matters having anything to do with Christianity, on environmental issues (esp global warming), or Christian leaders. Even its more mundane articles such as on history or science, need to be checked against peer-reviewed articles and books by reputable authors in the respective fields.

    For example, Joseph Farah, host of the conservative website World Net Daily, had a run-in a few months ago with the hosts of Wikipedia over an article they had run about him. He contacted one of the hosts directly by phone and complained about its gross inaccuracy and potentially libellous nature, but was promptly told that “I was not a reliable source of information about me”, that they had their own sources, etc. This was, of course, outrageous, but they were unmoved.

    To sum up, Wikipedia should be used with the utmost caution. It SHOULD NOT be used as having “QED” force. As an academic I can say that if a student cites Wikipedia alone for some statement in say an essay, then he scores a red line. That is general policy in academic circles, Christian or otherwise, at least the ones I know.

    Murray Adamthwaite

  • Bill,

    Irrespective of how Hasan justified his rampage, America’s fondness of guns must bear some of the blame. If Hasan hadn’t found it so easy to purchase such an extremely lethal weapon in a gun shop, the tragedy might never have occurred. It is extremely unlikely that he would have been able to obtain such a weapon if he were in Australia.

    Ironically, the pro-gun constituency in America, albeit backed by an extremely aggressive industry, aligns very closely with the pro-life Republican base. This is America’s shame.

    The rate of gun deaths in America is orders of magnitude greater than in other Western societies. New York has shown what can be achieved when gun availability is restricted. It’s about time the rest of that country admitted there was a problem.

    Therese Kingsley, Sydney

  • Read “Cruel and Usual Punishment” by a very brave Egyptian woman (now American) Nonie Darwish.

    It uses simple language to neatly outline the reality of Islam – not the tired old ‘religion of peace’ rubbish that gets trotted out on a daily basis after the lastest outrage.

    If you can still equivocate and lie and bluster after reading this book than you are beyond help. Islam IS the root cause of so much misery. Lets just be honest about it.

    Tony Meyers

  • Thanks Therese

    Sorry, but I am just not buying it. While this is not the place to go into a detailed look at issues such as gun control, a few brief points can be raised.

    Are you in fact privy to how exactly Hasan obtained his weapons? Regardless, the truth is, for those desperate enough to obtain weapons, no matter how restrictive gun ownership might be, one can still procure them, especially if one is motivated by a worldview and religious ideology which condones and supports the use of violence.

    And you are simply incorrect on the factual claims you make, so let me call your bluff. The US – which of course allows guns – is not even in the top 10 most violent nations. One study found that 99.8 % of firearms owned by Americans will not be used to commit violent crimes in any given year.

    A place like Switzerland has the highest per capita firepower in the world, but is one of the most peaceful nations on earth. England, which has banned personal ownership of guns, is second among industrialised nations in violent crime. Plenty more stats can be cited.

    In the US the problem is not one of laws but enforcement. There are already over 20,000 Federal gun laws in America, but the lack of strict enforcement of these existing laws is the real problem.

    But as I say, perhaps an article laying out the evidence more fully is in order. But your concerns do not seem to be borne out by the evidence.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Thanks Tony

    Yes the Darwish book is a very valuable one, which helps to dispel a lot of myths about Islam. My review of it is here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2009/06/24/a-review-of-cruel-and-unusual-punishment-by-nonie-darwish/

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Theresa

    Read this report. Gun violence in Sydney is sky rocketing even though we have banned fire arms since the Port Arthur massacre.

    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,26165885-421,00.html

    The only difference when fire arms are banned is that the criminal elements of the population are the only ones able to obtain them. Leaving the rest of the law abiding citizens defenseless;

    And the vast majority of studies show that right-to-carry laws lead to a drop in violent crime rates;

    http://johnrlott.tripod.com/postsbyday/RTCResearch.html

    Damien Spillane

  • Therese, there’s nothing ironic about being pro-life and pro-gun. Both are motivated by Christian ethics. In short, the right to life and the right to defend one’s own life (i.e. self defense).

    At least Pat Robertson seems to have Islam figured out: Pat Robertson: Islam Is Not A Religion But ‘A Violent Political System’

    Ewan McDonald.

  • Francis Kesina, I would like to refute that there is no reform as you call it or the deeper meaning as I have time & again said.
    You have not looked. Not hard enough or not wanting too, your motive is not my concern and you are free to keep looking or not. But there are.I am not trying to be a victim here but I am proof that there is a wider spectrum of interpretation because I am a student of the reliong and have not an ounce of violent nature, hatred or any of the sort in my bones and I live happily amongst those who belive in Jesus, Moses, Abraham. I dont agree with some of their views but I respect them. How is it I ask that I have come to this position in my being if Islam only teaches violence? Yet when i speak alot of my christian friends say I sound like a christian. There is a whole body of research & investigation & translation&criticsm and I have quoted it else where in another article. I am talking of Hadrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir al Jilani, Ibn Arabi’s Fusus Al Hikam (Bezels of wisdom), Toshihiko Izutsu, Creation & the Timeless Order of things, Prof james Morris (whom I have spoken too & currently residing & teaching Islamic sufism in New York, part of the http://www.ibnarabisociety.org group), Prof Wiliam Chttick. If you dont want to know thats ok but dint say they dont exist because I do and have studuied it for 50 years and my father for 75 years.
    Siti Khatijah

  • Thanks Siti

    Yes there is no question that Sufism regards itself as a mystical/spiritual reform movement within Islam. The more important point however is the fact that many of what we might call more mainstream Muslims do not always accept Sufism, regarding it with suspicion, and sometimes even viewing it as being heretical. While Sufism is a wide and diverse movement, some of its teachings are clearly at odds with, and even contradict, traditional Islamic beliefs.

    So in that sense Francis is right to say that no real reform movement has arisen within orthodox Islam. Indeed, many Muslim leaders and clerics would argue that reform cannot and should not be attempted. If anything, getting back to ‘pure’ Islam is the goal, not recreating it, modernising it, spiritualising it, or liberalising it.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Thank you Bill, you are a fair person, always giving us a hearing. Yes you are right we are treated with suspicion and rejected but thats ok too. I have to be true to my heart. I am blessed to have been brought out of an environment where it is treated with the suspicion you have correctly stated and to be in a country where I am treated with respect and accepted for whom I am by the Christians. For that I am grateful for God has his purpose in everything. But i never will ever stop to wish for the day when the so called ‘moslems” will treat the Christians & the Jews the way I have been treated & accepted with great love & dignity as a human person.
    Siti Khatijah

  • Murray Adamthwaite,

    Please do not presume I am a conservative Christian. I was once but have repented. I have rejected any notion of Biblical inerrancy. Its wide acceptance is the ‘Biblical Illiteracy’ Bill complians about.

    I was once a member of the Communist Party, been involved with the environmental movement since the mid 1970 (even when I was a conservative Christian) and I have stood for the Greens as a Christian.

    As for Wikipedea, it is useful, mostly neutral and I am not submitting these mumblings for academic assessment. Besides, it seems a little more accurate than the Encycolpedia Britanica. The late is abopting Wiki editorial functions and Wiki might be academicall acceptable in a few years time.

    Besides it took the academy 300 years plus to adopt English instead of latin in England.

    Michael Boswell

  • Siti, you seem a very graceful and moral person from the postings which I have read of yours – I don’t doubt that there’s not a violent bone in your body. I can find much common agreement with you. Certainly I hope that such an attitude as you possess may be more widespread amongst adherents of Islam and that your efforts to bring a more benevolent perspective to your faith may be successful.

    I’m more inclined though to believe that these characteristics of which you possess are a result of submitting yourself to the eternal logos (i.e. Christ) rather than from following the example of Muhammad whose beliefs and practices are far removed from your own character (I guess we can agree to disagree on that last point).

    Nevertheless you should be proud of your conduct and I wish you many blessings and good health.

    Francis Kesina

  • Thank you Francis. I will be proud that if were influenced by Jesus too & that He has been my Guiding light. I hope so. I only wish that many more moslems would speak the way the christians do, you & Bill, take your lead and not be so suspicious and show it to people of different backgrounds.
    Siti Khatijah

  • Damien,

    Thank you for pointing out the bizarre truth that US soldiers on military bases are now prevented from carrying handguns for self defence.

    As you rightly point out there are many studies showing that the right-to-carry reduces the numbers killed in public shootings. Furthermore it is actually the liberals, who pushed through exceptions to right-to-carry, that are largely responsible for deaths which do still occur.

    The exceptions to right-to-carry include (in most states): Schools, university campuses, federal buildings and churches – which only serve to make these places extremely dangerous, because only criminals, by definition, can carry guns there.

    Think back on the location of recent high profile shootings: Schools, university campuses, churches and now military bases. Anybody notice a pattern?

    Mansel Rogerson

  • I find Aaqil Murindi’s argument quite shoddy. If he was a victim of hate crimes in this country then exactly what were they and what did he do about them? If he did nothing then they couldn’t be all that important. If I was a victim of a crime I would report it to the police. There are many good reasons for doing so. For a start, a caring citizen would want to see the culprit caught so other citizens do not become his victims.

    As for the Koran, I read it and related literature in my youth. I was not impressed. If Mohammed was alive today, behaving as he is described in the literature, he would be in serious trouble with the law, even Sharia law.

    John Snowden

  • Michael
    “Please do not presume I am a conservative Christian. I was once but have repented. I have rejected any notion of Biblical inerrancy.”

    You make acceptance of Biblical inerrancy sound like a sin (you have “repented” of it). Since when has it been so? I hardly think that that is the attitude of the psalmist in Psalm 119 as he meditates on, observes, keeps, clings to, inclines his heart to, delights in, believes…God’s testimonies. statutes, ordinances, laws, judgments, commandments etc.
    Moreover, I never assumed you were a conservative Christian. I was just making a point about Wikipedia, which from the way you quote it, seems to be more of an authority for you than the Bible.

    “Its wide acceptance is the ‘Biblical Illiteracy’ Bill complians about.”
    If what you mean by this obscure statement is that acceptance of Biblical inerrancy is the reason for the widespread Biblical illiteracy then that is sheer rubbish. I well remember a time when most Christians accepted Biblical authority as a given (they didn’t argue about it), and that was precisely when they could quote text after text. To illustrate, Spurgeon used to say about John Bunyan, “Prick him anywhere and his blood is Bibline: he cannot speak without quoting a text.” That was so precisely because for Bunyan (and Spurgeon) Scripture was inerrant and of supreme authority.

    “I was once a member of the Communist Party, been involved with the environmental movement since the mid 1970 (even when I was a conservative Christian) and I have stood for the Greens as a Christian.”

    – Whatever “Christian” means in such connections!? A ‘Christian Communist’ is for me (and Bill) an oxymoron: a Communist believes in the supreme power and authority of the totalitarian state; a Christian believes in the supreme power and sovereignty of God.

    “As for Wikipedea…The late is abopting Wiki editorial functions and Wiki might be academicall acceptable in a few years time.

    You might not be submitting your “mumblings” for academic assessment (with you appalling grammar and spelling I hope not), but academic standards surely provide a benchmark for us all. My point stands: Wikipedia is not a reliable source in its own right, and must be used with caution, a caution which you do not display.

    Murray Adamthwaite

  • Bill,

    You can twist the statistics any way you want, but the fact remains that gun deaths in the USA are about ten times the rate of comparable civilised democracies. Comparisons with gun ownership in Switzerland are irrelevant because the latter involves rifles issued to trained reservists, not concealable handguns.

    Hasan bought his handguns legally at a local gunshop. One of the guns is colloquially known a a “cop killer”. The details have been widely published.

    America has a problem with guns. It’s about time people faced up to it instead of denying the facts.

    Therese Kingsley

  • John Snowden, I agree and I have to express it. The Australian peope are not racist or have any hate much in them. They travel alot and they know the world much. I have never experienced any bad deeds from any one. They are pretty laid back people and they are welcoming of different cultures. Sometimes we may read about an incidence but hey that happens anywhere and it is called crime and dont let anyone twist it to mean anything more. We Australians are not racist or anything of the sort.
    Siti Khatijah

  • Murray,

    Most of this is a debate for another time or place. My intervention is not based on blaming islam for the Fort Hood murders. It might appear that I am right. Nidal Malik Hasan follow doctors suppected he had a mental illness but because of the medical beaucoracy failed to act. The question is whether islam redicalism was the expression or the origin of the illness. I pick this up on the socialist Fox News last night.

    I would defend Wikipedea as a good sources of imformation. I think the academy is wrong – hence the reference to latin.

    Communism is historical and dialectial materalism with a morality twist. Actually, the rest comes ontop of this.
    I never connected the terms communist and Christian – you did. I was just both at once but rarely joined them. I could argue that communism is a secualrised Christology. Or that the search for materialistic causes is within Christian teaching. However, you might not have noticed I used it in the past tense. I do use the term Christian socialist because it is a historical movement and predates communism.

    I would dispute your history about belief in the inerrant scripture. I might start with augustine’s quote or the canonical criticism of both Luther and Cauvin. But I have started debates here on such subjects and have not had time to finish them. I do not intend to repeat that.

    As for my spelling and grammar, it a life long affliction. I went to university and had to re-write my essays twenty times to get them accepted and they still had mistakes in them. Written english is a foriegn language to me. Spoken is another think entirely. And this is a first draft … I have not had time to correct it….

    And dont get me started on Spurgeon … I still collect book by John Clifford – including his essays to the Fabian Society.

    I recall you where connected to the Westminister Presbytarian Church in Perth. Are you still connected?

    Michael Boswell

  • Thanks Therese

    But I did not “twist the statistics” and I am not “denying the facts”. I have presented both statistics and facts which were not to your liking, so you choose to attack me instead. That always beats dealing with the evidence.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Therese

    Referring to the gun deaths in the US is not necessarily a meaningful statistic. For example, the US may have a huge amount of gun deaths but much less death from knives or other weapons. In Canada where the obtaining of fire arms was made more difficult the suicides from fire arms decreased but hangings increased. All that happens is one means gets substituted for another.

    It is much better to look at murder rates;

    In the UK they banned hand guns in ’97. Up until then armed robberies were declining but after the ban they began to increase again. There was a 340% increase in armed robberies after the bans went into effect.

    Japan and Germany have much lower crime rates and much less guns than the US but it proves nothing because these countries had lower crime rates before they banned guns, so there must be other facts at play.

    In Washington D.C. they banned hand guns in ’76 and crime began to rise even relative to the rest of the US. The rate of crime was falling before the ban and then rising after it.

    The same is true in Chicago after their ’82 ban and other countries like Ireland and Jamaica.

    Damien Spillane

  • Michael,
    We’ll just leave things there. I have no wish to continue.
    Your take on Islam and the Fort Hood massacre seems to be “informed” by the mainstream media, which has been tendentious and all-too-typically prejudiced.

    Your view on Biblical inerrancy is likewise Biblically and historically flawed, but this is not the forum to discuss that. All I would say is that for the life of me I cannot fathom how any view of ‘limited inspiration’ is compatible with the psalmist’s estimate of the Word of God as expressed in the 119th Psalm.

    As to Christianity and Communism, you started that by mentioning it in context with your Christian position, but your opaque expression may have confused me. However, I would say the same (i.e an oxymoron) regarding Christianity and a “Green” commitment: the one affirms man’s care for the environment as stewards of God’s creation; the other is at heart pantheistic and ultimately involves worship of the creature rather than the Creator. But again, this is not the forum for that discussion.

    I attended the Westminster Presbyterian Church when I was in W.A., but these days I attend an independent Baptist Church.

    So let’s leave it there.

    Murray Adamthwaite

  • You’re a stupid man Bill. So obsessed with your pet hates and theories that you can’t concede contrary facts even when they’re staring you in the face. You have raised intellectual dishonesty to an art form. Is it any wonder that your formal academic studies are going nowhere?

    God help you.

    Therese Kingsley

  • Thanks Therese

    What was it I said about you simply attacking the person? Now the whole world can clearly see the truth of this. Indeed, everyone can now plainly see just who is dealing with facts and evidence, and who is dealing in vicious name calling and personal attacks.

    And yes I daily ask for God’s help. Do you?

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Woo for Therese!
    Kane Williams

  • Therese Kingsley, your slander won’t win Bill over to your point of view. Nor should it. If you want to best him in argument then do your homework and plenty of it as he is well read.
    John Snowden

  • Therese,
    You’re clearly frustrated, and in your frustration you let fly with abuse. Just calm down and face the issues Bill raises!

    On Fort Hood: it is a military base, for crying out loud! Surely this of all places is where one would expect people to be carrying firearms! Or are you suggesting that all military bases be disarmed?? Or perhaps further, that military bases be closed down? This I know is part of the (often hidden) programme of the humanist political left, but it comes out of their woodwork from time to time.

    I do not believe a la leftists that owning a firearm is a sin. What does one make of Christ’s instruction at the Last Supper that, contrary to previous instruction while He was still with them, they should now “sell a coat and buy [a sword]”…When the disciples then produced two swords, He replied, “It is enough” (Luke 22:36, 38)?

    True enough, Jesus rebuked Peter for improper use of that sword (Luke 22:50-51) so as to prevent His atoning work from going through, but that carrying a sword (or firearm) for defensive purposes in a hostile world (into which the apostles were now going), and in the service of the state which by Divine mandate has the power of the sword (Rom.13:4) is no sin, but is part of God’s mandate. The godly person may elect not to avail himself of that protection (cf. Ezra 8:21-23), but this does not negate the Divine sanction.

    Murray Adamthwaite

  • Therese manifested the sort of response that I half expected of a leftist when their faith is challenged – with abuse and not reasoned argument.

    It was really Therese that ignored all the evidence Bill and I mounted and had to resort to insults.

    Very sad and uncivil…

    Damien Spillane

  • Damien is right, Therese has bought the emotive ‘gun deaths’ argument, without referring to the much broader statistic of murder numbers, of which gun deaths are but one component. If gun deaths go down, but overall murder rates goes up, that is not a win for the gun control lobby, or anybody, for that matter – least of all for those friends and family left behind.

    Not only that, the moment someone resorts to ad hominem comments, you know they have lost the argument. woo for Bill…

    http://gunowners.org/op0746.htm
    http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp

    This is a topic for another thread…

    Back to Fort Hood, the fact is, if the military personnel had been armed, Hasan’s killing spree would likely have been severely curtailed. But thanks to Clinton…

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/nov/11/end-clinton-era-military-base-gun-ban/

    Mark Rabich

  • It’s time for Christians to take a stand against the plummeting moral standards of our Nation, against the rise of false religions, and against the continued denunciation of our Christian heritage.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plPzW5p52_I

    http://www.doveworld.org

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ava0edven9A

    Stephanie Sapp

  • Damien,

    You can’t compare guns with knives. It is far easier to press a trigger than thrust a knife into someone’s body. It is also far easier to kiil at a distance and to kill many people. The mass killing rampages so common in the US always involve guns. Who ever heard of anyone going on a knife rampage?

    I have no problem with hunting rifles being available, subject to sanity and criminal checks, but the legal over-the-counter sale of large calibre handguns in the US can’t be justified by any sane argument.

    Stephen Hills, Bendigo

  • Stephen,

    You’re missing the point – which is stopping people getting killed, which is what everybody wants. (well, ok, considering the subject of this thread, most everybody) Restricting guns usually increases knife attack since attackers can attack with impunity, hence knife attacks go up a lot more than the amount gun deaths go down. So restricting guns kills more people. This is not about comparing the lethal force of guns with knives per se, Stephen, it’s about avoiding unintended consequences from certain laws, which are ignored by the gun control mob.

    Not to mention your opinion is probably based on what you’ve heard through the mainstream media, which is increasingly becoming worthless as a source of reliable information.

    Consider this example from the gunowners.org site:

    Washington, D.C. has, perhaps, the most restrictive gun control laws in the country, and yet it has one of the highest murder rates in the nation.
    Critics claim criminals merely get their guns in Virginia where the laws are more relaxed. This, they argue, is why the D.C. gun ban is not working.
    Perhaps criminals do get their guns in Virginia, but this overlooks one point: If the availability of guns in Virginia is the root of D.C.’s problems, why does Virginia not have the same murder and crime rate as the District? Virginia is awash in guns and yet the murder rate is much, much lower. This holds true even for Virginia’s urban areas, as seen by the following comparison on the 25-year anniversary of the DC gun ban (in 2001):

    City Murder rates: 25 years after DC’s ban
    Washington, DC 46.4 per 100,000
    Arlington, VA 2.1 per 100,000
    (Arlington is just across the river from D.C.)
    Total VA metropolitan area 6.1 per 100,000

    Guns are not the problem. On the contrary, lax criminal penalties and laws that disarm the law-abiding are responsible for giving criminals a safer working environment

    stats from FBI, “Crime in the United States,” Uniform Crime Reports (October 28, 2002)

    There are some other interesting stories and stats on that site with lots of references. Look around. A few to consider…
    http://gunowners.org/sk0104.htm
    http://gunowners.org/sk0802.htm (read the first reference after the article especially)
    http://gunowners.org/sk0101htm.htm

    Why is this still being discussed? Gun control kills people. If army personnel had been armed, considerably less than 14 people would’ve died. Arguing for gun control is incredibly cynical after this tragedy, however well-intentioned. And this issue only detracts form the real problem, the teachings of Islam.

    But speaking of knives… this just had to be shared. (language alert):
    http://diversitylane.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/diversitylane_twosome___for-blog.jpg

    Mark Rabich

  • Hi Stephen

    Of course you’re right that obviously in a lot of situations knives aren’t easily going to be a substitution for guns – the Fort Hood case is a good example.

    But Therese referred to “gun deaths” so this wouldn’t just include mass shootings but also suicides. In the case of suicide a gun IS quite easily subsituted with a hangman’s noose or with Carbon Monoxide poisining or whatever.

    Perhaps wide spread gun availibility DOES make it easier for mass shootings but this is only the case if combined with gun-free zones like schools, churches, universities, army bases etc which are the locations where these shootings DO occur.

    You claim

    “…the legal over-the-counter sale of large calibre handguns in the US can’t be justified by any sane argument.”

    But what evidence do you have for making this allegation? It is a completely baseless claim. Did you bother to review the great amount of studies I linked to that prove the exact opposite?

    There are countless amounts of personal stories of personal defensive gun use that never make it to the MSM’s attention;

    “Jacksie King was an elderly grandmother who lived in a small Illinois house on dead-end Gaty Avenue since her youth. At 87, she mostly stayed at home and enjoyed frequent visits from her daughter. Her life changed one December night when an unidentified intruder cut her phone lines, pried the security bars off her window and invaded her home. After severely beating her, the man robbed her house and escaped. The case was never solved. Two months later, King awoke to the sound of an intruder breaking through her storm door at 2 a.m. As before, the bars were pried off her window to access an enclosed porch, and again the phone lines were cut. King reached for her only remaining lifeline—a .38-cal. Colt revolver her daughter had given her for protection. This time the would-be victim fired, striking 49-year-old Larry Tillman in the chest, immediately dropping him on the doorstep. Terrified, King stayed in her chair for four hours, clutching her revolver, until her daughter arrived. Police later learned Tillman was a career criminal with an extensive record, including residential robbery.”

    http://www.nrapublications.org/a1f/AFFlead.html

    Damien Spillane

  • Mr. Hills.
    Did you or did you not read Mr. Adamthwaite’s post? Let alone the verse. ‘“sell a coat and buy [a sword]“…When the disciples then produced two swords, He replied, “It is enough” (Luke 22:36, 38)”‘ I do not mean to be mean but, there is a great difference between a sword and a knife (feet as opposed to inches).

    You are however correct about the ease in killing someone with a gun and the difficulty in killing anyone with a close range weapon. The same applies to infantry and fighter pilots, Generals commanding those fighter pilots and so on until one reaches the President. That is none the less beside the point. The weapon is not the one who does the action it is the person holding the weapon, they must thrust the sword, pull the trigger. The sword or the gun only follow the command of the hand.

    Raymond Cox, Sedalia CO, USA

  • I concede the arguments regarding violent crime in US cities relative to rural areas, and that there are cases where guns saved innocent lives. However, an explanation is needed for the high homicide rates in the US compared with Australia or Europe. If it’s not the free availability of lethal weapons, what is it?

    More particularly, why are homicide rates so high in the US when it is a largely Christian country compared with secular Europe? It’s hardly a great advertisement for Christian culture.

    Would anyone here really support having the same “freedom” in Australia to buy handguns over the counter at a gun show with no questions asked? I certainly would not.

    Stephen Hills

  • Thanks Stephen

    But you continue to throw out rather wild and unsubstantiated charges, without any corresponding evidence or solid statistics. While transnational comparisons on almost any subject can be fraught with dangers, just what figures are you going on when you speak of differing international homicide rates? And you seem to be far out of your depth concerning just how an American can purchase a firearm.

    Others have provided facts, figures and statistics here, while those opposed to American gun laws have failed to do this. In my books, one side is winning this debate hands down, simply based on the evidence.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • The biggest problem with Australia’s draconian firearm laws as I see it, is the fact that “personal protection” is no longer recognised as a valid reason to own a gun. That and the unreasonable prohibition on certain types of semi-automatics used for sporting purposes, i.e. .22 cal rimfire rifles and 12 gauge shotguns.

    Ewan McDonald.

  • Bill,

    None of the references provided by others here actually make any international comparisons.

    Here are the statistics. The underlying figures come from official sources, e.g. FBI in America:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

    Homicide rates per 100,000 population:
    USA 5.8
    Canada 1.83
    France 1.59
    Australia 1.2
    Spain 1.2
    Sweden 0.89
    Italy 1.06
    Netherlands 0.91

    I rest my case.

    Stephen Hills

  • Thanks Stephen

    But your case really is not rested yet. As I mentioned, transnational comparisons of most things can be misleading and unhelpful, due to differing measuring systems, differing definitions, and so on. And of course Wiki is hardly known as a source of reliable and scholarly information. And you gave us just a few selected bits of info from their charts.

    Moreover, mere homicide rates alone of course tell us only a small part of the overall story. We need much more detail as to how these homicides occurred, by what means, what actual guns laws are in place, and so on, to get a really accurate comparison of differing nations. So the case is far from shut.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Stephen,

    International comparisons are fundamentally flawed because they do not take into account differences in culture aside from the legal status of weapons carrying. Your case is no case at all.

    The best comparisons are always going to be what happens within the same country or area when gun laws are changed. And it is that argument that is irrefutable. Gun control laws lead to more murders. It really is that simple.

    Mark Rabich

  • Stephen

    I agree with the others. Just taking a comparison of countries with differing levels of gun restrictions and homicide rates is very simplistic and proves nothing. There are many factors that influence homicide levels.

    The best way to test the theory is to examine districts and countries where gun laws have changed and then watch for what happens to the murder rates etc. And just about every study shows that right-to-carry laws lead to a drop in murder rates, armed robberies etc.

    Most bureaucratic efforts at top-down social engineering don’t work and oppresses the average individual.

    The philosopher Bill Vallicella has also made a good case for the right to guns as being nothing more than an extension of the right to life;

    “1. Every human person possesses a natural right to life.

    2. If every human person has a natural right to life, then he has a right to defend his life against those who would seek to violate this right.

    3. If every human person has a right to defend his life, then he has a right to an effective means of defending his life.

    Therefore

    4. Every human person has a right to an effective means of defending his life. (From 1, 2, 3 by Modus Ponens and Hypothetical Syllogism.)

    5. In many circumstances, a gun is the only effective means of defending one’s life.

    Therefore

    6. In many circumstances, human persons have a right to possess guns, a right that is not conferred by constitutions but ought to be respected by them.”

    http://maverickphilosopher.typepad.com/maverick_philosopher/2009/11/deriving-gun-rights-from-the-right-to-life.html

    Damien Spillane

  • Bill, Mark,

    You are doing what Bill accused me of – making rather wild and unsubstantiated claims, without any corresponding evidence or solid statistics.

    Wikipedia may not be a scholarly reference, but we are talking about statistics for intentional homicide here, and the comparitive figures are all referenced back to official sources.

    My original point was that the US is way out of line with the experience of other countries with comparable living standards and stable, democratic governments, e.g. Australia, Canada, Europe. The countries I singled out were from that group, but if you like I will re-publish the figures for every country in Europe and the picture will be the same. The figures are all there in the reference I cited anyway.

    While there might be some definitional differences between countries with certain individual cases, e.g. where assualt leads to death some time after the event, the difference between the USA and other countries is so stark that such quibbles must pale into insignificance. If you really believe otherwise, show me some proof. We’re not comparing something as subjective as literacy levels here, we are talking about intentional murder.

    My assertion remains – the USA has homicide rates 4 to 5 times those of comparable countries. My belief is that it is due to the liberal attitude towards availability of concealable weapons, but perhaps there are other factors here, e.g. a lower respect for the value of human life. But why should that be in a country that has a predominantly Christian culture?

    My conclusions are obviously subjective and open to debate, but the underlying statistics are impossible to simply dismiss. If guns don’t explain it, what does?

    Stephen Hills

  • Thanks Stephen

    But it is not a question of “dismissing” statistics, but a question of understanding how statistical research is conducted, and how sociological questions are determined. This is more complex than most people realise. The ability to weed out extraneous factors and to control for various constants is part of such sociological research. This makes trans-national comparisons always quite difficult, and serious statisticians will always heavily qualify their remarks in such studies.

    Take a similar area: deaths due to drugs. Unless nations have the exact same criteria to measure such things, you will come up with quite misleading comparisons. For example, some nations define a ‘drug-death’ as something which is absolutely clear, involving only an illicit drug, while other nations will list as a drug death that which involves all sorts of other contributing factors, and drugs may be only a small, or perhaps even negligible, aspect of the death.

    Thus with such widely differing standards of measurement, it is nearly impossible to make worthwhile international comparisons. We are simply often just comparing apples with oranges. That is why Mark is correct to state that the best way to do research here is when most variables are eliminated or standardised, and we look at things such as when a change to the law occurs in a certain place over time. That gives us much better data to work with than unwieldy international comparisons.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

Leave a Reply