Thursday, May 07, 2015

I double dare you!

Unsurprisingly, there's lots of moral confusion regarding how to respond to the jihadist attack in Garland. The kneejerk liberal response is that the organizers of the event are to blame because they incited Muslims to violence.

Of course, this treats Muslims as if they have no impulse control. If, in fact, that's the case, then Muslims are dangerous. You can't have a functional society in which a significant block of adults lack impulse control. 

Then you have Christians who are conflicted because they think it's wrong to give unnecessary offense. But that's confused.

i) To begin with, there's an elementary difference between what I might do, and defending the right of somebody else, even if what he did isn't something I'd do. 

It's not a question of whether he should do it, but whether he should be free to do it. 

ii) Relatedly, if somebody draws a line in the sand and dares you to cross it, sometimes it's necessary to call his bluff. If we don't do that, we embolden people, empower people, cede power to people, who will abuse that usurpatious power to dictate to the rest of us what we're allowed to say, think, or do. 

If they dare us not to do something, and we capitulate, we've given them power over us. Power to tyrannize us.

So, yes, sometimes it's necessary to make them back down. Sometimes it's necessary to force the issue. They need to lose. 

iii) That doesn't mean we do it all the time. We should pick our battles.

Suppose I don't normally frequent Chick-Fil-A. Suppose, though, the power elite declares a day in which customers should boycott Chick-Fil-A to protest its adherence to Christian sexual ethics. 

In that event, I might go out of my way to patronize Chick-Fil-A on that day to express soldarity with the beleaguered business and foil the boycott.  


  1. Also, people who say "We shouldn't provoke the Muslims" say this as if the danger of such "provocation" could exist without us allowing known radical scum like the Tsarnaevs to emigrate here and do nothing about them. There is no necessary reason for "blaming the victim" rather than solving this in the obvious way: by not admitting "known wolves".

    1. Indeed, public officials should tell Muslims that if you don't believe in the Bill of Rights, you don't belong here.

    2. Another problem is that modern Government officials of the USA are liberals mostly, and don't even understand the Bill of Rights, the first amendment or second amendment or 10th Amendment, etc. and also don't interpret our history in the context of the 17th and 18th Century Judeo-Christian worldview of morality, law, and culture.

  2. Michael Brown also makes what I would consider a more nuanced position that is not what the liberals are doing.

    I don't think Michael Brown is blaming Pamela Geller, etc. like the liberals are. Brown is pointing out that Geller has the secular/civil right to do what she did, and we cannot expect her as a secular Jewish lady to understand the other gospel motives of not giving un-necessary offense to other Muslims who are not Jihadists or do violence in order to make a statement, etc.

    The freedom of speech issue that she and Gert Wilders and Robert Spencer make is very important; (a time to hate - Ecclesiastes, and your other article you linked to); but there is also the greater motive of seeking to win other Muslims to Christ, and to not offend the Muslims who could help in fighting the radical Muslims.

    I can see both sides of this aspect. I cannot see the Liberal / Left view at all. (blame Geller, etc.)
    But I can see both the freedom of speech aspect and having the right to bear arms in order to stop the evil Jihadists - God bless the policeman who took those 2 Jihadist Muslims out.

    But I can also see Michael Brown's point on wisdom and evangelism. We pray that peaceful Muslims will have their eyes opened to the actual roots and sources of so called "radical Isalm" or "Jihadism" are actually seemingly original Islam and Muhammad's Isalm.

  3. It is hard to know and disquish between the good Muslim refugees vs. bad Muslim refugees; and the secret motives of why people immigrate and want refugee status to come to USA.

    And some change their minds after they have lived here for a few years. Our CIA and FBI and other government branches have a big job.

    1. Ken,

      Several issues to sort out:

      i) What should Christians do?

      ii) How should Christians respond to folks like Geller, Wilders, &c?

      Even if what Geller did is wrong from a Christian perspective, it's still important to defend her Constitutional right to be *able* to do it.

      We can't just have abstract rights, civil liberties on paper, but when someone actually exercise their Constitutional right, tell they that they really aren't free to express themselves. That it's just a hypothetical right. A dead letter.

      Mind you, that's a two-way street. If a neo-Nazi has the freedom to verbally attack minorities, I reserve the freedom to criticize the neo-Nazi.

      iii) As I said over at Lydia McGrew's blog, sometimes you need to give a bully a bloody nose to teach him a lesson. Otherwise, he will terrorize the schoolyard. Sometimes you need to give offense just to show that you can.

      BTW, I'd never call Michael Brown a "coward." That's just plain silly.

    2. Excellent points, especially "abstract rights" and giving a bullly a bloody once to teach him a lesson.
      I agree.