Wednesday, June 20, 2007

This will hurt me more than it hurts you

If we need an example of truth being in the mind of the believer, perhaps that qualifies. A child about to get his backside warmed knows it can't possibly be the case that his Dad will be harmed in any way by the event. And yet, every parent who has performed the ceremony knows that the sense of failure, of inflicting pain on a loved one, and even the sting on the hand are all things to be avoided whenever possible.

But sometimes physical pain is necessary. Some children don't need it, and that may be why some parents get the silly idea that spanking children is wrong. Or rather, I would say that of course it's wrong, but it's just less wrong than allowing them experience their first pain as their last, or to grow up to be sociopaths who never learned they have to obey the rules.

There is a human tendency to secretly believe that we ourselves are fit and intended to rule the world (why else are we us and not someone else?) When a child looks you in the eye and says, "You ain't the boss of me!", it's time to let them know what, as they say, is what.

Sometimes children grow up without ever being disciplined, without ever learning that no, they aren't intended to rule the world. These adult children struggle to fit in to civilized society. They need a lot of correction, usually by an institution designed for such, or by the end of a rope. In extrema, they find a following of others, who transfer their own uncorrected desire to rule the world to one leader, or to one movement.

And so it is with radical Islam.

While anthropomorphism is always a tricky business, I think the parallel between religious movements and individuals is striking. Some religions may have quirky ideas, but for the most part they don't hurt anyone, break things, or leave the park messy. But this one does.

Despite the Big Lie inherent in cries of "Zionism!", Judaism has learned, through a really long struggle, that it cannot force people to adopt itself. Christianity started out knowing that, then kind of forgot it for a thousand years or so, but now has learned the lesson. While after 9/11 some people, I hope snarkily, suggested forced conversion to Christianity as some kind of solution, I think Christianity as a whole has returned to its forceless roots once and for all.

Other religions operate in the world of ideas, and don't seek to spread by force. And there are some Islamic sects, perhaps including the majority of Muslims, who don't run around blowing themselves up to spread the word.

Those are some of the reasons we don't want to spank Islam as a whole for the sake of its most radical practitioners. But most importantly, we know something that the child only vaguely comprehends: disciplining Islam will in fact cause pain for Western Civilization. We know it, and those who call for disciplining the child with physical force are shouted down as abusers. The child sees only a weak authority, unable to assert itself for lack of moral conviction.

But rather than weakness, our hesitancy to lump all of Islam together comes from the core of our culture: we believe that lumping people together is wrong. It would be something of a refutation of our ideals to persecute a religion in general for the actions of a minority of its adherents.

But Islam grew up with the ability to force its will on non-believers, and includes in its sacred text instructions on how to make second-class people out of them. The voices crying out "Death to America" and such aren't merely expressing some religious ideal, but laying out the grand strategy. America, as symbol of Western Civilization, must die.

Just as the Muslim Saddam Hussein paid $25K to the families of suicide bombers. Pakistani ministers of parliament are now saying that suicide bombing is justified.

If someone blows himself up he will consider himself justified. How can we fight terrorism when those who commit blasphemy are rewarded by the West?

You start by realizing that you weren't born to rule the world.

But it isn't Islamic nations that are the problem, it's Islam. No, it's that faction of Islam, the noisiest one, that desires to spread itself by force which needs to be told that it has to share. It won't listen to reason, to compassion, or to restraint. Violent Islam will only listen to blood, the blood of its adherents, spilled in massive amounts by people explicitly doing so because they will not be assimilated. Only then will it learn, its power-hungry mullahs forced to teach tolerance alongside proselytism.

Islam needs the spanking it never got as a child.

Probably the same folks who consider all physical punishment to be immoral will disagree with me, and say that attacking the violence of Islam with our own violence will only make things worse. Well, we've tried ignoring them, and it still got worse. We've tried giving them what they demand, and they wanted more. We've tried standing them in a corner, and where did that get us?

We have been fooled into believing that religions deserve special protection, because the religions we've been used to seeing promote civilized behavior. But in Islam we find a child with a "struggle": should it throw a tantrum and demand its own way, or should it listen to its parents and play nicely? We'd like not to have to resort to spanking, but for this kid, I think it's going to be necessary. I only hope we gather the fortitude to do what will need to be done.

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