Tuesday, June 13, 2006

THE CONSERVATIVES YOU HATE TO LOVE, AND OTHER THEMES ON EXTREMISM


Okay, you've heard people talk about the characters America "loves to hate?" In the 1980's it was Dallas' J.R. Ewing. In the '90's it was Ted Danson as Becker. Both these characters were fictional, but when it comes to current politics, the one personality that comes to mind as one that we "hate to love" is the larger-than-life Ann Coulter.

Syndicated op-ed columnist Art Buchwald recently recounted his own less-than-favorable opinion of Coulter and her extreme public statements. He took exception to, in part, her recent comments that 9/11 widows who are protesting the Iraq War are "enjoy[ing] their husbands' deaths," and that her only regret about Timothy McVeigh's Oklahoma City bombing was that he didn't instead bomb the New York Times building. When asked if she regretted her statement, she replied, "Of course I regret it. I should have added, 'after everyone had left the building except editors and reporters.'"




First of all, I don't really believe that Cindy Sheehan and other protestors rejoice in the deaths of their loved-ones; but as the cartoon above illustrates, their political views don't necessarily correspond with those of their aforementioned loved-ones. Was Coulter's first line out of line? Perhaps. But I'm somewhat ashamed to admit that I laughed when I first read her last quip about the NY Times. You see, I responded to the humor in the statement the same way I took the old jokes about blondes or lawyers, ie. "Q: What do you call a million lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? A: A good start." Or "Q: How do you drown a dumb blonde? A: Put a scratch-n-sniff sticker at the bottom of a swimming pool."

Of course, I don't really wish death by drowning (or by any other method, for that matter) on lawyers or dumb blondes; the former joke simply draws attention to, in an albeit extreme fashion, our adverse views of tactics employed in the work of the stereotypical lawyer, while the latter is a commentary on sheer stupidity. In much the same way, Coulter's harsh humor draws attention to our adversity to the liberal views regularly expressed by the NY Times' editors and reporters (which many would consider synonymous with "sheer stupidity." Extreme? Certainly! Inappropriate? Probably. But does Coulter really wish physical harm to the staff of the Times? I seriously doubt it.


The problem is, there are people out there who really do wish physical harm to their political opponents. There are extreme liberals who want to assassinate President Bush and there are extreme conservatives who shoot abortion doctors.


Likewise, there are terrorists who want to literally not just chop off our heads, but to slowly and meticulously saw them off as al-Zarqawi (whose murderous rampage, thank God, has been permanently arrested) and his cohorts did to Nick Berg. Unfortunately, many liberal journalists either don't understand these facts or don't perceive the necessity of using force to ultimately halt the violence.

My pastor recently gave us a summary of the opposing viewpoints of pacifism vs. Just War Theory. As a Christian, I don't believe that we should respond to our enemies with violence unless absolutely necessary. If somebody attacks me, I should not respond with an attack of my own (although human nature often compels us to do so), but I should not be condemned for defending myself. I also believe that we have a responsibility --not only as followers of Christ, but also as individuals or as a Nation with the power to do so-- to defend and protect, with force if necessary, the life and liberty of our neighbors. If somebody attacks my wife or child, I will fight to the death to protect them. And if we honor our Forefathers' fight to secure and defend our freedom, should we not honor the people of Iraq's fight for theirs? Some (like Barbara Streisand in one of her new songs) profess that it's someone else's war. Does the story of the Good Samaritan not teach us that our neighbor's welfare is our concern? Of course it's our war. Any injustice against another human being is to be our concern.

That having been said, we need to focus some of our attention on atrocities being committed in countries other than Iraq, such as the Sudan. But that does not, by any stretch of the imagination, eliminate our need to continue the fight against the terrorists in Iraq. We must not repeat the disasterous premature withdrawal that President Bush, Sr. made in the Gulf War. We've captured Saddam Hussein. We've killed al-Zarqawi. But, as Cal Thomas stated in today's (June 13) op-ed column, "an epidemic is not ended when one [or two] infected [people die]. As with any plague, if the rest of us are to be protected, all who carry the virus [in this case, islamofacism] must either be eliminated or quarantined."

So, to put it succinctly, I hate to love Ann Coulter; but her statements, as extreme and inappropriate as they may be, reflect a Conservative people's deep and sincere disdain for the expressions of those who would protect the rights of the world's bullies to harm the world's defenseless. Those who murder innocent babies in the name of choice must be stopped, those who saw off the heads of innocent civilians must be stopped, and those who conspire to defend them must be stopped. Mercy and forgiveness are virtuous and a response of force should never be the first choice, but sometimes it must be used in order to preserve justice. I would never dream of promoting violence against liberal American journalists, but those who actually perpetrate terrorist violence (such as al-Zarqawi) must be stopped. And if the only way to stop them is to "eliminate" them, then I say Amen, let it be so.

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2 Comments:

Blogger cyberwar44@gmail.com said...

http://www.aimpages.com/ny3074/profile.html .cyberwar44@googlegroups.com

4:21 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Well, you aren't as abrasive as Ann Coulter, though the difference seems one of style more than substance.

Out of curiosity, since Jesus devoted his life to helping the poor, uplifting and rehabilitating marginalized and oppressed groups, and remonstrating sanctimonious religious bigots who exploited peoples' faith for their own gain, why are none of these issues dealt with on your 'Christian' blog?

Instead, I see a welter of justifications for bombing brown people. You're probably the only one left in the Western Hemisphere who STILL believes that there were weapons of mass destruction. Faced with an existential threat, the regime would have used them - obviously. But then, if you can believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible, you can probably believe anything.

Who Would Jesus Bomb? Just ask Kevin...

8:16 PM  

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