August-12-2018 Renaming America?
This article below was sent to me two days ago by one of my American trip friends in Indianapolis, the U.S.A.. It sounds a bit familiar with something in Japan, doesn't it? (Lily)
9 August 2018
Austin’s Equity Office has recommended renaming the Texas city because of Stephen F. Austin's alleged views on slavery. But why stop at just renaming Austin when Amerigo Vespucci took and sold slaves.
Austin, Texas is named after Stephen F. Austin, but America is named after Amerigo Vespucci.
New York City has been on its own anti-history binge, demoting the statue of the ‘Father of Gynecology’ and tearing out plaques memorializing Robert E. Lee attached to a tree that he had once planted, but it’s got bigger problems. The city is named after King James II whose Royal African Company branded thousands of slaves with DY for the Duke of York.
And New York’s problems don’t end there. Its Bronx borough is named after Jonas Bronck, who was likely killed in an Indian raid. Queens is named after the wife of King Charles II (James’ brother) whose husband was also quite active in the slave trade. New York is full of places named after Charlie and his relatives, like Richmond County, and the city and the state would both have to be renamed.
So would South and North Carolina, named after Charles I, and Maryland, named after his wife, who had authorized a trade in African slaves. The Maryland charter was received by Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore, whose family owned slaves. Anne Arundel County is named after Cecil's wife.
New Jersey was named by George Carteret under a grant from Charles II. Carteret was connected to the African slave trade through the Royal African Company. A number of areas in New Jersey are named after him and his family. That includes the city of Elizabeth, New Jersey, named after Carteret’s wife.
Royal names are a problem that bedevils even the leftist parts of the country.
Prince George’s County is a reliable Dem area in Maryland populated mostly by African-Americans. And it’s one the wealthiest black areas in the country. But it’s named after Prince George of Denmark. What’s a Danish prince doing in Maryland? George was married to Queen Anne. Anne’s extensive shares in the South Sea Company and his formal role as High Lord Admiral tied him to the slave trade.
Virginia and (West Virginia) are named after Elizabeth I who authorized a trade in slaves and at least one of whose ships carried slaves. Delaware is named after Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr, who served as governor of Virginia. His tenure in office predated the importation of African slaves but, was current with the use of indentured servants and Indian slaves. Louisiana is named after Louis XIV, the Sun King, whose Code Noir (Black Code) set out the parameters of slavery.
But leaving behind royals doesn’t help. William Penn, the Quaker and liberal role model after whom Pennsylvania is named, owned slaves. Nor does heading west offer any escape from history.
Over in California, Comandante General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo’s name rests on the city of Vallejo, that of his wife on the city of Benicia. He was also the founding father of Sonoma and San Francisco was also allegedly nearly named after his wife. Vallejo relied on Indian slave labor to maintain his ranch and oversaw an Indian slave labor system. (Vallejo was also responsible for naming Marin County.)
California itself is appropriately enough named after a fictional character, Queen Calafia, who was both black and a slave owner. West Coast political correctness becomes even more confusing as we head up north. Washington is obviously named after a slave owner, but what about Seattle? It’s named after Chief Seattle, an American-Indian leader, environmentalist icon and a slave owner. (Slave ownership by Indian tribes was not uncommon and has led to debates and lawsuits over tribal membership.)
But back in California, its leftist city has an even bigger problem. Berkeley is named after the Irish empiricist George Berkeley. Berkeley was not only a slave owner, but a vigorous advocate for the enslavement of Africans and Indians. His name has touched off controversy at Yale and UC Berkeley.
Denver is named after James W. Denver, whose tenures as Commissioner of Indian Affairs and as Territorial Governor of Kansas during the struggle between pro and anti-slavery forces were controversial. The same would be true of anyone involved in politics at the time, but the entire anti-history movement is animated by a refusal to see things in any shade other than black or white.
So we can start off by renaming New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, California, Washington, and Maryland. That’s eleven states.
Not to mention the name of the entire country.
And we’ll have to rename Berkeley, New York City, Seattle, Marin County, Austin, Elizabeth and thousands of other cities, town and county names all across the breadth of the United States.
Or we can stop the insanity right now.
The left starts its culture wars with wedge issues. It began with the statues of Confederate generals. But if this goes on, it’s going to end with the renaming of cities, of states and then finally the renaming of the entire United States of America.
These are the stakes.
Either we stop the left’s assault on history or we lose our country. Every time a statue is taken down, a school is renamed, a building is vandalized, a holiday is abolished, we move one step closer to the final undoing of our history. We should not be afraid of the truth. And the truth is that history is complex.
Judging the past by the present is its own form of cultural appropriation. Long after a revolution against the British Crown, Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, New York and many others maintain royal names not because Americans have any allegiance or respect for those dead rulers, but because these places are a part of our history. As are the Indian tribes, the French, the Spanish and all those others too.
Names are not necessarily a form of respect. Identity is, more importantly, a form of memory.
The cultural revolutions of the left promise to purify history by purging it. But that Stalinist solution is a lie. History cannot be purified, only learned from. We are all the descendants of flawed heroes. And we can hope to find the truth of our heroism through our flaws, not by the light of the book burner’s fire.
A hundred nations were plunged into dystopian horrors in search of the garden path to the left’s utopia. That’s all that the left’s rituals of purification and mortification of history, the vandalism of statues and facts, offer America. And it is America. Not Marxville, Leninstadt or Maostan. The flawed explorers, generals, and nobles whose names our cities and states bear are far better than the monsters of the left.
The American Revolution, unlike the French, was based not on a murderous search for leftist revolutionary purity, but on accepting our faults and flaws while trying to still live as our best selves. Those who search for a better future by destroying the past will move on to destroying the present.
Our choice is clear.
Reject the left or rename America.
・Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.
August-10-2018 Norm Chomsky again
As for this topic, please refer to my previous posting (http://d.hatena.ne.jp/itunalily2/20130414).(Lily)
Taxpayers pay $750K to radical who supports terrorists
8 August 2018
by Tom Fitton (President of Judicial Watch)
A public university is paying a radical 89-year-old linguist hundreds of thousands of dollars to teach his famously leftist brand of politics, according to records obtained by Judicial after a months-long battle with the taxpayer-funded institution.
Judicial Watch launched an investigation after the University of Arizona (UA), located in Tucson with an enrollment of about 40,000, announced that it hired Noam Chomsky to teach a general education course for undergraduates titled “What is Politics?” In the announcement UA describes Chomsky as a “world-renowned linguist” and one of the “most cited scholars in modern history.”
The reality is that Chomsky is an extreme leftwing propagandist who defends communist regimes—including those in Vietnam and Cuba—and openly supports the anti-Israel and anti-U.S. terrorist organization Hezbollah. In fact, Chomsky met with Hezbollah leaders in Lebanon even though the State Department lists the group as a terrorist organization and the elderly professor has publicly supported the militant group’s right to be armed.
At the time Chomsky was a professor of linguistics at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a private institution that can hire whoever it wants with no public accountability. However, UA is funded with taxpayer dollars and must comply with public-records laws meant to keep government transparent. It still took UA four months to provide Judicial Watch with the records of Chomsky’s outrageous deal.
The records show that the university’s relationship with the decrepit academic began several years ago while he was still teaching at MIT. Chomsky delivered guest lectures at UA, mostly in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and the university eventually hired him as a “consultant” for $65,000. His consultant duties were to show up only six times for a politics class with only 38 students, which means he received north of $10,000 a lecture.
The class met for 7 ½ weeks and Chomsky was to attend only on Thursdays for a total of six sessions, the contract obtained by Judicial Watch shows. UA subsequently hired Chomsky to teach for three years—from 2017 to 2020—at an annual salary of $250,000. The money comes from tuition dollars, grants, contracts and other funds generated by the public institution, the records show.
Pouring salt on the wound, UA lost nearly $25,000 hosting lectures (“THE HAURY CONVERSATION: NOAM CHOMSKY TALKS WITH TONI MASSARO”) featuring Chomsky. The school promoted one of them as an event in which Chomsky would speak on “a range of topics that could include the refugee crisis, political conflict, democracy, capitalism, climate change and social inequality.”
The records show that the outlay expenses by UA for both lectures totaled $17,007.01. An invoice for $12,687.16 dated April 30, 2018, appears to be a payment to Eventbrite from the university for the second of the two Chomsky lectures. Ticket sales came in at $12,385 and ticket costs totaled $7,683.24. When combined with the original outlays, UA lost $24,992.41 on both of the Chomsky events. It should be noted that UA has not hosted similar events for any other academic in the past 24 years, making the Chomsky fiasco a unique, one-time production at a loss to taxpayers for a radical leftist political activist.
The university’s arrangement with Chomsky has outraged many, especially those with connections to the school. Bevan Olyphant, a former Green Berets who taught a leadership class in the honors program at UA, got paid $1,500 a semester and says a full engineering professor at UA receives an average annual salary of $80,000.
This is enraging considering the university is paying Chomsky an astounding quarter of a million dollars a year. Olyphant, who owns a ranch in southern Arizona, said this is the response he got from the president of UA when he requested that the university bring in conservative speakers: “We can’t do that! We would have a riot,” Olyphant told Judicial Watch. As part of the investigation into Chomsky’s egregious deal, Judicial Watch requested records of UA’s contracts with other speakers and lecturers and none were conservative.
August-01-2018 The Savagery of ISIS
The Savagery of ISIS
by Douglas Murray (a senior fellow at the National Review Institute)
30 July 2018
“They took us to pits on the farm that were supposed to be our graves . . . They threw us down there in shifts. Every fifteen minutes they would lower down about a dozen men . . . and open fire on them. They arranged us into rows, telling us to line up next to each other so it would be easier for them to shoot us. My brother was in the first shift. My other brother was in the second shift. I was in the third. I knew everyone down there with me; they were my neighbours and friends.”
Up to this point, I imagine most readers will assume that the above passage is a quotation from a survivor of the Nazi atrocities. Only the end of this passage identifies that it is a more recent testimony that we are hearing.
“After they shouted Allahu Akbar, the sound of gunfire rang out, and once they had finished shooting us one by one, I was swimming in a pool of blood. They shot at us again, then a third time. I shut my eyes and prepared to die, as one must.”
“How long did you stay like that?”
“I was bleeding there for almost five hours.”
“Where were you shot?”
“In three different places. Once in my foot and twice in my hand.”
“And did everyone else die?”
“All except for one other man, Idrees, a childhood friend of mine. His feet were injured. I tried to drag him out of the pit with me but I couldn’t because half my body — the left side — was bleeding. I couldn’t lift him with just one hand. Idrees, I said to him, climb up on my bank, get on. But he couldn’t move. He was still alive but I wasn’t able to save him. I struggled to get out of the pit and walked away from the school. As I crossed the farm road, I heard the nonstop rattle of gunfire, and I dropped down onto the ground, which is where I stayed, hidden under the wheat and barley until the sun went down.”
The above is the account of a man called Khalid, a resident of the Nineveh plains who like many thousands of others tried to flee ISIS in August 2014 but was captured by them. His testimony is one of many collected in a remarkable new book by the poet and journalist Dunya Mikhail titled “The Beekeeper of Sinjar.”
Along with Cathy Otten’s “With Ash on Their Faces: Yezidi Women and the Islamic State” (2017), it is one of the most disturbing and important books I have recently read. Both are by women who have worked first-hand, with incredible commitment and determination, to ensure that some of the worst atrocities of our times are not forgotten. In a culture like ours, which is becoming expert at forgetting what happened the day before yesterday, they have also provided a clear testimony for years to come about the full horror of an episode that only happened four years ago.
Among much else, both books provide an insight into a mindset so alien to most citizens of stable modern states that they might be forgiven for thinking that it can be dismissed outright. Here’s an account in The Beekeeper of Sinjar of a Yazidi woman who was captured, sold at a slave market, and bought by an ISIS fighter in 2014.
Oh, Muslim, come, there’s a virgin in heaven. That’s the beginning of the song that Abu Nasir sang for me every night before he raped me. He would take some drugs and get high to that song. One time I asked him what the song meant, “You’re a Yazidi infidel. It’s not your fault, you were born like that. When you die, you’ll become a houri to entertain us, we Muslims,” he replied. “Doesn’t that mean you have to wait until we die to do what you’re doing to us, since we are still alive?” I asked. “I bought you, making you my property. This marriage duty is part of the jihad,” he said. Of course, I couldn’t speak my mind freely with him. The main motivation for these Daesh men was sexual: they would kill anyone in order to rape women. In the end they would kill themselves to meet their houris in heaven.
Plenty of people would find it difficult to make sense of this. But it is worth trying. At one stage in her book, Mikhail relates the story of a woman who had been captured and used by ISIS fighters. Along with another girl, she describes how their ISIS captors “married and divorced us eight times on the same day, and they made us wear porno outfits. We were too tired to resist. We didn’t say a word. Tears flowed down our cheeks.” She made her feelings felt to an ISIS man to whom she was later sold. As a punishment he burned her chest with an ember, telling her, “This is so you’ll remember me for your whole life.” Only a few pages later, we read of ISIS fighters at a checkpoint reproving a sick woman in a car for not having her head sufficiently covered.
Rape and modesty might seem an inherently unstable cocktail of beliefs, but it is one that ISIS practiced with considerable success earlier this decade. If it isn’t to come back in any of its forms — watered-down or otherwise — then as many people as possible should make themselves familiar with the creed that these men followed. For not only are the scars of their savagery far from healed. The embers are far from out.
July-28-2018 Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson
Sam Harris Asks Questions Jordan Peterson Can’t Answer
23 July 2018
by Esther O’Reilly
To say Jordan Peterson has had a busy summer would be an understatement. His book tour has taken him around the country and the world, peppered throughout with multiple interviews and other appearances. Those of us who have stuck with him since his initial viral rise have been all too happy to gobble up the new content, though we do wonder when the man has found time to sleep. Among these numerous appearances, perhaps his most anticipated have been a series of debates with Sam Harris.
Sam Harris is a name some Christian readers may feel they haven’t heard in a while. He burst onto the scene in 2004 as the youngest of the infamous “Four Horsemen” (together with Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and the late Christopher Hitchens). Books like The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation were hailed glowingly as “a sustained nuclear assault” and “a breath of fresh fire” against the plague of religion, including Judeo-Christian religion.
But if the Four Horsemen were a band, we’d say they broke up a long time ago. Hitchens is dead, Dennett is old, and Dawkins was last seen wondering whether maybe we should de-stigmatize cannibalism. Harris, on the other hand, has launched a successful solo career, including but not limited to developing his own theory of morality, networking with free speech and anti-Islam activists, and offering meditation workshops. For the most part, these enterprises have run on parallel tracks to the critique of Judeo-Christian ideas in particular.
However, with the rise of Jordan Peterson, Judeo-Christian ideas are getting a new lease on life, if not in an orthodox sense, at least in a sense that still makes Sam Harris uncomfortable. It bothers Sam intensely that Peterson could sell out a theater multiple nights in a row for an in-depth lecture series on the book of Genesis. It bothers him that Peterson doesn’t dismiss Christianity as primitive Stone Age thinking. It bothers him, because it shows that for all the Horsemen’s yeomanly efforts, the Bible still hasn’t been relegated to the dustbin of history. And the effects are making themselves felt within his very own fan base, causing one YouTuber to ask in so many words “Is Sam Harris Losing his Audience to Jordan Peterson?”
But Harris is a fairly equable conversation partner, and the fact that he and Peterson have recently been thrown together in the strange conglomerate known as “The Intellectual Dark Web” has made it inevitable that they would meet formally to hash these questions out. Harris and Peterson met in four debates total this month, including two held in Vancouver and two held in the British isles. Diverging from the opening statement/cross-examination/rebuttal format of a typical debate, they functioned more as free-wheeling dialogues, occasionally punctuated by contributions from a moderator (in Vancouver, evolutionary biologist Bret Weinstein did the honors, while in Dublin and London they were joined by British journalist Douglas Murray, on whom more anon).
All four were sold out and professionally filmed, but to the ire of many fans (and the openly expressed disapproval of Bret Weinstein himself), producer Travis Pangburn has chosen to delay their release until August. Fortunately, bootleg audio of the debates has surfaced on YouTube. They might not be there for long, but meanwhile, I’ve listened to all four and found them to be a rich vein of discussion material. For Harris to have emerged as a challenger to Peterson is not something I would have predicted. But their live fencing matches have fascinatingly and tellingly exposed the fault lines in both men’s thinking. They are a must-hear for any Christian who wants to understand our culture’s spiritual zeitgeist, not only for what Harris and Peterson are bringing to the table, but for how the crowd is reacting to them.
So, while Pangburn dawdles, let’s discuss.
First of all, in case any confusion still remains (and in some circles apparently it does), it should be emphasized that while Peterson functions as the avatar of religion in these debates, the jury is still out for him on the truth claims of Christianity proper. He is a thoroughgoing pragmatist in the technical sense that if you’ve found an idea that seems to work in your everyday life, the mere fact that the idea works makes it true. Thus, when he observes that he cannot help resorting to religious language when dealing with his clinical patients, or that Christianity seems to be the engine that has historically kept Western civilization from descending into nihilism, as far as he is concerned this makes Christianity true. Or at least, true enough.
If that strikes you as a rather alien definition of “truth,” Sam Harris agrees with you, and I agree with Sam Harris. To speak truthfully, in the classical understanding, is to say of what is that it is and of what is not that it is not. In modern parlance, we would call this the “correspondence theory” of truth. It’s the only logically sustainable theory.
But Peterson is not so much concerned with logical sustainability. He’s concerned with sustainability, period. And he believes we have already seen what happens when atheists behave in consistently logical fashion. For him, the path of truth is synonymous with the path that takes Western civilization as far away from the gas chambers and the gulags as possible.
Here is where Harris raises his hand to protest that this is rather insulting, considering he’s written a whole book developing an atheistic framework for morality. If only enough people would just be reasonable and buy it (pun intended), we could have our cake and eat it too. Imagine no gas chambers, no gulags, and no God. It’s easy if you try. Needless to say, Peterson is unconvinced.
But now here’s the question of the hour: What are we talking about when we talk about God?
Sam Harris has had his answer since 2004: God is a personal entity, outside space-time yet able to intervene in human affairs. God is a Being to whom one could pray, and from whom one could expect to receive an answer. Sam Harris, of course, does not believe in such a God. But he knows whom he has not believed.
There was a time not so long ago when Jordan Peterson’s answer was more or less equally clear. As recently as half a year ago, when a reporter asked “Are you a Christian? Do you believe in God?” he answered, “I think the proper response to that is no, but I’m afraid He might exist.” This is the voice of Jordan Peterson, the modern man, articulating if not a properly atheistic response, at least a recognizably agnostic one.
But lately, he has been less forthcoming, asking what the questioner means by “God” and “belief.” At times he has appeared downright testy. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by Sam Harris, who wonders why Peterson can’t just unequivocally say “No,” like every other sophisticated person in Sam’s world. All right then, he asks Peterson in Vancouver, night one, what do you mean by God?
Jordan obliges, with a volley of definitions: “God is how we imaginatively and collectively represent the existence of an action of consciousness across time.” “God is that which eternally dies and is reborn in the pursuit of higher being and truth.” “God is the highest value in the hierarchy of values.” “God is the voice of conscience.” “God is the source of judgment, mercy, and guilt.” “God is the future to which we make sacrifices.”
An intriguing volley, to be sure. But not quite what Sam Harris is talking about when he talks about God. It’s all very well to talk about the utility of a God-concept. The problem for Harris is that civilized people in the 21st century still believe in a magical man in the sky. And they still believe in a magical man who performed miracles and rose from the dead. To kick off the London debate, Harris takes a straw poll of people in the audience (about 10,000 strong), to see what percentage believes in a personal, prayer-answering, living and active god. He then points at the ones who cheered affirmatively and turns to Peterson: “This is my concern.”
In Vancouver, night two, Harris zeroes in on the resurrection. Surely, as a man of science, Peterson can at least acknowledge that the resurrection probably didn’t happen? Surely this is the lowest of all possible bars for a modern man to clear? The ensuing exchange is fascinating:
Harris: “Let’s put this probabilistically. Anything is possible. I’ll tell you that it’s possible that he was physically resurrected.”
Peterson: “Well wait a second, I didn’t say that he was. I said it would take me 40 hours to answer the question. I didn’t say that he was.”
Harris: “Well how’s this for an answer: Almost certainly not.”
Harris again: “What’s wrong with that?”
[more applause and some laughter as Peterson pauses]
Peterson [testily]: “It’s a fine answer, and people have been giving that answer for a very long period of time. But the idea doesn’t seem to go away.”
Harris: “And that’s evidence of what, exactly?”
Peterson: “I don’t know.”
Aye, there’s the rub. Peterson is a man in two minds. He is two men in one man: There’s Jordan Peterson, the man who feels in every fiber of his being that we are more than merely material, that we have souls (whatever this means), that we are made in the image of God (whatever this means), and that the only way through life is to imitate Christ (whatever this means). And then there’s Jordan Peterson, the man of science, the man of hard data and experimentation and evidence, who told a journalist he left the church in his teens for “the reasons that everyone’s leaving.” This is the Jordan Peterson who finally does say in so many words to Sam, “I mean, I’m perfectly aware that making a deistic case or a case for religion in the face of the rationalist atheists is…well, it’s a very, very difficult thing to manage.”
It is telling that when Harris mockingly compares belief in God to a belief in Catgirl or astrology in these debates, Jordan’s immediate reaction is not to protest that this is a category error, but to say Catgirl and astrology aren’t as silly as all that. Indeed, the make-believe games of children and the make-believe games of adults are all equally fascinating, provided you view them all as manifestations of the same unfathomably deep psycho-evolutionary phenomena.
But, Harris protests, we are children no more. We must become men and put away childish things. We must, to the best of our ability, live as integrated beings. And we must respect the man in the crowd enough to tell him he’s wrong, instead of implying that “stupid people still need their myths.” This is the part where Peterson interjects, “We’re all stupid.” “We’re not that stupid,” Sam fires back. We’ve kept up this charade of Santa Claus in the sky long enough. It’s time to break the spell. It’s time to wake up.
Here, a third player enters the stage: the aforementioned Douglas Murray, who sits literally and figuratively between Harris and Peterson in the British debates. Harris tells the audience that they would be gravely mistaken to view Murray as a mere third wheel for the main event. He’s right. A verbal wunderkind, Murray wrote a biography in his teens, wrote a book-length defense of neo-conservatism in his 20s, and has established himself as a world-class authority on international politics, with particular emphasis on Islam and immigration. For a sample of his formidable oratory talents, look no further than this blistering speech on the prospect of a nuclear Iran, delivered when he looks to have been roughly my age. Murray is still only 39 years old.
If you examine Murray’s work, you will see that in his genteel British way, he has been saying many of the same things Peterson is saying. On his side of the pond, he sees how Islam has rushed into the hollowed-out corpse of European Christendom. He sees that nature abhors a vacuum, and for a continent to lose its faith has been to lose everything. So when European parents reflect that maybe church and Christian school would be “good for the kids,” Murray isn’t inclined to argue with them. Indeed, he is inclined to think that even a watered-down, cultural Christianity may be the last bulwark between Europe and its death, be it death by Islam or death by assisted suicide.
So yes, Sam Harris is welcome to trot out his moral landscape and assure us, like the meme, “This is fine.” But as Murray dryly puts it in one of the UK debates, “Underneath Sam Harris, it’s hell.”
Yet, if you ask Murray what he personally believes, he will tell you that of course, a perfectly rational man can’t really be a Christian any more. That spell broke for him long ago, when he discovered how German higher criticism had (he thought) decisively disqualified the Bible as a source of reliable truth claims. In the article where he first “came out” atheist, he recalls how his younger, painfully devout Anglican self tried to wade through this scholarship and put it aside with a shudder. He never looked back. Once you’ve learned Santa Claus isn’t real, you can’t unlearn it.
Now ten years on from that article, Murray speaks with the voice of an older and wiser man, a man who’s simply too tired to muster his old callow insouciance about religion. The glibness of the New Atheists is cold comfort to him. It’s all very well for Richard Dawkins to announce that science has “solved” everything. But as Murray devastatingly writes in his book The Strange Death of Europe, “…[M]ost of us still do not feel solved. We do not live our lives and experience our existence as solved beings.” (p. 267) The pat evolutionary narrative tells us one thing. Intuition tells us another thing. It tells us we are more than mere animals, mere cogs in the wheel. “We know we are something else, even if we do not know what that else is.”
And right there in a nutshell, Murray captures why Sam Harris is losing his audience to Jordan Peterson: People are tiring of glib. They have a need that is unmet, a void that is unfilled. And, as Peterson bluntly informs Harris on stage in London, watered-down Buddhism isn’t going to fill it.
But I would like to give Sam Harris his due. Setting aside the fact that no materialist truly practices what he preaches, at least his sermon has a point: We were not made to be split beings. We were not made to stake ourselves on blind faith. Our hearts and minds, our instincts and our knowledge, are meant to be aligned.
Jordan Peterson cannot offer such an alignment. But Christians can. More specifically, Christians prepared to give a rational answer for the hope that is in them. Christians prepared to stand up and politely demur that the ship of rational faith did not sail with the H. M. S. Beagle, that David Hume and David Strauss were beaten at their own game by their own contemporaries, and that you are quite welcome to approach the Bible as you would approach any historical document, because it is more than equal to the scrutiny.
This is not a sexy thing to say. It’s not a popular thing to say. It requires patience and time. It requires that we go back to the stack of books that the anguished young Douglas Murray shoved aside for another day. It requires that we take a hard look at the explanatory power of the Darwinian model. It requires that we ask the heirs of Hume just what exactly they mean by “extraordinary evidence.” It requires that we give Sam Harris what he wants when he asks us to put the resurrection probabilistically, which requires that we learn something about probability theory.
Now I say “we,” but I recognize that for many of my Christian readers, this sort of thing is just not your bag. I don’t wish to bind burdens on anyone’s backs. But let me make this appeal, at least: If you are a pastor, or a youth leader, or anyone with any kind of status in your church community, don’t hush people when they come to you with intellectual doubts.
Don’t hush the high-schooler who slides his Bible across your desk and says, “Explain to me why I should believe this book.”
Don’t brush aside the 13-year-old Jordan Peterson in your pew who walks into your office and says, “I’ve read Darwin you know. What’s up?”
You can say they’re being cocky. You can say they’re just making excuses. And maybe you’re right. But maybe you’re wrong—fatally, spectacularly wrong.
And if you can’t answer their questions, seek help from those who can. Say yes when they offer to speak at your church. Say yes when they offer you resources. Don’t shrug them off with a “Thanks, but we’re okay,” because I can assure you that some significant percentage of your young people are not okay. And if you don’t anticipate and repair what cracks are forming now, they may never be whole again.
Sam Harris is right to be worried. He’s right to be nervous. But he’s also right to sense that at the end of the day, Jordan Peterson can’t answer the questions he’s asking. This is not because Jordan Peterson is a con man. He’s simply a man who still hasn’t found what he’s looking for.
As Christians, we have an opportunity to complete the work Peterson has begun, whether he realizes it or not. We have an opportunity to show how the mind’s understanding might meet the heart’s longing. We have an opportunity to point people to the God who gave us faith and reason, and pronounced them both good.
Jordan Peterson is keeping the ball in the air. It’s up to the Church to get it over the net.
July-25-2018 Enemies Abound
The author is one of my American trip friends. See my previous postings of her writings (http://d.hatena.ne.jp/itunalily2/archive?word=Darlene+Casella). (Lily)
President Trump’s Enemies Abound
by Darlene Casella
23 July 2018
Robert Mueller’s hound dog lawyers, leftist media, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and others wish to convict Donald Trump of a crime: that he colluded with Russians to become President of the United States. Mueller’s multi-million-dollar bloodhounds have produced nothing against Trump or anyone in his campaign regarding that accusation, after more than a year of the chase.
The Helsinki meeting with Presidents Trump and Putin had leftists succumbing to the vapors in outrage. Chuck Schumer announced the farce that Trump is being blackmailed by the Kremlin, empty talking-heads bold-facedly repeated this falsehood as enemy lies proliferate.
Different legal concepts being entwined under the canopy of “Russian interference” enhance confusion which is parroted by those who do not understand, and by those mucking facts.
Russians have been poking into American elections and elections of other countries for decades. America pokes into elections of foreign countries. Presidents Clinton and Obama each worked against the elections of Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel. Russian operatives poked into the 2016 election by instigating fake ownership accounts in social media and writing about Clinton, Trump, and others.
The U.S. intelligence community has accused Russian cyber-espionage groups of hacking into the Democrat National Committee computers and leaking emails involving Hillary Clinton’s election campaign.
These Russian efforts are worrisome and should be prevented in the future. However, they were generated during the Obama Administration, not the Trump Administration. It is widely accepted that their efforts did not change the outcome of the election.
A troubling allegation - that candidate Trump colluded with Russians to gain an advantage and become President - has been investigated by Mueller and his merry band for more than 18 months, spending millions of taxpayer dollars. They have nothing to show that Trump or anyone affiliated with his campaign colluded with Russians. Their meager results brought charges against 12 Russian operatives for alleged activities during the Obama Administration. The indictments make it clear that no Americans were involved. There is no extradition with Russia, this will never come to trial. Mueller’s investigation seems like a ‘Trump is guilty of something’ verdict still searching for a crime.
In Helsinki, an Associated Press reporter asked the President: “Whom do you believe about Russian election interference — Putin or U.S. intelligence?” His response brought outrage. Arriving back in the US, Trump learned of the upset, asked to read the transcript, saw the misspoken word, and clarified it.
In Helsinki, Trump answered “…Why would the Russians…” He clarified that he intended to say “…why wouldn’t the Russians…” He then asked what happened to the DNC servers, and what happened to the 33,000 missing Hillary emails, and said that President Putin had denied vehemently his involvement in such during their pre-press conference summit.
Leftists refuse the clarification and jumped on it as Trump’s Waterloo. They are wrong. This is not the French Revolution and Trump is not Napoleon. He is more like General George Patton. President Trump understands the nature of combat; his enemies should beware.