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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Culture War Goes On

“When a new source of taxation is found it never means, in practice, that an old source is abandoned. It merely means that the politicians have two ways of milking the taxpayer where they had only one before.” —H. L. Mencken

Fox News reports: Lyndon, Vt. -- Richard Downing and his wife Joan used to light up their 24-foot cross outside of their chapel during holy seasons. The town's development review board has already limited the number of days it can be lit up, and now officials want the cross taken down entirely.

"They felt that because of aesthetics it did not meet the character of the neighborhood, and so therefore, should not be there at all," said Municipal Manager Dan Hill of the Act 250 decision.

The Downings are appealing both rulings. They told News channel 5 that they are trying to appease neighbors by offering to plant trees around the cross, investing in dimmer lights and blocking out the light on certain sides of the cross. They want the cross to stay standing, and to be lit during Advent, Lent, and Mary's birthday.

You can read the full report by clicking here.

This is just another example of how Christians are discriminated against in this county. I am sure if the cross were a 50 foot minaret with a loud speaker blaring out the call to prayer five times each day the town council would be more tolerant.

It’s notable that the Municipal Manager noted that this was not a religious issue, but the cross, which had been there for years, did not meet the aesthetics of the neighborhood. Isn’t this similar to the NYC Ground Zero Mosque issue? Here we have a Christian Cross that represents the teachings and salvation of Jesus Christ and in NYC we have an Islamic Mosque and Cultural Center that represents submission to Sharia Law and jihad, both in contradiction to our Constitution and legal system.

The argument of the supporters of the NYC mosque is that this is an issue of religious freedom – a First Amendment issue. The position of those in opposition to the mosque is one of sensitivity and community values. Flip this over for the Vermont case. The issue here, as the Municipal Manager claims, is one of community values and aesthetics, not religious freedom – not a First Amendment issue. This is confusing to me, and I am sure many other Americans. We can bash Christians anytime we want, but its hands off the Muslims.

I am sure the town of Lyndon has zoning and use ordinances, after all its New England where they restrict everything but breathing and that’s being challenged as releasing too much carbon dioxide into the air. If the cross violates the ordinance, perhaps the ordinance is at error. This is an issue for the courts.

The issue of the NYC mosque is also one of community values. The majority of New Yorkers and Americans don’t want the mosque there. They don’t care where it is built, just not there. Those opposed to the mosque claim this is not a religious issue and I believe them.

The problem as I see it is one of public relations and lobbyists. The 4 million Muslims have developed a very good lobbing and propaganda arm after 9/11. It’s amazing how they have turned a blatant attack by Islamic radicals into a public relations victory. In our sense of tolerance and understanding we opened the door to organizations like CAIR, one of the most untruthful organizations in the country, to whine and cry over the perceived persecution of Muslims. I know of no cases where Muslims were injured or killed after 9/11/, unlike the hysteria fostered by that pillar of tolerance, Woodrow Wilson, during the First World Way when German-Americans were hung from lampposts in Wisconsin.

Organizations like CAIR began slowly cautioning against outbursts against “peaceful” Muslims. Hollywood stars like Richard Gere went on stage to decry the prejudice against Muslims with tear in his eyes. The mainstream media was quick to pick up on this theme and begin to lay a guilt trip on us.

After a few years and the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan these organizations began to move to another level. They began pointing out our mistreatment of Muslins in these two countries. Again the media picked up on this theme. Now the emboldened Muslim communities and organizations are pushing for Sharia Law in the United States and even go so far as to compare it to the U.S. Constitution. Oh, how far we have come in ten years.

On the other hand Christians have no such lobbing or propaganda arms. Since they have been at odds with each other since the Reformation they are a divided sect. Catholics don’t like Lutherans, Lutherans don’t like Baptists, Baptists don’t like Anglicans, and Evangelicals don’t like progressives like Universalists. Because of the intramural fighting Christians do not speak with one voice. The result of this squabbling has them vulnerable to the increased influence of the Islamic world.

Another point to consider is the guilt that has been imposed on Christians throughout history. We have been educated with a history that is basically anti Christian. When attempting to defend Christianity you will be confronted with statements such as: What about the vices of the Popes? Look at the Crusades. Christians cooperated with slavery and Christians are intolerant racists and homophobes. While some of this may be true it is not unique to Christians.

Look at the Muslims. Most people don’t know very much of the Muslim history and the intolerance and violence they have demonstrated over the years. The constant battle between Shiite and Sunni is overlooked. Their intolerance towards Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, and Jews is excused as merely local culture. It’s not local cultures it’s a fundamental tenant of their religion. Try wearing a crucifix around your neck in Saudi Arabia or bringing a bible into Afghanistan. You will be punished for those offensives. It’s a fact that Irish nursing nuns working in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to wear crucifixes in the open, a symbol of their devotion to Christ. Bringing a bible into Afghanistan is punishable by death, this just happened to four aid workers last week.

As for the Jews, no one really likes them, but they have the Holocaust to fall back on. They also have a very good lobbing group, Hollywood.

As for those who promote this Christian bashing; the atheists, the social progressives and left wing media they have a placed reserved in the Eighth Circle of Dante’s Hell at Bolgias 6 or 9. If you are not familiar with Dante’s Divine Comedy click here.

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