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Nov 12 2009

Fatwa Envy or the Usual Right-Wing Agenda?

This morning I saw an article on RenewAmerica.com [Yes, I should know better than to frequent such places.] that made me wonder whether the author was exhibiting true Fatwa Envy, or if he was simply spouting the usual right-wing agenda.

The author, Steve Kellmeyer, is Catholic. He’s written several books that (I’m assuming) appeal to the right-wing Orthodox Catholic crowd. Bill Donohue must love this guy.

The article that I read, “Why the left loves Islam”, also appears on Steve’s blog: “The Fifth Column: Orthodox Catholic commentary on current events” where it was originally published on 11 November 2009.

Steve starts out his post with a question:

On the surface, it seems a great mystery. Why would the leftist liberals who embrace abortion, homosexual rights, pornography, free love, sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll find Islam so endearing?

While I do consider myself to be quite the social liberal (and, by contrast, I think Steve is quite the social conservative), I must take issue with his characterization, or rather mischaracterization, of ‘leftist liberals’.

  • “…who embrace abortion…” Wrong! We don’t embrace abortion. We support a woman’s right to choose abortion as an option.
  • “…homosexual rights…” Correct! Well; sort of correct. We do support the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transsexual individuals. I prefer to think of it as a human rights issue, however.
  • “…pornography…” Wrong! Well; sort of wrong. I get the distinct impression that a lot of what Steve considers to be pornography, I would consider to be pretty tame. I’m guessing I could make Steve blush and/or cringe and/or drool fairly easily.

But let’s get to the focus of Steve’s post. He seems to think that we godless heathen leftist liberals “display a motherly, protective attitude” toward extreme fundamentalist Islam. The problem is, Steve doesn’t add the ‘extreme fundamentalist’ qualifiers in front of Islam. I did that because it’s what Steve means, but refuses to say in order to generate more hatred toward us leftists and toward Muslims. That’s right. Steve is a hate-monger.

Steve characterizes Islam as a religion which:

  • flogs sodomites,
  • executes raped women for having had sex outside of marriage,
  • forbids females from showing their face, much less their fundamentals,
  • virtually enslaves women inside their own homes by forbidding them to walk in public without the accompaniment of a male relative,
  • displays the height of patriarchy in its polygamous culture,
  • essentially forbids musical instruments of any kind, much less Western rock-n-roll,
  • denounces not only hard drugs, but even the use of alcohol as a violation of morality.
  • permits, indeed, tacitly encourages, the removal of every young girl’s clitoris by the age of seven without benefit of anesthesia.

Yes, hard-line fundamentalist Muslims probably wouldn’t argue with Steve’s list. Unfortunately, hard-line fundamentalist Christians have a list which really isn’t all that different. The odd thing is, people like Steve always cry, whine, bitch, and moan whenever we godless heathen liberal leftists characterize all Christians as being of the same ilk. Let’s make a deal, Steve: You stop bitching when we do it, and we’ll let you do it. you’ve already done it, so that means you’re now obligated to shut the fuck up about it when we call Christians the bloodthirsty, vengeful, hypocritical bastards that they are.

Lest Steve attempt to claim the moral high ground with his Christianity, let’s look at how a person might characterize his religion, with quotes from the very holy book they claim to follow.

  • Deuteronomy 22:22 “If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die.
  • Leviticus 21:9 “And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.
  • Luke 16:18 “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
  • Leviticus 20:9 “For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.
  • Exodus 35:2 “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.
  • Deuteronomy 7:1-6 “When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire. For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.[Not promoting a superiority complex, is it?]
  • Exodus 21:20-21 “If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.

Now that I’ve taken a moment to show Steve and everyone else that his little pet delusion about an invisible friend who watches over him and gives him rules to live by is just as cruel and vicious as the others, let’s see what else he has to say.

Why would leftists who hold candle-lit vigils outside American penitentiaries constantly coddle men who publicly, and with great fanfare, chop hands, feet and heads from their own criminals?

Wait, what? Sorry, Steve. Those of us who are against the death penalty are against the death penalty. We’re not ‘against the death penalty only in America’ or whatever it might be that your tiny little confused brain has cooked up.

Liberals and Muslims differ in their external expressions of how to live out their common fundamental value, but they do share a common, fundamental value.

Yes, everyone who happens to be what Steve considers a ‘liberal’ or what he considers to be a ‘Muslim’ share a common, fundamental value. That brush isn’t a bit too wide, is it, Steve?

Army Major Nidal Hakim Hasan was not the first to name the value, but he is certainly one of the more memorable: “We Love Death More Than You Love Life.”

The liberals and the Muslims are both, at bottom, nihilists.

Where the fuck do you get that, Steve? If you happen to have inside information regarding the Fort Hood shootings, and what Major Hasan was thinking at the time, then I’m sure the FBI would love to have a few words with you.

Did you come up with the ‘nihilists’ label on your own, or was ‘nihilism’ today’s word on your word-a-day calendar? Us godless heathen liberals don’t love death. We aren’t nihilists, in general, though some certainly could be. It’s not some sort of requirement. The same certainly applies to followers of Islam. Neither of us, as groups, love death.

Chrsitianity, on the other hand, seems to worship death. Your messiah rose from the dead, didn’t he? You’re all waiting to die so that you can get into heaven, right? You’re waiting for us godless heathens to be sent to a lake of fire for eternity, right? It seems to me that we are more likely to cherish life than you are. We aren’t hoping for some heavenly reward to come after death. We think it’s like a light switch that gets turned off. ‘Click’, and it’s over. You, on the other hand, have no reason to fret over what you’ve done in life, because you confessed, repented, and await those pearly gates.

The rest of Steve’s blather is an almost incomprehensible gibberish that seems to be a dialogue between the various voices in his head. He really is a special guy, and if he’s not on any antipsychotic medication at the moment, perhaps he should seek out some professional assistance. He goes on equating liberal with muslim, atheist with muslim, and other bullshit that makes no sense whatsoever. That’s why I’m not going to quote any more of it. I think reading it may actually prompt brain cells to die off.

In the end, Steve doesn’t make his point. He makes a good argument for psychotherapy, and I suggest he seek out a good therapist. One of these days, though I know it won’t be in my lifetime, Christianity and other religions will be marginalized and laughed at enough that people will simply refuse to take part in them. Until then, I, and others like me, will simply point at, and laugh at, and ridicule, people just like Steve Kellmeyer.

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  1. zdenny

    I think his article is a little off too. The reason that the left embraces Islam is because it is anti-Christian. When I was involved heavily in scholarship, the left embraced just about anything as long as it was not Christian. I was really amazed at the bias. While the left may not love Islamic teaching, it certainly shares their spirit.

    Nihilism can really only be applied to godless people since meaning has no transcendent counterpart. In godless thought, meaning is created within the bubble of self and never gets past the bubble of individual experience.

    I think the left and godless are also similar in that they reject the reality of love.

    Islam believes in obedience to God, the godless believe in obedience to the State; however, Christians believe in freedom and love which forms the foundation of democracy.

    The great uniting faith centered on the virtue of love is Christianity that binds all of humanity together for eternity to the love of God.

    You arguments from the OT are really a mischaracterization of Christianity. I noted that you did not quote one verse from the NT. The OT shows the reality of sin as well as it’s consequences.

    The NT shows how the resurrection of Christ provides new life as we participate in the love of God for eternity. It unites humanity under the umbrella of love including love for both your neighbor and your enemies.

    In the OT, we see the world without the love of God. In fact, the world became so evil that it was destroyed with a flood at one point. In the OT, God is like a gardener who is protecting the plants in the garden by pulling the weeds. Once a person had rejected the love of God, it really did not matter when they died.

    The NT is different because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The love of God is poured out on humanity through Jesus Christ and is transforming the world. Every weed in the NT is a potential healthy plant that can contribute to the overall goal of love in our world.

    Christianity is still growing encompassing over 34% of the population of the world. I find it interesting that you would laugh at the largest belief system in the world. I think natural selection has demonstrated the superiority of Christianity. The virtue of love that is a reality in God is something the world not only needs but also eagerly desires!

    God Bless

    1. Dan J

      And yet again, zdenny misinterprets reality. I think that would be a good book title, if not a blog title: ZDENNY Misinterprets Reality.

      The reason that the left embraces Islam is because it is anti-Christian.

      The left does not embrace Islam any more than it embraces any other religion. You’re seeing things that aren’t there.

      When I was involved heavily in scholarship…

      You mention this frequently, but give no details. That makes me question your ‘scholarship’.

      While the left may not love Islamic teaching, it certainly shares their spirit.

      What is the spirit of Islamic teaching that is shared with ‘the left’?

      I think the left and godless are also similar in that they reject the reality of love.

      Sorry, ZDENNY, but you fail. You aren’t allowed to redefine the word love to mean the Christian religion.

      You arguments from the OT are really a mischaracterization of Christianity. I noted that you did not quote one verse from the NT. The OT shows the reality of sin as well as it’s consequences.

      You really demonstrate your lack of reading ability on this one. You probably didn’t read a single item I put up there. Unless I’m sadly mistaken, I think Luke 16:18 is from the New Testament.

      Yes, the quotes I pulled do mischaracterize Christianity as it is currently practiced in most countries today, in exactly the same way that Steve Kellmeyer mischaracterized Islam in his article.

      Christianity is still growing encompassing over 34% of the population of the world. I find it interesting that you would laugh at the largest belief system in the world. I think natural selection has demonstrated the superiority of Christianity. The virtue of love that is a reality in God is something the world not only needs but also eagerly desires!

      Christianity infects about 32% of the world’s population, and that number is shrinking.

      I not only laugh at Christianity, I mock it, I ridicule it, I call it rude names, I shout out to anyone who will listen that Christianity, along with other religions, is bullshit that they don’t need.

      Your usual Christian bullshit is still bullshit. Nobody cares, Denny. Nobody gives a flying fuck about your god or your holy book. Neither of them are relevant.

  2. Jason Thibeault

    I’m a lefty. I dislike Islam as much as I dislike every other religion. It leads people to do stupid, violent, and antisocial things — just like Christianity. So… what does that say for your argument? Especially considering that Muslims would say “no, you’re reading it wrong” just like you’re saying “no, you’re reading it wrong”?

    1. Mossa

      I agree. Lefty here to and I dislike Islam as much as any other religion. The reson why I tend to punch at Christianity moire is, well, they have more power in the west world. If Islam had were the louder group here I wuld punch more at them.

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