Friday, May 02, 2008

Paying for Politics, Not Cures

The Family Research Council draws on a recent Nature report that shows how political ideology controls the purse of medical progress in California. Dr. Bertram Lubin, a pioneer of ethical sickle-cell anaemia treatments, saw his research request for $5 million turned down by a 10-5 vote of the purse-keepers at California's Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) because, in part, he "lacked work on embyronic stem cells." No matter that he's already treating patients and seeking only to perfect his treatments through stem-cell research. What matters is that his research and treatment by-passes embryonic stem cells in favor of what happens to be the most promising path of stem-cell research -- adult stem cells. But the CIRM, with its $3 billion fund, is more committed to embryonic stem-cell research than to whatever line of stem-cell research is most effective. So the already-promising therapies are denied funding that would improve them and cure patients within a couple of years!

"We're not part of the 'in' crowd," Dr. Lubin told Nature. FRC President Tony Perkins' "Washington Update" for May 1, 2008 continues: "Even though embryonic stem cell therapies haven't yielded a single clinical trial, CIRM is willing to hold patients hostage who could be helped now by alternative research. It should be noted that one of the most controversial issues surrounding CIRM is that it has stacked its board with members who stand to benefit from ESC funding."

Chalk it up to ideology/political correctness and . . . "follow the money."

The Right Standard

Worthy of considering in a full essay is this thought: What is the right standard for Americans to use in all kinds of daily judgments, from deciding how much to trust someone selling a used car to choosing the next U.S. President? Here I begin considering this question, but only as preliminary notes toward a draft of such an essay.

The force of political correctness pushes us to apply the standard of proof required to convict a felon in court: proof beyond reasonable doubt. So if I don't trust Sen. Obama or Sen. Clinton to be our next President -- but especially if I don't trust Obama (an anti-Clinton feeling is not politically incorrect for all kinds of reasons) -- I have not been righteous in that secular sort of righteousness that the PC crowd demands of us. I, as a white guy, must support Obama in order to prove, apparently, that I'm not racist. To be truly righteous is to be truly tolerant, open-minded, willing to ride roughshod over all kinds of yellow and red caution flags popping up inside my head (even, as pertains to approving homosex in our society, over conscience itself) to show that I've been washed in the . . . well, I'm not sure what, since the blood of Jesus is anathema to secularists . . . but to show that I've been, I suppose, truly enlightened.

And if I choose not to vote for Obama, the only way to justify it is to establish it "beyond reasonable doubt." No, his association with Rev. Wright and aging Weathermen, etc., don't rise to that rigorous standard. All these can be explained, and I should accept the explanations and ignore the enduring lack of trust I feel toward this man as President.

But this standard is wrong for everyday life and a whole range of decisions, including choosing a President. It is the right standard for criminal conviction because what's at stake is the depriving of the convict's liberty, property, and perhaps even life. And our religiously-rooted conviction about the inherent dignity of each person requires us to prove that he is guilty in order to justify taking any of these inalienable rights from him.

But not so for the used car purchase or the election of a representative at any level, from local school board to US President. For these, all our resources of judgment, including and especially those pre-philosophical sensors of knowledge -- those feelings that point toward trust or mistrust -- are part of our God-given apparatus for living well in His world. We should use them. Refine and improve them, of course. But not squelch them by insisting on using only the most rigorous standard we know. We are foolish to squelch them under pressure from culturally suicidal PC, unless we want to join the suicide.

Barack Obama's Muslim Past and the Question about His Truthfulness

I'm not interested in mudslinging, and Sen. Obama may be our next President, although I dread that possibility. But evidence suggests that he has not been honest about his Muslim past, which Daniel Pipes has patiently documented without histrionics or overreaching judgments. His conclusion from an article sent by e-mail today summarizing the evidence from a wide range of sources:

"Obama's having been born and raised a Muslim and having left the faith to become a Christian make him neither more nor less qualified to become president of the United States. But if he was born and raised a Muslim and is now hiding that fact, this points to a major deceit, a fundamental misrepresentation about himself that has profound implications about his character and his suitability as president."

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Is this the "mighty, rushing wind" like Pentecost?

Probably Descartes and surely Hobbes and Hume would not, but John Locke and Blaise Pascal would join these believers' tears, and I too. I believe!

Why We Whisper: Restoring Our Right to Say "It's Wrong"

Watch Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) speak about his new book Why We Whisper: Restoring Our Right to Say "It's Wrong," coauthored with Clemson University professor Dr. J. David Woodward. It "examine[s] how government-imposed secularism and government-promoted destructive behavior have [since the 1960's] been the primary cause of [the] dangerous and costly deterioration of the character and values that have defined our nation." Why We Whisper "examine[s] how our First Freedoms and foundational virtues are being undermined by an intense, politically correct assault and argue that Americans who believe in traditional values cannot let this secularist agenda go unchallenged." --Amen.

Rally for Sally Succeeds

Some 1,500 filled a floor of the Oklahoma State Capitol yesterday (April 2) to stand by State Representative Sally Kern. Her opinion that the homosexual social and political agenda threatens our nation more than Islamic jihadists had evoked thousands of hateful responses. Most seem to have come from pro-homosex persons who, on other matters, would insist that they are committed heart and soul to the generous expansion of human freedom (read "same-sex marriage" or "four-sided triangle") -- except for the freedom of conscience-prompted speech that names their practices immoral.

Rep. Kern and her husband Pastor Steve Kern made clear that they oppose the homosex social-political agenda, not homosex persons, and that their ultimate purpose is to communicate the saving, life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ. They and Pastor Paul Blair, organizer of Reclaim Oklahoma for Christ ( and of this rally, have my deepest respect for their courage and obedience to God in "speaking the truth in love."

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Goodbye, Micky D's

I am saddened by McDonald's decision, reported by today's American Family Association's Action Alert, that McDonald's will put full resources behind the homosex agenda, including $s for the homosex Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and a top executive for its board.

Here's my response, and I encourage you to respond as well:

Mark E. Roberts, Ph.D.
[home address]
Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Andrew J. McKenna, President
McDonald's Plaza
Oak Brook, IL 60523
(Phone: 1-800-244-6227 or 630-623-3000
Fax: 630-623-5004)

Dear Chairman McKenna:

I am disheartened to learn from today’s American Family Association e-mail alert that McDonald's has decided to promote the homosex agenda in America. Contrary to your opposite claim, it is absolutely irresponsible of you to help make socially normal the immoral, perverse, and life-shortening homosex behavior by financial gifts to and through and participation in the NLGCC.

Did you not learn from Wal-Mart's failed marriage to the NLGCC?

As you think of the millions of kids who play at your stores and eat millions of Happy Meals, have you considered how many of them were produced naturally by a homosex couple? Answer: not one.

What other defining feature of “natural” do you need in order to know (as you and all humanity know, even when they suppress the knowledge for, say, monetary rea$on$) that the life the homosex promote is thoroughly unnatural. It is in no way good for the human species; and, you will see, sooner or later, less painfully now and more painfully later, it is not good for business, which benefits in every way from more, not fewer, births.

Mr. McKenna, McDonald’s is in for a pushback the likes of which it hasn’t ever seen. I've had my last McDonald's product ever until it publicly reverses this immoral decision completely. And I will encourage everyone I know to eat elsewhere.

Our boycott will hurt thousands of franchise owners, managers, and crew; and for that, I am very sorry, but your foolish decision is the cause, its reversal the solution. Many of these McDonald's partners will not support this action. Have you consulted them? Dare you? Now they’ll be forced either to put up with your gamble or to quit McDonald’s. Many of those who stay will work with divided, offended consciences. Do you care? And for what? Do the homosex really buy that much from McDonald’s? Or are you paying “protection money” to pacify a threatening group? Tell the truth. America will stand with you if you are feeling homosex heat and resist their bullying. But rank-and-file America will leave you – wait and see to your own peril – if you continue and squander McDonald’s funds and cultural influence.

McDonald's should remain neutral in the culture war. Continue providing the best fast food. Don’t fly the flag of homosex activism; don’t promote the aberrant and destructive behavior that cannot, on its own, procreate new customers. You’re now in danger of losing many of your old ones and will need new ones very, very soon. They won’t come from the homosex.

Best wishes,

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Climate change not a global crisis: Gore's Inconvenient Snowjob

The 2008 International Conference on Climate Change, sponsored by The Heartland Institute, met in Times Square, New York, March 2 - 4, 2008, and, on the basis of participation by hundreds of scientists whose work pertains to analysis of climate, released The Manhattan Declaration. Its major finding: "That human-caused climate change is not a global crisis." And "a new survey of 51,000 professional engineers, geologists, and geophysicists in Alberta, Canada found only 26 percent believe global warming is caused by human activity, and 68 percent disagree with the popular statement that 'the debate on the scientific causes of recent climate change is settled.'"

First, he gave us the Internet; now it appears that his "inconvenient truth" is a snowjob. Thank you, Mr. Gore. Retirement fits you nicely.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

STDs in 1/4 of American teen girls: Scientistic ideology blinds to the truth

We are told that 1/4 of American teenaged girls likely have some form of an STD; and then come the predictable and inadequate proposals of solution(s). What might you guess could save future girls from this fate? Our secularist culture has only one string on its guitar: (from today's New York Times)
“'High S.T.D. infection rates among young women, particularly young African-American women, are clear signs that we must continue developing ways to reach those most at risk,' said Dr. John M. Douglas Jr., who directs the centers’ division of S.T.D. prevention.
"The president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Cecile Richards, said the new findings 'emphasize the need for real comprehensive sex education.'
“'The national policy of promoting abstinence-only programs is a $1.5 billion failure,” Ms. Richards said, “and teenage girls are paying the real price.'”

How rich!

Yes, reach those most at risk. Yes, truly comprehensive sex education. But guess what PPF's notion of comprehensiveness manages to omit: yes, the transcendent ethical component of human sexuality that nearly all humans admit to knowing (even when they violate such norms routinely).

PPF swipes at abstinence education, as if the $1.5 billion spent (if true) failed. Well, not exactly, when that amount is (1) a pittance compared to everything else done under the veneer of sex ed; and (2) when whatever is done to urge youths to abstain from sex outside of marriage happens in combat-like conditions. That is, the abstinence message, when voiced, is preceded, threaded through, and followed by stronger voices that undermine it. It's like being given a grant to teach virtue in Madame Reno's brothel. Abstinence education is continously attacked and marginalized with the hopes of the likes of PPF that it will go away.

We've known for millennia that effective communication requires credibility -- both of the message itself and of the messengers. I don't trust PPF to make any kind of case for abstinence; their "non-profit" profit from operating abortuaries would nosedive. They ooze "conflict of interests" when it comes to advocating abstinence. And when credible communicators offer their message in our public schools today, it's like they're standing on the brothel's front porch. No wonder it's less effective than we'd like. Abstinence education will be quite effective when the messengers truly believe the abstinence message and speak it into a context of similar belief. Ideas do have consequences, and chief among such consequential ideas are those deeply, sincerely held beliefs. And failure to live up to such beliefs is evidence not against their truth but instead of the real moral conflict in which all of us live. But in our post-Enlightenment world, such deeply held beliefs about morality and ethics are poo-pooed as merely subjective values, about as close to knowledge as your preference for chocolate over vanilla ice cream.

What we face is the strength in their prime of some of the bastard children of the Enlightenment. That 17th-and-18th-centuries revolution in western thought had the effect (not intended by all who produced it) of devaluing and ultimately dismissing the moral sense common to all human beings remotely normal. It pushed common sense out of the throne room of knowledge, and crowned only the following with the Culture's Seal of Approval:

  • that which is self-evident to all, publicly (such as the law of non-contradiction, whether or not someone can state it; but not the contents of your or my conscience, since we do disagree, sometimes to often, about that);
  • that which is deduced from such self-evidence by moves of logic that we can't doubt (e.g., the classic syllogism: All men are mortals; Socrates is a man; therefore, S. is mortal -- no one can imagine doubting the conclusion or the reasoning);
  • and that which is verified empirically, that is, laboratory-style.
Notice what is left out: our perhaps most important pre-philosophical intuitions about right and wrong and reality itself, the stuff we used to refer to -- and expect everyone else to acknowledge -- as "common sense." What is left out is the pre-philosophical knowledge of God, which tradition and Scripture claim to be universal. What is left out -- or at least hedged about quite a bit -- is this ineradicable sense that we ought to do and seek the good and not do and avoid the wrong and the evil; and that we should nourish and not suppress this strong compulsion toward good and be willing to discipline our appetites as needed to help us proceed on this path; and that we should use all the powers of reason and observation and all means of extending knowledge to likewise help us on this path. And so forth.

But in the Enlightenment world that continues to grip our cultural authorities (the learned societies, king of which is anything "scientific"), anything that has to do with ethics or religion is, by ideological stipulation, incapable of being classified as "knowledge," usually being allowed to survive in polite company under the patronizing, condescending notion of "one's private beliefs and values," which are fine to have and hold -- privately -- but which should never intrude into the world of real knowledge. With this comes the dualisms of Secular (where the truly important stuff happens) vs. Sacred (which is the realm of private delight and guilt but banished from the Realm of Knowledge). Also comes the ideology of secularist education: that just the correct knowledge will produce the right affections and behaviors; or, worse, the correct knowledge plus the momentarily correct social affections and behaviors will condition those immersed in this witches' brew to think, feel, and act in conformity with the authorized social norms, regardless of whether those norms are true or truly good.

So, PPF's comprehensive sex ed will not take seriously, if at all, what the vast majority of human beings worldwide know and have known: that the human sexual act ought to be reserved to marriage (even if polygamous). The scientistic ideology born of the Great Moral Darkening (aka Enlightenment) denies that people know any such thing. If it mentions abstinence until marriage, it won't assert with confidence, "this is how you and all of us should behave," but it will mumble something smarmy like "get in touch with your values and decide what's right for you and your partner," which constitutes the wholesale abdication of adults from their most important role: that of confidently guiding the young into maturity. We've been doing this culturally at least since the 60's, since those lame university administrators (and faculty -- of which I am one today) capitulated to the petulant, insufficiently spanked hoodlums posing as college students and let "the inmates run the asylum" and replace the curriculum fashioned by those who were in a position to know better than their juniors with the smorgasbord approach to learning that presumes that students already know what they need to learn and will choose the right course for their education without anyone's having to say "you must study x and y."

See J. Budziszewski's What We Can't Not Know: A Guide and Michael Wittmer's "God Exists" for more thoughts along these lines. And weep for the children we have abandoned and continue to abandon, even as we ply them with iPods and You Tube and watch more and more of them reach their twenties with bodies (and souls) already as spent as those we used to think populated only sailors' ports of call.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Support OK Representative Sally Kern

Our sister in Christ, OK State Rep. Sally Kern, needs her family of faith to stand with her right now. She has expressed the truth with gentleness and love about the personal and social sin and threat of homosexuality and is reaping thousands of hate-filled responses from pro-homosexual persons, including some wishing her death. (These are the same folks clamoring to pass "hate crimes" legislation that will gag free speech. Translated, their double-talk means, "Naming immoral sex as immoral and empiricially harmful shall be a criminal act, but we can vaporize you with our verbal hatred whenever we wish.")

You can familiarize yourself with some of the facts at the places listed at the bottom of this post; but please send her an e-mail of support ( right now, pray for her, and do whatever else God may lead you to do.

I met her at a Reclaim Oklahoma for Christ event last year, and I was impressed by how humble, straightforward, and non-politician-like she is. She is a lifelong believer, wife of a faithful Baptist pastor in Oklahoma City, career public school teacher, and grandmother (I believe). Nothing I witnessed in her marked her as a politico. How did she end up in the Oklahoma legislature and now at the center of this all-too-predictable storm? Because, as I recall her testimony, God spoke to her repeatedly through prayer and moved her to serve Him through serving the citizens of her district and state.

We need many, many more public servants like Representative Sally Kern. Maybe God is calling you? I am sure He is calling you to stand with Rep. Kern, His Esther for today. She is standing for us on the front lines of the battle for righteousness. Let's join her: (You can also vote at a local TV station for her not to resign from office.)

First, for the absolute best biblical resources about homosex, see No one has researched more fully and debated more effectively the incursions of Scripture-twisting into the church and academy to support homosex practice. Dr. Gagnon often finds opponents who, when defeated in scholarly debate, finally say "Well, it's really not about Scripture and its authority anyway. It's about what I want to do." I don't quote this in glee, because it is in the heart of every human until God graciously regenerates him or her: "the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth" (Romans 1:18 RSV).

Second, here are links to more information:
Oklahoma legislator under attack for saying H-Agenda is destroying the nation March 10, 2008
Oklahoma legislator's anti-gay comments stir hostile reaction March 10, 2008

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Open Letter to Mr. Ibrahim Hooper, Communications Director, CAIR

[CAIR is the Council on American Islamic Relations.]

Dear Mr. Hooper:

Your e-mail message yesterday, 8 January 2008, began with this: "Anti-Muslim bigotry is at an all time high with politicians and radio talk show hosts leading the way. What should we do in response? What can we do?"

In this open-letter response, with the help of Mr. David Rusin, I point out lots of things Muslims can do to receive more favorable media coverage and the pointlessness of your media reformation efforts. It's really pretty simple: Have Muslims stop behaving badly, from routine incivilities to intimidation, maiming, and murder. Stop that, and what you wrongly call bigotry will stop. There's your job, not changing politicians and radio hosts, but changing Islam. I wish you well.

Mark E. Roberts, Ph.D.


MEF News Mailing List January 10, 2008

"Portrait of the Artist as a Dhimmified Man"

by David J. Rusin
Pajamas Media
[Visit this link to see many links in the following article that did not copy onto this blog.]

"Art is not what you see," noted Edgar Degas, "but what you make others see." Ninety years after his death, a new maxim applies to Europe: The art that you do not see reflects what everyone already sees. And what we see is the preemptive surrender of public freedoms in the name of appeasing the continent's restive Muslim underclass.

Grayson Perry serves as the ideal poster boy — or perhaps poster girl — for this discomfiting trend. A Turner Prize recipient and England's most famous cross-dressing potter, Perry has been heralded for his controversial explorations of religious imagery, which include a vase entitled "Transvestite Brides of Christ" and a portrayal of the Virgin Mary that is best left to the imagination. Yet apparently there are some boundaries that even groundbreaking artists dare not cross.

"I've censored myself," Perry told the Times, admitting that he treads lightly around radical Islam. "With other targets you've got a better idea of who they are but Islamism is very amorphous. You don't know what the threshold is. Even what seems an innocuous image might trigger off a really violent reaction so I just play safe all the time." Self-censorship thus boils down to self-preservation. "The reason I haven't gone all out attacking Islamism in my art is because I feel real fear that someone will slit my throat." [Mr. Hooper: I won't be subtle: here's your Islam/Muslim PR problem: murder, allegedly in the name of G-d. Until that stops, worldwide, Islam will be revealed for what it is -- not what pundits opine it to be, but what these who fill graves have experienced the religion of the crescent and scimitar to be -- to many thousands of victims worldwide -- angry and unmerciful.]

His fears are not without logic. On the morning of November 2, 2004, hours before Americans would vote in an election shaped by the conflict between radical Islam and the West, that conflict violently manifested itself on the streets of Amsterdam. There, filmmaker Theo van Gogh succumbed to a rain of bullets from the gun of Mohammed Bouyeri, a Dutch Muslim of Moroccan extract. Bouyeri proceeded to slash his victim's neck to near decapitation before leaving a pair of knives impaled in his chest. [Mr. Hooper: Does the press malign Islam when it reports the truth about this murder; or does Islam prolong its record of unjustified, vigilante violence, motivated not by God but by the one who has been a killer and deceiver from his beginning, the satan?] One pinned a letter outlining his grievances and threatening ex-Muslim activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

The controversialist's life and death form a microcosm of Europe's new realities. An equal-opportunity offender, van Gogh loathed all religions and never missed a chance to insult the faithful — Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike. However, his demise was directly linked to Submission, a short film written by Hirsi Ali that depicts the abuse of women in Muslim cultures. The contrast is striking. Christians and Jews responded to van Gogh's provocations with the occasional letter or picket sign, but a young Muslim chose an HS 2000 firearm as his instrument of "protest." [Mr. Hooper: Here's the challenge for you and any Muslims motivated by sincere good will toward infidels {if such good will toward infidels is even virtuous in Islam. Is it?}: Can Islam contribute to contemporary life, outside the lands where it dominates, civilly? Or does it play a temporary role on the stage of western democracy, biding its time until armed jihad will seek to grasp power in today's non-Muslim lands? The evidence worries Christians and Jews, who are learning to live together peacefully, without diluting their sincere religious convictions.]

Van Gogh's murder was neither the first nor the most recent case of Islamists employing violence to intimidate the Western creative class. Just ask Salman Rushdie, the British author of The Satanic Verses, who is now completing his second decade of sequestration following the death sentence pronounced by Iranian clerics. Renewed pledges of retaliation rose up on the heels of his knighting in 2007. The danger is undeniable. Several translators of Verses were assaulted at the behest of the 1989 fatwa; one, Hitoshi Igarashi, was killed.

Violence also erupted in the wake of the infamous Mohammed cartoons, first printed by the Danish broadsheet Jyllands-Posten in fall 2005. Dozens perished across the globe, consulates were set ablaze, threats of murder and kidnapping were issued, and several of the artists went into hiding. Islamists also marched on Denmark's London embassy, raising placards that read "Europe you will pay, your 9/11 will come," "Behead those who insult Islam," "Freedom go to hell," and "Be prepared for the real holocaust." [Mr. Hooper, are you there? What treatment would you ask of the media for this barbarism?]

Ironically, the cartoons were put forth as a protest against the type of self-censorship described by Grayson Perry. Jyllands-Posten editor Flemming Rose commissioned them after learning that a Danish writer had been unable to find an artist willing to illustrate his book about the life of Mohammed. A report noted that "one [declined] with reference to the murder in Amsterdam of the film director Theo van Gogh, while another [cited the attack on] the lecturer at the Carsten Niebuhr Institute in Copenhagen." The latter victim was assaulted for reading passages from the Koran to an infidel audience. [Mr. Hooper, Couldn't Muslims find a way to rejoice that infidels are reading the Koran; or is this another event that the media got all wrong in its, according to you, intent to malign Muslims?]

The cartoon controversy has only accelerated self-censorship. A museum in The Hague recently declined to display a photograph by Sooreh Hera that shows two gay men wearing masks of Mohammed and Ali, based on fears that "certain people in our society might perceive it as offensive." Though critics of this action were assured that "all Dutch museums are free to choose what they exhibit," Hera disagreed. "Apparently a Muslim minority decides what will be on display in the museum." The artist has now retreated to an "unspecified location" following emails promising to "burn you naked or put a bullet in your mouth."Similarly, in October 2006 London's Whitechapel Art Gallery removed erotic works by the surrealist Hans Bellmer. According to the curator, "the motive was simply to not shock the population of the Whitechapel neighborhood, which is partly Muslim." The pictures were pulled merely one week after a Berlin opera house had cancelled — then sheepishly reinstated — performances of Mozart's Idomeneo, in which the title character grandstands with the severed heads of Poseidon, Buddha, Jesus, and Mohammed. Needless to say, the severed heads of Poseidon, Buddha, and Jesus were never an issue.

Amir Taheri has compiled other disturbing cases from across the continent: German carnivals prohibiting costumes that might look "Islamic," Spanish towns canceling traditional festivals marking the victory over the Moors, the blacklisting of books deemed critical of Islam, and the removal from public view of illuminated manuscripts that feature images of Mohammed. [Mr. Hooper: Should journalists vet their articles with you or CAIR and receive your Islamic imprimatur before publishing anything that might touch on Islam? Is this what you mean by a free press; or are you seeking a free pass?]

Even art aimed at children has not been immune, as evidenced by a British school that excised the pigs from The Three Little Pigs to forestall Muslim objections. "If changing a few words avoids offense then we will do so," a teacher explained. The school later reversed the decision. Likewise, British author Kes Gray just postponed a reprinting of his "inclusive" children's book so that Mohammed the Mole could be renamed Morgan. "I had no idea at all of the sensitivities of the name Mohammed until seeing this case in Sudan," he said, referencing the teacher imprisoned over a class teddy bear. "As soon as I saw the news I thought, 'Oh gosh, I've got a mole called Mohammed — this is not good.'"

Particularly "not good" is the preemptive nature of these capitulations. "At this point, it seems, terrorists don't even need to issue a specific threat in order to intimidate us," observed Der Spiegel. Indeed, many of the above productions or exhibits faced no threats at all. Some Muslims are even helping to expose the hypersensitivity for what it is. Regarding the Pigs fiasco, the Daily Mail reported that "Islamic leaders condemned the politically correct move as misguided and said decisions like this were turning Muslims into 'misfits' in society." [Mr. Hooper: Have you joined -- or will you join -- these Islamic leaders in condemning such intimidation? If not, don't ask the media to favor you with puffery that air-brushes Islamic incivility and worse into coffee-table art.]

There can be no true freedom in a climate of fear. Given the history of Islamist violence directed at European artists, a significant portion of that fear is justified. However, the continent's groveling cultural elites have needlessly exacerbated this atmosphere. Their inability or unwillingness to distinguish between Islam and Islamism magnifies the perceived strength of the radicals, while their eagerness to assume the role of dhimmis — subjugated infidels living under Islamic rule — can only demoralize the population and embolden the extremists. [Mr. Hooper: How are you, and how is CAIR, distinguishing between Islam and Islamism? And in what ways is it using its PR megaphone to condemn Islamism? If it is silent when condemnation is called for, why should its own misuse of media warrant CAIR's insistence that non-Muslim media portray Islam more favorably?]

Will Europe ultimately choose to preserve the foundational values of classical liberalism forged during its Renaissance and Enlightenment? Or will it suffer a long, slow decline into the dark ages of dhimmitude? For now, only one conclusion appears certain: somewhere in a Dutch prison cell, Mohammed Bouyeri is smiling. [Mr. Hooper: I truly wonder -- behind the web sites, the restrained press releases, the game face on camera and microphone, away from the PR/media machine, are you secretly smiling with Bouyeri? Here's where you and CAIR can do some good: Say and do the truth. That's what freedom in and of the West is for. Join us in this noble endeavor, and you and we may be able to mutually enrich our lives, to the glory of God.]

David J. Rusin is a research associate at Islamist Watch and a Philadelphia-based editor for Pajamas Media.
He holds a Ph.D. in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Pennsylvania.
Please feel free to contact him at