Saturday, August 31, 2013

‘Cheese-eating surrender monkeys’ deputised by the US Sheriff

From Mr Alexander Boot:

By joining the coalition with the USA and... well, the USA, François has done Americans a huge favour.

They can now resume referring to freedom fries by their original French name. They can again drink subtle wines with tannin in them, rather than the fruity products of Napa and Sonoma. They can even walk into a French restaurant without feeling guilty.

France is no longer the land of ‘cheese-eating surrender monkeys’. She’s ‘America’s oldest ally’.

That she is. Her alliance with America goes back to the insurgency against King George III, when the new friendship was first put on a firm anti-British foundation. “And the wind returneth again according to his circuits”, or what?

Britain, on the other hand, has lost her ‘deputy sheriff badge’. Dave’s Chancellor George is upset about this. Britain, he said, must undertake “national soul-searching” about her place in the world.

This shows, echo assorted commentators, that Britain is no longer a great imperial power. Right. So what else is new?

Britain lost that coveted status after the Second World War when she had to sell all her overseas possessions and gold to pay for the aid generously provided by the Americans. In fact, we paid off the last of the war-time debt only in 2006, which perhaps hints at the one-sided nature of the special relationship (American aid to Stalin came free of charge).

The Henry Jackson Society, the UK lapdog to the American neocons, bemoans the Commons vote, which they believe has damaged Britain’s reputation as a major global power. This shows that they have inherited not only the bellicosity of their American ringmasters, but also their ignorance and understated intellectual rigour.

The whole brouhaha proves yet again that the West, ably led by America, has lost its way. Cast adrift, it’s heading for the rocks, with Americans screaming ‘full speed ahead’.

To have an honourable place in the world, Dave and George, a country doesn’t have to be ‘great’. It has to be good.

In the old days, core European nations could be both. France and Holland, for example, were able to combine greatness and goodness in the 17th century, and England in the 18th. Now they more or less have to choose one or the other, especially if greatness is defined strictly in terms of riding shotgun to the USA.

Unlike greatness, goodness is a moral concept, not a geopolitical one. It involves upholding traditional values of Christendom, such as justice, respect for others, commitment to the sanctity of human life, honest work, family, pluralism, stern resolve to protect freedom.

It’s noticeable that Western nations that approximate goodness eschew greatness. Scandinavian countries, for example, last tried to pursue martial greatness in the 18th century, yet they still do have a place in the world. So does Switzerland, a highly militarised nation by the way. But the Swiss use their weapons as a guarantor of their own freedom – not as a greatness kit.

If Britain still were a Christian country, she wouldn’t be intoxicated by the heady brew of elusive greatness. She’d simply educate her children in the glory of our civilisation founded on our faith, work hard, trade with anyone wishing to do business, offer refuge to all Christians persecuted by tyrants and all Frenchmen impoverished by François.

And her statesmen wouldn’t whinge about Parliament refusing to play lickspittle to foreign socialists, congenitally committed to the characteristic belligerence of their creed, both the national and international kind.

Another endearing feature of socialists is the mendacity coded into their DNA. Desperate to express their testosteronal aggression, they are ever ready to falsify facts to suit their purpose.

Remember the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that provided the casus belli for Tony ‘Yo’ Blair? Remember Saddam’s complicity in 11 September that got America up in arms?

Those turned out to be red herrings, and the same may well turn out to be the case with the Syrian gas attack. We’d be well advised to take any information coming out of government circles with a whole shaker of salt, especially when the information looks precise.

Any adman will tell you that seemingly exact figures can be used for all sorts of nefarious purposes. For example, John Kerry declared that the precise number of casualties in the gas attack was 1,429, including 426 children.

How did he arrive at such precision in the total chaos of civil war, with a myriad of factions fighting house-to-house? No civil war in history, in fact no war tout court, has afforded opportunities for such actuarial accuracy. Are they sure that all those people were killed by nerve gas? Have they examined every one of the 1,429 bodies? Can we see the results of the post-mortems?

Lies, of course, are a small price to pay for greatness. Goodness is something else again – it has to be paid for in the coin of honesty. For all those Baracks, Daves, Françoises and Tonies this makes it too dear at the price.

Alexander Boot is a writer on political, cultural and religious themes


Blogger Span Ows said...

I think we'll be OK on this one...

31 August 2013 at 15:09  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

The special relationship forced in steel and set in stone gone in 48 hours !

Good news. Now let’s get our men out of Afghanistan. We’ll fight terrorism where we should have fought it all along. Our borders and our cities.

“Lads, you’ve mounted your last patrols today. We’ll pack the stars and stripes away, and head for home...”

31 August 2013 at 15:43  
Blogger meema said...

Oh! Mr. Boot! Well said!

“To have an honourable place in the world, Dave and George, a country doesn’t have to be ‘great’. It has to be good.”

In regard to the fallacious numbers, I have no explanation why anyone believes anything coming from any government spokesmouth, especially Americans. In the whole of Kerry’s pandering speech, full of the now commonly accepted as ‘drink the koolaide’ good words rhetoric, he never once mentioned that the irrefutable intel came from the Arab League. But we can trust them, right? I mean just because they wish to destroy us and are the ones seeking to overthrow Assad, well, minor details. Right?

31 August 2013 at 16:07  
Blogger Albert said...

Very wise piece.

Refusing to attack Syria tells us nothing about Britain as a world power. It also says nothing at all about whether Britain is walking away from her responsibilities. We are refusing to attack Syria because the case for action is utterly weak and muddled. The sine qua non of military action is that you do not cause more evil than you prevent. In view of the fact that no evil is being prevented in what is proposed, this action is profoundly immoral.

Why then, propose it? Because Obama loses face if he doesn't act. Hence, whereas once we had the "War of Gordon's Ear" so this should be called, "the War of Obama's Face."

That the British House of Commons has declined to fight for the President in this way, perhaps reflects the fact the he has shown no loyalty to us reflect the loyalty this country has shown to his country.

31 August 2013 at 16:25  
Blogger David B said...

A bit of a curate's egg of a post, but more good in it than bad.

Educating children in critical thinking and enlightenment values looks like a better idea to me, though we don't get many calls for critical thinking in education from faith based groups. Or politician, or big business.

That is understandable, I suppose, but regrettable for all that.


31 August 2013 at 18:20  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I reckon Machiavelli was onto something regarding morality when States deals with States.

31 August 2013 at 18:37  
Blogger Albert said...

David B,

though we don't get many calls for critical thinking in education from faith based groups

That's an odd comment. Why would it be down to faith groups to call for specifically critical thinking in education? When we call for better education - which we do all the time - what else can we mean but that children are taught to think properly? And guess what? It's the faith schools, and Catholic schools in particular, that outstrip the secular schools in every field, and by a long way. If you're looking for examples of schools that do not education children to think properly, you are far more likely to find them among the secularists than among the Catholic schools, at least.

31 August 2013 at 18:39  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Damn chilling stuff when an evangelical atheist is keen to direct education. Out the door goes Christian morality and decent family life, to be replaced by same sex sex, recreational drugs, pornography, anti religious hatred, body art, and any other number of filth items they have amassed on their way through a pointless life.

But the atheist's biggest gift to the world is their absolute intolerance of non atheists...

31 August 2013 at 18:55  
Blogger meema said...

I submit that most faith-based curricula, most particularly including home-schooling, is usually grounded in Greek Logic (logos) which, by definition, is the foundation of all critical thinking. This basic skill is no longer taught in secular government-based schools, having been replaced with touchy-feelly - how-do-you-feel-not-what-do-you-think pablum. Whereas the government schools are more concerned with the psychology of reasoning, faith-based schools lean more toward the principles of correct reasoning.

Clearly a conundrum for those who think ‘faith’ automatically excludes anyone from being a critical thinker, what?

31 August 2013 at 19:18  
Blogger Jay Bee said...

Given the recent history of friendly fire mishaps between two allies divided by a common language, I shudder to think what misunderstandings will cement the new military alliance.

31 August 2013 at 19:45  
Blogger David B said...

Inspector talks out of his behind as usual.

Atheists tend to be tolerant of theists, just as they are tolerant of other people who have been deluded by astrology, reiki, tarot.....though we also tend not to like scams much.

I don't know of any atheists who aren't concerned about good family lives, too, though we are not so keen on those who let their kids die in agony because they prefer to pray, nor those who want to beat the crap out of their kids because they are gay, don't want to learn the Koran by heart, or for other reasons based on middle eastern religious texts from long ago. Or, for that matter, biting foreskins off infants.

As far as recreational drugs go - don't I recall Inspector talking about his fondness for spirits? Or was I thinking of someone else?

Not that I don't enjoy a glass or so of wine or beer myself.



31 August 2013 at 20:14  
Blogger IanCad said...

OIG wrote:

"The special relationship forced in steel and set in stone gone in 48 hours"

Never been one.
It's all in our heads.

Now watch out for The Falklands and Gibralter.

America was never much for empires.
So they say.

31 August 2013 at 20:22  
Blogger Dr.D said...

If Obama starts WW III, as he seems intent on doing, the US forces involved will be limited to Obama, Holder, Kerry, and a few others from the O regime. There is no support for such a war in the USA at this time.

This is all about face-saving for Obama.

Fr. D+
Anglican Priest in the USA

31 August 2013 at 20:33  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

What David B and his ilk can offer is their absolute guarantee that an individuals right to hold religious faith will be tolerated. Of course, he’s not so keen on astrology and other scams, so they will be suppressed. And then we just hope that the generations of atheist rulers to come will be equally as tolerant as David B was. But one day, we get a particularly keen atheist in charge who’s read up on some dusty books he found and a quote stuck in his mind. “Religion is the opium of the people” and being a righteous soul in his atheist zeal, decides the people who believe need saving from themselves, so he...

31 August 2013 at 20:38  
Blogger Albert said...

Dr D,

This is all about face-saving for Obama.

Exactly. Lots of people are saying that this is too like Iraq. I'm not so sure - this has less justification than Iraq, and the similarity is that we don't feel we are being told the truth. You have told it. Under this President, American looks weak, even when taking military action.

And listening to Obama (or Obomber, as my wife inadvertently put it tonight!) going on about Syrian children killed by Assad. What about all the American children who are killed and would have been killed if the US followed Obama's views on abortion?

If he gets away with this, it will be luck rather than judgement.

31 August 2013 at 20:41  
Blogger Humble African said...

@ David B 20:14

The tolerance of atheists towards theists is overly condescending and elitist.

Atheists such as Dawkins and Sam Harris argue that moderate Christians are just as dangerous because they provide some form of cover for the extreme ones. How more intolerant can anyone be?

The fact is atheism is a faceless, meaningless practice that should be thankful for how far its come; providing ground for secularism and and all. It baffles me how a world view not based on any philosophy, logic or reason, use the very same words to confuse people into thinking it has something meaningful to it.

Quite honestly, the need to instill Christian values back into society is now inevitable.

31 August 2013 at 20:42  
Blogger meema said...


I do not believe this is about O saving face. Regardless the ‘polls’ his credibility and lack thereof does not align with the image the MSM desperately continues to shove at us. Thus far he has embarrassed himself so many times, I doubt very much if he is even able to see himself as others do. A common problem among narcissists, especially those, like a tyrant who has insulation from the ones assigned who protect him. But even the low information voters are beginning to ask questions.

And it doesn’t matter because...

I believe that the agenda is far more sinister and includes plans that have been in the works for many a decade. What is different now is that things are speeding up because there is an emboldenment and sense of nearing success so there’s hardly a need to hide it. “So what?” is the mantra. “What are you going to do about it?” Is the taunt spit out with an arrogant hiss.

31 August 2013 at 20:56  
Blogger The Explorer said...

David B @ 20:14

Atheist tolerance. A sample of exceptions:

Madeline Murray O'Hair.

Freedom from Religion Foundation


Everson v. Board of Education.

Atheism and bad family relationships. The death of Madeline Murray O'Hair takes a lot of beating. (Madeline took a lot of beating too, before she died).

31 August 2013 at 21:11  
Blogger Albert said...


Your reference to MM O'Hair reminds me that there is there a Freudian psychological theory that says that people become atheists because of a failure in their family - particularly that of the father. I don't buy the theory entirely, but I suspect it works in some cases - not least, for Freud himself.

I also suspect that the reason secular schools are less good than faith schools is at least in part because non religious people tend, when taken overall, to make less decent parents. We know that atheists give the least of all to charity. That implies a level of self-centredness that would not be surprising if it crept into family life.

31 August 2013 at 21:16  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

I am beginning to get the idea that Mr Boot doesn't like Americans all that much. It's doubly ironic since President Obama is ideologically speaking very European. Remember the headlines asking 'How can 50 million people be so dumb?' President Obama is the type of alternative that those dumb Americans were supposed to chose.

In any case, the President has announced he will seek congressional approval for any military action. That means it will be very limited in scope if it happens at all. The Pentagon is relieved and so am I. Perhaps the President has decided to save face by hiding behind Congress. Let's hope so.

In the meantime, I shall remember the combined voice of Europe pleading, begging, imploring the US to intervene in Bosnia. The continent that had evolved beyond war had somehow managed to create an ugly civil war within its midst, and needed the US to do something about it. The combined nations of Europe couldn't project power into Bosnia. Mr Boot, I am sure you would love us when you needed us.

Yes, and it will be a cold day in Hell before I will ever consider France an ally.


31 August 2013 at 21:18  
Blogger Nick said...

"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people" Proverbs 14:34

Very good piece Mr Boot. Incidentally, to be fair to the French, a recent Tealegraph article showed the French people are overwhelmingly against Frances involvement in Syria.

Hollande does not represent his people just as Dave does not represent us. France has the same political disease as we have.

As to the special one-way relationship, this is of course a farce these days. The Americans find it slightly amusing that the Brits consider themselves Americans special "mate".

As to French cheese, I will have nothing said against it. I am a committed Camembertophile.

31 August 2013 at 21:22  
Blogger meema said...

Carl Jacobs,

I don’t suppose you noticed that as O was declaring his devotion to the American process of the people, by the people, and for the people as his rationale for lobbing the war ball over the net to Congress, that he has won a judicial appeal to seal the White House visitor log, for as long as 12 years.

Last time I looked, the White House and its visitors belong to THE PEOPLE. Am I crazy?

31 August 2013 at 21:39  
Blogger Albert said...


I am beginning to get the idea that Mr Boot doesn't like Americans all that much.

I think that's quite unusual, if true. Most Brits are very friendly towards the US. It's Obama we can't stand (apart from those who wear rose-tinted spectacles). He hasn't nurtured his friends and is now paying the price.

Most Americans have the good sense to see that this action is unwise. But when they see Britain stands aside, and only France joins them, they will surely feel still more confident in that judgement.

31 August 2013 at 21:42  
Blogger Albert said...


save face by hiding behind Congress

That's how I read it too. If they say yes, he can blame them, if no, then he doesn't have to go through with it. The latter will leave the strange impression that American foreign policy is decided in London. Again, the price of unwise policy and not looking after your friends.

31 August 2013 at 21:46  
Blogger David B said...

Explorer, what is your beef with ACLU?

It often, quite correctly, defends civil liberties of religious people doing things I find distasteful.

In fact, AFAICS, it defends civil liberties without fear or favour, but certainly religious freedoms among them.

Don't see anything wrong with the FFR, either,from what I know of it.

As far as MMO'H goes, atheists are not immune from crime any more than Christians, and that doesn't seem to be either a family values or intolerance issue, just crime.

The other I'm unfamiliar with.


31 August 2013 at 21:56  
Blogger David B said...

Most Brits in my experience like Obama, especially in contrast to the Shrubbery.

I don't like the possible Syrian adventure, but I'm guessing he doesn't want to look week in the eyes of Republicans.

Rather like JFK and his disastrous Vietnam adventure.


31 August 2013 at 21:59  
Blogger Nick said...

"Unlike greatness, goodness is a moral concept, not a geopolitical one"

Therein lies the problem for the West. We have come to a place where "morality" is a dirty word with connotations of religion which don't sit easily with an increasingly atheistic culture.

A nation without morality is not really a nation, but a group of individuals looking out for themselves, and no concept of "the greater good". As we abandon our long-held values we risk becoming increasingly paralysed in both domestic and international politics. Countries that slide into this pit inevitably lose their power, influence, and their allies. Even once great empires and super-powers can end up being treated with contempt.

I suspect that underneath all the bellicose rhetoric, Obama is not as resolute about this campaign as he appears. It has more to do with political posturing than policy.

He is not the single-minded "crusader" that Son Of Bush was over Iraq. Both campaigns were unjustified, but if a president insists on committing a monumental blunder, better to make it look like he really believes in it, even if everybody else thinks he's a few vouchers short of a pop-up toaster.

31 August 2013 at 22:42  
Blogger The Explorer said...

David B @ 21:56.

Illustrative examples:

ACLU: 2007 court case re removal of cross from LA County's official seal.

FFR: Removal of nativity scene in Wisconsin rotunda, banning of long-established nativity celebration in Santa Monica. Removal of Montana Mountain statue of Christ.

Everson ruling: basis for removal of religious symbols from public life.

You can argue that this is a good thing. Harder to argue it as evidence of tolerance towards theism.

MMO'H: I expressed it badly. I was thinking of her estrangement from her son, Bill, after his religious conversion; and her public repudiation of him.

It was not one of her own family , true, who murdered her, raped her daughter etc. However, it was not random crime either. David Waters was an American-Atheists employee chosen by her, and with full knowledge of his criminal record.

The three O'Hairs who died had embezzled money from American Atheists, and were on the run with stolen funds when Waters, kidnapped, tortured and murdered them, before also murdering at least one of his accomplices.

31 August 2013 at 23:12  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


I hope we are both correct. My fear in a situation like this is always a captured pilot. Because then you are in deep ... well, you know. One way or another, you have to get him back. And suddenly, a limited mission isn't limited anymore.

That's why you only send people to war when you have a good reason to do so. Soldiers aren't chits on a board to be sacrificed for a better game position. They aren't resources to be expended for the sake of expressing moral outrage. Quite frankly, I think it has become too easy to commit soldiers to fight when (or perhaps because) we expect no casualties. That's a very dangerous attitude.


31 August 2013 at 23:12  
Blogger Martin said...

"To have an honourable place in the world, Dave and George, a country doesn’t have to be ‘great’. It has to be good."

Entirely agree, but perhaps no nation's leader actually represents the decent people. That, I'm afraid, is what democracy gives us.

As for Atheists, I've found the vast majority on Twitter to be nasty, even if they try to present a reasonable face. They certainly are remarkably intolerant.

As for religion being the opium of the people, it certainly can be, but that is not the true religion. One of the interesting factors about Christianity is the dislike by rulers of its pure form.

31 August 2013 at 23:17  
Blogger non mouse said...

Good article Mr. Boot - thank you. Yes, I agree with you that Amerigo Vespucciland has proved bad for us in the long haul. However, having now chosen their allies in general as europe, and in particular as the frogs - then we know that they will fail even more miserably than they have ever since the beginning of their 'Watch'.

Of course, so many of them are blind because they are just plain ignorant - that's just what their educational system and society does to them. They combine with others who refuse to see; so they'll keep blustering on and trying to convince us that their huge island alone - out of sheer altruism - saved us during the world wars.

They refuse to acknowledge that, had the British and the rest of the anglosphere not fought on in WWII, the Germans would have come at their multi-culti colony over the pole, over and under the Atlantic from Britain, and up from South America; and the Japanese would have moved in from Hawaii.

Unfortunately, whatever they forced us to agree to at the end of WWII has also come back to bite them. franco-german claptrap informs their own academic world (and so their institutions) as it does ours. More specifically, I know of several "English" departments that are now run by german and french academics. English input is welcome only if it makes marxist noises that lot can accept - and study of British Literature is falling by the wayside simply because the newer teachers haven't the insight or understanding to maintain it. Anyway, they'd rather sabotage it to massage the inferiority complexes at work in African-American and Post-Colonial minds.

This is sad, because there are some good and brilliant people in the US. They are all the more wonderful because they have developed in spite of the system of corruption and enforcement (oh, they love that concept) espoused by their class/money-ridden 'superiors'--- and mafiosi.

As I hope you might suggest, we'll be lucky if, both in Britain and in the US, some of those special people can begin to turn the tide against the powers that presently oppress us.

31 August 2013 at 23:20  
Blogger Martin said...

Of course the ACLU's activity in its desire to remove religion from the public sphere forgets that Atheism is religion, the religion of the worship of one's own intellect. The state religion of the USA

31 August 2013 at 23:23  
Blogger Albert said...


MMO'H: I expressed it badly. I was thinking of her estrangement from her son, Bill, after his religious conversion; and her public repudiation of him.

That's interesting. I assumed you were talking about her relationships with her father. Such were the unpleasantnesses of the private life of so prominent an atheist. Writes Paul Vitz, in his essay The Psychology of Atheism:

Let us jump 100 years or so and look at the life of one of America's best known atheists-Madalyn Murray O'Hair. Here I will quote from her son's recent book on what life was like in his family when he was a child. (Murray, 1982) The book opens when he is 8-years-old: "We rarely did anything together as a family. Hatred between my grandfather and mother barred such wholesome scenes." (p. 7) He writes that he really didn't know why his mother hated her father so much-but hate him she did, for the opening chapter records a very ugly fight in which she attempts to kill her father with a 10-inch butcher knife. Madalyn failed but screamed, "I'll see you dead. I'll get you yet. I'll walk on your grave!" (p. 8)

Whatever the cause of O'Hair's intense hatred of her father, it is clear from this book that it was deep and that it went back into her childhood-and at least psychological (e.g. p. 11) and possibly physical abuse is a plausible cause.

The evidence he gives of family failure being the cause of atheism is intriguing:

There certainly seem to be enough prominent atheists who fit the psychological pattern to suggest that, if Freud's accounts of the origins of religious belief are correct (which I don't think they are in most cases), he seems to have inadvertently to have a very good explanation of a great deal of atheism.

31 August 2013 at 23:25  
Blogger Gnostic said...

An excellent summation. Thank you.

31 August 2013 at 23:26  
Blogger Albert said...


My fear in a situation like this is always a captured pilot.

I wasn't imagining an attack in which the US got so close. BTW do you think Congress with back Obama on this?

31 August 2013 at 23:27  
Blogger Albert said...

David B,

Most Brits in my experience like Obama

Aren't most Brits seeing through him now? Most Americans seem to be. His approval ratings in the US are now only 3 points above Cameron's here. That's pretty bad.

31 August 2013 at 23:31  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


I don't think Congress will back him for anything more than stand-off strikes. Which is both safe and utterly pointless. What does he think he will accomplish? Deterrence? He won't actually deprive Assad of anything. The damage will be marginal and fixable in a relatively short time. The strike would actually accomplish the opposite of what he intends. It will make the US look weak and not strong. So why do it?


31 August 2013 at 23:38  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Ummm... Albert, I mean

31 August 2013 at 23:40  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Albert @ 23:25.

Her father too.

Charles Colson has an interesting account of a TV debate with her, and the sense of almost palpable hatred towards him emanating from her. And he wasn't even related!

31 August 2013 at 23:43  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Of course, France would not doubt be flattered to assume the role of US special chum in Europe. That it used to be the UK would not have sat easily with Obama. Well, we won’t go into his fathers problems with the British in Kenya...

Perhaps the French would like to consider a new national cemetery for the fallen to be. As the UK has found to it’s cost, being the US best mate doesn’t come without sacrifice...

1 September 2013 at 00:21  
Blogger David B said...

How could any decent American, any decent person, feel anything but contempt for the treasonable Charles Colson?

I presume it is he of whom we speak - the one who obstructed justice in order to get a criminal elected to the presidency?


1 September 2013 at 01:14  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

David B

You really should learn something about a subject before you comment on it. Go learn about Chuck Colson's life before and after he went to prison. Go learn why he went to prison. Then come back and admit to all here present the unjust and foolish nature of your accusation. You who deny the reality of God in a man's life. You will see it or you will prove yourself blind.


1 September 2013 at 01:35  
Blogger Ivan said...

he never once mentioned that the irrefutable intel came from the Arab League

The irrefutable nature of the evidence, that of the "smoking gun", here the order to use chemical weapons is that it was provided by the Israelis, specifically their unit 8200, specialised in listening into Syria. Nobody cares about the Arab League; they are jokers lacking all credibility.

1 September 2013 at 02:46  
Blogger The Explorer said...

David B @ 01:14

Your description of Colson is like describing St Paul as someone who persecuted Christians.

O'Hair hated Colson because he repented.

1 September 2013 at 08:12  
Blogger David B said...

So when was this tv show with Colson and O'Hair on it, and is there a link to it.

So far we have the account of someone who was a convicted criminal, and who apparently was dumb enough to be taken in by 'Mere Christianity' - a very poor piece of apologetics.

I'll tentatively grant Colson sincerity regarding his conversion, and he is far from the only politician who has taken up prison reform after learning something about prison at first hand.

I personally knew an ex-councillor who went to prison for what has turned out to be, in the scheme of things, a pretty trivial bit of false claiming for expenses, though reprehensible for all that, and who later became a member of an evangelical church.

To me it shows what lengths some people, consciously or not, will go to recover such self esteem as they can, and, since their esteem in the eyes of others in one field can never be recovered, to recover some esteem in the eyes of the membership of their church.

Mutual reinforcement is a very powerful means of getting people to believe nonsense, as you guys would realise if you could step out of your boxes for a moment and consider what leads members of religions which are completely incompatible with your own to believe.

There are for all practical purposes an infinite amount of conceptions of God, and I happen to believe in just one less that the monotheists among you.


1 September 2013 at 08:46  
Blogger IanCad said...

What you learn on this blog!
And I always thought it was O'hare as in Chicago.

I do still believe however, that the ear belonged to a certain Jenkins.

1 September 2013 at 08:49  
Blogger The Explorer said...

David B:

I read Colson's description of his encounter with O'Hair in 'The Good Life': Chapter 'The Bad News'.

David Frost was in the chair. The subject was religion, not politics, and the particular confrontation between O' Hair and Colson was about the Bible.

1 September 2013 at 09:32  
Blogger Albert said...

David B,

Mutual reinforcement is a very powerful means of getting people to believe nonsense, as you guys would realise if you could step out of your boxes for a moment and consider what leads members of religions which are completely incompatible with your own to believe.

Understand this, please: I think atheism is as unintelligent as you think religions are. It is typically, spectacularly ignorant - even among philosophers, and rooted in misconceptions and prejudices and isoften riddled with contradictions. It is profoundly irrational, insofar as those who are not religious are less happy and less healthy than those who are. It results in hopeless moral contradictions which suggest atheists are just wishful thinkers and power bidders. It is one world-view (or world-views) among many others, only it lacks even a coherent outlook. The cause of it, to me, is psychological and the mutual reinforcement of an increasingly unphilosophical and unself-critical secular culture.

I really suggest that you start applying your own critiques to your own position. Why don't you ever seem to do this? When I see you have posted a video apparently threatening Christianity, I watch it. When you and other atheists set arguments against us, we respond thoughtfully. But you atheists actually seem frightened of stepping out of your own boxes and judging your position by your own critique. And the philosophical history of this suggests this goes for the highest atheist philosophers. Just take Logical Positivism as an example.

1 September 2013 at 09:52  
Blogger Albert said...


It will make the US look weak and not strong.

Quite. The message sent will be "Mr Assad, if you must kill your people, please don't use chemical weapons." It would be better to do nothing, than to send that message.

1 September 2013 at 10:00  
Blogger The Explorer said...

David B/Ian Cad:

Politicians would think Colson was wrong only because he got caught.
He was offered a way back into the legal profession, but declined it in order to set up Prison Fellowship.

Definitely 0'Hair. I got her first name wrong initially: should have been 'Madalyn' not 'Madiline'.

PS: David, don't forget I was an atheist myself for many years. Quite a way outside the box.

1 September 2013 at 10:13  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


I don't see any reason to argue with David B about Chuck Colson. It's like arguing with someone who says the Russians bombed Pearl Harbor. He doesn't understand (because he has never taken the time to learn) the fundamental integrity of Colson's behavior. To say we should have despised Colson is to say we should deny the reality of repentance. For if Colson did not repent then no man has ever repented. And we are all of us chained to sins for which there can never be atonement.

Let it go. The blind love their blindness. For the record, Colson chose to plead guilty to a crime he admitted he had committed when he could have avoided jail altogether. He went to jail on principle.



1 September 2013 at 13:38  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


Even worse. It says "If you use Chemical weapons we will inflict no substantial punishment upon you." It makes the strike a cost of doing business. Deterrence requires the infliction of permanent loss.


1 September 2013 at 13:44  
Blogger Albert said...

Yes, that's true, Carl. Even supposing Mr Obama does not escalate the situation, his actions will only benefit heroic Mr Assad who stands firmly against Western, Imperialist, Crusader aggression. It's doing evil that no good may come of it - a uniquely bad reason for going to war.

1 September 2013 at 14:46  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

I just wonder if the French are 'cheese eating', does that mean us British are 'Fish n' Chips eating surrender monkeys?'

Of course Obama has brought all of this on himself- by saying CW were the trigger for US bombing and also by 'assuming' that Britain would do the 'jump, how high?' routine, when he has done nothing whatsoever in really supporting Anglo-American ties, but has taken us for granted. There have been numerous slights, some big and some small; getting rid of a bust of Churchill, ranting against 'British' Petroleum (half the owners are American!) and the general snubs to British leaders, in favour Russia, Germany , China and Islamic countries. What nation would willingly send troops into battle after 4 years of that sorta treatment ?

1 September 2013 at 20:36  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Oh and if Obama thinks that there will be a new 'Franco-American' alliance, he'll need to note that France is incredibly independent when it comes to 'great power politics'; the Force de Frappe is built around the idea of a French only nuclear weapons policy, all of the French politicians are in the 'Gaullist' tradition and finally probably 99% of them are anti-American/Anglo Saxon. Except when it helps to stick two fingers up at the 'Roist Beoufs'.

PS- I can't see Carl Jacobs eating frogs legs and snails any time soon...

1 September 2013 at 20:53  
Blogger LEN said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2 September 2013 at 11:03  

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