Dartmouth's Daily Blog
News, commentary, criticism and praise for the College on the Hill, enlivened with history, culture and travel when we feel so moved.
This is an archived post. Please click here to see the latest entries.
The Pope’s Comments on Islamism
I have failed to follow in this space the Pope’s comments condemning the deadly religious crusade which a large faction of Islam now finds itself prosecuting. But the Anchoress, as the Anchoress tends to do, sums it up beautifully:
Any intelligent human being understands that one does not - in the 21st century - publicly touch on the subject of Islamic jihad and religious compulsion, no matter how delicately or distinctively, unless one wants to deal with a reaction that is both primitive and intimidating, by a group demonstrably closed to dialogue.Claudia Rosett had a good one, too. Gosh am I behind.
And yet Benedict, clearly an intelligent man, has done so. He has, in essence, dared to say to Islam, €œIs this really what you want to be doing, in this century? The rest of the world ‘s religions have put away the swords €¦how about we talk? €
Up to now, no one has come out and said that to Islam. The Pope is the first.
It ‘s a good rule of thumb that there is no one more easily offended than your average despot and surrounding acolytes. Tyranny by nature requires grand fictions, and when anyone dares point out that the emperor has no clothes, or the emperor is living it up while dressing his minions in suicide belts, or the emperor is murdering his own subjects and honing technologies and methods to blackmail, subjugate or kill anyone else in reach, then the emperor and his cohorts take huge offense. If you happen to live under their sway, they chuck you in prison. If you are outside the immediate reach of their secret police and terror squads, they do what they can to maneuver the debate onto their terms. They — who apologize for nothing — demand apologies.You know, President Bush has been talking a lot about freedom lately. He doesn’t do it well anymore. He used to, but not anymore. But there are those who still see that freedom, as stodgy a word as it is, is fresh and new and contentious. That it needs to be explained and brought into every conversation about the news of the day. That it really does need to be defended. The Middle East is not a free place, Islam is largely not a free religion, and a war is being intelligently waged on the corners of the world which are free.
If the debate in America in 2008 sounds anything like the things Rosett and the Anchoress have been writing, then it doesn’t matter the earmarks and the pork and the stupid social issues: the Republicans will win again.
Why? Because all of the people who talk like Claudia Rosett and the Anchoress—and the Pope, I suppose—find themselves voting for Republicans these days. That isn’t necessarily because they are Republican voters. It is because the politicians who talk and write and think like them, however inelegantly, are Republicans. It ought not be that way—there should hardly be a disparity between the parties on this issue. But there is—not because the Democratic Party dislikes freedom, of course, but because today’s Democrats in Washington are so petty and selfish and short-sighted that they create a de facto disparity—so Republicans keep winning.
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…
- The Dartmouth College Case
- 2007 Trustee Election
- Dartmouth Constitution
- Sunday Morning Sinatra
- The Indian Wars
Subscribe by Email
This website reflects the personal opinions of its authors. Any e-mails received may be published along with the full name of the sender. If you wish otherwise, please say so.
All content appearing at Dartblog.com should be presumed copyright 2004-2018 its respective bylined author unless otherwise noted or unless linked to original source.