Personally, I think a series of terror attacks on civilian targets (buses, trains, malls, schools) within the US would effectively end the Islamist project; even an apolgetic anti-war or Arabist left wouldn’t be able to mitigate the cries for retribution that Americans would insist upon in order to regain their quality of life...
Ok, granted, on Sept. 11 itself, there wasn't much of it going around, but by the next day educated temporary Bostonians were printing articles -- which I still have, for posterity and all that -- saying how heartbroken they were that we had brought it upon ourselves and deserved that and more. And he thinks making the US into Israel will make them oppose the US's enemies? (Because, you know, they all oppose Israel's enemies, right?)
Meh. Now back to your regularly scheduled pessimism, doom and gloom, severe headcold, and lack of anything to say.
Yes, clearly, this is the way to do it. You've got most Anglicans around the world mad at you for your and your followers' abandoning of traditional morality, so what do you do? Apologize for teaching them "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing." Think it'll work?
I had to follow the link before I realized that this wasn't a parody. The thing is, if it had been written as a parody, there would likely have been complaints of racism / bias / whatnot. My, the world's an odd place these days.
It has been brought to my attention lately that not everyone has the same moral code. (No, I don't work in rocket science -- why do you ask?)
Even having a religious grounding does not necessitate a moral system based on the heart, rather than the body. There is one story about an atheist. On his way to work every morning, and on his way home every evening, he would stop by the local shrine and kick the altar and religious images there to show his disgust with it. When he died, he went directly to heaven. When he, confused, asked why, he was told, "you came and paid me attention twice a day each day of your life. Even the most pious people rarely show me as much devotion as you have." Regardless of his beliefs, his actions earned him a place in heaven.
My sense of morality, as I have mentioned before, is grounded in my religious beliefs. Motives and thoughts carry as much moral weight as acts; to invent a ludicrous comparison, a man who has no thought of infidelity but sleeps with a woman he has mistaken for his wife (hey, it could happen!) is not as morally culpable as a man who, bent on infidelity, sleeps with his own wife who has disguised herself as a whore, although, on the surface of things, only the first man has committed a misdeed.
Similarly, a bomb aimed at a military target that kills innocent bystanders as an unintended and unfortunate side-effect stands on a different moral plane from a bomb with no other aim than the death of innocent bystanders. (Yes, yes, bombs, being inanimate, don't have moral aims and goals.... you know what I mean.)
In a few conversations I've had over the past while, I have learned that many people have a moral system like that in the atheist story above, based entirely on concrete actions, where motivations and mental states count for nothing. They are the people who see no moral difference in attacks aimed at civilians and those unsuccessful in avoiding all civilians, because the end result -- dead civilians -- is the same. Within my church, they are the people who see no difference between those who support women's ordination because of civil rights (or oppose it because of misogyny) and those who support (or oppose) it because of their interpretation of infallible scripture. They are those who think a doctor like my cousin who could save lives in the ER, but who goes into dermatology instead, is equally as reprehensible if she does it because her true passion lies with acne treatments or she does it because being home every day when her kids get home from school is her top priority as if she does it just for the high pay and nice hours.
Sometimes there are things you wish you hadn't found out about people. That it's all the same to them whether you are actively seeking to hurt them or you are simply misguided in your attempts to be nice to them may be one of those things.
(Disclaimer: making no moral statements on illegitimacy or abortion here; just practical discussion. Last time I did this, with no disclaimer, it was put about in the odd world of Wizbang's comments that I was taking a moral position. I wasn't then, and I am not now. Just for the record. AND: looking back on this, I have a feeling I'm not being clear, as usual. If I terribly offend you, bear in mind I may not have meant to say that!)
It's now been reported everywhere how a Catholic school wanted to bar a pregnant student from graduation, and how she walked anyway. Kudos to CNN for pointing this out:
The father of Cosby's child, also a senior at the school, was allowed to participate in graduation.
(To an extent, I see a justification for this difference in treatment -- if the only concern is the moral influence on the younger students, then it's rather easier to hide that a guy's about to be a father than that a girl's about to be a mother. However, I think there are many more concerns than that, looking at it from a conservative Catholic viewpoint, and no other concerns justify punishing the girl and not the guy.)
This is part of one of my long-term issues: You can fight abortion, and you can fight unwed motherhood,* but at some point (for example, the point after conception) you're going to have to choose which one is worse. Even making equal punishments for each doesn't actually work for impartial condemnation of each; as it's much easier to have an abortion without anyone knowing about it than to carry a child to term and give birth without anyone knowing about it, a pregnant girl faced with a specific punishment has the option of choosing birth and certain punishment or abortion and punishment only if discovered. And, unless I am mistaken, while traditional Catholic teaching does not approve of unwed motherhood (nor the behavior that led to it), after the fact they prefer it to abortion. Practices such as kicking pregnant girls out of school (not quite what they did in this case) and firing single mothers and potential single mothers, while they'll keep your school or company cosmetically pure-looking, will have the effect of encouraging abortion over illegitimacy. If pregnancy will actually destroy your life -- not in the sense in which it's commonly used, such as hampering your sorority social life or making you shop at Costco, but in the sense of barring you from the education generally necessary for a bright future or refusing you the employment necessary for survival -- then abortion, especially if you manage to do it without anyone finding out, may start to look like the lesser of two evils. Either there's a hypocrisy in the people-of-high-morals who prefer cosmetic purity (attained by purges of miscreants or by hushed-up bodily purges) to support and comfort for those openly bearing the consequences of their unacceptable behavior, or such people really haven't thought things through. I'll be charitable and assume idiocy or naivete over hypocrisy...
In a system, society, religion, culture, etc., where abortion is considered wrong, if a woman (pregnant with a healthy baby that she is physically capable of carrying to term) who also holds that belief finds abortion the best possible option, it is a sign that said system etc. is letting her down; as Alice Paul is reported to have said, in such a system, abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women.
UPDATE: Want something clearer? Cake-Eater Kate is much more lucidly angry. And has examples!
*If you're fighting unwed motherhood, you should really also be fighting unwed fatherhood. It is rather more difficult, however -- for one thing, you have to know who the father is. Equal or greater moral condemnation for them is something various religious groups have historically ignored but are increasingly taking up. In another sphere, legal penalties (e. g. child support) that are the same for all fathers, married or not, are a good step, as they do take away one disincentive to marry.
I've generally been bothered by the people who emphasize the need to protect the rights of a minority group (religious, political, ethnic, whatever) yet throw a fit about oppression whenever it's suggested that perhaps there should be laws in place to protect equally the rights of all groups, regardless of size. Majority groups should have equal rights to minority groups, it seems to me, and they should be equally protected from violation of those rights.
However, protecting the rights of a group and emphasizing the rights of a group are two quite different things. I'll now refine my position to acknowledge that difference. Large groups with their natural power accrue some level of inherent immunity to rights-violations, and therefore are generally less likely to be threatened. Taking press freedom, for example (which has legal merit neither in Britain (before 2003), nor in France, nor in Italy, those countries which have so much to teach us about freedoms) -- Podunksville Press, with a circulation of 200, should it for some reason come to the attention of the powers that be, could be censored with much more ease than the New York Times (or the Guardian, as linked above). That is definitely a reason for providing legal safeguards that the freedom of the press of Podunksville Press is not infringed (assuming, of course, that freedom of the press is a priori accepted), as Podunksville Press, due to its size, is much less able to defend itself. However, it is not a reason for not extending such safeguards to the New York Times as well; just because the New York times is less vulnerable to attacks on its press freedom it does not mean that the New York times is absolutely immune to such attacks. In another sphere: to use the stock Taliban example, a relatively small group of people is much more likely to be mistreated / oppressed / whatnot by a relatively large group of people, but that does not mean that a relatively small group of people cannot amass enough power to mistreat / oppress / whatnot a relatively large group of people, so the large group of people should not be exempted from legal protection against mistreatment / oppression. (What else is an oligarchy, anyhow?) So, sure, take extra care to be aware of any violation of the rights of the minority groups, as they are less capable of pointing out that their rights are being violated, but do not start believing that only minority groups can have their rights violated. Unequal concern, but equal treatment under the law!
I know this must be obvious to most people, but it just became clear to me, so I'm noting it.
On another topic: getting lost in the married-priests discussion is that the Catholic church has married priests, and has had them for decades: they were just married Anglican priests before. Perhaps that's one way to change, in fact -- once there's a critical mass of married former-Anglican Catholic priests, it won't really have all the baggage of an official change of position if they stop requiring the intermediate step of Anglicanism. Let's hear it for the slippery slope!