Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Fanaticism Trumps Numbers and Wins

I sometimes wonder what the majority of Americans are willing to die for. Particularly when I see so many young people (and I have teenagers as well as very extensive access to the university) sliding through high school and the first few years of college without accepting the challenge of excellence or the rewards of hard work and personal self discipline. Many of these young people act as if they are the center of their own universe, and when things go wrong they blame those around them for their own failings.

Their behavior is only a symptom of what Ralph Peters calls the dream of a happy-face, godless world where nobody quarrels.

Let me put this article, which really is an article about the conflict in "Palestine," in context now.

Peters states in his article that the reason Hamas won was that they are religious fanatics willing to die for what they believe. Here's a quote:

Hamas won because its fighters are religious fanatics ready to die for their cause. Fatah runs an armed employment agency under the banner of Palestinian nationalism. Most of the latter's security men are on the payroll because relatives or ward pols got them jobs. And they want to stay alive to collect their wages.

The result was predictable. Our government pretended otherwise. Now hairs should be standing up on the backs of thousands of necks, from the White House to the Green Zone.

I look at this wide eyed passion to die for allah (lower case on purpose) and compare it to the apathy of Americans, and it does make me worry!

Our children and our current generation has been taught to "Believe in Yourself" since infancy and through television and our school system, rather than to believe in a higher purpose and a more noble calling. One's self esteem and comfort is more important than the unity and defense of the nation that gives us the freedom to live the lifestyles we enjoy. The values of our founding fathers - well - they are old fashioned and we are "more enlightened now". Bah!

As a Choral Director, I see this all the time in new choral music produced for the consumption of music programs from the elementary level through high school students. The texts are so watered down and "feel good" and do not raise the spirit of the young student to higher sights other than their own emotions and very limited experience. (Consider the fourth grade students in Maine who boldly declare that global warming is the worst problem in the whole world - even as we stand on the brink of WWIII) They speak of "putting our differences behind us" as if living in denial is going to make things better. Children sing about "looking inside" as if that will bring "light to the darkness" and solve all our world problems will bring. What are the children of the fanatics singing and chanting? "Kill America! Kill Jews! Kill Infidels!" None of this mamby-pamby "why can't we all get along" crap!

I could get off on a rant about the extreme political correctness of our government schools, but that will have to wait for another blog entry. I will say I am grateful that choral directors may still use sacred music as an educational tool as it is part of the culture of our Western Civilization.

What if a fanatical Hamas like group were to attack here - perhaps on one of our college campuses. I'm afraid we would see our young men and women cowering and screaming like children. Forgive me for this allusion, but they would be as cowardly as many students at Virginia Tech when "Hammer Boy" Cho went postal on them. (I know I'll get some flak for that statement)

We are not encouraged to be strong and brave and to face our adversaries head on, no matter what the cost. Why? Our faith is weak. Many have no faith except in themselves. I'm not trying to be an evangelical preacher, just a humble blogger. So many of us here in America, while we give lip service to words like Liberty, Freedom, Honor, Courage, Country, God, and Family, don't have enough gumption to be willing to lay it all on the line to defend what we do have.

Here's more from Ralph Peters:

Our problem is that, of those who rise in government, few have witnessed the power of revelation or caught a life-changing glimpse of the divine. They simply can't imagine that others might be willing to die for all that mumbo-jumbo. Our convenience-store approach to faith leaves us numb to the passion of our enemies.

The true believer always beats the feckless attendee. The best you can hope for is that the extremist will eventually defeat himself.

And that does leave us some hope: Fanatics inevitably over-reach, as al Qaeda's Islamo-fascists have done in Iraq, alienating those who once saw them as allies. But the road to self-destruction can be a long one: The people of Iran want change, but the fanatics have the guns. And sorry, folks: Fanatics with guns beat liberals with ideas.

Faith is the nuclear weapon of the fanatic. And there's not going to be a religious "nuclear freeze." It doesn't matter how many hearts and minds you win, if you don't defeat the zealots with the muscles.

The quoted article comes from Ralph Peters' new book, "Wars of Blood and Faith," which comes out on July 25. Yes I'm advertising for him, but he speaks truth to life. Read it and take it in. Our whole nation needs to.



Found a great quote:

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
John F. Kennedy 1.20.61

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