Bayonne is a clean, tidy little town not ten minutes from New York City. Actually not so little; it's the tenth largest city in New Jersey and larger than 97.5% of all other localities in the United States. Of its 60,000 population nearly 60% trace their ancestry from three of the most Catholic countries in Europe: Ireland, Italy, and Poland. Bayonne arguably has the most churches per square foot than any city in the World.
But Bayonne, with its tree-lined streets and quiet, safe neighborhoods never pushed its Catholicism in your face. So when you see these arrogant out-of-towners on the corner of 23rd and Broadway handing out fliers you know they can't be native Bayonnites.
It happens that I am an atheist Jew baptized Catholic who made his Communion at Mount Carmel Church in Bayonne and who studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Why that happened is another story for another time. However, in all my experience, the God in the New Testament is of infinite Compassion and his step-wife Mary (the mother of his only son) is the epitome of Mercy. Surely in that Universe, God will forgive an unbeliever like me (who happens to be one of his Chosen People) and allow me into Heaven, despite my sins.
Now if you take a different view; one in which God is a petty, mean-spirited, elitist bastard who cannot tolerate anyone who deviates even a scintilla from his rigid program, then I suppose you are right: that God will only let in people who are just as inhumane and bitchy like himself. It's up to you what kind of God you believe in.
People like those above, are really no different than our poor, misguided Muslim brethren who believe that infidels must eventually convert to Islam or die. But, if there is a God in Heaven and he lives by the ideal qualities of Mercy and Compassion that are ascribed to him by the faithful, then truly, even these idiots above will find themselves in Heaven along with me. I will greet them and tell them, "Now don't you feel foolish?"
A real God would welcome all his children to Heaven: the fools, the idiots, the sinners and yes, even us atheists.
By the way, I am one of those atheists who happens to enjoy celebrating the Christmas Season, listening to "God Bless America" (yes I tear up every single time I hear it) and feel complimented when someone wishes me "Merry Christmas." These are all part of the American tradition and as long as no one forces me to believe their particular version of creation, I can tolerate them all. I would even tolerate Muslims if they would simply accommodate themselves to their new country, wherever they may be.
Jews have lived in the United States and Europe for centuries without demanding that their host countries change their cultures to satisfy them. Pigs are just as abhorrent to Jews as to Muslims but they do not throw rocks at windows that have piggy banks in them. Jews do not ask that you change your church's flag so as to not offend them. Jews do not ask that you make the public school lunches all Kosher as Muslims have asked for them to be all Halal. And Jews do not burn embassies to the ground when you print offending cartoons.
When my family came to America we accepted living in an American Culture. Otherwise why come here? If you absolutely have to live in 722 AD stay in friggin Saudi Arabia. Don't like it there? Then change it over there. Don't come here - don't change anything here. We like it just fine.
It is good to remember that we are not alone in the War on Terror. The U.K. is struggling with balancing individual rights with security, much like ourselves. No, they do not enjoy all the freedoms we enjoy in this country, but they are in a much worse position than we are in the War, due to the fact they have a large, unintegrated, Muslim community. That is a very dangerous situation to be in during this War.
Shining city atop a hill,
A mangled double-decker bus after the bombings
The media tells us that the root of terrorism is poverty. The media tells us that Muslims become radical because of a feeling of helplessness.
But what about the British Bombers who committed these horrible acts? These bombers were not starving abused souls turning to terrorism as their only hope to defend themselves. Instead they were very much accepted into British society and welcomed. Each came from a middle class background. Each was born in Great Britain. They were also relatively young with the youngest being 18.
Argghhh! The Home Of Two Of Jonah's Military Guys... - One Year Later, Excerpt:
On year later, the Brits, after their initial shock, don't seem to have made much headway in addressing root causes.
Of course, it's not like we've mastered it, with more years and more dead to both motivate and hinder us.
Despite a rather Montague Milquetoast "elite" - there is still some iron in the core of the British nation - if they choose to be Brit, and not just let their immigrants assimilate *them*.
Below the Beltway,
One Year Later
Yesterday, London and Madrid,” the speaker, his face partially obscured by a turban, said in English. "Tomorrow, Los Angeles and Melbourne, God willing. At this time, don’t count on us demonstrating restraint or compassion.”
La Shawn Barber - Islamofascists Foiled Again, Excerpt:
Mark La Roi [defunct blog] pointed me to this article:
FBI agents yesterday raided a North Side residence known to many in the neighborhood and the Pittsburgh Islamic community as both an Islamic school and mosque…The agency would say only that the search was in connection with a "criminal investigation” and wouldn’t elaborate.
Michelle Malkin, 7/7: REMEMBRANCE & DHIMMITUDE
It's the one-year anniversary of the 7/7 London jihadi bombings. Pajamas Media has extensive, extended coverage throughout the day. Andrew Ian Dodge expresses my feelings today:"I am still incensed that the Muslim community spends more time whingeing about "islamophobia" than they do trying to route out extremism. I am incensed that whenever question about terrorist attacks by young British Muslims is posed Muslim representatives seem to be far more keen to blame Pres. Bush, Blair, Sharon or anyone else than the evil in their midst."
California Conservative - London Bombings: Remembering 7/7, Excerpt:
We are in a fight for civilization. It’s not just about terrorism, it’s about preserving culture. Our enemies have no respect for Western values, and we must consider this on all levels: foreign policy and domestic policy, including immigration.
Consider the problems facing Europe: France, Germany and London. The Washington Post reports:Just in time for the one-year anniversary of 7/7, a poll conducted for The Times of London indicates that 13 percent of British Muslims believe that the four Islamic suicide bombers who murdered 52 people in London last July should be regarded as "martyrs.”
Mike's Noise - One year ago today - London subway bombings, Excerpt: But of course the liberal know-it-alls decided that our efforts to keep an eye on international financial transactions were simply a waste of time, so bye-bye banking surveillance program.