Enlightened Insanity

Do you realize why there was an Inquisition? That is something I think most people don’t ponder much. Most just consider it to have been a uniformly horrible thing which we happily dispensed with as the Enlightenment instructed us in the value of tolerance. To a certain extent, there is some truth to such a view, but it doesn’t cover the entirety of it.

That which we call the Inquisition started in response to the Albigensian heresy in the 12th century. If you read secular history about it, you’ll find that the poor Albigensians were horribly persecuted by the Church because they simply wanted to practice their simple faith. Ok, fine. But they also believe that sexual reproduction was inherently wrong – that the physical world was something created by an evil god and it had to be renounced so that the human spirit could unite with the good god. In other words, if the heresy had been allowed to continue, it would have ended civilization. The Church, of course, was also concerned with what happened to human souls – being rather interested in their winding up in heaven rather than hell and so looked in horror upon a sect which pretty much ensured via its beliefs a one-way trip to hell. So, there were two reasons to go after these guys: they’d imperil your soul and end civilization. That is why there was an Inquisition – to root out people preaching insane, destructive ideas.

To be sure, any institution run by human beings is going to mess up. It is in the nature of things because we’re human. Whether or not the attempt should have been made or whether or not the right methods were used in the attempt is a matter for debate. But the fact that lunatic ideas which bring death should be stopped is not something I will debate about. Lunatic ideas bringing death are bad. And bad things are to be held at arms length to the best of our ability.

But, in the event, those who argued against the Inquisition and in favor of tolerance won the debate. The Enlightenment – so called – happened. And people were free to express themselves in any way they chose. This did have the benefit of giving us the Declaration of Independence…but it also gave us the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf. Bit of an up and downside on that – and the Declaration of Independence could easily have been written by St Thomas Aquinas…the Manifesto and the Kampf, not so much…because both of those were heresies and St Thomas would have seen right through them.

Now, why do I bring this up? Because earlier today I saw a Twitter thread by a Muslim which expressed the view that Islam needs an Enlightenment. There is much merit to such an argument on the face of it. But I also immediately had my doubts.

First off, of course, is my belief that Islam is itself a heresy – Mohammed taking various aspects of Christianity (and a little Judaism) that he liked and dispensing with the bits he didn’t like. The classic heresy model – leaving something or things out. Be that as it may, if it started as a heresy, it developed rather rapidly into its own thing. And as a Christian I can and do take various issues with it. But whatever one wishes to say about it, for quite a long time it was just another part of the world tapestry. Violent as all things can be, but also beautiful, as all things can be. Yes, I can list for you a large number of Muslim sons-of-bitches but any Muslim out there can come up with a list of Christian SOBs to match – but in neither case were the SOBs the thing about the religions or the civilizations they created. I’ve read quite a bit of history of Islam and I do have to say that something changed over the ages – and the change was rather recent.

Some time in the 19th century or maybe a little earlier, the historical records start to document people of the Muslim faith acting in ways which they simply had to know were wrong. Not just in Christian ideals, but in Muslim ideals. There is a difference between fighting for your side – however brutally you may do it – and committing acts of cruelty. One early example of this is the massacre of about 50 British captives in Delhi during the Mutiny of 1857. But it got worse as time went on – acts of supreme cruelty which had no justification and which the perpetrators knew were wrong when they did them (on the simple fact that they would never want such things done to them). It wasn’t, after all, backwoods Muslim peasants who set the bombs which started the Battle of Algiers in 1956 – it wasn’t, that is, regular, old fashioned Muslims who came up with the idea of setting a bomb off specifically where children gathered so as to cause the most horrific death and injuries to people who could have in no way caused offense.

That takes a modern, Enlightened mind to come up with.

You could say that the things like the bombing in Algiers was provoked – and, to a certain extent, that is correct. The French, far more than the British, could be very brutal overlords when challenged. There were plenty of reasons for the Algerians to be displeased with the French. But it should be noted that the first serious effort of the Algerian rebels wasn’t so much to go after the French, but to kill those Algerians who were friendly to France. And kill them quite brutally, without sparing women and children. That sort of thing isn’t done in response to provocation – that is a cold blooded act of murder. So were the bombings. So, later, were acts like the Munich attack and the Avivim school bus bombing (seriously: what sort of a sick person even thinks up a target like that?). Muslims were involved in these things, but to deliberately seek to murder – usually very cruelly – people who specifically can’t fight back…no, sorry, I’m not going to say that is a Muslim thing. That is an Enlightened thing – that is what happens when people are allowed to pursue insane ideas to their logical conclusion.

Given things like bombed school buses and, well, Treblinka, I’m going to have to come down a bit against the Enlightenment – the idea, that is, that everyone should be able to proceed unchecked wherever their thoughts take them. I’m going to assert that there needs to be a corrective, here and there, which will tell the insane to sit down and shut up – before they get gas chambers or bombed buses into their heads. I think that I’d rather have to deal with the most deeply orthodox Muslims around as they deal with me, a deeply orthodox Christian. I think we’d probably get along better than modern, Enlightened folks. Even if we ended up fighting each other, it wouldn’t be a contest to see who could be the most merciless.

Anyways, this is where my thoughts are leading me these days. A sort of Endarkenment…where being a lunatic gets you a padded room rather than a tenured position or a promotion to Dear Leader.

16 thoughts on “Enlightened Insanity

  1. Cluster April 7, 2021 / 8:13 am

    Human Nature has NEVER changed. The Roman Emperors Tiberius and Caligula were no different then Geoffrey Epstein or Bill Clinton. Power, lust and control have never left the hearts of men and often times those passions are severely perverted and malicious.

    No one is enlightened. We are all just rinsed and repeated versions of the originals.

  2. Cluster April 7, 2021 / 8:54 am

    I’m not the first one to point this out but it’s worth repeating …. MLB moved the All Star game from one of the most diverse States (in progressive speak this means different skin colors) to one of the richest, Whitest States in the Union. This is how “enlightened” they are. MLB is taking jobs away from minority communities in Atlanta and giving those jobs to rich white people in Boulder.

    YCMTSU

    • Retired Spook April 7, 2021 / 10:03 am

      If millions of people drive that point home and the in-person and TV audiences drop significantly, maybe they’ll get the message. The comments the other day about stupid people seem to apply, as does the old adage, “don’t confuse me with the fact; my mind is made up.”

  3. dbschmidt April 8, 2021 / 9:58 pm

    “We are one race–the human race” was a corporate required session that I had no problems with until the instructor went off the rails towards anti-Trump rhetoric. I wasn’t the only one offended.. I have no issue with we are all of the the same creation and that Jesus was a Jew of probably olive or darker skin but then again I never looked at that or even thought about it until it was brought forward as part of “woke.” Today alone I have found a hospital and an airlines I will never use because they are putting race above merit. It is not a boycott but self-preservation because if I am injured or flying in a metal tube not of my control–I want the best not some flunky with the “correct” boxes checked.

    Nevertheless, Cluster has pointed out the one and common denominator to the human condition which will never change. I had a nice conversation by pure accident with a couple of folks outside of my local convenience store last night. I was the only evil, white, privileged member of the conversation but it was the others that brought up that the “Government” is the one trying to divide us and make us hate each other.

    Everyone is starting to understand but as my parting mention was to get it spread as far as possible but was resounded with the normal question of “How?” Which my only response was one person at a time if need be. I ended up with a few new acquaintances and we ended up with a few more folks that understand.

    Just as a reference–there was no “Trump this” or “Hate Trump” involved but it was obvious that they were more put off by our elected officials that anything Trump has done or not.

    • Amazona April 10, 2021 / 10:15 am

      I think a lot of these little spontaneous chats are happening all around the country. The other night the clerk at the liquor store offered to carry my beer out to my truck (and it was just a six-pack) and then initiated a conversation much like the one you discuss. (And then, BTW, I anointed him a conservative after he said he didn’t think power should be consolidated in the hands of a few, to which he replied he wasn’t quite sure how to tell his mom.)

      It’s bubbling up everywhere. I’ve started asking mask wearing employees if, after King Polis decides to give us one of our freedoms back, they will still have to wear them due to corporate policy. It’s a good way to introduce a mask convo, and easily leads into the tyranny observation followed by the bad, so bad, very bad “science” that has us running around looking like total idiots.

  4. Cluster April 9, 2021 / 8:39 am

    From Demented Pedophile Biden’s press conference on guns yesterday, quote: “No (constitutional) Amendment is absolute”

    Let that sink in.

    • Amazona April 10, 2021 / 10:28 am

  5. Amazona April 10, 2021 / 11:12 am

    On one hand, the stampede to find more things to call “racist” is pretty annoying as well as pathological, but on the other it might indicate that the pool of potentially racist things is nearly drained and we might even be able to start acting like rational adults again. When the very concept of believing that “there is such a thing as a right or wrong answer” is racist, I think we’re pretty close to the bottom of the barrel.

    But now the race hustlers are picking on fonts. Now there is an effort to stir up outrage over the fonts that hint at the brushstrokes used in Asian written languages. Naturally, one can’t be outraged by the inherent racism of the appearance of some letters without first infusing his or her own disturbed personal pathology into it. Case in point:

    “I think of words in anti-Asian or anti-Japanese signs,” wrote Japanese American journalist Gil Asakawa, who began his career during a wave of anti-Japanese sentiment or “Nipponophobia” in the 1980s. “I see (the font) Wonton and I see the words ‘Jap,’ ‘nip,’ ‘chink,’ ‘gook,’ ‘slope.’ I can’t help it. In my experience, the font has been associated too often with racism aimed at me.”

    When I read this overheated emoting of personal internal angst all I can think of is “It’s not always about YOU, Gil!” And aren’t you lucky that the biggest problem you have is the design of some letters? Poor paranoid whiny baby.

    • Retired Spook April 10, 2021 / 12:07 pm

      On one hand, the stampede to find more things to call “racist” is pretty annoying as well as pathological, but on the other it might indicate that the pool of potentially racist things is nearly drained

      I think you underestimate the enemy.

      • Amazona April 10, 2021 / 1:32 pm

        Oh, I know they will keep trying, but what I am seeing now is that their strident overreach is starting to erode their less hysterical base. The deeper they dig, the more people they brand as racist.

        it’s one thing to sit there in comfy suburbia and watch CNN tell you that those other people out there somewhere, who don’t really have much in common with you, are racist because you are told they have said or done something you personally would never have said or done. But when the Left comes after you and yours, for things you logically know have nothing to do with race, you start to wonder just how valid all this hysteria is. Now suddenly the color you choose for your car makes you a racist and your Aunt Sue teaching her algebra class is a racist for saying there is only one correct answer and besides algebra is, in and of itself, racist. Now your teacher daughter is a racist because she uses a red pencil to grade papers, and even the act of grading papers is racist. The church you have gone to for your whole life is racist because it does not teach that Jesus was a black man who was persecuted for his skin color and executed by evil white men. Your youngest daughter is a racist because she wants to be an Indian princess for Halloween and your favorite football team is changing its name because someone thinks “Vikings” might be racist, having run through the other demographics represented by team names. You struggled to put yourself through college and laboriously worked your way up through your company into middle management and now you are called a racist because that is a job that could, possibly, be held by a person with darker skin, and all your hard work and sacrifice are sneeringly dismissed as nothing but white privilege.

        You know that you notice the color of other peoples; skin—how can you not? It’s like noticing height or hair color. But you also know that you don’t judge people by that, you don’t assign personality or character based on that. You know what is in your heart, and you are getting tired of people you have never met telling you that they know more than you do about how you feel, what you think and what matters to you. You are also getting tired of those people taking those false assumptions and false accusations as the basis of making big changes in how you can live your own life.

        I don’t underestimate the enemy. I’ve been lecturing about the relentlessness of the enemy for decades now, as well as about its dependence on things like Identity Politics and Semantic Infiltration, its control over language to control how people think, its rewriting of history and its emotional manipulation and its appeal of being a short cut to the Higher Moral Ground.

        I just think they may have overestimated the degree to which the American public at large is going to keep accepting the crap they dish out. And it’s not just racism, it’s letting men into women’s locker rooms and bathrooms and letting them compete against women, it’s the utter insanity of claiming that a woman can have a penis or a man can give birth, it’s the utter stupidity of the clutter of invented pronouns. Americans are, by and large, pretty easy-going. We tend to give others a lot of slack, a lot of benefit of doubt, and go along to get along. But only up to a point. And I think a huge swath of America is recognizing that they are at that point, or see it rushing at them.

        I don’t expect a big blow-up, a violent or even a rowdy uprising. I think it will just be a gradually growing pushback, a “take your mask and shove it” kind of movement slowly advancing across the country, and a similar quiet rejection of the propaganda the Left is churning out at record speed and in record amounts. And I think it will show up at the ballot box. It’s already getting support in the states with conservative governance, and people in other states are looking at those who support the 2nd Amendment, who are protecting women’s sports, who are coming right out and challenging the Faucists and agreeing with what they are doing.

        People are already laughing at Joe Biden’s ridiculous Executive Orders, his assumption of the power of the royal edict, and they are laughing at him—though they feel a little guilty about making fun of such a clearly disabled man.

        No, I am not underestimating the enemy. I am just saying I think the sleeping giant of American common sense is starting to stir and the noise of Leftist hysteria is only going to wake it up sooner and faster.

    • Amazona April 10, 2021 / 3:12 pm

      ‘Jap,’ ‘nip,’ ‘chink,’ ‘gook,’ ‘slope.’ all seem to give this guy the vapors, and of course reflect hate and racism. But to me his reaction shows more emotional and mental fragility on his part than racism on the part of whoever has used those words.

      Well, I have been called a chick, a gal, a girl (even well into middle age), a broad, a babe, a dame, toots, chica, and of course the nasties, the B word and the C word (both by lesbians here on the blog, which I thought was pretty funny) and of course honky. And you know what? None of it bothered me. I’ve been talked down to, dismissed, demeaned and treated like a moron just because of my gender. That has been annoying, but not crippling. It doesn’t have anything to do with me but with the person doing the talking, and exhibiting his own stupidity. I can live with that. (Though it did prompt me to buy a T shirt that says “UNDERESTIMATE ME. That’ll be fun.”

      For a grown man to melt down because he, a Japanese man, was called a “Jap” seems pretty silly to me. To me those words are mere identifiers, of him being in a certain racial category, but then I feel the same way about the infamous “N” word, and the almost as bad “S” word for Latinos. We categorize people—tall, fat, blonde, black, white, Asian, bald, whatever. So? There is a clutter of slang words for all the categories we have. In the move “Bend It Like Beckham” a girl in England was insulted when a schoolmate called her a “Paki”—but in fact she WAS Pakistani.

      In this whole list of words the only one that is clearly an insult is “bitch” and possibly that old “C” word, though it seems odd that an anatomical reference is supposed to be insulting. In reality it shouldn’t carry more weight than being called an “ear” but that’s social conditioning for you.

      I’m just tired of the melodrama/psychodrama of freaking out over some words.

  6. Retired Spook April 10, 2021 / 12:15 pm

    I’m glad we don’t need the U.S. Navy to protect us in Indiana.

    “Everybody has to have a command of the English language to serve in the U.S. military, but some people might do better in a written exam like that if it’s in Spanish,

    Yeah, especially if they don’t really have a command of the English language.

    In addition to adding a Spanish-language option, the service is evaluating how it uses standardized test scores to screen candidates for its ROTC program. Gilday noted that the current SAT score average for the program is 1450, but the requirements may have inadvertently hindered the service’s recruitment of minority applicants.

    What a dilemma. They can’t say that minorities, as a whole, are not as intelligent, because that would be racist, and they can’t say they’re not as well educated, because that would reflect badly on public education which they run.

    “We’re trying to set a high standard in order to attract the very best”

    ROTFLMAO!!!!!!! I’ll bet his nose grew 2 inches.

    but it’s not the single metric that determines what the best really is, right,” he continued,

    Now here I actually agree to an extent, but intelligence still has to be a major metric. Skin color, sexual orientation, gender identity, and ability to speak a different language but not being able to speak English are not “metrics” in any sense of the word.

    The task force earlier this year finished a report that included over 50 recommendations on how to increase diversity within the Navy,

    “50” Now THAT’S impressive.

    • Amazona April 10, 2021 / 2:05 pm

      I’m glad we don’t need the U.S. Navy to protect us in Indiana. But when the whole nation needs the Navy we are screwed.

      This mantra that “diversity” is somehow better has taken hold and rooted itself so deeply in the mentality of America that it has even taken over the supposedly analytical military. It’s an absurd concept with no foundation in fact or reason, yet it has been fed to us so steadily (it and its ugly stupid cousin “the more people who vote the better”) that it has simply been accepted as a core truth and one that should guide everything we do. So there is a report that included over 50 recommendations on how to increase diversity within the Navy. Is there a report that says WHY?

      In what way does a mix of races and cultures make a fighting force fight better? In what way does a mix of races and cultures and genders make a fighting force fight better? I think it is obvious that race, culture and/or gender are irrelevant to the efficiency of a fighting force, so the corollary has to be that the effectiveness of our fighting forces is not the main factor in deciding the makeup of those forces. And that seems to me to be an admission that the very purpose of our military has been redefined, from effectively defending our nation and its people to just making a bunch of people feel better about themselves. (I don’t want to have to see how long that approach to the military lasts when we are overtaken by a ruthless fighting force developed to BE a ruthless fighting force and not a cheery After School Special club based on inclusiveness and diversity.)

      “Everybody has to have a command of the English language to serve in the U.S. military, but some people might do better in a written exam like that if it’s in Spanish… This is such a bizarre and blatantly stupid comment I thought it was a parody of the Navy opinion. It makes no sense at all.

      The International Civil Aviation Organisation has decreed that from 1 January 2008 all Air Traffic Controllers and Flight Crew Members engaged in or in contact with international flights must be proficient in the English language … and for a very good reason. The ability to communicate with ground control around the world and with other pilots is essential to safety. I wonder why or how this concept has evaded the command level of our military.

      I like the TV show Navy Seals, and I would love to see an episode where Bravo Company has to go on a mission with Diversity Company, made up of people chosen for their skin color and gender and cultural background instead of merit as fighting soldiers, and the chaos of trying to communicate with people who don’t speak English well, or who can’t quickly and efficiently read orders or directions.

      And in the name of diversity the war dog would be a dachshund

  7. Amazona April 10, 2021 / 2:44 pm

    Race, race everywhere. Nothing has happened, nothing is happening, nothing can happen that is not driven by race. Just ask Liberal writer Kevin Drum, who writes:

    A number of people, including me, have posited that the Obama era produced a white backlash that eventually elected Donald Trump president. There’s some evidence to support this, …

    Well, uh, no there is NO “evidence that supports this”. In a race between two white people the victory of one over the other is not a backlash against a former president who is black.

    Except to a hard-core Leftist ideologue who has to put such nonsense even into an article which goes on to say Hate crimes against Black people plummeted by nearly half during Obama’s term and have pretty much stayed there ever since. This is despite the fact that presumably the Obama administration put a greater focus on hate crimes than either George Bush or Donald Trump.

    Violent assaults on Black people have gone down by nearly half since 2005, far more than violent assaults in general. In this case, however, the decline has been fairly steady over the entire period. They just can’t help themselves. They HAVE to blurt out that deeply embedded conviction that everything has to be about race. It’s a compulsion.

    • Amazona April 11, 2021 / 9:56 am

      Pete Buttigieg has found something else that is racist—-roads. He explains “There is racism physically built into some of our highways

      He might have a point. After all, most paved roads are black, and then white lines are painted on them to impose authority, after which millions of white people walk all over them and drive cars on them. Now that I think of it, roads represent……nah, I just can’t go there. Sometimes it is fun to parody the insanity of the Left but sometimes it is just depressing. My white car has black tires, which someone will probably note is proof that I consider blackness to be inherently responsible for carrying me from one place to another. On black roads.

  8. Amazona April 11, 2021 / 10:02 am

    Circling back (!!!) to the idea of states asserting their Constitutional sovereignty and being the real resistance to Biden regime overreach, there is this: emphasis mine

    Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen said Republican attorneys general believe that with a gridlocked Congress, states are the last line of defense for Constitutional rights. The attorney general added that he will continue to focus his efforts on Biden’s reliance on executive action, which the president has used to forward several key policy items.

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