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Christian Extremists Within the U.S. Military - Myth or Reality? Christian Extremists Within the U.S. Military - Myth or Reality?
by Dr. Habib Siddiqui
2009-05-17 09:40:26
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When President George W. Bush called his war on terrorism a “crusade”, very few Muslims doubted his evil intention. In the face of strong condemnation at home and abroad, he quickly apologized. But that apology was not sufficient to allay Muslim-fear or suspicion, which within days of invasion of Afghanistan was bolstered by a plethora of events – from offensive graffiti written on dropped bombs and missiles to air-drop of canned ham on the fleeing refugees, let alone systemic destruction of Islamic sites. With Bush’s incessant bombing campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq more and more people got a flavor of his toxic cocktail of Christian fundamentalism and brute military power.

Occupation without extermination or conversion is a useless exercise for a Crusader. True to that Christian spirit, Bush was not satisfied with the mere killing of hundreds of thousands of unarmed civilians and utter destruction of invaded territories he wanted to “salvage” the souls of all those who dared to stay alive – maimed, orphaned, widowed, child-less. Thus came the Christian missionaries – the likes of Franklin Graham - to snatch the Muslim soul. However, they were not the only Yankee carpetbaggers gathered in the “10/40 Window” to earn a Godly reward. There were more. The soldier-preachers. Very few doubted about their existence after Bush’s imperial gamble.

A powerful segment within the U.S. military, the Chaplain Corps, has been preaching to the soldiers to see the battlefields as their personal mission field to go and kill, and harvest souls of those that survived.  This revelation may sound absurd in a country that preaches separation of church and state, unless you are following closely the ideological transformation of the best equipped fighting force.

A recently released video-tape “Inside Story” by Al-Jazeera puts to rest all doubts about whether or not the U.S. military encourages proselytism in war-devastated countries (See this YouTube clip). In that, video-taped a year ago, correspondent James Bays shows the U.S. service members in Bagram Base discussing proselytizing in Afghanistan with Lieutenant-Colonel Hensley, the top military chaplain in Afghanistan. They discussed about “hunting people for Jesus.” Lt. Col. Hensley is heard saying that the US soldiers in Afghanistan have a mission basically to carry out the work of God. And then he declares that the U.S. military is now the “new Israel.” A closer look also revealed that Hensley was wearing a T-shirt showing his affiliation with a fundamentalist group called Chapel NeXt, and at the background there was also a Christian cross inscribed over a map of Afghanistan.

These are very disturbing images about the U.S. military. It shows that the American military, in essence, has become the recruiting and breeding ground for the soldiers for Christ. A significant number are religious zealots who join the military simply to kill and die for the Christ. Others are indoctrinated by fundamentalist military chaplains. The latter are assiduously changing the secular military to a Christian chauvinist fighting force. And this change did not happen overnight.

According to Jeff Sharlet, contributing editor for Harper’s Magazine and author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, from the time of President Reagan Chaplain Corps in the U.S. military has become predominantly Christian fundamentalist, comprising of about 80 percent fundamentalist chaplains today. These Christian chaplains are reshaping American soldiers’ mindset – the way they perceive their military duty and the way they fight. These extremist Christians within the U.S. Armed Forces are obviously behaving like “government paid missionaries” crossing the line between church and state.” And yet, the Pentagon has not reprimanded such officers.

We also learn that these Christian evangelist chaplains are enticing violence by brain-washing their soldiers (e.g., intoxicating their mind with religious hatred) to commit horrendous crimes, which are nothing short of terrorism and war crimes. Sharlet cites how a young Lieutenant got so charged up religiously after viewing Mel Gibson’s filmPassion of the Christ” (which was made available by the Chaplain) that he had his Bradley fighting vehicle painted with the Arabic words “Jesus killed Muhammad.” Then, he put his Arabic translator on the roof with a bullhorn, shouting in Arabic, “Jesus killed Mohammed,” and rolled out into the city of Samarra. He killed every single Iraqi who took offense at those words.

And it seems that the U.S. military rewards men responsible for committing such war crimes. Lieutenant John DeGiulio, the man who drove that Bradley, is now Captain John DeGiulio, promoted since. In his conversation with Sharlet, DeGiulio boasted that he destroyed everything he saw on one whole block, blowing up every single thing, and that he was able to do this, because “God was on his side” and because he had been spiritually armored by watching Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ. He was thankful to his chaplain for preparing him for that kind of “spiritual battle” on the streets of Iraq.

Is there a connection between how a soldier acts in a war zone with his/her teachings? Absolutely! How else can we explain the wanton destruction and defilement of mosques by American soldiers? How about desecration of the Qur’an? How about the cold-blooded murder of worshippers in mosques in Fallujah? How about almost daily killings of innocent civilians by the U.S. forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan? To these soldiers and officers pushing the button or pulling the trigger, the non-Christian victims simply don’t count. After 9/11, like President Bush, they have started seeing America’s conflicts as what they described as “spiritual war” - between good and evil, where America is on the side of good. As already noted above, the fundamentalist chaplains are doing their part to indoctrinate every soldier. The goal of the Officers’ Christian Fellowship (OCF), an organization consisting of over 15,000 officers and operating on hundreds of U.S. military installations worldwide, is to “create a spiritually transformed U.S. military, with Ambassadors for Christ in uniform, empowered by the Holy Spirit.”

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) is at the forefront of its battle to curb the poisonous influence of Christian evangelists – who are nothing but religious extremists -- within the U.S. military. It has documented cases of undue pressure that are being put on the military recruits to join Christian fundamentalist groups. MRFF’s six-month long investigation has revealed a well planned and coordinated effort within the U.S. Military by organizations such as Campus Crusade for Christ’s Military Ministry to “Evangelize and Disciple All Enlisted Members of the US Military” and to “Utilize Ministry at each basic training center and beyond.” If that was not enough to be alarmed, consider Campus Crusade’s plan for the nation. In the October 2005 issue of the organization’s “Life and Leadership” newsletter, Maj. Gen. Bob Dees, U.S. Army (ret.), Executive Director of the Campus Crusade, said: “We must pursue our particular means for transforming the nation -- through the military. And the military may well be the most influential way to affect that spiritual superstructure. Militaries exercise, generally speaking, the most intensive and purposeful indoctrination program of citizens...”

Since 9/11, we have been fed myths about al-Qaeda’s goals to kill non-Muslims and establish an Islamic Caliphate in the world, let alone force Islam upon the dhimmis. Little attention has been paid to America’s own brand of al-Qaeda that has been growing at an alarming rate, and more ominously, within its own military. With all the lethal weapons at their disposal, these soldiers for the Christ – the Christian Zarqawis -- within the U.S. military are more dangerous than anything we can imagine. And what is more frightening is that, as MRFF has documented, they’re so dominant within the military that they have become, in some ways, the mainstream rather than the fringe. Al Jazeera video cannot be explained away as an isolated, out of context incident. Here, unlike OBL’s shadow organization, we are not dealing with myths but hard facts about U.S. military’s own transformation into a fighting force that embraces an extreme version of Christian fundamentalism. Sadly, we have not yet seen any effort within the Pentagon to curb the influence of this cancerous entity.

For years, the U.S. government has complained about the presence of religious extremists within armed forces of South Asian countries. Through its failure to check religious militancy in its own backyard, the U.S. government has only substantiated its deplorable hypocrisy.

If the Obama Administration is serious about change from Bush’s reckless policy of tying Christian fundamentalism with national interest, resulting in a world disorder (let alone spiraling America’s economic recession) to an equitable policy towards a more cohesive world order, it must renounce its own brand of al-Qaeda growing within the Armed Forces. It ought to know that when its military goes into another country with a killing machine in one hand and a Bible in the other, such a behavior is arrogant and stupid. It can only create resentment and repercussion, and produce the likes of Zarqawi among the victims. But more importantly, such images fit directly into Al-Qaeda's meme that Americans are engaged in a new Crusade to destroy Islam. As a global power, can America afford to be seen as a neo-Crusading power of our time?

[Dr. Siddiqui can be reached at saeva@aol.com]


   
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Emanuel Paparella2009-05-17 14:01:42
Considering Dr. Siddiqui’s track record of fanatically portraying only one side of an issue, this lopsided ideologically-driven article comes as no surprise either. True to form, it all begins with Christianity and the Crusades, never mind that the Crusades came a good thousand year after the beginning of Christianity, never mind the persecutions of Christians for the first three hundred years of Christianity, never mind the Muslims’ invasion and the threatening of Christian Europe via Africa on the West and the threatening of the Byzantine Eastern part of the Roman Empire on the East. And of course it all ends with the excesses and the extremism of Christian Fundamentalism in America and especially in the armed forces seen as the new crusaders (Ah, Bush is gone but he still serves as a convenient straw man…) which is portrayed in the article as the genuine voice and identity of Christianity itself thus caricaturing the whole of Christianity not excluding Protestantism itself which in any case is at best 50% of Christianity. (continued below)


Emanuel Paparella2009-05-17 14:02:19
Obviously Dr. Siddiqui has failed to take a close look at the Catholic section of Christianity or he would have surely have included a conspiracy theory explaining Opus Day’s intention to take over the US (complete with Da Vinci code), never mind that there are 3000 Opus Dei members in the whole US. On the other hand, that misguided point of view has already been presented in Ovi under the title of “A post-Opus Dei US.” Thus caricaturized, how can a sane rational “enlightened” mind not advocate the liquidation of religion, any religion as intrinsically bad for civilization? Trouble is, more often than not the premises of the advocacy are fabricated and based on sheer bias against religion rather than a dispassionate examination of ALL the facts, good or bad as they might be. Indeed, the Enlightenment remains to enlighten itself.


Emanuel Paparella2009-05-17 15:00:29
This comment about two kinds of jounalists was placed under another article a few days ago, but it seems even more appropriate under this one:

Emanuel Paparella 2009-05-15 09:18:30
At one point in Jehane Nowjaim’s documentary titled Control Room one of the reporters, Hassan Ibrahim, frustrated by the American condemnation of Al Jazeera for showing Iraqi civilians wounded in bombing raids, exclaims angrily: “You are the most powerful nation on earth, I agree. You can defeat everybody, I agree. You can crush everyone, I agree. But don’t ask us to love it as well!” And yet, moments later when a colleague asks Ibrahim who is going to stop the Americans, he answers thus: “The United States is going to stop the United States. I have absolute confidence in the American Constitution. And I have absolute confidence in the ability of the American people.”

Comment: does the Egyptian journalist Jehane Nowjaim know something about journalistic objectivity and respect for the truth that other journalists don’t seem to know about America, independent of who happens to be president of the country at the time?


Alexandra Pereira2009-05-17 16:53:44
Mr. Paparella, the part of your criticisms that I liked the best was "the Muslims’ invasion and the threatening of Christian Europe via Africa on the West" - what an ignorance it shows!
ps - no one needs to caricaturize Christianity here, propagandists like yourself, Popes like the current one and the Bushes of this world deliver quite obnoxious samples.


Alexandra Pereira2009-05-17 17:01:06
Actually, Dr. Siddiqui is quite right about many things he mentions, including the Christian fundamentalists inside the Army.


Emanuel Paparella2009-05-17 18:33:13
On the unburdening of ignorance, Ms. Pereira, a good place to begin, I would suggest is to visit the former Christian Church of Hagia Sophia in Turkey, transformed into a mosque and now a museum. It would be a modest first step from the cherry picking of facts which ideologically-driven anti-religion, biased journalists and activists engage in on a regular basis.


Emanuel Paparella2009-05-17 18:48:23
P.S. Before the table gets turned around and charges of cultural philisitinism are levelled, as the track record shows, unfortunately, here is the latest on the Hagia Sophia culled from Wikipedia encyclopedia, within the context of activism regarding the violation of religious freedom:

Debate about the status

Campaign to restore to use as a church

In 2007 the US businessman and politician Chris Spirou started the movement "Free Agia Sophia Council" championing the cause of restoring the building to its original function.[13] On June 20, 2007 Spirou testified before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus of the United States Congress; at the end of the Public Hearing, Chairman Tom Lantos, (D-CA), Chairman of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus and Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the United States Congress, stated among other things: "Of all the Human Rights violations around the world that the Congressional Human Rights Caucus has examined in the 25 years of its existence, the most important have been violations relating to Religious Freedom. The Caucus has paid particular attention and concern to human rights violations which deal with forced conversions of Holy Places and Holy Sites. The situation with Agia Sophia ranks amongst the most important issues to have come before our Caucus."[14] Chris Spirou gave a series of interviews to Russian mass media outlets highlighting the issue.[15][16]


Emanuel Paparella2009-05-17 19:06:25
P.S. To pursue our unburdening: the politically correct notion that the Muslims were in Europe from the beginning could not be more incorrect. It was the result of an invasion of Europe via North Africa. The expansion was stopped at Tours by Charles Martel in 732 AD. Those are the historical facts and this is what Wikipedia Enclyclopedia says on the matter:

As later chroniclers praised Charles Martel as the champion of Christianity, pre-20th century historians began to characterize this battle as being the decisive turning point in the struggle against Islam, a struggle which preserved Christianity as the religion of Europe. "Most of the 18th and 19th century historians, like Gibbon, saw Poitiers (Tours), as a landmark battle that marked the high tide of the Muslim advance into Europe."[11] Leopold von Ranke felt that "Poitiers was the turning point of one of the most important epochs in the history of the world."[12]

Also important for an objective assessment of the facts consult the Encyclopedia on the battle of Vienna in 1683 between the Hapsburgh and the Ottoman Empire.

The birth would suggest that eventually the Moslems will win democraphically what they could not win on the battlefield. Europeans are not having children; cars and homes have priority over children.




Emanuel Paparella2009-05-17 19:08:18
Errata: birth-rate.


Emanuel Paparella2009-05-17 19:41:44
http://www.ovimagazine.com/art/2202

It occurs to me that some time ago, at the beginning of my contributions to Ovi, I wrote a rather lenghty article on the issue of the relationship of Christianity to Islam which attempted to shed a modicum of light and dispel much ignorance on the subject matter on the part of those biased against Christianity in the name of modernity; a false dichotomy if there ever was one. The link above will take the inquisitive reader to it.


Alexandra Pereira2009-05-17 21:16:26
So is Turkey and by extension the Hagia Sophia part of that Christian Europe that was invaded and threatened via Africa on the West, now??
Can we talk about the Crusaders attacking and destroying Constantinople in 1204, Christian or not?
I never do anything in the name of modernity, but in the name of decency I do.
There is this constant attempt to prove that the whole Western Europe was Christian before the Arab invasion, when in fact multiple tribes inhabited the Westernermost parts of Europe, they were pagan, had multiple gods and shamanic practices. Before the Arabs arrived via Africa, the only thing that existed was an attempt by the Christians to convert them by force.
And the only thing that followed Charles Martel's heroism in the Alps was a promiscuity between Franco-Germanic emperors and Popes which led to constant battles in central Europe and infinite problems which were extended until... the 20th century. Italy suffered much with that, by the way.


Alexandra Pereira2009-05-17 21:20:59
ps - Just a note: Dr. Siddiqui should have added to the Christian fundamentalists in the Army the Christian fundamentalists in the universities and in the political parties... quite a propos.


Emanuel Paparella2009-05-17 21:33:25
Obviously you have not read the article I mentioned nor will you because you already know all the facts and have nothing to learn and everything to teach. It is unfortunately an attitude found time and again in Europe vis a vis other continents and cultures and it is highly counter-productive and unfriendly to dialogue and the truth. Indeed, at times ignorance remains invincible...Yes, the Vikings and other tribes were not Christianized till late in the first millennium and consequently they were fierce destroyers of all they did not understand. In fact, the ineluctable fact acknowledged by all fairminded scholars is that were it not for the mitigating influence of the Church there would have been nothing left of Greco Roman Civilization and nothing to be salvaged and reborn in Italy in the Renaissance or for the Muslims to transcribe from the Greek. Those are some of the historical facts and not all by any means. What those who would caricaturize and cast aspersion on religion and the Church in particular usually resort to, is cherry pick the negative facts and render a misguided judgment on the whole institution or event which conforms to their blatant bias. The result is that they end up throwing out the window the baby out with the dirty bathwater. That is scurrillous and slanderous to say the least. As I said, it takes a sense of fairness and respect for the truth to desist from such operations and look at both sides of an issue to arrive at a balanced and nuanced judgment.


Alexandra Pereira2009-05-17 21:48:06
Oh we Europeans are such snobs! - the ultimate argument...
The Vikings in Iberian Peninsula, you mean? :D
The Church saved Europe? :D Oh, "Thank God" we were all saved by Martel, his descendants and their friends the Christian Popes! What would we do, if not?
The Muslims knew nothing and transcribed everything from the Greek? Oh, lucky them! :D At least they were polite enough to transcribe also some things that the Greeks transcribed before, from Persian and Sumerian, etc.
...The baby is crying outside - I threw him out with the bathwater directly into the swimming pool. Poor fellow.


Emanuel Paparella2009-05-17 23:14:53
Point proven, if proof was needed. Indeed, demonization of those who disagree with one's bias is a form of rethorical violence ironically engaged in by the very people who say they are advocating peace and solidarity.


Alexandra Pereira2009-05-17 23:35:36
Indeed it is.


Emanuel Paparella2009-05-18 14:05:19
Where do I say that Vikings were in Iberian Peninsula; where do I say that the Muslims knew nothing? those are you words gratuitously placed in my mouth, D! Indeed there are things that are even worse than ignorance and it is deviousness and bias.


Emanuel Paparella2009-05-18 14:30:39
P.S. In any case, to continue with the unburdening of ignorance, in the very first video of his series on Civilization titled "The Skin of our Teeth" Kenneth Clark specifically refers to the Church and Christianity as the mitigating phenomenon which allowed for some semblance of culture to be preserved (the transcription of manuscripts in monastery) and eventually reborn in a Europe under continual attack and devastations by Barbarians. You may also pick up Christopher Dawson (a European but not a biased snob by any means)and his masterpiece: The Making of Europe. If after that you continue insisting that Europe would have been better off without Christianity, then ignorance has won and there is little to be done about it.


Alexandra Pereira2009-05-18 19:48:06
Poor Mr. Paparella, being bullied and everything. Of course, the Christians had culture, all the others were uncultured Barbarians... Perfectly unbiased statements! I just don't think Europe is better with Christianity - I think it is better with multiplicity and acceptance of the values and knowledge deeply rooted in other faiths and different cultures. Because that mosaic is the core of European identity, since the times of the indo-european tribes which inhabited it, not Christianity single-handedly. Such an attitude is rather different from the ignorant Manichaeism of proclaiming: "Yes, Christianity saved us all from ...evil and disgrace! Without Christianity Europe would have no culture, no books, no paintings, no arts, no science, no architecture, no engineering, no legislation, no commerce, no tolerance, no nothing! We would still be a bunch of Barbarians or worst... we would all use burkas!". That's deeply wrong and a VERY prejudiced statement... not to say that it actually is a bunch of pure crap.
I can recommend you a couple of books too, though I doubt you will ever be inclined to read any of them.


Emanuel Paparella2009-05-18 21:53:47
You put a whole statement in quote but who actually said it? It is never revealed. That is astonishing to say the least and it represents the prostitution of any credible scholarship. As to the gratuitous assertions that European civilization would have been better off in the hands of the barbarians without Christianity's mitigating influence, as I said, there is very little to be done when confronted with invincincible ignorance. I'll personally take Dawson and Clarck's scholarly opinions any time to those gratuitous, glib and biased assertions.


Emanuel Paparella2009-05-18 22:23:06
To take the advise of the comment box and get it off my chest even if one can expect distortions and misquotes, if there be something in this shabby exchange that can be characterized as a “bunch of crap,” to use your own exquisite words Ms. Pereira, it is that condescending ad hominem attitude which begins a response with “Poor Mr. Paparella….etc. etc.” while pretending to be uttering serious scholarly statements at the same time. It is the lingo of the modern activist parading as “enlightened” problem solver but in reality integral part of the modern problematic, paying lip service to peace and tolerance but revealing an intolerant and hostile attitude to anything that is not considered “politically correct.” It is the kind of present day cultural intellectual boorishness which makes the physical barbarism of the barbarians of old roaming ancient Europe look like a picnic of sort. It is the sort of utter contempt and disrespect for conventional good manners which prompted a Cicero, when confronted with the ad hominem boorish attack of a Catalina, to exclaim: “O tempora, or mores” and tempts me to utter: “poor Ms. Enlightened…etc. etc.” Indeed, we live in pretty sad and sorry times with the true barbarians already in the citadel inside the dark belly of the Trojan horse. The true signs of a civilization going down a slippery slope are: the degradation of the language and the vocabulary, the hostility against religion in general, the destruction of the family and the very definition of marriage, just as the sign of a rudimentary civilization are exactly language, family and marriage and religion (the burial of the dead).


Alexandra Pereira2009-05-19 01:32:07
Let me guess... the argument according to which I'm nothing but a "European snob" again - you seem to be running out of arguments, really. Imagination, imagination, creative oxygen is needed.


Alexandra Pereira2009-05-19 01:43:33
ps - in fact, I cannot look directly in the mirror because of the radiance emanating from the top of my enlightened scalp, I noticed tonight. What a shame... it blinds me, so I cannot brush my teeth before going to sleep. At times the halation looks like an aureole, others like (southern) northern lights. Damn these European headlamps!


Jacon D. DeGiulio2009-05-19 05:52:05
This is a total flase hood. My brother Captain John DeGiulio never said any such thing. This so called reporter took what my brother told him and stretched it to fit his agenda. This reporter was not there in Sammara. How was he to know what exactly happened. John told him that his faith was stronger and that he prayed more. How he got the rest of this I have no idea. Mr. Sharlett if you would like to I will address you in any public forum you like. Calling a twice decorated hero a war criminal is ridiculous. Some one will answer for this.


Jacon D DeGiulio2009-05-19 05:53:14
John DeGiulio is not nor has ever been a part of any fundamentalist organization.


Alexandra Pereira2009-05-19 12:17:21
Mr. DeGiulio, apart from your disagreements with Mr. Sharlet and your attempts to save your family's reputation, it would be also nice to know your honest opinion on the important and serious issues raised by this article, which I think ARE NOT accessory in today's America. I'm glad I mentioned the universities above, just when Obama visited the incredibly fundamentalist Notre Dame to dialogue with students and was received with the intolerance and arrogance that the whole world unfortunately had the opportunity to witness. Truly scary!


Alexandra Pereira2009-05-19 12:25:01
ps - I really don't know what universities are for when they feed fundamentalism and ignorance, and stimulate conformism via brainwashing methods. Time for a change in that too. The hyper-conservative Notre Dame, for example, has clearly no democratic culture nor tolerance-engaged curriculums, and very arguable pedagogic ethics. Sadly it is and will be graduating little ignorant soldier-of-Christ-shaped monsters.


Emanuel L. Paoarella2009-05-19 14:03:05
Point made! Ignorance and bias leading to sheer slander and defamation can at times be corrected but hardly ever when they are buttressed by hubris and arrogance. O tempora, o mores.


Emanuel Paparella2009-05-19 15:04:21
Talking of lack of imagination and cleverness by half, and doing blinding light unto oneself, an appropriate metaphor to describe the spiritual emptiness of modern activism and political correctness we may refer to a particular poet with lots of imagination, and a European to boot: Dante.

He describes a horrific scene in a dark cave in the deepest part of hell where he and Virgil encounter a man, the so called lantern man, holding his own head in his right hand and “doing light unto himself.” (Inferno XXVIII). Sounds familiar? Historically the man is the French poet Bertrand del Born, a man for whom action is everything; the kind of activism which does not need truth as its underpinning and that assumes that somehow one can act first and ask questions later; that one needs not ask first what is a just action, and what is justice.

Appropriately Dante places him in the circle of the disseminators of discord. He epitomizes quite well, seven hundred years ahead of its time, modern man running full speed ahead in the grip of political ideologies of inevitable deterministic progress that promise to change the world without ever asking what is good and what is not good for the world or what is indeed the ultimate Good. The result is not light but more dissensions and wars and violence. By showing us a man who holds his own head to make light unto himself, Dante shows us the man who enlightened himself by a reason devoid of any sense of transcendence, thus turning upside down the biblical statement that “the truth shall make you free.” (continued below)


Emanuel Paparella2009-05-19 15:07:06
On the contrary, this man believes that it is frenetic action and praxis (one thinks of the futurism of a Marinetti) that yields truth, or better, partial, relativistic, particular truths. The sorry fruits of this positivistic-rationalistic mind-set which within modernity begins with Descartes and continues with the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, Hegelian and Marxist philosophy, all the way to modern times, are the lagers and the gulags of the 20th century underpinned by ideologies galore that promise a secular salvation of sort and paradise on earth. The saddest fruit of all is the aspersion cast on knowledge and the light itself wishing to delude oneself that the light of one's intelligence in a dark cave is blinding and unsurpassable. Talking of imagination!



Emanuel Paparella2009-05-19 21:09:26
To Jacon De Julio: in case you are not aware of it yet: idealogues and activists of all stripes on both sides of the political spectrum, could not care less about the objective truth and the reputations of those they slander and defame; all that matters to them is the ideology and the "politically correct" posture. They are usually clever by half and sincerely believe that their cleverness will allow them to fool all the people all the times. Mr. Siddiqui's article above is a good exemplar followed by his bird of a feather in the comment section...


Alexandra Pereira2009-05-19 22:30:27
I am glad that, amidst your verbiage, you did agree you my metaphor :)


Alexandra Pereira2009-05-19 22:31:47
errata - "did agree you my metaphor :)"


Alexandra Pereira2009-05-19 22:34:54
errata - "my metaphor did agree with you :)"

"and you did agree with it"

"and I agree with you on this"

no need for verbiage, then.

now go and offer your services to teach at Notre Dame (if you didn't yet).


Emanuel Paparella2009-05-20 06:04:21
To continue the unburdening of ignorance and sheer bias and incoherence, here are some statistics culled from Wikipedia Encyclopedia. To be at the 18th place among some three thousand institutions of higher learning and second in at least one field is not a bad place to and only confirms the old saying that those who spit to the sky with their slanders will soon find their spit reverting on themselves.

As of 2008. Notre Dame ranked 18th overall among "national universities" in the United States in U.S. News & World Report's best colleges.[90] U.S. News and World Report also lists Notre Dame Law School as 22nd overall, and the Gourman Report, which is published by The Princeton Review, ranks the Law School at 18th.[71] BusinessWeek ranks Mendoza College of Business undergraduate school as 2nd overall.[91] Additionally, The Washington Monthly ranked the university 13th nationally in its 2006 edition.[92] BusinessWeek also ranked the undergraduate business program as 2nd nationally.[93] The Philosophical Gourmet Report ranked Notre Dame's graduate philosophy program as 13th nationally,[94] while ARCHITECT Magazine, ranked the undergraduate architecture program as 12th nationally.[95] Additionally, the study abroad program ranks sixth in highest participation percentage in the nation, with 57.6% of students choosing to study abroad in 17 countries.[96](continued below)


Emanuel Paparella2009-05-20 06:05:28
Research
Notre Dame has a long history of scientific research. In 1882, Professor Albert Zahm built the first wind tunnel used to compare lift to drag of aeronautical models. Around 1899, Professor Jerome Green became the first American to send a wireless message. Also, in 1931, Father Julius Nieuwland performed early work on basic reactions that was used to create neoprene.[97] Additionally, nuclear physics study at the university began with the building of a nuclear accelerator in 1936.[98]
Today, research continues in many fields, as the current university president, Father Jenkins, described his hope that Notre Dame would become "one of the pre–eminent research institutions in the world" in his inaugural address. [31] The university has many multi-disciplinary institutes devoted to research in varying fields, including the Medieval Institute, the Kroc Institute for International Peace studies, and the Center for Social Concerns.[99] Recent research includes work on family conflict and child development, [100][101]genome mapping,[102] the increasing trade deficit of the United States with China,[103] studies in fluid mechanics,[104] and marketing trends on the Internet.[105]


Emanuel Paparella2009-05-20 12:29:11
P.S. As strange as that may sound to intellectual demagogues and cultural philistines, when universities such as Notre Dame in the US and La Sapienza in Rome and St. Andrew in England (just to mention three at random) will have disappeared, civilization too will disappear once again, and this time destroyed not by the physical barbarian from the outside but by the barbarian of the intellect from the inside.


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