Don’t Stay at the Hutton Hotel

If you happen to be in the Nashville Tennessee area, you might not want to stay at the Hutton Hotel. It seems that Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller of Jihad Watch had planned to have a “Preserving Freedom” conference there. Unfortunately some unnamed Muslim groups (probably CAIR) complained, and others made threats so the hotel cancelled the entire conference.

Here is more information. And here, and here.

What the heck, just go over to Jihadwatch. You should be anyway.

I actually think the hotel had every right in the world to cancel the conference, but I, for one, am not going to patronize such a spineless company. I don’t like bullies who want to suppress free speech and I don’t like cowards who cave in to them.

 

Dennis Prager Prefers Envangelicals

Dennis Prager prefers Evangelical Christians over Left-wing university professors, even though he is Jewish.I don’t blame him. Here is just a section of his column.

With regard to those evangelicals — and for that matter those ultra-orthodox Jews — who believe that the earth is less than 10,000 years old and either that there were no dinosaurs or that they lived alongside human beings, my reaction has always been: So what? I believe that the earth is many million years old, that “six days” is meant as six periods of time (the sun wasn’t even created until the Third Day, so how do you quantify a “day” before then?), and dinosaurs preexisted man by millions of years. But what real-life problem is caused by people who believe otherwise? Does it affect any of their important behaviors in life? Do they not take their children to doctors? Do they oppose medical research? Do they reject the discoveries of scientists that affect our lives? No. Not at all. Are there no evangelical or ultra-orthodox Jewish doctors? Of course there are, and apparently they are very comfortable learning and practicing science. Compared to the many irrational beliefs of secular-left intellectuals — good and evil exist even though there is no God, male and female are interchangeable, international institutions are the hope of mankind — evangelical irrational beliefs are utterly benign.

And as regards same-sex marriage, why is the normative Christian and Jewish belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman anti-science and anti-intellectual? What we have here is the usual left-wing tactic of smearing opponents. If you disagree with race-based affirmative action, you are a racist; disagree with the ever-expanding welfare state, you lack compassion; disagree with redefining marriage in the most radical way ever attempted in history, and you are a hater. No wonder the Left developed the foolish and destructive self-esteem movement — no one has anywhere near the self-esteem leftists have. They are certain that they are better human beings in every way than those who have the temerity to oppose them.

This Jew will take the evangelicals’ values and the evangelicals’ America over those of left-wing intellectuals any day of the year. If evangelicals come with some views I find irrational it is a tiny price to pay compared to the price humanity has paid for the Left’s consistently broken moral compass — about America; about Communism and Islamism; about the superiority of peace studies over waging war against evil; about America’s role in the world; about Israel; about the welfare state; about Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, and all the other left-wing dictators the Left has celebrated; about the belief that men and women are basically the same; about the greater worth of any animal than of the unborn human; and about nearly every other major moral issue.

Believing the Earth is 6000 years old and dinosaurs were contemporary with human beings is silly, but harmless. Believing that the Earth is going to be destroyed by global warming unless we destroy the world’s economy, or believing that Socialism can actually work is a whole lot sillier and catastrophic.

 

 

 

General Charles James Napier

Chances are, you have never heard of General Charles James Napier. You might have heard a famous story about him. General Napier was a British general and Commander-in-Chief in India.

When the British took over India, they discovered that in many villages had  a charming custom called suttee or sati. Suttee refers to the practice of a Hindu widow who would throw herself upon her husband’s funeral pyre. I am not sure what the religious justification of this practice might have been, but I imagine that the idea was that there was no point in keeping an old woman around after her husband was gone. If the widow didn’t want to immolate herself and was strong-willed enough to resist the social pressure to do so, the male villagers would throw her in anyway.

The British were horrified by this practice. Although the British East India Company did not usually attempt to interfere with local customs, under pressure from Christian missionaries and Hindu reformers, the British banned suttee in the regions of India under their direct control in 1829.

Napier was the Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in India from 1849-1851. During his tenure, a delegation of Hindu notables complained to him of the ban on suttee. His reply was priceless.

You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours

If the British of that period had the same sort of politically correct, multi-cultural mush in their heads that all too many in the West have nowadays, Napier would have been instantly recalled for his racism and ethnocentrism. “How dare he assert that British customs are in any way superior to Indian traditions. “, the liberals would have said. No doubt they would have opposed any attempts to ban suttee in India and would have encouraged the authorities in Britain to ignore the practice in the immigrant communities.

For all their faults, and they did have them, the Victorians British at least had the self-confidence and moral clarity to assert that a civilization that does not burn widows is, in fact, more civilized than a civilization that does burn widows. I wish we, in the West, still had that self-confidence and moral clarity. I wish our intellectual elite understood that the civilization that brought things like modern science and democracy to the world has nothing to apologize to savages for.