Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Good Stuff From Tom Fleming

Tom Fleming may not be the smartest fella in America, but he writes with unmistakable verve. In the latest issue of Chronicles, Fleming takes up a subject near and dear to his heart--Islamic terrorism. Fleming says that, "Islam was the first political system to make terrorism a deliberate instrument of a righteous policy" and any the suppression of this fact "by both politicians and journalists, exceeds the Stalinist propaganda of the 1940's."

Fleming also unleashes a few more polemical pyrotechnics:

"Now that the conscience has virtually disappeared, the lovers of war crimes should exult in their heroes’ glorious deeds. There are so many mass murderers to admire—Attila, Tojo, Sultan Mehmed II—but American conservatives must await the next book of Victor Davis Hanson to find out who their next criminal-hero will be."

"Before we can hope to exert any political influence, conservative Christians must achieve moral clarity and begin to act as men and women of faith who support (if they do) the republican Party on practical grounds instead of being what too many Catholic and evangelical voters are today: Republicans who sing in church but leave their faith, along with the discarded bulletins, behind in the pew."

"Opposition to terrorism is a moral act and must begin with moral understanding. You can, as a Christian, refuse to countenance any foolish talk that we are fighting a necessary, much less just, war in Iraq. Such language is as unacceptable from serious-minded laymen as it is from pastors or priests. One can argue pleasantly among friends about the facts of a war—whether, for example, Saddam Hussein had the will and the means to harm the United States. But it would be hard to maintain Christian fellowship with those who, on principle, advocate either an unjust war or the slaughter of civilians." (As an aside, this is an interesting point, because were I as a Southern Baptist unwilling "to maintain Christian fellowship with those who, on principle, advocate either an unjust war or the slaughter of civilians," I would be pretty lonely.)

Fleming is also writing provocative essays at the Chronicles website. Here he attacks individualist and democratist faiths. Fleming urges Christians to stop reading Rick Warren and Joel Osteen and instead head instead to Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Polycarp, and Tertullian. Fleming also attacks the various "isms" which are in fact inversions of Christian faith:

"The need for humility and patient study is becoming steadily more acute as Christians of every type are being seduced by alien ideologies that are essentially incompatible with their religion: Straussianism, neoconservatism, democratism, libertarianism, sentimental humanitarianism, vegetarianism, and every Rightsism—from women’s to animals. Even good men and women try to compromise the long and deep Christian ethical tradition with Christianity’s cheap and Johnny-Come-Lately Rivals, whose language they adopt. Metternich once said, “Speak of the Social Contract, and the Revolution is made.” In other words, use the language of the revolution—individual rights, majority rule, market efficiency—and you are furthering the cause of Anti-Christianity, whatever you may think you intend."

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