Sunday, July 24, 2011

"I'm Erick, and I'm a Pseudo-Christian Moron." "Hi, Erick."

There’s a wonderfully instructive post by the reliably stupid Erick Erickson over on

Erickson was certainly not alone in buying into the easy narrative coming out of Norway that the terroristic attacks there were perpetrated by Islamic radicals. The New York Times, the BBC, and other allegedly reputable outlets all signed on without bothering to do any… you know… fact-checking or real reporting. (There’s a good chronicle of how what is now pretty clearly a false report spread here.) The sloth of the mainstream media is, of course, a running theme on this blog: a couple of the more recent examples are here, here, and—perhaps most relevantly—here.

But Erickson is a special case: he’s stupid enough to try to be clever: he tweeted “Terrorist bombing in Oslo. I bet you it was not Lutherans who did it.” Well, Erick, ol’ boy, I bet you lost that bet.

Still, most of us have confidently, even smugly, made a prediction that didn’t turn out to be accurate. The difference between you and me on the one hand, Gentle Reader, and wastes of potentially useful protoplasm like Erick Erickson on the other is precisely this: when we screw up, we admit it, apologize, and move on. He, on the other hand, while admitting he has a fair amount of egg on his face, wants to blame everyone else for his lapse. In this, of course, he is not unlike a lot of self-styled pundits, mostly but by no means exclusively on the right, who simply cannot admit that they got one wrong.

You see, it’s not that his prejudice blinded him to the possibility that an act of terrorism might be perpetrated by the quintessential Aryan (after all, Europe has never had any trouble with that lot, right?). It’s those wild-eyed leftie pinkos in the media who are always making excuses for Muslims. After all,
In the Arkansas army shootings and the Ft. Hood shooting and a host of others, the media and the left have sought to downplay any possible connection to Islam the attackers or would be attackers have had. And when those of us on the right have pointed it out, we’ve been accused of racism and those on the left have demanded to know why it even mattered.
Really, because all I heard for days was about how Nidal Hassan was Islamic, and the New York Times article, for example, (I just picked one at random from the list of allegedly left-leaning media sources) on the Arkansas shootings includes this: “In a lengthy interview with the police, Mr. Muhammad said he was angry about the killing of Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan, Chief Thomas said. Previously known as Carlos Bledsoe, Mr. Muhammad told investigators that he had converted to Islam as a teenager, Chief Thomas said.” By the way, that was in paragraph 6 (see below). Sounds to me like there’s no cover-up there.

Ah, but Erick the Oblivious isn’t done yet: “Contrast that with the coverage of the Oslo shooter and already the New York Times is making sure in its first few paragraphs everyone knows the guy described himself on Facebook as a ‘conservative Christian.’” Might that be because he’s a conservative Christian? Oh, and confessed culprit Anders Behring Brevik isn’t identified as “right-wing” in the first Times article to identify him until paragraph 11 or as a Christian until paragraph 16 (see above). He was in fact described as a “right-wing fundamentalist Christian” in a follow-up report, only after what the Times describes as “a detailed manifesto calling for a Christian war to defend Europe against the threat of Muslim domination” came to light. (OK, that one was in paragraph 5: you got me, there.)

In fact, if a perspicacious reader were to be troubled by the Times’s reporting, the distress would more likely be founded on sentences like the following, taken from a since-removed article: “Terrorism specialists said that even if the authorities ultimately ruled out terrorism as the cause of Friday's assaults, other kinds of groups or individuals were mimicking al-Qaida's signature brutality and multiple attacks.” You catch that? The clear implication is two-fold: 1). it isn’t terrorism unless it’s Islamic terrorism, and 2). it’s still al-Qaida’s fault. This is the allegedly pro-Islamic, anti-Christian coverage that has Erickson’s skivvies in a twist.

In fact, Glenn Greenwald has a point when he argues:
Thus: if it turns out that the perpetrators weren’t Muslim (but rather “someone with more political motivations”—whatever that means: it presumably rests on the inane notion that Islamic radicals are motivated by religion, not political grievances), then it means that Terrorism, by definition, would be “ruled out” (one might think that the more politically-motivated an act of violence is, the more deserving it is of the Terrorism label, but this just proves that the defining feature of the word Terrorism is Muslim violence). The final version of the NYT article inserted the word “Islamic” before “terrorism” (“even if the authorities ultimately ruled out Islamic terrorism as the cause”), but—as demonstrated above—still preserved the necessary inference that only Muslims can be Terrorists. Meanwhile, in the world of reality, of 294 Terrorist attacks attempted or executed on European soil in 2009 as counted by the EU, a grand total of one—1 out of 294—was perpetrated by “Islamists.”
Of course, minor details like facts never get in the way of Erickson’s narrative. Ultimately, however, this part of Erickson’s baseless screed isn’t really the troublesome part. Idiot conservative commentators’ lying about the facts is hardly news. Then we get this: “The fact of the matter is violence and Islam may not be very common among American muslims, but internationally it is extremely common and can fairly well be considered mainstream within much of Islam.” Once again, of course, the accusation is unmitigated bullshit (see Greenwald’s numbers, for example, which come not from some random guy with a Twitter account, but from the European Union’s Terrorism Situation and Trend Report for 2010). Ultimately, Erickson’s argument boils down to an allegation that wacko Christians aren’t really Christian, but wacko Muslims are really Muslims. Just because Erickson says so. The really outrage is yet to come, however:
Secular leftists and Islamists are both of this world. Christians may be traveling through, but we are most definitely not of the world. In fact, Christ commands us to throw off our ties to this world. But the things of this world love this world and hate the things of God. That’s why secular leftism can embrace both activist homosexuals and activist muslims when the latter would, when true to their faith, be happy to kill the former.
In fact, Mr. Erickson, you bigoted asshat, Christ tells us to love one another. That’s why “secular left[ists]” like me can embrace homosexuals and Muslims: because they are God’s creatures, made in His image. Because we, not pseudo-Christian pietists like yourself, who read only the parts of the Bible that conform to your manifold prejudices, actually try to emulate the compassion embodied in Jesus. We might not do it for that reason, but that’s what a belief in social programs, in Welfare and Social Security, in health care for all is—that’s what we believe in. And I’m here to tell you, you mendacious Mammon-worshipper, that Jesus is a lot more likely to be on our side than on yours.

I will grant you one thing, though: you are “most definitely not of this world.” We don’t mind your visiting our planet, and we hope you enjoy your stay. Just don’t try to pretend you live here.

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