Thursday, December 17, 2015

Underlying Consensus?

12/17/2015—Perhaps a consensus is growing underneath the partisan breakdown in American public life.

I had a talk with a conservative friend about matters yesterday and I noted real change in both our positions. On global warming, I was told that movement on this issue is irreversible, Republican Party rhetoric to the contrary notwithstanding. Now, I have my doubts about this, but this is a sea change. I don’t know whether this is about Pope Francis on global warming or the overwhelming planetary consensus in Paris on warming, but it seems the debate about whether there is global warming, whether human contribute and whether it is serious, is about over. (What to do is another matter).

I was even more surprised about terrorism. We agreed that once individuals begin shooting people at random in the name of religion, you no longer really have a police or military issue. You cannot station police everywhere. Nor, as France shows, can you keep such people from obtaining guns. You no longer really have a gun control issue. (France has strict controls and this did not stop the Paris attack).

At this point, matters proceed on two fronts. First, there is a theological issue for Islam. Is violent Jihadism genuine Islam or not? Second, Muslims must cooperate in the ending of violent attacks by Muslims. (We disagreed somewhat over whether Republican Party rhetoric was making this more difficult and whether President Obama’s policies in the Middle East were to blame for some of the attacks.)

As readers of this blog know, I consider the present to be a watershed for Islam. The world is not going to tolerate a religion that foments vicious and random violence. And by world, I include Muslims. Muslims will either take their religion back or leave it, in the long run. Remember, in similar circumstances in the 1700’s, Christians in Europe ended the wars of religion by creating the secular state and limiting the public role of religion. Unless the theology of war is defeated theologically and sociologically, Muslims will eventually do the same thing.

And my friend and I also agreed that it is dangerous to give the government power to investigate too closely the spouse an American citizen chooses. Yes, occasionally this means a radicalized American will choose a dangerous spouse. But sometimes you have to tolerate shootings in the name of liberty.

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