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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

America's Dorian Gray

America’s Dorian Gray

Ever since 9/11, we have spent a lot of our time worrying about Islam and its suicide bombers, and rightly so. We find the idea of murder-suicide repulsive. The idea that the suicide might intentionally take more lives with him – it is usually a him, after all – is even more repulsive. Indeed, it is so repulsive we cannot tear our eyes from it. But it is interesting to examine exactly what repulses us.

Nearly 3000 people died on September 11, 2001 just as nearly 3000 had died on September 10, 2001 and 3000 would die on September 12, 2001. We took note of the event on the 11th, but ignored the events on the 10th and the 12th.

On the 11th, several really big buildings were destroyed by two dozen men who had agreed to kill Americans. On the 10th and the 12th, several dozen men also agreed to kill Americans but they chose to do it in the safety and comfort of abortion clinics across the country. Accomplishing the events of the 11th was seen as an act of a criminal mastermind, opposing the events of the 10th and 12th is also seen as the act of criminal masterminds.

To this day, I can’t shake the feeling that we mourn the loss of the 9/11 buildings more than we do the inhabitants. It has always been hard to take the mournful expressions of the bubble-headed bleached blonde seriously when we know that, even as they mourn, they are tracking audience numbers to see how to entice more of us to their news coverage and, more importantly, their commercial breaks. September 11 was a bad day for America, but at least ratings were up for CNN.

A similar lurking hypocrisy seems to simmer below the surface when it comes to suicide bombers. Islam manufactures suicide bombers, and we rightly castigate Islamic culture for it. But, in just the last week, we have seen the United States manufacture several suicide gunners. When confronted by them, we just shake our heads and click our tongues.

Islam we hold responsible.
Us? Well, we are too nice to be responsible for that kind of thing.

Are we? Think back over the last few years. The only difference between Muslims and Americans is the choice of weapons.

Muslims strap on explosives, enter cafes, banks, trains and buses and pull the trigger. We strap on hunting rifles, enter schools and pull the trigger. True, our way is not as efficient as theirs, but we seem to leave about the same number of bodies behind.

We can say, correctly, that Islam seems peculiarly susceptible to creating suicide bombers. But what of us? True, we don’t explicitly train Americans to be suicide gunners, but we seem to be doing an excellent job in implicitly training them. We don’t hold suicide gunners up as heroes, but they get the fame, nonetheless. Muslim suicides get houris in heaven. American news moguls get houris on earth. Everybody wins.

We seem to find religiously motivated murder-suicide to be somehow more frightening than the man driven to suicide-by-police. We ominously discuss Muslims, but every time another American straps on explosives or a rifle and enters a school (and notice it is always a school, never a shopping mall, a football stadium or movie theater), we chalk it off to bad luck, a lone lunatic, a freak occurrence. Why?

Muslims blow themselves up to kill the great Satan. We pull out rifles to kill the schools. Is it possible that, like Muslims, Americans also have a single, driving motive in our collective suicidal events? Is it possible that we, too, carry an inarticulate, uneducated, demonic hatred of the institutions that destroy us?

The Arabic word for “marriage” is the same as the word for “coition.” According to Islam, women exist to serve the sexual needs of the man. Oddly enough, this is precisely what American culture teaches American men. The whole point of America’s love affair with contraception and abortion is to assure men that they won’t have to worry about taking responsibility for the woman they impregnate. Our no-fault divorce exactly mimics Islamic divorce, in which the man simply announces to his wife that she is divorced, then shows her the door.

Islam is a misogynistic culture built around adulation of the Koran and hatred of intellectual inquiry. We are a misogynistic culture built around adulation of Hollywood and hatred of intellectual inquiry. They have suicide bombers. We have suicide gunners. Perhaps we hate the Muslims for the same reason Dorian Gray hated his picture.


Jordan Potter said...

"Our no-fault divorce exactly mimics Islamic divorce"

Well, not exactly. There are things like child support, joint visitation, and cutting the man's takehome pay in half.

But you make some provocative observations and offer some food for thought.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Good points, Jordan. I meant in to compare the ease with which divorce is granted now. I paint the picture a little bleaker than it is, I suppose, but it's closer than most people want to think.

Patrick said...

The point about suicide bombers being male is no longer true. The Palestinians are up to 40% female (2005 numbers, per the BBC) mostly under the age of 25. In Iraq, the number is over 25% however they also have a significant portion of those bombers being pregnant women hoping for their children to go on to a life better than the one on earth. I wonder if anyone has ever pointed out to them their religion only endorses males going on to a better life in this fashion.

Paul said...

Your words are exquisitely true, Steve, but in order to be a complete diagnosis of our dying society, do we not have to rightly identify the reason we have become such pathetic hypocrites? The wild state of Islamic ethics has a lineage going back to Nimrod, but that is not true for ourselves. History amply demonstrates that our diseased reasoning reached an untenable level when we as a people willfully turned our back on the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Heretical theologians and philosophers have always existed in their ivory cloisters, but when the common man says of Christ, "We will not have this man to reign over us," the fountain of all wisdom and truth dries up at it's very source, with the result that we too become Canaanites, vicious even to the point of turning upon our own children. What can save us, but that the Lord in mercy would visit us with a spirit of repentance? Only when we at last despair of all our human devices and fall on our knees before Him will there be the dawning of hope - II Chron.7:14