Sayyid Qutb, an Egyptian intellectual who is considered to be the leading theological inspiration for the Muslim Brotherhood and many other jihadists … dedicates an entire chapter to the notion of jihad. In that chapter, he talks specifically about the idea of the West adopting a retreatist policy towards Islam.

Sayyid Qutb, an Egyptian intellectual who is considered to be the leading theological inspiration for the Muslim Brotherhood and many other jihadists … dedicates an entire chapter to the notion of jihad. In that chapter, he talks specifically about the idea of the West adopting a retreatist policy towards Islam.

It may happen that the enemies of Islam may consider it expedient not to take any action against Islam, if Islam leaves them alone in their geographical boundaries to continue the lordship of some men over others and does not extend its message and its declaration of universal freedom within their domain. But Islam cannot agree to this unless they submit to its authority by paying Jizyah, which will be a guarantee that they have opened their doors for the preaching of Islam and will not put any obstacle in its way through the power of the state. Indeed, Islam has the right to take the initiative. Islam is not a heritage of any particular race or country; this is God’s religion and it is for the whole world. It has the right to destroy all obstacles in the form of institutions and traditions which limit man’s freedom of choice.

America’s Ever-Lasting Threat

America’s Ever-Lasting Threat

If America Halts Its War Against Terrorism, Our Enemies Won’t Return the Favor

By Kyle Dabruzzi

In the battle against al-Qaeda and like-minded jihadists, the West is doing a less than satisfactory job of understanding its enemy. There is a line in Sun Tzu’s famous work The Art of War that states: “If you know yourself but not your enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.” Although The Art of War was written in the 6th century BC, its message applies to the battle facing us all today. If the West truly knew its enemy, it might reconsider some of proposed actions relating to the war in Iraq.

Congress, for example, has begun to make its intentions for the Iraq war, and by association the war on terror, abundantly clear. The war in Iraq is seen as futile and the Senate has introduced legislation indicating that it is not in the best interest of the United States to deepen its military presence in Iraq. Proposed legislation includes Senator Obama’s call for the phased redeployment of our forces from Iraq to begin no later than May 1, 2007; with a similar bill introduced in the House. Senator Clinton has gone a step further, calling for troops to start withdrawing from Iraq in 90 days. And we now expect a bill to prevent US forces from engaging in activities other than fighting al-Qaeda, training Iraqi forces and securing the borders of Iraq.

To be fair, there have been many blunders surrounding the Iraq war plan. The government has acknowledged that the war in Iraq was not grounded on accurate intelligence. Although around 550 shells filled with Sarin and mustard gas were uncovered in Iraq, large stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction were never found. In addition, the pre-war Iraq war plan was ill-conceived. In his book Fiasco (Penguin, 2006), Thomas Ricks details the Pentagon’s failure to come up with a Phase 4 plan, which would have included post-invasion operations including security, stabilization and reconstruction.

These errors aside, the fact remains that Iraq continues to host an insurgency that is bent on destroying American forces. While many view the insurgency as being comprised of nationalist Iraqi Sunnis and former Ba’athists, the insurgency has been co-opted by foreign jihadists fighting under the banner of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Qaeda in Iraq. The leader of the Islamic State of Iraq, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, issued a statement on February 3, 2007 indicating:

We [hereby] inform the Sunnis of a [new] plan called the Plan of Honor, which is more comprehensive and more perfect [than the existing plan] and includes not only Baghdad but all parts of the Islamic State [of Iraq]… [This plan] will end with Bush announcing the failure of his [security] plan and signing an agreement of defeat… The goals of the plan are: to defend our people and our honor; to rout out the invaders and eradicate the remaining pockets and bases of heresy; to butcher the wounded Crusader tyrant and take advantage of the collapse of morale among [the Crusader] soldiers and commanders; to unite the ranks of the mujahideen and to strengthen the foundations of the Islamic State [of Iraq].

While al-Baghdadi’s statements seem to echo the typical rants of Ayman al-Zawahiri and Abu Ayyub al-Masri, it also highlights the willingness of our enemies to do anything to harm us. Congress’ intent on halting troop increases and even calling for the phased withdrawal of our troops from Iraq increases our enemy’s confidence. If Congress understood the long-term goals of groups like the Islamic State of Iraq, their intentions might be different.

Although the war against Islamic extremism is relatively new, radical Islam’s vitriol and hatred of the West has existed for centuries. To understand this hatred, it’s worthwhile to actually read the works of those ideologues whom jihadists derive their worldviews from. In this capacity, Mary Habeck provides an excellent analysis of extremist thought in her book Knowing the Enemy (Yale University Press, 2006).

Two of the four ideologues that Habeck introduces develop ideas about the West’s policy towards Islam and how Muslims should react. The first is Sayyid Qutb, an Egyptian intellectual who is considered to be the leading theological inspiration for the Muslim Brotherhood and many other jihadists. In his famous book, Milestones, Qutb dedicates an entire chapter to the notion of jihad. In that chapter, he talks specifically about the idea of the West adopting a retreatist policy towards Islam.

It may happen that the enemies of Islam may consider it expedient not to take any action against Islam, if Islam leaves them alone in their geographical boundaries to continue the lordship of some men over others and does not extend its message and its declaration of universal freedom within their domain. But Islam cannot agree to this unless they submit to its authority by paying Jizyah, which will be a guarantee that they have opened their doors for the preaching of Islam and will not put any obstacle in its way through the power of the state… Indeed, Islam has the right to take the initiative. Islam is not a heritage of any particular race or country; this is God’s religion and it is for the whole world. It has the right to destroy all obstacles in the form of institutions and traditions which limit man’s freedom of choice.

Clearly, Qutb believed that even if the West left Islam alone, its war with the West would not subside. Indeed, Qutb argues that it is the duty and right of Islam to take the initiative and spread its ideology to non-Islamic governments, by force if necessary. For Qutb, Islam frees individuals from servitude of other men, i.e. democracy.

One other jihadist ideologue who speaks directly to this idea is Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. Fathi Yakan, a prominent Islamic scholar and follower of Sayyid Qutb, wrote a book entitled To Be A Muslim, where he quotes a speech given by al-Banna,

Our task in general is to stand against the flood of modernist civilization overflowing from the swamp of materialistic and sinful desires. This flood has swept the Muslim nation away from the Prophet’s leadership and Qur’anic guidance and deprived the world of its guiding light. Western secularism moved into a Muslim world already estranged from its Qur’anic roots, and delayed its advancement for centuries, and will continue to do so until we drive it from our lands. Moreover, we will not stop at this point, but will pursue this evil force to its own lands, invade its Western heartland, and struggle to overcome it until all the world shouts by the name of the Prophet and the teachings of Islam spread throughout the world.

The notion of an Islamic expansionist policy is more than a fringe movement; instead, it is promulgated by some of the most influential 20th century Islamic thinkers. Habeck adds that “al-Banna believed that once enough Muslims returned to the true form of Islam, they could then spread the faith through jihad.” Thus, two of al-Qaeda’s theological inspirations, Qutb and al-Banna, state that Muslims must go on the offensive and attack the West, even if unprovoked.

There have been a number of arguments made for why Islamic fundamentalists hate us and why they attacked us. President Bush, in his speech to a joint session of Congress in 2001 suggested that, “they hate our freedoms — our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.” Others argue that radical Muslims attacked us because of our support for Israel. Still others, like Dinesh D’Souza, argue that the cultural left and individuals such as Britney Spears are the real reason why Islamic fundamentalists want to attack us.

While there are grains of truth to all of these arguments, they all fail to explain why radical Muslims have fought the West for centuries. The idea that Islamic radicals hate “our freedoms” paints the most accurate picture. Indeed, our notions of freedom directly contradict their understanding of Islamic theology. Western ideas of freedom include the freedom to pick and choose which religions and beliefs we want to follow, the freedom to express ourselves, the freedom to live our lives in the manner we see fit. Freedom, to Qutb and al-Banna, means one has the freedom to choose to submit to Allah, pay the jizyah (tax levied on all non-Muslims), or die. In essence, anything that gives humans law-making ability is expressly forbidden.

The argument that Muslims hate us because of our support of Israel is valid, but insufficient. Muslims claim the land of Palestine because it was once part of the Islamic caliphate. For Muslims, reclaiming the lands of Islam is a necessity in order to re-establish the Caliphate. The presence of non-Muslims in Palestine is bad enough; the existence of a Jewish state in Palestine is even more troubling. However, the US’s support for Israel didn’t start until 1948. What are we to make of the years of violence in the name of Islam against Western countries prior to that?

Finally, the argument that cultural left in America and the flamboyance of individuals such as the aforementioned Ms. Spears causes Muslims to hate us is simply shallow. Indeed, America’s perceived decadence and our desire to idolize morally-shallow pop stars are abhorred by Muslims. However, they are more of a manifestation of American notions of freedom that Muslims hate rather than the sole reason. It would be a grave mistake to argue that the likes of MTV, Entertainment Weekly, or more adult oriented media are the reasons why 9/11 occurred.

In reality, democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, even Hollywood’s most flamboyant individuals are all manifestations of a greater problem that radical Muslims have against the West. Radical Muslims detest these things because in their eyes, they see these things as an affront to God’s sovereignty and running counter to God’s laws. Because Western countries are grounded on democratic values, radical Muslims see them as an obstacle to their goal of establishing an Islamic caliphate. Once again, the Islamic notion of freedom, as expressed by Qutb and al-Banna, is that one has the freedom to submit to the will of Allah. If he or she chooses not to do so, they either must pay the Jizyah or be fought. As such, Islamic radicals will not stop attacking us until their goals are achieved.

This is a very important dichotomy for Western countries to understand, most notably the United States. Although it’s only one front in the war on terror, the war in Iraq is crucial for keeping our enemies occupied and keeping them from attacking the homeland. Various arguments can be made about how to move forward with the war in Iraq. However, calling the mission in Iraq futile and employing a policy of retreatism in Iraq and elsewhere will not stop the fighting.

Most critics of the war on terror fail to mention that the United States has not been attacked since 9/11. If we pull out of Iraq, it may secure the lives of our soldiers abroad. But the long-feared possibility of another attack on US soil will become increasingly more possible and innocent American lives will be put in the crosshairs of these and future extremists.

In addition, with an encouraged enemy and a front closed in Iraq, our enemies will have greater resources and personnel to use in other regions. Bearing in mind the thought that jihadists will “take the initiative”, the insurgents fighting in Iraq may heed the call to fight in Afghanistan or other areas where American forces are deployed, thus putting American troops abroad in greater danger. The greatest use of our greatest advantage, our armed forces, is to remain on the advance against the enemy.

It’s Not Pretty Being Green

It’s Not Pretty Being Green
Inside San Francisco’s environmental-friendly Federal Building.
By Philip Murphy
Weekly Standard
03/09/2007 12:00:00 AM

THE LATEST CRAZE in architecture, after fizzled experiments in Modernism, Post Modernism, Brutalism, Deconstructionism, and Post-Brutal-Deconstructed-Neo-Modernism, is a genuflection to environmentalism called “Green Building” or “Sustainable Architecture.” For the most part, building “Green” means cloaking an intrinsically inefficient high rise building in an ecological hair shirt that makes owners feel good and tenants feel miserable.

The latest example of Green Building has risen in San Francisco, where the city by the Bay has ripped apart one of the grittier parts of its foggy utopia to construct what is surely the most ridiculous building of our still young century: the poetically-named Federal Building.

A unique combination of crackpot environmentalism and elaborate ugliness, the Federal Building will finally opens its doors (or flaps, or airlocks, or orifices, or something) later this month and it will boast a number of odd design “features.” For instance, the Federal Building is an office tower tall enough to disrupt the city’s skyline, yet its elevators only stop on every third floor–the better to conserve energy.

And after trudging up and down the stairs on a blazing summer afternoon the unfortunate tenants soak in their own sweat because the building has no air conditioning . . . again to save energy.

Who could have conceived of such a thing? Imagine a hip West Coast architect who surrounds himself with turtle necked young designers and calls his firm Morphosis and you have Thom Mayne.

A profile of Mayne in the San Francisco Chronicle included this telling insight:

“Mayne doesn’t see his work as ugly, for starters. He also seems honestly baffled by the Bay Area notion that new buildings should mimic the architectural character of their surroundings–or, as Mayne puts it, indulge in ‘the anachronistic illusion of some other time.'”

With any luck, the Mayne event in San Francisco will be so notoriously bad that it will do for enviro-fundamentalism what the Tweed Courthouse did for corrupt government . . . that is, give it unmistakable form that provokes corrective action.

Until then, federal employees by the Bay will have plenty of time to contemplate the consequences of global climate change while working in their very own greenhouse.

Islamic jihadists warn Austria, Germany: break with U.S. or something may happen

Islamic jihadists warn Austria, Germany: break with U.S. or something may happen

Rudolf Gollia is right: these are abstract, weaselly threats. Austria “may be among targeted nations” if it doesn’t withdraw from Afghanistan? “Germany will face more threats“? Oh, no! Anything but more threats!

If only all the jihadists were of this milquetoast variety.

“Islamic militants warn Austria, Germany,” by Salah Nasrawi for Associated Press, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:

CAIRO, Egypt – Islamic militants threatened to attack Germany and Austria unless the two European nations break ranks with the U.S. and withdraw their personnel from Afghanistan, according to a Web statement.”Germany will face more threats and dangers if it doesn’t withdraw its troops from Afghanistan,” an unidentified speaker said in a video statement posted Saturday on an Islamic Web site used by al-Qaida-linked militants.

The authenticity of the video could not be verified, but it was released by the Voice of the Caliphate, which is said to be run by
Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida group.

The unidentified speaker, whose face was blurred, said about 2,700 German soldiers in Afghanistan will “not be safe from attacks” by the Taliban and al-Qaida fighters in the war-torn nation. He also threatened that the militants will carry out attacks in Austria and against Austrian personnel in Afghanistan.

“Austria has always been one of the most safe countries in Europe, depending on tourism both in summer and winter,” the unidentified speaker said. “But if it doesn’t withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, it may be among targeted nations.”

Austrian Interior Ministry spokesman Rudolf Gollia was quoted by the Austria Press Agency as saying that the threats were very “abstract.” Government representatives were meeting Sunday morning to discuss the situation.

Code Pinkos pester Pelosi; more Obey-mania

The Great Global Warming Swindle Video and info

Taleban say faith will win on the battlefield

Taleban say faith will win on the battlefield

As I show in The Truth About Muhammad, this is a belief that goes back to the Battle of Badr, the first great victory in Islamic history. And if losses follow, they will not lead to a reexamination of the assumption that faith and victory are tied together, but will be ascribed to lack of faith, and more Islam will be prescribed as the remedy.

From AFP, with thanks to Sr. Soph:

KANDAHAR – Top Taleban commander Mullah Dadullah says faith and popular support will see his men fight off an offensive in southern Afghanistan by NATO and Afghan troops.The troops Tuesday kicked off what NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) called their biggest offensive yet against the Taleban and their allies, focused on the lawless northern part of Helmand province.

Coalition war planes struck Taleban compounds and armouries and dropped “precision-guided munitions” on a Taleban militant who had been helping move anti-aircraft weapons, military statements said.

Two British soldiers and an unknown number of rebel fighters have died in various clashes.

Dadullah, who is reported to be the Taleban’s military operations chief for southern Afghanistan, acknowledged the superior might of ISAF in a telephone interview Saturday with AFP but said he was undaunted.

“No one in the world has better weapons than NATO. They have got better weapons, but we will defeat them with the power of faith and belief,” Dadullah told an AFP reporter who has spoken to him several times and knew his voice.

“The entire nation is with us: the people give us food, fruit and money. The people are fed up with infidel, invading troops and their puppets,” he said.

He claimed to be in Helmand province.

“We have enough men to fight this battle,” he said. “Some foreign mujahedin (holy fighters) are also fighting alongside our mujahedin.

Dadullah said Taleban fighters were being backed by Al Qaeda-linked foreign jihadists, including from Chechnya and the Palestinian territories.

“We have relations with Iraqi mujahedin—we send fighters to them, they send to us,” he added.

An intelligence “gold mine”

An intelligence “gold mine”

Clarice Feldman
We may have scored an enormous coup in the defection of an Iranian General who has brought with him documentation of what Iran has been up to:

AN Iranian general who defected to the West last month had been spying on Iran since 2003 when he was recruited on an overseas business trip, according to Iranian sources.
This weekend Brigadier General Ali Reza Asgari, 63, the former deputy defence minister, is understood to be undergoing debriefing at a Nato base in Germany after he escaped from Iran, followed by his family.
A daring getaway via Damascus was organised by western intelligence agencies after it became clear that his cover was about to be blown. Iran’s notorious secret service, the Vavak, is believed to have suspected that he was a high-level mole.

While he will no longer be able to learn more secrets, the timing of this defection may signal events coming soon in which his intelligence and perhaps documentary proof will be of great utility.

A lesson in democracy from Senator Cornyn

A lesson in democracy from Senator Cornyn

By Bob Weir

Recently, US Senator John Cornyn of Texas was being honored at a GOP luncheon in Denton, Texas. When he was told that a group of war protesters were demonstrating outside, he, along with County GOP Chair, Diane Edmondson, took the time to address the assemblage and even thank them for exercising their right to free speech.

Not only was it a class act, it spoke volumes about the greatness of our country. Yes, antiwar protestors are attempting to bring us back to the turbulent sixties and seventies when the Vietnam War dominated the headlines. We faced some of the toughest challenges to our Constitution, but we not only survived, we became even stronger and more certain than ever that the exercise of freedom is the cornerstone of a democracy.

When I see the proliferation of protesters in cities across the country, I’m reminded once again how marvelous this country is. Only a great nation allows its citizens to take to the streets, condemning the very government that protects their right to do so. Only a benevolent nation allows its leaders to be portrayed on placards as vicious dictators like Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin; when in fact, if those dictators were in charge, there would be no protests, there would be no opposing opinions broadcast on national television, and there would be no newspapers taking sides against the government.
When I see the doctored photos of President Bush sporting a square mustache, and Vice-president Cheney wearing a swastika armband, I find it offensive because it tends to minimize the repugnant reality of true oppression. On the other hand, it emphasizes that in this country you have the freedom to make such ludicrous comparisons without fear of being pulled out of your home in the middle of the night, never to be heard from again. Many Americans become angry and outraged by those who would put such an evil face on the same country that stood up to and defeated the Fuhrer, IL Duce, and Emperor Hirohito during a very different time in our history. A time when people understood that freedom was not free, but had to be paid for with an ocean of blood and a million lost limbs. That blood and those limbs paid for the right of those protesters to demonstrate against their country. If their rights were violated, thousands of soldiers would have died for nothing.
For more than 200 years, America has forged the concept of freedom into the spiritual DNA of its offspring, making us more familiar with liberty than any country on earth. Therefore, when we see our fellow citizens taking the time and effort to protest a policy they believe to be inimical to their interests, perhaps we should be thankful that they are testing the strength of our country’s dedication to free speech. For, if it were never tested, how would we know it existed?

If those protesters were brutalized or killed while standing up for their right to dissent, we’d know we were no longer living in that “one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.” In addition, we’d know that if they could be killed for their dissent, how long would it be before we were similarly targeted for ours? We must keep in mind that protest is to America what oppression is to the Axis of Evil. As difficult as it is to see our countrymen give aid and comfort to the enemy, we must substitute our outrage for the pride we share in knowing that the greatness of America is superbly illustrated on the world stage every time it protects a citizen’s right to attack it.
Tyrants around the world may enjoy the sight of Americans protesting their government’s policies, but the people who have struggle under their brutal domination must wonder what it’s like to exercise such freedom. Surely, they secretly fantasize about living in a country where they won’t be beaten, mutilated, and murdered for expressing a contrary thought about their leaders.

If we have learned anything from this vast and noble experiment called democracy, we have learned that people are at their best when they can breathe the purified air of freedom and explore the far reaches of the human spirit unhindered by the cruel and stifling yoke of bondage. Hence, we should view the protesters as proof that our system works. Let’s not rebuke them for providing the international community with a glimpse of greatness in action. Also, let’s thank Senator Cornyn for proving that a lot of brave men and women didn’t die in vain.

Bob Weir is a former detective sergeant in the New York City Police Department. He is the excutive editor of The News Connection in Highland Village, Texas. Email Bob.

Atheists, Conservatives, and Christianity

Atheists, Conservatives, and Christianity

By Steven M. Warshawsky

There is an interesting, and important, debate going on within conservative circles these days over the role of religion in American conservatism and the role of Christian conservatives in the Republican Party.  In particular, the “atheist” wing of the conservative movement (largely made up of libertarians) is starting to challenge the supposedly predominant role of Christian conservatives within the movement.

This conflict is summed up in the title of Ryan Sager’s new book, The Elephant in the Room: Evangelicals, Libertarians, and the Battle to Control the Republican Party.  Although Sager’s book has garnered some attention, what brought this conflict out in the open — and generated a firestorm of discussion and invective — was Heather Mac Donald’s piece in the American Conservative last summer, in which she wrote that

“the conservative movement is crippling itself by leaning too heavily on religion” and that “a lot of us do not have such faith — nor do we need it to be conservative.”

Writing this month in the webzine New English Review, author and commentator Christopher Orlet (who has written for American Spectator and American Thinker, among others) has weighed in on the side of the atheists in this debate. In his piece, titled “Skeptical Conservatives, Weary of the Theocon’s Disdain, are Emerging from the Closet,” Orlet rails against the Religious Right and “fundie pundits,” whose “preening piety” (in Mac Donald’s words) clearly has gotten under his skin.  Unfortunately, the piece is a bit of an emotional rant, rather than a careful analysis of the issue.  But it is very thought-provoking, nonetheless.  In rebuttal to Orlet’s piece, I offer some of my own thoughts on this issue.
Let me begin by identifying my own “allegiances.”  I am Jewish.  I am not religious.  While I hesitate to call myself an atheist, due to the philosophical impossibility of “knowing” that there is no God, I certainly am agnostic.  Perhaps more importantly, religious ritual plays no role in my life.  I certainly am more of a non-believer than John Derbyshire, who is one of the “skeptical” conservatives identified by Orlet as suffering the “enmity” of the theocons.  Indeed, if one were to evaluate my “lifestyle” (non-religious, married to a doctor, no children, living in New York City), one likely would conclude that I should side with the atheists in this debate.  I don’t.
I have long believed that part of being a “conservative” is being respectful of religion. Or rather, to be more precise, being respectful of Christianity.  Unlike Orlet, I am not offended when someone says that this is a “Christian nation.”  It is.  America certainly is not a Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist nation.  As a Jew, I am deeply grateful for this nation’s Christian heritage.  No nation on earth treats Jews better.  While there are many reasons for this, I believe that Christianity is part of what makes America the great country that she is.  And as a fervently patriotic American, I will support and defend this country’s Christian heritage to my dying days. 
Orlet, like so many other critics of the Religious Right, fundamentally fails to account for the central role of Christianity in Western and American history.  Most, if not all, of the values and principles that we hold dear — the dignity of the individual, freedom of conscience, political and economic liberty, representative government, and so on — are inextricably intertwined with the Christian culture that produced, developed, and/or sustained them.  Sure, there were other cultural sources and influences that played important roles.  But to suggest, as Orlet does, that ancient Greek and Roman civilization, let alone the civilizations of ancient Egypt and Babylon, played as great a role as Christianity is, quite frankly, ridiculous.  To see the main roots of our culture in ancient civilizations that ended thousands of years ago — instead of in the religious and philosophical framework that has dominated the West for the past 1,000+ years — is to abuse history and defy logic.
I consider Orlet’s recourse to sociobiology and anthropology equally unpersuasive.  Orlet cites James Q. Wilson (who is, without doubt, a great scholar) for the proposition that “human beings share a ‘moral sense’ rooted in human biology and evolution.”  Orlet also argues that “anthropologists now believe that morality and the so-called Golden Rule were developed outside of religion to deal with the complexities of living in large-scale societies.”  Perhaps.  But if by this Orlet means to suggest that all human beings are equally moral, then he needs to open his eyes.  Not only are all human beings not equally moral, but all civilizations are not equally conducive to nurturing human beings who respect the values and principles that American conservatives, including Orlet, believe in.
Just look around the world today.  Much of the world, outside the West, lives under conditions of tyranny, poverty, and/or barbarism, sometimes all three.  And in modern times, the worst crimes against humanity have occurred, and are occurring, in the non-Christian and anti-religious (i.e., communist and fascist) countries.  Is this a coincidence?  Orlet would have us believe that it is.  Orlet makes light of the connection between the atheistic ideologies that motivated Hitler, Stalin, and Mao, and the genocides they committed.  I am not nearly as confident as Orlet that atheism, per se, played no role in these tragedies.  In any event, I believe the historical record is clear:  While life in Christian countries has not always been free or humane, the alternative has been much worse. 
Consequently, unlike utopians of all stripes, I am unwilling to gamble on what the outcome would be if Christianity in this country were replaced with some other ideology — as the radicals of the 1960s and their present-day followers are trying to do (already with far too much success).  Perhaps surprisingly, Orlet’s brand of atheistic conservatism, in struggling so mightily to deny the Christian foundations of American culture, looks a lot like the specious multiculturalism of the left.  Is this a weight he really wants to bear?
At its most basic level, American conservatism aims at preserving what I will refer to as “the American tradition.”  By this, conservatives generally mean the core values and principles upon which our nation was founded and prospered.  Granted, there is room for debate here.  However, I don’t see how Christianity can be excised from this equation.  While we never have had a theocracy in the United States (despite what ignorant and hysterical people might say about George W. Bush), the Christian religion always has played an important role in the private — and public — lives of our people.  As a conservative, despite being non-religious, I believe this role must be respected and preserved.        
In my view, the attack on Christianity in this country (like the attack on capitalism) is contrary to the American tradition.  It was not until after World War Two, and especially during the 1960s, that American elites started to cast a jaundiced eye toward the role that religion played in American life.  Perhaps the watershed moment was in 1962, in the Engle v. Vitale case, when the U.S. Supreme Court declared that reciting a nondenominational prayer in public school violated the First Amendment.  To borrow a line from Jay Nordlinger of National Review, I refuse to accept the notion that for our entire history prior to the 1960s, the American people were living in violation of the Constitution.  This is a preposterous idea.  Yet this is the direction we have been moving ever since when it comes to matters of religion. 
One of the hallmarks of American conservatism is that we reject such elitist, top-down interference in the daily lives of our citizens.  Unlike liberals — who claim to know how the rest of us should live — conservatives respect the rights of individuals and communities to govern themselves.  Yet atheist conservatives, like Orlet, apparently do not believe that this respect should apply when it comes to religion, which they see as a backward and irrational force in society.  This strikes me as pure anti-religious prejudice that in no way is compatible with preserving the American tradition.      
Of course, another very important part of the American tradition is toleration for religious minorities and non-believers.  As a Jew, I am very grateful for this tradition, which has been one of the distinguishing features of America’s national greatness. 
But toleration is a two-way street.  By what political, moral, or logical principle should the views of religious minorities and non-believers take precedence over those of the vast majority of Christian Americans?  Why should my non-religious “sensitivities,” for example, trump those of my more religious neighbors?  To put it in concrete terms, why should a small number of dissenters be able to prevent the larger community from consecrating their public ceremonies and rites of passage, like high school graduation, with a short prayer (nondenominational or otherwise)?  Put somewhat differently, why are political majorities entitled to impose their political views on others with impunity, sometimes in the most obnoxious ways (think liberals in San Francisco or Manhattan), but religious majorities cannot even have a moment of silence in school or a representation of the Ten Commandments in a courtroom?  Frankly, I do not see how any “conservative” can agree with the present treatment of Christianity in this country.
Does this mean that I agree with everything that so-called Christian conservatives believe in?  Of course not.  But the effort to marginalize, even demonize, Christian conservatives is unworthy of anyone who considers himself a member of the political movement that is trying to preserve the American tradition.
Lastly, let me suggest that Orlet’s (and other libertarian Republicans’) willingness to break with Christian conservatives reflects a basic misunderstanding of the political realities in this country circa 2007.  Orlet writes in his piece,

“in the past half century conservative economic, political and social policies have triumphed.” 

But he worries that the “grudging respect for conservative intellectuals” — whose ideas, presumably, are responsible for these policy “triumphs” — is threatened by the supposedly dominant role of Christians and the “fundie pundits” in the conservative movement.  Hence, the “skeptics” must rise up against the “theocons.”  This is all wrong.
The notion, shared by many on the right, that “conservative economic, political and social policies have triumphed” in this country is, sadly, far off the mark.  As I have argued before,

“while we have some conservative-oriented politicians, who occasionally pass some conservative-oriented legislation, the truth is that on the truly big issues on the ground, America is still in the grip of the liberal paradigm that came into existence under FDR.” 

Government at all levels continues to grow bigger and more intrusive.  The number and reach of economic regulations continues to expand.  We’re halfway to socialized medicine already, and appear likely to complete that journey in the next decade.  There are more restrictions on political activity today than in 1980.  The spheres of permissible private, personal, and local activity continue to shrink.  We still have affirmative action and racial gerrymandering.  Abortion on demand remains the law of the land.  Gay marriage, and even legalized polygamy, is rapidly capturing elite opinion.  And on and on and on.  If this constitutes a conservative “triumph,” I shudder to think what a liberal victory would look like.
Clearly, there still is much, much work to be done to implement a conservative agenda in this country.  This being the case, why would anyone who shares a major part of this agenda want to eschew an alliance with largely like-minded folks, just because those folks happen to hold some conflicting views?  This makes no sense.  There are few “small government” supporters to be found on the liberal/Democratic side of the aisle.  There are just as few believers in economic or political liberty over there.  If the fundamental “conservative” project is to preserve and protect the American tradition, as represented by the Founding Fathers and their political and philosophical descendents, then both libertarians and Christian conservatives have vital roles to play.  My message to atheist conservatives:  grow up, have more respect for the Christian majority in this country, and don’t be so sensitive.  You’re starting to sound like liberals.
Steven M. Warshawsky is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. Contact the author: