Canada Flag . . . . . Blue Ribbon . . . . . Any Browser :-)

"WW III? No thanks...!" On-Line Library

What is an appropropriate response?
Political and philosophical considerations after the attack on the Word Trade Center

Falwell Should Have Listened to the Feminists

Robert Scheer

Ever hear of the Feminist Majority? Just the sort of people Jerry Falwell 
and Pat Robertson held responsible for the Sept. 11 terrorist attack 
because they "make God mad." Well, it's the Feminist Majority, more than 
any other organization in the U.S., that sounded the alarm that the 
Taliban's suppression of freedom, led by its harsh treatment of women, 
posed "a threat to humanity" that extended beyond the borders of 
Afghanistan and that "the Taliban and [Osama] bin Laden are interdependent
and inextricable."

If Falwell and Robertson had listened to the feminists instead of 
attacking them, the two men might have recognized the frightening 
parallels between their brand of religious extremism and that spewed by 
the Taliban. Instead, they fanned the flames of hate. As Falwell put it 
before public outrage forced him to recant: "I really believe that the 
pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the 
lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, 
the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to 
secularize America--I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped 
this happen."' Robertson heartily agreed. Although the Taliban are 
actually milder in their condemnation of abortion than these two, they 
doubtless would applaud Robertson for saying that the terrorists' success 
is owed to God's wrath over our courts permitting "35 [million] to 40 
million unborn babies to be slaughtered." In the homophobia department, 
the Taliban agrees that gays are to be condemned, having buried five men 
alive under a crushing pile of stones for the "crime" of being homosexual,
according to Amnesty International. And the Taliban undoubtedly shares 
Falwell's hatred of civil liberties groups such as the American Civil 
Liberties Union and People for the American Way for their opposition to 
state-imposed religion.

On the latter point, in a prison interview, Mahmud Abouhalima, convicted 
in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, stated that his war isn't against 
Christians but U.S. "secularists" who are exporting their way of life to 
the Muslim world. As Abouhalima told UC Santa Barbara Professor Mark 
Juerensmeyer, living in America allowed him "to understand what the hell 
is going on in the United States and in Europe about secularism of people,
you know, who have no religion." He said the U.S. would be better off with 
a Christian government because "at least it would have morals."

That view of the secular enemy, San Francisco Chronicle religion writer 
Don Lattin pointed out, is uncomfortably close to our own religious 
extremists' views and "remind[s] us that no religion has a monopoly on 
twisting spiritual truth." He said that there's a far distance between 
condemning secularists, as Falwell and Robertson did, and killing them, 
but noted the deep contempt that the two American religious leaders have 
in common with the Taliban toward those who might view religion in a 
different way.

For Robertson, the prime enemy is our court system, which has upheld the 
constitutionally mandated separation of church and state: "We have a court
that has essentially stuck its finger in God's eye." The terrorists 
succeeded, Robertson said, because, "We have insulted God at the highest 
levels of our government. ... God Almighty is lifting his protection from 

Forget building up the military. Ban the ACLU instead!

We owe Falwell and Robertson a debt for sealing the argument for the 
separation of church and state, given the specter of a state-empowered 
church run by men like them.