February 8, 2007
WAR: A Frenchman With Backbone
It's hard to avoid the conclusion that Nicholas Sarkozy not only knows which end of the whole right-wrong thing is up, but actually believes that there is some political benefit - in France! - to doing the right thing:
A French paper accused of insulting Muslims by printing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad surprised a court hearing on Wednesday with a letter of support from presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy.
"I prefer an excess of caricatures to an absence of caricatures," Sarkozy, the conservative interior minister who helped launch the French Muslim Council, wrote in a letter read out by a lawyer for the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.
The letter from the presidential frontrunner, whose ministry is also responsible for religious affairs, drew an angry response from one of three Muslim groups suing the weekly.
"He should remain neutral," Abdullah Zekri of the Paris Grand Mosque said at the court hearing the case on Wednesday and Thursday and due to deliver its decision at a later date.
What is more, he is apparently not the only one:
Charlie Hebdo has called more than a dozen politicians and intellectuals as witnesses, including Francois Bayrou, a centrist candidate in the presidential vote in April and May.
Its first witness, Paris University philosopher Abdel Wahhab Meddeb said he laughed when he saw Charlie Hebdo's cartoon. "I urge Muslims to adapt to Europe and not the other way around. That would be catastrophic," he told the court.
"The trial against Charlie Hebdo is one of a different age," the daily Le Monde wrote in an editorial. "In a secular state, no religion and no ideology is above the law. Where religion makes the law, one is close to totalitarianism."
There may be hope yet that the French state, so advanced in its decay from the days when Frenchmen had faith in God, country and their nation's ability to stand up for itself, will at least recognize that it does not wish to sacrifice French national identity on the altar of multiculturalism.
"When religion makes the law, one is close to totalitarianism." Some day I hope the Republican Party reads this.
Astro, are you referring to the fact the Conservatives are against killing babies or is there something else you object to? Surely you don't object to a family being able to send their children and their financial support to the school of their choice, regardless of income level. Obviously you don't object to having more money in your paycheck each month (that Bush tax cut is still the best boost in pay I have received EVER). I am also sure you don't object to making the government smaller and less obtrusive in your life. Therefore, I must be missing something if see totalitarianism on the horizon.
Irish, isn't it contradictory to want "government smaller and less obtrusive" yet want to get into women's bodies? Yes I know, you will present a different argument. In the end,what it really means is we WANT government to be obtrusive, but only on the issues we want them to.
I want school vouchers too BTW. Schools were originally set up to give place for kids to go--after the industrial revolution, we had loads of kids with nowhere to go, nothing to do, and a rising crime rate. They were not actually set up for that organization best left for the lowest circles of hell: the teachers' union.
And Astro, there is a country where religion makes the law. It's called Saudi Arabia. Also North Korea, if you consider the worship of the Kim Dynasty a religion. While I think faith is too important in political life, others disagree. And the discussion is what makes us American.
"Irish, isn't it contradictory to want "government smaller and less obtrusive" yet want to get into women's bodies?"
I'd hardly call obviating Roe and throwing the question of abortion back to the states an example of a more intrusive Federal government.
...and a government that allows a 15 year old unfettered access to an abortion but forces the criminalization of the consumption of alcohol by a 20 year old is hardly one that I think has respect for the individual's right to use their body as they please at the forefront of concerns.
(and then there are drug laws, prostitution prohibitions, smoking bans - yeah..it's all about the freedom to do with one's body as one ses fit)
Back to the subject of France, when I read this articles all I think about is Lord of the Rings. Doesn't it seem like the French populace could be the citizens of Gondor and Sarkozy (or the cartonist) could be Gandalf urging them to fight and hold the line against evil? All over its the same, will you face evil and defy it or will you succomb to the easy path and hope that it takes days beyond your life for the evil to reach your Shire.
As for the issue of Abortion - I think there are honest and good faith arguments on both sides. I know people who oppose abortion and think R v W was correct. And prochoicers who don't like R v W. For me the federal goverment has long gone beyond the proper bounds of its power. I'd like to let the states decide for themselves what Medical procedures are ok and what are not. I'd like them to decide what substances are contraband and what are not.
As for legal age, I really think making it uniform would be a much better bet for the populace. 18 is arbitrary, but so is 21. I'd rather see a consistent adult hood at 18 and strong parental rights before hand. Of course their are ramifications such as pre18 adult punishment, etc. Do we really want a 16 year old, or a 17 and 364 day yr old to be able to get away with murder for a short juvi stay? But at the same time if we hold them criminally responsible then shouldn't they be civically responsible for making their own medical decisions (abortion, drug consumption, sex, etc.)?
Perhaps if the federal goverment extricated itself from state issues, then a federal age could exist for things properly federal, such as the voting age, service age, etc. and the state could define its own appropriate age(s) - but none should be higher than the federal age.
At any rate I hardly find this country or either of its two mainstream parties to be religious. The fact that one particular religious group happens to vote Republican does not make it religious, any more so than the fact that most Catholics voted Democrat 40 years ago, made it a Catholic party.
I would much rather the moral atmosphere in our country dictate that women were not using abortion as birth control. There is no excuse anymore for unwanted pregnancy outside of rape. In the absence of a moral environment, who speaks for the child? I will, it is wrong.
If I read you right, you imply that the government is smaller and less intrusive under Republican leadership. What on earth gives you that idea? If I do not read you right, then you're owed an apology.
Irish. I agree that there is actually less reason for abortion, or should be. I'm not sure I agree about the moral atmosphere, but we may just disagree on definitions. However, if we could teach birth control, without fear of the right claiming that teaching sex ed to teeangers is the same as condoning it, there might be less argument. Putting your head in the sand about teenagers having a heavy sex drive is not helpful. They haven't changed in 50,000 years, why try now?
Matt - Conservatives believe in smaler, less intrusive government. This is not a Conservative administration.
daryl - I have no problem with teaching about the effective use of birth control, but that is not all that is being taught in our sex ed classes. that is the difference.