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Here are some news stories and articles which might be of interest to you. I've posted the opening section, and if you want to read more, you can click on "Read the whole article" to go to the original item. You'll find a variety of things here -- current news, political analysis, opinion pieces, articles about religion -- things I've happened to read and want to share with you. It's your Reading Room, so take your time. Browse. You're certain to find something you'll want to read.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Separation of Islamophilia from State

by George Neumayr

By modern secularist standards, Barack Obama's boosterism for Islam violates the "separation between Church and state." Had George W. Bush held a rosary and modest fish dinner at the White House to mark the beginning of Lent, the ACLU left would have freaked out. But these same secularists didn't mind Barack's "Iftar dinner" last Friday night.

That is, until he wimped out on his endorsement of the Ground Zero mosque. Now his dinner looks to them more like the production of Ishtar, as finger-to-the-wind Dems cravenly scramble for cover. The search is on for a "compromise." Perhaps the self-styled Solomonic Obama can convince the mosque planners to transfer their property rights to NASA. Administrator Charles Bolden could then turn the land into a satellite office for contractors who pursue the space agency's "perhaps foremost" mission (as explained to him by Obama): "to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science…and math and engineering."

The moment one thinks this presidency has hit the bottom of grim parody it finds a new one. It is hard to keep track of them at this point, but any list of the White House's greatest Islamophilic hits would have to include: wanting a civilian jury trial for the 9/11 planners, refusing to identify radical Islam as a terrorist motive, endorsing the concept of jihad, fretting over the loss of "diversity" after the Fort Hood shooting, and vacationing through the fallout of an aborted Christmas day bombing over Detroit.

The White House's ideologically willful self-delusion about radical Islam is staggering. Here, for example, is its self-reporting at whitehouse.gov about the Ramadan dinner: "Last night, President Obama continued the White House tradition of hosting an Iftar -- the meal that breaks the day of fasting --celebrating Ramadan in the State Dining Room." Continued a tradition? Exactly which White House tradition is that?

The answer: Obama was referring not to a White House "tradition" but to one distant event that he carefully left vague: Thomas Jefferson's war negotiations with Tunisian envoy Sidi Soliman Mellimelli.

Jefferson, desperate to end the Barbary war with Islamic pirates, invited Mellimelli to Washington for negotiations. According to Gaye Wilson, the visit put Jefferson and his staff on the spot: James Madison, then the Secretary of State, had to field Mellimelli's request for "concubines." Jefferson told shocked colleagues to calm down; after all, peace with the Barbary pirates required passing "unnoticed the irregular conduct of their ministers." Mellimelli, in his own way, was grateful. After hearing some gossip about the wan mood of the childless Madisons, he "flung his 'magical' cloak around Dolley Madison and murmured an incantation that promised she would bear a male child. His conjuring, however, did not work."

The war negotiations happened to coincide with Ramadan. Consequently, a scheduled dinner at the White House had to be moved back from "half after three" to "precisely at sunset" in order for Mellimelli to show up...  Read the whole article.


About Me

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Fr. Phillips is the founding pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church, the first Anglican Use parish, established on August 15, 1983. Not that there is any confusion, but he is on the left, shown in his younger, less gray-headed days.