Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

New York Times profiles philosopher Alvin Plantinga and discusses his new book

Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga

Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga

Alvin Plantinga is widely regarded as the top Christian philosopher in the world, and a former head of the largest professional association of philosophers – the American Philosophical Association (APA).

 Mary sent me this article from the New York Times about Alvin Plantinga and his new book, published by Oxford University Press – the top academic press in the world.

Excerpt:

From Calvin [College], and later from the University of Notre Dame, Mr. Plantinga has led a movement of unapologetically Christian philosophers who, if they haven’t succeeded in persuading their still overwhelmingly unbelieving colleagues, have at least made theism philosophically respectable.

“There are vastly more Christian philosophers and vastly more visible or assertive Christian philosophy now than when I left graduate school,” Mr. Plantinga said in a recent telephone interview from his home in Grand Rapids, adding, with characteristic modesty, “I have no idea how it happened.”

Mr. Plantinga retired from full-time teaching last year, with more than a dozen books and a past presidency of the American Philosophical Association to his name. But he’s hardly resting on those laurels. Having made philosophy safe for theism, he’s now turning to a harder task: making theism safe for science.

For too long, Mr. Plantinga contends in a new book, theists have been on the defensive, merely rebutting the charge that their beliefs are irrational. It’s time for believers in the old-fashioned creator God of the Bible to go on the offensive, he argues, and he has some sports metaphors at the ready. (Not for nothing did he spend two decades at Notre Dame.)

In “Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion and Naturalism,” published last week by Oxford University Press, he unleashes a blitz of densely reasoned argument against “the touchdown twins of current academic atheism,” the zoologist Richard Dawkins and the philosopher Daniel C. Dennett, spiced up with some trash talk of his own.

[...] Longtime readers of Mr. Plantinga, who was raised as a Presbyterian and who embraced the Calvinism of the Christian Reformed Church as a young man, are used to such invocations of theological concepts. And even philosophers who reject his theism say his arguments for the basic rationality of belief, laid out in books like “Warranted Christian Belief” and “God and Other Minds,” constitute an important contribution that every student of epistemology would be expected to know.

But Mr. Plantinga’s steadfast defense of the biochemist and intelligent-design advocate Michael Behe, the subject of a long chapter in the new book, is apparently another matter.

“I think deep down inside he really isn’t a friend of science,” Michael Ruse, a philosopher of science at Florida State University, said of Mr. Plantinga. “I’m not objecting to him wanting to defend theism. But I think he gets his victory at the level of gelding or significantly altering modern science in unacceptable ways.”

Mr. Dennett was even harsher, calling Mr. Plantinga “Exhibit A of how religious beliefs can damage or hinder or disable a philosopher,” not to mention a poor student of biology. Evolution is a random, unguided process, he said, and Mr. Plantinga’s effort to leave room for divine intervention is simply wishful thinking.

“It’s just become more and more transparent that he’s an apologist more than a serious, straight-ahead philosopher,” Mr. Dennett said.

When Mr. Plantinga and Mr. Dennett (who said he has not read Mr. Plantinga’s new book) faced off over these questions before a standing-room-only crowd at a 2009 meeting of the American Philosophical Association, the event prompted ardent online debate over who had landed better punches, or simply been more condescending. (A transcript of the proceedings was published last year as “Science and Religion: Are They Compatible?”)

Mr. Plantinga, who recalled the event as “polite but not cordial,” allowed that he didn’t think much of Mr. Dennett’s line of reasoning. “He didn’t want to argue,” Mr. Plantinga said. “It was more like he wanted to make assertions and tell stories.”

Would you like to know how well Daniel Dennett can debate the naturalism/theism dispute? First of all, Plantinga has debated Dennett, and you can find the audio for it at Apologetics 315.

William Lane Craig also presented several arguments against naturalism to Daniel Dennett in 2007, and Dennett responded by calling it a “first-rate piece of philosophical reasoning”. I link to the exchange and complain about Dennett’s weak response to Craig’s arguments in a previous post.

You may also find this recent interview with Alvin Plantinga, conducted by Brian Auten, informative.

The resurgence of Christian theism in analytical philosophy

Now let’s move from the specific to the aggregate. What is going on with these Christian philosophers?

Well, you can read an excellent article about the resurgence of Christian theism in philosophy departments in the peer-reviewed philosophy journal Philo, which, in my opinion, is the best journal for atheists and agnostic philosophers. The article is authored by the well-known atheist Quentin Smith.

He writes:

THE DESECULARIZATION OF ACADEMIA THAT EVOLVED IN PHILOSOPHY DEPARTMENTS SINCE THE LATE 1960s

By the second half of the twentieth century, universities and colleges had been become in the main secularized. The standard (if not exceptionless) position in each field, from physics to psychology, assumed or involved arguments for a naturalist world-view; departments of theology or religion aimed to understand the meaning and origins of religious writings, not to develop arguments against naturalism. Analytic philosophers (in the mainstream of analytic philosophy) treated theism as an antirealist or non-cognitivist world-view, requiring the reality, not of a deity, but merely of emotive expressions or certain “forms of life” (of course there were a few exceptions, e.g., Ewing, Ross, Hartshorne, etc., but I am discussing the mainstream view).

[...]The secularization of mainstream academia began to quickly unravel upon the publication of Plantinga’s influential book on realist theism, God and Other Minds, in 1967. It became apparent to the philosophical profession that this book displayed that realist theists were not outmatched by naturalists in terms of the most valued standards of analytic philosophy: conceptual precision, rigor of argumentation, technical erudition, and an in-depth defense of an original world-view. This book, followed seven years later by Plantinga’s even more impressive book, The Nature of Necessity, made it manifest that a realist theist was writing at the highest qualitative level of analytic philosophy, on the same playing field as Carnap, Russell, Moore, Grünbaum, and other naturalists. Realist theists, whom hitherto had segregated their academic lives from their private lives, increasingly came to believe (and came to be increasingly accepted or respected for believing) that arguing for realist theism in scholarly publications could no longer be justifiably regarded as engaging in an “academically unrespectable” scholarly pursuit.

Naturalists passively watched as realist versions of theism, most influenced by Plantinga’s writings, began to sweep through the philosophical community, until today perhaps one-quarter or one-third of philosophy professors are theists, with most being orthodox Christians. Although many theists do not work in the area of the philosophy of religion, so many of them do work in this area that there are now over five philosophy journals devoted to theism or the philosophy of religion, such as Faith and Philosophy, Religious Studies, International Journal of the Philosophy of Religion, Sophia, Philosophia Christi, etc. Philosophia Christi began in the late 1990s and already is overflowing with submissions from leading philosophers. Can you imagine a sizeable portion of the articles in contemporary physics journals suddenly presenting arguments that space and time are God’s sensorium (Newton’s view) or biology journals becoming filled with theories defending élan vital or a guiding intelligence? Of course, some professors in these other, non-philosophical, fields are theists; for example, a recent study indicated that seven percent of the top scientists are theists.1 However, theists in other fields tend to compartmentalize their theistic beliefs from their scholarly work; they rarely assume and never argue for theism in their scholarly work. If they did, they would be committing academic suicide or, more exactly, their articles would quickly be rejected, requiring them to write secular articles if they wanted to be published. If a scientist did argue for theism in professional academic journals, such as Michael Behe in biology, the arguments are not published in scholarly journals in his field (e.g., biology), but in philosophy journals (e.g., Philosophy of Science and Philo, in Behe’s case). But in philosophy, it became, almost overnight, “academically respectable” to argue for theism, making philosophy a favored field of entry for the most intelligent and talented theists entering academia today. A count would show that in Oxford University Press’ 2000–2001 catalogue, there are 96 recently published books on the philosophy of religion (94 advancing theism and 2 presenting “both sides”). By contrast, there are 28 books in this catalogue on the philosophy of language, 23 on epistemology (including religious epistemology, such as Plantinga’s Warranted Christian Belief), 14 on metaphysics, 61 books on the philosophy of mind, and 51 books on the philosophy of science.

And how have naturalist philosophers reacted to what some committed naturalists might consider as “the embarrassment” of belonging to the only academic field that has allowed itself to lose the secularization it once had? Some naturalists wish to leave the field, considering themselves as no longer doing “philosophy of mind,” for example, but instead “cognitive science.” But the great majority of naturalist philosophers react by publicly ignoring the increasing desecularizing of philosophy (while privately disparaging theism, without really knowing anything about contemporary analytic philosophy of religion) and proceeding to work in their own area of specialization as if theism, the view of approximately one-quarter or one-third of their field, did not exist. (The numbers “one-quarter” and “one-third” are not the result of any poll, but rather are the exceptionless, educated guesses of every atheist and theist philosophy professor I have asked [the answers varied between “one-quarter” and “one-third”]). Quickly, naturalists found themselves a mere bare majority, with many of the leading thinkers in the various disciplines of philosophy, ranging from philosophy of science (e.g., Van Fraassen) to epistemology (e.g., Moser), being theists. The predicament of naturalist philosophers is not just due to the influx of talented theists, but is due to the lack of counter-activity of naturalist philosophers themselves. God is not “dead” in academia; he returned to life in the late 1960s and is now alive and well in his last academic stronghold, philosophy departments.

Quentin Smith is a good friend of William Lane Craig, who is a philosopher/theologian and the top Christian defender in the world, and probably of all time. Smith is the co-author, with William Lane Craig, of the book “Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology“, also published by Oxford University Press. Craig and Smith debated at Harvard University in 2003, and I transcribed the debate for posterity. If some of you are looking for a way to help promote Christian apologetics, you should pick a debate that hasn’t been transcribed and transcribe it. A lot of people read these debate transcripts. I had them printed out in my binder when I was an undergraduate student, in case my professors got boring! I like a good fight.

On a lighter note, my office plant is named Alvin Plantinga. It was grown in water and then given to me by an atheist with whom I work. We discuss these interesting topics over lunch every few months. And so should you. Why not send the New York Times article and the Philo article to an atheist in your office and get the conversation started? There’s enough in this post alone to help you sound like Alvin Plantinga!

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FARC terrorist leader Alfonso Cano killed by Colombian armed forces

Map of South America

Map of South America

From the Heritage Foundation.

Excerpt:

The armed forces of Colombia have scored a major battlefield victory. They finally hunted down, confronted, and killed the leader of the narco-terrorist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Guillermo Leon Saenz, widely known by his alias Alfonso Cano.

A guerrilla for decades, Cano assumed the top leadership of the FARC following the natural death of founder Manuel Marulanda (2008) and the elimination of senior figures Raul Reyes (2008) and Jorge Briceno (aka Mono Jojoy, 2010).

Seen by some as a modern-day version of the “good revolutionary,” Cano—a life-long advocate of armed violence and terrorism—fell in combat with the Colombian armed forces as they rappelled their way into his secret jungle hideout. Cano was also indicted in a U.S. court for drug trafficking along with dozens of other FARC leaders and had a $5 million price on his head.

FARC is a Marxist terrorist group.

The Economist reports that the Colombian economy is also doing well.

Excerpt:

WHEN the figures are finally tallied, Colombia may prove to have weathered the world recession better than any other of the larger Latin American countries. After a slight contraction at the end of 2008, the economy has been growing modestly this year. This resilience stems from continued foreign investment, an increase in government spending on public works and easier money: since December the central bank has cut interest rates by six percentage points, to 4%, a steeper drop than anywhere in the region outside Chile.

[...]President Álvaro Uribe’s security policies have helped to restore confidence. Investment soared, from 15% of GDP in 2002 to 26% last year, says Mr Zuluaga. Private business has retooled. After many delays, the government has issued licences to expand several ports; this month it hopes to award a contract for the first of four big road schemes, costing a total of $7.5 billion over four years. It hopes for investment of up to $50 billion in mining and oil over the next decade.

And liberal MSNBC has more on the booming Colombian economy.

Excerpt:

…Colombia’s revival is benefiting U.S. economic and political rivals as much as or more than the U.S. itself.

The long delay in signing the treaty allowed Latin America’s fourth-largest economy to strengthen ties with China. It also damaged U.S. credibility in the region, says Eric Farnsworth, vice-president of the Council of the Americas in Washington. “The delay in passing this called into question the United States’ reliability as a partner,” Farnsworth says. “There’s a strategic component to this. It’s not just about economics and trade.”

[...]As talks between the U.S. and Colombia dragged on, Colombia and China forged plans for a rail link between the Pacific and Caribbean that could draw freight away from the Panama Canal. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos aims for a trade deal with South Korea. To tighten his connections to high-growth Asia, he’s also seeking membership in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group. “While Washington was debating whether the accord with Colombia was opportune, we advanced in our foreign policy strategy,” says Trade Minister Sergio Diaz-Granados.

Santos has cooperated more with his South American neighbors, organizing a meeting of finance ministers to discuss ways to protect their currencies and economies from the debt crisis in the U.S. and Europe. He supports a stock trading platform with Colombia, Chile, and Peru and wants to bring Mexico and Panama on board. Exports to Brazil have surged tenfold. While the U.S. remains Colombia’s biggest export market, with $16.8 billion in 2010 sales, up 30 percent from a year earlier, sales to China more than doubled last year, to $1.2 billion. Sales to the European Union are also rising, to $5.4 billion this year through August, more than in all of 2010. An EU trade accord could come next year.

The government has reduced cocaine cultivation 37 percent and halved the number of insurgents to about 8,000. Improved security has spurred enough growth to win an investment-grade credit rating from Standard & Poor’s as well as investment from billionaires. Colombia’s victories over the guerrillas opened up swathes of countryside to exploration for oil, gold, and coal. Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s push into crude has helped fuel foreign investment that the government says may reach a record $12 billion this year. The economy grew 5.2 percent in the second quarter.

The U.S. faces more competition from Colombia’s neighbors and Canada. In 2010, U.S. agricultural exports to Colombia fell more than 50 percent from 2008, to $827 million, as Argentina’s more than doubled, to $1 billion, according to a report by Senator Richard Lugar’s staff. Diaz-Granados attributes the U.S. setback to the delay in the free-trade agreement.

An August accord reduces or ends Colombian tariffs on Canadian wheat, paper, and machinery. Bank of Nova Scotia, Canada’s third-largest lender, agreed in October to buy 51 percent of Banco Colpatria Red Multibanca Colpatria for about $1 billion—Scotiabank’s largest international takeover. “This is not the Colombia of old,” says Brian J. Porter, group head of international banking for Scotiabank. “The more we looked at Colombia, the more excited we got about the economic potential.”

We really should have signed that trade deal 3 years ago – it would have helped out economy a lot.  But unions got Obama elected, and the unions decided that the trade deal needed to be held up for 3 years. And that’s one of the reasons why we’ve had over 9% unemployment. Our economic policy is being set by unions, not by economists. But in Colombia, economic policy is set by economists, not unions.

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Harvard University professor blasts Obama’s foreign policy failures

Awesome video from the ultra left-wing MSNBC. (H/T Newsbusters)

Here is an article about Obama’s foreign policy failures in Egypt by the Harvard professor.

Excerpt:

Last week, while other commentators ran around Cairo’s Tahrir Square, hyperventilating about what they saw as an Arab 1989, I flew to Tel Aviv for the annual Herzliya security conference. The consensus among the assembled experts on the Middle East? A colossal failure of American foreign policy.

This failure was not the result of bad luck. It was the predictable consequence of the Obama administration’s lack of any kind of coherent grand strategy, a deficit about which more than a few veterans of U.S. foreign-policymaking have long worried. The president himself is not wholly to blame. Although cosmopolitan by both birth and upbringing, Obama was an unusually parochial politician prior to his election, judging by his scant public pronouncements on foreign-policy issues.

Yet no president can be expected to be omniscient. That is what advisers are for. The real responsibility for the current strategic vacuum lies not with Obama himself, but with the National Security Council, and in particular with the man who ran it until last October: retired Gen. James L. Jones. I suspected at the time of his appointment that General Jones was a poor choice. A big, bluff Marine, he once astonished me by recommending that Turkish troops might lend the United States support in Iraq. He seemed mildly surprised when I suggested the Iraqis might resent such a reminder of centuries of Ottoman Turkish rule.

The best national-security advisers have combined deep knowledge of international relations with an ability to play the Machiavellian Beltway game, which means competing for the president’s ear against the other would-be players in the policymaking process: not only the defense secretary but also the secretary of state and the head of the Central Intelligence Agency. No one has ever done this better than Henry Kissinger. But the crucial thing about Kissinger as national-security adviser was not the speed with which he learned the dark arts of interdepartmental turf warfare. It was the skill with which he, in partnership with Richard Nixon, forged a grand strategy for the United States at a time of alarming geopolitical instability.

The essence of that strategy was, first, to prioritize (for example, détente with the Soviets before human-rights issues within the USSR) and then to exert pressure by deliberately linking key issues. In their hardest task—salvaging peace with honor in Indochina by preserving the independence of South Vietnam—Nixon and Kissinger ultimately could not succeed. But in the Middle East they were able to eject the Soviets from a position of influence and turn Egypt from a threat into a malleable ally. And their overtures to China exploited the divisions within the communist bloc, helping to set Beijing on an epoch-making new course of economic openness.

The contrast between the foreign policy of the Nixon-Ford years and that of President Jimmy Carter is a stark reminder of how easily foreign policy can founder when there is a failure of strategic thinking. The Iranian revolution of 1979, which took the Carter administration wholly by surprise, was a catastrophe far greater than the loss of South Vietnam.

Remind you of anything? “This is what happens when you get caught by surprise,” an anonymous American official told The New York Times last week. “We’ve had endless strategy sessions for the past two years on Mideast peace, on containing Iran. And how many of them factored in the possibility that Egypt moves from stability to turmoil? None.”

I can think of no more damning indictment of the administration’s strategic thinking than this: It never once considered a scenario in which Mubarak faced a popular revolt. Yet the very essence of rigorous strategic thinking is to devise such a scenario and to think through the best responses to them, preferably two or three moves ahead of actual or potential adversaries. It is only by doing these things—ranking priorities and gaming scenarios—that a coherent foreign policy can be made. The Israelis have been hard at work doing this. All the president and his NSC team seem to have done is to draft touchy-feely speeches like the one he delivered in Cairo early in his presidency.

These were his words back in June 2009:

“America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles—principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”

Those lines will come back to haunt Obama if, as cannot be ruled out, the ultimate beneficiary of his bungling in Egypt is the Muslim Brotherhood, which remains by far the best organized opposition force in the country—and wholly committed to the restoration of the caliphate and the strict application of Sharia. Would such an outcome advance “tolerance and the dignity of all human beings” in Egypt? Somehow, I don’t think so.

It’s a disaster. The Obama presidency is a disaster in every area – fiscally, socially and even in foreign policy.

His strategy of giving happy-clappy speeches, bowing to enemy dictators, pussyfooting around terrorists and cutting the defense budget has emboldened our enemies. Barack Obama enables evil to thrive. Now Lebanon is run by Hezbollah and Egypt is poised to fall to Hamas. It’s a disaster. A colossal failure.

The fact that so many well-meaning Americans voted for this man disgusts me. So many left-wing Americans are spoiled, lazy, envious and ignorant. They vote based on what they see on the Comedy Channel, and so that they would fit in with their wordsmith professors. What a disaster. People are dying because the people who voted for Obama were too lazy to look at his voting record. They had no time to look at his record. No time to read ratings by groups like Citizens Against Goverment Waste or the National Taxpayers Union. Obama-voters wanted to be entertained. Their hatred of Sarah Palin for trivialities has increased the evil in the world. That makes Obama voters evil.

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Obama believes the Ayatollah but what would Ronald Reagan do?

Breitbart reports on Obambi’s latest effort to be loved by bloodthirsty dictators abroad.(H/T Stop the ACLU)

Excerpt:

President Barack Obama says he believes supreme leader Ayatollah ali Khamenei has deep concerns about the civil unrest that has followed the hotly contested presidential election there.

Obama repeated Tuesday at a news conference his “deep concerns” about the disputed balloting. He said he believes the ayatollah’s decision to order an investigation “indicates he understands the Iranian people have deep concerns.”

But at the same time, Obama said it would not be helpful if the United States was seen by the world as “meddling” in the issue.

What do other Western countries have to say about Iran?

Germany

Germany denounces the suppression of democracy:

…the Germans, who shamefully happen to be Europe’s biggest exporters to Iran, strongly denounced the crackdown on protestors, as have a number of European governments. Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier condemned the “brutal actions” against demonstrators, and summoned the Iranian Ambassador to Berlin in protest.

Merkel is a conservative, not a moral relativist secular-leftist. Freedom means something to her.

France

France denounces the suppression of democracy: (H/T Lucianne)

French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Tuesday branded Iran’s election result a fraud as the international outcry over the security forces’ crackdown on the opposition in Tehran intensified.

Governments from Asia to Europe voiced concern about the violence that erupted Monday during rallies protesting the hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election, with US President Barack Obama saying he had “deep concerns” while also not wanting to meddle in Iran’s affairs.

But while some governments tried to avoid taking sides, Sarkozy said the unrest was a direct result of Ahmadinejad’s failings in his first term.

“The extent of the fraud is proportional to the violent reaction,” said the French leader.

Sarkozy is a conservative, not a moral relativist secular-leftist. Freedom means something to him.

Canada

Canada denounces the suppression of democracy:

“We have called for a full and transparent investigation into electoral fraud and discrepancies,” Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon told Parliament in Ottawa, as the government called Iran’s top diplomat on the carpet to explain the reported beating and detention of a freelance Canadian journalist in Tehran following Friday’s contested ballot.

“The security force’s brutal treatment of peaceful demonstrators is unacceptable.”

“The government of Canada calls for freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Iran, and urges the country to fully respect all of its human rights obligations, both in law and in practice. We also continue to call on Iran to comply immediately with its legal obligations concerning its nuclear program.”

Harper is a conservative, not a moral relativist secular-leftist. Freedom means something to him.

What about the Republicans?

Consider conservative Republicans like Mike Pence: (H/T Hot Air)

Nice Deb has the full transcript of Pence’s speech.

Excerpt:

We are witnessing a Tiananmen in Tehran, and the United States of America must stand in the gap on behalf of those brave Iranian citizens who are standing for free and fair elections, democracy and basic rights.

Let me say from my heart, the American cause is freedom and in this cause the American people will not be silent, here or abroad. If the President of the United States won’t express the unqualified support of our nation for the dissidents in the streets of Tehran, this Congress must.

What will you do about it, Republican Congressman Mike Pence?

Today I’m introducing a resolution that will do just that. It will express its concern regarding the reported irregularities of the presidential election of 12 June, 2009. It will condemn the violence against demonstrators by pro-government militia in Tehran in the wake of the elections.  It will affirm our belief in the universality of individual rights and the importance of democratic and fair elections. And lastly, and most importantly, it will express the support of the American people for all Iranian citizens who struggle for freedom, civil liberties and the protection of the rule of law.

Read the whole thing to find out about his Hungarian neighbor. I have Lebanese neighbors, and they say the same things – the USA is the guardian of freedom in the world. Our military might is the reason why countries like South Korea are free. We should not have elected Democrats who let let innocent people die while bashing liberty and prosperity to foreign dictators. Being a Democrat means being an amoral coward. It means being interested in your own comforts, provided stealing from those who work, and ignoring the real poor and oppressed who languish under despots abroad.

Why can’t Obama give a speech like this? Because Obama is a Democrat, and Democrats are moral relativists. Always remember how Evan Sayet explained why progressives hate what is good and love what is evil. They believe in abolishing moral distinctionsso that all disagreements will disappear, and so they must side with tyrants and terrorists against freedom and prosperity.

What would Reagan do?

Remember what it was like to have a Christian President, who beleived in God, and objective morality, and wanted everyone in the world to enjoy certain inalienable rights, guaranteed by their Creator? Remember “The Speech” he gave in 1964?

And his speech at the Berlin wall?

And his 40th anniversary of D-Day speech?

There is a difference between Republicans and Democrats. Those who have high ideals and those who act like spoiled children.

And remember when the atheistic communists were oppressing Poland, and the left was mocking Ronald Reagan for his “naive” anti-communism and his irrational Christian beliefs? That’s right, atheists hate Christianity, and the human rights grounded by it. And they hate capitalism, too. But Reagan didn’t care what the secular left though of his faith and his foreign policy. He didn’t want to be loved by dictators. He stood with Poland.

We view the current situation in Poland in the gravest of terms, particularly the increasing use of force against an unarmed population and violations of the basic civil rights of the Polish people.

Violence invites violence and threatens to plunge Poland into chaos. We call upon all free people to join in urging the Government of Poland to reestablish conditions that will make constructive negotiations and compromise possible.

…The Polish nation, speaking through Solidarity, has provided one of the brightest, bravest moments of modern history. The people of Poland are giving us an imperishable example of courage and devotion to the values of freedom in the face of relentless opposition. Left to themselves, the Polish people would enjoy a new birth of freedom. But there are those who oppose the idea of freedom, who are intolerant of national independence, and hostile to the European values of democracy and the rule of law.

Two Decembers ago, freedom was lost in Afghanistan; this Christmas, it’s at stake in Poland. But the torch of liberty is hot. It warms those who hold it high. It burns those who try to extinguish it.

Story from Hot Air. Please click over and read ALL of Reagan’s speech.

This is Reagan.

And I’m only here to tell you that I believe with all my heart that our first priority must be world peace, and that use of force is always and only a last resort, when everything else has failed, and then only with regard to our national security. Now, I believe, also, that this meeting this mission, this responsibility for preserving the peace, which I believe is a responsibility peculiar to our country, and that we cannot shirk our responsibility as a leader of the free world because we’re the only ones that can do it. Therefore, the burden of maintaining the peace falls on us. And to maintain that peace requires strength. America has never gotten in a war because we were too strong.

Does this sound like Obama?Does Obama believe this? Can a secular-leftist fight for these ideals?

Does it sound like a man who could win the cold war and liberated millions of people without fighting a world war?

And also see my essay on Reagan’s doctrine of “Peace through Strength” to understand why Reagan mattered.

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Democrats still silent on Iran, but Republican whip Eric Cantor takes a stand

UPDATE: Welcome visitors from iPandora! Thanks for the link Matthew!

Before we start, head on over to Gateway Pundit and take a look at some of the photos and videos he’s assembled. Go on, I’ll wait.

Here’s one to get you started:

Iranian women come to the aide of a man being beaten

Iranian women come to the aide of a man being beaten

Time magazine says that one protester rally drew between 2-3 million people. (H/T Hot Air)

Compare this article from the UK Telegraph about Obama’s response with the response of the Republican whip Eric Cantor.

The Telegraph article says:

The Obama administration’s response to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s fraudulent election victory is cowardly, lily-livered and wrong. The White House’s refusal to officially question the result or even condemn the brutal suppression of opposition protestors, is undermining America’s standing as a global power, and is little more than a face-saving, cynical exercise in appeasement that will all end in tears.

That’s right. The world hates us. (And not just over Obama’s naive protectionism). Although Reagan and George W. Bush might have sided with freedom-lovers against tyranny, Obama prefers to free America-hating terrorists, who mocks his own country to get a pat on the head from ruthless dictators, who gives Iran a free pass on nuclear plants, and who cuts missile defense as North Korea launches missiles over Japan.

Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday’s Meet the Press:

“we’re going to withhold comment… I mean we’re just waiting to see.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a statement on Saturday:

“the United States has refrained from commenting on the election in Iran”

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs:

“impressed by the vigorous debate and enthusiasm this election generated.”

Now, you might think that Germany, led by Dr. Angela Merkel, might be worse than Obama. But you’d be very wrong. Merkel is a conservative – she believes in freedom, and her statement shows that Germany has elected someone a backbone, someone who cares about what goes on in other nations.

…the Germans, who shamefully happen to be Europe’s biggest exporters to Iran, strongly denounced the crackdown on protestors, as have a number of European governments. Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier condemned the “brutal actions” against demonstrators, and summoned the Iranian Ambassador to Berlin in protest.

UPDATE: France piles on. FRANCE! But Sarkozy is a conservative, not a radical leftist like Obama. (H/T Gateway Pundit)

French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Tuesday branded Iran’s election result a fraud as the international outcry over the security forces’ crackdown on the opposition in Tehran intensified.

Governments from Asia to Europe voiced concern about the violence that erupted Monday during rallies protesting the hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election, with US President Barack Obama saying he had “deep concerns” while also not wanting to meddle in Iran’s affairs.

But while some governments tried to avoid taking sides, Sarkozy said the unrest was a direct result of Ahmadinejad’s failings in his first term.

“The extent of the fraud is proportional to the violent reaction,” said the French leader.

MUST-SEE: Brit Hume calls out the Democrats on their moral equivalence and hypocrisy: (H/T Hot Air)

What do you expect from a party of godless hedonists? They want “free” health care… who cares about other people’s human rights? They were never interested in helping others… they just want to steal what other people worked for. It’s all about the money.

Hot Air links to a Fox News poll in which 66% of respondents said that Obama was not being tough enough on Iran. Presumably the blame-America-first crowd who voted for him will be pleased with his inaction. What do they care about liberty? George W. Bush push liberty harder than any president since Ronald Reagan. Now we have to watch pro-democracy protesters die, while President Pantywaist dithers over health care.

Republicans speak out against tyranny

Let’s take a look at Eric Cantor’s statement in The Hill. (H/T Gateway Pundit)

“The Administration’s silence in the face of Iran’s brutal suppression of democratic rights represents a step backwards for homegrown democracy in the Middle East,” Cantor said. “President Obama must take a strong public position in the face of violence and human rights abuses. We have a moral responsibility to lead the world in opposition to Iran’s extreme response to peaceful protests.

“In addition, Iran’s clerical regime has made clear that its nuclear program will move forward,” he said. “The United States cannot trust the aspirations of a nation that is a state-sponsor of terrorism, and the Administration must work with Congress to do everything in its power to deny Iran nuclear weapons.”

He’s the House Republican Whip.

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