"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

"We're all forgiven at Thanksgiving, and everybody's welcome at the feast."--Garrison Keillor


Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, from whom cometh every good and pefect gift, we call to remembrance thy loving-kindness and the tender mercies which have been ever of old, and with grateful hearts we would lift up to thee the voice of our thanksgiving,

For all the gifts which thou hast bestowed upon us; for the life thou hast given us, and the world in which we live,


For the work we are enabled to do, and the truth we are permitted to learn; for whatever of good there has been in our past lives, and for all the hopes and aspirations which lead us on toward better things,


For the order and constancy of nature; for the beauty and bounty of the world; for day and night, summer and winter, seed-time and harvest; for the varied gifts of loveliness and use which every season brings,


For all the comforts and gladness of life; for our homes and all our home-blessings; for our friends and all pure pleasure; for the love, sympathy, and good will of men,


For all the blessings of civilization, wise government and legislation; for education, and all the privileges we enjoy through literature, science, and art; for the help and counsel of those who are wiser and better than ourselves,


For all true knowledge of thee and the world in which we live, and the life of truth and righteousness and divine communion to which thou hast called us; for prophets and apostles, and all earnest seekers after truth; for all lovers and helpers of mankind, and all godly and gifted men and women,


For the gift of thy Son Jesus Christ, and all the helps and hopes which are ours as his disciples; for the presence and inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, for all the ministries of thy truth and grace,


For communion with thee, the Father of our spirits; for the light and peace that are gained through trust and obedience, and the darkness and disquietude which befall us when we disobey thy laws and follow our lower desires and selfish passions,


For the desire and power to help others; for every opportunity of serving our generation according to thy will, and manifesting the grace of Christ to men,


For all the discipline of life; for the tasks and trials by which we are trained to patience, self-knowledge and self-conquest, and brought into closer sympathy with our suffering brethren; for troubles which have lifted us nearer to thee and drawn us into deeper fellowship with Jesus Christ,


For the sacred and tender ties which bind us to the unseen world; for the faith which dispels the shadows of earth, and fills the saddest and the last moments of life with the light of an immortal hope.


God of all grace and love, we have praised thee with our lips; grant that we may praise thee also in consecrated and faithful lives. And may the words of our mouth and the meditations of our heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, our Strength and our Redeemer.



Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift, we call to remembrance they loving-kindness and they tender mercies which have ever been od old, and with grateful hearts we would lift up to the the voice of our thanksgiving.

For all the gifts which thou has bestowed upon us; for the life that thou hast given us, and the world in which we life,


For the work we are enabled to do, and the truth we are permitted to learn; for whatever of good there has been in our past lives, and for all the hopes and aspirations which lead us on to better things,


For the order and constancy of nature; for the beauty and bounty of the world; for day and night, summer and winter, seed-time and harvest; for the varied gifts of loveliness and use which every season brings,


For all the comforts and gladness of life; for our homes and all our home-blessings; for our friends and all pure pleasure; for the love, sympathy, and good will of men,


Now stay outta the stores and stay near your family.  At least until Friday, when you may well want to escape them for the sanity of the shopping frenzy.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Bare ruined choirs where late the sweet birds sang

This is very stupid, but since Richard Dawkins thinks this is a defense to his original claim:

"How could you think I was likening a hoaxer to a killer? I just meant ‘Only a kid’ is not a knockdown defence. Remember poor James Bulger?”
The "kid" is not suing anyone.  Under Texas law, he can't, since he's a minor.  Suit may be filed in his name (full legal nerd:  the lawyers have only sent demand letters so far; no suit has been filed), but it will be filed by his parents on his behalf.  Is Ahmed any more than aware of this?  Probably, but he has no real choice in the matter.  So likening him to a child trained by ISIS to decapitate a prisoner is not only tasteless and brutal and shameful, it's not an apt comparison.

Unless the comparison is that neither child is culpable for their acts, absent a showing that the disabilities of minority should be removed.  Either way, Ahmed's family's attorneys sending demand letters is in no way comparable to the James Bulger murder.

Except in Dawkins' mind.  Can I ask again why anyone considers this guy smart?  Or Twitter worth the trouble it stirs up?

Link courtesy of Thought Criminal

Monday, November 23, 2015

"In our end is our beginning...."

I started this journey with Charlie Pierce, who noted that the Pope had declared War on Christmas with these words:

What shall remain? Ruins, thousands of children without education, so many innocent victims and lots of money in the pockets of arms dealers. Jesus once said: 'You can not serve two masters: Either God or riches.' War is the right choice for him, who would serve wealth: 'Let us build weapons, so that the economy will right itself somewhat, and let us go forward in pursuit of our interests.' There is an ugly word the Lord spoke: 'Cursed!' Because He said: 'Blessed are the peacemakers!'
His not-too-serious take was that this would upset Bill O'Reilly.  His version of the story came from, which quoted the same portion of the speech but ended the article this way:

Francis concluded his sermon by highlighting the peace-making work of people like Mother Teresa, as well as calling for prayers that the Christmas season would see repentance and pursuit of peace.
Endings are instructive, because "in our end is our beginning," even if that's not quite what Eliot meant.  The Week got the story from three sources:  The Washington Times, the Journal, an Irish newspaper, and from Vatican Radio.  The Journal noted that "The sermon threw a shadow over the start of the festive season at the Vatican, where a giant Christmas tree was unveiled."  It went on to note:

The tree, which will be decorated in time for the start of the Vatican’s Holy Year on 8 December, will be festooned with ornaments made by children from cancer wards in hospitals across Italy.

This year’s nativity scene will be made up of 24 life-size figures, sculpted from wood and hand-painted.

In a nod to Pope Francis’s humble style, alongside the figures from the story of Jesus’s birth will be sculptures of ordinary people, including a man supporting an elderly person in need.
Which is a nice conclusion to a story about such a seemingly despairing speech.  The Washington Times took a different approach.  Using the same portion of the sermon preferred by Pierce and the Journal, it adds the Pope's words that:

A war can be justified — so to speak — with many, many reasons, but when all the world as it is today, at war — piecemeal though that war may be — a little here, a little there, and everywhere — there is no justification — and God weeps. Jesus weeps.

Which prompts this interesting conclusion to the article:

Just last week, Paris was attacked by jihadist gunmen and suicide bombers, leaving 129 dead and 352 wounded.

On Friday, 10 gunmen overwhelmed the Radisson Blu Hotel in Mali’s capital — shouting “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great,” in Arabic — before firing on guards and taking 170 people hostage.  
Vatican Radio chose a slightly different emphasis.  Their account includes more of the sermon, including the now infamous paragraph, but puts the whole in a greater context:

Today Jesus weeps as well: because we have chosen the way of war, the way of hatred, the way of enmities. We are close to Christmas: there will be lights, there will be parties, bright trees, even Nativity scenes – all decked out – while the world continues to wage war. The world has not understood the way of peace.”

Pope Francis went on to recall the recent commemorations of the Second World War, the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, his visit to Redipuglia last year on the anniversary of the Great War: “Useless slaughters,” he called them, repeating the words of Pope Benedict XV. “Everywhere there is war today, there is hatred,” he said. Then he asked, “What shall remain in the wake of this war, in the midst of which we are living now?”

“What shall remain? Ruins, thousands of children without education, so many innocent victims: and lots of money in the pockets of arms dealers. Jesus once said: ‘You can not serve two masters: either God or riches.’ War is the right choice for him, who would serve wealth: 'Let us build weapons, so that the economy will right itself somewhat, and let us go forward in pursuit of our interests. There is an ugly word the Lord spoke: ‘Cursed!’ Because He said: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers!.’ The men who work war, who make war, are cursed, they are criminals. A war can be justified – so to speak – with many, many reasons, but when all the world as it is today, at war – piecemeal though that war may be – a little here, a little there, and everywhere – there is no justification – and God weeps. Jesus weeps.”

The Holy Father went on to say that, while the arms dealers go about their business, there are the poor peacemakers who, perforce to help another person, and another and another, spend themselves utterly, and even give their lives – as did Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, against whom the powerful, worldy cynic might say, “But what did she ever accomplish? She wasted her life helping others on their way to death?” He repeated, “We do not understand the way of peace.”

“It will do us well to ask the grace of tears for ourselves, for this world that does not recognize the path of peace, this world that lives for war, and cynically says not to make it. Let us pray for conversion of heart. Here before the door of this Jubilee of Mercy, let us ask that our joy, our jubilation, be this grace: that the world discover the ability to weep for its crimes, for what the world does with war.”

Since in our end is our beginning, the Pope's words reminded me of this prayer from the E&R Hymnal:

O Christ, son of the living God, have mercy upon us.
Thou that sites at the right hand of the Father, have mercy upon us;
And deliver us for thy Name's sake.


O Christ, when thou didst open thine eyes on this fair earth, the angels greeted thee as the Prince of Peace and besought us to be of good will toward one another; but thy triumph is delayed and we are weary of war.


O Christ, the very earth groans with pain as the feet of armed men march across thy mangled form.


O Christ, may the Church, whom thou didst love into life; not fail thee in her witness for the things for which thou didst live and die.


O Christ, the people who are called by thy Name are separated from each other in thought and life; still our tumults, take away our vain imaginings, and grant to thy people at this time the courage to proclaim the gospel of forgiveness, and faithfully to maintain the ministry of reconciliation.


O Christ, come to us in our sore need and save us;
O God, plead thine own cause and give us help, for vain is the help of man.


O Christ of God, by thy birth in the stable, save us and help us;
By thy toil at the carpenter's bench, save us and help us;
By thy sinless life, save us and help us;
By thy cross and passion, save us and help us.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Candle Lighting Ceremonies

The sage Bill Maher speaks:

this idea that somehow we do share values, that all religions are alike, is bullshit. And we need to call it bullshit.”
Which, of course, is the very arrogance and bigotry (yes, Virginia, there can be religious bigotry) the international ecumenical movement was started to counter, in 1910.  But that can't be right, because the comments at Salon assure me that atheists know more about religion than the faithful do.  And yet nobody seems to know about the ecumenical movement and its efforts to roll back such bigotry and ignorance.

Maher, here, is siding with ISIS.  He's giving them all the reason they need to insist this is a religious war, a holy war, and that Christians think of Muslims as infidels.

And he's not too good on history, either:

Maher said that Cameron discussed forced marriages, female genital mutilation and Britain’s 11,000 cases of honor-based violence.
Only one of those three, FGM, has no history in Western Christian culture.  True, we have set aside "honor-based violence" (sometime after Burr got into a duel on American soil, or the Hatfields stopped trading bullets with the McCoys; then again, this is still not an unknown form of violence in our country), and we ended the practice of forced marriages (something still known in non-Muslim countries, too), but not because those practices were always at odds with Western, or Christian, or even liberal, values.

Ah, well; curse the darkness, or light a candle.  These things I do too much discuss, too much explain. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

"When you pray...."

When Ted Cruz says again, as he will, that Christian refugees from Syria are safe, while Muslim refugees are a clear and present danger, think about this:

The Islamic State has behaved very much as a sectarian movement, a jingoistic Sunni-Arab organization with little patience for those outside the rigid boundaries of their identity group. As a result, non-Sunnis, particularly the Shi‘i Arabs of Iraq, have borne the brunt of ISIS persecution. Not unlike the Hutu militias during the Rwandan genocide, ISIS set up checkpoints in Iraq when it re-entered the country in 2014. Drivers were asked to step out of their cars and pray; those who prostrated like the Shi‘a were summarily executed.
And the people who know that history, what do they hear when Ted Cruz or Jeb Bush spouts off about Christians being admitted to the U.S., and Muslims being refused?

"And when you pray, do not act like phonies.  They love to stand up and pray in houses of worship and on street corners so they can show off in public.  I swear to you, their prayers have been answered!  When you pray, go into a room by yourself and shut the door behind you.  Then pray to your Father, the hidden one.  And your Father with his eye for the hidden will applaud you." --Matthew 6: 5-6, SV

Adding:  or we could go with Stephen Colbert's test:

“If you want to know if somebody’s a Christian just ask them to complete this sentence,” Colbert said pulling out his Catechism card. “‘Jesus said I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you….’ And if they don’t say ‘welcomed me in’ then they are either a terrorist or they’re running for president.”

That'd work, too.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

"Cry 'Havoc!' and let slip the dogs of war"

Very dangerous people

Now 34 governors are pleading to keep their states safe from Syrians.

Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the 27-year-old Belgian born extremist who authorities say planned the horrific attack on Paris Friday night, died Wednesday in a pre-dawn raid by security forces, according to French prosecutors, who confirmed his death on Thursday. He was reportedly killed by a sniper.
I just wanted to highlight that bit.  Oh, and the "Syrian passport"?  Probably a fake; or maybe it belong to a soldier loyal to Assad.  You know, one of the groups of Muslims fighting ISIS.

So, for the record:  no Syrians involved in the attacks in Paris.  Indeed, all the attackers seem to have been Europeans.  Screeching about interment camps for refugees and how state borders will be closed because of "Islamization" and how non-Christian refugees mustn't even be allowed into this country?  All exactly what ISIS wants to hear.

Terrorism works.  But only with our complicity.   We are far from the site of the latest attacks, and yet we seem to be the most sacred about them.  On the BBC World Service the reports from Paris and Brussels are of people who want to get back to normal life; who don't fear the refugees and don't fear their neighbors (all of the attackers in Paris were citizens of France or Belgium; none were refugees).  And this is what the President of France said:

"Life should resume fully," Hollande told a gathering of the country's mayors, who gave him a standing ovation. "What would France be without its museums, without its terraces, its concerts, its sports competitions? France should remain as it is. Our duty is to carry on our lives." In the same spirit, he added, "30,000 refugees will be welcomed over the next two years. Our country has the duty to respect this commitment," explaining that they will undergo vigorous security checks. Hollande noted that "some people say the tragic events of the last few days have sown doubts in their minds," but called it a "humanitarian duty" to help those people … but one that will go hand in hand with "our duty to protect our people." "We have to reinforce our borders while remaining true to our values," he said.

In America, far away from the assault on the city of Paris, far from the scenes of violence and even the press of refugees on our continent (Obama wants to allow a mere 10,000 into the country, or something like 1/10 of 1% of the number who have fled to Europe), life must grind to a halt until we can pass a law making sure no refugees from Syria ever enter the U.S.   President Obama has had some choice words about this hysteria:

"And so if there are concrete, actual suggestions to enhance this extraordinary screening process that’s already in place, we’re welcome -- we’re open to hearing actual ideas," Obama said. "But that’s not really what’s been going on in this debate. When candidates say, we wouldn't admit three-year-old orphans -- that’s political posturing. When individuals say that we should have a religious test and that only Christians -- proven Christians -- should be admitted -- that’s offensive and contrary to American values."

"I cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for ISIL than some of the rhetoric that’s been coming out of here during the course of this debate. ISIL seeks to exploit the idea that there is a war between Islam and the West," he continued. "And when you start seeing individuals in positions of responsibility, suggesting that Christians are more worthy of protection than Muslims are in a war-torn land, that feeds the ISIL narrative. It’s counterproductive, and it needs to stop."

Obama then criticized politicians who describe themselves as "tough," noting that they are now afraid of women and children fleeing terrorism.

"These are the same folks oftentimes who suggest that they’re so tough that just talking to Putin or staring down ISIL, or using some additional rhetoric somehow is going to solve the problems out there. But apparently, they’re scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America as part of our tradition of compassion," he said. "First, they were worried about the press being too tough on them during debates. Now they’re worried about three-year-old orphans. That doesn’t sound very tough to me."

Finally, Obama worked in a hit on Congress and lawmakers on Capitol Hill's sudden interest in barring Syrian refugees from the country.

"With respect to Congress, I know that there’s been discussion about legislation suddenly surfacing around refugees," the president said. "I’ve been waiting for a year and a half, or more, for legislation that would authorize the military activities that we’re carrying out in Syria as we speak, and have not been able to get anything out of Congress. And now, suddenly, they’re able to rush in, in a day or two, to solve the threat of widows and orphans and others who are fleeing a war-torn land, and that’s their most constructive contribution to the effort against IISL? That doesn’t sound right to me. And I suspect it won’t sound right to the American people."
But now the GOP leadership of the country has lost its collective mind, afraid of toddlers and 50 year old women and non-Christians and just anybody who used to live in Syria and wasn't in this country last week, because fear is the little death, fear is the mind killer.  And the screening process? It is long and complex and can involve involve a retinal scan.    There is a young girl here in Houston, an American citizen of Pakistani parents, dying of a disease that cannot be cured.  Her parents cannot come back to America to see her before she dies, largely because they are Pakistani.  She has been here for 13 years, seeking treatment for her condition.  Her parents have never been able to visit her, and even now can't get a visa just on humanitarian grounds.  Now she has turned to her local Congressman for help.  That is how hard it is go get into the U.S. from some countries.

The people screaming about terrorist and refugees have lost their minds a long, long time ago.  I remember fondly now learning about an America that felt itself far removed from the strife of the "old world."  Thanks to technology we now seem to be scared to death of the world.

At least many of our leaders and would-be leaders are.

This is progress?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Night thoughts on Paris

Something about violence unhinges people.

The crowd at Wembley stadium stood before the football match between England and France and sang the French national anthem.  The entire crowd.  Every spectator in the stadium, most of them Brits.  They sang for France, for Paris, and against ISIS.

And even as I admired it, I thought:  would they sing the Lebanese national anthem?  Show solidarity with the people of Iraq and Syria, the ones being slaughtered by ISIS on a scale that outstrips the massacre in Paris by geometric proportions?

No.  NOK, donchaknow.  Terribly impolite to point that out, but there we are.  The dead in Syria and Iraq and elsewhere in the "Middle East" are not Europeans, so we just really don't care.  Violence in Paris is far worse, because, after all, what have the French ever done to arouse the ire of ISIS?  Does it matter if they have?  No.  Violence is not justified because there is a reason, because "he started it!," because whether or not Han shot first.

So France retaliates against ISIS, and who is killed?  Does it matter?  No.  We don't hear names, we don't see faces, we only know violence is done, and this time it is good violence.  The violence in Paris was bad:  criminal, savage, suicidal, murderous.  Yes, yes it was.  The violence unleashed by France in response?  Good.  Just.  Cleansing.  Appropriate.

They even deserve more of it.
For our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet!
Only instead of snow, it should be sand.  Otherwise, yes; that is what we ask for.  Terrible retribution, visited upon them because they so richly deserve it for what they have done!

And we?  What do we deserve for what we have done?  Quiet, safe lives?  Comfort?  Security?  Yes, we deserve that; but they don't!

ISIS isn't asking for comfort and security and peace, of course; they are asking for violence.  I heard the author of a news story on ISIS, in an interview replayed after Paris.  He described ISIS as a group of apocalyptic fanatics who want to convert the entire world to their brand of Sunni Islam, or failing that, to enslave it, exterminating some, keeping others in subjection.  It was a cartoon vision of the world, a comic book goal, the kind of world-conquest that fueled the actions of villains in the super-hero stories of my youth.  Even the comic books don't tell such tales anymore, but here was a journalist telling me that men in the world, deadly serious men, saw that as their moral imperative, as their vision, as their raison d'être.  It is still impossible to take it seriously.

But then we have governors declaring no Syrian refugee, the very people fleeing the violence of Syria, will be allowed into America, because:  PARIS!  When all the perpetrators of the crimes in Paris were apparently French citizens, none of them refugees.  This is as impossible to take seriously as the idea ISIS really thinks it will conquer the world in the name of a brand of Islam.  We seem to be governed by clowns and buffoons, or threatened by them.  And it is the violence that joins them:  their violence is as justified as ours is, but how you see that depends on which side you are on.

Or which side you are supposed to be on.  And comfort and security and peace are for our kind only.  Refugees threaten our freedom because of where they come from ("national origin," but ignore the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it has no purchase here, its language not a promise we always have to keep).  They are a threat because of our freedom:

“While the Paris attackers used suicide vests and grenades,” [Rep. Tony] Dale wrote, “it is clear that firearms also killed a large number of innocent victims. Can you imagine a scenario were [sic] a refugees [sic] is admitted to the United States, is provided with federal cash payments and other assistance, obtains a drivers license and purchases a weapon and executes an attack?” He urged the lawmakers to “do whatever you can to stop the [Syrian refugee] program.”
We don't need ISIS to make us afraid; we have the NRA.  They understand how violence unhinges us, too; and like ISIS, they use that for their own ends.  The critical difference is they don't foment violence:  they just make money off of it, almost accidentally.

Xenophobia is the most American form of violence.  It started with Columbus enslaving the natives, a practice Europeans took to with such alacrity it appalled even Columbus.  We've been at it ever since, but again, it is good violence (until it isn't), because it is our violence.  Yes, perhaps we need to examine with "humility, resolve, commitment [to what?] and an enlarged vision" our historical role in the violence of the Middle East; but frankly, that won't solve the problem of ISIS.  The violence in Paris is not something to be swept aside in favor of a grand national bout of navel gazing.  It is true the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan lead directly to ISIS today, but so do the Sunnis backing the "Islamic State" in Saudi Arabia.  There is blame to go around, and none of it expunges the criminals of ISIS from responsibility for their crimes.  It is also true, however, that the past is past, and the present is Paris; and 27 GOP governors working to out bleat each other about how scared they are for the residents of their states, residents who probably wouldn't know a Syrian from a Siamese.  This is no time for thoughtful national moral reflection because there is never a time for thoughtful national moral reflection.  We are not good people who will save the world, purge it of its evil, provide a shining example of the good and true; and Barack Obama is not (thank history, at least!) Woodrow Wilson.

I stand with Reinhold Niebuhr on this:  nations cannot act morally, because they cannot ask their citizens to make the sacrifices a moral stance would incur.  We cannot be moral and protect ourselves from the crimes of ISIS.  We cannot defend ourselves from such madmen while at the same time examining our national moral culpability for the creation of chaos in the world.  Yes, we are responsible; but that is the way of nations.  This is a fallen state, the state of human existence; the nature of human governance and social order.  We have, after 2000 years, only got so far as Brits singing "La Marseillaise" with a handful of French people in a football stadium.  It's honestly the best we can do, and it's something.

But it's still because of violence.  Something about violence unhinges people.  Something about violence brings us together, even as it terrifies us, even as it enrages us, even as it motivates us.

That's something about which we need to think.  But whether it makes us change anything about the way we live, whether it brings out the "angels of our better nature" because after all, as Steven Pinker says, this is the best of all possible worlds (and if he didn't say it, he should have, if he were intellectually honest with himself), violence is as American as cherry pie, as human as being a social animal.

We've just got to keep working on the idea of who is in "our" society, and what we do about those who aren't.

It really is about hospitality

My favorite comment on a post about this issue of governors supposedly closing their states: "if only we had a seasonally appropriate story about middle eastern people seeking refuge being turned away by the heartless"
Courtesy of "rustypickup" in comments below. 

A little birdie told me

Evidence-free ideologies such as Stalinism, Nazism & Islam are dangerous because they teach that pie-in-the-sky Ends justify horrific Means.
A tweet by Richard Dawkins.  Which raises two questions:  1)  what good, really, is Twitter?  2) Why does anyone still consider Richard Dawkins a "smart" person?

The rest of that article at Religion Dispatches is worth reading, but I want to pivot to one other reaction to Paris:  27 governors have announced they will block Syrian refugees from resettling in their states.  Except, of course, they can't do that.

No state has the authority to refuse the presence of any person legally admitted to the United States.  They have neither the authority nor the ability to force Syrian refugees, or any refugees for that matter, to live in another state, to leave the state where a governor has "instructed state agencies to refuse to cooperate (the list has more than doubled since I heard about it yesterday).

What they can do is play into the desires of ISIS.  What they can do is to give ISIS a propaganda victory.  Because if we really want to help ISIS, we'll make sure this fight is a war on Islam, and on Muslims

Donald Trump needs all the support he can get.  I know ISIS is cheering him on.

It's not racism!

CNN co-host John Vause responded, “If your camp is the French camp, then why is it that no one with the Muslim community knew what these guys were up to?”

“Sir, the Muslim community has nothing to do with these guys. Nothing. We cannot justify ourselves for the actions of someone who claims to be Muslim,” Louati answered.

“Why not?” Vause cut in. “What is the responsibility within the Muslim community to identify what is happening within their own ranks when it comes to people who are obviously training and preparing to carry out mass murder.”

“No, no, no, sir, they were not from our ranks,” Louati responded. “We cannot accept the idea that these people are from us. They are not. They are just byproduct of our societies exporting their wars abroad and expecting no repercussions back home.”

Co-host Isha Sesay tried to draw the discussion back to discussing the “bigger issue,” pressing the guest to answer why French Muslims go abroad to join the Islamic State.'

Louati said that’s an issue which stems from French foreign policy in the Mideast and failing domestic policies. He also said radicalization “does not take place in mosques,” but instead happens online and in the streets, away from organized Muslim communities.

But Sesay wasn’t satisfied, and asked whether the Muslims should be stepping up “in looking at the young people and the roads they’re going down” while “the finger of blame is points at the Muslim community, rightly or wrong.”

“You have to accept that responsibility to prevent the bigger backlash that comes your way when these things happen,” Sesay said, with her voice raised.

Louati launched into an impassioned answer about historic discrimination against Muslims at work and in French schools, and ended by asking “what else can we do?”

Vause steered the interview back in to end the segment, conceding that it’s “a very complicated issue.” Right after the network had cut away from Louati and back to the hosts, Vause concluded:

“You know, I’ve yet to hear the condemnation from the Muslim community on this.”

Sesay said, “The point he’s making is, ‘it’s not our fault.’ But the fact of the matter is when these things happen, the finger of blame is pointed at the Muslim community and so you have to be preemptive. It’s coming from the community. You’ve got to take a stand.”

“The word responsibility comes to mind,” Vause concurred. '
Responsibility?  How does that work again?  To whom does it apply?  Certainly not journalists.

Up next:  why aren't African-Americans doing more about the violence of blacks in America?  And why aren't whites doing more about white cops shooting blacks in America?

Fair is fair, after all.