The Klingenschmitt Conundrum: Why Colorado Republicans Keep Losing Big Races

gordon-klingenschmittNow, not only do top Colorado Republican candidates Bob Beauprez (governor) and Cory Gardner (U.S. Senate) have to contend with a so-called “personhood” measure on the ballot, they have to share the stage with Gordon Klingenschmitt, Republican candidate for House District 15.

Klingenschmitt recently made the following remarks, as Fox31 reports: “The open persecution of Christians is underway. Democrats like Polis want to bankrupt Christians who refuse to worship and endorse his sodomy. Next he’ll join ISIS in beheading Christians, but not just in Syria, right here in America.”

I disagree with Polis’s position on laws forcing business owners to act against their judgment; for some of my reasons, see my recent blog post for the Objective Standard. But Klingenschmitt is not here expressing reasoned disagreement: He is expressing bigoted hatred. Some of Polis’s proposals are relatively bad in the context of American politics (and some of them are relatively good), but comparing him to the butchers of Islamic State is just evil. (Colorado Republican chair Ryan Call denounced the comments, as Fox31 reports.)

In an “apology” video—in which Klingenschmitt bizarrely mixes his version of the “ice bucket challenge”—Klingenschmitt says he was using hyperbole to “exaggerate to make a point.” He accused Democrats of lacking a sense of humor. How ridiculous. He has made a point, alright, although not the one he intended to make.

Consider a couple other off-the-wall remarks this Republican candidate has uttered:

• “I looked into [a woman’s] eyes as she began to weep and I said ‘you foul spirit of lesbianism, this woman has renounced you, come out of her in Jesus’ name’ and she began to wrestle with that and suddenly her eyes began to bug out. . . .”

• “The Bible defines spiritual discernment, and the ability to see invisible angels or demons, or the Holy Spirit, influencing human morality. . . . Julius Genachowski, the outgoing FCC chairman . . . has not enforced decency standards. . . . There’s perhaps a demonic spirit of tyranny or immorality inside of him. . . .”

In Colorado’s primary election, 3,472 of Klingenschmitt’s fellow Republicans voted for him over his opponent to put him up to replace Mark Waller, a Republican who ran for Attorney General (until getting trounced in the primary).

Yes, these Colorado Republicans offered a bigoted exorcist as a candidate for the Colorado legislature—and then Republicans wonder why metro, women, and nonsectarian voters routinely hand big elections to the Democrats, despite the Dems’ many problems.

Related:

The “Civilized” Jihadists

Image: Wikimedia Commons
Image: Wikimedia Commons

So-called “jihadi-tourists” have traveled from European nations to help Islamic State pursue its brutal totalitarian agenda. “At least 320 Germans and more than 2,000 other Europeans are thought to have made the trip” to Turkey and then to Syria or Iraq to join the Islamic cause, Matthew Schofield reported for McClatchy a couple months ago. Many of these people are children of immigrants from Muslim countries who “end up finding a sense of community online and in the radical splinters of Islam set up to prey upon the lost,” Schofield writes. Michael Brendan Dougherty recently picked up Schofield’s story for the Week.

And Madeline Grant and Damien Sharkov report for Newsweek: “Khalid Mahmood, the MP for Perry Barr in Birmingham, estimates that at least 1,500 young British Muslims have been recruited by extremists fighting in Iraq and Syria in the last three years.”

One thing this illustrates is that jihadists are not made because they live in impoverished regions; they are made because of the ideology they embrace.

Can Muslims Defeat Islamic Jihad?

Mecca
Wikimedia Commons

Muslims commit atrocities against women, against gays, against “infidels” in many regions around the world. Yes, violent Muslims are the minority. But how many more Muslims openly endorse such violence or tolerate it by failing to condemn it? That, to my mind, is an open question. Consider some recent articles on the subject.

Mehdi Hasan writes for the New Republic that violent jihadists tend to be youths who are largely ignorant of their own religion. Hasan claims that “religious fervour isn’t what motivates most” jihadists; rather, Hasan points to such factors as “moral outrage” (about what?) and “peer pressure” as motivators. True, as Hasan points out, many serious Muslims do not practice and to not advocate violent jihad. But does Hasan doubt that many serious Muslims do advocate violent jihad and (especially in Saudi Arabia and Iran) actively finance it?

Patrick Goodenough reports for CNSNews.com that a Cairo-based Suni leader, Shawki Ibrahim Allam, has actively condemned Islamic State and called “for people to post messages or video clips opposing ISIS terrorism.” And, Goodenough reports, Saudi grand mufti Abdulaziz al-Sheikh said that “extremist and militant ideas and terrorism which spread decay on earth, destroying human civilization, are not in any way part of Islam, but are enemy number one of Islam.” I don’t know anything else about those two figures, but on their face such statements appear to be a move in the right direction, and hopefully one other Muslims will follow.

In Arizona, M. Zuhdi Jasser has been berated by his fellow Muslims for daring to criticize Hamas. He writes for AZCentral, “I had criticized the radicals of Hamas on national television for their supremacist Islamist doctrine hatched from the Muslim Brotherhood that daily and viciously oppresses the people of Gaza.” Jasser discusses the widespread Muslim “silence on the terror tactics of Hamas [that] speaks volumes to terror apologia.” Jasser’s own perspective is encouraging, but the opposition he apparently faces is frightening.

Jihad News Roundup for 8/25/14

Image: Wikimedia Commons
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Here are some of the recent stories about jihadist Islam:

Islamic State: General Martin Dempsey, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently “insisted the Islamic State terror group is a regional threat and said he would not recommend U.S. airstrikes in Syria until he determines that they have become a direct threat to the U.S.,” Fox New reports. Undoubtedly Islamic State (ISIS) has threatened to attack the United States and would carry out such attacks if it could. I don’t know enough about the organization to assess its threat level to America; it obviously poses some threat.

American Jihad: In America, Ali Muhammad Brown murdered four people this year for explicitly jihadist reasons. As Michelle Malkin reports. Brown was arrested a decade ago as a suspect in a “terror-financing ring,” Malkin reports.

Journalist Released: “Al Qaeda-linked militants” in Syria released American journalist Peter Theo Curtis after holding him captive for two years, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Syria: “Islamic State fighters captured a major military air base [Tabqa airfield] in northeastern Syria on Sunday,” the Associated Press reports.

Libya: “Libya’s Islamist militias [Dawn of Libya] said Sunday they have consolidated their hold on Tripoli and its international airport,” the Associated Press reports. (Hat tip for this link and the last to the Week.)

Islamic State’s “Apocalyptic, End-of-Days Strategic Vision”

Image: Wikimedia Commons
Image: Wikimedia Commons

The Islamic militants active with Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq believe they are doing God’s work on Earth. General Martin Dempsey, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently said of the group: “This is an organization that has an apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision and which will eventually have to be defeated. . . . ISIS will only truly be defeated when it’s rejected by the 20 million disenfranchised Sunni that happen to reside between Damascus and Baghdad.” This is as reported by the Associated Press.

The open question (to my mind) is to what degree Islamic State and its state sponsors pose a threat to the United States and to Americans. I have no confidence that America’s current leaders will sensibly answer that question or that, if they do answer it, they will act appropriately. They might look to John Lewis for guidance; see his articles at the Objective Standard, “‘No Substitute for Victory’: The Defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism,” and “‘Gifts from Heaven’: The Meaning of the American Victory over Japan, 1945.”

How Saudi Arabia Backs Islamic State Terror

Image: Wikimedia Commons
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Ed Husain is an “adjunct senior fellow” with the Council on Foreign Relations. In a recent op-ed for the New York Times, he explains how Saudi Arabia actively supports Islamic State and other Islamic terrorist organizations: “Al Qaeda, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Boko Haram, the Shabab and others are all violent Sunni Salafi groupings. For five decades, Saudi Arabia has been the official sponsor of Sunni Salafism across the globe.” Husain, himself a Muslim, believes the “rigid interpretation of Shariah” practiced by these violent Muslims is “un-Islamic.” Of course, they would claim that Husain’s moderation is “un-Islamic.” Regardless, hopefully Husain’s brand of partly Westernized Islam will win out over more barbaric variants.

Violating Human Rights in the Name of Anti-Discrimination Laws

Image: David Shankbone
Image: David Shankbone

According to a report from the Heritage Foundation, on August 8 the New York State Division of Human Rights “fined Cynthia and Robert Gifford $13,000 for acting on their belief that marriage is the union of a man and woman and thus declining to rent out their family farm for a same-sex wedding celebration.” What about the human rights of property ownership and freedom of association? Those are to be trampled in the name of pretend “rights” to force others to provide you with goods and services.

Is it immoral to refuse service to a couple because they’re gay? Yes. Should it be illegal to do so? No. The fact that so few people today can see the difference between morality and law is an indicator of how far our nation has fallen from the Founding principle of individual rights.

See also my article for the Objective Standard, “On the Right Not to Bake a Cake.”

The Faith-Based Barbarism of Islamic State

Image: Wikimedia Commons
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Members of Islamic State beheaded American journalist James Foley, as Fox News reports. In related news, members of Islamic State recently invaded Kocho in northern Iraq, slaughtered 80 men for not converting to Islam, and kidnapped “all the women and girls,” Reuters reports. After years of the United States “spreading democracy” and welfare programs throughout the Middle East, these are the fruits.

“Convert or Be Killed”

Image: Wikimedia Commons
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Only the willfully blind can continue ignore the nature of the widespread Islamic totalitarian movement. Members of Islamic State (aka ISIS) recently slaughtered scores of Yazidi men in northern Iraq and “kidnapped ‘dozens’ of women and children,” Fox News reports. For now we can only imagine what will happen to these women and children. Islamic State has murdered “at least 500” Yazidis, Fox reports. Why did Muslims butcher these men? A Reuters report (mentioned by Fox) quotes senior Kurdish official Hoshiyar Zebari: “We believe it’s because of their creed: convert or be killed.” This was cold-blooded mass murder in the name of Allah.

On Freedom of Religion and Freedom from Religion

Image: Gage Skidmore
Image: Gage Skidmore

The Objective Standard just published my article, “Government Properly Protects Freedom of Religion and Freedom from Religion.” I write, “The right to freedom from religion means that nonreligious people and people of minority religions have a moral right not to finance the propagation of religious beliefs and not to be subjected to faith-based, rights-violating laws.” For my formulation of the right to freedom of religion, see the article (with which I’m very pleased).