Thursday, February 23, 2006

Chris Johnson Responds

As noted previously, Chris Johnson of the Midwest Conservative Journal responded to my post on "Conservative Confusion" below. I had promised to print his response in full and without comment, which I did. Unfortunately, Blogger then ate it. My apologies to the commenters whose insights were lost as a result. Here is Mr. Johnson's letter:
Very interesting, thought-provoking post. Thanks very much for the heads-up.

I agree that Ms. Coulter's comments were deplorable. The problem I had with the NCC statement was this: it seemed, at least to me, to automatically concede that the Muslims were right. The Muslims claimed to be offended, therefore the Muslims were right to be offended and that therefore we should all sit down and talk things over and agree to be civil to one another from here on.

Leaving aside the fact that I have little or nothing to say to people who make and display signs which read "Exterminate Those Who Insult Islam" and similar sentiments, it is not dialogue if I must accept your argument right away and agree to whatever you want me to agree to. And one important aspect of Western civilization is the right to say anything you want about anybody you want. If that's got to go so Muslims won't get mad, that is a conversation that I'd rather not start in the first place.

And I dispute the idea that any process can be deliberately set in motion to "civilize" anybody, Muslim or not. We can spread aspects and products of our culture(Coca-Cola, rock music, etc) but any deliberate effort to get "them" to see things "our" way will be fiercely resisted. Our values will spread when people see that they work and that they produce happier societies, not because we all sat down and hammered out a bunch of rules. Ultimately, people and societies have to "civilize" themselves.

You've given me a lot to think about. Thanks again,


Christopher S. Johnson
Midwest Conservative Journal
Webster Groves, Missouri

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