Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Song of Roland

This story in the Brussels Journal got almost no notice last week. Lutheran vicar Roland Weisselberg, aged 73, set himself alight in Erfurt where Martin Luther took monastic vows in 1505. Bystanders rushed to extinguish the flames. The man later died of his injuries. In a farewell letter to his wife the vicar wrote that he was setting himself on fire to warn against the danger of the Islamization of Europe according to the Brussels Journal.


During the past four years the vicar had frequently expressed his concern about the expansion of Islam, urging the Lutheran Church to take this issue seriously. As the fire started the vicar cried: “Jesus and Oskar!” Oskar Brüsewitz was a 47-year old German vicar who died after setting himself on fire 30 years ago, on 18 August 1976, in the market square of the German town of Zeitz in protest against the Communist regime in East Germany. Both Erfurt and Zeitz are situated in the former East German province of Saxony.

Many people would call Roland Weisselberg's gesture a form of religious madness. It was outwardly exactly like this one, but that of course, was a sublime act of religious conviction.

On June 11, 1963, Thich Quang Duc, a Buddhist monk from the Linh-Mu Pagoda in Hue, Vietnam, burned himself to death at a busy intersection in downtown Saigon, Vietnam.. Eye witness accounts state that Thich Quang Duc and at least two fellow monks arrived at the intersection by car, Thich Quang Duc got out of the car, assumed the traditional lotus position and the accompanying monks helped him pour gasoline over himself. He ignited the gasoline by lighting a match and burned to death in a matter of minutes. David Halberstam, a reporter for the New York Times covering the war in Vietnam, gave the following account: I was to see that sight again, but once was enough. Flames were coming from a human being; his body was slowly withering and shriveling up, his head blackening and charring. In the air was the smell of burning human flesh; human beings burn surprisingly quickly. Behind me I could hear the sobbing of the Vietnamese who were now gathering. I was too shocked to cry, too confused to take notes or ask questions, too bewildered to even think…. As he burned he never moved a muscle, never uttered a sound, his outward composure in sharp contrast to the wailing people around him.

Thich Quang Duc had prepared himself for his self-immolation through several weeks of meditation and had explained his motivation in letters to members of his Buddhist community as well as to the government of South Vietnam in the weeks prior to his self-immolation. In these letters he described his desire to bring attention to the repressive policies of the Catholic Diem regime that controlled the South Vietnamese government at the time. Prior to the self-immolation, the South Vietnamese Buddhists had made the following requests to the Diem regime, asking it to: Lift its ban on flying the traditional Buddhist flag; Grant Buddhism the same rights as Catholicism; Stop detaining Buddhists; Give Buddhist monks and nuns the right to practice and spread their religion; and Pay fair compensations to the victim's families and punish those responsible for their deaths.

 

 

 

 

 

 





Thich Quang Duc's action was front page New York Times News. Pictures of it were on President Kennedy's desk the next day. It was regarded as a tremendous public relations blow against "the American backed South Vietnamese government and its war against the Communist supported Viet Cong". Even though it had nothing to do with Communism at all, it is possible that many Americans, shown the picture today, would misidentify it as a protest against the US troops in Vietnam, although American troops would not be there in numbers for two more years. The reaction by Weisselberg's own church to Roland Weisselberg's death was interesting. The UK Times reports, "The Protestant Bishop of Saxony, Axel Noack, said the suicide had shocked the community and that he hoped it would not hurt relations between Christians and Muslims."

Commentary

Not Weisselberg's death, but the fact it was unremarked may be the real story of this event. Gestures must express some deep but unexpressed emotion to be effective. Roland gave the performance of his life but the gallery was empty. And now there is a stir offstage. Is it a new cast of players come to perform? Or have the night watchmen arrived to turn out the lights?

73 Comments:

Blogger 49erDweet said...

Moving! And futile!

As mentioned, the rest of the "Euro-Lutherans" of Saxony respond by rolling over and going back to sleep. Ah, peace! Snore.

11/04/2006 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger redaktør said...

Idiotic. Why couldn't he set himself on fire inside a crowded wooden Islamic structure.

11/04/2006 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

stupid.

The vicar is essentially saying that "suicide is a good thing", which is the same thing the dynamite belt-wearers have been telling us.

I can't help wondering if he was having tax problems, or his wife was driving him nuts, or there was something else in his real life that he wanted to escape, and he's pinning it on the Muslims.

11/04/2006 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger Ursus said...

What can you say to this? That times have changed and what was looked on as a profound statement of the deepest protest and courage in the Vietnam War era can now be brushed off as mere dementia and delusion as the Muslim tide rises ever higher in today's Europe and Germany, that the MSM are rooting for Islam to win and therefore suppressed this item as not "newsworthy," that the good Bishop Noack, believing in nothing, certainly not in his religion, is already a dhimmi in spirit, that this self-immolation indicates that developments in Europe have reached a critical stage? I'd say all of the above.

11/04/2006 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

He should have screamed "Bush out of Iraq!"

11/04/2006 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

He was remembering the profound shock administered to the discerning, by the series of Buddhist monks who burned themselves alive in early 60s downtown Saigon, in protest against the Diem regime (IIRC).

11/04/2006 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

link

11/04/2006 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Nahncee, that's the "Jeus Christ Superstar" theory, wherein nobody ever does anything except to increase their own sphere of influence. Can't be said to be untrue, but is powerfully cynical.

11/04/2006 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger Smitten Eagle said...

This certainly isn't the Lutheranism of Garrison Kiellor.

Lake Wobegon will continue to sleep.

11/04/2006 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Smitten Eagle said...

And lets look at the contrapositive of this: Look at who's committing suicide on behalf if Islamization. It's the suicid bombers.

One is holy. One is utterly unholy and evil.

11/04/2006 12:17:00 PM  
Blogger Pyrthroes said...

Suppose the Vicar was a Muslimite death-cultist, who saw himself a human fuse lighting a nuclear firecracker in some Christian community of whatever denomination:
How the poor thing must've suffered! What depths of conviction does such an act imply! What have we done, to brown such a Wahabi shish-ka-ob?

Erfurt locals should stage candlelight vigils, not for Vicar Weisselberg alone, but for themselves.

11/04/2006 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Just down the street from my house in Brussels is a monument to Jan Palach, a young Czech student who set himself on fire to protest against communist oppression. His suicide was well publicized throughout Europe and America.

There is a fundamental contradiction in the right wing media attacks. On the one hand right wingers profess love for the free market and all that it brings. On the other hand they hate the corporate owned media in the Untied States that the free-market has delivered. They seem to hanker after a Pravda-like state controlled media that will publicize all their current fetishes in real time. If markets have failed to deliver the media that you want, perhaps the whole free-market ideology is flawed. Perhaps Jan Palash had it all wrong and torched himself in vain. Perhaps state controlled media – and by extension everything else — is the way to go. Perhaps we should tear down all these Jan Palash memorials, which exist all over Europe and replace them with whatever the current right wing fetish of the day is.

11/04/2006 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Maybe you're right, Kevin. maybe the left wing knows the way. How about you tell us a sucess story or two?

BTW, the complaining about the media *is* the market operating. There is this thing called "time" that is sort of like the vehicle of "change".

11/04/2006 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

People who kill themselves symbolically often think of how they will be remembered. It's my experience that they won't. They'll be remembered for as long as it takes to take a beer out of the fridge. And not even a dogcatcher's life is worth that.

There's no second-guessing Roland Weisselberg, but if the dead are beyond judgment the living are not. And when the living say "oh dear, he burned himself, let's hope the neighbors don't mind the smoke" then maybe the ticket Weisselberg bought himself out was worth it after all. With company like that, who needs friends?

11/04/2006 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger Pangloss said...

The last words that Weisselberg spoke before he struck the match were "Jesus and Oskar." Jesus died for all our sins. That is obvious. But Oskar is a bit more of a mystery.

Here is what I found out. Back in 1976, the east german government's totalitarian power was cresting. The nudge that pushed east germany in the direction of increasing freedom and eventually led to the collapse of the east german socialist government 14 years later in 1989 (the year Weisselberg retired as a reverend) was the self-immolation of Reverend Oskar Bruesewitz in the public market at Zeitz, East Germany. Bruesewitz and Weisselberg were both ministers of the same denomination (Lutheran? Evangelical Protestant? not clear to me from the public sources), and their church was the motive force behind the increasing freedoms in East Germany. Bruesewitz's fiery demise became a rallying cry against the oppression of communism, and it follows that Weisselberg intended his own fiery death to inspire the same sort of mass movement against Islam that Bruesewitz inspired against communism.

See here for more.

I think that Weisselberg's life and death would make a pretty darn good movie script. Call it "Jesus and Oskar," and you're set.

11/04/2006 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

How about "Jesus, Oskar, & Theo" ?

Wretchard, you're right that a suicide dying to make a point, may over-rate the people who need the point made.

I guess that's why this type of suicide is a rarity (and, pitiful irony, the rarity of it is the only reason we note it at all).

Evolution is sorta topsy--here we are eyeball-to-eyeball with every other soul on the planet, yet not a dozen generations ago, we were hard-pressed merely to understand and cope with our few fellow villagers.

11/04/2006 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger NY GOPer said...

In Germany, a Lutheran suicide bomber who killed only himself in an effort to wake Europe up.

In Isreal, Palestinians acted as suicide murderers' trying to kill as many Israelis as possible. In Iraq, suicide murderer's try to kill as many Marines - who removed a tyrant from their mists, as possible.

The difference is that the Christian did not try to hurt others while the Islamists try to kill others. There is no equivalency between the two religions. One man followed Christ's instructions to do no harm to others; while the Koran glorifies the killing of infidels.

The mainstream media is unwilling to point this obvious difference out because it is not "politically correct". In the 1960's the liberal establishment created the mantra "Speak truth to power" when protesting something in the USA. Why doesn't the media (consisting of 1960's liberals) have the courage to speak truth to power when the offending power is something other than an American one?

11/04/2006 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger Sparks fly said...

Thich Quang Duc was obviously an apostate Bhuddist. A true devotee of Bhudda would have accepted the repression of the South Vietnamese government completely. That is the fundamental teaching and inspiration of Bhuddism. If you see a little girl crushed by a bus that's just the way things are. If you think something is wrong with that then that's your problem. You have to disinvest yourself of such notions- if you are to be a true Bhuddist and at peace with yourself. Blah, blah, blah.

If old Mr. Duc wants to immolate himself for Mr. Bhudda then he has missed the point of the whole Bhuddist non-theology thing.(Bhuddists do not believe there even is a God) What was he doing in those temples all those years? Did he ever bother to read what Bhudda had to say? What he did was a supremely selfish act. He was old, his best years were behind him. He was looking to die without a whimper anyway. That's Bhuddism.
So what's new. This world is awash in selfishness.

On the other hand Mr. Weisselberg was well within Christian norms to sound the shofar at the approach of the jihadis. But where in the Bible does it teach setting oneself on fire to accomplish it?

The Bible does give great honor to those faithful souls who choose to BE burned rather than deny Christ. That's a big difference. Perhaps he was old as well and saw his life passing devoid of heroics. That can be tough for some citizens of Saxony. His point about the Islamis however is well taken.

AND KEVIN:

Capitalism and the American system are flawed, granted. Life is messy. But what do you,totally wise Kevin, have to replace it with? Have you even thought about what you are saying? Communism? Havn't the Russians given that the old college try and failed miserably? Would you outdo them? Check out what they did first before you attempt it. You may be surprised and shocked. Read on, Dude.

11/04/2006 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger Hayek said...

Kevin We do not rail against all media. In fact the detested market has produced all types of media including talk radio, Fox News,and access to virtually any print media one prefers. Amd as a minor point, the greatest anti-poverty engine ever produced by man and generator of jobs is free market capitalism. Want to compare the number of jobs produced in the evil USA and enlightened Europe over the last five years?

11/04/2006 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger Ghoti said...

More telling is the response by the Protestant Bishop of Saxony, Axel Noack, who said "he hoped it would not hurt relations between Christians and Muslims."

All heart, these Dhimmis.

11/04/2006 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

For your place on Earth, you gotta pay. You can pay a higher power (available in literal form to secularists as "knowledge"), or you can pay another person--who will always be hungry, and will always call himself "comrade".

11/04/2006 03:11:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

I believe Wretchard underestimates the power of martyrdom.

If suicidal acts or near-suicidal ones are unremarkable, history would be far different. The act is not simply defined as noted as a story forgotten as soon as a fresh beer is in prole hands and a new story or media attraction gets their attention. All cultures have their martyrs. And the more their are, the more of an impression is made. If it becomes more common than Vicar Weisselberg, then it becomes something with true cultural power - like the Kamikazes, Buddhist monks, Palestinian martyrs have..

The student suicidally facing down a tank in Tienamen Square made a global impression. Chinese officials still grit their teeth when other rulers or dissidents within talk about it or post the photo. Imagine the fallout if the tank commander had been stupider and had gone ahead and squashed the student...

The Monks immolation in Vietnam made a huge impression in America and Europe and is considered by historians to be a turning point in the war.

War clearly lost, the futility of the Kamikazes efforts to stop the tide is eclipsed by the honor and reputation for duty and bravery their actions gained the Japanese people.

A few more Christians immolate themselves to warn of the demographic conquest of Europe by Islam...and Euros might just wake up and pay attention. A burning procession of priests and ministers has a gut impact that 10,000 burning cars or a few Islamoid-torched or bombed cathederals cannot match.

11/04/2006 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Roland Weisselberg
Roland Weisselberg

Let's remember the name tomorrow.

11/04/2006 04:44:00 PM  
Blogger Maetenloch said...

I suppose I must be cold blooded, but I've always been unmoved by these types of public suicides or even hunger strikes. It's always struck me as emotional blackmail - you must change your opinion or else we'll keep killing ourselves. Sure it catches my attention, but it doesn't change my moral judgement about the situation. I would have been more impressed if the vicar had led a Ghandi-like campaign of passive resistance against islamic influence - he probably would have been asassinated, but at least this might have had a positive effect. Instead he killed himself in a particularly gruesome way for no good result and now we're supposed to go out and do something. pfui.

11/04/2006 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

The Song of Roland.

More here.

That post title is one for the books. It would be perfect even if the two names weren't the same.

11/04/2006 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

I'm lying on my back now
the stars look all too near
flowers on the razor wire
i know you're there
we are few
and far between
I was thinking about her skin
love is a many splintered thing
don't be afraid now
just walk on in
(flowers on the razor wire)
(walk on in)
her eyes were cobalt red
her voice was cobalt blue
I see no purple light
crashing out of you
so just walk on in
(flowers on the razor wire)
(walk on in)
her lovers queued up in the hallway
I heard them scratching at the door
I tried to tell her
about Marx and Engels, God and Angels
I don't really know what for
but she looked good in ribbons
so just walk on in
but she looked good in ribbons
so just walk on in

tie a red red red red red red ribbon
love is a many splintered things
tie a red red red red ribbon
don't be afraid
just walk on in

just walk on in
(incoming...)
(incoming...)
just walk on in
just walk on in
flowers on the razor wire
just walk on in

"Ribbons" - Sisters of Mercy

11/04/2006 05:00:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

maetenloch, but Gandhi spent many a year organizing the hustings, writing, cajoling, for a political end. A lifetime of such work finally yielded his cause some attention, but not until his later years.

Roland Weisselberg had no such time left, nor any such clear & positive solution to advocate.

And what act of love is not also emotional blackmail? What has anyone ever done for anyone that could not be seen as emotional blackmail? Even your post decrying emotional blackmail is emotional blackmail. Sometimes our western drive toward individualism slides into a sort of cynicism that is maybe not good for our culture's long-term survival prospects.

For example, I could be cynical about someone threatening to kill himself for some cause or other, but once he has actually done so, I had better find myself another frame, because something has changed, and if I'm not changing along with it, then I'm becoming stuck, becoming an easier target.

11/04/2006 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger redaktør said...

Gandhi will not be remembered for anything other than being a goat, and in the final analysis, an idiot. This judgment of history will only strengthen as time passes.

11/04/2006 05:54:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"In the 1960's the liberal establishment created the mantra "Speak truth to power"....

They just got a bit lost on what truth was...they still are....

11/04/2006 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted."

"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored."

- Aldous Huxley

11/04/2006 06:37:00 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Roland Weisselberg didn't hurt anyone else, except, perhaps, his wife. It is very different from the Muslim way of suicide which seems to require murder as adjunct and entry to heaven.

If Lutheran doctrine holds that suicide as a mortal sin, then it was a very brave act, indeed, but the Bible says nothing against suicide.

Finally, we are discussing his self-sacrifice, so it has not gone entirely without comment.

11/04/2006 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Austin Bay has a reflective post--the topic is Kerry --but he meditates a bit on the ways of seeing:

But scepticism all too easily slides to cynicism, and cynicism and habitual decadence don’t do much for a family, tribe, or nation-state in peril.

11/04/2006 07:08:00 PM  
Blogger Baillie said...

"Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came"...and the Tower shrugged its cold disdain.

11/04/2006 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger Ari Tai said...

re: self-immolation

Imagine how Israel and the world would react if the Palestinians practiced this form of protest rather than bombing teenagers in pizza parlors. Or for that matter, any disciplined form of Gandhi-like protest.

We'd fall all over ourselves doing whatever it took to get them to stop.

11/04/2006 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger redaktør said...

Ari,

The arabs been practicing their self-mutilation since the creation of Israel. The only difference is that there will be less of them.

11/04/2006 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger linus2u said...

Lost in all the analyxis is the fact that Europe will probably be overrun in the near future by Islam and it is conceivable that Islam will be the dominant religion. Muslim immigrants do not want to assimilate. They regard Shariah law as superior to civil law. Their birth rate is guranteed to overwhelm the host country's population ratio. They treat accomodation as only useful as they have not reached the majority. From Britain to France, they want the host country to bend the rules for them instead of they accepting the rules of their new country, i.e. muslim women refusing to remove their veil for photo ids. I do not in any way agitate for a race war. But we have to wake up soon on the danger or it may soon be too late.

11/04/2006 08:31:00 PM  
Blogger Sparks fly said...

Cedarford:

The Kamikazis epitomize Japeneese insanity. The burning monks ricochet'd the Vietnameese into communism and the Palestinian "martyrs" are murderers. They murder themselves first and then those around them; some fame! Some neighbors! Some cultural contribution? Or is that your point?

Kate: The Bible has much to say about suicide. Suicide is the murder of one's self and the Bible has much to say about murder.

Shhhh....(It's a sin.).

11/04/2006 09:12:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Sparks Fly - The Kamikazis epitomize Japeneese insanity. The burning monks ricochet'd the Vietnameese into communism and the Palestinian "martyrs" are murderers.

Only in your narrow perspective.

The Kamikazes are revered on their home soil, and by people outside Japan for showing the Japanese spirit of indominatable will and courage. They do not epitomize Japanese insanity because such insanity does not exist. It is a fine line that the Japanese recognized but the Palestinian martyrs against the Zionist Occupation failed to. The Buddhist monks illuminated the corruption and moral bankruptcy of the Chinese mechantile Elites pulling the strings in S Vietnam that the native Vietnamese finally ousted.

11/04/2006 10:04:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

When the sh*t has hit the fan, and things are become life & death, there's cold hard logic behind the "crazy" actions of the kamikazes, monks, even the suidice bombers. Understanding an alien point-of-view doesn't automatically make you a multi-culti pushover--in fact, that meme is actually about 180 degress off-true, as, historically, we've gotten in our worst jams by, or at least while, telling each other that our enemies are "stupid" and/or "crazy".

11/04/2006 11:41:00 PM  
Blogger Sparks fly said...

Cedarford, Larson:

Pretty lame responses.

The Japenese lost. The Vietnamese went to communism; that's a loss. And the Palestinians will lose. What's so great about denying Christ and violently perishing?

I do have a narrow perspective but what if it's true? What if evolution is a lie and the Bible is true and Christ is something special and not a fairy tale?

What happens then? Peoples and their perspectives are not all equal. Unbrigable differences exist. What does light have to do with darkness? America has been a very special place. That's my perspective and the perspective that prevailed in the neighborhood I grew up in. The way you guys talk baffles me. Death is the last enemy. Death is not a friend. Jesus is alive. Those guys were dead while they lived, and never revived.

What am I missing?

11/05/2006 02:04:00 AM  
Blogger Clyde said...

Only one comment comes to mind: Don't make an ash out of yourself.

11/05/2006 05:26:00 AM  
Blogger Clyde said...

Well actually a second comment, too: Rather than immolating themselves to protest the demographic increase in Muslims in Europe, perhaps the Europeans need to go out, fornicate and impregnate. "Be fruitful and multiply," all that jazz. And perhaps they need governmental policies that encourage Europeans to have more kids, as well as put the brakes on the invasion of Islam.

Let the fire be in your loins, Europeans. And ditch the condoms.

11/05/2006 05:35:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Cicero said...

There's something perverse about a Christian leader burning himself alive to protest Islam's encroachment. I decry suicide-as-spectacle, as a means to make a political statement. I could care less who performs the act; the act itself is abhorrent.

11/05/2006 05:44:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

I read "...perhaps the Europeans need to go out,...." and wonder whether what we are actually watching is the death rattle of European Empire culture ("EEC")...a death that has been unfolding for 101 years (since 1905) and may be near complete. Is jihadi Islam just the last of a succession of tyrannies to fill the void and, perhaps finally, smother democratic civilization in Europe as it lays helpless in it's socialist statist dissolution?

Perhaps we (USA) should let it (EEC) die. It does not seem much interested in defending itself. We should spend our time and money on buttoning up to deal with the next phase of the emergent caliphate, the crossing of the Atlantic. Toward that end, strictly limit ALL immigration from Europe and the ME and focus on immigration from Asia, Central America and South America. The people from Europe and the ME want to recreate that wretched mess wherever they go; the people from Asia, CA and SA want to work and build good lives for their families. To me, the future is in building, NOT in dissolution (Euros) and tearing down (jihadis).

11/05/2006 06:40:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

there is a huge disconnect between what I'm reading on FreeRepublic and public polls as to the fortunes of the upcoming election. ie early voting shows the pubbies doing as well or better than previous elections. its the dems who are uninspired.

because this disconnect is so large--whatever we're reading about popular attitudes from blue on blue europe is likely to also be misleading.

11/05/2006 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger The Wobbly Guy said...

As usual, Sparks Fly misses the point of Buddhism in general in his crusade against atheism and a hell lot of things that are not christian.

More crucial is the belief in moderation, and letting things be as they are is not the only way to enlightenment. To think of non-violence and quiet/tacit acceptance of things as they stand is an extremely rigid interpretation.

Buddhism accepts that violence must sometimes be done, but the intent and mindset of doing so is just as important, if not more, than the end result itself.

Or were the Shaolin monks all apostate too? The monk burned only himself, and he probably felt that it was his karma at that particular point in time.

In this light, isn't suicide a one-way ticket to hell in Christendom? Or, as other articles have it on the net, that a person who commits suicide isn't exactly a christian of true faith either(a sign of mental distress driving a person to commit suicide when a strong belief in Jesus would have cured it)! It's almost akin to forcing one's way to heaven.

So maybe both Duc and Weisselberg are hypocrites of their respective faiths. When you come right down to it, some mainstream interpretations/denominations of Christianity end up just like what you accused Buddhism of being: apathetic, and not forcing the issues of the day. God will take care of everything in the end, right? Just read your Bible, folks, and spread the word. Yessiree, that's all you need to do. God provides for his flock.

Ah, what the heck do I know. I'm just an apostate, damned-to-hell, minimal agnostic.

11/05/2006 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger The Wobbly Guy said...

Oh, and by the way, before I forget...

I fully support what both Duc and Roland did. If nothing else, they displayed courage and conviction. Besides, for Roland, he was fulfilling an important duty in informing the rest of his community of impending doom. As a secularist, I find nothing wrong with that, though of course some religious folks would disagree.

And as a secularist, I'm terrified of Islam in its rawest form, which makes no distinction between the state and mosque.

11/05/2006 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

So, what should the test be, on judging Roland? "Judge not?" "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone?"

Damn me along with wobbly guy, but damned if I don't see Roland as a hero, plain and simple, on the grounds that he sacrificed himself to help his people. Anything more or less is, to me, to outhink--outsmart--the objetive truth of what is in plain sight.

11/05/2006 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

I believe Wretchard underestimates the power of martyrdom.

I believe Cedarford is drinking the Jihadist Kool Aid and accepting the premise that suicide is martyrdom. A martyr is murdered for his or her faith. There's no such thing as self-martyrdom; indeed, such an act would be evidence of falling from faith into despair.

11/05/2006 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Billy Beck said...

"People who kill themselves symbolically often think of how they will be remembered. It's my experience that they won't."

Go look up a man named Norman R. Morrison, Wretchard.

On November 2, 1965, Morrison burned himself to death not forty feet outside the window of Robert S. McNamara's office at the Pentagon.

Morrison has haunted McNamara his whole life, right down to this day.

Just because you don't remember him, it doesn't mean that he's not remembered.

11/05/2006 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger redaktør said...

"Damn me along with wobbly guy, but damned if I don't see Roland as a hero, plain and simple, on the grounds that he sacrificed himself to help his people."

Larsen, you can't be serious. What was his sacrifice? His was an easy way out. And in what way did he help people with such a desperate idiotic stunt?

11/05/2006 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Well, he's all over the news, sounding an alarm that he obviously took as seriously as serious can get.

Now people--especially his own people--have to ask each other the same sorts of questions we're asking right here.

And however small it may be, there's something new now, isn't there?

11/05/2006 01:49:00 PM  
Blogger David Blue said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/05/2006 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger redaktør said...

Buddy,

I just googled "Roland Weisselberg". I got less than 10 hits.

11/05/2006 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger David Blue said...

Roland Weisselberg wasn't going to be remembered anyway, as what's coming in Europe is Islam, and the umma will not remember kindly or respectfully the kafirs whose weakness opened its path to power.

He wasn't setting a bad precedent for the Lutheran Church in Europe, as Muslim rules will dominate the Church regardless. He wasn't failing to play his part in the transmission of tradition across the generations, for the same reason. He wasn't failing to live up to any rules that won't be swept away.

His savage act was that of a native who sees his culture beaten and soon to be obliterated by the march of imperialism. He might as well do what is right in his own eyes, as it's all one: nobody can point plausibly to to the future or any argument that implies a future for reasons to obey the old rules any more.

The brave and those who see the future of Europe clearly are leaving it, one way or another according to their preference.

Roland Weisselberg's last act was intended to be a loyal one: a warning to those who, as a vicar, it was his duty to warn. He chose bravely and is gone. It doesn't matter who heeds his warning, if anyone.

Prince Richard: [the sons - in the dungeon - think they hear Henry approach] He's here. He'll get no satisfaction out of me. He isn't going to see me beg.
Prince Geoffrey: My you chivalric fool... as if the way one fell down mattered.
Prince Richard: When the fall is all there is, it matters.
- The Lion in Winter (1968)

11/05/2006 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger redaktør said...

Larsen,

Maybe I read a different Book from yours, but when Moses saw his weak brother is being beaten by Pharaoh, he went and killed the man beating his brother. And when the full might of Pharaoh came down on Moses, Moses told Pharaoh to go take his God and shove it where the Sun don't shine.

11/05/2006 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger Sparks fly said...

Wow, Teresita!

(A non-cynical comment: above.)

" No such thing as self-martyrdom." Very interesting.

" Jihadist Koolaid"- excellent.

The Wobbly Guy:

Oh, dear Wobbly; if you are an agnostic, what do you know? Agnostic means, "I don't know". Just be true to your beliefs and shut-up. You are an apostate agnostic. You are not speaking from your own faith. After he dies what kind of hell does an apostate agnostic go to after he has gotten up on his hind legs and claimed he knew something? He probably knows.

The Jihadies and the burning monks and Roland all speak to death and from death. That's their big gun.

Jesus Christ is the WORD of life; eternal life. The two are diametrically opposed. In life we are called to choose. Which one do you choose to believe will win for you? This former sinner is seated in heavenly places in Christ. What a marvelous perspective. This issue is at the bottom of all the strife we see in the world today. What does each of us choose. HE came to save sinners That means you qualify. Does death win or does life win? In order for life to win it must by definition be eternal. What'll it be? What are the odds in vegas?

11/05/2006 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Here's a link to the BerlinerProjekt. This is the first Reformed church that's been formed in Berlin in several hundred years.

Its supported by Tim Keller's Redeemer Presbyterian Church (PCA) in NYC, NY as well as Mclean presbyterian church (PCA)in Mclean VA and others.

The ambition of the BerlinerProjekt is to form down town Evangelical Churches all over Europe. Currenty there are virtually zero evangelical churches in the big cities of europe and precious few christian churches.

11/05/2006 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Redacktor, Sparks Fly--very chewy food for thought--good to see objections to Roland's act come from more than the simple horror of it.

But you guys are talking cosmic themes, while I was talking about the effect on worldly opinion.

11/05/2006 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger Sparks fly said...

David Blue:

"Heaven and earth will pass away but MY word will not pass away" , in Europe or anywhere else.

That's Jesus speaking. What do you think? Is HE able to perform what HE said?

Behold! Death is swallowed up in life.

11/05/2006 05:53:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

American Soldiers Again Serving in Vietnam

November 5, 2006: After over 30 years, U.S. Army troops are returning to Vietnam. These training specialists will help to upgrade the combat capabilities of the Vietnamese forces. Because American troops are now the most combat experienced in the world, they are much in demand as trainers. Vietnam, on the other hand, has not seen combat since 1979, when there was a brief border war with China. There, the combat experienced Vietnamese beat up on the Chinese, who had not been in large scale combat (there had been some border skirmishes with Russia and India) since the 1950s.



The Vietnam live in fear of another Chinese invasion. Not because relations with China are currently frosty, they aren't, but because China and Vietnam have been feuding for about a thousand years. Vietnam was originally founded by Chinese fleeing the rule of the Chinese empire. Over the centuries, Chinese troops have occasionally entered Vietnam, trying to bring the area under Chinese rule. That potential, at least for many Vietnamese, remains, and thus the desire to have some American military trainers visit, and impart whatever combat wisdom they might have. The Chinese, as always, have the numerical advantage, so the Vietnamese want to gain a qualitative edge. Vietnam also wants to improve relations with the United States.

11/05/2006 09:39:00 PM  
Blogger John Dunshee said...

There were something like 9 additional self immolations by Buddhist monks in Vietnam after 1975. They were protesting the lack of religious freedom under the Communist government.

Do you remember the outcry?

Me neither.

In fact, I don't even think it is something that is known outside the Vietnamese community.

You see, it isn't the act; it's who they're protesting that counts.

If the vicar had done this to protest the Iraq War or because we have ignored Kyoto, it would be playing nonstop on every news channel in the world.

But he protested the incursion of Islamists into the civilized world. That's just not PC and it became a non-event. In fact if it is covered at all it will be in the context of how out of touch and bigoted Christians are to be so afraid of the religion-of-peace that they would go to such extremes.

This is not something that our new media cares to cover, so it is mentioned in a 6 line filler on page 24 and forgotten. As this will be by the day after tomorrow.

11/05/2006 11:42:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/06/2006 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

" . . . he hoped it would not hurt relations between Christians and Muslims."

Yes, yes, of course. As is always the case, even after an Islamist slaughters more innocents, the first concern must be whether or not the Muslims will be upset.

According to our intellectually-paralyzed shepherds, we're not even supposed to do what they want us to do -- that is, submit or die -- for fear of upsetting them.

This is sick.

11/06/2006 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger David Blue said...

Sparks fly said...

"David Blue:

"Heaven and earth will pass away but MY word will not pass away" , in Europe or anywhere else.

That's Jesus speaking. What do you think? Is HE able to perform what HE said?"


No.

European Christendom is going the way of Christendom in North Africa and the Middle East. The Muslim system of perpetual humiliation, immiseration, taxation and deliberately heightened insecurity for the defeated works.

Sparks fly said...

"Behold! Death is swallowed up in life."

Behold! Vast fertility, hatred and aggression are crushing infertility, passivity and a perverse habit of turning all hostility either against one's truest friends (such as the Americans) or inward against oneself.

On reflection, I don't like my previous post.

Christian turning the other cheek is worthless against enemies with consciences perverted by Islam. Deities, dignity and the overly sophisticated and ultimately suicidal culture of old Europe don't signify.

This is a simple confrontation, and doesn't call for meditations on how one should meet ones fate. Nothing except stubborn and preferably shrewd fighting for one side or the other is of account.

Since the vicar rightly disapproved of the coming Muslim domination of Europe, he should have continued to argue against it.

Nothing could be more pleasing for Muslims than viciously to smite old Europe, and then have the victims turn their necessary and human anger inwards and smite themselves, or burn themselves.

No more of that.

11/06/2006 06:17:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

great, really great, post, David Blue.

11/06/2006 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger Sparks fly said...

David Blue:

The word of God as far as I know doesn't depend upon whatever religion European nations profess. Currently they are mostly pantheists except perhaps for Poland. Correct me from the word of God (The Bible) if I am out to lunch on this.

However the word of God is on the line as regards the state of Israel. The Word clearly states that in the last days God will bring the Jews back to Israel and they will never be driven out again.They are back!

I do agree with you strongly that the violent Islamis need to be defeated physically. It is a contest of strength. It's time to do what men are supposed to do: take out the garbage! They are as wild animals to be captured or killed. The "god" of those murderers is some moon god demon and no way the God of the Bible. Some Islamis who worship the God of Abraham may be deceived as to what their fellow citizens are up to. George Bush believes it is possible to seperate those two groups. He may be right. The question the democrats have been forcing is the cost in money and especially lives. However since 9/11 and nuclear proliferation that seems to be history. We don't have much choice on this. It's not just force though. Sepeaate the groups and put force where it belongs. The U.S. Army is doing a fantastic job.

The history of north Africa and the middle east is informative and worth more attention on the part of the big thinkers in our country. The Romans have been at war with this crowd for thousands of years. You'd think we'd learn something. The hard dividing line appears on some level to have a genetic component and also the Deity of Jesus. The west generally believes that Jesus Christ is God and the Islamis say he was a great prophet but just a man.

This is serious stuff. Like a grease fire in a kitchen; it has been ignored far too long.It is threatening the entire house.

11/06/2006 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger David Blue said...

Thanks for your kind words, buddy larsen.

Sparks fly said...

"David Blue:

The word of God as far as I know doesn't depend upon whatever religion European nations profess. Currently they are mostly pantheists except perhaps for Poland. Correct me from the word of God (The Bible) if I am out to lunch on this."

I have no Biblical correction to offer.

This probably isn't the thread to argue about pantheism in Europe. I can tell you that it would be inaccurate to call the civic religion of modern Europe "pagan", since pagans despise it. Pagan reconstructionists have severe criticisms of the decadent culture of modern Europe. Most think Europeans should worship their ancestral gods, end of story; some think that Christianity should have its place, since it is the religion of many of their ancestors; but nobody thinks that self-indulgence and state-coddled softness have proven to be better gods than Zeus, Jupiter, Odin or Isis.

-

Sparks fly said...

"However the word of God is on the line as regards the state of Israel. The Word clearly states that in the last days God will bring the Jews back to Israel and they will never be driven out again.They are back!"

And they have been and still are giving up land, in return for false promises and nonexistent goodwill.

I think that's bad policy.

I think the struggle is much simpler than we have wanted to believe.

It's not a question of finding the right formula to satisfy everyone, since one side wants Israel wiped from history.

There is no judo-like sacrifice throw, where by giving the enemy things we give them something to lose and thereby pacify them.

It's like this: every step back by Israel means more territory controlled by jihad terror forces, it brings the rockets and the bunkers a step closer to ultimate victory, and thereby it increases the enemy's determination to press on till Israel is wiped out. No promises to the contrary will be honored, and no peace-keepers will fight for Jews. No prayers or petitions to God or man will stop this.

-

Sparks fly said...

"I do agree with you strongly that the violent Islamis need to be defeated physically. It is a contest of strength. It's time to do what men are supposed to do: take out the garbage!"

On that, we agree.

If we learned anything from Beslan, it should have been this: even if we could all be as innocent as little children, it would not win us an atom of mercy from Islam.

Our survival, and our place in the world if we are to have one, depends on adult brawn, sagacity and an ever-watchful hostility to our enemies.

11/06/2006 03:06:00 PM  
Blogger David Blue said...

This is a discussion for another thread, so I'll just note it...

Sparks fly said...

"The history of north Africa and the middle east is informative and worth more attention on the part of the big thinkers in our country. The Romans have been at war with this crowd for thousands of years. You'd think we'd learn something."

I agree. Again we're fighting some aggressive lunatic Semitic religion, and a population (Palestinian or Punic) that thinks that by sacrificing their children they can win what their soldiers couldn't achieve by force of arms? There should be lessons to learn from this.

-

Sparks fly said...

"The hard dividing line appears on some level to have a genetic component and also the Deity of Jesus. The west generally believes that Jesus Christ is God and the Islamis say he was a great prophet but just a man."

I don't believe in this genetic component. (Which doesn't mean I look with approval on the self-extinction of the white peoples and their family histories, traditions and culture, but that's yet another topic for another time.)

I do agree the divinity of Jesus counts for a lot. However, if you are a polytheist and have no use for Jesus, you have even more reason to oppose Islam. If you want tolerance in the modern Western tradition, Christendom offers it and the umma certainly doesn't.

Which takes us away from the topic: the vicar was trying to sound a warning, not give himself a Viking funeral.

-

While what the vicar did was a mistake, he was still trying to do good. I want to say something nice in his memory, from his own religion.

So here goes: Ezekiel 33:

And the word of the LORD came to me saying,
"Son of man, speak to the sons of your people and say to them, 'If I bring a sword to a land and the people of the land take one man from among them and make him their watchman; and he sees the sword coming upon the land, and he blows on the trumpet and warns the people, then he who hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, and a sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning; his blood will be on himself. But had he taken warning, he would have delivered his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from the watchman's hand."


Roland Weisselberg saw the sword coming, and he blew his trumpet for all he was worth. I honor that.

11/06/2006 04:16:00 PM  
Blogger Ursus said...

Sparks Fly--I too honor the Vicar for blowing his warning trumpet for all he was worth. I see the vicar's self-immolation as a valiant act; this was the strongest way the old man could call attention to the mortal danger Islam poses for his people.

11/06/2006 05:19:00 PM  
Blogger Ursus said...

Talk of the Vikings--this is something one of those ancient wild men might have done and ended up in a saga. This was a man.

11/06/2006 05:26:00 PM  
Blogger Sparks fly said...

Christianity is life not death. The ONE who keeps Christians (my substitution) neither slumbers nor sleeps. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, HE is the God of the living, not the dead. The living speak the word of God; the word of life. There is an uncrossable line here. Do you speak to the dead with death? What good does that do? These are treacherous times.

Americans have never been concerned with what other nations have to say about us. Why should we start now. There is still faith in life here in the USA. God had the first word and HE will have the last word on all that transpires here today. The spirit of Islam comes straight out of an Egyptian tomb.

Hey, straight ahead Dude!

11/07/2006 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger god said...

thats fuunny! hahahahahaha

3/04/2008 04:54:00 PM  

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