Dennis Prager blames all American ills on atheism

Dennis Prager is a wealthy conservative author, speaker, and broadcaster, who also runs a website, Prager University, featuring short “instructional” videos. For some reason I don’t understand, he manages to lure some big names to do those videos, including George Will and (as I recall) Ayaan Hirsi Ali. I suspect the $ are a lure. The videos are conservative, pro-captialism, pro-religion (so long as it’s not Islam), and pro-free-market. I avoid the site.

Last Tuesday, Prager jumped the shark, publishing on his website a screed called “How is the Godless West Working Out?” As you might guess, he thinks it isn’t; in fact, he thinks that godlessness will doom us to perdition.  Prager’s screed sounds for all the world like the ravings of Pat Robertson. If you were attracted to Prager University before, have a look at these excerpts:

The West has been in moral decline since World War I, the calamity that led to World War II and the death of national identity and Christianity in most of Europe.

There has always been one exception: the United States. But now that is ending. The seeds of America’s decline have been sown since the beginning of the 20th century, and they came to fruition with the post-World War II generation, the baby boomers.

Radical and aggressive secularism and atheism have replaced religion in virtually every school and throughout American public life.

. . . The prices that we Americans and Europeans are paying for creating the first godless societies in recorded history amount to civilizational suicide. Boys and girls are not to be referred to as boys and girls; Western elites dismiss national identity as protofascism; the belief that moral truth exists has been destroyed and replaced by feelings and opinions; fewer people are marrying; and more people live alone than at any time in American history.

Seriously? Civilizational suicide? I’d suggest Prager, a practicing Jew, read Steve Pinker’s The Better Angels of our Nature, which makes a pretty strong case that hand-in-hand with the rise of secularism—and probably partly because of secularism—Western society is getting better.

And the man is obsessed with sexuality:

Western European countries have become empty, soulless places. They are pretty and appear materially secure (for now), but they stand for almost nothing (except “multiculturalism” and “tolerance”). They have replaced a Jewish population that overwhelmingly wanted to assimilate with a Muslim population that does not want to. And nearly all European countries are headed to Greece-like insolvency as fewer and fewer workers pay enough in taxes to support those who collect welfare, and as tensions with their Muslim inhabitants increase.

But the good news is that now, beginning with Italy and New York, citizens can watch each other masturbate or urinate in public.

There is no way to prove that God exists. But what is provable is what happens when societies stop believing in God: They commit suicide.

dennis-2_in_studio_p_bicknell

Prager

98 Comments

  1. Posted September 19, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Never been to Scandinavia, eh Dennis?

    • Flemur
      Posted September 19, 2016 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      If things continue as they are now, Scandinavia will either have some serious almost-civil-wars, or disappear/turn into something else.

      But that’s because of misguided liberalism (“toxic altruism”), not atheism. Japan is more atheist than Scandinavia countries and doesn’t have the same problem.

      Numbers

      • Torbjörn Larsson
        Posted September 19, 2016 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        Oy. I didn’t even go there, since the link name suggests:

        1) Sweden has a high rape frequency
        2) Muslims cause it.

        Both fantastically wrong of course, since:
        1) It is believed rape reporting has increased due to a less misogynistic society and does not reflect a change in actual rape frequency.

        ” However, police procedures and legal definitions vary widely across countries, which makes it difficult to compare rape statistics.[8][9][10][11] For example, Sweden reformed its sex crime legislation and made the legal definition of rape much wider in 2005,[3][4][8][12] which largely explains a significant increase in the number of reported rapes in the ten-year period of 2004-2013.[13][14]”

        [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_in_Sweden ]

        2) Muslims are no more or less criminal than other groups.

        “The authors furthermore found “that culture is unlikely to be a strong cause of crime among immigrants”.[21]”

        [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_and_crime#Sweden ]

        Multiculturismophobia!?

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted September 19, 2016 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

          NZ has just introduced some new policies and other measures to protect those in violent relationships (usually women). When asked what a success indicator would be the Minister responded it would be to see an INCREASE in reporting of intimate partner violence. Most in violent relationships don’t report it even in countries where levels of sexism are low.

        • Flemur
          Posted September 19, 2016 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

          2) 2) Muslims are no more or less criminal than other groups.

          Your link:
          “The report found that male immigrants were four times more likely to be investigated for lethal violence and robbery than ethnic Swedes.

          In addition, male immigrants were three times more likely to be investigated for violent assault, and five times more likely to be investigated for sex crimes.[83]

          Immigrants from Africa and Southern and Western Asian were more likely to be charged of a crime than individuals born to two Swedish parents by a factor of 4.5 and 3.5 respectively.

          … there was “little difference” in the statistics for those suspected of crimes and those actually convicted.

          A 1996 report by the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention determined that between 1985 and 1989 individuals born in Iraq, North Africa (Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia),Africa (excluding Uganda and the North African countries), other Middle East (Jordan, Palestine, Syria), Iran and Eastern Europe (Romania, Bulgaria) were convicted of rape at rates 20, 23, 17, 9, 10 and 18 greater than individuals born in Sweden respectively.[87] Both the 1996 and 2005 reports have been criticized for using insufficient controls for socioeconomic factors.[21]”

          “Socioeconomic factors” = feeble excuse.

          “The authors furthermore found “that culture is unlikely to be a strong cause of crime among immigrants”.[21]”

          So what caused the high crime rate among Middle Eastern immigrants (mulsims)? Genetics?

        • Flemur
          Posted September 19, 2016 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

          Multiculturismophobia!?

          Silly word for a silly idea.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted September 19, 2016 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      He’s probably one of those – what is the proportion? – 70% of USians who don’t have a passport.

    • Posted September 19, 2016 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      I suspect that this guy, if he ever went to Scandinavia, would look at the clean cities, healthy and happy people, lack of guns, first class education and healthcare… and think “ugh what a shithole”.

  2. darrelle
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    A nasty piece of work there. When I come across something like this my curiosity is piqued. Is Prager delusional, does he really believe that shit? Or is he really that cynically dishonest?

    • Kevin
      Posted September 19, 2016 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      He’s blindfolded plus everything else you surmise.

    • Posted September 19, 2016 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      I suspect Prager has an authoritarian interface to living:
      “There are various different related concepts to that of authoritarianism. These include conservatism, dogmatism, and ethnocentrism. Some focus on thinking style, others on prejudice. Most argue that this “attitudinal syndrome” rather than a personality trait, occurs for both genetic/heredity and environmental factors. At the core of the theories is the idea of a generalized susceptibility to experience anxiety and threat when confronted by ambiguity or uncertainty…Therefore to avoid uncertainty authoritarians dislike anything or anybody that advocates complexity, innovation, novelty, risk or change… They obey the rules norms, conventions and more importantly insist others do too.
      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sideways-view/201502/the-mind-the-authoritarian

      People like Prager bore me to death while people like me disgust and disturb him. Peter Hitchens and Prager blame the sixties for everything, the little anxious ninnies. 🙂

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted September 19, 2016 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        while people like me disgust and disturb him

        I’d count that as a positive result.

  3. Mike Cracraft
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    When I saw his picture I thought “Is that Rush” ? Anyway, you don’t have to be in any “elite” to recognize the stench of fascism
    that’s breeding in America (and in Europe).

  4. Carey Haug
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Radical and aggressive secularism and atheism have replaced religion in virtually every school and throughout American public life.

    From my perspective, this is wishful thinking.

  5. Randall Schenck
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    His rantings sound like the typical religious right going on about how they have lost their religious freedom. In other words, they have been told they can no longer force it down the public’s throat in public school or through government paid for programs and other unconstitutional methods. Most of his nonsense is to get ratings or, just like Trump, to get votes. The more obnoxious you can be, the more popular you are. That seems to work in America today.

    • darrelle
      Posted September 19, 2016 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      RE your last two sentences, the bestselling author Ann Coulter has a new book out.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted September 19, 2016 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        A new book, or the same words and paragraphs, just arranged under different chapter headings and given a new dust jacket.
        What one really needs to do (and fortunately, this can be mostly automated), is to look for common patterns of spelling and grammar mistakes between two such books.
        Why write something new, if you can sell something old but in new wrapping?

        • rickflick
          Posted September 20, 2016 at 7:24 am | Permalink

          Besides being useful as a door stop, the “new” book will give Prager and Fox, etc. an excuse to have her spit more venom into a microphone. You have to admit, her rants make for compelling programming (especially for herpetologists).

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted September 19, 2016 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        Just the idea of “bestselling” and “author” in the same sentence with Ann Coulter gives me a headache.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 19, 2016 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        I hear Ann’s a big hit now on the comedy roast circuit. (NSFW)

        • HaggisForBrains
          Posted September 21, 2016 at 11:28 am | Permalink

          Wow! That was intense. And it wasn’t even her roast.

  6. GodlessMarkets
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    This paragon of virtue and traditional values has been married three times.

    The sad thing is I genuinely think some of what he is saying is correct: there is much group think going on at universities, and it would be good to promote more ideological diversity on campus.

    • Leigh
      Posted September 19, 2016 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      In reply to Godless Markets:

      I do not have data – I’m repeating what one of my Political Science profs said – majority of college professors register as Republicans and tend to be conservative.

      If anyone does have data, please share. I think the idea of Universities as hotbeds of liberalism is as much a myth as is the liberal bias of the media.

      • Posted September 19, 2016 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

        I do not have data, but taught in universities for 40 years. The humanities faculties, in my humble experience, tend toward a kind of conservatism because they study and highly value past accomplishments of civilized (don’t say, “educated”!) people. Does Prager really think six Million christian died the the Nazi death camps? And before that xtians were not as a whole guilty of killing disputants?! BTW, obsession w sexuality is fine; I’m stricken w it myself.

      • Carl
        Posted September 19, 2016 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

        I find the comments by Leigh and georgewolff shockingly uninformed. Jonathan Haidt is a liberal so disturbed by the ideological monoculture in universities that he has helped found Heterodox Academy to pull back from the brink. This is the web site:
        http://heterodoxacademy.org/
        Plenty of data here.

      • somer
        Posted September 20, 2016 at 9:46 am | Permalink

        I found some data that suggests the humanities disciplines are left leaning, particularly but not limited to the following:
        Is there a liberal bias among American Professors
        https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/homo-consumericus/201202/is-there-liberal-bias-among-american-professors
        Marxist professors or sensitive students
        http://www.latimes.com/opinion/la-op-shermer-lukianoff14apr14-story.html

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted September 20, 2016 at 2:15 am | Permalink

      “This paragon of virtue and traditional values has been married three times.”

      Well that makes him three times as virtuous as me ‘cos I’ve only done it once. 😉

      cr

      • gluonspring
        Posted September 21, 2016 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        Yeah, me too. Twenty five years. I almost choke on the irony every time my thrice-married mother passes along to me some conservative meme about liberal assaults on the family. Seriously, mom, you’re saying this to me?

        Maybe they are just blaming society for their own failure to live up to their claimed moral standards? Sure, I’ve been divorced three times, but someone should have stopped me!

  7. Borscht Gawp
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Atheists blame all American ills on regressive leftism

    • Posted September 19, 2016 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      You are completely clueless, aren’t you? Have you even read this site to see people calling out Republicans and especially religion for “American ills”? Go peddle your ignorance elsewhere.

  8. Mike Anderson
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Misinformation has been Prager’s lifework. Just fact-free spew to help his mindless audience rationalize their religion, hatred, and nostalgia for a past that never was. A superb example of living a life unencumbered by evidence.

    • Posted September 19, 2016 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      Trump! 🙂

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted September 19, 2016 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        We’re going to need an answer – one way or another – by November the Whatever to the question of “What trumps Trump?”

  9. eric
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    They have replaced a Jewish population that overwhelmingly wanted to assimilate with a Muslim population that does not want to.

    Is this a side reference to Hitler or is he saying that Jews have been kicked out of western Europe more recently? If its a Hitler reference, its really kind of bad pool to imply that places like France and Holland and everywhere else west of the Rhine chose to “replace” their Jewish populations. They most certainly didn’t choose that.

    If its not a Hitler reference, I have no idea what his “replaced” comment is really talking about. Letting in person A is not “replacing” B if B stays in your country.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted September 20, 2016 at 2:28 am | Permalink

      I’m puzzled by that too.

      If the Jewish population ‘overwhelmingly wanted to assimilate’ then why are there still Jews? They had many centuries to do it. Hitler would have had to find some other scapegoat. Many may have done so, but it seems fairly obvious that very large numbers didn’t. So that ‘overwhelmingly’ is just not so.

      I think that sentence is just ‘not even wrong’.

      cr

      • somer
        Posted September 20, 2016 at 3:24 am | Permalink

        Jews were involved in the Enlightenment and the overwhelming majority are culturally modern – they practise “reform” Judaism or else watered down orthodoxy -…. they have moderated religion. Obviously Prager is inadvertently arguing for secularism

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted September 20, 2016 at 4:01 am | Permalink

          Apparently so.

          I guess my quibble is that if they had ‘overwhelmingly’ wanted to assimilate they would have done so by now and disappeared from sight, just as, say, the Britons or Norsemen have. ‘Jewish ancestry’ would be no more remarkable or identifiable than ancient British ancestry is in England – only detectable by genealogy.

          Possibly the fact of their religion helped keep them separate. Possibly, without that, assimilation would have happened gradually anyway whether they actively wanted to or not.

          But the fact that there are a lot of Jews still around suggests to me that many *didn’t* actively want to assimilate, and therefore Prager is talking nonsense.

          cr

          • somer
            Posted September 20, 2016 at 8:16 am | Permalink

            True, but even in the first half of the 20th century in Europe most did not actively identify with non western and specifically medieval or pre medieval culture. Most Jews today see themselves as part of western culture or at least liberal humanist values. Can that be said of most other faiths, but particularly Islam?

            • infiniteimprobabilit
              Posted September 20, 2016 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

              Certainly most Jews (I think, sweeping generalisation again) were content to exist as part of the surrounding society, while keeping their original Jewish identity.

              To me, that falls short of ‘assimilation’, but I don’t want to get into dictionary definitions.

              So far as I’m aware most Judaism (unlike most others) does not seek to convert anybody else, which IMO is a big plus mark.

              cr

        • gluonspring
          Posted September 21, 2016 at 11:22 am | Permalink

          “they have moderated religion. Obviously Prager is inadvertently arguing for secularism”

          Indeed they have. Why, it’s been years since I’ve seen either an animal sacrifice or a good stoning outside the city gates.

          It’s comical, actually, that the society that Prager admires, some pre-WWI fantasy, had already completely rejected the overt tenants of his religion long before the war.

    • Posted September 20, 2016 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      In recent years, strings of attacks by violent Islamists against Jews have made some Jews emigrate from France and other European countries. Maybe he is referring to this.

  10. Mark R.
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Radical and aggressive secularism and atheism have replaced religion in virtually every school and throughout American public life.

    If only it were true, that would be very cool.

    And what the hell is wrong with this?

    …fewer people are marrying; and more people live alone than at any time in American history.

    OH NO!!! The atheists are making people live alone…the atheists are stopping people from getting married. NOOOOOO!!!

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted September 19, 2016 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      …the atheists are stopping people from getting married.

      I personally spent 2 hours this morning on duty outside the local church with a pick-axe handle, patrolling to prevent god-fearing Christians from getting inside the church to marry.
      Then it started persisting with rain and I realised that the church had been closed for several years due to insufficient believers. Cunning Christians, feigning disbelief to throw us EvilAtheists™ off the trail of preventing them from getting married. Next thing you know, they’ll cotton onto our dosing of the water supply with “chemicals” to interfere with their precious bodily fluids.

      • Mark R.
        Posted September 20, 2016 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        !!!

  11. Posted September 19, 2016 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    The West has been in moral decline since World War I, the calamity that led to World War II and the death of national identity and Christianity in most of Europe.

    So that means moral standards were higher in the West before World War I? He must be content with the idea that women and black people weren’t allowed to vote, LGBT people were persecuted, death penalty used to be a thing in most of the Western countries and devout Christians from Europe were trampling, exploiting, starving and murdering people of most of the global South, whom they considered inferior to themselves. Or, it could be that he doesn’t care because those things have nothing to do with the demographic that he represents.

    Also, I note that he conflates secularism with “godlessness” in order to demonize the former. Secularism has got little to do with “godlessness” and more to do with acceptance of reality, i.e, that there are multiple belief systems which people have, and everyone must be allowed to have their own personal beliefs, so long as they don’t seek to influence policies in reality. You may believe in a certain kind of god, but that doesn’t mean you should teach children that your god both creates diseases and cures them if they are prayed to. That is lying, and potentially dangerous.

    There is no way to prove that God exists. But what is provable is what happens when societies stop believing in God: They commit suicide.

    I don’t know what Prager thinks about Saudi Arabia or Brunei, which have always been “believing in God”, since he loves knocking Islam every now and then.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 19, 2016 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      Thinking (may I call you by your first participle?) —

      Until War One, most of the first world consisted of empires (Austro-Hungarian, British, French, Russian, Ottoman) and most of the rest of the world consisted of their colonies.

      Or, as Dennis Prager likes to think of it, the “natural order of things.”

      • somer
        Posted September 20, 2016 at 3:27 am | Permalink

        and by my reading of William Keylor – The Twentieth Century World and Beyond – the struggle for supremacy of empire amongst the European powers was what motivated world war 1 (and II)

      • Posted September 20, 2016 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        I wouldn’t put the last two empires into the First World by any criterion.

    • Posted September 20, 2016 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      “I don’t know what Prager thinks about Saudi Arabia or Brunei, which have always been “believing in God”…”

      I think they are nowhere near suicide. Actually, I agree with one blogger who thinks that the world is slowly but surely turning into a province of Saudi Arabia.

      • Posted September 22, 2016 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

        Actually, I agree with one blogger who thinks that the world is slowly but surely turning into a province of Saudi Arabia.

        Could you explain why you think so?

        And just to be clear, I was only making a reference to Prager’s antagonism towards Islam in relation to his assertion that “godless societies commit suicide”, rather than implying that these two societies were on the verge of committing suicide.

        • Posted September 22, 2016 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

          I mean that the extreme Saudi version of Islam is spreading all over the Sunni Muslim world, partly with the help of Saudi money, and individuals brainwashed by it are allowed to immigrate to Western countries and then empowered by the host country giving in to their every whim.
          After each Islamist terror act, Western media flood their audience with stories about how these events harm Muslims by making Islam look bad, and how non-Muslims should be more supportive of Muslims.
          I remember how, in the immediate aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, Duke University wanted to introduce Islamic calls for prayer on campus.
          Now, after the latest bombings and attempted bombings in New York and New Jersey, Hillary Clinton – who supports large-scale Muslim immigration – reportedly blamed them on Trump by saying that his statements drive Muslims to terror.
          The extreme version of Shia Islam that plagues Iran is not significantly better, but is generally confined within the Middle East.

          • Posted September 24, 2016 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

            I understand that in certain cases there is “Islam is peace” kind of appeasement, especially in the immediate wake of Islamist terror attacks, and I certainly find that kind of unnecessary (in certain situations necessary, of course, but ineffective in any case) reassurance to be more offensive towards Muslims, but I am not sure I follow all your points. Specifically:

            1> From what I remember about the Duke University incident, and CNN agrees, that it was already a custom to allow Islamic prayers, or “adhan” on campus. It’s just that the original decision to allow Muslims to pray from the chapel bell tower was reversed, allegedly following threats from certain unknown groups. Although it seemed like unnecessary overcompensation, I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. However, you assert that it was after the mass murder at Charlie Hebdo that the initiative to allow Islamic prayers was taken by the administration. There seems to be a discrepancy.

            2> I wonder what you mean by “large-scale” here. I do remember that Clinton planned on taking in more (than the 10,000 at present) Syrian refugees. Could you link me to a resource showing she supported “large-scale” Muslim immigration to the US?

            3> Last but not the least, I am curiously unaware of the this global Wahhabization (“brainwashing” in your words) of Sunni Muslims and their subsequent colonization of the West, that you talk about. Would you mind providing evidence for the same?

            • Posted September 24, 2016 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

              1) The CNN source is too obfuscated to me (a foreign speaker of English) to make any sense of it. I’ll suggest another source, a Jan. 23, 1915 Guardian report:
              https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/23/muslim-call-to-prayer-duke-university-highlights-divisions-solidarity

              “On Wednesday, Duke Chapel staff announced that it had invited the university’s Muslim community to recite the call to prayer from the bell tower on Fridays, a plan that had been in the works since last semester. But after mounting discord both inside and outside the Duke community, and reports of threats, the recitation was moved to the front steps of the chapel… The call to prayer, or Adhan, is a short verse recited to summon Muslims to mosque, typically amplified with a microphone from the minaret, or tower, atop a mosque. It is normally said five times per day, but at Duke it would have been only once a week, on Fridays.
              It is thought that the Adhan has never before been broadcast on a non-Muslim US college campus, though Emory University had a recitation of it during its 2010 Islam Awareness month. You might hear a call to prayer at Zaytuna College, the first Muslim liberal arts college in the US…
              Muslim students have been allowed to pray in the chapel’s basement for roughly twenty years, reciting the call to prayer informally in the basement before Friday prayers began. A bell tower Adhan would have been a new step for the Muslim community, and for Duke…
              But after the plan to broadcast the Adhan was announced publicly last Tuesday, there was an almost immediate backlash.

              Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham, arguably North Carolina’s most influential pastor, was a chief driver of it, writing a Facebook post denouncing the chapel’s decision and calling on donors to “withhold their support from Duke until this policy is reversed”.
              After that, the controversy escalated quickly and dramatically enough that the Center for Muslim Life soon received threatening phone calls, enough to frighten the students…”

              “Adhan” is the call to prayer, not the prayer itself. The article is from Jan. 23, Friday. Duke University administration claims to have had planned to announce the call to prayer for months, but the fact is that they announced it “last Tuesday”, which I interpret as either Jan. 20 or Jan. 13. In either case, it is the immediate aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attack that took place on Jan. 7. So those who said that the university administration decided to appease Muslims “before the blood in Paris was wiped out” are exaggerating, but not much.
              Also, please note that there were claims of threats, but the only recorded and proven threat was Graham’s threat to hit them in the pocket.

              • Posted September 24, 2016 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

                It is thought that the Adhan has never before been broadcast on a non-Muslim US college campus, though Emory University had a recitation of it during its 2010 Islam Awareness month.

                “Never before been broadcast on campus.” But they certainly “have been allowed to pray in the chapel’s basement for roughly twenty years, reciting the call to prayer informally in the basement before Friday prayers began.” So they were allowed to congregate for prayers inside the campus, just not broadcast them. This, in essence, pretty much corroborates what CNN reported, it’s just that the Guardian provided more of a background. As for the threats, since there was nothing conclusive, and no one was ever held responsible, I would rather ignore that claim.

            • Posted September 24, 2016 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

              2) Of course, 10,000 Syrian refugees is not much. Actually, compared with the magnitude of the humanitarian disaster, I think the main purpose of their acceptance is to make the average American feel good about himself at an acceptable price. I meant the overall immigration. Let me cite a source that is not right-wing:

              https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/12/22/the-claim-that-muslim-immigration-has-doubled-since-911/

              It is a rebuttal of a statement by Rick Santorum, but actually substantiates this statement. It contains a figure showing that after 2001, the annual number of green cards issued to Pakistanis has been 15,000, to Egyptians almost 8,000 etc. The conclusion:

              “Overall, these Muslim-majority countries had an average increase in green card recipients of 55 percent, compared with 30 percent for all countries. That’s an increase, but it’s not a doubling of the rate.”

              An even clearer assessment of the magnitude of Muslim immigration to the USA is in the Guardian article cited in my previous reply, giving a link to a US government source:

              “At least 65% of American Muslims are first-generation immigrants…”

              I characterize this as “large-scale”, comparable to the immigration that changed the demography of Western Europe; and Clinton does not intend to reverse it.

              • Posted September 24, 2016 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

                Thank you.

                In the article you linked, there are several caveats that are noteworthy:

                “The Conservative Review article, written by Daniel Horowitz, focused on the number of green cards (legal permanent residence) issued to people from predominantly Muslim countries from 2001 to 2013 — approximately 1.6 million. The article noted that this is an imperfect measure because the immigration service does not track the religion of people who receive green cards, so there may be religious minorities from those countries who make up a large chunk of the immigrants (one example: Coptic Christians fleeing Egypt). Counting green cards is also imperfect because not all of those people end up staying permanently in the United States. A Department of Homeland Security report found that of 25 million people who obtained LPR status between 1980 and 2009, about 11 million became citizens and 3 million returned home or passed away; 11 million had retained their status but had not naturalized.”

                Immigration of people to the United States is a reality and has been for a few decades now. The reasons vary. There are people who emigrate for the purpose of education and/or work, others because of political unrest and violence in their home countries, still others because they simply want to settle in the United States (necessarily wealthy people from the so-called “Third World” and a very small minority, of course). As you can see, in the case of Indonesia, which is the largest Muslim majority country in the world, the immigration rate has doubled. Since it is a pretty stable country politically, it is likely that most Indonesian immigrants come for higher education or work. There is little evidence of Wahhabi Islam having much currency there (if you have evidence to the contrary, please do share it). Those from Iraq and Somalia -two other countries which have seen doubling in emigration to the US- are most likely fleeing political unrest and persecution from Sunni extremists. So the reasons for emigration vary. To treat them as a homogeneous entity just because they are all Muslim is in itself a mistake. Again, I am afraid no evidence has been provided that these Muslim immigrants have been Wahhabized and “brainwashed” en masse.

                At least 65% of American Muslims are first-generation immigrants.

                This doesn’t come across as a surprise to me at all, given that immigration of Muslims to the US has seen a significant rise only in the past three decades, due to changes in political realities in the Muslim world during that period.

                Another thing to consider, in my view, is that Islam is the second most popular -and by some distance- religion in the world after Christianity. That basically means that the majority of people in the developing world are of Muslim faith. Is it very unlikely, then, that the majority of all immigrants to the US tend to be Muslim? Just wondering.

              • Posted September 25, 2016 at 1:41 am | Permalink

                Of course, not everyone could and should be painted with the same brush. Some of the immigrants indeed may have no Muslim background at all, and others may be apostates (I know numerous examples). But it is not a deliberate policy of the USA (or any other country) to actively select such immigrants. Along with them, a lot of Muslims with conservative views come. Some of them change their views, and the children of others grow with different views. But this integration is not reliable. And I expect it to weaken progressively as Muslim immigration increases, because more and more immigrants (old and new) will think that the host country will fall prey to Islam; and no matter whether they like or hate this possibility, they will take care to survive.

                “Immigration of Muslims to the US has seen a significant rise only in the past three decades, due to changes in political realities in the Muslim world during that period. ”
                This is interesting; what do you mean? Were there restrictions to emigration in the Muslim world, as in the Soviet bloc?

              • Posted September 25, 2016 at 5:41 am | Permalink

                “…The majority of people in the developing world are of Muslim faith. Is it very unlikely, then, that the majority of all immigrants to the US tend to be Muslim?”

                To me, this is an interesting insight into American public opinion. (I suppose you are an American, or at least know the country very well.) I infer that modern Americans want to accept immigrants in representative quotas from different nations of the world. Apparently, they think either that this is in the best interest of the USA, or that it is the right thing to do even if it isn’t in their best interest.

            • Posted September 25, 2016 at 1:31 am | Permalink

              3) From the Wikipedia page of Wahhabism:

              “A study conducted by the NGO Freedom House found Wahhabi publications in mosques in the United States. These publications included statements that Muslims should not only “always oppose” infidels “in every way”, but “hate them for their religion … for Allah’s sake”, that democracy “is responsible for all the horrible wars… the number of wars it started in the 20th century alone is more than 130 wars,” and that Shia and certain Sunni Muslims were infidels.[354][355] In a response to the report, the Saudi government stated, “[It has] worked diligently during the last five years to overhaul its education system” but “[o]verhauling an educational system is a massive undertaking.”[356]…
              There has been much concern, expressed in both American and European media and scholarship, over the fact that Wahhabi countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been financing mosques and buying up land all over Europe. Belgium, Ireland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Italy have all noted the growing influence that these Wahhabi countries have over territory and religion in Europe.”

              • Posted September 26, 2016 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

                Thanks for your reply.

                Just a minor quibble. From the Wikipedia page on Freedom House:

                The Financial Times has reported that Freedom House is one of several organizations selected by the State Department to receive funding for ‘clandestine activities’ inside Iran. In a research study, Freedom House sets out its conclusions: “Far more often than is generally understood, the change agent is broad-based, non-violent civic resistance – which employs tactics such as boycotts, mass protests, blockades, strikes and civil disobedience to de-legitimate authoritarian rulers and erode their sources of support, including the loyalty of their armed defenders.”

                It would be nice if the same observations and concerns regarding insidious Wahhabi colonization of the West were corroborated by independent, unbiased sources. Of course, this doesn’t mean that their study is a fraudulent one, and by many accounts, such literature has been found in mosques and libraries at Islamic Centers in the US, and that is indeed reason for concern. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that all or even the majority of all those who emigrate to the States are Wahhabized extremists. Remember that the majority of (assumed) Muslim immigrants are from Pakistan, Somalia and Iraq, none of which are Wahhabi-majority nations. Iraq, by the way, is a Shia majority country, even though Shias are still the persecuted ones.

                In any case, like I pointed out before, there are immigrants to the US from many countries even outside of the Middle East (like Indonesia) who don’t subscribe to the Wahhabi ideology, so there doesn’t seem to be a wholesale Wahhabization, unless you have evidence for the same.

                Also, it’s interesting to note the sources for the second paragraph you quoted from the page. This one makes its agenda very clear, and seems to cling on to the conspiracy theory that Qatar is trying to buy Europe using petrodollars, and seems to quote from Politico out of context. The Politico article only mentions an embassy being built in Brussels, but some people seemed to be adamant in asserting (without any evidence) that it was a mosque because of its architecture. So because Qatar is a Wahhabi country, they reason that by building an impressive embassy on a relatively small plot that they bought (which is standard practice for embassies), they are trying to take control of Europe. Clearly this is absurd, especially in absence of any evidence to support the allegation.

                In reply to your other comments, I am speaking of the period starting from the Soviet-Afghan war and the so-called Islamic Revolution in Iran (where one dictatorship was replaced by another), when the ravages of war and civil unrest led to many more Muslims (and non-Muslims) being displaced than ever before. Many of these people started seeking refuge or migrating to the States and some EU countries, just as what happened during and following the Vietnam War, people fleeing Vietnam and Laos to seek refuge in the States. Then came the Gulf War, the unrest in Somalia etc. The Middle East, as you know, has been a tinderbox. And there are no signs of violence abating any time soon. Now we have refugees from Iraq and Syria coming to the States (much fewer than the deluge that Europe is having to deal with). There used to be violence in the Middle East before that as well, but was rather limited and mostly internal, except skirmishes involving Israel, perhaps. Emigration to the West from the so-called Muslim world was not nearly as much as it is now because the necessity was nowhere near the same. This only correlates with the immigration statistics you shared.

                As for the best interests of the US, that’s governmental and public policy, and not my area of expertise. I was only looking at history and trying to calibrate the alleged threat to the West from Muslim immigration. Apart from the legitimate concern that the odd indoctrinated and motivated Islamist might slip in past the vetting system, there isn’t any reason (meaning no evidence yet, just projection) to think either that most Muslims are Wahhabized and programmed to self-detonate in kaffir land, or that they are looking to “take over” the West.

                If there is any evidence that does show that, though, please do share.

              • Posted September 27, 2016 at 5:00 am | Permalink

                Please keep your comments shorter than this in the future; we want comments, not essays.

  12. Historian
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    “There is no way to prove that God exists. But what is provable is what happens when societies stop believing in God: They commit suicide.”

    What Prager is saying is that if God didn’t exist, we would have to invent him. In other words, without a celestial tyrant (real or imagined) the masses would run amok. Social control requires belief in a God. Of course, there is no evidence that societies commit suicide when they become more secular. At bottom, Prager’s argument is thoroughly elitist. Only the ruling elite in alliance with conservative religion stands in the way of a society degenerating into anarchy and chaos.

    • eric
      Posted September 19, 2016 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think he’s saying that. He’s making the pretty classic (at this point) “every honest atheist should be a nihilist” argument.

      Also known as the “I can’t fathom anyone caring about other people, since the only thing I care about is getting to live forever” argument.

    • colnago80
      Posted September 19, 2016 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      I seem to recall that Ben Franklin thought something along the same lines.

  13. Joe Dickinson
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    I push Pinker’s wonderful book at every opportunity. Many people are convinced that we live in an especially dangerous and violent time, quite contrary to the evidence that Pinker presents. I blame the medias addiction to 24/7 obsessing over the latest bad news and even the government, with things like security alert levels. It is counterproductive.

  14. mcirvin14
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    And Prager is clearly a poor judge of the reliability of information:

    http://www.snopes.com/guyfi-nyc-public-booths/

  15. Posted September 19, 2016 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    When you read that someone blames all of anything on anything, you know they are talking bollocks.

  16. Rageforthemachine
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Prager has an incredibly glaring habit of operating from the sweeping generalization. That’s why you will find precious little real data accompanying his screeds.

  17. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Like his fellow blowhard William Bennett, Dennis Prager has made a living out of preaching to the American public the virtue of … well, virtue. Nonetheless, notwithstanding the miles of sanctimony he has laid down lo these many years, Prager has now seen fit to endorse the Oompa Loompa candidate for president — that thrice-married, profanity-spewing, narcissistic grifter, Donald Trump. The Atlantic has a nice takedown of Prager and his bloated bullshit.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted September 19, 2016 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Kind of shows how much he really thinks of his own principles when they can all go under the bus just to avoid Hilary. It only proves these religious right radio rama twits live for the money.

      • gluonspring
        Posted September 21, 2016 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        I’m sure they like the money, but I think they really believe it too. They are just blind to their hypocrisy. Their moral failings have excuses, other people’s, not so much.

    • Posted September 19, 2016 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Excellent Atlantic piece. Thanks for posting the link.

    • colnago80
      Posted September 19, 2016 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      And an accused rapist by several women, including his first wife.

  18. Posted September 19, 2016 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    He looks rather like another loud mouthed religious preacher, Ian Paisley, who used rhetoric to keep the Irish (so called) troubles going.

    It always amazes me that the good christians manage to see all this fornication. I guess they just know where to look!

    I believe that the only way society in the west will survive is through humanitarian acts and by embracing all humanity (though possibly not those parts using guns and bombs to inflict their beliefs on everyone).

    I’ve never understood why, if religion is such a good idea, people constantly try to attract more like themselves. Could it be they don’t want to suffer on their own?

  19. mfdempsey1946
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    There is no use in debating a person like Dennis Prager. He is — to use a Catholic expression but giving it a slightly different meaning — invincibly ignorant.

  20. Christopher
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    I’v come across Prager’s wackadoodle videos on youtube as obnoxious ads. One was, as I recall, about how Obama Care is the most selfish thing ever created in the history of humanity, that college students cheered it because they are so lazy and selfish, and that led to children moving back in with their parents because they are so selfish and lazy, thus proving that this new socialist society we have created since 2008 is destroying ‘merica.

  21. Posted September 19, 2016 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Prager is a deontological robot programmed with a self-righteous valence of paternal condescension. He’s another version of Colonel Frank Fitts.

  22. goodbadand
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

  23. Mark Joseph
    Posted September 19, 2016 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    But the good news is that now, beginning with Italy and New York, citizens can watch each other masturbate or urinate in public.

    OK, let’s say that’s true (I’ve never heard that, but Prager probably knows better what’s going on than I do). On the other hand, citizens are no longer allowed to lynch blacks, or dump their factory waste into the rivers.

    Your move, Mr. Prager.

    • darrelle
      Posted September 20, 2016 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Hmmm. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to find that Prager feels that your examples are negatives, not positives.

  24. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 2:39 am | Permalink

    Prager University

    Is that anything like Trump University?

    cr

  25. Posted September 20, 2016 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    “They have replaced a Jewish population that overwhelmingly wanted to assimilate with a Muslim population that does not want to.”

    I do wonder, Mr. Prager, how has this “replacement” occurred?

  26. eedwardgrey69
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    “The seeds of America’s decline have been sown since the beginning of the 20th century”
    Is all began going downhill when the women started to want to vote and the blacks wanted to drink from white water fountains.

  27. Max
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    How’s the god-full Middle East working out?

  28. cheyneyr
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Regarding Ayaan Hirsi Ali, I can’t help but wonder if she has a difficult time finding a ‘liberal’ platform for her story and views as they may consider her an Islamophobe for her apostasy and for daring to speak out about what she has endured.

    • darrelle
      Posted September 20, 2016 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      That is indeed the case.

  29. Sabrina Hunter
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    The book of Romans pretty much explains the nature of this man: start with Romans 1:18-32 then 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. 2 Thessalonians 1, 2 & 3. 1 Timothy 1:3-7. 2 Timothy 2:14-17, 3:1-9. Titus 1:10-16. 1 John 18-26. 2 John v7-11. Jude v4 & v16. Revelation 2:9.

    • gluonspring
      Posted September 21, 2016 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      That’s a lot of material… give us a clue what you are on about.

    • rickflick
      Posted September 21, 2016 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      The whole long series of Superman comics pretty much explains the nature of this man.

  30. Posted September 20, 2016 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    *All* ills on one source? Even a cartoon hero-and-villain story doesn’t do *that* all the time.

  31. johzek
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Let me translate; “radical and aggressive secularism” simply means secularism, period, and not “do your Christian thing as we pretend not to notice”.

  32. Filippo
    Posted September 20, 2016 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    ” . . . Prager, a practicing Jew . . . .”

    If so, it won’t do for him to much advocate or even mention Christianity, eh? If one is not Christian, is one not bound – according to Christianity – for the everlasting Lake of Fire, eternal punishment? I wonder if the occasional Good Christian “witnesses” to him.

    • gluonspring
      Posted September 21, 2016 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Depends on who you ask (of course, because God, for all his swell abilities, can’t write clear instructions). Some Christian groups hold that the Jews are a special case since they have an explicit covenant with God. My gut feeling is that this is a view that grew greatly since the 1970-1980’s, when all the social conservatives fished around for allies against the common liberal enemy, but I think it’s pretty common now among many evangelical groups.

      • gluonspring
        Posted September 21, 2016 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        It is, nonetheless, odd that Prager is here championing a religion that he regards as false.

    • Posted September 21, 2016 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Maybe he’s a member of that oxymoronically sounding group, Jews for Jesus? 😉

  33. Posted October 25, 2016 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Memory of the Star and commented:
    An interesting post. I need to get to posts about atheism eventually. I have one hell of a story to tell!


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