Bear Growls: Pamela Geller

Monday, May 11, AD 2015



Saint Corbinian’s Bear is bemused about the hysteria regarding Geller’s Draw Mohammed contest:

See the picture above. Does anything strike you as odd? Muslims attack us, and we are the ones who have to be reminded to be nice? This is a standard tactic: play the victim card. Close down discussion. You don’t want to be a hater, do you?

The condemnation of Pamela Geller’s free speech exercise in Garland, Texas by L’Osservatore Romano was unintentionally hilarious, as were thousands across the globe. They might as well have said that Muslims are mad dogs who can’t control themselves when something (Muhammad drawing, accidental Quran burning, the historical fact of First Crusade, Friday) triggers their irresistible urge to kill. Because in their warnings not to do anything that might offend our delicate Muslim cousins, they not only damn free speech, but could not be more condescending to the very people they’re trying to protect. They’re like Bear Safety Tips.

The Bear would not be the first to draw a comparison to someone blaming rape on the way women dress. “Geller had it coming.” Oh, come to think of it, the last person the Bear remembers doing that was Chief Australian Muslim cleric Taj al-Din al-Hilawi in 2006.

Sheik Hilawi was quoted as saying: “If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the back yard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it… whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat? The uncovered meat is the problem.” Yep, ladies, better keep that cat-meat covered!

Pope Francis, who never saw a religion he didn’t like — except some elements of Catholicism — has said you cannot make fun of another religion.

Drawing a picture of a supposedly historical figure is not making fun of any religion. Giving some group advance veto power over speech is the end of free speech in principle.

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23 Responses to Bear Growls: Pamela Geller

  • Homer, Iliad, Book XXI, “Striong hatred defender of peoples.”

  • So we had a high school girls tennis tournament this past Friday; the weather was fairly hot and humid, and the concrete courts in the full sun, well, they were at least 10F hotter. Still, it wasn’t that bad in standard high school tennis attire, and any teen age girl who plays tennis regularly should have been able to handle it well.
    Most of them anyway. One (two?) the the teams had a number of girls who were dressed head-to-toe in headscarves, large shades, long athletic type pants, jackets even. One of the coaches had to come into the building to grab a Ziploc-ed bag of ice that was to be placed on the head of one of the girls with a headscarf so she wouldn’t get heat stroke.
    I shook my head. He shook his head. Neither of us could say anything.

  • DJ Hesselius.

    Thank goodness their not on the dive team. Headscarves could cause serious injury when entering the pool from the high dive.

    All kidding aside, the girls may want to switch disciplines. Just a thought.

  • As a matter of good manners I am normally opposed to offending the religious sensibilities of anyone.

    A much neglected aspect of good manners is knowing when you should be rude, to keep someone from spiraling ever-ruder. Not usually taught to children and avoided by the adult but hot-headed because it’s a temptation to justify bad impulses by it, but it does exist.
    Not sure about other folks, but “do something you know some modern sects will find offensive in response to death threats and previous murders on suspicion” is a rather grossly exaggerated example of a minor rudeness to let someone know they are being rude.
    I must wonder– what do these folks think the extremists do to their neighbors who share 99.9% of their religious positions, but not that additional one?
    For that matter, do they realize that the sects that think Mohammad should never be shown got more popular because they killed those who disagreed? (There are historical pictures of Mohammad, a search will bring them up.)

  • I am not personally brave. I admire those who do step up to right wrongs even despite mortal danger. Sometimes, besides not being brave, I also am held back from action because I have to really think things over…and over.. (Like when I first read Geo Weigel about pre-emptive strike) Maybe I am one of today’s nabobs, disabled by what-ifs and what-abouts. Anyway, God bless Pamela Geller.

  • The poster is right – Jesus’ message is love and faith, not fear and hate.

    Fear and hate is Mohammed’s message.

  • Ironic, that one of the ads on this thread is for a Muslim marriage site.

  • The ads are google generated cmatt and vary by the computer used to access the site. I normally get a bunch of book and yarn ads.

  • I admire Geller’s courage, but her tactics are not admirable. Gratuitously insulting other faiths is simply wrong. The vast majority of Muslims are not jihadists, and Geller’s stunt wounded them just as the gratuitous molestation of a consecrated host wounds us. Of course, such acts, whoever reprehensible, cannot justify a violent response. And it would be imprudent beyond measure to try to criminalize such infantile behavior. Geller was within her legal rights and deserves the protection of the law. She is still a jerk.

  • Philip: I agree, they shouldn’t be playing tennis if they aren’t wearing the right gear, but alas, not my call. And no, one does not need to wear revealing Lululemon to play tennis well. Most tennis uniforms I’ve seen are pretty basic and not skanky. More “conservative” districts can always find 14 inch skirts, or skirts with capris, and a looser fitting dry-fit top. It isn’t that hard nor that expensive.
    I’m not even sure it is the coach’s call on who plays and what they wear. (They were out of town folk.) If the girl can swing a racket and hit the ball, it is my impression she is on at least the JV team no matter what she is wearing and might hit heat stroke.

  • Mike, The First Amendment is operative.
    Someone needs to tell those people that Almighty God doesn’t need them to punsih blasphemers.

    Not sure she is a jerk. I think she’s “diablical.” Maybe Ms. Geller set a trap and tallied a body count. It could have gone differently.

  • T,
    Of course the 1st Amendment is operative. So what? All kinds of odious conduct is protected by the 1st Amendment, and that is as it should be, just as the violent response is unprotected andunlawful as it should be. But none of that rescues her behavior from its odious nature.

  • gratuitous
    [gruh-too-i-tuh s, -tyoo-]
    Spell Syllables
    Synonyms Examples Word Origin
    1. given, done, bestowed, or obtained without charge or payment; free; voluntary.
    2. being without apparent reason, cause, or justification:
    a gratuitous insult.

    Would you like to make the case that “do not make an image of Mohammad, or we will kill you” is without reason, cause or justification in people responding negatively, or are you sticking with blaming those who do not fold under to threats of death?
    Please keep in mind that land which was once under Muslim control and currently is not is also an extreme insult, not to mention the issue of those who convert away from Islam– even if they were only members because their father was.
    The vast majority of Muslims are not jihadists,

    The vast majority of the US has never served in the armed forces, either; it does not follow that thus only a fraction support the actions of the US armed forces.
    and Geller’s stunt wounded them just as the gratuitous molestation of a consecrated host wounds us.

    No, it doesn’t.
    Mohammad is not God, his image is not his body, and those who are objecting are basically the homicidal version of those Christians who object to statues and paintings of saints and the Christ.
    The Islamic tradition against the images also forbids images of Allah and all the Prophets– including Jesus and Abraham. To prevent idolatry.
    If you want an analogous situation to drawing Mohammad, there’s this:
    It is as if someone, in response to wide-spread threats of violence over a lack of respect to images of Christ, and after many murders, drew an image of Christ on the Cross doing something that was offensive to those committing the murders.

  • Is this a terrible thought?

    The police killed terrorist that evening.
    Two men died that were armed and dangerous. They died because of their hatred.

    So be it.

    CAIR can call Geller a hate speech enthusiast all they want. The fact is two terrorist will not be planting a smart bomb tomorrow or next month. They are forever with their satanic idol.
    Geller a jerk? No. She is exposing the threat.

  • Gratuitously insulting other faiths is simply wrong. The vast majority of Muslims are not jihadists, and Geller’s stunt wounded them just as the gratuitous molestation of a consecrated host wounds us. Of course, such acts, whoever reprehensible, cannot justify a violent response. And it would be imprudent beyond measure to try to criminalize such infantile behavior.

    I attended a legal seminar the other day where the instructor noted that a surplus of adjectives and adverbs, particularly in a legal brief, was a sign that the person writing was unconvinced by their own arguments. It is perhaps, at the least, a sign of a weaker argument. Just saying.

  • I was going to say Gellar’s “insult” was too calculated to be gratuitious, but foxfier beat me to it.

  • If we care so much about the delicate sensitivities of Muslims, why are we offending them by tolerating, say, homosexual marriage?

  • Mike, the last time I can recall you offering an emphatic opinion, it was to tell us that it was intolerable that a nun offered a group of students at a “Catholic” high school a precis of a literature review in The Linacre Quarterly. Now you’re telling us that Pamela Geller’s Mo’toons contest is as well. Personally, I doubt I’d have to travel far from my home to find perfectly gruesome displays. Somehow, I get through the day and I do not think the local police would be all that impressed if I shot up the nearest community theatre offering a performance of Angels in America.

    Some people make exhibits of themselves. Cannot pay too much attention or you just get more exhibits.

  • Great comment, good thinking Philip

  • To find out why you are wrong Mike Petrik- google “peaceful majorities irrelevant”-eg those now in Muslim-controlled countries and that in Germany in 1938-and do not miss Brigitte Gabriel’s speech about this. And also, note that there was once here a “peaceful majority” that did not want to upset the “blacks are sub-human property” applecart and that there is a “peaceful majority” here now in the US while 3500-4000 human beings PER DAY are murdered, some simply because they are Black, some simply because they are Hispanic, and thousands simply because they are girls. Mike, moral peaceful majorities must come out loudly and publicly against the murderous minority or their assumed Pollyanna “peace” will destroy even them. Guy McClung, San Antonio

  • Take a chill pill, Mike.

    Let us not surrender in to savages.

    In other news: “Blogger hacked to death in Bangladesh, third this year.”

  • The problem with Islam is that anyone (I mean man), can grow a beard, slap on a tunic and take a vacation to Mecca- and come back and declare themselves a “sheikh”. Any “sheikh” can declare themselves an “expert” in interpreting the Koran- just like Hilawi. Who mind you, even though holding the position of the highest Muslim in English speaking Australia, needed himself an interpreter because he couldn’t speak English. Hilawi was a convicted thief who was jailed for theft in Egypt. And he was charged for driving an unregistered car and his offensive behaviour to police officers when they stopped him. Yep! The highest cleric in Australia. The senior expert on cat meat and women.

    Muslims twist the Koran to their advantage- thats how they can shut down a logical argument. Don’t draw Mohammad. Don’t criticise. Don’t trust a non- Muslim.

    Plus, their religion thrives on fear and suspicion. That’s probably the common thing that unites them. It’s unfortunate to the intelligent, and good- intentioned Muslim person that they get bundled in with the scum.

    Blame Mohammad- he should have thought ahead when crafting his Islam.

    As Westerners come under fire for drawing cartoons of Muhammad, Bangladeshi bloggers are being killed with hatchets for professing disbelief in the Islamic prophet or simply promoting a secular society.

    They view it as an “attack,” you see.

What Conservative Catholics Should Keep Doing

Saturday, April 21, AD 2012

My last post got a lot of traffic, along with generous heapings of love and hate. The love is always appreciated. As for the hate, when it doesn’t amuse me with its enraged ignorance, it makes me sad with its malicious presumption.

How anyone could come away from my post thinking that I believe conservative Catholics should “shut up” about public affronts to Christ is beyond me. Maybe I didn’t make clear that I think we should have a public prayer campaign for the conversion of people like Jon Stewart. Maybe some of you don’t understand how much such a gesture would rial up the left, far more so than some hysterical campaign for a public apology. But tunnel-vision is funny that way.

So, in order to avoid any confusion…

By all means, please keep pointing out and denouncing public attacks on the faith.

That is what I intend to do here on this blog, and what we are all called to do.

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11 Responses to What Conservative Catholics Should Keep Doing

  • Islam or any other false religion is fair game for criticism and by extension mockery. The Angelic Doctor had a few choice words on the topic:

  • I don’t know how you leap from criticism, which is legitimate, to mockery.

    Maybe I agree with you in principle, that it isn’t “wrong.” I certainly don’t think it is wise or prudent given today’s circumstances. The threat posed by secularism in this country is greater – far, far greater – than the threat posed by Islam. I don’t see what we gain from it. I can only see it hurting us.

    And please, mind you, that I am speaking of mockery. Criticism of Islam is entirely legitimate and I have no problem with that. I do not believe in bending and bowing to avoid offending them. But I do think there is a BIG difference between criticism and mockery, and that mockery is totally unnecessary and irrational at this point.

  • Bonchamps: “Forgive me, as well, if I would like our public response to be mature and dignified, and not reeking of schoolyard tit-for-tat.”
    The National Endowment for the Arts gave millions upon millions of Catholic tax dollars to individuals who put a crucifix in a bucket of piss and called it “PISS CHRIST” , told people that Jesus was having homosexual relations with His Apostles, scandalized anyone who was unlucky enough to see the play “CORPUS CHRISTI”, ants on the Body of the crucified Christ, the life sized statue of Jesus crucified in chocolate with visitors invited to eat from the cross, dung on the image of our Blessed Mother, as “natural’ and “fecundity”, Vagina Monologues, and Jon Stewart. Then there was the silly things, a naked girl covered her body in chocolate syrup and bean sprouts and called herself covered in sperm because she says she always wanted to do that, and with our money? I mean what does a bottle of chocolate syrup cost and a bag of bean sprouts? She wanted the attention her outrageous behavior bought at our expense. Bonchamps: it is guerrilla warfare, ambush and hide. These people are monsters doing monstrous things, and Catholic tax dollars are funding this. So, If I do not buy Kraft anymore, the sponsor does not fund Jon Stewart and he has no pay check. Bonchamps: When was the last time you saw a prayerful gathering in the media? Never, unless the participants were being arrested. How would I know when and who to boycott and for what? St. Clare with the Blessed Sacrament faced down the invading Saracens and to a man they fell down and fled. I have begged and pleaded for the Blessed Sacrament in procession in public, now, before it is too late as Obama has taken all public places to himself.

  • More important than cowardice as reason for consistent media disinterest in criticizing Islam is the fact that Holy Mother the Church is far more dangerous to their (liberal) agenda.

    To paraphrase the smartest Yankee philosopher: “It ain’t mockery if it’s true.”

    Howdy, Joe!

  • Mary De Voe,

    I just don’t understand how anything you said relates to anything I said.

  • To see how serious the threat of Islam is, I recommend Pat Buchanan’s books, Day of Reckoning and Suicide of a Superpower.

  • The point stands. Islam’s losses are not our gains, at least not in the context of this media-mockery dispute.

  • My strategy is to point out that Jon Stewart gets beaten in the ratings by reruns of Friends and Family Guy. The kind of person who’s impressed by Jon Stewart typically hates to be on the declining end of a trend that’s become passe.

    I agree with Bonchamps for the most part on this subject, although I think there’s nothing wrong with differing opinions on tactics. I can convey dismissive uber-coolness better than sincere piety (I don’t know why, but it’s true), so I can go after Stewart for being predictable and pathetic. To each his own.

    I think Bonchamps is a little off about the Conservative Catholic response to Islam, though. The chiding that he mentions isn’t directed at Islam; it’s directed at the media. The South Park guys did more than anyone to expose the sad state of the media. Did they insult Islam? No, although the reaction of some Islamists to the non-insult was also illuminating. But the people who looked the worst in that affair were Comedy Central.

  • “The chiding that he mentions isn’t directed at Islam; it’s directed at the media”

    It still amazes me how people can say this. It’s like saying “in order to shoot at the guy standing behind you, I’m going to unload a full magazine into your body.”

    There’s a difference between simply pointing out that the media won’t mock Islam, which is true, and actually demanding that it do so, or taunting it to do so, lest it be considered “hypocritical”, which in my view is neither wise nor moral. Again, I see dishonorable Alinskyism at work in such tactics. Maybe I’m a medievalist pining for the lost days of chivalry, but I don’t want to win any battles at the expense of our honor.

    I’m not saying its inherently sinful, but I do think it lowers us in dignity to such an extent that I would question what makes “my side” so much better than “their side.” I reject the school of morality I found when I read Trotsky’s “Their Morals and Ours”, which basically states that what (in his context) Bolshevik revolutionaries do is right if it is for the sake of the communist revolution while the same acts committed by someone else for a different and presumably less worthy goal would be wrong. Which isn’t, again, to say that context doesn’t matter either – some things CAN be more or less moral depending on the circumstances. Here I think it is a clear case of doing intentional harm to an innocent bystander in order to go for the jugular. It smells rotten, it smells un-Christlike, and so I reject it.

    I really have no special love for Islam myself. I think the Crusades were justified and that Islam is about as false a religion as they come. But even King Richard had respect for Saladin.

    And as for South Park, they insult everything. Like many in our generation, anything is justifiable as long as you call it “comedy.” They insult all religions on a regular basis. And one can, I suppose, admire their consistency. But the point wasn’t really about them: it was about Donohue’s reaction to their really disgusting and unrepeatable mockery of the Church. I distinctly recall him calling the creators of South Park “cowards” because (in his mistaken view) they wouldn’t mock Islam. He was taunting them, goading them to do it.

  • Bonchamps – I agree with the principles you’ve stated. I don’t support Alinskyite tactics, and I don’t want to see “my side” resort to them. We disagree on whether our side *has* resorted to them. I haven’t seen any evidence of it. I don’t think you can call Pamela Geller a voice of conservative Catholicism, seeing as she’s Jewish and runs the Atlas Shrugs website. I think it’s fair to note the media’s reactions to her and South Park’s stunts, but I wouldn’t want to see Catholics get caught up in a call to insult Islam the way Christianity has been insulted over the years.

  • ” I don’t think you can call Pamela Geller a voice of conservative Catholicism”

    I don’t. A voice of conservatism, though, and one that conservative Catholics may well listen to.

    Donohue, obviously, is a different story.