Convert or Die?

No, that isn’t a quote from Ann Coulter’s latest jeremiad against the Muslim world or Liberals. It comes from a right wing blogger at Blogs for Bush by the name of Mark Noonan riffing off this post by the ubiquitous Mark Steyn at The Corner at National Republic Online:

At least 23 babies have been killed so far this year, many of them beaten to death or strangled by their mothers before being dumped on wasteland and in dustbins. […]

Germany has one of the lowest fertility rates in Europe, net population loss, and a rapidly depopulating east that’s economically unsustainable. Thirty per cent of German women are childless, 40 per cent of female university graduates are childless, and its last election offered voters what Americans would regard as the statistically improbable choice of a childless man vs a childless woman. Meanwhile, the last gals in the country still in the procreation business have to be offered E-Z-trash drop-off bins in order to stop them tossing their bairns out the apartment window.

By the way, look at the first word of that report, from The Times of London: “Desperate” mothers. Why, in a land of socialized health care and lavish welfare, are mothers so “desperate”? Feckless boyfriends seem to play a part. But then Germany has one of the lowest marriage rates in the developed world.

It’s getting harder not to conclude that parts of Europe are evolving into a kind of post-human society.

“Post-human” in this context sounds remarkably like sub-human, doesn’t it? A rather remarkable charge to make based on 23 cases of infanticide in a nation of over 80 million people. An even more remarkable statement to attribute this post-human society to welfare and socialized medicine. I wonder? Are all the recipients of Medicare in America slowing becoming less than human because of their exposure to socialized medicine? Are our military veterans becoming less than human because we subsidize their medical care through programs administered by the Veteran’s Administration?

And what does Mr. Steyn really mean when he claims Europe, or at least those parts infected with the virus of socialism, are turning into less than human societies? What exactly is the point he’s trying to make when he remarks upon this “rash” of 23 infanticides in Germany?

Well, that’s where Mark Noonan rides to Steyn’s rescue (metaphorically speaking), by spelling out exactly what Steyn was too craven to make explicit when he labeled Europeans part of a post-human society:


[O]ur society has degnerated quite a bit until, as Steyn points out, parts of it are becoming post-human. Remember, in Germany there are three interesting cases going on – the case of a brother and sister who have had children together wanting the State to recognise their marriage; the case of a man who says he killed and ate a man at that man’s request; and now the case of the murdering mothers. Do you see a pattern here? Things which would shocked and revolted the whole world 30 years ago are just more hum-drum news these days. And don’t think I let off the United States on this – we’re not nearly as depraved as parts of Europe, but we’ve got our shop of horrors to go through as well.

There are two things which can stop this slide into barbarism and death: the conquest of the west by people who believe in something, or the revival of a west which has returned to its moral and intellectual roots. Those are the choices – be conquered by Moslems (who at least believe in something higher than themselves and their personal pleasures), or become Judeo-Christian. Death or conversion, take your pick.

Isn’t it odd, how Noonan sees our modern dilemma? It isn’t the problem of secular, democratic societies faced with challenges from an extemeist religious authoritarian ideology willing to slaughter innocent people in order to force their peculiar beliefs on others. No, the problem isn’t the most extreme form of fundamentalist Islam for which Noonan actually professes a grudging admiration (they do believe in God after all, even if it isn’t the right God).

For Noonan, and Steyn as well (though he’s too cowardly to come right out and say it), the problem is everyone who doesn’t believe in the God in which they (Noonan and Steyn) believe. Let me clarify what it is that they oppose so vehemently:

It’s the idea of tolerance of differing viewpoints. It’s the idea that society should care for its poorest and weakest members as well as it does for its strongest and wealthiest. Its the idea that all men are entitled to believe what they wish without fear of oppression of harm from their fellows for professing those beliefs. It’s the idea that your sexual behavior, so long as it is carried out between consenting adults is no one’s business but your own.

It’s the guiding principles established by the Enlightenment. The moral force behind the elimination of slavery, the extension of civil rights to women and minorities, and — yes — the government programs that provided educational opportunities to literally millions of Americans, that funded the eradication of terrible diseases, that built the highways, dams and electrical power grid, that cleaned up polluted waterways and helped make the air we breathe a little less toxic. This is what Noonan labels barbarism.

Astonishing isn’t it? No wonder Noonan’s solution to our all our nation’s problems involves either conversion to Islam or to fundamentalist Christianity (and no, dear Unitarians and United Church of Christ adherents, I don’t think your faith qualifies as a properly Christian one for his purposes). Conversion or death.

This is the world view of the modern conservative movement in a nutshell. If you’re a Buddhist, a Scientologist, a liberal, a socialist, a secular humanist, an agnostic or — God forbid — an atheist, you are a barbarian, and you are part of the post-human world which is destroying our country. You deserve to die. It’s really that simple.

I guess we should thank him for being so forthright as to tell us what he really thinks. Better to know what the Devil is planning for you, than to remain ignorant, eh?

For more discussion of this topic, go read Dave Neiwart’s post, “Post Human” at Orcinus, and also this post by Chris Floyd, “Death Cult: The Violent Vision of the Radical Right” at Empire Burlesque. They are far more eloquent in denouncing these rancid manifestos by Steyn and Noonan than I can ever hope to be.

One more thing. This is not an April Fool’s joke. I only wish it were.

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