Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Is Europe nuts?

By Aussiegirl

Herbert Meyer wrote an Open Letter to Europe following our election last November. As it addresses a lot of the same ideas that we've been talking about today -- I thought it was timely and pertinent -- and just plain delicious. Here's just a taste:

November 11th, 2004

Hi.� Are you nuts?

Forgive me for being so blunt, but your reaction to our reelection of President Bush has been so outrageous that I'm wondering if you have quite literally lost your minds.� One of Britain's largest newspapers ran a headline asking "How Can 59 Million Americans Be So Dumb?", and commentators in France all seemed to use the same word � bizarre -- to explain the election's outcome to their readers.� In Germany the editors of Die Tageszeitung responded to our vote by writing that "Bush belongs at a war tribunal � not in the White House."� And on a London radio talk show last week one Jeremy Hardy described our President and those of us who voted for him as "stupid, crazy, ignorant, bellicose Christian fundamentalists."

Of course, you are entitled to whatever views about us that you care to hold.� (And lucky for you we Americans aren't like so many of the Muslims on your own continent; as the late Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh just discovered, make one nasty crack about them and you're likely to get six bullets pumped into your head and a knife plunged into your chest.)�
But before you write us off as just a bunch of sweaty, hairy-chested, Bible-thumping morons who are more likely to break their fast by dipping a Krispy Kreme into a diet cola than a biscotti into an espresso �� and who inexplicably have won more Nobel prizes than all other countries combined, host 25 or 30 of the world's finest universities and five or six of the world's best symphonies, produce wines that win prizes at your own tasting competitions, have built the world's most vibrant economy, are the world's only military superpower and, so to speak in our spare time, have landed on the moon and sent our robots to Mars � may I suggest you stop frothing at the mouth long enough to consider just what are these ideas we hold that you find so silly and repugnant?

We believe that church and state should be separate, but that religion should remain at the center of life.� We are a Judeo-Christian culture, which means we consider those ten things on a tablet to be commandments, not suggestions. We believe that individuals are more important than groups, that families are more important than governments, that children should be raised by their parents rather than by the State, and that marriage should take place only between a man and a woman.� We believe that rights must be balanced by responsibilities, that personal freedom is a privilege we must be careful not to abuse, and that the rule of law cannot be set aside when it becomes inconvenient.� We believe in economic liberty, and in the right of purposeful and industrious entrepreneurs to run their businesses � and thus create jobs � with a minimum of government interference.� We recognize that other people see things differently, and we are tolerant of their views.� But we believe that our country is worth defending, and if anyone decides that killing us is an okay thing to do we will go after them with everything we've got.
If these beliefs seem strange to you, they shouldn't.� For these are precisely the beliefs that powered Western Europe � you -- from the Middle Ages into the Renaissance, on to the Enlightenment, and forward into the modern world.� They are the beliefs that made Europe itself the glory of Western civilization and � not coincidentally � ignited the greatest outpouring of art, literature, music and scientific discovery the world has ever known including Michaelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Shakespeare, Bach, Issac Newton and Descartes.

1 Comments:

At 6:42 AM, Blogger Billy D said...

That was freakin beautiful! Oh what a kick in the ass!

 

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