“When Christians are subject to insults to their faith, and that certainly happens, we expect them not to resort to violence. When Hindus or Buddhists are subjected to insults to their faiths, and that also certainly happens, we expect them not to resort to violence,” said Clinton. “The same goes for all faiths, including Islam.”...Note the proposition that insulting religion is necessarily ignorant. I wish Christopher Hitchens were alive to respond to that. Here is one of the chief subjects for difference of opinion among human beings, and it may very well be the best policy to shut up and let people believe what they want to believe because it's so upsetting to them to hear criticisms. But it's up to us individuals to decide whether we want to talk about it and make it a subject of debate.
“I so strongly believe that the great religions of the world are stronger than any insults. They have withstood offense for centuries,” said Clinton. “Refraining from violence, then, is not a sign of weakness in one’s faith; it is absolutely the opposite, a sign that one’s faith is unshakable.”...
“We can pledge that whenever one person speaks out in ignorance and bigotry, ten voices will answer,” Clinton said forcefully. “They will answer resoundingly against the offense and the insult; answering ignorance with enlightenment; answering hatred with understanding; answering darkness with light.”
I agree with Clinton that those who respond with violence are unwittingly displaying weakness, but I would say that the weakness is a legitimate fear that the religion is vulnerable to the arguments that can be stated in words. She says the weakness is in the violent person's faith. The strong person is not the one that can hear verbal arguments and participate in a civil conversation about religion. The strong person is the one whose faith is unshakable — who shuts out the challenges to his religion.
And where does Hillary Clinton get the authority to pledge that for every critic of religion there will be ten who speak in defense of religion? Or does she mean that for every ignoramus who speaks there will be ten reasonable, intelligent voices? Maybe some of the ignoramuses are speaking for religion and some of the civil voices are against it. In any case, the ignorant to reasonable ratio has never been 1 to 10, not at any time in any place in the history of humanity. To purport to pledge that it will somehow be so is — ironically — ignorant.
“In times like these, it can be easy to despair that some differences are irreconcilable, some mountains too steep to climb; we will therefore never reach the level of understanding and peacefulness that we seek, and which I believe the great religions of the world call us to pursue,” she reflected. “But that’s not what I believe, and I don’t think it’s what you believe… ”...Oh, see? She believes. Unshakable faith — regardless of the evidence, in defiance of reason and experience. We get faith-based assertions. Why should they be believed? Because you believe them?
Part of what makes our country so special is we keep trying. We keep working. We keep investing in our future....Our country is so special. I suspect that she's feeling the pressure, during this election season, to embrace American exceptionalism, but I don't see how you persuade people in Egypt and Libya by proclaiming our specialness. We keep trying... working... investing... Suddenly, I feel like I'm back at the party conventions.