Tag Archives: Apology

Should the Obama administration be apologizing to Afghanistan?

From National Review. (H/T Doug Groothuis via Mary)

Excerpt:

We have officially lost our minds.

The New York Times reports that President Obama has sent a formal letter of apology to Afghanistan’s ingrate president, Hamid Karzai, for the burning of Korans at a U.S. military base. The only upside of the apology is that it appears (based on the Times account) to be couched as coming personally from our blindly Islamophilic president — “I wish to express my deep regret for the reported incident. . . . I extend to you and the Afghani people my sincere apologies.” It is not couched as an apology from the American people, whose frame of mind will be outrage, not contrition, as the facts become more widely known.

The facts are that the Korans were seized at a jail because jihadists imprisoned there were using them not for prayer but to communicate incendiary messages. The soldiers dispatched to burn refuse from the jail were not the officials who had seized the books, had no idea they were burning Korans, and tried desperately to retrieve the books when the situation was brought to their attention.

Of course, these facts may not become widely known, because no one is supposed to mention the main significance of what has happened here. First, as usual, Muslims — not al-Qaeda terrorists, but ordinary, mainstream Muslims — are rioting and murdering over the burning (indeed, theinadvertent burning) of a book. Yes, it’s the Koran, but it’s a book all the same — and one that, moderate Muslims never tire of telling us, doesn’t really mean everything it says anyhow.

Muslim leaders and their leftist apologists are also forever lecturing the United States about “proportionality” in our war-fighting. Yet when it comes to Muslim proportionality, Americans are supposed to shrug meekly and accept the “you burn books, we kill people” law of the jungle. Disgustingly, the Times would inure us to this moral equivalence byrationalizing that “Afghans are fiercely protective of their Islamic faith.” Well then, I guess that makes it all right, huh?

Then there’s the second not-to-be-uttered truth: Defiling the Koran becomes an issue for Muslims only when it has been done by non-Muslims. Observe that the unintentional burning would not have occurred if these “fiercely protective of their Islamic faith” Afghans had not defiled the Korans in the first place. They were Muslim prisoners who annotated the “holy” pages with what a U.S. military official described as “extremist inscriptions” in covert messages sent back and forth, just as the jihadists held at Gitmo have been known to do (notwithstanding that Muslim prisoners get their Korans courtesy of the American taxpayers they construe the book to justify killing).

Do you know why you are supposed to stay mum about the intentional Muslim sacrilege but plead to be forgiven for the accidental American offense? Because you would otherwise have to observe that the Koran and other Islamic scriptures instruct Muslims that they are in a civilizational jihad against non-Muslims, and that it is therefore permissible for them to do whatever is necessary — including scrawl militant graffiti on their holy book — if it advances the cause. Abdul Sattar Khawasi — not a member of al-Qaeda but a member in good standing of the Afghan government for which our troops are inexplicably fighting and dying — put it this way: “Americans are invaders, and jihad against the Americans is an obligation.”

Because exploiting America’s hyper-sensitivity to things Islamic advances the jihad, the ostensible abuse of the Koran by using it for secret communiqués is to be overlooked. Actionable abuse occurs only when the book is touched by the bare hands of, or otherwise maltreated by, an infidel.

We’re doomed. Our foreign policy is being run by idiots.

ECM sent me this article that talks about how the U.S. Navy wants to engage in affirmative action in order to get more non-white SEALs. That’s right. Affirmative action for an ELITE military unit. Because elderly gay Hispanic women are not well represented in the Navy SEALs.

How to apologize effectively: responsibility, restitution, repentance

One of my friends recommended this book “Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married” by Gary Chapman, so I got it and read it this weekend. The book re-capped one of his other books about the 5 languages of apologies or something.

Here’s a re-cap of his five languages of apologies.

Here are the two that I want to emphasize:

Apology Language #3: Making Restitution

In the public arena, our emphasis upon restitution is based upon our sense of justice. The one who commits the crime should pay for the wrongdoing. In contrast, in the private sphere of family and other close relationships, our desire for restitution is almost always based upon our need for love. After being hurt deeply, we need the reassurance that the person who hurt us still loves us.

“How could they love me and do that?” is the question that lingers in our minds. The words “I’m sorry; I was wrong” may not be enough.

For some people, restitution is their primary apology language. For them the statement, “It is not right for me to have treated you that way,” must be followed with “What can I do to show you that I still care about you?” Without this effort at restitution, this person will question the sincerity of the apology. They will continue to feel unloved even though you may have said, “I am sorry; I was wrong.” They wait for the reassurance that you genuinely love them.

The question, then, is how do we make restitution in the most effective way? Since the heart of restitution is reassuring the spouse or family member that you genuinely love him or her, it is essential to express restitution in the love language of the other person.

[…]If restitution is the primary apology language of an individual, then this becomes the most important part of the apology. “I’m sorry; I was wrong” will never be taken as sincere if these words are not accompanied by a sincere effort at restitution. They wait for the assurance that you still genuinely love them. Without your effort to make amends, the apology will not have the desired results of forgiveness.

Apology Language #4: Genuinely Repenting

The word repentance means “to turn around” or “to change one’s mind.” In the context of an apology, it means that an individual realizes that his or her present behavior is destructive. The person regrets the pain he or she is causing the other person, and he chooses to change his behavior.

Without genuine repentance, the other languages of apology may fall on deaf ears. What people who’ve been hurt want to know is, “Do you intend to change, or will this happen again next week?”

How then do we speak the language of repentance?

  • It begins with an expression of intent to change. When we share our intention to change with the person we have offended, we are communicating to them what is going on inside of us. They get a glimpse of our heart—and this often is the language that convinces them we mean what we say.
  • The second step down the road of repentance is developing a plan for implementing change. Often apologies fail to be successful in restoring the relationship because there is no plan for making positive change.
  • The third step down the road of repentance is implementing the plan. Following through with the plan gives evidence to the offended party that your apology was sincere.

Most people do not expect perfection after an apology, but they do expect to see effort.

Thus, expressing your desire to change and coming up with a plan is an extremely important part of an apology to this person. Inviting the offended person to help you come up with a plan for change is perhaps the best way to effectively show repentance.

I think this is somewhat useful, but I wanted to add some of my own thoughts to make it more practical.

Here are some practical tips that I recommend to someone who has done something morally wrong and who wants to apologize.

To fix the problem you need more than talk

To me, the only thing that needs an apology is breaking a moral rule – you can’t beat someone up for just making a mistake. Whenever someone breaks a moral rule with me, like disrespecting me or being selfish, then I pick out a book for them to read and ask them to read it and then write something about how what they learned in the book applies to what they did to me. I don’t pick very long books! But I do this for a very important reason.

The very important reason is that I don’t trust people who just agree with me. I don’t trust people’s words. If someone is really sorry about something, then I want them to read something that describes the moral rule that they broke, and explains what place the moral rule has in some plan for achieving some greater goal. Let me give an example.

Suppose that I am friends with a young lady who wants me to help her to get her atheist uncle, who has a degree in physics, to consider whether Christian theism might not be true. I accept her quest and begin to negotiate with Dr. Michael Strauss, a particle physicist who does research on the top quark at Fermilab, and also teaches physics at the University of Oklahoma – Norman. I contact Dr. Strauss, and contact Lawrence Krauss, the atheist physicist, and I set up a debate between them at the local university. I notify her of my plan, and she promises to bring her uncle to the debate.

The day of the debate comes and it goes off without a hitch – Strauss demolishes Krauss, and Krauss cries for his mommy. The audience laughs at Krauss and he runs away sobbing into the night, clutching his Darwin doll tightly. I beam with delight at a plan perfectly executed, and then look around for the young lady and her uncle, so that we can all go out for a late dinner with Dr. Strauss. But she and her uncle are nowhere to be found! I rush around the auditorium frantically, but to no avail. Finally, in desperation, I call her cell phone.

She answers. I say “where are you? where is your evil uncle Dawkins? The debate is over and we won!”. She says “Oh, I totally forgot. The worship leader at the local mega church had a better idea anyway. She invited me over to her church with my uncle to try snake-handling instead.” Me: “You did what???!!!” She (excited): “Yes, this is a lot more fun than a stuffy debate, and my uncle is about to play patty-cake with a harmless rattlesnake, and… uh oh”. Me: “Oh no…” She: “Um, I’ll call you back. I need to make a call right now.“. Click.

Wow, that’s pretty awful.

So here’s what I would expect from her by way of apology.

  1. Read something on science apologetics as a make-up assignment. Something like Edgar Andrews’ “Who Made God?“.
  2. Listen to Dr. Michael Strauss’ lecture on science apologetics, which he delivered at Stanford University.
  3. Go back to the uncle and sit down with him and watch Dr. Michael Strauss’ lecture on science apologetics from Stanford University, which is up on Youtube.
  4. When the lecture is over, talk with the uncle about his remaining questions, and be available should he think of any more questions.

This would make up for all the work I put into the event because it fixes the problem, and it makes sure that it will never happen again.

The goals of this apology is not just to hear the words “I’m sorry”. It’s not even just about making me feel better. I think the real customer of a mistake like this is God, who is not well served by ineffective Christians. My goal is to prepare her for future evangelism, and for future nurturing of any children she might have. The only way to convince someone to take the right course of action the next time is to change their mind between the time they failed and the next time they try again. There is no way to change how a person behaves unless they convince themselves by reading about the issues, on their own time, through their own effort.

For more on how beliefs change, see this lecture by J.P. Moreland, entitled “Love Your God With All Your Mind“.

New York Times walks back their biased coverage of the Tucson killings

From the radically left-wing, unreliable New York Times.

Excerpt:

The Times’s day-one coverage in some of its Sunday print editions included a strong focus on the political climate in Arizona and the nation. For some readers — and I share this view to an extent — placing the violence in the broader political context was problematic.

[…]The Times had a lot of company, as news organizations, commentators and political figures shouldered into an unruly scrum battling over whether the political environment was to blame. Meanwhile, opportunities were missed to pick up on evidence — quite apparent as early as that first day — that Jared Lee Loughner, who is charged with the shootings, had a mental disorder and might not have been motivated by politics at all.“If I were a reporter on this story, my very first call would have been to a mental health professional willing to consider the nature of Mr. Loughner’s illness,” Max Etchemendy of East Palo Alto, Calif., wrote. “The ‘political’ angle has been beaten to death, and ‘medical’ angle has been ignored completely.”

So why does a story get framed this way? Journalism educators characterize this kind of framing as a storytelling habit — one of relating new facts to an existing storyline — and also as a reflex of news organizations that are built to handle some topics well, and others less well.

Er, actually to the extent that he was motivated by politics at all, he was motivated by left-wing politics.

Gateway Pundit explains:

The Tucson killer was an anti-Christian, anti-Constitution, left-wing, pro-Marx, antiflag, “quite liberal” lunatic who hated Bush. He had been targeting Rep. Gabrielle Giffords since 2007.

2007? That’s before the Tea Partying even started. And before Sarah Palin was even discovered by most people except bloggers who live and breathe politics.

The New York Times just cannot report the facts on what animated the killer, because the New York Times journalists are largely animated by the same conspiracy theories and left-wing nonsense, (as seen in peer-reviewed studies of media bias and records of political contributions made by journalists). They believe in catastrophic man-made global warming now, just like they believed in catastrophic man-made global cooling 40 years ago. These are not rational people. They have an agenda, and it affects their ability to apprehend reality.

The thing that annoys me is that the rest of us in the blogosphere were all over this guy from day one, reporting on his Youtube channel and so on. Even I was paying attention to the story because ECM kept bombarding me with the details for 2 hours. He was the one that picked up on the anti-Christian ranting and the flag-burning video. The morons at the New York Times apparently took a week to find that video, but ECM found it in a minute. Maybe they are not capable of understaning things like Twitter, Youtube and RSS feeds. It was obvious that Loughner was a lefty. The only reason they didn’t report it is because they are not objective journalists at all, but Democrat operatives. They are as much in the tank for Obama as Robert Gibbs.

What has Michele Bachmann got that third-wave feminists haven’t got?

First, take a look at this video of Michele Bachmann discussing her little debate with Democrat Arlen Specter, and keep a count of the things that she does that strike you as admirable.

What do we learn from this video?

My biggest problem in trying to get along with SOME women is the fact that I feel enormous pressure to only say things that women agree with. They only want to hear compliments, never criticisms. But I don’t like that – I want the freedom to be myself and to say whatever I want.

In a recent post that I was talking about William Lane Craig’s advice on how to have a happy marriage. He recommended that couples learn how to argue properly. And I think in that video we learn several tips on how to argue properly.

Here are some questions to ask about this video:

  • Does Michele feel offended or victimized during the debate?
  • Does Michele lose her temper during the debate?
  • Does Michele make gender an issue during the debate?
  • Does Michele focus more on arguments/evidence or feelings/motives?
  • Does Michele accept apologies and try to move on?

For me, a fun thing to do with a woman is to get into a good argument without having to censor myself. This happened to me recently where I was getting into some very long debates with a woman I really liked and the more I was able to be myself and have her not censor me, the more I just wanted to grab her and hug her. It became a really powerful feeling that I had a LOT of trouble resisting.

I distinctly remember at one point we were having a real scrap and I was pleading with her every hour to see whether she was feeling OK with the degree of sustained disagreement that we were engaging in, and I’ll never ever forget what she said. She said that she was fine, but that she was willing to stop if I needed a break. We had been debating a bunch of things for about three hours. (a typical date)

The experience of being myself and being accepted is so different than what I hear other men saying about women that it really makes me sad. It turns out that men lie a lot to women in relationships – telling them what they want to hear and hiding their real views in order to get sex. I just think this is demeaning to women and men. A much better idea is to argue it out with her and treat her as an equal.

And that doesn’t mean that there is no place for feelings. I remember one day this woman tried to clobber me on some obscure point of theology and she took a very adversarial tack. And I was surprised that I just felt wounded and attacked, so I asked her to adjust her approach, and she did. So I do think that there is a time for talking about feelings, but not to use them as an argument.

I think that when a person is hurt (male or female), the thing to do is to get the other person a gift, and have them sit down with the gift and then you explain to them that you love them and that something they said or did hurt you and explain how it made you feel. But I don’t think that hurt feelings should be used as a substitute for an argument in a debate. Debates should be about truth, not who “wins”.

So the main point I am trying to make is that the way that a woman approaches debates can actually be a powerful way of getting a man to really like her. The experience of being able to be yourself with a woman and to express your views in a heated discussion without getting attacked or censored by her is exciting and addictive. It makes a man like a woman because he feels that she understands him.

Consider these wise words:

There is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at without result.
– Winston Churchill

Women have the capacity to make a man like them without having to resort to sex.  One last point – I also think that the experience of leading another person to try something new that’s morally good or serves God’s interests can also be a bonding experience.

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