The Tribune News Service Reports, GOP lawmakers, veterans groups disavow Trump over criticism of Muslim soldier's family.
In the article, I found two statements I want to reply to. First:
Arizona Sen. John McCain, a former prisoner of war, led the charge, saying Trump did not have "unfettered license to defame those who are the best among us." The Veterans of Foreign Wars, the nation's oldest and largest veterans organization, called Trump out of bounds for tangling with Khizr and Ghazala Khan, whose son was killed in 2004.
"Election year or not, the VFW will not tolerate anyone berating a Gold Star family member for exercising his or her right of speech or expression," VFW leader Brian Duffy said.
Criticize Trump for his Khan response all you want. But doesn’t the “right of speech or expression” also cover criticism and rebuttal? One thing Trump cannot and should not be criticized for is his “right of speech or expression,” repugnant as that speech may be. Isn’t that one of our freedoms our military is there to protect?
In an emotional appearance at last week's convention, Khizr Khan criticized Trump for proposing to temporarily freeze the entry of foreign Muslims into the U.S. and accused him of making no sacrifices for his country.
America is about recognizing people as citizens owning their own lives and possessing the unalienable individual rights to pursue their own happiness. The idea that we are subjects who must justify his existence by sacrificing for “the country”—i.e., the collective or the state or the King or the cleric—is an ancient evil that fits the character of a dictatorship, not the United States of America. What exactly was the purpose of rebelling against England? To throw off subservience to a King in exchange for subservience to an electoral majority? No. It was to free men from subservience to any “higher power.” Read the Declaration of Independence.
But what about the “sacrifices”of our servicemen? Isn’t that necessary? No . . . and yes—it depends on how you define “sacrifice.” I believe that sacrifice, properly understood, is the giving up of a value and receiving no value or something less valuable in return. Most people think of sacrifice as merely giving up something you want, without regard for what you get in return. But that makes no sense. A “sacrifice” that leaves you better off is no sacrifice at all. It is a gain.
I think of the people who volunteer to serve in the military not as sacrificing—giving up a value for no value, making one’s life worse—but as taking a positive step to defend the values they believe in—namely, the American principles they chose to actively defend. There is nothing sacrificial about taking time out from one’s life to defend the principles one’s life depends upon from those who threaten it, even if it involves risks and knowing the possibility of paying the ultimate price. American servicemen volunteer to defend the way of life without which their lives and the lives of their loved ones would be worse off. Temporarily giving up the value of one’s civilian time to preserve the greater value of living a life of freedom is not a sacrifice. That’s what American soldiers do.
But even if we insist on labeling American soldiers’ activities a “sacrifice,” isn’t the purpose of that sacrifice precisely so Americans as civilians can live a non-sacrificial life where each of us is free to live for our own sake?
As to Trump’s response to Khizr Khan’s attack on him at the Democratic National Convention, Khan’s published opinions on the constitution are noteworthy, and if still true alter the context of his Democratic Convention speech dramatically. Breitbart’s Paul Sperry reports:
Notwithstanding his war-hero son’s genuinely patriotic example, Khizr M. Khan has published papers supporting the supremacy of Islamic law over “man-made” Western law — including the very Constitution he championed in his Democratic National Convention speech attacking GOP presidential nod Donald Trump.
Sperry observes that “Western society is built on individualism and secularism,” but that Khan speaks approvingly of the doctrine that the justification of human rights lies in the Quran, not “human law.” Keep in mind that Sharia Law is religious law, which is not law at all but a series of unchallengeable dictates written in a Holy Book by special elites who claim knowledge from a being beyond the reach of mere mortals and whose truth is infallible. Keep in mind that the human rights—the unalienable individual rights—laid out in the Declaration of Independence and formalized in the U.S. Constitution are derived scientifically from observational facts and requirements about human nature and survival—i.e., derived from man’s reasoning mind, and always open to scrutiny. Religious law is not open to scrutiny, but must be taken on faith and followed without question. Unlike the objective law (at least in theory) of secular nations, Sharia nations are ruled by non-objective “laws” that give arbitrary and unlimited and unchallengeable authority to clerics.
Trump personally disparaged Khan’s wife and their religion. While he had a right to say what he said, Trump’s remarks were incredibly stupid politically, and completely uncalled for from a humanitarian perspective and from a perspective of common decency.
But if this article is true, then criticism of this Gold Star families beliefs are fair game.
A key American/Western value holds that religion is a private matter that should be separated from political power and that people should be free to practice their religion privately so long as their actions don’t violate the same rights of others to their lives, liberties, property, and personal life-serving pursuits (e.g., by beating recalcitrant wives or killing infidels). Muslims who embrace the secular principle of separation of religion and state are Enlightened allies against Islamic terrorism and totalitarianism, and we should welcome them. Muslims who embrace Sharia Law are in sympathy with the goals of the Islamic totalitarians, even if they reject the tactic of terrorism, and must be considered enemies of Western Civilization. Such individuals cannot claim allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, to the First Amendment—which explicitly protects us from religion even as it protects our freedom of religion—or to any philosophical claim to be a true American.
When someone advocates imposing their religious beliefs on others by government force of law, then those beliefs must be exposed and examined. Those beliefs become fair game, and it becomes morally mandatory to defend our freedom of conscience by speaking out against any attempt to enforce those beliefs by law, whether or not one agrees with the ideas to be imposed.
To be fair, Khan’s writings are decades old. Does he still believe in the supremacy of Sharia Law over the U.S. Constitution? Sperry observes:
It’s not immediately clear if Khan has ever repudiated his earlier support for the anti-Constitutional principles of Sharia law. Searches turn up no subsequent writings or statements to that effect. Attempts to reach Khan by phone and email were unsuccessful.
For now, the most patriotic Muslim in America, according to media myth-making, remains Khizr Muazzam Khan, the father of a fallen American soldier who claims to hold the Constitution so dear he keeps a copy in his breast pocket.
But what does he really believe?
It’s a fair question.
Why Did the NJ Star-Ledger Delete My Comment on Khizr Khan’s Dem Convention Speech?