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Onward Christian Soldiers

Winston Churchill said
"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism."

In a huge upset, extreme-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen qualified on
yesterday to face incumbent Jacques Chirac in the runoff for French
president. 73 year old Le Pen,  virulently opposes immigration and has been
accused of racism and anti-Semitism, Le Pen had polled 4,783,440 votes, or
17.06 just behind Chirac. Le Pen Finished second of 16 candidates.

The French presidential election ends 5 May 5 when Le Pen faces the
incumbent President, who is laced with political scandals..

Le Pen a  former paratrooper who fought in Indochina and Algeria,  fears
that the French identity is being displaced by waves of mainly Muslim
immigrants from North Africa. He often has compared
immigration to an invasion.

Chirac said "I call on all French men and women to gather up to defend human
rights. At
risk is our national cohesion, the values of the Republic. "France needs
you, and I need you."

Thousands took the streets of Paris, Marseille and other French cities late
Sunday, protesting Le Pen's showing. "I am ashamed to be French," read
several of the hastily written signs carried by protesters.

"Of all religions, Christianity is without a doubt the one that should
inspire tolerance most, although, up to now, the Christians have been the
most intolerant of all men" Voltaire

The cathedral in Clermont, all in locally quarried black stone, from which
the Pope thundered "On this account I, or rather the Lord, beseech you as
Christ's heralds to publish this everywhere and to persuade all people of
whatever rank, foot-soldiers and knights, poor and rich, to carry aid
promptly to those Christians and to destroy that vile race from the lands of
our friends. I say this to those who are present, it meant also for those
who are absent. Moreover, Christ commands it." The black cathedral where the
first crusade was called stands, like an avenger at the end of a plaza
dominated by a three times life statue of the intolerant Pope Urban II
dominating the tree lined plaza. In the rabbit warren of streets that
surround the great building the shops of Muslim traders proliferate.

In  "Them. Adventures with Extremists" Jon Ronson quotes George W. Bush on
21 January 2000 "When I was coming up, it was a dangerous world, and you
knew exactly who they were.  It was us vs. them. and it was clear who them
were. Today, we are not so sure who they are, but we know they're there."

Is a new religious war upon us? Can we safely exist in a world of
fundamentally different ideals structures?  Democracy and open, tolerant
societies are shaken to their foundations by defiant visions and dreams that
exclude others dreams.  Is that 'vile race' now rising up against our
beliefs? Are we creating little prisons where we shut out every one who will
not agree in totality with us?  We have a duty, right and obligation to rise
up an live out the real meaning of Democracy.  Today we are not fighting for
the four freedoms of the Atlantic Charter.  We are embattled for the
existence of our very planet.

If we seek our friends and allies to be  without fault and agreeing with us,
without question, we will remain without a single acquaintance.


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