Historical Truth and the Crusades

Sunday, April 12, AD 2015

 

Hatttip to John Hinderacker at  Powerline for the above video by Dr. Bill Warner in which he states a fact that is obvious from the historical record:  the Crusades were a tardy, and defensive, reaction to an ongoing Islamic Jihad that would continue against Christendom until the technological gap in the nineteenth century rendered Islamic states, for the moment, largely militarily impotent:

 

It has been a couple of months since Barack Obama suggested that the Crusades were somehow on a par with, or even a justification for, 21st-century Islamic terrorism. I objected to Obama’s casual slur at the link, saying, among other things:

There was nothing wrong, in principle, with the Crusades. They were an appropriate (if belated and badly managed) response to the conquest of the Holy Land by Islam. Did marauding 11th century armies inevitably commit outrages? They certainly did. In fact, that still happens today. But the most unfortunate thing about the Crusades is that they failed.

I have been hanging on to this video by Dr. Bill Warner of the Center for the Study of Political Islam for a while now, waiting for the Crusades to come back into the news. Which hasn’t happened. So here it is. Dr. Warner’s point, which he makes persuasively, is that the Crusades were a mere blip compared to the centuries-long, and nearly successful, assault on Christendom by Islamic armies bent on conquest.

It is frankly ludicrous for contemporary Muslims to whine about the Crusades.

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6 Responses to Historical Truth and the Crusades

  • Fantastic video. Thank you very much.
    Great Bil Warner

  • The enemies of God and man own the truth, which is that which advances the nightmarish agenda.

  • T. Shaw, truth comes from God. What advances the nightmarish agenda are lies.

    Sadly, Spain and Portugal, the two nations who freed themselves from 800 years of Islam, not 400 as stated in the video, have abandoned their Catholic past. By the 13th century the Moors had been occupying Granada but not much else of Spain.

    Before Vatican II the Church knew how to deal with Islam. After Vatican II, we are stuck with nonsense. Pelayo, Charles Martel, King Alfonso the Avenger, King San Fernando, Queen Isabel the Catholic and Servant of God, Don Juan of Austria and King John Sobieski knew how to deal with Islam. Turn the jihadists into a big red spot on the ground.

  • The really successful Crusades were the Northern or Baltic Crusades, beginning with the Wendish and Livonian Crusades in the 12th century and culminating in the Prussian and Lithuanian Crusades from the end of the 12th to the end of the 14th century.

    They were chiefly organised by the greatest of the military orders, the Brethren of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem, commonly called the Teutonic Knights.

  • More amusing, until recently the same groups were claiming the Crusades showed what a great victory they’d had– after all, the Christians didn’t get all of their land back.

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Why The Secular Left Dislikes Tim Tebow

Sunday, December 11, AD 2011

“Seriously!” I can still hear that word echo through my brain even though the event took place this past summer. At a social gathering a young gentleman and his lady friend (and I use that term loosely) were gesticulating wildly when someone in the crowd told them about Tim Tebow beliefs.  Evidently they weren’t football fans, so someone brought them up to speed about Tebow. At this point in his career many now say, “he’s a nice kid but…,” However, at that point they didn’t even say that; they simply used words like a “Bible thumper” or someone “lost in the 50s.” Now they have to throw him a bone by at least saying, “He’s a nice kid, but…” However, wait until next year when someone connects the dots and assumes he probably won’t vote for the Obama-Biden ticket. The secular left is going to throw everything at him including the kitchen sink.

I was recently asked by someone to give a Catholic perspective about Tebow. I had to explain to this individual that Pope Benedict XVI probably doesn’t even know who Tebow is, but that I am sure the Holy Father would appreciate his earnest approach. Now I also quite convinced that our friends on the Secular Catholic Left probably wish Tebow would shut up or at least voice his concern about their favorite make believe topics such as man made Climate Change.

I heard as much recently while channel surfing. A glutton for punishment I stopped briefly on MSNBC to hear one of their emasculated males go on some sort of tirade about Governor Rick Perry because the Texas Governor (in a Iowa TV commercial) said he believed in marriage between a man and a woman. This particular MSNBC host seemed to really enjoy his own commentary because he concluded by saying he was surprised that the particular Perry Commercial wasn’t in black and white because it seemed right out of the 1950s.

The left has so many things going for it with their social engineering, the daily liberal propaganda they try to shove down the throats of those in the western world via the mainstream media, along with the silver screen and television; one would think they would be ecstatic. However,  when they hear about Evangelicals like Tim Tebow or the increase in Catholic seminarians and young women in religious life who happen to actually believe in what the Catholic Church teaches and even goes so far as to wear cassocks and habits, well this to them is outrageous. Anyone who adheres to what Tebow or these young seminarians and women religious believe, well they must be either dolts or dangerous right wing throwbacks.

These nefarious conspirators want to throw American back into the 1950s when people actually went to church, believed in right and wrong and almost universally applauded any leader (like our current Pope Benedict XVI) who railed against the Dictatorship of Relativism. These counter revolutionaries might even want to cling to their guns and religion.  

In all my days as a player and coach, I don’t think I ever really prayed for a victory. To me God has His purposes and I as a humble adherent to his message just chose to follow Him. However, that doesn’t mean that just once in a while God may actually engineer a game or two for His purposes. Maybe, just maybe Tim Tebow’s miraculous last six victories are meant to send us all a message. Believe, even when the world says there is no God. Believe, when some say God is just some sort of absent minded Mr. Magoo as Bill Maher and some of his Apatheists think. Believe, when a disbelieving world says for God “it’s all good,” and there are not right or wrongs just different shades of gray. Believe, even when leaders think abortion is a fine alternative after all they would hate to see their teenage daughters punished with a child.

Reggie Johnson and or myself might just ask Tim Tebow (if he agrees to appear) how his faith came to grow and flourish on the Christian Peschken produced television program Non Negotiable, which God willing should be on the air in 2012. By now you may have probably heard that doctors tried to talk Tebow’s parents into having him aborted since it was believed he would be deformed and probably too small to live if he was born. (You might recall Tebow and his mother appeared in a Super Bowl Pro Life ad while he was still in college.) God only knows how many others parents were probably told the same scenario. All of these factors cause those with or without beliefs to evaluate their own beliefs when someone is so adamant and happy go lucky as is Tebow with his beliefs.

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61 Responses to Why The Secular Left Dislikes Tim Tebow

  • Tebow’s become a political football. The secular left hates him because the religious right loves him.

  • Tim didn’t get the diktat. Only godless rats are allowed to publicly express their beliefs.

  • The secular left hates him because the religious right loves him.

    Try a more plausible hypothesis: the secular left hates him because that’s how they roll.

  • Leftists tend to be a very intolerant bunch, which makes their usual shouting about tolerance hilarious. When it comes to public displays of Christian faith they react like vampires to a cross in an old horror flick.

  • RR-
    the reverse is true, for some of us; I wouldn’t even know who Tebow was if it wasn’t for so many lefties hating him. Sadly, it’s not just the secular folks, either.

  • I shy away from public displays of religiosity. Much of my experience of public prayer has been negative. Only God knows whether a public display is for Him or is mere self-aggrandizement.

    I hope that Mr. Tebow’s is a deep-rooted impulse to praise the creator who animates him with the prowess as he displays on the field.

    As a Philadelphian, I’m a bit jealous of Denver and their Broncos.

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  • Persacution Complex. A staple of the religious right. Has it occurred to any of you that maybe you are imagining all the hate? I myself am an Atheist (bring on the hate, you know you want to) and I’m indifferent to Tebow, my issue is with all this hype surrounding him solely because he is a christian. Face facts, Tim Tebow is an average quarterback. He’s not the worst in the NFL, but hes no Drew Brees or Tom Brady (check the stats: http://espn.go.com/nfl/statistics/player/_/stat/passing/sort/quarterbackRating) The reason Tebow wins these games is because of the team itself. The last game was won because the broncos kicker managed to pull out two 50+ yard field goals. The kicker did that, not Tebow. I’m not trying to offened anyone, but calm down. People are allowed to not like someone for a number of reasons, not just because of their religon.

    BTW, I always get a good laugh at christians who cry about “intolerance” when I read stories like this: http://elev8.com/news/orethawinston/all-american-muslim-controversy/

  • “Has it occurred to any of you that maybe you are imagining all the hate?”

    Too funny. SeanB. (You’re not serious, are you?)

  • Sean B, first of all, I think it would be fair to those non believers to seperate non belief in two categories. I have met earnest non believers who say they try to believe but it is hard for them. They have no ill will toward believers and even feel a sense of loss for not believing. However, they keep an open mind. Your post seems to be of that group who doesn’t keep in open mind and has some sort of Father Figure baggage as Jung and even Freud stated (though an athiest Freud was rather amused by those athiests who mocked and or proselytized their beliefs as if their atheist beliefs were a religion.)

    You went on about “perseuction complex” and “bring on the hate, you know you want to.” What is that all about? I could have linked to sites that mocked Tebow with four letter tirades, but I didn’t because this is a family site. I could have linked to various pro abortion stories that essentially admit their killing the unborn and seem to take some sort of demonic joy in their act and the heartache that these monstrosities cause for believers. Once again I did not. I could have linked to the rapidly growing , I bet I can find 1,000,000 Facebook fans who hate Tim Tebow but I did not.

    Tim Tebow is someone I have rooted against in just about every college game he played because he was a Florida Gator and being a Buckeye fan, well we certainly have bad memories of playing the Gators. I simply cheered on Tebow the last few weeks because; yes he is a great guy who I think the world needs more of and he also played for a horrible team who you couldn’t help but root for once they started getting their act together.

    Sean B, if there are some believers who you feel hate from prehaps it is because by the mockery you throw our way and by your casual dismissal of God, yes you might bring on some righteous anger in a believer. Have you ever really pondered how ridiculous your belief system is? I mean it really only reared its head in the Enligtenment following the Protestant Reformation. There exists no primitive culture in the world who were atheists. God did implant knowledge of Him in everyone. Perhaps you might want to read “God Is” by the late Oxford Physicist Alan Hayward who pretty much concluded that it would have been more than a 1,000,000,000,000 to 1 shot that Earth could have the right amount of water, oxygen, temperature etc to exist by simple random chance. As someone once said, “I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist.”

    I will conclude with this point from my upcoming book, a famous atheist once said that random chance not only made the planet earth but also could make a monkey with the right amount of time bang out a sonnet worthy of Shakespeare on a typewriter. A few years ago a zoo took a computer keyboard and put in a zoo’ monkey cage. After several keyboard were beat upon, jumped on, urianted on etc the monkeys had indeed written many thousands of characters on the monitor. Yet not even one word, let alone a sonnet worthy of Shakespeare. Take care my friend and keep an open mind. You may have given up on God, but He will never give up on you.

  • The Infinite Monkey Theorem that our friend Darwin Catholic uses as his avatar! A possibility, but not within any relevant time period.

    I”n this context, “almost surely” is a mathematical term with a precise meaning, and the “monkey” is not an actual monkey, but a metaphor for an abstract device that produces a random sequence of letters and symbols ad infinitum. The probability of a monkey exactly typing a complete work such as Shakespeare’s Hamlet is so tiny that the chance of it occurring during a period of time even a hundred thousand orders of magnitude longer than the age of the universe is extremely low, but not actually zero.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_monkey_theorem

  • @Dave
    “You went on about “perseuction complex” and “bring on the hate, you know you want to.” What is that all about?” Simple. You may not realize this, but christians aren’t all that friendly to those of us in the non-belief system. Your post more then highlights this fact.

    “Your post seems to be of that group who doesn’t keep in open mind” I am an Atheist BECAUSE of an open mind. The first half of my life I was raised catholic. I’ve been baptised, I’ve had my first communion, and I sat in church and sunday school every week untill I realized it made no sense.

    “Have you ever really pondered how ridiculous your belief system is?” Silly me, clearly the religon of virgin births, the dead rising over the weekend and a universe created in 6 days far less ridiculous. Also, you ever eat at a red lobster?

    “There exists no primitive culture in the world who were atheists. God did implant knowledge of Him in everyone” Soooooooo how does that explain the greeks who worshiped Zues, or the Scandanavians who worshiped Odin? Do they exsist? Did they imprint their exsistance in them?

    BTW, You bring up the facebook page, so I pose the question. Could this be your fault? You took an average quarterback who belives in god and made him out to be the greatest Football player in the history of football?

    Also, can’t help but notice he works on sunday. Just saying…

  • “There exists no primitive culture in the world who were atheists.”

    Well yeah…. The enlightened theists of the time killed all the atheists as heretics or witches.

  • Contrary to Sean B’s assertions, there is vast amount of evidence from science for what the Bible claims. Dr. Hugh Ross at the Reasons to Beleive Institute discusses these at length at his web site. Perhaps Sean B should start at the sub-links here:

    http://www.reasons.org/physics/constants-physics

    Like almost every atheist I have met to date, Sean B believes in his religion of scientism (to be differentiated from science) and atheism (my god is me) with every bit as much fervor as a Southern Baptist Fundamentalist believes in short Earth history creationism.

    So may Sean B’s closed mind be open enough to consider what Hugh Ross – a bona fide scientist – writes. There is a wealth of information at his web site and it will take days to sift through it.

  • Dear Atheists: Thank you for contributing to solidify that God exist and is among us.

  • Bob how could an atheist be a heretic or witch, since athiests don’t believe in anything but themselves. As I stated in my article, atheism first came about during the Enlightenment following the Protestant Reformation. Atheism is a very new and very self absorbed belief system. By the way Bob, how many millions of believers did the atheist Joseph Stalin, the atheist Mao and the atheist Pol Pot murder?

  • It appears that a comment sarcastically stating that enlightened theists murdered atheists in primitive societies has been deleted. No matter. The accusation should be addressed, at least by drawing a comparison with the almost 100 million people whom atheists of the 20th century murdered (i.e., Josef Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, etc.). Maximillien Robespierre in the France of the late 1790s was a trial run.

    PS, here are a few more articles for the atheist to consider:

    Temporality beyond Time: What the Creation Reveals
    http://www.reasons.org/temporality-beyond-time-what-creation-reveals

    Fine-Tuning For Life In The Universe (AUG 2006)
    http://www.reasons.org/fine-tuning-life-universe-aug-2006

    I have Dr. Hugh Ross’s book at home that gives the figures for the 93 physical constants of the universe listed in the last web link that have to be fined tuned for life to appear, sometimes to as much as one part in 10^100 (that’s a 1 followed by 100 zeroes) or more. That means that a chimp has to pound out 93 different books having 10^100 characters with no mistakes. It’ll take a while for a chimp to do that – more time than the universe itself has.

    “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made.” Romans 1:19-20a

  • Opps, that comment wasn’t deleted! My bad! sorry!

  • Dinesh D’Souza, a Protestant evangelical apologist, wrote an interesting article in the Christian Science Monitor entitled, “Atheism, not religion, is the real force behind the mass murders of history.”

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/1121/p09s01-coop.html

    There is a certain logic to this. Atheists reject God, the giver of life Who is life Himself. So the only thing they have left to offer is death.

  • Dave – http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/heretic ; “anyone who does not conform to an established attitude, doctrine, or principle.” The catholic church burned heretics, witches, and pretty much anyone who would dare spread dissent from their viewpoints.

    Additionally, atheism is not a new concept, it existed during ancient days – see Samkhya Philosophy from around 200AD. Also see “Diagoras of Melos”.

    Finally – I find it fascinating that you bring up Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot – leaders of communist regimes, well known for their brutality and inequality. Are you saying that the only thing stopping you from going on a mass murdering spree is your belief in God?

  • “Are you saying that the only thing stopping you from going on a mass murdering spree is your belief in God?”

    While not directed towards me, the short answer is YES!

    But for the grace of God, there go I. Without God man behaves like a mindless, irresponsible baboon.

  • @Paul – please don’t reproduce.

  • @Paul
    That does not say much about you. I don’t believe in god, do you know why I havn’t gone on a killing spree yet?

  • @Bob:

    Too late. I have already reproduced. It’s that old “be frutiful and multiply” commandment back in Genesis.

    @Sean B:

    Obviously the grace of God has penetrated somewhere into your psyche – thankfully!

  • Romans 7:14 though 8:9 bears on this discussion, but I am unsure that an atheist would understand.

    14* We know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15* I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. 17 So then it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me. 21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22* For I delight in the law of God, in my inmost self, 23* but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members. 24* Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I of myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

    1* There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2* For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death. 3* For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, * he condemned sin in the flesh, 4* in order that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5* For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6* To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, indeed it cannot; 8* and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9* But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Any one who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

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  • What’s with the sudden oh-I’m-a-victim-and-you’ve-got-mental-issues thing from atheists? Just the usual projection, someone suggested it, or just happenstance that I’ve seen it pop up recently?

    Bob- please note the primary definition; the third definition down is a (metaphorical, in this case) less common use, same as in a normal, printed dictionary. BTW, the logical fallacy you’re committing is called equivocation. (Incidentally, protestants are the ones that went for burning in a big way, and even then it wasn’t as big as Hollywood and various anti-Christian groups like to pretend.)

  • Sean B & Bob, you guys are making this very easy. You atheists are the smart ones really? Samkhya is a Hindu school of thought, hardly an atheist thinker. The Catholic author Mark Shea often says, scratch an atheist and find a fundamentalist, never more true than with your posts. http://www.ncregister.com/blog/zac-alstin-notes-a-basic-principle/

    I don’t know how Paul and I could have been nicer in our earlier posts and yet you basically tell us how smart you are even though you couldn’t debunk any of our historical posts. In Paul’s case you went the old Eugenics-Margaret Sanger route and just told him not to reproduce. I can’t wait to see what your Psychological retort to Foxfier’s Projection analysis might be.

    Perhaps I should take some advice from a student of mine who I taught in my first year of teaching. I was teaching World History and blessed to have a very intelligent eclectic class. They all excelled except one student who always had excuses or complaints about everyone and everything. I tried to connect with the kid to see if there was something I could do. Finally one female student must have noticed my anguish and she gave me some great advice which I think applies to most militant atheists like yourselves, “With all due respect you are overthinking this siutation. He doesn’t want to achieve so blames everyone and everything but himself. He’s just lazy,” she said. An apt description of militant atheists; you would rather make excuses than see the trees for the forest.

    To quote the old commercial, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” You have all the evidence for God that you need, but because it isn’t the way you would do it, you just pretend He doesn’t exist. When a believer screws up, you rejoice, you think it lets you off the hook. My guess is you would never read the links provided by others or read the works of great minds like St Thomas Aquinas or St Albert the Great, who is father of modern science, for you fear the truth you will read. How sad you that you live such self absorbed and narcissistic lives. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albertus_Magnus
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Aquinas

  • @foxfier “What’s with the sudden oh-I’m-a-victim-and-you’ve-got-mental-issues thing from atheists?” Did you miss the whole “WAH WAH, leftists are mean to tebow” article? Like I said, Christians love the persicution complex.

    @Dave “An apt description of militant atheists; you would rather make excuses than see the trees for the forest.” Or maybe, just maybe, the proof against christianity is stronger then the proof for? Anyone can say “Goddidit” to answer all the questions of the universe and be done with it, it actually takes effort to prove things WITHOUT god to fall back on. Try opening your mind my friend.

  • @foxfier “What’s with the sudden oh-I’m-a-victim-and-you’ve-got-mental-issues thing from atheists?” Did you miss the whole “WAH WAH, leftists are mean to tebow” article? Like I said, Christians love the persicution complex.

    @Dave “An apt description of militant atheists; you would rather make excuses than see the trees for the forest.” Or maybe, just maybe, the proof against christianity is stronger then the proof for? Anyone can say “Goddidit” to answer all the questions of the universe and be done with it, it actually takes effort to prove things WITHOUT god to fall back on. Try opening your mind my friend.

  • Sean B,

    You did exactly what every atheist I have ever met did. You refused to read and study information that disagrees with your preconceived notions. You want to be God even though you declare you evolved from nothing but a mindless ape. Go to the Reasons to Believe Institute and study what a bona fide scientist has to say. Start here:

    http://www.reasons.org/physics/constants-physics

    http://www.reasons.org/rtbs-creation-model/tcm-big-bang

    By the way, God DID do it (i.e., creation) and you will find that out one day. You and I owe Him our allegiance, our obedience and our love. But in spite of the fact that you denigrate and revile and criticize and condemn with unceasing loathing any belief in and love for God, God still loves you – so much so that His only begotten Son died for you – and that is what must burn you up with unceasing agony.

  • I’m glad Tebow is winning. He’s thanking Jesus every time. Now when they lose I guess he has got to thank Satan. After all, it is only consistent with his “reasoning”.

  • Oh I read things I don’t agree with. The bible for instance. According to the bible, the Earth was created by god. Also, the bible says the sun revovles around the earth (Psalms 93:1) and that the earth is flat (Job 11:9). And how did those two work out?

    Why would I be burned up about the death of the son of a guy I don’t believe ever exsisted?

  • There is a web site called “Evidence for God” at http://www.godandscience.org. It’s a little too fundamentalist for my tastes, but it aptly summarizes what Dr. Hugh Ross and other Christians who are scientists have explained about the degree of fine tuning of the physical constants that make up the universe. When confronted with this evidence, the atheist invariably invokes without a shred of physical evidence an infinite multiverse where an infinite number of universes exist. The atheist explanation goes like this: if the number of universes is infinite, then surely one will have life. This shows that atheists have simply made the multiverse their god – a god of esoteric unproven mathematical equations and all without a shred of physical evidence, nor can there be because the laws of physics are different in these different universes, so we could never observe them with our senses anyways. How is that different than an infinite invisible God? Nevertheless, before I get carried away with myself, let’s have at least some salient points in the article at http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/designun.html:

    —–

    According to Carl Sagan, the universe (cosmos) “is all that is or ever was or ever will be.” However, the idea that the universe is all is not a scientific fact, but an assumption based upon materialistic naturalism. Since Carl Sagan’s death in 1996, new discoveries in physics and cosmology bring into questions Sagan’s assumption about the universe. Evidence shows that the constants of physics have been finely tuned to a degree not possible through human engineering. Five of the more finely tuned numbers are included in the table below. For comments about what scientists think about these numbers, see the page Quotes from Scientists Regarding Design of the Universe.

    Fine Tuning of the Physical Constants of the Universe

    Ratio of Electrons:Protons
    Max Deviation:
    1:10^37

    Ratio of Electromagnetic Force:Gravity
    Max Deviation:
    1:10^40

    Expansion Rate of Universe
    Max Deviation:
    1:10^55

    Mass of Universe
    1:10^59

    Cosmological Constant
    1:10^120

    These numbers represent the maximum deviation from the accepted values, that would either prevent the universe from existing now, not having matter, or be unsuitable for any form of life.

    Recent Studies have confirmed the fine tuning of the cosmological constant (also known as “dark energy”). This cosmological constant is a force that increases with the increasing size of the universe. First hypothesized by Albert Einstein, the cosmological constant was rejected by him, because of lack of real world data. However, recent supernova 1A data demonstrated the existence of a cosmological constant that probably made up for the lack of light and dark matter in the universe. However, the data was tentative, since there was some variability among observations. Recent cosmic microwave background (CMB) measurement not only demonstrate the existence of the cosmological constant, but the value of the constant. It turns out that the value of the cosmological constant exactly makes up for the lack of matter in the universe.

    The degree of fine-tuning is difficult to imagine. Dr. Hugh Ross gives an example of the least fine-tuned of the above four examples in his book, The Creator and the Cosmos, which is reproduced here:

    One part in 10^37 is such an incredibly sensitive balance that it is hard to visualize. The following analogy might help: Cover the entire North American continent in dimes all the way up to the moon, a height of about 239,000 miles (In comparison, the money to pay for the U.S. federal government debt would cover one square mile less than two feet deep with dimes.). Next, pile dimes from here to the moon on a billion other continents the same size as North America. Paint one dime red and mix it into the billions of piles of dimes. Blindfold a friend and ask him to pick out one dime. The odds that he will pick the red dime are one in 10^37.

    The ripples in the universe from the original Big Bang event are detectable at one part in 100,000. If this factor were slightly smaller, the universe would exist only as a collection of gas – no planets, no life. If this factor were slightly larger, the universe would consist only of large black holes. Obviously, no life would be possible in such a universe.

    Another finely tuned constant is the strong nuclear force (the force that holds atoms together). The Sun “burns” by fusing hydrogen (and higher elements) together. When the two hydrogen atoms fuse, 0.7% of the mass of the hydrogen is converted into energy. If the amount of matter converted were slightly smaller—0.6% instead of 0.7%— a proton could not bond to a neutron, and the universe would consist only of hydrogen. With no heavy elements, there would be no rocky planets and no life. If the amount of matter converted were slightly larger—0.8%, fusion would happen so readily and rapidly that no hydrogen would have survived from the Big Bang. Again, there would be no solar systems and no life. The number must lie exactly between 0.6% and 0.8% (Martin Rees, Just Six Numbers).

    —–

    There is a lot more information in Dr. Hugh Ross’s book, “The Creator and the Cosmos.” Please buy it (you can’t have mine – it’s all marked up and worn out). I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that nature shouts out “GOD” and only a fool denies this.

  • Did you miss the whole “WAH WAH, leftists are mean to tebow” article? Like I said, Christians love the persicution complex.

    False equivalence, and you did not respond to the question.

    Goodness, for a supposedly “rational” person, you don’t bother with logic and reason much.

  • “After all, it is only consistent with his “reasoning”.”

    Only for those who are completely clueless about God, which is a pretty good definition of an atheist.

  • “Why would I be burned up about the death of the son of a guy I don’t believe ever exsisted?”

    Sean, you won’t be burned up by the death of the son of a guy you don’t believe in.

    Rather, if you continue in your unrepentent state, then you will wilfully send your own self to hell to burn for all eternity. You will never be burned up. Rather, you would burn unendingly and in ceaseless torment, and if you continue on your current course, then you will choose this fate voluntarily rather than believe. No one here at The American Catholic (I am sure) would ever want that for you.

    As for Earth having been created by God, it was: accretion of stony rocks around a central mass of hydrogen some 4.5 biullion years ago. And the universe was created by God in the Big Bang some 13.73 billion years ago. Atheists hate the big bang because it means that there IS a creation point – the singularity at the beginning – and hence a Creator. Thus they posit that unproven multiverse junk science. They make the mulitverse their god.

    BTW, Psalm 93:1 says: “The LORD is king,* robed with majesty; the LORD is robed, girded with might. The world will surely stand in place, never to be moved.” It doesn’t say the Earth is flat, and furthermore, it’s part of a poem. Poets use poetic license. They don’t write a science text book.

    Also, Job 11:9 says: “It (the depth of God) is longer than the earth in measure, and broader than the sea.” It doesn’t say the sun revolves around the Earth, but even if it did, all of Job is a poem and poems aren’t science text books.

    Read real scientists like Dr. Hugh Ross and Stephen M. Barr.

  • “accretion of stony rocks around a central mass of hydrogen some 4.5 biullion years ago.”

    Please change to:

    “accretion of stony rocks into a solid mass in orbit around a central mass of hydrogen fusion some 4.5 biullion years ago.”

    Details – details – details

  • Did the church teach you reading skills? Here is what I typed: “Also, the bible says the sun revovles around the earth (Psalms 93:1) and that the earth is flat (Job 11:9).” You writing out what I said only proves the point. Thanks pal.

    BUT WAIT, are you saying there are parts of the bible that should NOT be taken seriously? Does that include the “DO NOT EAT SHELFISH” thing?

    “Rather, if you continue in your unrepentent state, then you will wilfully send your own self to hell to burn for all eternity.” But god will do it with love right? Because god is love. FURIOUS LOVE. LOVE YOU TO DEATH!!!!!!!!!!!

  • One thing is for sure… and that, dear Atheists, is how God always works … He got a lot attention. Hate is the result of fear. All that screaming and yelling.. fear … and fear is the opposite of Love… but true Love come only from God through his son Jesus! He loved us first!

  • Sean, I quoted the verse of Sacred Scripture that you cited. They do not state what you claimed they stated.

    As for eating shell fish, please read Acts 10:9-16. Also, please read Mark 7:18-19 where Jesus declared all food clean.

    Also, remember that Jesus does love you to death – His death. See John 3:16-17.

    I have provided you with detailed evidence from science. I have rationally and dispassionately answered your “questions” and rebuted you position with logic and what I know from physics. All you have offered in return is irrational yelling and screaming. There is only one recourse – to invoke our Blessed Mother’s Intercession for you:

    Hail Mary, full of grace.
    Blessed art Thou among women
    And blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus.
    Holy Mary, Mother of God,
    Pray for us sinners
    Now and at the hour of our death.
    Amen!

    You don’t have to go to hell, but that means you have to surrender your free will to Him.

  • “Did the church teach you reading skills? Here is what I typed: “Also, the bible says the sun revovles around the earth (Psalms 93:1) and that the earth is flat (Job 11:9).” You writing out what I said only proves the point. Thanks pal.”

    Dimestore atheists are always such a howl when they attempt to troll a Catholic website. Here is a clue: we are not fundamentalists. Catholics from the time of Christ have been interpreting passages in the Bible in a figurative and not a literal sense. Most atheist trolls are as literalist when it comes to the Bible as any Holy Roller.

    Here is what Saint Augustine wrote on the subject:

    “It not infrequently happens that something about the earth, about the sky, about other elements of this world, about the motion and rotation or even the magnitude and distances of the stars, about definite eclipses of the sun and moon, about the passage of years and seasons, about the nature of animals, of fruits, of stones, and of other such things, may be known with the greatest certainty by reasoning or by experience, even by one who is not a Christian. It is too disgraceful and ruinous, though, and greatly to be avoided, that he [the non-Christian] should hear a Christian speaking so idiotically on these matters, and as if in accord with Christian writings, that he might say that he could scarcely keep from laughing when he saw how totally in error they are. In view of this and in keeping it in mind constantly while dealing with the book of Genesis, I have, insofar as I was able, explained in detail and set forth for consideration the meanings of obscure passages, taking care not to affirm rashly some one meaning to the prejudice of another and perhaps better explanation.

    With the scriptures it is a matter of treating about the faith. For that reason, as I have noted repeatedly, if anyone, not understanding the mode of divine eloquence, should find something about these matters [about the physical universe] in our books, or hear of the same from those books, of such a kind that it seems to be at variance with the perceptions of his own rational faculties, let him believe that these other things are in no way necessary to the admonitions or accounts or predictions of the scriptures.”

  • Donald, the atheist wants a science text book out of the Bible and when he doesn’t get one, he cites that as proof that the Bible is false. But in reality what the atheist is given is God’s love, and that I think is really what he can’t stand: being rescued from the self-imposed hell of an overweening ego and the inferiority complex of a man who the harder he relies on his pride hates himself all the more. For the atheist there is nothing worthwhile with his life because when he dies, that’s it – no eternity. So when an atheist sees a Christian, he can’t stand that sense of hope that he himself refuses to accept for to do so would mean sacrificing his own ego and admitting that without Jesus all his feelings of inferiority are ever so real.

    This isn’t based on science. All the web links and scientific explanations that I provided proves that. The atheist can’t dispute a single point. All he can do is foam at the mouth at something that inwardly he knows is true but outwardly can’t acquiesce to lest he admit he is (Heaven forbid!) wrong. It’s that old ego out of control with an unstoppable inferiority complex. I recognize it well because I can be its victim all too easily, and was for 10 years of alcoholic insanity. The reason why I rejected a 12 step program when the XO on my submarine sent me to one? The steps had God in them and I was going to be damned before I believed in any God. Thus, God allowed me the damnation of my addictions. That’s what it took for me, and I suspect Sean may unhappily require a similar experience.

    🙁

  • @Paul “Sean, I quoted the verse of Sacred Scripture that you cited. They do not state what you claimed they stated.” Because you quoted them backwards.

    Psalm 93:1 says: “The LORD is king, robed with majesty; the LORD is robed, girded with might. The world will surely stand in place, never to be moved.” The reason it has nothing to do with a flat earth is because it says “The world will surely stay in place” as in not move, as in Earth does not move around the sun. Also, Job 11:9 says: “It (the depth of God) is longer than the earth in measure, and broader than the sea.” The reason this dosn’t have to do with the sun revolving around the earth is because this is the flat earth quote. Longer then the earth is impossible because The earth is a sphere, and as such has no starting or ending point that isn’t arbitrarily chosen (my front door for instance.) A flat earth does not have this problem.

    “All you have offered in return is irrational yelling and screaming.” Not yelling or screaming, I’m typing. But while doing so I shake my head at statements like “I have provided you with detailed evidence from science. I have rationally and dispassionately answered your “questions” and rebuted you position with logic” when (as my paragraph above pointed out) you don’t even seem to be reading my posts. But if you read my posts like I’m yelling a screaming, that goes back to the persecution complex.

    But if you must go, answer me one more question. Why would god give me free will, if I must give it up to avoid an eternity of torment? Kinda seems like god is the ultimate troll…

  • Sean,

    God gave you free will so that you can chose love on your own. When you Him, you chose love. He doesn’t want automatons.

    As for the Bible verses, the Bible isn’t a science book. It’s the book of God’s love for humanity. Read what Donald explained.

    I say again: God won’t “send” you to hell. You do that all by yourself when you reject Him.

  • Very good points Don, Christian, Paul & Foxfier. As I indicated above, Mark Shea’s line about Scratch an Atheist & FInd a Fundamentalist is so true. Instead of telling us why there is no God, they instead make fun of Him and tell us how superior they are. This is Freud 101, earlier Foxfier talked about Projection. It has been widely reported that the atheist stars, Hitchens, Dawkins etc all had father and authority issues. The posts of these militant atheist (no matter the thread or website) cry out hate and fear of authority.

    It is kind of like hearing someone talking about an old car their family had; one family member talks about how much they loved the old green family station wagon while the other member says they never had a station wagon. He goes on to say that he hates green and never liked riding in green station wagons because he didn’t like being stuck in back with the family dog and therefore they never had a green family station wagon. Though they will probably not like to hear this; I am sure I am not alone in saying that we all pray for all atheists and hope they see the light and not stay in the very darkness that is eating their soul and taking away their joy.

  • “For the atheist there is nothing worthwhile with his life because when he dies, that’s it – no eternity”. Shows what you know. I have purpose and his name is Caleb B. He is my two year old nephew. His dad is the ginger hair definition of a deadbeet. Everything I do in my life for now is to make his life as great as I can, and to be the father figure he will always need, and to fo the same thing when I have my own kids. Kind of seems like I do have somthing worthwhile in my life. As for the christians, you die, you make it to heaven, then what? You live for eternity with no more purpose.

    Have fun with that

  • I wasn’t going to weigh in on this thread because, honestly, I think Tebow is a mediocre quarterback getting by on a combination of things. That said, when I see things like this along with the wisdom of trolls like SeanB I can’t help but partially root for the Broncos and Tebow to keep on rolling.

  • SeanB, I refer you to my previous post.

  • Sean,

    Heaven be praised for Caleb B. Caleb is one of my favorite Old Testament characters – the one man who believed the children of Israel could take the Promised Land when everyone else said no. And at 80 years of age when finally they made it into the land of Canaan, he wanted the tallest mountain with the largest giants. No wimp of a man was he!

    But what will you do, Sean, if God forbid something happens to Caleb? What is Caleb is no more? Then what is your reason for living? Or better yet, what if when Caleb grows up he becomes a Christian? What will you do then?

    I love my two little children with all my heart. I even love my ex-wife (but I really don’t like her all that much, though I do like her boyfriend – kind of weird). But Jesus is the reason. Jesus – nothing else can compare. And without Him I have nothing. I learned that a long time ago in a 12 step program when I was told that I can’t get sober for my spouse, my kids, my Mom, my priest, my job, my boss, or whatever. I had to come to believe that a Power greater than myself could restore me to sanity. And fortunately that penetrated the lead and concrete surrounding my skull. Of course I had to be beaten into submission – that old powerlessness and unmanageability – first. In my case, God used my addictions to beat me not senseless, but into sense.

  • “As for the christians, you die, you make it to heaven, then what? You live for eternity with no more purpose.”

    Look up Beatific Vision Sean B. Divine love and human love as a reflection of divine love is never ending in Heaven. Our brief spurts of joy here on Earth are but pallid reflections of the true joy in the next life with God who we will see face to face.

  • Maybe this will help Sean B. Chapter 4 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous (http://www.aa.org/bigbookonline/en_tableofcnt.cfm) has a most excellent discussion on the topic of God, Atheism and Agnosticism. It is entitled, “To the Agnostic”. Below I have excerpted pertinent paragraphs for the stubbornly agnostic and atheist. As Bill Wilson writes at the end of this chapter, “Who are you to say there is no God.”

    …we have written a book which we believe to be spiritual as well as moral. And it means, of course, that we are going to talk about God. Here difficulty arises with agnostics. Many times we talk to a new man and watch his hope rise as we discuss his alcoholic problems and explain our fellowship. But his face falls when we speak of spiritual matters, especially when we mention God, for we have re-opened a subject which our man thought he had neatly evaded or entirely ignored.

    We know how he feels. We have shared his honest doubt and prejudice. Some of us have been violently anti-religious. To others, the word “God” brought up a particular idea of Him with which someone had tried to impress them during childhood. Perhaps we rejected this particular conception because it seemed inadequate. With that rejection we imagined we had abandoned the God idea entirely. We were bothered with the thought that faith and dependence upon a Power beyond ourselves was somewhat weak, even cowardly. We looked upon this world of warring individuals, warring theological systems, and inexplicable calamity, with deep skepticism. We looked askance at many individuals who claimed to be godly. How could a Supreme Being have anything to do with it all? And who could comprehend a Supreme Being anyhow? Yet, in other moments, we found ourselves thinking, when enchanted by a starlit night, “Who, then, made all this?” There was a feeling of awe and wonder, but it was fleeting and soon lost.

    Yes, we of agnostic temperament have had these thoughts and experiences. Let us make haste to reassure you. We found that as soon as we were able to lay aside prejudice and express even a willingness to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, we commenced to get results, even though it was impossible for any of us to fully define or comprehend that Power, which is God.

    Besides a seeming inability to accept much on faith, we often found ourselves handicapped by obstinacy, sensitiveness, and unreasoning prejudice. Many of us have been so touchy that even casual reference to spiritual things make us bristle with antagonism. This sort of thinking had to be abandoned. Though some of us resisted, we found no great difficulty in casting aside such feelings. Faced with alcoholic destruction, we soon became as open minded on spiritual matters as we had tried to be on other questions. In this respect alcohol was a great persuader. It finally beat us into a state of reasonableness. Sometimes this was a tedious process; we hope no one else will prejudiced for as long as some of us were.

    The reader may still ask why he should believe in a Power greater than himself. We think there are good reasons. Let us have a look at some of them.

    The practical individual of today is a stickler for facts and results. Nevertheless, the twentieth century readily accepts theories of all kinds, provided they are firmly grounded in fact. We have numerous theories, for example, about electricity. Everybody believes them without a murmur of doubt. Why this ready acceptance? Simply because it is impossible to explain what we see, feel, direct, and use, without a reasonable assumption as a starting point.

    Everybody nowadays, believes in scores of assumptions for which there is good evidence, but no perfect visual proof. And does not science demonstrate that visual proof is the weakest proof? It is being constantly revealed, as mankind studies the material world, that outward appearances are not inward reality at all. To illustrate:

    The prosaic steel girder is a mass of electrons whirling around each other at incredible speed. These tiny bodies are governed by precise laws, and these laws hold true throughout the material world, Science tells us so. We have no reason to doubt it. When, however, the perfectly logical assumption is suggested that underneath the material world and life as we see it, there is an All Powerful, Guiding, Creative Intelligence, right there our perverse streak comes to the surface and we laboriously set out to convince ourselves it isn’t so. We read wordy books and indulge in windy arguments, thinking we believe this universe needs no God to explain it. Were our contentions true, it would follow that life originated out of nothing, means nothing, and proceeds nowhere.

    Instead of regarding ourselves as intelligent agents, spearheads of God’s ever advancing Creation, we agnostics and atheists chose to believe that our human intelligence was the last word, the alpha and the omega, the beginning and end of all. Rather vain of us, wasn’t it?

    We, who have traveled this dubious path, beg you to lay aside prejudice, even against organized religion. We have learned that whatever the human frailties of various faiths may be, those faiths have given purpose and direction to millions. People of faith have a logical idea of what life is all about. Actually, we used to have no reasonable conception whatever. We used to amuse ourselves by cynically dissecting spiritual beliefs and practices when we might have observed that many spiritually-minded persons of all races, colors, and creeds were demonstrating a degree of stability, happiness and usefulness which we should have sought ourselves. Instead, we looked at the human defects of these people, and sometimes used their shortcomings as a basis of wholesale condemnation. We talked of intolerance, while we were intolerant ourselves. We missed the reality and the beauty of the forest because we were diverted by the ugliness of some its trees. We never gave the spiritual side of life a fair hearing.

    We asked ourselves this: Are not some of us just as biased and unreasonable about the realm of the spirit as were the ancients about the realm of the material? Even in the present century, American newspapers were afraid to print an account of the Wright brothers’ first successful flight at Kittyhawk. Had not all efforts at flight failed before? Did not Professor Langley’s flying machine go to the bottom of the Potomac River? Was it not true that the best mathematical minds had proved man could never fly? Had not people said God had reserved this privilege to the birds? Only thirty years later the conquest of the air was almost an old story and airplane travel was in full swing.

    But in most fields our generation has witnessed complete liberation in thinking. Show any longshoreman a Sunday supplement describing a proposal to explore the moon by means of a rocket and he will say, “I bet they do it maybe not so long either.” Is not our age characterized by the ease with which we discard old ideas for new, by the complete readiness with which we throw away the theory or gadget which does not work for something new which does?

    We had to ask ourselves why we shouldn’t apply to our human problems this same readiness to change our point of view.

    When we saw others solve their problems by a simple reliance upon the Spirit of the Universe, we had to stop doubting the power of God. Our ideas did not work. But the God idea did.

    The Wright brothers’ almost childish faith that they could build a machine which would fly was the mainspring of their accomplishment. Without that, nothing could have happened. We agnostics and atheists were sticking to the idea that self- sufficiency would solve our problems. When others showed us that “God-sufficiency worked with them, we began to feel like those who had insisted the Wrights would never fly.

    Logic is great stuff. We like it. We still like it. It is not by chance we were given the power to reason, to examine the evidence of our sense, and to draw conclusions. That is one of man’s magnificent attributes. We agnostically inclined would not feel satisfied with a proposal which does not lend itself to reasonable approach and interpretation. Hence we are at pains to tell why we think our present faith is reasonable, why we think it more sane and logical to believe than not to believe, why we say our former thinking was soft and mushy when we threw up our hands in doubt and said, “We don’t know.”

    Imagine life without faith! Were nothing left but pure reason, it wouldn’t be life. But we believed in life of course we did. We could not prove life in the sense that you can prove a straight line is the shortest distance between two points, yet, there it was. Could we still say the whole thing was nothing but a mass of electrons, created out of nothing, meaning nothing, whirling on to a destiny of nothingness? Or course we couldn’t. The electrons themselves seemed more intelligent than that. At least, so the chemist said.

    Hence, we saw that reason isn’t everything. Neither is reason, as most of us use it, entirely dependable, thought it emanate from our best minds. What about people who proved that man could never fly? Yet we had been seeing another kind of flight, a spiritual liberation from this world, people who rose above their problems. They said God made these things possible, and we only smiled. We had seen spiritual release, but liked to tell ourselves it wasn’t true.

    Actually we were fooling ourselves, for deep down in every man, woman, and child, is the fundamental idea of God. It may be obscured by calamity, by pomp, by worship of other things, but in some form or other it is there. For faith in a Power greater than ourselves, and miraculous demonstrations of that power in human lives, are facts as old as man himself.

    We finally saw that faith in some kind of God was a part of our make-up, just as much as the feeling we have for a friend. Sometimes we had to search fearlessly, but He was there. He was as much a fact as we were. We found the Great Reality deep down within us. In the last analysis it is only there that He may be found. It was so with us.

  • The link to the Ace of Spades blog that Paul Zummo provided provides a great take on the stupid anti-Tebow hysteria. And Ace is an atheist. I’m a die-hard Packer fan who has never paid any attention to the Broncos, but the hatred Tebow inspires is making me root for him. (I have to say, though, it’s one thing to pull off a last quarter miracle against the Vikings or the Bears sans Cutler; quite another to do it when you’re up against Brady and the Pats. If the Broncos win this weekend, I really will be tempted to believe God is a Denver fan 🙂

    I was never an atheist, but was indifferent to religion for a long time, so I can understand that, although I give thanks I have returned to the Church. What I don’t get are people who are not content to sleep in on Sunday mornings – they have to troll Catholic blogs, file lawsuits against religious displays and public prayers and do whatever they can to destroy the beliefs of others. In other words, they want everyone to be as negative, miserable, and hopeless as they are – and then they wonder why militant atheists are among the most disliked and mistrusted groups in America.

  • “In other words, they want everyone to be as negative,  miserable, and hopeless as they are – and then they wonder why militant atheists are among the most disliked and mistrusted groups in America.”

    Well said, Donna V.

  • Sean B: Good for you and Caleb. I also have nephews and nieces I love dearly.

    However, in your world view, why does your love matter in the slightest? You and Caleb will both end up as nothing but worm food in the end. The Nazis and those they murdered are all equal now – just dust – so basically it does not matter who was victim and who was victimizer. You find the idea of heaven dull. I find the idea that there is ultimately no justice in the universe much, much worse. (That is not to say that I “know” who is going to heaven or hell, or what heaven or hell will be like. If I knew I would be God. )

    T

  • Oh, and one last thing: Here’s a link to a story about a distinguished physicist who is also a firm Christian (despite the fact that he now suffers from Lou Gehrig’s disease):

    http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/a-lifetime-of-scientific-discovery-has-reinforces-mans-faith-in-god-o53bp1t-135388438.html

    “‘I thank the Lord for what I can still do,’ he said. ‘I look at God as the greatest physicist.’

    A lifetime of scientific discovery has reinforced Koch’s faith in God. He treasures his Lutheran faith, and he taught Bible classes until this year.

    Borucki compared their Kepler project to building a cathedral. They laid in the floor, and it will be up to future generations to erect the walls and roof.”

    Dawkins does not speak for all scientists.

  • SEANB stated, “The reason Tebow wins these games is because of the team itself. The last game was won because the broncos kicker managed to pull out two 50+ yard field goals. The kicker did that, not Tebow. I’m not trying to offened anyone, but calm down. People are allowed to not like someone for a number of reasons, not just because of their religon.”

    Interesting SeanB, because Kyle Orton had the same team and was unable to do anything. I don’t know if you ever watched him play for Florida, but he had his teammates believe they could win. He is the epitome of what being positive can do for a team. The guy is a winner, and I will be the first to admit he is not your protypical QB in the NFL.

    He’s been the QB of a team who has won seven of eight games since taking over as their starting quarterback, turning a team that was foundering at 1-4 under Kyle Orton into an improbable playoff contender at 8-5, atop the AFC West.

    Also did you know that he is the 1st QB in NFL history to engineer 6 4th-quarter comebacks in his first 11 starts?

    Whether you like it or not Tebow is the SWAG factor for why they are winning right now, and some people are sick of hearing a non-prototypical QB winning in this fashion… Again Orton had the same team, and was unable to do what Tebow is doing.

    Will he have a long NFL career… I don’t think so, but he is a great example of what it means to be positive and a leader when all odds are against you.

  • This has been quite a discussion to behold. Regarding Sean’s statement, “As for the christians, you die, you make it to heaven, then what? You live for eternity with no more purpose,” all I can say is there is sure a heckuva lot of purpose to last an eternity in this life, so I wouldn’t downplay what’s in store for us in the next life. One thing’s for sure, I’d much rather not spend an eternity wailing and gnashing my teeth.

    As for Tebow, considering what he’s been able to accomplish so far on mediocre skills, it’ll be interesting to see what he can do should he get better with time. Terry Bradshaw, too, didn’t put up gaudy numbers, but he did lead the Steelers to four Super Bowl wins.

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  • I am amazed that a football player brought so much atheist traffic to The American Catholic. There is a diversity of religious opinion on the site but I’ve never seen so many non-believers comment.

    I have my doubts that the comments reflect an honest desire for intellectual intercourse though. That is a shame, for it is that the writers here speak in good faith that keeps me coming back.

    I sincerely hope that those of you who have found us are interested in more than being unpleasant. It just might be that you can describe what it is like to live without faith and we can describe what it is like to live with purpose.

Ash Wednesday: God Wills It!

Wednesday, March 9, AD 2011

Lent is a time for confronting evil, especially the evil within us.  Today is Ash Wednesday.  The origins of the use of ashes on Ash Wednesday is lost in the mists of Church history.  The first pope to mention Ash Wednesday, although the custom was very old by his time, was Pope Urban II.  At the Council of Clermont in 1095, the same Council at which the Pope issued his world altering call for the First Crusade, the Council handed down this decree (among others):  10-11. No layman shall eat meat after the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday until Easter. No cleric shall eat meat from Quinquagesima Sunday until Easter.

That the first pope to mention Ash Wednesday was the same pope who launched the First Crusade is very appropriate.  Although even many Catholics may not realize this today, from first to last the Crusades were a penitential rite for the remission of sins.  One of the foremost modern historian of the Crusades, Thomas Madden, notes this:

During the past two decades, computer-assisted charter studies have demolished that contrivance. Scholars have discovered that crusading knights were generally wealthy men with plenty of their own land in Europe. Nevertheless, they willingly gave up everything to undertake the holy mission. Crusading was not cheap. Even wealthy lords could easily impoverish themselves and their families by joining a Crusade. They did so not because they expected material wealth (which many of them had already) but because they hoped to store up treasure where rust and moth could not corrupt. They were keenly aware of their sinfulness and eager to undertake the hardships of the Crusade as a penitential act of charity and love. Europe is littered with thousands of medieval charters attesting to these sentiments, charters in which these men still speak to us today if we will listen. Of course, they were not opposed to capturing booty if it could be had. But the truth is that the Crusades were notoriously bad for plunder. A few people got rich, but the vast majority returned with nothing.

Pope Urban II was clear on this point in calling for the first Crusades when he reminded the chivalry of Europe of their manifold sins and called them to repentance through the Crusade:

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6 Responses to Ash Wednesday: God Wills It!

  • Medieval penances included Crusades and pilgrimages. See St. Bernard de Clairvaux’ endorsement of the Knights Templars.

    Christendom suffered 400 years of Islamic invasions, massacres and rapines. Then in 1095, in defense of itself and of its “children,” Christendom launched the First Crusade.

    One cannot easily reconcile 21st century “human dignity/peace/justice/secularism” with 11th century Faith and piety.

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  • Deus le volt

    Its interesting that you say the crowds shouted these words.

    Many commentators today claim that it was the Pope who uttered these words, and use that as one of the bases for attacking the Crusades – even many Catholics think this, and is now promoted by liberal teachers and scholars that the Crusades were an evil attack on ‘poor peaceful (gag) muslims’.

    I have even had to explain to people in our RCIA group – not just the candidates – how wrong this understanding is.

  • Popular ignorance of the Crusades Don is never to be underestimated. Most people are simply ignorant of the fact that Islam and Christianity had been at war for more than four centuries by the time of the First Crusade and that Islam was almost always the aggressor.

  • The Timeline
    630 Two years before Muhammad’s death of a fever, he launched the Tabuk Crusade, in which he led 30,000 jihadists against the Byzantine Christians.
    632-634 Caliph Abu Bakr reconquer sometimes conquer for the first time the polytheists of Arabia. The Arab polytheists had to convert to Islam or die.
    633 Khalid al-Walid, the Sword of Allah for his ferocity, conquers the city of Ullays along the Euphrates River (in today’s Iraq). Khalid captures and beheads so many that a nearby canal, into which the blood flowed, was called Blood Canal (Tabari 11:24 / 2034-35).
    634 At the Battle of Yarmuk in Syria the Muslim Crusaders defeat the Byzantines. .
    635 Muslim Crusaders besiege and conquer Damascus
    636 Muslim Crusaders defeat Byzantines decisively at Battle of Yarmuk.
    637 Muslim Crusaders conquer Iraq at the Battle of al-Qadisiyyah
    638 Muslim Crusaders conquer and annex Jerusalem, taking it from the Byzantines.
    638-650 Muslim Crusaders conquer Iran, except along Caspian Sea.
    639-642 Muslim Crusaders conquer Egypt.
    641 Muslim Crusaders control Syria and Palestine.
    643-707 Muslim Crusaders conquer North Africa.
    644-650 Muslim Crusaders conquer Cyprus, Tripoli in North Africa, and establish Islamic rule in Iran, Afghanistan, and Sind.
    673-678 Arabs besiege Constantinople, capital of Byzantine Empire
    691 Dome of the Rock is completed in Jerusalem, only six decades after Muhammad’s death.
    710-713 Muslim Crusaders conquer the lower Indus Valley.
    711-713 Muslim Crusaders conquer Spain and impose the kingdom of Andalus.
    732 The Muslim Crusaders stopped at the Battle of Poitiers; that is, Franks (France) halt Arab advance
    756 Foundation of Umayyid amirate in Cordova, Spain, setting up an independent kingdom from Abbasids
    785 Foundation of the Great Mosque of Cordova
    807 Caliph Harun al-Rashid orders the destruction of non-Muslim prayer houses and of the church of Mary Magdalene in Jerusalem
    809 Aghlabids (Muslim Crusaders) conquer Sardinia, Italy
    813 Christians in Palestine are attacked; many flee the country
    831 Muslim Crusaders capture Palermo, Italy; raids in Southern Italy
    850 Caliph al-Matawakkil orders the destruction of non-Muslim houses of prayer
    837-901 Aghlabids (Muslim Crusaders) conquer Sicily, raid Corsica, Italy, France
    909 Rise of the Fatimid Caliphate in Tunisia; these Muslim Crusaders occupy Sicily, Sardinia
    928-969 Byzantine military revival, they retake old territories, such as Cyprus (964) and Tarsus (969)
    937 The Ikhshid, a particularly harsh Muslim ruler, writes to Emperor Romanus, boasting of his control over the holy places
    937 The Church of the Resurrection (known as Church of Holy Sepulcher in Latin West) is burned down by Muslims; more churches in Jerusalem are attacked
    966 Anti-Christian riots in Jerusalem
    969 Fatimids (Muslim Crusaders) conquer Egypt and found Cairo
    c. 970 Seljuks enter conquered Islamic territories from the East
    973 Israel and southern Syria are again conquered by the Fatimids
    1003 First persecutions by al-Hakim; the Church of St. Mark in Fustat, Egypt, is destroyed
    1009 Destruction of the Church of the Resurrection by al-Hakim (see 937)
    1012 Beginning of al-Hakim’s oppressive decrees against Jews and Christians
    1015 Earthquake in Palestine; the dome of the Dome of the Rock collapses
    1048 Reconstruction of the Church of the Resurrection completed
    1055 Confiscation of property of Church of the Resurrection
    1071 Battle of Manzikert, Seljuk Turks (Muslim Crusaders) defeat Byzantines and occupy much of Anatolia
    1071 Turks (Muslim Crusaders) invade Palestine
    1073 Conquest of Jerusalem by Turks (Muslim Crusaders)
    1075 Seljuks (Muslim Crusaders) capture Nicea (Iznik) and make it their capital in Anatolia
    1076 Almoravids (Muslim Crusaders) (see 1050) conquer western Ghana
    1085 Toledo is taken back by Christian armies
    1086 Almoravids (Muslim Crusaders) (see 1050) send help to Andalus, Battle of Zallaca
    1090-1091 Almoravids (Muslim Crusaders) occupy all of Andalus except Saragossa and Balearic Islands
    1094 Byzantine emperor Alexius Comnenus I asks western Christendom for help against Seljuk invasions of his territory; Seljuks are Muslim Turkish family of eastern origins; see 970
    1095 Pope Urban II preaches first Crusade; they capture Jerusalem in 1099

    So it is only after four centuries of Islamic invasions Western Christendom launches its first Crusades.

  • “630 Two years before Muhammad’s death of a fever, he launched the Tabuk Crusade, in which he led 30,000 jihadists against the Byzantine Christians.” Muhammed did not launch a crusade, he launched a jihad.
    “634 At the Battle of Yarmuk in Syria the Muslim Crusaders defeat the Byzantines.” The jihadists are properly identified in the first sentence, then improperly identified as crusaders in the rest of the post. Otherwise a very good time line.

Two Momentous But Little Remembered Dates In Western & Church History

Tuesday, October 12, AD 2010

Recently two momentous events in Western and Church History passed with hardly a mention. Actually, these events may be better known in the Muslim world than the Christian world; the Islamic army’s desecration of St. Peter’s in Rome, along with St John Lateran and other churches in 846, and the stunning defeat of the Islamic military onslaught by Charles  the Hammer Martel at Tours, France in 732. Though these two events occurred over 100 years apart, they do point out that until the Ottoman-Turkish Islamic defeat in 1683 at the gates of Vienna; Europe was facing a never ending threat from radical Islam. Yet how is it that according to the mainstream media it was the fault of Christians, and specifically Catholics? In my last article, I wrote of the naval Battle of Lepanto in 1571 and the land at the Gates of Vienna in 1683. Some wondered why I didn’t right about Charles the Hammer Martel and some of the earlier Islamic incursions into Europe. Now is a good time to delve into that subject. (For more on Charles the Hammer Martel and the Battle of Tours please read this excellent article by my colleague Donald McClarey.)

Ask most practicing Catholics, Evangelicals and mainline Protestants who Charles the Hammer Martel was and you would probably get blank stares. Perhaps a few young people might be under the false impression that he is some sort of up and coming professional wrestler. However, you would probably stand a better chance of having someone in the Islamic world tell you about Charles the Hammer Martel. The same might be true for the sack of Rome in 846 by Muslim forces who disembarked at Ostia (the Tiber port) and marched right into Rome desecrating holy sites like St Peter’s and St John Lateran and leaving the Eternal City with their plunder. Many in the western world might be surprised why they have never heard this and why those who reside in the Islamic world are better informed of these events than in the Western World. Let us peer back into time to see what we can learn about the past and what it might mean for the future.

It is said that God can make the best out of the worst. As Charles Martel grew older and realized that his mother was simply a consort of his regal father, Charles must have realized that he could have been abandoned to poverty, or worse yet aborted (if that had happened Christianity might have been confined to Ireland!) Charles must have developed a thick skin and a courageous spirit that enabled him not to run at the first sign of trouble. Europe was in a state of near panic by 730 as the well seasoned professional Islamic Army had laid waste to much of the Middle East and North Africa leaving the homes of those past saints like Augustine in ruins. Europe was in the Dark Ages, armies were merely feudal in their makeup, a far cry from the type of regimented units needed to stop the largest invading armies Europe had seen since the days when Rome ruled the world.

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4 Responses to Two Momentous But Little Remembered Dates In Western & Church History

Suspected Al Qaeda Plot to Kill Pope Benedict XVI Foiled In London By Scotland Yard

Friday, September 17, AD 2010

A sophisticated attack to kill Pope Benedict XVI was appearently foiled in London by Scotland Yard. The Middle Eastern Intelligence website Debka, normally on top of such matters reports that the attack was foiled at the last possible moment.  Several men are in custody. Obviously this is still a breaking news story. However, while many people will say the Holy Father and the police were lucky, the faithful look to providence as the answer. How ironic that this is the feast day of the famous German Saint Hildegard. Something to ponder on this momentous day. May God keep our Holy Father healthy!  Below you will find my article that appeared last week which discussed Al Qaeda’s little reported on war against the Catholic Church.  UPDATE: Police in London have released those arrested.

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43 Responses to Suspected Al Qaeda Plot to Kill Pope Benedict XVI Foiled In London By Scotland Yard

  • First heard about it this am on NPR though there was no mention of Al Qaeda or Muslims. I thought it was those dreaded Amish terrorists again.

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  • I have not heard any confirmation that it was Al Qaeda. There is one report that they are Algerians, but nothing is confirmed. We should wait and see before blaming Al Qaeda.

  • Michael, Debka is reporting the Al Qaeda link. I linked to their story in the article. They are the premier intelligence site in the world, which is good enough for me.

  • Didn’t know there were Algerian Amish.

  • Does anybody know when Obama is scheduled to give his next: “Islam is a religion of peace” speech?

  • P.V., don’t confuse Islam with Al Qaeda. That is just plain ignorant.

  • I think Al Qaeda members consider themselves Muslim. Not all Muslims are extremists but some are and there is justification in the Koran for their extremism.

  • Your Debka link isn’t working…at least not when I tried it.

  • take it back…I tried it again and now it works!

  • Debka is not what Dave claims it is; indeed, if you look around, there is indications of it being a propaganda organization, nothing else but that.

  • Scott,.Don’t be so naive/politically correct.

  • Henry, I want to thank you for this post. It shows how little you know. Whether you like it or nor, Debka is made of former intelligence officials. Not only does the US and western intelligence officials read it religously, but so do many countries who are not so friendly to the West, like Iran, Syria etc.

    Debka won Forbes Best of the Web Award. In addition, it spoke of 9-11 style attack on NYC in 2000, one year before the event. In addition, it predicted the 2006 Hezbollah War against Israel months before it occured.

    Perhaps you can rationalize the world in your own Big Government-Kumbaya style parallel universe, but this is not how the world really works.

  • Whether or not people read them is different from whether or not their assessments are true, and whether or not they have been caught misrepresenting facts for the sake of propaganda. They have been caught doing this. They are not “the most credible.” People read all kinds of non-credible sources, because even those sources get something, even if their bias, interpretation, and presentation ends up being false.

    Many also question if they are “former intelligence officials.”

    Your response, therefore, does not deal with the problems behind Debka, and why they are not as absolute a source as you (and many others who do not have an ability to judge credibility of sources) are making them out to be. Just because you read people on the net, like WorldNetDaily, approving of their work does not mean their work is free from an agenda (and many sources which approve of them also have an agenda).

    I love how you end up talking about “big government.” I thought you were orthodox and followed the Vatican. Guess you follow a cafeteria style Catholicism when it comes to government. The Church is not opposed to “big government” and much of its teachings require “big government” intervention.

    BTW will you stop using every post of yours as an advertisement for your book? Really, you would do yourself better if your posts didn’t read like a marketing scheme.

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  • Henry,

    Dabbling in politics again? Tsk tsk.

    The Church most certainly does not “require big government intervention” – that is a delusion, a fantasy, cooked up by power-hungry authoritarians who lust for control over other people’s lives, who have no respect for the free will and dignity of persons.

    The Church requires that each of us consistently choose to do what is good in every sphere of life – social, political, and economic. And she absolutely requires that the state play a LIMITED role in overseeing this process, for, as Leo XIII said of state intervention: “things move and live by the spirit inspiring them, and may be killed by the rough grasp of a hand from without.”

    I know the idea of people spontaneously doing good without being told by a man in a uniform that they have to is an alien, strange, foreign concept to a bona fide statist control-freak, but it can happen and it will happen when people like you give it a chance and let go of your ultra-Calvinist pessimism about the general and inherent propensity of man to always be evil.

    Oh, and Dave – thanks for the plug again! Great work as always.

  • Really, you would do yourself better if your posts didn’t read like a marketing scheme.

    Awww, don’t be mad that his book will be read by more than three bored theology professors.

  • Awww, don’t be mad that his book will be read by more than three bored theology professors, who pretended to read the book.

  • The police aren’t saying anything about it and they’re still arresting people. Regardless of what one website says, I think we should wait for confirmation.

    BTW will you stop using every post of yours as an advertisement for your book? Really, you would do yourself better if your posts didn’t read like a marketing scheme.

    I never noticed this until the Catholic Fascist made fun of it. While I agree it does seem to be overkill at times, quite frankly if I spent the time to write a book that got published, I’d be talking about it every post I got too. My feeling is that those mysterious figures behind the Catholic Fascist secretly wish they could find someone to publish their own books.

  • I’ve long suspected the green-eyed monster of having taken possession of various personages at certain websites.

  • Uh, Henry, is it really necessary to so often invite conflict through the construction of straw men?

  • Joe thanks for the kind words about my article. I also appreciate the support of everyone else who came to my defense. You know I was able to watch the Holy Father for a bit and interestingly enough, he warned the assembled audience about the very thing Joe mentioned in his post. I then came back and was treated to Henry’s screed. I know the fortunes of the political and religious left have plummeted as of late. However after reading Henry’s childish rant all I can say is; goodness how the mighty have fallen.

  • The official news release makes no mention of Al Qaeda and if they do, remember, Al Qaeda was an
    invention/creation of the CIA during the Soviet-
    Afghanistan war in 1979. Al Qaeda translated into
    english means ‘data base’. Keep falling for the
    Nazi propaganda as a pretext to keep these illegal
    wars continuing using Muslims as fictitious enemies.

  • Mike S – I’ve always been curious. When making tin foil hats, what is your preferred brand of manufacture? These Reynolds ones just don’t seem to hold muster.

  • Its not the brand. You need thickness. You need heavy duty tin foil.

  • “Its not the brand. You need thickness. You need heavy duty tin foil.”

    De-magnetized of course.

  • The problem is you can’t get real tin foil these days. The government conspired with the ALCOA machine to supplant tin foil with aluminum. Everyone knows that tin offers far superior wave blocking ability and has the best weight to blocking ratio, which is why lead foil never really took off.

  • The world media is hiding the identity and nationality of these terrorists in a very sugestive way. Only the britanic Guardian mentioned they are believed to be muslim and algerians.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/17/five-arrests-pope-terror-threat

  • Its not the brand you need. Its the thickness….

    And of course, thickness of the skull is also a tremendous help. 🙂

  • I do hope you will now write as lengthy a piece on how all the men have been released without charge…
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11360568

  • “The six – who work as street cleaners in Westminster – were arrested after they were allegedly overheard in the works canteen discussing an attack.

    Police refused to confirm reports that the men were joking, saying they had a duty to investigate.”

    And perhaps the authorities will release just what the six men were saying when they allegedly “joked” about murdering the Pope. It would also be nice to have their names so that information can be obtained as to their backgrounds and any terrorist affiliations they might have.

  • James you have a rather interesting post. First of all, I did not write a lengthy piece describing the arrest. I believe it was one paragraph. At the end of that paragraph, I noted that I would repost much of a previous article I wrote about Al Qaeda’s War on the Catholic Church. Is that to what you are objecting? It is a factual article using Al Qaeda’s own statements. As Don has already pointed out, the arrests were not without good reason.

  • I have no doubt that Al Qaeda would love to kill or get their hands on the pope in some way. Bojinka was in many ways the predecessor or inspiration for 9/11.

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  • Algerian street-cleaners? Better to get some Christians or Hindus from the Phillipines and India instead. They at least would be grateful for the opportunity to make a living and will not keep the security forces busy.

  • Dave – thanks for your reply.

    Read your first paragraph again in the light of the fact that all the men have been released without charge, along with your headline. ‘Al-Qaeda plot’, ‘sophisticated attack’, ‘foiled at the last possible moment’. All these statements are completely untrue and that is what I am objecting to. It was a rush to judgement based on some very precautionary arrests. Do you not believe in innocent until proven guilty?

    Also, since you claim Debka are ‘normally on top of such matters’, it is interesting to note they haven’t yet reported all the men were released without charge. You may have to work out for yourself why you think that might be.

  • James, thank you for your reply. I really enjoy these types of exchanges and I find them very fruitful and revealing. Yes of course I believe in innocent until proven guilty. I didn’t draw this terrorism link out of thin air. As I noted before, Debka is the most widely read and believed intelligence site out there, they have a Forbes Best of the Web Award to prove it. Now with respect to the Debka article, you may have read Donald’s post about the street cleaners joking about harming the Pope. In light of this news and the continuing Al Qaeda threat and presense in the UK, Debka reported some news that many believed was inevitable, another Al Qaeda attack in Britain.

    Now I have a question for you. With all of the many things one can post about on a Catholic site, why would you post so quickly in making sure that Al Qaeda was not blamed for a possible attack? Do you believe Al Qaeda has an agenda against Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular, why or why not?

  • Dave – My original point was simply about the recent arrests in London, not about the wider article.

    Debka wrote: ‘the five Algerians reached their London rendezvous overnight to prepare for their operation’. This is clear fiction. I’m sorry you believe this is ‘premier intelligence’. (I have to agree with Henry on this point.)

    I live in the UK so was aware of how our media was (generally) extremely cautious about these arrests. So where did Debka get this completely untrue info about a rendezvous from? And my point remains – why have they not told their readers that all these people have been released without charge. If they are so reliable, why do you think they have they not been honest enough to bring their readers up to date?

    I’m pleased to hear you say you believe in innocent until proven guilty. However, if you read your headline and opening paragraph you do appear to have jumped to conclusions. For example, on what basis did you call this a ‘sophisticated plot’?

    As for Donald’s comment – these guys were innocent. The cops would not have let them go after one day if they thought there was anything serious here (in UK, they can be held for 4 weeks without charge). In that case, neither Donald nor anyone else has the right to know their names.

    I’m sorry but I don’t have the time to go through everything else in your article. However, I note, for example, your mention of an Al-Qaeda plot to blow up St Petronio’s. Your link goes to a Guardian article which says it was a ‘suspected’ plot. Can you link to newspaper reports of the successful prosecution of the people involved in this ‘plot’?

  • James, I know that through the years there have been many arrests in Italy concerning jihad. Off hand, I have no idea who or how many were arrested, nor what their sentences might have been. However, living in he UK, you should know better than I that the Guardian is hardly the type of publication that is often sympathetic to the views and goals of the Catholic Church.

  • Dave – sorry you didn’t feel able to answer the other questions I asked. However, on the point you did reply to, you said in the article that there ‘WAS an Al-Qaeda plot’ to blow up the church in question. In your reply you said you don’t know ‘what their sentences might have been’. That assumes there was a successful conviction. But you don’t produce any evidence that anyone was prosecuted for such a plot. One vague article pointing to an arrest proves nothing (as the Pope arrests shows).

    And I note that Debka STILL hasn’t written about the six men being released without charge, three days on.

  • James, this is really become intriguing to me. Of all the issues one can write about on a Catholic site, you seem quite annoyed about an intelligence site. Now I have no idea how Debka handles these sorts of matters, they are not a news site, they are an intelligence site, and the most respected site at that. After all, they did win the Forbes Award. However, you seem upset that the arrest of a few men joking about the death of the pope is a great form of human injustice, even though they were set free. Surely, you will admit that in places like Egypt they may very well be in prison for years, for this sort of offense. Then you refer back to the very liberal Guardian article, a publication that is hardly a friend of the Catholic Church. They print an article about a plot in Italy and you want to see Italian arrest and court records.

    In the above article which I wrote, I linked to another article in which Dr. Ayman Al Zawahiri threatens “the infidel,” and the “lukewarm Muslim” as he so often does. He also goes on to demand that Pope Benedict convert to Islam. Seeing as that there was a highly sophisticated attack in London some five years ago, as well as others in the UK that were foiled at the last minute, do you believe Al Qaeda poses a threat to the UK and the Western world in general?