Live Not By Lies

Thursday, August 7, AD 2014

 Live Not By Lies

Alexander  Solzhenitsyn

One of the more distressing aspects of the contemporary world is just how frequently people are asked to swallow the most total malarkey.  Case in point, current Catholic policy in regard to Islam.  This policy, to dignify ahistoric fervent wishful hoping, is best exemplified by Pope Francis in this passage from Evangelii Gaudium:

253. In order to sustain dialogue with Islam, suitable training is essential for all involved, not only so that they can be solidly and joyfully grounded in their own identity, but so that they can also acknowledge the values of others, appreciate the concerns underlying their demands and shed light on shared beliefs. We Christians should embrace with affection and respect Muslim immigrants to our countries in the same way that we hope and ask to be received and respected in countries of Islamic tradition. I ask and I humbly entreat those countries to grant Christians freedom to worship and to practice their faith, in light of the freedom which followers of Islam enjoy in Western countries! Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalisations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.

Andrew Bieszad, at One Peter 5, has a brilliant piece in which he explains how this policy is directly the reverse of the position of the Church until the day before yesterday in historical terms:

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49 Responses to Live Not By Lies

  • I’m at odds with modern police theory. If stones are thrown, the stoners should be shot dead because stones can cause comas and blindness. Shoot them and see how many stoning incidents follow. When God through Peter, killed Ananias and Saphirra for lying to the Holy Spirit, the passage in Acts 5 says this in verse 11: ” And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.”
    Death deters…that’s why Al Qaeda leader Zawahiri doesn’t list his address in Pakistan after the Bin Laden hit by the Seals. Truthfully US police would not shoot stone throwers either in my area but they would put them in prisons with the Hoover Street Crips and that is why even Pablo Escobar feared US prisons. Our prisons do not deter nearly as much as our inmates deter.

  • I suggest there is a very obvious distinction to be drawn between statements made by the Magisterium on matters of faith and morals and on statements she makes about matters of fact.

    As Pascal says in the 17th Provincial Letter to Père Annat S.J., “It is matter of thankfulness to God, then, father, that there is in reality no heresy in the Church. The question relates entirely to a point of fact, of which no heresy can be made; for the Church, with divine authority, decides the points of faith, and cuts off from her body all who refuse to receive them. But she does not act in the same manner in regard to matters of fact. And the reason is that our salvation is attached to the faith which has been revealed to us, and which is preserved in the Church by tradition, but that it has no dependence on facts which have not been revealed by God. Thus we are bound to believe that the commandments of God are not impracticable; but we are under no obligation to know what Jansenius has said upon that subject. In the determination of points of faith, God guides the Church by the aid of His unerring Spirit; whereas in matters of fact He leaves her to the direction of reason and the senses, which are the natural judges of such matters. None but God was able to instruct the Church in the faith; but to learn whether this or that proposition is contained in Jansenius, all we require to do is to read his book. And from hence it follows that, while it is heresy to resist the decisions of the faith, because this amounts to an opposing of our own spirit to the Spirit of God, it is no heresy, though it may be an act of presumption, to disbelieve certain particular facts, because this is no more than opposing reason – it may be enlightened reason – to an authority which is great indeed, but in this matter not infallible.”

  • The global tragedy unfolds.

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    The Truth shall make you free.

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    Go forth and make disciples of all nations.

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    You will not hear on MSNBC nor read in the NY Times that the Spanish Inquisition killed far fewer people in 150 years than the world-wide jihad in an average year.

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    BB: Agreed. One marvels at the recent (March 1995) renovation that near-totally bans capital punishment.

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    “. . . authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.” ???????

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    Islam may be the only religion that does not teach the Golden Rule (Qur’an 48:29). It teaches violence and hatred against non-Muslims, specifically Jews and Christians (50:5).
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    Qur’an 4:46, says Allah has cursed the Jews for their disbelief.

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    Twenty-six Qur’an chapters cover jihad. All able-bodied believers must join the fight (Surah 2:216). The Quran orders Muslims to “instill terror into the hearts of the unbeliever” and to “smite above their necks” (8:12).
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    The test of faith is Allah is not found in good works, but in martyrdom while trying to murder unbelievers (47:4). Murdering unbelievers is the only sure way to salvation in Islam (4:47; 9:111).
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    Murdering unbelievers is the means of obtaining forgiveness of sins for the mohammedan (4:96).
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    The reward for murdering unbelievers is sexual delight with virgins and other carnal joys (38:51; 55:56; 55:76; 56:22). St. Alphonsus declared: “The Mohammedan Paradise is only fit for beasts; for filthy sensual pleasure is all the believer has to expect there.”

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    Mohammedans are required to give aid and advance the murderers (8:74).
    Mohammedanism requires global conquest and domination (9:29).

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    The Koran is opposed to nearly all the fundamental Christian dogmas.

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    From a Wall Street Journal editor letter: “I say to the Western scholars: Do not interpret the Quran for Muslims. We Muslims are capable of interpreting the Quran for ourselves. No other people have shown the level of hostility to another faith as Westerners have shown to Muhammad, the Quran and Islam. It continues to this day. Islam doesn’t need reformation; the Western mind needs reformation about Muhammad, the Quran and Islam.
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    “It will be better for both of us.”

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    Tahir A. Qureshi; Silver Spring, Md.

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    The other day, they murdered a two-star general. Obama: crickets.

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    Sound advice (it’s why we read the classics) from Herodotus Book IX, regarding the Phocians serving with the Persians at Platea: “Seeing what was coming, their commander Harmocydes urged them to sell their lives dearly. ‘Fellow countrymen,’ he cried, ‘you cannot fail to see that these fellows have deliberately planned to murder us […] Come then; show what you are made of, everyone of you. It is better to die defending ourselves than just to give up and be butchered – that disgrace, at least, we can avoid. Let us show them that the men they have plotted to murder are Greeks – and they themselves mere foreign trash.’”

  • I guess the Muslims did not read Pope Francis’ Evangellii Gaudium.
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    Thank you T. Shaw. Your reading of the Koran is appreciated and needed.
    Thank you Donald McClarey for the video.

  • The video is disgusting and reprehensible. No one will argue that. And there are no ‘buts’ to it either.

    The problem lies in the Quran itself which has contradictory statements or teachings. There are indeed ‘peaceful’ statement and teachings, especially concerning ‘the Peoples of the Book’ [Jews and Christians] alongside hate-filled and violence prone statements and teachings. With no ‘magisterium’ to authoritatively interpret these teachings we have Muslims gravitating toward one side or the other. What we have in Islam is ‘everyone’ interpreting the Quran as he/she sees fit. That of course is ‘fundamentalism’

    I believe Pope Francis, among others, is emphasizing ‘the peaceful element’. However it seems that those who gravitate toward the hostile and violent are in the ascendancy within the Muslim world at this time. Pope Benedict [intentionally?] exposed this violent side of Islam, as well as its lack of the logos, reason, rationality, in his famous Regensburg address. In a very real sense, both popes are right.

    In the midst of all the horrendous news about fundamentalist Islam we should not forget that the Kingdom of Jordan welcomes Christians (both native to Jordan and from other Middle Eastern countries] We have a Catholic University now in Amman. Bahrain, on the Persian Gulf has welcomed Catholics building a new cathedral, the only Catholic church on the Arabian peninsular

    Even if all Muslims were to turn ‘irrational and violent’, we, the People of the Logos become flesh, cannot and will not. That is what the Catholic Church is saying, and what Pope Benedict and Pope Francis are saying. Here, “the Sunday People”will be ready to enter into dialogue [note the root word: ‘logos’ in there] concerning common concerns which we have as human beings and yes, believing in the One God, the Creator [that much we can say: St John Damascene, and Thomas Aquinas back this up-contrary to the opinion given in the original article]. This is all part of pre-evangelization; we know it is not evangelization. [No one can be evangelized unless they have been ‘prepared’ for evangelization]
    This is what the Lord is calling us to be and to do.

  • for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.

    Robert Spencer has been slicing this thesis to pieces in public fora for about 11 years now. The thing is, muslim populations and muslim societies can and do craft a modus vivendi with competing populations, arrangements which have in the past had some durability. We need to explore why this has been breaking down and how we might craft a new armistice. The number of authorities who wish to deny that the black letters can be fodder for revanchist politics (or wish to change the subject to Israel’s supposed ‘crimes’) just amazes.

  • Botolph,
    Google ” abrogation Koran “. Violent Muslims see the early peaceful sayings of the Koran as nullified by the chronologically later violent sayings of chapter nine of the Koran. Non violent Muslims see abrogation as having to do with the Koran abrogating the Bible etc. An abrogation verse is e.g. (2:106) “Any message which We annul or consign to oblivion We replace with a better or similar one.87 Dost thou not know that God has the power to will anything? “. Jihadists take that to mean violent chapter nine voids earlier peaceful verses within the Koran. Non violent Muslims take that verse to mean the Koran voids aspects of the Bible etc.
    So whereas the New Testament abrogates much of Old Testament violence; it is the reverse for people like
    ISIS who see their new covenant so to speak as abrogating peaceful passages that came earlier. Elijah killed about 552 idolaters with God’s help…102 by lightning…while Christ rebuked the disciples in Luke 9’s ending story for wanting to bring down lightning on the Samaritan town who refused Christ because His face was set for Jerusalem not Mt. Gerizim.

  • Instapundit: “I CALLED THIS OBAMA’S RWANDA, BUT ACTUALLY SYRIA IS OBAMA’S RWANDA. SO I GUESS THIS IS OBAMA’S SECOND RWANDA? The Islamic State’s bloody campaign to exterminate minorities: ‘Even Genghis Khan didn’t do this.’ ‘We are being exterminated! An entire religion is being exterminated from the face of the Earth. In the name of humanity, save us!’”

    This is rational. It’s institutionalized in the Q’ran. Convert or die. Or, pay a high tax and be uterly marginalized – the slower death of the culture/religion. Then, they wipe (blow up churches and staues) from the face of the earth all traces of the murdered religion and culture.

  • Bill Bannon,

    I agree that the violent Muslims interpret the Quran in this manner. And there is no doubt in my mind that they are in the ascendancy within the Islamic world.

    The key is the Islam (in total) does not accept ‘logos’, reason and the givenness of creation. God is not Logos for them as He is in Judaism (Torah) and Christianity [Logos become flesh]
    We Christians would state categorically that not only is God Logos but that God is love-not simply loving etc (which Israel believes) but love: Trinity of Persons: Lover [Father], Beloved {Son] and Love [Holy Spirit]

    Further, as your post states, there is no authoritative ‘magisterium’ which can interpret the Quran authoritatively nor with whom we can carry on substantial dialogue. Relating with Islam is, by analogy, like relating to the 30,000 some Protestant denominations. However, dialogue (logos) and relate [agape] we must if we are really children of the God Who is Logos and Agape-love, missionary disciples of the Logos become flesh. That being said calling a spade a spade, dialoguing in truth, demands we call out the violence against fellow Christians and demanding the religious respect and freedom we give to Muslims in lands in which we are more populous.

    What we see with Islam is actually the Church’s mission to all the world religions-dialoguing, ‘citiquing’ and ‘purifying’ them by means of the Logos and Agape. In this sense we begin to set up the conditions for true evangelization.

  • Botolph,
    The leaders of ISIS know the Bible’s message about Christ and reject it. They are not analogous to Mayans in the 16th century. God is Love but He brought about the death of 1.1 million people in Jerusalem in 70 AD ( Josephus) by using the Romans as His axe. It wasn’t karma. Christ warned Jerusalem it would happen even to the infants within them…Lk.19:44 ” They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” Just as David’s baby was killed for David’s sin by God (but I’ll bet is in Heaven)…infants were killed in 70 AD perhaps in accordance with Exodus 20:5 wherein God says He punishes down to the third and fourth generation ( physically…not spiritually..see Ezekiel)…those who hate Him.
    But being Love, He gave them almost 40 years to repent and escape…directions for which He gives in Luke 21:20-24. Had any Jew believed His word on the Jerusalem doom and how to escape, that Jew would have been saved by Christ’s word on the matter. They had 40 years to think and discuss with their young.
    In short God is Love but not all His actions or ours will be tender.

  • Bill Bannon,

    We are not as dividend as you might initially think. I have long believed that we have arrived at a moment in time in which Islam is being judged, as Jerusalem indeed was in 70 and ultimately in 135 AD. I believe that the rise in violence does not manifest an increase of faith, but a deep anxiety, fear and even nihilism in the face of reality. Just how realistic is it to “bomb” or force the whole world back to the seventh century.

    People fail to realize that the Jews rose up in murderous rage in three distinct wars between 66 and 135 AD not simply against the Roman occupation of Judea but against their Gentile neighbors in Egypt, Libya and Asia Minor (Turkey). Actually hundreds of thousand Gentiles died before Rome decimated the Jewish population of the eastern Mediterranean as well as expel all Jews from their ancient homeland, rebuild a Gentile/pagan city on the few ruins of Jerusalem, and renamed Judea as Palestina, named for their ancient enemies, the Philistines.

    I believe Islam is (relatively speaking) about to collapse with the majority turning to either disbelief or a sort of ” rabbinic style” Jewish like religion, open to the proclamation of the Gospel. Time will tell, of corse but the Lord Jesus is the Lord of history. Jesus is Lord!

  • The folks who are so naïve about the true nature of Islam should remember this saying: “watch what they do, not what they say.”

  • Botolph wrote, “I believe Islam is (relatively speaking) about to collapse with the majority turning to either disbelief or a sort of ” rabbinic style” Jewish like religion, open to the proclamation of the Gospel. Time will tell, of corse (sic) but the Lord Jesus is the Lord of history. Jesus is Lord!”
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    Aside from the Hope for the crown of martyrdom, not sure that that will ease the anxieties of thousands of Iraqi/Syrian Christians presently being liquiditated.

  • “watch what they do, not what they say.”

    True, but what they do is somewhat variable over time and place. Take Alistair Horne’s Savage War of Peace about Algerian politics from 1948 to 1962 (with prefaces and addenda). The Association of Ulema was mentioned only in passing. It was the least consequential political force in Algeria at the time. Political revanchism in the Arab world and adjacent areas (in countries with parliamentary politics and without) tended to be praetorianist or secular-fascist. The most ‘Islamic’ government therein was Saudi Arabia’s, which has long been a status quo power making practical arrangements with external parties. (It still is).

    As for your trouble in Europe, it may be that Muslims and others are, in some way, tragically incompatible within the boundaries of one country. However, other countries have managed passably with muslim minorities of a dimension you see in Europe. What gives? Native fertility deficits, ruined labor markets, bad policies in the realm of common provision, institutionalized poltroonery (see the police in France), bad immigration screens, and the dysfunctional dynamic between elites and the vernacular society with the former pushing multi-culturalism in its ongoing campaign to rub the masses’ noses in it.

  • Charles Martel, Pelayo, King Alfonso the Avenger, Queen Isabel, Don Juan of Austria, King John Sobieski – they knew how to deal with Islam – fight it up to your last breath. Preferably, beat the $#?& out of them.

    Dialouge with Muslims is impossible because Muslims are heretics stuck in the seventh century. Their “holy book”, written after the death of the pederast Mohammed, is a bunch of warlike, hate-filled contradictory nonsense.

    “Veni, vidi, Deus vincit.”

  • Hey, want to watch a great movie about Christians triumphing over Muslims? Buy or rent ” Day Of The Siege”. It’s about the victory of King John Sobieski over the Ottoman Army at the gates of Vienna. It’s the best Christians vs Muslims movie since “El Cid”! I give it five stars!

  • Over the centuries Islam has been the greatest protagonist the Catholic Church has ever faced. Throughout history, when the forces of Islam have perceived a weak Christendom, they have attacked.

    This time round, Islam has been welcomed into much of the Western secularised world that was previously Christendom, but is now agnostic to a large extent, and Islam considers them weak and corrupt – not an unreasonable view. Muslims have infiltrated societies to the extent that when their population reaches a tipping point – around 5% – they begin agitating for Sharia and calling for jihad. This is obvious in many European cities, and is now happening is Sydney , Australia.

    The time is fast approaching – indeed has arrived in places like Iraq and parts of Europe – where Islam has to be met with a defensive force, as the Catholic Church has done in the past, and be defeated. Otherwise they will continue to radicalise moderate Muslims – who will not go against their own beliefs – and the mayhem and murder will continue until they totally dominate.

  • Most Muslims hear their Koran in Arabic, a language they hardly understand. It is usually the case that the (perceived or alledged) musicality of the verses drown out whatever the evil that is being said. This is similar to what the rappers do when they brag about killing cops and raping hos. In any society there seems to be a pathological element, hovering around ten percent, that takes pleasure in cruelty, sadism and the humiliation of others. For the well being of others, these elements have to be isolated and on occasions killed. The Muslims as a people are no more inclined to violence and sadism than others, but since their Koran endorses violence in pursuit of religious goals, they are usually helpless in the face of their sadists. The solution it seems to me is never to endorse the Islamic faith as an equal to other religions and never concede any rhetorical points whatsoever. The smarter Muslims will come around, the stupid Muslims are just village idiots and are usually harmless. The pathological elements can then be contained.

  • Pleased to hear on tonight’s news that O’Bumbler is going to send elements of the USAF to sort out ISIS.
    At last, he’s grown some cojones – albeit very small – and decided, despite his support for Muslims and those attacking the democratic governmetns of the area, to do something about the slaughter of Christains and Shia muslims, even though its some months since Maliki pleaded for help against ISIS.

  • Don the Kiwi . My thought exactly. Only you said it much better than I would have

  • Don the Kiwi I was responding to what you said yesterday. Especially this:
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    The time is fast approaching – indeed has arrived in places like Iraq and parts of Europe – where Islam has to be met with a defensive force, as the Catholic Church has done in the past, and be defeated. Otherwise they will continue to radicalise moderate Muslims – who will not go against their own beliefs – and the mayhem and murder will continue until they totally dominate

    /
    If God is willing Allies will band together and fight as they have in the past. .. At Lepanto and in the wars of the 20th century

  • Anzlyne.

    In union with allies and Holy Rosary.

    T. Shaw. I thank you as well for your Koran quotation’s. This is a wake-up call, again, and Dearborn Michigan is one of many neighborhoods bringing the best Islam has to offer..cough cough.

  • ” … That being said calling a spade a spade, dialoguing in truth, demands we call out the violence against fellow Christians and demanding the religious respect and freedom we give to Muslims in lands in which we are more populous. … ”

    Who, what (such as an organization of Bishops or Cardinals), and/or where is the unified “we” and when will the call out happen?

  • It has already taken place, many times. One thing I would point out is that the pope and bishops speak with a tone unlike the direct and sometimes confrontational manner that we see, for example in St Blogs. To be honest, I hope people don’t speak in the ‘real world’ as many do in the cyber world

    I myself have heard Poope Francis in very specific circumstances and times calling for respect for all people and calling for religious freedom. His most recent pleas for the Christians of the Middle East, especially Iraq is finally getting response in the media, at the UN and from the international community

  • “Pleased to hear on tonight’s news that O’Bumbler is going to send elements of the USAF to sort out ISIS. At last, he’s grown some cojones – albeit very small – and decided, despite his support for Muslims and those attacking the democratic governmetns of the area, to do something about the slaughter of Christains and Shia muslims, even though its some months since Maliki pleaded for help against ISIS.”

    I called my US Congressmen’s office and told them in great detail about the first hand, up to the hour reports coming out of Franklin Graham’s international ministry, Samaritan’s Purse, and from Glenn Beck’s ministry in the starving, camps of the Christian mothers and children who have fled from ISIS -reports of systematic movements across the country by ISIS toward the camps along with systematic decapitation along the way by the terrorists with no where left for their victims to flee. I described the picture that ISIS took and released, of themselves standing proudly with their militarized weapons, over rows of perfectly aligned dead young men (ISIS exterminated like rats) face down in the dirt–the lines went on so far in both directions that the ends of the rows of the murdered could not be seen in the picture. I let my Congressmen’s staff know that since Osama was doing nothing that I wanted the US Congress to raise Hell until this genocide was ended. Cruz missiles, bombs, and Hell fire missiles from a Predator drone would take care of those terrorists without putting one foot on the ground.

    This afternoon, I turned on Fox News on satellite in my car and heard that the US bombing of those viscious beyond description devils had begun. It should have started weeks ago IMHO.

    This evening

  • Has the pope said a word about the stacks of dead, mutilated, murdered bodies of Christians–or like Osama has he remained relatively silent?

  • Barbara,
    I think Francis is even more pacifist than the later life period of both his predecessors…here he is:
    “Violence will not defeat violence. Violence is defeated by peace! Let us pray in silence, asking for peace; everyone, in silence … Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!” 7/20 angelus address
    Bizarre…Violence alone stopped Hitler and Japan…peace emboldened them. Francis has never been intimate with the figure of the bully even if he has seen them from a distance.
    St. John Paul forgot WWII also here:
    ” To obtain the good of peace there must be a clear and conscious acknowledgment that violence is an unacceptable evil and that it never solves problems. Violence is a lie. It goes against the truth of our faith, the truth of our humanity, the truth about Jesus. Violence destroys what it claims to defend; the dignity, the life, the freedom of human beings. What is needed is a great effort to form consciences and to educate the younger generation to goodness, to nonviolence, to love.
    -Pope John Paul II- Message for World Day of Peace 2005

    ” given the new weapons that make possible destructions that go beyond the combatant groups, today we should be asking ourselves if it is still licit to admit the very existence of a just war.” – Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) just before the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.

    Madness….all three. I have a b&e criminal in my city who could shoot me some night as he once hinted because I beat him in a fight after he broke in one day. If he calls to me and threatens us from outside our locked bedroom door some night, I’ll shoot him right through the door with – tactical shotgun. Case closed. These Popes are over cultured. In Plato’s Republic Book III, he states that too much sports makes men brutal and too much culture makes them feminized. Judith in Scripture was not feminized when the context called for violence.

  • Pope Francis is from a part of the world that has had no contact with violent Islam. He has no experience with it and it shows.

    One can point out the conditions under which Karol Wojytla lived as a young man and this, along with Vatican II, shaped his worldview. He, too was from the Church of Nice. I think 9/11 woke him up – too late in my opinion.

    The Vatican has tried to be amenable to the Muslim world, before WWII or WWI. This is in part due to the small Catholic populations in the Middle East. Certain radtrads blame Israel. The Holy See has not always had a good relationship with Israel for many reasons.

    The West has abandoned its Christian culture and in its place has embraced pleasure, sex, leisure, sodomy, porn, multiculturalism and any other sort of stupid brain cell killing time wasting activity. We have learned nothing from 9/11.

    The great heresies have, over the years, faded away – Arianism, Nestorianism, iconoclasm. Even Protestantism, in its “mainline” forms, is disappearing. Islam, the barbaric seventh century heresy remains, funded by oil wealth. Without the oil wealth Islam would be nothing. Islam was allies with Germany in both world wars.
    Bishop Sheen said there would not be peace in the world until the Muslims convert. This flies in the face of that stupid Vatican II statement about Islam.

  • These Popes are over cultured. In Plato’s Republic Book III, he states that too much sports makes men brutal and too much culture makes them feminized.

    St. John Paul was quite the athlete and both John Paul and Benedict had survived the 2d World War. Benedict had some military service. Francis supposedly once had a job as a bar bouncer and has spent much of his life in Buenos Aires, a locus in which daily life requires … coping skills. They may have been overly feminized by their old age but I doubt they started out that way.

    The real problem is not their person but their thinking. The deficiencies of John Paul were on display in 1991 when he refused to countenance the use of force when what was arguably one of the half-dozen or so ghastliest regimes on Earth (and the only one among them sitting atop a natural resources bonanza) conquered a harmless oil principality, generated a six-figure caravan of refugees, trashed the place, and treated everyone therein with the utmost brutality. (Scott Richert has since been calling us all ‘cafeteria Catholics’ for not falling in line behind the inanities of the Vatican diplomatic corps).

  • Art Deco,
    Yes 1991 was absolutely bizarre.
    Thousands of nine year old girls survived WWII. Two army brothers in WWII…one fighting in the trenches…the other cooking sos at an army base far from the enemy. “Survive” is mainly about the former.
    I stated …”later life period of both his predecessors”. In late life, Benedict commissioned his own personal fragrance….and had a 28,000 book collection and loved classical music. It’s the aggregate…especially the fragrance.
    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/pope-benedict-orders-own-personal-fragrance-184228715.html

  • Well, from what news I saw, Obama is using the 500 lb bombs to protect a group of people who practice a form of Zooasterism who are trapped on a mountain top and who are surrounded by ISIS. No direct help for the Christians.

  • It’s the aggregate…especially the fragrance.

    It sounds like a prank story. That aside, I gather (from the disaffected spouses of Europeans billeted in America) that it’s modal across the pond to use cologne instead of deodorant, at least for the older generation. One of my office mates had a temp just off the boat from Nepal who never seemed to bathe. Nothing else offensive about him, clean clothes, clean white teeth, just the acrid odor of sweat; later I had one from India. He bathed; he just didn’t brush his teeth all that often. People are funny about hygiene.

  • An Indian paper has far more detail than Western news sources because they have people in those areas of Iraq under seige….see especially the last ten paragraphs:

    http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/isis-forces-indian-nurses-out-of-tikrit/article6174607.ece

  • Beheading of Christian children–heads placed on sticks in parks for display.

    Christian men who pay the fine for being a Christian have their daughters & wives taken from them for use as sex slaves.

    (see video at the link below)

    http://allenbwest.com/2014/08/isis-beheading-children-obama-drops-two-bombs/

  • Barbara,
    ISIS should be not an Iraq issue but a World Court/ UN issue for blatant war crimes in three countries so far and all nations should be gathering to send forces to shoot or capture everyone of them. This is not just the US responsibility. ISIS has thousands of passports and all Western nations and even China for its Moslem trouble in the north west are named by them and susceptible to e.g. suicide bombing by them….and India which was mentioned by them as an oppressor of Islam. The world should be gathering and should DESIRE to gather at the UN with military intent based on unrelenting war crimes….including India and China.

  • Can we get out in the streets and pray
    public prayer lots and lots of out spoken prayer

    http://www.cnsnews.com/mrctv-blog/barbara-boland/leader-isis-systematically-beheading-children-christian-genocide

    when we pray by ourselves it is like lighting a candle when we pray en masse it is a bonfire (john vianny said something like that)

  • Flooding the streets of cities and capitals with praying people putting pressure on governments to take defensive action for these children and all people against this Evil

  • Anzlyne,
    I suggest the long run. There are very young and teen captive girls of these men many of whom no one in your lifetime is going to rescue. Adopt them forever in your prayers. One of their faces will haunt me for a long time…looked like 7 years old…balling her eyes out. Pray for them til death that they find Christ by seeing his opposite in these men and pray that they plan their escape with much forethought. And if you pray unceasingly like Elijah, your adopted girls will perceive Christ and will escape one day…for sure. You can take that to the bank.
    Opium brides are common in Afghanistan. Gangs loan farmers seed money…farmers can’t pay in product and the gangs take their very young daughters as payment. Then the farmers go on opium. A young, hard luck life in the US is a mansion compared with these female victims of Islam in those countries. Think long run. Adopt them in your prayers…til death. Christ said it’ll get worse before it gets better…” wars and rumors of war….these things are but the beginning of sorrows.” Mt.24:6–

  • This article at the following link has a video of the representative of the minority groups, currently being slaughtered by ISIS, Pleading with her government to stop the genocide. It appears she is completely overwhelmed by emotions and falls to the floor at the end. I have no interest in the article itself– it is the video that I wanted to add to the discussion at hand. She lists all of the minority groups in her speech. http://m.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/08/our-moral-obligations-in-iraq-yazidis/375778/

  • Barbara,
    That clip was on tv and may well have been part of Obama moving toward airstrikes along with other input….things from intelligence people we’d rather not see. These people are more evil than the majority of criminals.

  • BB wrote: “ISIS should be not an Iraq issue but a World Court/ UN issue for blatant war crimes in three countries so far and all nations should be gathering to send forces to shoot or capture everyone of them. This is not just the US responsibility. ISIS has thousands of passports and all Western nations and even China for its Moslem trouble in the north west are named by them and susceptible to e.g. suicide bombing by them….and India which was mentioned by them as an oppressor of Islam. The world should be gathering and should DESIRE to gather at the UN with military intent based on unrelenting war crimes….including India and China.”

    Bill, I agree in theory with what you have stated. In reality if we wait for those other nations to act or the UN to act–all of us will be dead.

    The simple truth is that like most politicians/previous presidential admins, the Osama Admin only acts on behalf of mInority populations when it is to his benefit politically.

  • The second video in this article at the link below is of the Orthodox archbisop of Mosul telling how the destruction of all Christianity/Christan sects took place.

    http://m.cnsnews.com/mrctv-blog/barbara-boland/my-people-are-being-slaughtered-iraqi-parliamentarian-archbishop-confirm

  • It appears that our current American president released from prison the madman who is now leading ISIS–as one of his first acts as President.

    http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/jun/19/jeanine-pirro/foxs-pirro-obama-set-isis-leader-free-2009/

  • Barbara,
    Read your last link to the bottom. They conclude that the charge against Obama on this is false. Baghdadi was most probably released in 2004 according to US records not 2009 and only one prison worker “thinks” he saw Baghdadi in 2009 but the records show him being released in 2004. The real 2009 release was not a release anyway but a transfer to Iraq custody as per an agreement signed before Obama entered office. Obama is way late in this ISIS crisis but he can’t be blamed for releasing Bahgdadi whichever date is correct because if 2004 then that preceded Obama or if 2009, it was a mandated in writing transfer to Iraq who released him.

  • Bill, thank u for pointing out what the conclusion of the link is. That is a conclusion by a rabidly pro-Obama website–that is not my conclusion. I do not agree that turning this devil loose to the Iraqis was not an actual release–it was. Obama has just recently recently released some more of these devils from US custody–into the oversight of Yemen–quite the joke. His admin also claims that those more recent transfers were not actually releases of murderers who plan to kill us all. He also failed to give congress the required notice in law before the releases. I remember exactly when this devil leading ISIS we are discussing now was released and his promise to see us in New York. Obama upholding any agreement of a former admin is a joke as well–he is constantly issuing decrees as if he is a monarch. Our current president abides by only the agreements and rules he wishes when he wishes.

    However, please let me thank you for pointing out the discrepancy in the article itself. I do not agree that Obama is not responsible for his release despite the apologist argument.

  • In 2003, there were about 1.5 million Christians in Iraq; today they are estimated to be less than 200,000 in number. And their numbers continue to dwindle every day.

    The Islamic extremists, presently in charge of large parts of the country, are bent on wiping out 1900 year old history of Christianity in Iraq, as a whole, and the city of Mosul in particular.

    let us recall what happened in March 2000, when the then pope – John Paul II – went to the state of Jordan and said this:

    “May Saint John Baptist protect Islam”

    Well the Vatican in the last few decades have tried to appease Islam but to no avail. Is it not time to change the tune?
    http://popeleo13.com/pope/2014/07/21/category-archive-message-board-82/#more-652

  • Cpola said: “In 2003, there were about 1.5 million Christians in Iraq; today they are estimated to be less than 200,000 in number. And their numbers continue to dwindle every day.”

    Why did they start decreasing in 2003?

  • “In 2003, there were about 1.5 million Christians in Iraq; today they are estimated to be less than 200,000 in number. And their numbers continue to dwindle every day.”
    ==
    More likely fewer than 400,000 at one time.

PopeWatch: Islam

Friday, January 3, AD 2014

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

In all the furor over the economic passages of Evangelii Gaudium, other sections of that lengthy document have received short shrift.  Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa has the comments of Father Samir Khalil Samir, an Egyptian Jesuit, on these passages:

1. Muslims “together with us adore the One, merciful God” (No. 252)

I would advise caution here. It is true Muslims worship one and merciful God. However, this sentence suggests that the two conceptions of God are equal. Yet in Christianity God is the Trinity in its essence, plurality united by love: He is a bit more than just clemency and mercy. We have two quite different conceptions of the Divine One. Muslims characterize God as inaccessible. The Christian vision of the Oneness of the Trinity emphasizes that God is Love which is communicated: Father-Son-Spirit, or Lover-Beloved-Love, as St. Augustine suggested.

Moreover, what does the mercy of the God of Islam mean? He has mercy for whom he wants and not on those whom displease him. “Allah might admit to His mercy whom He willed” (Koran 48:25). These expressions are, almost literally, in the Old Testament (Exodus 33:19). But never arrive at saying that “God is love” (1 John 4:16), like St John.

Mercy in the case of Islam is that of the rich man who stoops over the poor and gives him something. But the Christian God is the one who lowers Himself to the level of the poor man in order to raise him up; He does not show his wealth to be respected (or feared) by the poor: he gives Himself in order the poor should live.

2. “The sacred writings of Islam have retained some Christian teachings” (No. 252)

This is true in a sense, but it is somewhat ambiguous. It is true that Muslims retain words or facts from the canonical gospels, such as the story of the Annunciation which is found almost literally in chapters 3 (The Family of Imr?n) and 19 (Mariam).

But more frequently the Koran is inspired by the pious tales of the apocryphal Gospels, and do not draw from them the theological sense they contain, and do not give these facts or words the meaning that they actually have, not out of malice, but because they do not contain the overall vision of the Christian message.

3. The figure of Christ in the Koran and the Gospel (No. 252)

The Koran refers to “Jesus and Mary [who] are the object of profound veneration”. To tell the truth, Jesus is not an object of veneration in the Muslim tradition. Instead, Mary is venerated, especially by Muslim women, who willingly go to the places of pilgrimage.

The lack of veneration for Jesus Christ is probably explained by the fact that, in the Koran, Jesus is a great prophet, famous for his miracles on behalf of a poor and sick humanity, but he is not the equal of Muhammad. Only mystics have a certain devotion to him, as the sol-called “Spirit of God”.

In fact, all that is said of Jesus in the Koran is the exact opposite of Christian teachings. He is not the Son of God, but a prophet and that’s it. He is not even the last of the prophets, because instead the “seal of the prophets” is Muhammad (Koran 33:40). Christian revelation is only seen as a step towards the ultimate revelation brought by Muhammad, i.e. Islam.

4. The Koran is opposed to all the fundamental Christian dogmas

The figure of Christ as the second person of the Trinity is condemned. In the Koran it says explicitly to Christians: ” O People of the Scripture! Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught concerning Allah save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and His word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers, and say not ‘Three’ – Cease! (it is) better for you! – Allah is only One God. Far is it removed from His Transcendent Majesty that “(Koran 4:171). These verses against the Trinity are very clear and need no interpretation.

The Koran denies the divinity of Christ: “O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, ‘Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah?’” (Koran 5:116). And Jesus denies it!

Finally, the Koran negates Redemption. It even says that Jesus Christ did not die on the Cross, but it was a look-alike: “And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them” (Koran 4:157). In this way God saved Jesus from the wickedness of the Jews. But then Christ did not save the world!

In short, the Koran and Muslims deny the essential dogmas of Christianity: the Trinity, the Incarnation and Redemption. It should be added that this is their most absolute right! But you can not then say that “The sacred writings of Islam retain part of Christian teachings”. You simply must speak of the “Jesus of the Koran” which has nothing to do with the Jesus of the Gospels.

The Koran mentions Jesus because it aims to complete the revelation of Christ to exalt Muhammad. Besides, seeing what Jesus and Mary do in the Koran, we notice that it is no more than apply the prayers and fasting according to the Koran. Mary is certainly the most beautiful figure among all those presented in the Koran: she is the Virgin Mother, whom no man has ever touched. But she can not be the Theotokos; instead she is a good Muslim.

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46 Responses to PopeWatch: Islam

  • Exodus 33:19, “I will have mercy on whom I will, and I will be merciful to whom it shall please Me,” that Fr Samir refers to is the key text for the Thomist doctrine of Predilection.

    St Thomas teaches that “Since the love of God is the cause of the goodness of things, no one would be better than another, if God did not will a greater good to one than to another.” [Ia, q. 20, a. 3]

    Obviously, the person who keeps the commandments is better than the one who is able to do so, but does not. Therefore, he who keeps the commandments is more beloved and assisted by God. In short, God loves that person, to whom He grants that he keep the commandments, more than another in whom He permits sin.

    This principle of predilection presupposes, according to St. Thomas, a decree of the divine will rendering our salutary acts intrinsically efficacious [Ia, q. 19, a. 8]. For, if they were efficacious on account of our foreseen consent, of two people equally loved and helped by God, one would be better in some respect. He would be better of himself alone and not on account of divine predilection.”

    This is why St Augustine says, “God has mercy on no man in vain. He calls the man on whom He has mercy in the way He knows will suit him, so that he will not refuse the call.”

    Traditionally, the Jesuits rejected the doctrine of Predilection and followed the teaching of Molina, whilst the Dominicans and the Later Augustinians followed St Thomas

  • It is good that some one with the “credentials” of being both Egyptian and a Jesuit will point out these important distinct differences. We have been talking about these points in our study group and wondered why some well published Catholic sources seem not to recognize them. I think maybe it is just wishful thinking.
    As far as the various approaches to the understanding of mercy pointed out by MPS- yes they are there, but they are well within the walls. Whereas Father Samir is discussing beliefs that are completely outside our understanding of God, Jesus and Mary.

  • Anzlyne

    I was merely pointing out that the doctrine of Predilection is not dissimilar to “Allah might admit to His mercy whom He willed” (Koran 48:25) Both stress the absolute sovereignty of God.

    Thus, St Augustine, “Who would dare to affirm that God has no method of calling whereby even Esau might have applied his mind and yoked his will to the faith in which Jacob was justified? … Who would dare to affirm that the Omnipotent lacked a method of persuading even Esau to believe?”

  • Thanks Michael PS. Yes I got that. I wanted to support the points made by the Egyptian Jesuit Father in general and make note that he was trying to point out the gulf between Islam and Christianity, because so many people think we worship the “same god”.
    Your point is also taken and appreciated.
    I didn’t want those finer distinctions to confuse some people. Augustine and Aquinas both admit the sovereign power of God, as does Mohammed. That doesn’t blur, though, the very distinct lines between the heresy of Islam and Christianity.

    On another note, of course the ultimate fate of Esau is very important consideration for all of us who love someone whose will and intellect are not “yoked to the faith in which Jacob was justified” Another tangent would lead me to “who am I to judge?” : ( but I wanted to stick to the point of the larger paradigm of Islam which is not largely about the personal relationship or inner workings of an individual conscience or, as you know, the immanence of God in the human heart.

  • Good point concerning #1. The conceptions of the one God are different. It certainly raises a question as to whether the SAME god is being worshiped. I would argue that the same god is not being worhsiped, unless a Muslim comes to udnerstand and connect with the one true God along the way.

  • In all the furor over the economic passages of Evangelii Gaudium, other sections of that lengthy document have received short shrift.
    Concur!
    Glad you posted the link to Samir Khalil Samir because his analysis seems well-balanced. I have not studied Islam to any great extent, so I depend on these types of discussions to learn about it. He points out theological imprecision of Pope Francis’ words without going overboard (as I’ve seen at other blogs).
    In addition to sections 252 and 253, section 247 troubles me:
    |
    “We hold the Jewish people in special regard because their covenant with God has never been revoked. … As Christians, we cannot consider Judaism as a foreign religion; nor do we include the Jews among those called to turn from idols and to serve the true God.”
    |
    If I were the type to over-react, I might think that Pope Francis believes Jews can be saved by following Mosaic Law and that we need not — indeed, we must not — evangelize to them to accept Jesus as their savior. Section 249 comes to the rescue (I think):
    |
    “God continues to work among the people of the Old Covenant and to bring forth treasures of wisdom which flow from their encounter with his word. For this reason, the Church also is enriched when she receives the values of Judaism. While it is true that certain Christian beliefs are unacceptable to Judaism, and that the Church cannot refrain from proclaiming Jesus as Lord and Messiah, there exists as well a rich complementarity which allows us to read the texts of the Hebrew Scriptures together and to help one another to mine the riches of God’s word.”
    |
    In the middle there he says “the Church cannot refrain from proclaiming Jesus as Lord and Messiah”, but he does not say to who. He also caveats the sentence with “certain Christian beliefs are unacceptable to Judaism”, whatever that means, so his desire for us to evangelize to Jews comes across as a bit muddled here. If you have some good analysis on this point (by which I mean serious without over-reacting), that would be helpful to me.

  • I find the lack of clarity disturbing. If Jesus is Lord and MEssiah of the world, and all people come to God by faith in the Messiah, whether Jew or Gentile, and this is good Pauline theology, then there really isn’t much sense in saying the rest. It sounds liek the Dispensationalist line that Jews can be saved on different terms because they remain in a rather separate category.

  • Excuse me for asking a very simple question here, however did Pope Francis truly state in his written document that we and Muslims worship the same God?

  • 252. Our relationship with the followers of Islam has taken on great importance, since they are now significantly present in many traditionally Christian countries, where they can freely worship and become fully a part of society. We must never forget that they “profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, who will judge humanity on the last day”.[198] The sacred writings of Islam have retained some Christian teachings; Jesus and Mary receive profound veneration and it is admirable to see how Muslims both young and old, men and women, make time for daily prayer and faithfully take part in religious services. Many of them also have a deep conviction that their life, in its entirety, is from God and for God. They also acknowledge the need to respond to God with an ethical commitment and with mercy towards those most in need.
    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium_en.html#Interreligious_dialogue

  • ruh roh its a direct quote from Lumen Gentium 16

    (126) But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Muslims, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind.

  • Anzlyne

    Thank you for your citation of Lumen Gentium.

    Also, in Nostra Aetate, the Second Vatican Council, declares that Muslims “adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, (cf Pope St Gregory VII’s letter XXI to Anzir (Nacir), King of Mauritania) who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God.”

    Many arguments to the contrary strike me as implicitly Marcionite, in virtually denying the identity of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob with the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  • But what about the Trinity? What about Jesus Son of God?

  • Credo in unum Deum. I believe in One God…. Whether we use Latin or English, we all begin our Creed with this confession each Lord’s Day (Sunday). I believe that it is extremely important for each of us and all of us to return to the Creed again and again, not to gain ammunition to debate those who disagree (whoever those who disagree are) but to deepen our own faith in One God in the Three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is into this Mystery we literally were baptized, immersed, and we need to learn how to swim in it-in order to be able to dialogue with fellow Christians, with the Jews, Moslems, other world religions and with secularists and atheists. Listening to Saint Thomas Aquinas and not stop with learning, believing and reciting the doctrine, but go further and deeper into the Mystery the words represent.

    To go into a full analysis is both beyond my ability and the space and time given to me right now. However, we can say this: I/we believe in One God, the Father, the Almighty, the Creator. There is a progression of faith found in Revelation (look it up in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is known as “God’s Pedagogy”. He reveals Himself fundamentally in creation as the Creator [remember the “star” of this Sunday-Epiphany]. There is a Covenant of the Gentiles based on the Covenant with Noah, maintaining God’s promise to the nations; on their part they must turn from their idolatry to the One true God and reject evil and do the good following the golden rule. Saint Paul, following Wisdom 13 , says all peoples can come to know the One true God, the Creator, to worship and to give Him thanks, and to do what they ought [Romans 1.18-23] This God is the God of creation, the Creator. He is and can be known by intellect seeking the truth. Is He not the same God Whom we worship? Yes -and yet, no-because this One God has further revealed Himself to Israel as God with us and for us, and now fully revealed Himself in Jesus Christ. Islam does not believe we worship the same God. this is why they don’t want Christians in Malaysia using the name “Allah” when they say, “God”. Is He the same God? Yes, since the One God is the Creator. However, after that, we differ. After all, He has revealed Himself to Israel (and no other nation), “salvation is from the Jews’ (John 4.22). Jesus Christ is the ultimate and full manifestation of God’s Self-revelation and His saving will. Islam is the only religion in the world which has as its doctrine, the denial of the Divinity of Christ [I am not saying Jews believe this, I am simply saying it is not a doctrine of theirs].

    Fr Samir’s article was excellent. I believe his ‘critique’ of Pope Francis’ comments are a necessary ‘corrective’ to a somewhat too positive and optimistic assessment that originated in Vatican II-specifically in response to a request of the Eastern Churches in the Middle East who felt that after our genuine and positive assessment/corrective of our vision of the Jews, something positive needed to be said about Islam. What Vatican II said was not wrong, it simply was too optimistic. Pope Francis is continuing that ‘optimism’ knowing full well that ‘the soul’ of Islam right now is at stake. This is Islam’s ‘hour of judgment’ in which they are being judged which aspect of their ambiguous religion they are going to choose: Islamicist fundamentalist fanaticism attempting to drive all Moslems and the world back to the seventh century, wars, persecutions and all, or an Islam that recognizes it needs to wrestle with its own writings, subject them to the “logos” [Logos] and enter into substantial dialogue with Judaism, the Church and the rest of the world. I simply am not as hopeful or optimistic about this outcome as Pope Francis-and neither is Fr Samir.

  • “Islam does not believe we worship the same God. this is why they don’t want Christians in Malaysia using the name “Allah” when they say, “God”.

    Honestly, I think I will take their word for it over Vatican II and Lumen Gentium (and Pope Francis). That fact that Islam has the doctrine that Jesus isn’t Divine suggests that, no, they don’t worship God, but someone else entirely, even if they don’t realize it.

    Folks, Jesus said to go out, preach the word, baptize people in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I don’t think He would have gone around preaching for 3 years and ultimately dying by crucifixion so that people could come up with their own religion or follow false ideas if they were just going to reach Heaven anyways.

  • Islam is a seventh century based heresy against the Catholic Church. Islam seeks to convert or destroy by the sword.

    Charles Martel, Queein Isabel, Don Juan of Austria and King John Sobieski didn’t need a Vatican II document to tell them what they were up against.

    Peace is best achieved with Islam by defeating it.

  • DJ Hesslius,

    I assume you were speaking tongue in cheek when you said that you will take Moslems’ word on God-whether the God they worship is the same as the God Whom we worship over that of The Second Vatican Council (Lumen Gentium) and Pope Francis. If it were not tongue in cheek to say that is quite a statement for a Catholic to make would be an understatement.

    Jesus came to reveal God fully: One God in Three Divine Persons; or as Saint John in his First Letter succinctly puts it in three words: “God is love” [that is a statement about God Himself, and not ‘merely’ that He is loving etc toward us.

    Whether one celebrates Epiphany on January 6th or today, the Mystery remains the same. God fundamentally reveals Himself as One and the Creator in all of His creation. This is the fundamental revelation of God, which any and every person can and ought to be able to ‘ascertain’ by their use of their intellect (reason). We have this in our tradition from Wisdom 13 to Romans 1 all the way to Vatican I and confirmed/affirmed in Vatican II. If any person comes to know that God is one and is the Creator to Whom worship and thanks are owed (see Romans 1.18-25) that God is the One God in Whom we profess our faith. This is straight, traditional Catholic teaching.

    What I have just said, has nothing to do with the supposed revelation Moslems receive by way of Mohammed in the Quran. I do not accept the Quran as revelation or scripture, not do I (or any Catholic) accept Mohammed as a prophet, never mind ‘the prophet’. What Father Samir states about what Moslems do say about Jesus is accurate, and shows that the ‘sources’ for Mohammed were gnostic gospels, various and sundry Christian heresies denying both the Incarnation and the Paschal Mystery. Worse still is the claim that Christians worship a ‘trinity’ made up of God, Jesus and Mary!

    I am not sure who you meant when you were speaking about ‘people coming up with their own religion’. I will assume you were speaking of the followers of Mohammed. However you also mention the false ideas that everyone goes to heaven. That is obviously heresy. I also assure you that no text in Vatican II teaches that. Ralph Martin does an excellent job on exegeting the texts in question showing that that is not a teaching of VII, despite some misinterpreting it that way.

  • Penguins Fan,

    I agree that Islam is a seventh century Christian heresy. Saint John of Damascus (Damascene) stated this, living as he was in a city, Damascus, Syria, that already was conquered by Moslem forces and living only a century after Mohammed. I also am thankful for such figures as Charles Martel who led a defensive campaign against the Islamic forces pouring into what is now France from Spain. I am one, in the interest of transparency etc. who believes that the Crusades were a defensive and not an offensive campaign.

    While I am thankful for such figures, I am not at all convinced etc that ‘a call to arms’ is the best way to deal with 1 billion fellow human beings. I need to be clear here. I am speaking as a Catholic and speaking of a Catholic response, not what a country like America should or should not do. I am speaking from the Faith, the faith perspective. Jesus says, “He who lives by the sword dies by the sword”. While it is ‘common wisdom’ to ‘fight fire with fire’ when did Jesus Christ fight fire with fire? He He not our “norm”? Our ‘weapons’ are spiritual because as St Paul writes. “We do not fight against flesh and blood but against Principalities and Powers…”. Take another look at Ephesian 6, and our ‘spiritual warfare’:

    1) Prayer, especially the Rosary. I do not believe it accidental the Mary appeared at Fatima, asking Catholics to pray the rosary for the conversion of Russia-while not canonizing Putin etc, anyone notice the turnaround that country is doing? Fatima is the name of Mohammed’s daughter, the wife of Ali who is revered by the Shiites. Do we really think this was all coincidence?

    2) Offering up our Masses (no matter what language they are in) for peace in the world, and the conversion of Moslems. This is a time of judgment for Islam. Can we not assist those who are indeed more moderate and open to reason and dialogue over the Islamicist fundamentalists with our greatest weapon, the Most Holy Eucharist?

    3)Dialogue means bringing both sides to a ‘situation’ we commonly call a table, and address issues with ‘reason’ [logos: the Logos]. The more we bring Moslems to ‘reason/logos’ the more open they will be to the Divine Logos made flesh, Jesus Christ. This will not take place with Islamicists-but it can and should with the more moderate forces (they do exist-at least right now). This is what Pope Francis is actually talking about.

    4)Evangelization through witness of life. This is the toughest of them all-always has been. It means for Christians not to leave Middle Eastern countries etc so that Moslems can come in contact with them on a daily basis. This is how we ‘conquered’ the Roman Empire in roughly 300 years-no armies, physicial weapons etc. but the gospel of Christ and the “Sword of the Spirit”. Now that means, sadly some will be martyred-the ultimate witness. Have we forgotten that “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the faith”?

    Christ is constantly saying “Do not be afraid….The Spirit of the One within you is greater than the one in the world”. We really need to take Him at His word.

  • My post seems pretty clear to me: The Muslims (if the quote accurately states what they really do believe–I’m not an expert in Islam and I pulled that quote from you) say that don’t worship the same god as do we Catholics/Christians. And I’m willing to say the Church just might be wrong on Her instance that the deity the Muslims worship is, in fact, God (the real one that we Catholics worship.)
    .
    Do we worship a deity that condones sex slavery? Suicide bombing? Multiple wives? Female gentile mutilation. Stoning? Ethnic cleansing? In looking at the “fruits” of Islam, I have a very hard time seeing how they worship God (the real one that is.)

  • D, J. Hesslius

    It is important in speaking about any religion, even ours, to make the distinction between God and what His followers do. I would not want anyone to describe the Catholic Faith by pointing out the sins of Catholics (past or present), It also is important to recognize that there are many things that are ‘willed by God” or seem acceptable to Him in the Old Testament which I would dare say, we would not agree with or do-yet, we do worship the same God revealed in the Old Testament. We fundamentally recognize that Jesus Christ did not come to ‘destroy the Law and the Prophets’ but to fulfill them” and bring out their deeper meaning: “You have heard it said…But I say to you….”

    I am in no way offering any kind of apologia for Islam or its followers. Nor am I placing them alongside Judaism and Christianity. I do not believe they are a religion of ‘the book’ because they have not received revelation from God I am simply stating that their belief in the One God, the Creator (no matter how poorly understood, etc.), the result of the intellect’s ability to come to know the One God, the Creator, is the One God, “the Creator, the Maker of heaven and earth” in Whom we also believe.

  • I hear you DJ. They don’t want us Christians to call God Allah because they see the difference and think calling our Trinitarian God Allah is profane. I don’t know what to think of the statements of the pope and fro Lumen Gentium. Would somebody tell me if Lumen Gentium is considered infallible?

  • Botolph,

    The good people I mentioned needed to resort to arms. I am advocating no such thing at the moment. Islam is waging a stealth war against a weak and wimpy West.
    All that is needed for success in opposing Islam is for the West to grow a backbone – that and the USA being energy self sufficient.

  • Anzlyne,

    Lumen Gentium, [Light of the Nations] has as its ‘title’, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. At the end of the document an appendage was added to assist people in understanding both its content an level of authority. It states:
    “Taking into account conciliar custom and the pastoral aim of the present Council, this holy synod defines as binding on the Church only those matters of faith and morals which it openly declares to be such.”

    Vatican II and Lumen Gentium define no new dogma. That was not the purpose of the Council. The Council was not assembled to define some dogma against misunderstandings or vicious heresy. It was called as a “Pastoral Council”. Now some would hear that and say, “so it means nothing, or next to nothing”, but nothing could be further from the truth. The Council in general was a reorientation of the Church’s self-understanding from Tradition toward mission, the mission of word [kerygma], Liturgy [eucharistia] and service [diakonia]

    Blessed John Paul, in one of his catecheses at the Angelus said this “It is the great merit of Lumen Gentium to have forcefully reminded us that if we want to have a satisfactory understanding of the Church’s identity without neglecting the institutional aspects, it is necessary to begin with her Mystery. The Church is a mystery because she is grafted on to Christ and rooted in the Trinitiarian life. Jesus, the Word, is the Light that shines out visibly from the Church. He has brought ancient Israel’s expectations to fulfillment, inaugurating the arrival of God’s Kingdom. Thus He has gathered all the nations into a new People of God, uniting them to Himself as His Body and His Bride, in the power of the Holy Spirit. A sublime mystery, which binds the baptized together and spurs them to continual conversion, to the very heights of holiness. So this is the Church: a People journeying through history, its gaze fixed on the goal of Christ’s Second Coming.

    This conciliar vision of the Church, faithful to the Word of God, and to the most ancient tradition, was meant to give the Christian community a new pulse of vitality, a renewed spirit of communion and participation

    Pope Benedict, while still Cardinal stated in a symposium on Vatican II in 2000
    “Right now, I want to state my basic thesis: the Second Vatican Council clearly wanted to speak of the Church within the discourse on God, to subordinate the discourse on the Church to the discourse on God and to offer an ecclesiology that would be theo-logical in the true sense….As the rule of Saint Benedict states, “Let nothing be placed before the work of God [opus Dei], the Divine Office. As the second text of the Council, the Constitution on the Church should be seen as inwardly connected with the text on the Liturgy. The CHurch is guided by prayer, by the mission of glorifying God. By its nature ecclesiology is connected with the Liturgy. It is therefore logical that the third Constitution should speak of the Word of God that convokes the Church and renews her in every age. The fourth Constitution shows how the glorification of God is realized in the active life, since the light received from God is carried into the world and only in this way becomes fully the glorification of God…..”

    Anzlyne, I hope this helped. As to the actual statement concerning Islam in Lumen Gentium there are two core aspects, IMHO, to what the Council is saying. Relying on Sacred Tradition but most especially Vatican I, with its wonderful teaching on the ability of the human intellect rising to the knowledge of the truth of One God, the Creator, it is saying that we do share this: we both worship the One God, the Creator. Because of this we have a ‘relationship’ with Islam. That’s basically all it says. The rest is an attempt to place Islam in as positive light as possible-for example the statement about reverencing Jesus and Mary. In no way does the Council say that this is sufficient etc for the salvation of Moslems etc. While mentioning their claim to acknowledge the God and faith of Abraham, that is all it says: it is their claim. Of course there is that aspect of Islam that we cannot just overlook. However many peoples were descended from Abraham, such as the Midianites, or related to Abraham: the Ammonites and Moabites (through Lot and his daughters) but that basically got them nowhere. John the Baptist and Jesus Himself claim that physical descent is not enough for salvation, nor is circumcision, etc.

    Bottom line, the teaching in Lumen gentium concerning Islam is, as part of Lumen gentium authoritative but not an infallible teaching. It is attempting to show the ‘fragile’ relationship between Islam and the Church of Jesus Christ which subsists in the Catholic Church. That relationship is primarily the knowledge of and worship of the One God, the Creator
    Hope this has helped

  • Penguins Fan,

    Ahhh you are speaking about what America/the West needs to do. That backbone of which you speak is what we commonly refer to as Judaeo-Christianity. The West, as the West is built on the synthesis of Judaeo-Christianity and Graeco-Roman culture. The West cannot and does not exist without both foundations. However, the West since the late 60’s has taken up the radical Enlightenment’s mantra attempting to extirpate every last vestige of Judaeo-Christiantity from the Public Square and relegate us back into the ‘catacombs’ of ‘the private life’, reconstructing a ‘city’ without God [think of the last Democratic Convention: the shocking debate about the deletion of two words: “God” and “Jerusalem”. Although originally from different contexts, that was no accidental coincidence]. The ‘elites’ building this new city might as well give the ‘keys of the city’ to the Islamicists, because they do believe in something, the builders/the elite believe in nothing.

    Given the direction of the mainline Protestant churches and denominations, the Catholic Church and Evangelicals and orthodox and conservative Jews, are the ones maintaining this Judaeo-Christian sythesis. However, we are under tremendous pressure to ‘give in’ and ‘to bow before the golden statue’ of the hegemony of the progressive nanny state.

  • This is a fantastic discussion! I clearly see that the god of Islam is analogus to the Christian God in that Islam is monotheistic, Muslims believe their god is the creator & sustainer of all things, & they claim Abraham as their father–but it seems the relationship ends there.

    Judaism has the same analogous relationship with Christianity in that the God of Abraham is also the creator & sustainer of all things, Judaism claims a monotheistic God, & Judaism claims the God of Abraham as their God.

    Both Judaism & Islam fail to recognize Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of God-although both religions acknowledge Jesus in another manner.

    I have recently had an IN DEPTH discussion, with someone who professes to be a Christian, who does not recognize the Trinitarian God of the Bible as being 3 Persons in One. She claims vehemently that I believe in polytheism ( which of course is preposterous!) However, my point is that Muslims may view the Christian as being polytheistic & as worshipping 3 gods instead of one. Thinking that Christians are polytheistic would result in Muslims refusing to allow a Christian to call the Islamic god “Allah.”

    Please note: my reference to Judaism is strictly a referral to Orthodox Judaism. We have a Reform Temple here in my area where you are allowed you be a member as long as you do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God & have not been baptized in a Christian church. Otherwise, you can be an Atheist or hold any other beliefs & still be accepted into their membership.

  • I think Penguin’s Fan is rather close to the truth when he says that Islam is a seventh century heresy. Of course it depends exactly on how we define heresy.

  • Barbara Gordon,

    I would say that our relationship with the Jews is much much closer than that which we have with Islam. If I could use an analogy (recognizing that all analogies ultimately limp somewhat):
    The Church is the Bride of the Bridegroom. Israel is engaged to the One Who will be her Bridegroom, loves Him but has not experienced the fullness of His Love-she is not yet ready. Islam happens to know He exists but hardly knows Him.

  • Interestingly enough, the professing Christian who accused me of being a polytheist because of my acceptance of the Catholic Trinity was trying to claim that Catholics are worshipping 3 separate gods when we name the Father, the Son, & the Holy Spirit (vs the false polytheism that anzlyne referenced above that includes Mary as part of the Trinity.) My accuser, who is writing a book about this topic, at one point argued that our Christian God is eternally the same & therefore because in the natural world, 1 + 1+ 1= 3, that the Trinity is equivalent to 3 separate gods. I shared with her that spiritual reality & natural reality are not equivalent in all senses–that spiritually, if God says that 3 persons are 1, then 3 persons are 1 whether it makes physical sense to us or not. My line of argument seemed to infuriate her further as she claimed that polytheists like myself ( her words) always start spiritualizing things when we cannot explain them. Thankfully, my undergraduate degree is in mathematics, & I was required to take 2 semesters of Abstract Algebra before graduating. I shared with her that, by using various definitions and number systems, that it is indeed possible to use logic to show that 1+ 1 does not equal 2. Therefore based upon the given number system & definitions that it could be possible to show that 1+ 1+ 1 = 1 in the natural world in which we live. My accuser promptly took up another line of reasoning. Lol Unfortunately the liberals who author our public school text books have written into them the 5 pillars of Islam & detailed explanations about Muhammad. That means that most of the children in my state will graduate knowing more about the fundamentals of Islam than those students know about Christianity which is briefly mentioned in the same texts. It is those students about whom I was concerned when I asked above if Pope Francis had truly said that Christians & Muslims worship the same God. I am very concerned that many professing Christians do not even understand the basic Gospel of the death, burial, & resurrection of Jesus Christ. Some of them are sure to be confused by such statements re: Islam from the religious hierarchy.

    Thank you all for this information. I have 2 ordained Protestant ministers in the family with whom I am going to share all of it! One of them writes the youth Sunday School literature for an entire Protestant denomination. 😀

  • God is Love and the three Persons in the Trinity love. God is existence and God exists. God is Justice and the three Persons in God keep the Co-mandments. The Supreme Sovereign Being is three Persons in One God, the Trinity of Persons in One Supreme Sovereign Being.

  • That God is triune makes perfect sense. I could not imagine God if he were not a dynamic, triune being. How can a static and lifeless god be eternal and creative, for example? The doctrine of the Trinity is quite believable, though not altogether comprehensible.

  • “The doctrine of the Trinity is quite believable,” God is love, therefore, God needs someone to love. God the Father’s love for His Son, Jesus Christ, is the Holy Spirit, infinite love. God’s love becomes another Person WHO proceeds from the Father and the Son.
    ” though not altogether comprehensible.” The child on the beach had dug a hole in the sand and was running back and forth to the ocean, filling his hole with the water. St. Augustine came by and asked the child what he was doing. The child answered that he was putting the ocean into his hole. St. Augustine said that it is impossible. The angel in the form of a child said “That is how it is impossible for man to comprehend God.”

  • 1. Muslims “together with us adore the One, merciful God” (No. 252)

    What?!?!?
    Islam may be the only religion that does not teach the Golden Rule (Qur’an 48:29). It teaches violence and hatred against non-Muslims, specifically Jews and Christians (50:5).
    Qur’an 4:46, says Allah has cursed the Jews for their disbelief.
    Twenty-six Qur’an chapters cover jihad. All able-bodied believers must join the fight (Surah 2:216). The Quran orders Muslim murderers to “instill terror into the hearts of the unbeliever” and to “smite above their necks” (8:12).
    The test of faith is Allah is not found in good works, but in martyrdom while trying to murder unbelievers (47:4). Murdering unbelievers is the only way to salvation in Islam (4:47; 9:111).
    Murdering unbelievers is the means of obtaining forgiveness of sins for the mohammedan (4:96).
    The reward for murdering unbelievers is sexual delights with virgins and other carnal joys (38:51; 55:56; 55:76; 56:22). St. Alphonsus declared: “The Mohammedan Paradise is only fit for beasts; for filthy sensual pleasure is all the believer has to expect there.”
    Mohammedans are required to give aid and advance the murderers (8:74).
    Mohammedanism requires global conquest and domination (9:29).
    2. “The sacred writings of Islam have retained some Christian teachings” (No. 252)
    4. The Koran is opposed to all the fundamental Christian dogmas
    Mohammed managed to summarize in one teaching almost every doctrine that was condemned by the Church, with the exceptions of Monophysitism and Monotheletism. We worship the same God; they worship wrongly.
    Geert Wilders Berlin speech, excerpts:
    [T]he renowned Oxford historian J.M. Roberts wrote in 1985: “Although we carelessly speak of Islam as a ‘religion’; that word carries many overtones of the special history of western Europe. The Muslim is primarily a member of a community, the follower of a certain way, an adherent to a system of law, rather than someone holding particular theological views.” The Flemish Professor Urbain Vermeulen, the former president of the European Union of Arabists and Islamicists, too, points out that “Islam is primarily a legal system, a law,” rather than a religion. …
    These are not just statements by opponents of Islam. Islamic scholars say the same thing. … Abul Ala Maududi, the influential 20th century Pakistani Islamic thinker, wrote – I quote, emphasizing that these are not my words but those of a leading Islamic scholar – “Islam is not merely a religious creed [but] a revolutionary ideology and jihad refers to that revolutionary struggle … to destroy all states and governments anywhere on the face of the earth, which are opposed to the ideology and program of Islam.” …

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  • I found a article about a book The Medjugorje Deception. Would like your opinion.
    Let me start by saying that I down to earth, was business man, professional and understand a bit of what it takes to run small enterprise, but never could even image what it takes and the politics behind running something like the Vatican which is the other side that most people want to turn a blind eye to it, simply put, they do not what to know because they believe that it is going to diminish their spiritual growth, to me is simply a matter of survival. No money no church, no Magisterium to keep me inform, no sacrament because there would be no priest, etc…. but the true, what it is the true, this is another question and that is why I am asking my question.

  • I know nothing about Medjugorje and questions about it are not germane to this thread in any case.

  • MPS, You write: “…This is why St Augustine says, “God has mercy on no man in vain. He calls the man on whom He has mercy in the way He knows will suit him, so that he will not refuse the call.”

    But does man’s Free Will allow him to resist efficacious grace or God’s call? The Calvinists following Augustine claim that Grace is irresistable.

  • Botolph: “I would not want anyone to describe the Catholic Faith by pointing out the sins of Catholics. ” Nor do I, but while we see multiple wives and slavery as sin, the Muslims don’t. Or at least a lot of them do not. We have a Magisterium we can point to and say “this thing is Catholic” and “that thing is not Catholic.” Even Planned Parenthood knows that the Church doesn’t approve of birth control and abortion.
    .
    I am given to understand that in Islam there is no Magisterium; if true, then one comes into the situation such as exists in Protestantism–one denomination can say homosexual behavior is wrong (Evangelicals), and then the Episcopalians can ordain Gene Robinson to the rank of bishop (yes, I know Episcopal and Anglican “Holy Orders” are void.) Since the Muslims can’t totally figure out what they believe, how can the Vatican say for certain “they adore and worship the one God”?

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  • I saw this article some weeks back on First Things concerning the Christian Origins of Islam. It is interesting.

    http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2012/12/the-christian-origins-of-islam

  • DJ Hesselius, Protestantism is merely a vague term. No magisterium is needed because each church decides its own doctrine. Evangelical Protestants and denominations reflecting protestant evanglicalism believe the Bible is inspired, so that they follow its beliefs. Other Protestant groups may not believe in divine inspiration or may not believe we are obligated to follow the Bible. They decide that within their denomination. The Episcopal Church in America did that, and of course we know Gene Robinson was elected, as was the presiding bishop Schori who condones homosexual practice.

  • D J Hesselius,

    First let me say, in reference to the link from First Things and the Christian origins of Islam, Dante knew his ‘stuff’ when showing Mohammed as one who divided Christianity and not the founder of a new religion. Saint John of Damascus [Damascene] writing from Islamic Damascus only a century after the rise of Islam, stated that Mohammedism is a Christian heresy. BTW I find it fascinating that Islam rose just as Arianism was disappearing. Coincidence? As a further example I had a fascinating conversation with a very friendly and knowledgible Moslem lay person. First thing out of his mouth was that there are only two ‘realities’ the created and the Uncreated. God (He said “Allah” is uncreated-everything else is created. That’s almost a word for word quote from Arius-who was attempting to conform the Catholic Faith to Greek Philosophical categories

    Now in regards to your post/response: it is true that Islam allows/encourages polygamy. They have some very tough laws concerning adultery, stealing etc—–very Middle Eastern. In no way am I excusing any of this, or offering an apologia for Islam in any of its forms. If you read my original post in this series you will see that I am completely in agreement with Father Samir. I have his book on Islam. I keep it close by when discussing Islam. He knows his stuff.

    You are correct that Islam as a whole does not have a Magisterium. No world religion does. Certainly other Christians do not even accept our Magisterium. Only Catholics recognize the “trinity” of Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and Magisterium [Pope and bishops].

    There are is a major division between Sunni and Shiite Moslems however. I have seen it explained in this way. What would have happened if the Protestant Reformation took place right after Jesus Christ ‘died”? This is what happened in Islam. A huge portion was swept up in the Sunni movement which had each local iman and mosque as its own center of faith. Each iman can interpret the Quran as he thinks best. etc On the other hand the Shiites, who gathered around the ‘martyred’ [by the other side] son-in-law have an organized religious institution. They have both “overseers”: ayatollahs and imans. The Sunnis look to a Caliph to run things for them, while the Sunni look to their ayatollahs.

    As to your comment that we don’t know what the Moslems believe because there is no magisterium, I do not agree. The one thing we do know: they believe that Allah exists, He is One, and that He is the Creator-and that Mohammed is His prophet. The word “Allah” is related to El/Elohim in Semitic languages. El/Elohim is the ‘original Name” for the Creator in the Old Testament. He is the God of the Patriarchs. In our Scriptures, when “El” or “Elohim” is used we say, “God” or “the Almighty”. “The Almighty” actually comes from “El Shaddai” which literally means “God of the Mountain”. In the Exodus, Israel came to realize that the God [El/Elohim} of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob is “The Lord” [Adonai-YHWH] Now in and through Christ we have come to recognize “the Name” as “the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” and confess in our Creed that we believe in One God Who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit [One God in Three Divine Persons]

    Moslems know the One God, the Creator Whom we worship, but do not have His Self-revelation in event and word in the history of Israel as “the Lord”, and certainly do not know, and in fact deny His Full Revelation in and through Jesus Christ, the Son Who reveals Father, Son and Spirit, in and through His Incarnation, His Life, Ministry, words but most especially in and through His Paschal Mystery.

  • “Since the Muslims can’t totally figure out what they believe, how can the Vatican say for certain “they adore and worship the one God”?
    Excellent insight.

  • It was obviously an error to say they (Muslims) worship the same God as Christians. Then again, perhaps it is an example of purposeful obfiscation for the purpose of ecumenical dialogue or conciliatory relations.

  • “Peace is best achieved with Islam by defeating it.”
    Unfortunately that seems to be very true today.

    But things used to be very different.
    I know that, being myself a Lebanese Christian, before the emergence of fundamentalist Islam in the latter part of the 20th century, Muslims and Christians had alot in common when referring to God in every day interactions. For example there is various sayings in Arabic common to both- translated into English-
    – “God have mercy” “Allah yerham” (when a family member died)
    – “Gods-will be done”- “3aniyet Allah” (when referring to planning of ones day)
    – “God forgive me” (when one is in error)
    – “smallah” from “Essem Allah” meaning “In the name of God”- a blessing.
    – “Goodbye” is actually “Allah ma3koun”. To both Christians and Muslims.

    Infact, moderate Muslims and Christians still talk in this manner to each other in everyday conversation. My parents Muslims friends do anyway.

    “Allah” is in fact the Arabic word for God to both Christians and Muslims. I say Allah when talking Arabic to my family. I am a Catholic Arab.

    But other expressions that a Christian would NOT say around a Muslim would be “in the name of the cross” “esmes Salib” (very common in conversations), and “Christ is with you” “el Masih Ma3koon”. You definitely don’t say these to a Muslim! A good one, wouldn’t care, but the strict ones would take offense.

    Anyway, from one perspective, I get what Fr Samir is saying. But before Islamic Fundamentalism, God was God to both. He is understood to be the same Creator, to the everyday person of both religions. He just is God!

  • Slainté asks, “does man’s Free Will allow him to resist efficacious grace or God’s call?”

    Of course, just as free will allows a doting mother, if she chooses, to watch her toddler drown in a paddling pool, without going to its aid. Free will consists in doing what we choose to do. Grace does not, and has no need, to interfere with our power of choice; rather, it affects what we want to do – In other words, it is the delectatio coelestis victrix of St Augustine.

  • As far as human free will goes, Islam does not recognize it beyond doing Allah’s will or not. There is a very strong predestination streak in Islam. In a sense, all Muslims are “slaves of Allah”

    Also, Allah may be the Creator, but it is a different Creator than the Christian God. In Christianity God does not commit evil. In Islam a God who refrains from evil cannot be God, since God cannot be self-limiting. Allah MUST be capable of evil, and MUST be capable of doing two diametrically opposite things at the same time, or he would not be God.

  • thanks Botolph – ah yes I remember I did know that – swiss cheese brain sometimes
    I appreciate all the great input on this post- good for us to air our ideas and concerns and share information. Thankfully on TAC there are so many erudite teachers. I especially like learning (and teaching) by asking questions – thanks everyone

Is Islam Becoming The De Facto Established Religion of the United States?

Monday, October 1, AD 2012

The title is meant to be hyperbolic.  Obviously Islam is not the official religion of this country.  However, there are signs that Islam is beginning to receive a deference in this country that is denied to other faiths.  Points to consider:

1.  The Prophet Mohammed-Newscasts routinely bestow upon Mohammed the title of Prophet.  I think I would faint if I head a member of the Mainstream media refer to Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  A little thing perhaps but the Mainstream Media is usually a good barometer of liberal opinion in this country.

2.  Sensitivity Training-The US military is ramping up Islamic Sensitivity Training for our troops.

3.  Government Censorship-After Mona Eltahawy, journalist, activist and publicity hound, defaced an anti-Jihadist post in the New York Subway, the Metropolitan Transit Authority amended its policy on advertisements to ban those that “would incite or provoke violence.”  This of course gives a heckler’s veto over advertisements.  The woman behind the poster, Pamela Geller, also a publicity hound, vows a fight in the courts.

4.  Obama and the Mohammed Video-President Obama has gone out of his way to denounce the Mohammed video.  Other faiths are routinely mocked in this country:  the Piss Christ of Andres Serrano which received an award in 1987 paid in part by the National Endowment of the Arts, an agency of the Federal government, there is a hit play running on Broadway, The Book of Mormon, which savagely denounces the Mormon faith,  in 2010 the Loveland Museum in Colorado City, city owned and operated, displayed a painting,  The Misadventures of Romantic Cannibals, which was a bitter attack on the Church.  When Christians have complained about such insults, they have usually received a lecture on the First Amendment, told not to view it if it offends them, and, in general, told to suck it up.

5.  First Amendment-Last week I wrote a post, which may be read here, in which Christopher Johnson fisked University of Chicago law professor Eric Posner’s view that the First Amendment was not an absolute bar to banning anti-Islamic statements.  Last year Justice Stephen Breyer of the United States Supreme Court seemed to indicate that the burning of a Koran might be equivalent to yelling fire in a crowded theater.

 

6.  Government Policy-There have been incidents under the current administration that have been very odd in regard to Islam.  One of the odder ones was the statement by Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator, that the top priority for NASA according to President Obama was “and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me  to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with  dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic  contribution to science … and math and engineering.”

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26 Responses to Is Islam Becoming The De Facto Established Religion of the United States?

  • Three bits of observation:

    1. From Richard John Neuhaus: “What is the function of intellectuals, but to tell us that things are not as ordinary people perceive them?”

    2. From Thomas Sowell: “Too often such attitudes are based on nothing more substantial than a desire to be part of the self-anointed elite who are one-up on everyone else. Being one-up is so important to some people that it colors the way they see every issue”

    3. From Steven Sailer: “The default human tendency is toward concentric loyalties. If you look at people in Szechuan or Paraguay or Burkina Faso, you’ll notice that they tend to feel the most duties and allegiance toward people whom they consider most like themselves, moderate amounts toward people moderately close to them, and so forth onward and outward.
    But the Western liberal is noteworthy for feeling loyalty toward his inner circle, however defined, then ostentatiously leapfrogging over a whole bunch of people who are kind of like him but whom he despises, in order to embrace The Other. ”

    —-

  • This regime is giving us a number of teachable moments.

    If somebody’s opinions outrage you you may vandalize their media; blast something to smithereens (huge buildings filled with civilians work especially well); kill somebody (best practice videotaped beheading using a dull butcher knife); . . .

  • Thick as thugs.

  • WRT “Prophet Mohammed”, I disagree. Mohammed is a very popular name, just like Mary, so it needs further qualification. This is why even atheists that disbelieve the virgin birth call Mary, the Virgin Mary. WRT Christ, Christians don’t refer to him as Jesus Christ, the Son of God in daily conversations, they refer to Jesus Christ (i.e. Jesus the Messiah) …the same name the media uses if there is any confusion.

  • “Mohammed is a very popular name, just like Mary, so it needs further qualification.”

    Rubbish. It isn’t a popular name in the West and only the immensely ignorant would not know who was being referred to since some members of Islam acting like murderous lunatics over Mohammed is not a recent phenomenon for most viewers in the West.

  • I agree with Anil on this. If they started adding the “pbuh”, then it would get creepy. But in general I agree with this article. Nicely done.

  • I hate both.

    However thuggee and Mohammedanism have one vital aspect in common. They are both organized brigandage.

  • The poster belongs to Pamela Geller as free speech. Mona Eltahawy can post her free speech, but Mona Eltahawy is not free to destroy Pamela Geller’s poster as it is not her property. Using violence is not exercising freedom but the obliteration of freedom as seen by the spray paint. A conversation cannot be complete if one person’s opinion is defaced.

    Anil Wang:

    If the “Prophet Mohammed” was truly a prophet, bearing truth and light as prophets are called to do, why are his followers deliberately obliterating freedom of speech? The immanent scourge of death does not bring forth the sons and daughters from afar as is inscribed in the book of Isaiah, the prophet. How many children will the victims of death bring forth to prophesy in the name of God?
    WRT “Prophet Mohammed”, I disagree. Mohammed is a very popular name, just like Mary, so it needs further qualification. This is why even atheists that disbelieve the virgin birth call Mary, the Virgin Mary. WRT Christ, Christians don’t refer to him as Jesus Christ, the Son of God in daily conversations, they refer to Jesus Christ (i.e. Jesus the Messiah)

  • Sorry, did not erase this posting as was necessary. Perhaps because atheists who can believe or disbelieve as they choose, are not the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is her own sovereign person. Immaculately conceived, as all mankind’s human, rational and immortal souls are created in original innocence, the Virgin Mary was preserved from original sin and maintained her virginity in sovereignity. Mary is our fallen nature’s solitary boast, as the poets say. Jesus Christ was crucified as the Son of Man.

  • In the summer of 2001 the BBC, always a didactic institution since the days of Lord Reith, ran a series of programmes on Islam, particularly in in its British manifestation; the clear aim was to counteract ‘Islamophobia’ which is a nonsensical term anyway, since a phobia by definition an irrational fear or anxiety; to fear being blown up by Islamists is far from irrational. Then came the events of 11 September.

    The contribution which Islam has made to civilization is grossly exaggerated; the Arabs, being a nomadic desert people, navigated by the stars and gave them names which we still use. Everything else was borrowed from other civilizations, Byzantine, Persian or whatever. Even what we call Arabic numerals were in fact devised by Syriac Christians whom the caliphs employed for their learning. And while the Catholic Church encouraged scientific enquiry in order to better understand God’s creation, Islam reverted to an obscuranticism from which it has never emerged. I object strongly when the mad mullahs and their fanatically deluded followers are described as ‘medieval’ – this is to insult the Middle Ages.

    A recent TV programme examining the origins of Islam, in the way that similar programmes examine, non-dogmatically, the origins of Christianity has had to be pulled for the sake of ‘public order’. The PC idea of not giving offence has spread like a cancer, extinguishing free speech in the very countries which invented it; Jonathan Swift and Alexander Pope would have a hard time nowadays. And our enemies, who don’t give a fig about our hard-won freedoms, are exploiting our liberal, namby-pamby nostrums for their own evil ends.

  • Sorry, a couple of typos in the above. Apart from anything else, it should be ‘obscurantism’. On this issue, I find it hard to be temperate.

  • All too true John. Freedom and courage have always gone together, and too many of our so-called leaders in the West lack any courage.

  • John Nolan “to fear being blown up by Islamists is far from irrational.” Well said.

  • Liberals and Muslims have much in common: abhorrence of America, hatred of freedom and disdain for the US Constitution.

    Obama and his imbecilic worshipers are either unprincipled cowards or outright traitors.

  • Saw the following list, and thought it would fit here.

    Pres. Obama’s record in regard to Christians and Biblical values

    Posted on 1 October 2012 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

    The fight for our religious liberty is really just beginning.

    Remember how Pres. Obama said at Notre Shame that he was interested in “common ground”? Remember what he promised Card. Dolan?

    I was sent this list by a reader. It recounts Pres. Obama’s actions in regard to Christian values.

    Take a look at this list and then ask yourself: In a second term, would he be better in this regard or worse?

    1. Acts of Hostility Toward People Of Biblical Faith:
    ?a. April 2008 – Obama speaks disrespectfully of Christians, saying they “cling to guns or religion” and have an “antipathy to people who aren’t like them.”
    ?b. February 2009 – Obama announces plans to revoke conscience protection for health workers who refuse to participate in medical activities that go against their beliefs, and fully implements the plan in February 2011.
    ?c. April 2009 – When speaking at Georgetown University , Obama orders that a monogram symbolizing Jesus’ name be covered when he is making his speech.
    ?d. May 2009 – Obama declines to host services for the National Prayer Day (a day established by federal law) at the White House.
    ?e. April 2009 – In a deliberate act of disrespect, Obama nominated three pro-abortion ambassadors to the Vatican ; of course, the pro-life Vatican rejected all three.
    ?f. October 19, 2010 – Obama begins deliberately omitting the phrase about “the Creator” when quoting the Declaration of Independence – an omission he has made on no less than seven occasions.
    ?g. November 2010 – Obama misquotes the National Motto, saying it is “E pluribus Unum” rather than “In God We Trust” as established by federal law.
    ?h. January 2011 – After a federal law was passed to transfer a WWI Memorial in the Mojave Desert to private ownership, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that the cross in the memorial could continue to stand, but the Obama administration refused to allow the land to be transferred as required by law, and refused to allow the cross to be re-erected as ordered by the Court.
    ?i. February 2011 – Although he filled posts in the State Department, for more than two years Obama did not fill the post of religious freedom ambassador, an official that works against religious persecution across the world; he filled it only after heavy pressure from the public and from Congress.
    ?j. April 2011 – For the first time in American history, Obama urges passage of a non-discrimination law that does not contain hiring protections for religious groups, forcing religious organizations to hire according to federal mandates without regard to the dictates of their own faith, thus eliminating conscience protection in hiring.
    ?k. August 2011 – The Obama administration releases its new health care rules that override religious conscience protections for medical workers in the areas of abortion and contraception.
    ?l. November 2011 – Obama opposes inclusion of President Franklin Roosevelt’s famous D-Day Prayer in the WWII Memorial.
    ?m. November 2011 – Unlike previous presidents, Obama studiously avoids any religious references in his Thanksgiving speech.
    ?n. December 2011 – The Obama administration denigrates other countries’ religious beliefs as an obstacle to radical homosexual rights.
    ?o. January 2012 – The Obama administration argues that the First Amendment provides no protection for churches and synagogues in hiring their pastors and rabbis.
    ?p. February 2012 – The Obama administration forgives student loans in exchange for public service, but announces it will no longer forgive student loans if the public service is related to religion.

    2. Acts of Hostility From The Obama-Led Military Toward People Of Biblical Faith:
    ?a. June 2011 – The Department of Veterans Affairs forbids references to God and Jesus during burial ceremonies at Houston National Cemetery ..
    ?b. August 2011 – The Air Force stops teaching the Just War theory to officers in California because the course is taught by chaplains and is based on a philosophy introduced by St. Augustine in the third century AD – a theory long taught by civilized nations across the world (except America).
    ?c. September 2011 – Air Force Chief of Staff prohibits commanders from notifying airmen of programs and services available to them from chaplains.
    ?d. September 2011 – The Army issues guidelines for Walter Reed Medical Center stipulating that “No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading materials and/or facts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit.”
    ?e. November 2011 – The Air Force Academy rescinds support for Operation Christmas Child, a program to send holiday gifts to impoverished children across the world, because the program is run by a Christian charity.
    ?f. November 2011 – The Air Force Academy pays $80,000 to add a Stonehenge-like worship center for pagans, druids, witches and Wiccans.
    ?g. February 2012 – The U. S. Military Academy at West Point dis-invites three star Army general and decorated war hero Lieutenant General William G. (“Jerry”) Boykin (retired) from speaking at an event because he is an outspoken Christian.
    ?h. February 2012 – The Air Force removes “God” from the patch of Rapid Capabilities Office (the word on the patch was in Latin: Dei).
    ?i. February 2012 – The Army orders Catholic chaplains not to read a letter to parishioners that their archbishop asked them to read.

    3. Acts of Hostility Toward Biblical Values:
    ?a. January 2009 – Obama lifts restrictions on U.S. government funding for groups that provide abortion services or counseling abroad, forcing taxpayers to fund pro-abortion groups that either promote or perform abortions in other nations.
    ?b. January 2009 – President Obama’s nominee for deputy secretary of state asserts that American taxpayers are required to pay for abortions and that limits on abortion funding are unconstitutional.
    ?c. March 2009 – The Obama administration shut out pro-life groups from attending a White House-sponsored health care summit.
    ?d. March 2009 – Obama orders taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research.
    ?e. March 2009 – Obama gave $50 million for the UNFPA, the UN population agency that promotes abortion and works closely with Chinese population control officials who use forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations.
    ?f. May 2009 – The White House budget eliminates all funding for abstinence-only education and replaces it with “comprehensive” sexual education, repeatedly proven to increase teen pregnancies and abortions. He continues the deletion in subsequent budgets.
    ?g. May 2009 – Obama officials assemble a terrorism dictionary calling pro-life advocates violent and charging that they use racism in their “criminal” activities.
    ?h. July 2009 – The Obama administration illegally extends federal benefits to same-sex partners of Foreign Service and Executive Branch employees, in direct violation of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
    ?i. September 16, 2009 – The Obama administration appoints as EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum, who asserts that society should “not tolerate” any “private beliefs,” including religious beliefs, if they may negatively affect homosexual “equality.”
    ?j. July 2010 – The Obama administration uses federal funds in violation of federal law to get Kenya to change its constitution to include abortion.
    ?k. August 2010 – The Obama administration Cuts funding for 176 abstinence education programs.
    ?l. September 2010 – The Obama administration tells researchers to ignore a judge’s decision striking down federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.
    ?m. February 2011 – Obama directs the Justice Department to stop defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
    ?n. March 2011 – The Obama administration refuses to investigate videos showing Planned Parenthood helping alleged sex traffickers get abortions for victimized underage girls.
    ?o. July 2011 – Obama allows homosexuals to serve openly in the military, reversing a policy originally instituted by George Washington in March 1778.
    ?p. September 2011 – The Pentagon directs that military chaplains may perform same-sex marriages at military facilities in violation of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
    ?q. October 2011 – The Obama administration eliminates federal grants to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for their extensive programs that aid victims of human trafficking because the Catholic Church is anti-abortion.

    4. Acts Of Preferentialism For Islam:
    ?a. May 2009 – While Obama does not host any National Day of Prayer event at the White House, he does host White House Iftar dinners in honor of Ramadan.
    ?b. April 2010 – Christian leader Franklin Graham is dis-invited from the Pentagon’s National Day of Prayer Event because of complaints from the Muslim community.
    ?c. April 2010 – The Obama administration requires rewriting of government documents and a change in administration vocabulary to remove terms that are deemed offensive to Muslims, including jihad, jihadists, terrorists, radical Islamic, etc.
    ?d. August 2010 – Obama speaks with great praise of Islam and condescendingly of Christianity.
    ?e. August 2010 – Obama went to great lengths to speak out on multiple occasions on behalf of building an Islamic mosque at Ground Zero, while at the same time he was silent about a Christian church being denied permission to rebuild at that location.
    ?f. 2010 – While every White House traditionally issues hundreds of official proclamations and statements on numerous occasions, this White House avoids traditional Biblical holidays and events but regularly recognizes major Muslim holidays, as evidenced by its 2010 statements on Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr, Hajj, and Eid-ul-Adha.
    ?g. October 2011 – Obama’s Muslim advisers block Middle Eastern Christians’ access to the White House.
    ?h. February 2012 – The Obama administration makes effulgent apologies for Korans being burned by the U. S. military, but when Bibles were burned by the military, numerous reasons were offered why it was the right thing to do.

  • Deliver us from Evil….
    WWII, WWI, Korean War, Vietnam, Gulf War, Iraq War, Abortion War, and the War on American Freedom.
    Dear Father restore our land, govern our leaders, and please, for the sake of all our national heros, the fallen veterans who’s sacrifice was made on the alters of Freedom, protect us from false patriots.
    We rest in you and confidently place our Trust in Your Name. Jesus, Father and Holy Ghost.

    St. Theresa the lil’ flower pray for our Nation.

  • Both Progressives and Islamist fundamentalists believe each can use the other to achieve totalitarian control. Only one can be right. I’d bet on the Progressives. The Progressives are defeated from within (human nature) since only robots could follow its requirements top to bottom without irritation or subversion. This is why Progressivism devolves into a death cult with abortion, infanticide and euthanasia as its prime goods.

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  • “Anti-Israeli attitudes are fairly common on the Left in this country. “

    Anti-Zionism addresses fundamental needs in leftist ideology. Robert Redeker suggests that, post Cold War, the left has replaced “sovietophilia” with “islamophilia,” and that “Palestinians and the contemporary Muslim masses replace the proletariat in the intellectuals’ imagination” as the pure, ideal alternative to Western capitalism.

    Pierre-Andre Taguieff argues in his « La Nouvelle Judéophobie » that the new “judeophobia” originated in Islam and Arab nationalism, however it now extends to a movement consisting of “neo-Christian humanitarianism,” “third-worldists,” and anti-globalization activists. On one side, Taguieff continues, stands the “cosmopolitan Satan,” the unholy trinity ‘United States/Israel/The West.’ On the other side stands the “dominated and the oppressed.” Thus the new judeophobia recycles old stereotypes such as the rich Jew and the dominating Jew under the “varnish of progressivism.” The Jew is once more the stand-in for capitalism, imperialism, cosmopolitanism, indeed the whole economic order.

  • T.Shaw the majority of the thuggees were Mohamedans .

    The so-called Arabic number system or what is called the decimal number system, which we all use is an invention of the Hindus. It is ridiculous to assign whatever was achieved in the lands the Arabs conquered to the influence of Islam, when it was the surviving Christians, Jews and Persians who were responsible for most of them. This is akin to saying that since Isaac Newton and CF Gauss wrote in Latin, their achievements should be credited to the Roman Empire. Indeed what is is worse is that when the Muslims turned the screws on the conquered peoples as is their wont, their alleged golden age ended. It is even more ridiculous when sometimes the same historians, more properly regarded as propagandists, who wax eloquent about the nonexistent tolerance and support for learning among the mullahs, dismiss the contemporaneous West Europeans as Dark Age savages and the Byzantines as murderous schemers and sybarites. When in truth, the Europeans reeling under countless invasions from the Asian steppes and the depredations of Islam, had always maintained a boundless curiosity and retained their technical ability, to be nurtured to great heights by the Roman Catholic Church. It is way past time that the nonsense spread in the main by Protestant fools who for their purposes had to invent their version of a ‘jahaliyyah’, where everything before the inaptly named Reformation was in darkness, is laid to rest. Old Albert said that his pen was smarter than him, by which he meant that without pen and paper he would not have been able to cogitate and develop his theories. When the Islamic hordes spread across North Africa, cheap papyrus was immediately put out of reach of the learners in Europe, books had to be made from expensive sheepskin and became correspondingly much more expensive or even unobtainable, thus contributing in a material way to the spread of ignorance in Europe. The irony here is that these same Islamic hordes are credited by Whiggish idiots with preserving learning.

  • FWIW, I see “Jesus Christ” or simply “Christ” in the news media all the time. Granted, it might just be that they’re unaware that the word means “Messiah,” but it’s if anything an even more notable acknowledgement than calling Mohammed by the title “prophet.”

  • I am pretty certain that most people assume it is the last name of Jesus, especially the ink stained heathens of the Fourth Estate.

  • Most Christians like myself unless taught otherwise, would also assume that Christ is Jesus’ family name. But don’t let the bums in on the secret; this is akin to the change from AD/BC to CE/BCE in dating historical events to accommodate various aggrieved parties. “CE” can be just as easily read as Christian Era instead of Common Era.

  • PM says:
    “Pres. Obama’s record in regard to Christians and Biblical values.”

    There is not one single founding principle in the list of 50 human rights violations enacted against the sovereignty of the human person by Obama. Any individual who denies the founding principles forfeits his own citizenship. If Obama refuses to be an American Citizen let him suffer the results of his choice.

    It is the duty of the Department of Justice, the Supreme Court, and the Legislative body, Congress, to demand that our president, Obama, espouse the founding principles of America or be relieved of his citizenship. Since Obama has entered into the realm of the dead and removed crosses and religious symbols from graves as in the cross on Mt. Soledad and prohibited the peace of rest for those fallen heros, Obama deserves no cross, no human sympathy, no human compassion. “God makes us human” from Bishop Fulton Sheen.

    Let all those who deny our founding principles go into the pit.

  • Thanks Mary. Barry the king Obama is antihero. PM is dead on.

  • Last week the 2000th American soldier was killed in Afghanistan… and we are not counting the wounded or the billions in cost. Now we are retreating and the Islamists have won. The British, French, Germans, and Russians. The top Canadian, General Crear said not to go unless they would stay at least 20 years. And guess what? Obama wants you to vote on his record. Do what he asks.

Waging War Against the Catholic Church While Appeasing Islam

Friday, September 14, AD 2012

 

Newt Gingrich in a great article sums up the surreal world we now inhabit thanks to the Obama Administration:

The policies of Obama have made our intellectual incoherence and strategic  incompetence even worse.

It is no accident that the embassy in Cairo issued a groveling statement,  apologizing to the haters for having inconvenienced them with American freedom  of speech.

The embassy was simply following Clinton’s lead, set months earlier in her  meetings with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

The OIC has a long- term campaign to manipulate the U.S. government into  defining any criticism or improper reference to Islam as unacceptable.

No one should be confused by this. As Andy McCarthy wrote yesterday, the Islamist definition of heresy would  destroy American free speech.

The Obama administration is waging war on the Catholic Church while appeasing  the most extreme elements of Islam.

This is the bizarre situation we now find ourselves in.

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18 Responses to Waging War Against the Catholic Church While Appeasing Islam

  • Don, it seems as though the administration thinks that Christians are the jihadists as to the HHS mandate.

    Newt Gingrich has the word – bizarre. Would that he reaches the sober many who aren’t partying with the partiers.

  • Cardinal Dolan CNSEWS.com “Worried that protecting freedom of religion was becoming caricatured as some narrow, hyper-defensive, far right, self serving cause. That many noble causes in American history including the progressivism of Woodrow Wilson, and FDR’s New Deal and the peace movement that the cardinal said extended from the 1960’s to the 1980’s.” Jesus Mary and Joseph, Help Us!

  • KUDOS TO NEWT GINGRICH FOR TELLING IT LIKE IT IS…

  • Call to arms….Holy Rosary in one hand, voters registeration card in the other. God help us.

  • Praise the Lord. How blessed are we when the World hates us?

  • Watching this whole “interview” with Gingrich it really struck me with how over the top the CNN staff were in defending Obama and his adminstration while going after Romney. They were not even subtle about it.

  • Meanwhile plenty of Catholic and other Christians in Egypt, Syria, Pakistan etc are killed — without any movies or cartoons to blame it on.
    I hope Gingrich and ALL the former candidates for the Republican nomination link arms and storm the barricades of the media

  • Waging war indeed.
    And I fear that this war will go on for a long while, until the terror and murder is met head on – as we have ben attempting to do, but giving us only brief respite. The jihadist aim is to restore the caliphate. This may mean increasing confrontation, and going further on the offensive militarily than we have done thus far, unless the politicians of the Western democracies stop pandering to these people, stop Islamic infiltration of democratic countries, and most of all, return to Christian principles – stop killing and preventing our babies,stop distorting our true culture and return to a firm belief in God and all that He has revealed to us.
    Its happened several times before, and it will happen again.

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  • It has been war since Mohammed first set across the sands of Arabia from Media to Mecca in AD 630. Consider the Battle of Tours, France in AD 732, the Muslim attacks against Christians in the Holy Lands which led to the Crusades at the turn the first millennium, the Battle of LePanto in 1571, the Battle for Vienna, Austria in 1683, our own Marines in the Battle of Tripoli, Libya in 1802, and everything that the Muslim world has done to try to defeat Israel in the 20th century and today. Islam itself will not stop its violence till the Lord Jesus Christ returns in the Parousia. We win battles here and there due to God-fearing men like Charles Martel at Tours or John Sobieski at Vienna. But Islam – the spawn of Satan – will not stop till “the moon is under Her feet” as Revelation chapter 12 states (remember what religion uses the crescent moon as its image).

    Disclaimer: I oppose mal-treatment of any Muslims in our American communities – work, school, stores, etc. – because they are Muslim. I am speaking about the fanatics who dominate this satanic religion and seek a second Caliphate. As Christians we have absolutely got to treat our Muslim neighbors in all Christain love and American mutual respect. If we don’t, then we are not Christian and we become the same kind of animals that the Islamic fanatics are.

  • Paul W, Primavera, I agree wholeheartedly with your post. My question is how to separate the two types of Muslim for our response? There are those who require killing, in all Christian love, and there are those who require charity in its other forms. So often the fanatics are hiding within the moderate population. Your thoughts?

  • I don’t think that Islam Paul is the “spawn of Satan”. Like all religions that I view as false I regard it simply as the product of human error. Islam has produced a unique culture throughout the world, with good and bad elements. Those who choose to adhere to it and live peacefully with others I have no problem with. However, when adherents of Islam attack others and seek to win by force what they cannot win by argument, then a very great problem arises. Current turmoil in the Islamic world is largely the result of Islamic inability to produce modern states that have muslims living in peace and equality internally and externally with non-muslims. Whether such states are possible, the Turkish example coming apart before our eyes, is perhaps the great geo-political question of this century.

  • It appears gangsters (similar to community organizers and liberal handlers of the occupy “movement”) that run ME hell holes use Islam (insults to the profit, Israeli control of their land, the great satan, . . . ) to divert the serfs’ attentions from their tyranny, and the attendant, ubiquitous misery and squalor.

    The Community-organizer-in-chief, his Fed (Thursday Bernank went “all-in” for Obama re-election), and his corrupt main stream media will bring to the USA similar tyranny, misery and squalor.

    The issues needing distraction for poor Arabs likely will be stark food shortages. In America, it will be even fewer people with jobs, unaffordable food prices, $10 a gallon gasoline/home heating oil, and a symptom: $5,000 an ounce for gold.

  • BTW: “Innocence of Islam” filmmaker was “taken in for questioning” this morning.

  • Maybe you’re right, Donald. I am neither historian nor theologian. But it does seem to me that the systems of thought which lead to the most death and destruction are not Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism, Sikhism, or Hinduism, but Islam and Atheism. Yet truth be told, without God’s grace, it seems that all men are capable of devolving into murderous, animalistic thugs. 🙁 Our pre-sentient ancestory is just one small step removed from this thin veneer of civilization. 🙁

  • The American Republic is in decline and free fall.

    Can you blame lo the noble Muslim.

    Yesterday: “As the caskets containing the bodies of four slain Americans were being unloaded from the plane, Barack Obama was tweeting about campaign sweatshirts.

    “We also learned today that the same Hillary Clinton who early on banned military uniforms from the Clinton White House signed the rules of engagement that left the US Ambassador in Benghazi without Marine protection and defended by local guards without ammunition.

    “It was the policy of the Obama administration to have a low profile in Libya. That’s why the rules of engagement were approved by the Secretary of State to have no Marines at Benghazi, and to have an American contractor hire Libyan nationals to provide security there. The rules were they couldn’t have ammunition.”

    The Republic is in the hands of its enemies.

  • Very powerful T Shaw.

    as I understand the timeline of Cairo > death of ambassador:
    Cairo flag burning anti- American mob action
    US Embassy responded to that action as an ENABLER might react– justifying, taking part of the blame of the shoulder, excusing, sympathising..
    The enabled empowered terrorists go on to the next step as planned
    The already planted turmoil about the (released months ago) movie is already going to cause Americans to self-inflict wounds –
    Romney is a side note as far as the terrorists are concerned- the actions of the US and the US military are what they have their eyes on. Romney has no power yet, but the distraction and cover provided by the the US media is just –more enabling–

The Way Freedom of Speech Dies

Thursday, November 3, AD 2011

 

Time magazine, anyone still reading it?, has a truly despicable piece by Bruce Crumley in which he basically says that “they had it coming” after a French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, was firebombed:

 

Okay, so can we finally stop with the idiotic, divisive, and destructive  efforts by “majority sections” of Western nations to bait Muslim members with  petulant, futile demonstrations that “they” aren’t going to tell “us” what can  and can’t be done in free societies? Because not only are such Islamophobic  antics futile and childish, but they also openly beg for the very violent  responses from extremists their authors claim to proudly defy in the name of  common good. What common good is served by creating more division and anger, and  by tempting belligerent reaction?

The difficulty in answering that question is also what’s making it hard to  have much sympathy for the French satirical newspaper firebombed this morning, after it  published another stupid and totally unnecessary edition mocking Islam. The  Wednesday morning arson attack destroyed the Paris editorial offices of Charlie Hebdo after the paper published an issue certain to enrage  hard-core Islamists (and offend average Muslims) with articles and “funny” cartoons featuring the Prophet Mohammed—depictions forbidden in Islam to boot.  Predictably, the strike unleashed a torrent of unqualified condemnation from  French politicians, many of whom called the burning of the notoriously  impertinent paper as “an attack on democracy by its enemies.”

We, by contrast, have another reaction to the firebombing: Sorry for your  loss, Charlie, and there’s no justification of such an illegitimate  response to your current edition. But do you still think the price you  paid for printing an offensive, shameful, and singularly humor-deficient parody  on the logic of “because we can” was so worthwhile? If so, good luck with those  charcoal drawings your pages will now be featuring.

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12 Responses to The Way Freedom of Speech Dies

  • About 95% of the responses to the article were negative, some ferociously so. (And the one’s with explatives appear to have been deleted). Most of the remainder were from a social-work type who fancies that Charlie Hebdo is engaging in a form of school ‘bullying’. That is how much rapport a twenty-year employee of Time has with the magazine’s own readership. It is a wonder that these publications have remained commercially viable for as long as they have.

  • Didn’t read the article (refuse to give TIme hits) but let me get this straight – you mock some group for being so thin skinned that they blow you up simply for mocking them, and when they DO blow you up, thus proving your point, you are somehow wrong or to blame?

  • No, c matt, that’s not what he means. What he means is that if you mock Muslims for being so thin skinned that they firebomb you for mocking them, you’re the one to blame when Muslims firebomb you.

    There’s no other group in his rolodex who gets this infantilizing treatment.

    Sure, he’s a weasel here, but he’s simply making explicit what elite opinionmakers (most recently, pop-biblical scholar Bart Ehrman) have long tacitly conceded.

  • Sure, he’s a weasel here,

    He is not a weasel. He is being an obnoxious scold. If he fancied he would persuade anyone, he is seriously inept at the art of rhetoric. The interesting question is:

    1. Is his social circle so monochromatic that he had no conception he was insulting his readers?; or

    2. Did he fancy his readers needed a tongue-lashing from the principal? (And would sit there and take it?).

    You notice something else? He is the Paris bureau chief. Time used to run one piece of explicit commentary. It ran the full length of the very last page and was commonly penned by a contractor (Barbara Ehrenreich, Charles Krauthammer) rather than someone on the masthead.

  • “Is his social circle so monochromatic that he had no conception he was insulting his readers?”

    “I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know. They’re outside my ken. But sometimes when I’m in a theater I can feel them.” The late Pauline Kael, long time movie review for the New Yorker, after Nixon smashed McGovern 60-40 in 1972. Never underestimate the thickness of the ideological bubble some of these people live in.

  • Well, the weasely aspect for me is two-fold: one, a brief boilerplate condemnation (“no justification”) in what is clearly a justification for a firebombing. The second is implicit in the faux-broad plea for civility–there’s no way he’d write the same piece if, say, the SSPX had vandalized the magazine’s offices.

    That’s a very interesting catch on the backpage column, moving in-house. I invariably scanned it when I read the magazine, especially for Krauthammer. Maybe it’s part of a workplace PIP now…

  • You’re right. Weasel he is.

  • Woe to those who call evil good.

    Time what?

    Crumley: how appropriate is that?

    Those who trade liberty for safety will lose both.

  • I’m with C Matt. I’m not going to click on that article. Controversy = hits = the appearance of interest.

  • More justice for those so unenlightened as to not cave in to the Religion of Paroxysm: “Muslim terrorists in northeastern Nigeria murdered 63 Christians in bomb and gun attacks at police stations and six Christian different churches.”

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The Constitution Isn’t A Suicide Pact

Monday, July 18, AD 2011

But it is a document that ensures a pesky little thing called religious freedom, something that Herman Cain has seemingly missed.

Herman Cain, a Republican presidential candidate, says Americans have the right to ban Muslims from building mosques.

“They have the right to do that,” Cain said on Fox News Sunday, expressing his concerns with Sharia law. “I’m willing to take a harder look at people that might be terrorists.”

Cain’s comments were in reference to a Tennessee town that is attempting to ban a mosque in its community. “That’s not discriminating based upon their particular religion,” he said. “There is an aspect of them building that mosque that doesn’t get talked about. And the people in the community know what it is and they’re talking about it.”

“Our Constitution guarantees the separation of church and state,” Cain said. “Islam combines church and state. They’re using the church part of our First Amendment to infuse their morals in that community, and the people in the community do not like it.”

I’m the last person to deny the perniciousness of many elements within Islam, but this is nonsense on stilts.  The most deliciously ironic aspect of this comment is Cain’s relying on the “separation of church and state trope.”  So Cain doesn’t seem to think that the First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion, which it in fact does, but he does think it guarantees a separation of church and state, which it in fact does not.  And I especially have to laugh at Cain saying “They’re using the church part of our First Amendment to infuse their morals in that community and the people in the community do not like it.”  First of all,  the church part of our First Amendment?  What?  Second, does anyone doubt that if an atheist or hardened leftist (I know, I’m being redundant) had said something like this he would have been excoriated by most conservatives.  Evidently only pre-approved religious viewpoints are allowed to influence people in a given community.  Perhaps Herman Cain would like to share with us which viewpoints are acceptable, this way we can be all clear in the future.

Naturally this has provided an opportunity for people to beat their chests and play “more righteously angry and conservative than thou.”  Because only a hippy could possibly think that it is a dangerous thing to start prohibiting certain religions from constructing places of worship.  This selective application of the first amendment could never be applied to Catholics, right?  No one could possibly fathom using the same precise rationale that Cain has advanced here in order justify blocking the construction of a Roman Catholic Church.

I thought the construction of the Islamic cultural center at Ground Zero was a terrible idea, but that had to do with the symbolic import of the location.  Even then, I thought the way to oppose it was through social pressure, not by the strong arm of the state intervening and prohibiting construction.  The people of the local community can certainly express their displeasure, but once we allow the state to intervene we have destroyed the concept of religious freedom.

And yes, I know that many adherents of Islam do not even believe in the concept of religious freedom.  Certainly there is a political element within Islam that makes it as much an ideology as a religion,  at least in certain quarters.  But are we willing to completely write off all Muslims as deranged fanatics unworthy of constitutional protections?  If you think as Herman Cain does, then that’s implicitly what you are saying.

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90 Responses to The Constitution Isn’t A Suicide Pact

  • Great post! I understand the reservations about building the mosque, but what he and his fellow TN citizens out to do is set up inter-religious dialogue. He might be surprised that Islam and Christianity (which is what I assume he is based on his location) share a lot of morals (family being important, God, modesty, etc). And I highly doubt that the mosque being built is interested in hate-mongering. Most Muslims are very peaceful; it’s the militant few that give Islam such a bad rap.

  • Cain is worse than Palin. That people actually supported him is an argument against universal suffrage.

  • Now that’s a juicy post, ripe for the pickin’! 🙂 I plan to respond after some sleep……and some time out with my daughter tomorrow. Blessings!

  • Herman Cain is a successful businessman who is trying to enter a line of business, politics, he is ill-suited for. He reminds me of Ross Perot in that regard. He said what he said because he is ignorant of the First Amendment and he was too proud to back down when challenged.

    He is right of course that Islam, at least as traditionally practiced in the Middle East, goes well beyond what Westerners understand as a religion. It establishes a code of law and behavior that is all-ecompassing and makes certain that non Muslims, de facto if not de jure, are treated as fifth class citizens in societies where Muslims are a majority. All of this produces a challenge for a society such as ours where Muslim immigration, due to our absurd immigration laws, is on the rise. However, dealing with this problem does not require tossing either the Constitution, or our common sense, out the window.

  • I learned everything I need to learn about Islam on 9/11/2001. I had taken a three credit theology course (got an A) and I was familiar with the orientalist, America/West hating (ignore 1,300 years of invasions, mass murders, and rapine) stuff concerning the murder cult, already.

    That militant “few” numbers several millions world-wide. The terror sympathizers, like Imam Ralph in NYC – “You must understand America deserves it.” number hundreds of millions.

    Cain is better than Obama in every respect. He would not daily incite class hatred. He would set policies that would create jobs and get us out of the poverty and desperation Obama is imposing on the people.

  • Cain should stick to making pizza dough.

  • Good post, I’m very much in agreement.

  • The concept of religious freedom under the Constitution requires the government not to establish a religion as the state religion. Islam demands to be established as the state religion at the point of a sword. Islam is a violent political system, IMHO, disguised as a “religion”. To allow it and it’s followers the freedom to “worship” (?), to build mosques that are centers for subversion and terrorism, that get subsidy monies from Saudi Arabia, is the height of insanity. The people of this country need to stop the building of any mosque anywhere in this country. We also need to deport every last forneign-born Muslim back to their country of origin. Any native-born American who was stupid enough to convert to Islam ought to be forced to register as an agent of a forneign power. Herman Cain, more power to you!

  • Cain is better than Obama in every respect.

    T Shaw, the same could be said for a ham sandwich. But we can do better than a ham sandwich.

    The people of this country need to stop the building of any mosque anywhere in this country. We also need to deport every last forneign-born Muslim back to their country of origin. Any native-born American who was stupid enough to convert to Islam ought to be forced to register as an agent of a forneign power.

    That’s nice, Stephen. I prefer to live in a free country.

  • Before the Constitution, some states had an official religion. During the antebellum years, the states gradually dropped religions from their constitutions. According to the incorporation doctrine, the Supreme Court has applied portions of the Bill of Rights to the states. It is assumed that state churches are unconstitutional.

    Is that right, though? I don’t see anything in the Constitution preventing state churches, and the incorporation of the Bill of Rights through the 14th Amendment has been haphazard and always struck me as kind of shady. I’m sure you’ll find zero support for state churches today, including from me, but I can’t quite puzzle out why they’re held to be illegal.

  • You’re right, Pinky. Up until the 1930’s the establishment clause was not considered to be applicable to the states. A series of decisions over the course of about 30 years changed all that. I think the arguments for incorporation are of dubious merit at best, but aside from Clarence Thomas no sitting Supreme Court justice and perhaps a handful of legal theorists actively seek to do away with it. So unless there is a radical change on the Court, it’s something that is here to stay.

  • I read the quotes above of Cain’s comments and I still can’t find where he said he believes or thinks Muslims, terrorist or not, shouldn’t be allowed to build a place of worship to their god here in the USA.
    I did get it that he seems to know and tried to state WHY the people in that TN. community did want a mosque there.
    Best be careful with putting words in his mouth or we’ll be eating the race card again.

  • Enough about Cain already. The guy ran a big pizza parlor. His claim to fame is that he became a multi-millionaire hawking pepperoni and sausage. Sheesh, does this qualify him to be POTUS? Yeah, I know, Obama didn’t have any cred or gravitas either, which is we’re in the mess we’re in. I got a dynamite ticket for the GOP: Perry-Rubio. Locks up the South and Latin vote and highly electable. Thoughts?

  • Anything short of Ron Paul is basically more of the same, with slightly different octane ratings. Perry-Rubio does nothing for me. Paul-Christie would be interesting.

    Back to main topic: I can’t see how you could prevent the building of a mosque under the Con; I can see how you could shut one down if it contributed to terrorist activities.

  • Perry-Rubio would be an excellent ticket Joe, and something I think likely if Palin decides not to enter the race. Whover the Republican nominee is, I suspect Rubio will be the nominee for veep if he is willing to do it.

    During the Civil War a Union general shut down a church on the grounds that the minister had been preaching treason. Lincoln instantly reversed him.

  • I read the quotes above of Cain’s comments and I still can’t find where he said he believes or thinks Muslims, terrorist or not, shouldn’t be allowed to build a place of worship to their god here in the USA.

    In the first paragraph he clearly states, in response to a question, that Americans should be able to prohibit Muslims from building mosques. If you want a link to the video of the interview, here it is, and you can fast forward to the 3:00 mark where he responds affirmatively to Wallace’s inquiry about any community being able to block the development of a mosque. That sounds like a pretty thorough rebuke of the concept of freedom of religion to me.

    Best be careful with putting words in his mouth or we’ll be eating the race card again.

    Excuse me, but let’s not become like the left where any criticism of a black man is categorized as hate speech.

  • Joe,

    As usual, you are the voice of reason.

    As eminence grise hearabouts, can you help me to understand why Aztec human sacrifice pyramids may not be erected in TN?

    Or, why a National Socialist Party and a Communist Party (that advocate the overthrow of the government) may not be instigated here?

    I think [klaxons sounding] to the the extent Islam advocates the overthrow of the government, the extirpation of other religions and the destruction of our way of life it ought not enjoy First Amendment protections.

    PS: Being from NY and all: that stuff Cain hawked really ain’t pizza.

    PPS/PZ: Do you have a mouse in your pocket?

  • Mr. Shaw…I believe that if Aztec memorials were established in TN, heads might roll.
    As for the NSP and CP, see no reason why they shouldn’t be allowed. A little revolution every now and then is justified. “When in the course of human events, etc….)
    Inasmuch as the Obama regime and others have supported or facilitated the overthrow of foreign despots and governments deemed hostile to U.S. interests, it would seem that turnabout is fair play.
    As for pizza, yes, I merely extended a courtesy to Cain in the interest of civility and generosity. Since leaving NY, I have yet to find a pizza worthy of the name. I once went to an Italian Festival in Milwaukee and it was like eating Chef Boy-ar-dee.
    Finally, my mouse is ever ready to help ply wisdom around the world.
    😆

  • Excellent, Joe!

    Keep the faith.

  • Paul:

    I know I’m not your cup of tea, but I just wanted to say thank you for this refreshingly sane piece.

  • Time to rethink the entire piece Paul! 🙂

  • Oh no, there goes my street cred. 🙂

    In all seriousness, I appreciate that.

  • Folks,
    Now that we have all gotten our feel good talk out of the way, let’s all get back down to reality.

    In EVERY country that is Islamic, Christians (and all other religions for that matter) are persecuted, discriminated against and severely limited in how they can worship. Examples not limited to Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, etc…

    In EVERY country that has a sizable Islamic population they show no signs of peacefully coexisting or blending into the greater society. In fact every effort is made by Islamic communities to be a separate entity, establish sharia law and enforce that on everyone else. See France, Denmark and England.

    Other even more sizable minorities resort to outright guerilla warfare (see Thailand, Philippines, Russia, Macedonia, Nigeria and Serbia proper)

    In our own country you need only look as far as Dearborn, Mi where Christian had to go to court after being arrested to preach the gospel on a street corner at an (Arabic- read Islamic festival).

    You cannot name one example where Muslims and Christians peacefully coexist where the majority population is Muslim (no, Malaysia and Indonesia both discriminate against Christians)

    So while we all appreciate the freedom of religion, let’s not be naive. I wish things were different. I wish we could welcome with open arms Muslims like we do Buddhist, Sikhs, Hindus and every other religion, but Islam IS DIFFERENT.

    Sure, many individual Muslims are good people, but taken as a whole, let’s not live in the land of OZ regarding the belief system. We have NO examples of sizable populations of Muslims peacefully coexisting with non-Muslims of any type, NONE.

    Last note, if you lived close the Murfreesboro (I do) The Mosque will also contain enormous living facilities and sports complex, etc.

    The size and scope of this “mosque” is MUCH greater than what the press is leading on to and the needs of the present Muslim community.

    It’s not like they are building a small Mosque comparable to a Church. Within months it will attract hundreds of Muslim families from overseas, who will have no interest in becoming part of culture of the US or Murfreesboro.

    Maybe none of you thought of this or just believe the press, but they are not against a Mosque…. They are against the enormous living structure and facility being built (that happens to also have a Mosque) which will bring in hundreds of Muslim families from overseas and completely and entirely change the landscape.

    They are not a bunch of racist rednecks burning crosses who hate Muslims….
    You just are not getting an accurate picture of the SIZE and SCOPE of this project, which happens to also include a Mosque…..

  • Chris, sounds like you’re making a NIMBY argument more than anything else, which is fine.

  • The reason why an Aztec pyramid for offering human sacrifices cannot be legally erected in TN is that human sacrifice is illegal, regardless of one’s motivation. If a variant Aztec sect wants to erect a pyramid and sacrifice tofu hearts to the sun, there wouldn’t be a problem.

    The scary thing is that many of the excuses for banning Islam used to be trotted out by Know Nothings against Catholics: Loyalty to a foreign potentate, incapable of authentically belonging to a democracy, etc.

    Certainly, we know that Catholicism is true and Islam is false, but one would think that the fact that these accusations get so baldly recycled would serve as a warning that banning religions is simply a business that we do not want to get into.

  • Chris,

    – It’s laughable to suggest that the US is somehow going to become a majority Muslim country and then find itself put under Sharia. It is quite simply not going to happen, and those who try to hold this up as some boogie man only make themselves and the conservative movement they claim to be members of look silly. There is no reason to compromise our American principles in order to stem the alleged thread posed by such a tiny minority on the claim that soon they will out number us and overthrow the republic.

    – Forgive me if the idea that a new mosque might bring in “hundreds” of foreigners fails to scare me. I mean, seriously, my parish has 5,000 families, and that’s in a moderate size town which is not, to my knowledge, majority Catholic.

    What next, this?
    Muslims coming ashore?

  • I do live in this neck of the woods and I honestly have mixed feelings about the mosque.

    It does make me uncomfortable to have such a large complex that could be a magnet for people who do not wish us well. I would hope that police and neighbors would keep an eye and ear open for anything unusual. How far can they go without crossing the line into harassment? I don’t know. I sure wouldn’t want to drive someone on the edge of extremism over the cliff.

    On the other hand, I hear a lot of arguments from opponents about how they are not trying to ban a religion but enforce zoning laws. Frankly I just am not buying that argument. Objectively speaking I’m not sure how this complex will be any different than the local Baptist megachurches.

    I think the fact that this mosque was announced in the middle of the controversy around the Ground Zero mosque connected the two projects in the minds of a lot of people.

    And finally if we give local authorities the ability to ban the building of facilities for religions they don’t like, Catholics aren’t far down that list in these parts.

  • One would wish that so many of the adherents of Islam were not doing their level best around the globe to live down to the worst that critics in this country say about the members of that creed. The Constitution is quite clear that members of Islam enjoy the same religious freedom that the rest of us do in this country. That fact however does not make me happy to see growing numbers of the adherents of that faith in this country since Islam has historically had no concept of living with other faiths on the basis of equality.

    What has been happening in Dearborn, Michigan, with one of the largest Muslim populations in the country, does not make me sanguine as to the treatment that local governments will accord non-Muslims when Muslims begin to wield political power. For now, we have appellate courts to reverse local authorities when they act to infringe on the Constitutional rights of those who do not share the views of their Muslim constituents.

    http://www.thomasmore.org/qry/page.taf?id=19&_function=detail&sbtblct_uid1=910&_nc=a418d5afb14c8f813cb0ca97c4c0520d

  • Jenny makes a good point. There are many cases where religion interests clash with zoning laws, which is why the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) was enacted about 10 years ago. In my neck of the woods three brothers who are Protestant Evangelicals have been trying to build a Bible camp on their property in northern Wisconsin only to be stymied by county zoning regs. The brothers are suing the county in federal court on RLUIPA and constitutional grounds while the county is arguing it has the right to enforce zoning laws that restrict projects on aforementioned property to single-family or recreational only.

    A mountain of briefs have been filed in the past five years. For those not familiar with RLUIPA, here is a link:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_Land_Use_and_Institutionalized_Persons_Act

    There are many interesting cases on record cutting both ways. I saw one where a fortune teller won on religious grounds.

  • I think the picture is an interesting bit of Americana . . . ohh those bad papal alligators (or are they crocodiles). In the background, the adults have children by the scruff of the neck. My question is “Are they feeding the children to the alligators or pulling them away?”

  • Paul, as a descendant of Turkish and Arab Muslims, I want to live in a free country too. That’s why I don’t want them and their mosques in America. Their sharia law teaches them that we are infidels who should b e converted or killed if we reject Islam. We don’t need the headaches that the European countries have because they foolishly allowed Muslims to immigrate in mass. I say, when Christians are allowed to worship freely in Muslim countries without being persecuted or killed because they are Christians, only then should we consider mosque building in a favorable light.

  • This is an interesting debate. If one believes in “perfect freedom,” then it is assumed that one is supposed to support the freedom of Muslims and Nazis to set up their infrastructure (mosque and party headquarters respectively) to spread their murderous hate. (By the way, has anyone noticed that BOTH of those groups hate the Jews?) Let us never mind the fact that supporting the freedom of these groups to spread their hate automatically results in eventual conditions (Sharia Law or political dictatorship) that denies everyone else freedom.

    I have worked with Muslims more and more over the past 11 years. I always wonder why they want to go into high technology fields like nuclear energy or aerospace. It’s true that none of the ones with whom I worked were anything other than gentlemen (and coincidentally there were NO Muslim ladies with whom I worked in nuclear energy – now why is that?). But I don’t trust them and I was relieved when a Muslim who worked beside me recently resigned.

    I don’t like them. I don’t like their religion. I don’t like their Sharia Law and the way they treat women. And I darn sure don’t trust them. They are not all bad, but nevertheless….

    P.S., I don’t trust Nazis or Commies either, and all for the same reasons: their religion of hate.

  • OK, Here’s a test for all of us. Which of the following would you be LEAST comfortable as President of the United States? You can only pick one.
    Here are the choices: (I’m omitting Catholic for obvious reasons)

    1. A mainstream Protestant.
    2. A Mormon
    3. A Jehovah’s Witness.
    4. A Muslim
    5. A Jew.
    6. An atheist or agnostic.
    7. An open homosexual
    8. A multiple-divorced person.

    Comments/explanations welcomed.

  • In order from least to most comfortable:

    Muslim
    Atheist / agnostic
    Homosexual
    Jehovah Witness (non-issue – they don’t participate in politics)
    Mormon
    Multiple-divorced person
    Jew
    Mainstream Protestant

    Chances are, however, that a candidate will possess more than one characteristic, e.g., a homosexual Jew, an atheist homosexual, a divorced Protestant.

    John Jay, first chief justice of SCOTUS, said in his correspondence, “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers…Whether our religion permits Christians to vote for infidel rulers is a question which merits more consideration than it seems yet to have generally received either from the clergy or the laity. It appears to me that what the prophet said to Jehoshaphat about his attachment to Ahab [‘Shouldest thou help the ungodly and love them that hate the Lord?’ 2 Chronicles 19:2] affords a salutary lesson.

    North Carolina Governor Samuel Johnston wrote, “It is apprehended that Jews, Mahometans (Muslims), pagans, etc., may be elected to high offices under the government of the United States. Those who are Mahometans, or any others who are not professors of the Christian religion, can never be elected to the office of President or other high office, [unless] first the people of America lay aside the Christian religion altogether, it may happen. Should this unfortunately take place, the people will choose such men as think as they do themselves.”

    I don’t agree with his objection against Jews, but I do agree with his objection against Muslims.

  • I’ll bite.

    I would have to say a Muslim because a traditional Muslim world view is quite different than a Western outlook.

    While I would not be comfortable with an atheist president, most atheists are awash in a Christian world view whether they acknowledge it or not.

    An open homosexual might be fine politically, but how would I explain it to my children?

  • It’s laughable to suggest that the US is somehow going to become a majority Muslim country and then find itself put under Sharia. It is quite simply not going to happen, and those who try to hold this up as some boogie man only make themselves and the conservative movement they claim to be members of look silly.

    That’s a bit condescending, but I forgive. Unfortunately the reality, and we have real life examples, is the opposite. Every Islamic country is either fully Sharia or Sharia based. In fact in Syria the Christian communities are supporting Assad because they know any Islamic government that would come into power would persecute them relentlessly. In Egypt the Coptics are already feeling the effects of the Islamic based Muslim Brotherhood.

    “There is no reason to compromise our American principles in order to stem the alleged thread posed by such a tiny minority on the claim that soon they will out number us and overthrow the republic.

    Please stop this. No one wants to “ban” Islam, ban Muslims and other such things. However Sharia law is INCOMPATABLE with American principles.

    Forgive me if the idea that a new mosque might bring in “hundreds” of foreigners fails to scare me. I mean, seriously, my parish has 5,000 families, and that’s in a moderate size town which is not, to my knowledge, majority Catholic.

    Please, stop it again…. Using the term foreigners implies “were scared of those brown people” or something similar. We’re not a bunch of red necks burning crosses in our back yards…..

    If this was a Hindu temple nobody would care, nobody would say a thing. Pick any other race/ religion you wish. It wouldn’t be an issue. So please don’t imply the “were scared of anyone but us….”

    As a side note, your post was incredibly condescending. Posting that picture, implying anyone who opposes this as racist, scared, bigoted, etc. The only thing that was missing was calling me an islamaphobe.

    I love Muslims, but I completely and totally reject Islam and its implementation via Sharia.

    I would only point out that you should try and get involved in Christians in Islamic Countries. The stories I have heard, notably in Egypt, Iraq and the Palestinian territories are heartbreaking. All the theoretical talk about how we “hope” Muslims may behave as a whole goes out the window when you reality. Next time a Christian Arab comes to your Church to sell goods from Jerusalem. Pull them aside and ask them what its really like. You have to do it privately; the stories will send chills up your spine….

  • Hmm…Muslims in the lead so far. For me it would be a homosexual. I could not abide that.

  • Multiple-divorced person. That tells me that they can’t keep personal commitments. I don’t think I’d mind any of the others.

  • “Muslim
    Atheist / agnostic
    Homosexual
    Jehovah Witness (non-issue – they don’t participate in politics)
    Mormon
    Multiple-divorced person
    Jew
    Mainstream Protestant”

    Left handed lesbian micronesian communist anglicans have always been at the bottom of my list. 🙂

  • C’mon, Don. Make a pick. :mrgreen:

  • I don’t think Don liked it that I actually made a list from most undesireable to simply undesireable.

    “Left handed lesbian micronesian communist anglicans”

    Left handed, Micronesian and Anglican are irrelevant criteria.

    Lesbian and communist are not and should be disqualifiers for public office.

    But I am simply another right wing nut case. 😀

    As long as Obama and his Democrat are defeated, I don’t care. That’s what is important in 2012. Yes, I would vote for a Republican homosexual if it meant that that was the only way to defeat Obama. I would hold my nose and vote accordingly.

  • I realize it’s simplistic to use one piece of info as a litmus test; however, these are significant pieces of information and one can draw some inferences. If the homosexual, for example, were conservative in all other views (not likely but just imagine) and the agnostic was liberal, who would you vote for? In other words, do political and economic views trump all other considerations?

  • “If the homosexual, for example, were conservative in all other views (not likely but just imagine)…”

    Wrong.

    Log Cabin Republicans:

    http://www.logcabin.org/site/c.nsKSL7PMLpF/b.5468093/k.BE4C/Home.htm

    I don’t agree with their homosexuality, but….defeat Obama in 2012.

  • Point taken, Paul; however, I’d still have a hard time voting gay. I think a homosexual president would be a HUGE distraction for the nation. The jokes would never end.

  • Me, too, Joe. That’s a last resort vote.

  • I wouldn’t vote gay either, if you mean something terrible happening in the voting booth.

  • I’d vote for the person who I think will best advance the policy positions I hold. Everything else is trivial.

    A gay Republican president would be less of a distraction than Santorum.

    Let’s reword the question. Who would you vote for?

    1. Jimmy Carter, a mainstream Protestant
    2. Mitt Romney, a Mormon
    3. Dwight Eisenhower, a Jehovah’s Witness
    4. Bush adviser Suhail Khan, a Muslim
    5. Anthony Weiner, a Jew
    6. George Will, an agnostic
    7. Liz Cheney, an open homosexual
    8. Newt Gingrich, a multiple-divorced person

  • Ike with Will as his running mate

  • “I’d vote for the person who I think will best advance the policy positions I hold. Everything else is trivial.”

    Not quite. Character and leadership ability are not unimportant, along with drive. It does little good to elect someone to office with the right policy positions, if they are untrustworthy, couldn’t lead a group of sailors on leave to a bar and have the fighting spirit of a dead gerbil.

  • In answer to RR’s proposals:

    1. Jimmy Carter, a mainstream Protestant

    No. Never. Liberal Democrat nit wit. And an anit-nuke kook to boot.

    2. Mitt Romney, a Mormon

    Maybe.

    3. Dwight Eisenhower, a Jehovah’s Witness

    Yes. Didn’t know he was a JW – I always thought they wouldn’t serve in the military or involve themselves in politics. Wikipedia says he was Presbyterian, described himself as non-denominational, and never joined the predecessor to the JWs: the International Bible Students Association (but he studied under them).

    4. Bush adviser Suhail Khan, a Muslim

    Probably not. Don’t trust Muslims, period.

    5. Anthony Weiner, a Jew

    Nope, he’s a Democrat and a pervert. Facebook photos of his genitals – Heaven preserve us!

    6. George Will, an agnostic

    Well, supposedly he helped Reagan back in 1980 and there was a big controversy over that, but I tend to distrust journalists even more than politicians. So probably not.

    7. Liz Cheney, an open homosexual

    Possibly. She supported Fred Thompson who dropped out of the 08 race, and then Mitt Romney.

    8. Newt Gingrich, a multiple-divorced person

    Possibly.

    None of these choices are ideal. I say Palin – Bachmann 2012! Let’s put the Democrats into fits of apoplexy! 😀

  • Sorry, meant “anti” when referring to Carter as an anti-nuke kook. -10 pts for bad spelling.

  • Don, I include drive and ability in how I evaluate who best can advance my policy positions. I think character is a criterion of limited usefulness. All serious candidates for president are good liars. They wouldn’t be where they are if they weren’t.

  • If I recall correctly, Eisenhower was a JW, but converted shortly before running for office. Ironically, he was a big supporter of adding “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance.

  • Eisenhower was raise a JW. From what I can gather, he stopped practicing any religion as an adult. He considered himself non-denominational by the time he ran for office. The fact that he wasn’t properly baptized became an issue during the election. He was baptized at a Presbyterian church after he was elected.

  • Eisenhower’s religious history from Wikipedia – RR seems partly correct; the difference being the Eisenhower himself never joined the predecessor to the JWs:

    When Eisenhower was a child, his mother Ida Elizabeth Stover Eisenhower, previously a member of the River Brethren sect of the Mennonites, joined the International Bible Students Assocation, which would evolve into what is now known as Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Eisenhower home served as the local meeting hall from 1896 to 1915 but Eisenhower never joined the International Bible Students. His decision to attend West Point saddened his mother, who felt that warfare was “rather wicked,” but she did not overrule him. Eisenhower was baptized in the Presbyterian Church in 1953. In 1948, he had called himself “one of the most deeply religious men I know” though unattached to any “sect or organization”.

  • “I think character is a criterion of limited usefulness. All serious candidates for president are good liars. They wouldn’t be where they are if they weren’t.”

    What an ahistorical thing to say. Some of our presidents have been quite truthful men. I would include in that category George Washington, John Adams, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, Zachary Taylor, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, Grover Cleveland, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan. Some people would prefer to be ruled by an effective blackguard than an honest weak leader, but I would say either path tends to end badly for a nation. If we fail to ask for character in our Presidents, rest assured we will have none. Or as Saint Thomas More so memorably put it in the play A Man For All Seasons: “When statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties they lead their country by a short route to chaos.”

  • Vote for whom the MSM hates the most. Go Bachman/Santorem.

    No doubt, the Bishops will have another confusing voting guide and Obama will get > 50% of the Catholic vote again. And Mark Shea will convince many Catholics not to vote for Republicans because they’re for pouting water of terrorists heads.

  • Liz Cheney, an open homosexual

    I think you have confused her with her sister Mary Cheney.

  • “This selective application of the first amendment could never be applied to Catholics, right?”

    Of course it could. Just wait until someone manages to get Catholics labeled as a hate group because of their opposition to abortion and gay marriage.

  • Chris,

    That’s a bit condescending, but I forgive. Unfortunately the reality, and we have real life examples, is the opposite. Every Islamic country is either fully Sharia or Sharia based. In fact in Syria the Christian communities are supporting Assad because they know any Islamic government that would come into power would persecute them relentlessly. In Egypt the Coptics are already feeling the effects of the Islamic based Muslim Brotherhood.

    Arguing that if the US became a majority-Muslim country, it might well use some form of Sharia doesn’t get us anywhere because it is totally unimaginable that the US would become majority Muslim in the first place. We’re talking about a religious minority which currently makes up 1-2% of the US population.

    There’s no point in discussion how to deal with Muslims and mosque construction in the US in any other way than how the vast majority will treat a tiny (and not well liked) minority. My contention is simply that it is un-American (as in, contrary to our principles) to respond to such a situation by seeking to prevent them from building mosques and generally behave as they wish so long as they remain law abiding residents or citizens. If they break the law — there’s a very simple process we can follow: enforce the law.

    I’m sorry if it seems condescending to compare some of these sentiments to the ones which led turn of the century Protestants to portray us as alligators, but frankly, I’m not seeing a whole lot of difference.

  • Dulce Machometis inexpertis.

    Some people are distracted by PC elitist bed-wetting and blinded to the facts.

    Fact: The NYC powers that be (abortionist/elitist bed-wetting/statist yellow dogs, e.g. Mayor Midget Mike, et al) refuse to permit the rebuild of Greek Orthodox St. Paul’s Church at Ground Zero.

    But, it’s a First Amendment Crisis/human wrongs issue if the filthy pagans can’t put up a terrorist recruiting center a block away, or in TN.

    DC: You’re correct. In the Nineteenth Century, no American Catholic committed mass murder, terror or savagery in the name of the Pope. Catholic conspirators were not daily proving Catholics could not be both good Catholics and good Americans.

    Call it what you like. This is the truth. Muslims almost daily do what Catholics were slandered for. Islam is the only “recognized” (so-called) religion with doctrine, theology and legal system that mandate endless war against everybody else.

    It is not difficult to understand, unless you’re a PC liberal nitwit with a slew of useless credentials from some Ivy or ND (Repreated myself three times again).

  • In the Nineteenth Century, no American Catholic committed mass murder, terror or savagery in the name of the Pope. Catholic conspirators were not daily proving Catholics could not be both good Catholics and good Americans.

    Call it what you like. This is the truth. Muslims almost daily do what Catholics were slandered for. Islam is the only “recognized” (so-called) religion with doctrine, theology and legal system that mandate endless war against everybody else.

    Bullshit. The number of real terror plots that have been busted in the last ten years on US soils is pretty small. Of the couple million Muslims in the US, the vast, vast majority are simply ordinary folks who work jobs, pray a few times a day, etc.

    This attempt to turn a religion with a billion adherents into one vast Muslim Peril is both false and bad for all concerned.

    And for the record, there actually were small but noticeable minorities of 19th century Catholics involved in all sorts of nasty doing on US soil — the Mafia, for example. Not to mention the Democratic Party. 🙂

  • Then Darwin, you go work with them in the reactor protection racks or in the containment building at a nuclear power plant. See how safe you feel.

    I don’t trust Islamist because their very own Koran says they can lie to Christians and Jews, and they can subjugate or kill them (i.e., us, you and me) with impunity.

    But I do agree with your comment about the Catholics in the Democratic Party. Their collusion with the murder of 60 million babies since Roe v Wade makes them no better than the worst Islamic terrorist.

  • If they break the law — there’s a very simple process we can follow: enforce the law.

    The propensity of institutions to enforce the law is going to be crucially influenced by elite attitudes, and elite attitudes can be in opposition to popular preference. The example of civil rights law in its effective application is instructive here. Reading news stories about the dynamic between Canadian muslims and their critics as adjudicated by administrative tribunals up north can also be instructive. As long as we have the regime class we do, I do not think conflicts like the one under discussion are going to end well as a matter of course.

  • “Bullshit.”

    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/

    Weekly Jihad Report
    Jul 09 – Jul. 15 Jihad Attacks: 35

    Allah Akbars: 5

    Dead Bodies: 101

    Critically Injured: 264

  • Of the couple million Muslims in the US, the vast, vast majority are simply ordinary folks who work jobs, pray a few times a day, etc.

    This echoes my experience in commercial aviation. Intelligent, amiable people with a shared experience with me. The discussion is beginning to remind me of this blog entry by Jen from three years ago.

  • I agree with what Jasper said.

    “This echoes my experience in commercial aviation. Intelligent, amiable people with a shared experience with me.”

    This is the same with me in nuclear power. The Muslims are always amiable and nice to your face, but their own Koran allows – even encourages – them to lie to the non-Muslim. I sure as heck was glad when the only Muslim working in the office of my current employer resigned a few months ago. They are amiable and likeable until they commit that terrorist act which their Koran demands that they commit.

    Of all the religions in the world – Hindu, Taoist, Shintoist, Judaism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, etc. – it is Islam alone that demands subjugation of the non-Muslim into Dhimmitude. Muslims have been fighting against the rest of the world ever since Mohammed first set across the sands of Arabia from Medina to Mecca. They invaded all the way up to Tours France before they were turned back in the early 700s, and they several times almost took Vienna. It was only by the intervention of the Blessed Virgin Mary that they were turned back at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 (I think).

    Right now we have the invasion of peace by immigration. As non-Muslims continue to use contraception and abortion, the Muslims will out-populate us and erect Sharia Law by default since they will be more numerous. It’s happening in Germany, France and England right now.

    Yeah, people will now say I am hallucinating. People said that about those who forewarned them when Hitler first got into the Reichtstag: “Oh, he won’t be a dictator”, “He won’t kill Jews”, “He won’t start a World War.” Yes he will, and yes he did.

    How can anyone tolerate Islam knowing full well its anti-Jewish fervor and hatred – the same as Nazi hatred? Muslims will do everything their Koran tells them to do, and that means enslave or murder us.

  • First of all, let me say that I appreciate the discussion here as it it’s been relatively non-acrimonious, so thanks for that,

    I think we’re replaying a bit of a debate that we have had here in previous posts, here, here, and here (as well as I think a few more). It’s the fundamental question that lies at the heart of all this: are the most radical elements of Islam truly representative of the mainstream of Islam? Another way of putting it: is the very term radical Islam a redundancy? For those answering in the affirmative to either query, it naturally follows that we should restrict the ability of Muslims to practice their religion because it is actively hostile to our way of life. And if every Muslim was, as a matter of faith, a terrorist sympathizing jihadi bent on destroying America from within, then calls to halt the spread of Islam by government coercion in our country would be justified.

    But I don’t think you have to be some Ivy League, pc-indoctrinated squish to think that Darwin’s observations are right. Yes, as Jasper helpfully points out, the violent element within Islam is very real, and for many they are living out their faith as they believe it is meant to be lived. But there are over one billion Muslims in the world, and several million in the US. The ones living here especially seem to reject terrorism.

    Now, even some of those who reject violence don’t necessarily disagree with the primary goal of those who engage in terrorism, even if they disagree with the means. But acknowledging these concerns shouldn’t entail backing a rather blanket ban on the practice of a faith in this country.

  • As non-Muslims continue to use contraception and abortion, the Muslims will out-populate us and erect Sharia Law by default since they will be more numerous. It’s happening in Germany, France and England right now.

    Catholics are 25% of the population. Even if only 5% of this number is not contracepting, that means that there are about as many non-contracepting Catholics in this country as there are Muslims. There is absolutely no data to suggest that Muslims will approach a majority or even a plurality in this country anytime in our lifetimes, our children’s lifetimes, or frankly the lifetime of any person born in the next three centuries. Even in the European countries, trends show that immigrant Muslim groups tend to be barely more fecund than the native population.

  • Paul Z.,

    The dialogue and text in this You Tube video differs with your statement:

  • I don’t really think any of that is the crux of the debate. I don’t really like the idea of squelching mosque-building projects, but whenever one comes up people talk about the nation’s founding as it relates to religious freedom, but nobody seems to care that what the founders were really TRULY motivated by was not religious freedom but the right of self governance. What rights does a local community, prejudicial or pig-headed as they may be, to determine what they will and will not allow within their community?

  • are the most radical elements of Islam truly representative of the mainstream of Islam? Another way of putting it: is the very term radical Islam a redundancy?

    I would answer in the negative. One such example, Darwin provided on his own blog.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-1JUcKpHro

    Interesting, if nothing else. 😛

  • Paul, the video doesn’t counter the main thrust of what I said – namely that there is absolutely nothing to suggest that the Islamic population in this country is going to outstrip the rest of population anytime soon. Europe is a different matter, and I do worry about the future there. But even in Europe Islamic immigrants are not as fecund as Muslims in other parts of the world, if I recall the statistics correctly. I admit I could be mistaken about that.

    I’d also add that just because some fringe group thinks there will be 50 million Muslims in America in 30 years doesn’t necessarily mean that it would happen.

  • I’m not seduced by the “some of my best friends are Muslims” argument in cutting Islam one bit of slack. I suggest you read ‘The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America’ by Andrew McCarthy, which opens with a chapter on Barack Hussein Obama infamously bowing to the Saudi king.

    Non-Moslems are disdainfully viewed as ‘unclean, untouchable pagans’ in the Koran, which all Muslims see as their ultimate guide. McCarthy’s book is a well-documented, eye-opening hard look at how Islam, aided by the left, has but one goal: to use ‘any means’ including jihad, which means ‘armed struggle,’ to achieve its nefarious ends: world domination and subjugation of the infidels.

    Herewith summed up by their mantra:

    Allah is our objective.
    The Prophet is our leader.
    The Koran is our law.
    Jihad is our way.
    Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.
    Allahu-Akbar! Allahu-Akbar!

  • Thanks for the reply, Paul Z. I don’t even know where to look to get valid statistics of population demographics and birth rates by religious persuasion in European countries. So I wouldn’t know where to begin to validate your supposition or that contained in the You Tube video. But what I do know is that the Koran commands Allah’s subjects to reproduce and subjugate the rest of us (or murder us). Maybe people are right that most Muslims aren’t that way and wouldn’t do that. But such false hopes over Hitler and his Nazis proved misguided at best.

    Perhaps I am too much of a pessimist. 🙁 But anytime fanatics got power (like the Nazis or the Communists), persecution, death, and destruction have been the result. So the question becomes: is someone who is an Islamist by defintion a fanatic? Many here would say no, but the Koran demands otherwise. No other religious book is perhaps as full of hatred as that one is (except maybe Mein Kampf).

  • Here’s an interesting article from Brookings about Islam in France, which notes that the birth rate gap between Muslim immigrants and natives closes pretty quickly. Also note the low rate of mosque attendance.

    http://www.brookings.edu/testimony/2006/0112france_vaisse.aspx

  • None of this would be an issue if we were converting people. Are we even trying anymore? Since when did we give up on that?

  • Now, even some of those who reject violence don’t necessarily disagree with the primary goal of those who engage in terrorism, even if they disagree with the means. …………………. But acknowledging these concerns shouldn’t entail backing a rather blanket ban on the practice of a faith in this country.

    STOP… Go back to the beginning. Did you just say that Herman Cain has said that HE wants or is in favor of a ban on Muslim worship in this country? If yes, you are dead wrong and need to apologize.

  • No Bill. I am speaking more broadly than that.

  • Paul,
    Then in the future when you wish to broadly proclaim your opinions try not to launch on the back of someone’s remarks you simply don’t agree with.

  • The Muslims are always amiable and nice to your face, but their own Koran allows – even encourages – them to lie to the non-Muslim.

    This is all starting to sound way too much like what Charles Kingsley had to say to John Henry Newman.

  • Bill, this thread is some 90+ comments deep. We stopped addressing Cain’s remarks specifically about 70 comments ago.

  • “Mark Shea will convince many Catholics not to vote for Republicans because they’re for pouting water of terrorists heads.”

    My power is limitless! I am invincible! From my Dark Throne I control the Catholic vote in America, making and breaking presidents at my capricious leisure! Even your own Paul Zummo is falling under my Svengali-like seductive sway and you are powerless to stop it! Has ever a blogger so dominated the world as I do? My being crackles with Force Lightning and I hunger to increase my iron grip on the Catholic Church and its shuffling lackeys who do exactly as I command! Mwahahahahaha!

  • “the Koran commands Allah’s subjects to reproduce and subjugate the rest of us (or murder us).”

    Well, we Catholics of all people should know that what a religious body or its authorities “officially” teach or have written in their scriptures doesn’t always comport with what the majority of its followers do in practice. If it did, the Catholic divorce rate would be a lot lower and the birth rate would be a lot higher!

    Does this mean that the only “good” (i.e. non-subversive) Muslims are “bad” (i.e. incompletely observant) Muslims? I don’t know that I’d go that far. Islam is not a monolithic religion with one recognized head similar to the pope or the Dalai Lama. There are many different sects and traditions with their own interpretations of the Quran.

    I’m not an expert on Islam or international terrorism by any means, and I agree that radical Islam is a real and present danger to our national security. Still, to assume that “all” Muslims are itching to become suicide bombers seems to me about as realistic as assuming that all pro-lifers are itching to bomb abortion clinics.

  • ok.

    But, next time one of AG Holder’s ATF-supplied assault weapons kills somebody in America, it’s only fair you twits defend the NRA and 100,000,000 of law-abiding, taxpaying Americans the same way you defend Islam and its 1,500,000 law-abiding . . .

    So much for the free exchange of ideas . . .

  • 👿 Censor this.

  • T Shaw,

    If you can’t comment without malicious personal attacks or insults, you’re going back on moderation. You want to freely exchange ideas, then express ideas, not ad hominems.

  • Hey Shea,

    You did your small part to give us Kagan and Sotomeyer, and Roe for a long time to come. Give yourself a pat on the back.

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MSNBC Talking Heads: Koran Holier Than the Bible, or Something

Tuesday, April 5, AD 2011

Warner Todd Huston reports on an exchange between MSNBC fill-in host Chuck Todd and Time Magazine’s World Editor Bobby Ghosh.

GHOSH: The thing to keep in mind that’s very important here is that the Koran to Muslims, it is not, it is not the same as the Bible to Christians.

The Bible is a book written by men. It is acknowledged by Christians that it is written by men. It’s the story of Jesus.

TODD: Yes.

GHOSH: But the Koran, if you are a believer, if you’re a Muslim, the Koran is directly the word of God, not written by man. It is transcribed, is directly the word of God.

That makes it sacred in a way that it’s hard to understand if you’re not Muslim. So the act of burning a Koran is much more, potentially much, much more inflammatory than…

TODD: Directly attacking… directly attacking God.

GHOSH:…than if you were to burn a, burn a Bible.

TODD: … Directly attacking God.

The stupid, it hurts.

This is a nonsensical distinction.  Jews and Christians may acknowledge that the Bible was physically written by men, but we also believe that it is the inerrant word of God.  No, the biblical authors did not act as mindless stenographers transcribing for the Almighty, but they were truly inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit.  This makes it no less sacred or less holy to us than the Koran is to Muslims.  After all, there must be some reason that we place our hands on the Bible when we make public oaths, right?  If it was just a bunch of words written by men, then why would we swear by it?

No, the different reactions to the desecration of our holy books has nothing to do with how we respectively view them.  What they tell us is not that Muslims revere the Koran more than we revere the Bible, but rather that a certain portion of the Muslim population will violently react to any mere insult, and that violent extremists within Islam are looking for any excuse to kill infidels.  But that’s a lot less politically correct of an explanation than the vapidness offered by these two goofs.

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38 Responses to MSNBC Talking Heads: Koran Holier Than the Bible, or Something

  • Hard to tell who is the bigger idiot here, Ghosh or Todd. Let’s call it a tie.

  • Joe,

    As noted, let’s throw Reid into the race.

  • Also, the Bible is correct while the Koran is wrong. So regardless of what the Muslims believe the Bible is infinitely more sacred than the Koran.

  • If those fools attempted to run a blog and post their opinions, they would be completely ignored. No wonder that MSNBC has ratings that would need to grow by 25% in order to reach pathetic status.

  • It is accurate to say that Muslims revere the Koran more than Christians revere the Bible (which is obviously not to say that Christians do not revere the Bible). The way many Muslims view the Koran might be more analogous to the way many Catholics view the Blessed Virgin or even the eucharist.

    Obviously none of this serves to justify the Muslim reaction here.

  • What BA said. (The Eucharist is really the analogy.) And as BA said, it still doesn’t justify the reaction.

  • I would concede that there is slightly more reverence for the Koran on the part of the Muslims than for the Bible for Christians – without getting into distinctions about various denominations and what have you. But from the talking heads one would be left to believe that the Bible is held to be just another book among many and not a source of reverence in and of itself.

  • The Muslim’s hard base reaction to burning the Koran so mirrors the typical NEA war lords on hearing even the threat of negotiating their collective bargaining or a liberal politician at the mention of cutting government spending or fixing Medicare and Social Security, less the beheadings for now of course. But, as the top union boss said on camera recently, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” God help us if our own amundantly blessed citizens compare themselves to the poor dimented souls using their religion as an excuse for violence and plunder.

  • I think the eucharist analogy is correct. Some Jews and evangelicals may hold the Bible to be divine in the same way that Muslims hold the Koran.

    If I heard about someone disgracing (wrong word) the Blessed Sacrament, I wouldn’t attack UN workers. I’d pray for him. The difference is that I believe in a God who suffered indignities and death, largely because of me.

  • Here is an actual letter published in the WSJ:

    “I say to the Western scholars: Do not interpret the Quran for Muslims. We Muslims are capable of interpreting the Quran for ourselves. No other people have shown the level of hostility to another faith as Westerners have shown to Muhammad, the Quran and Islam. It continues to this day. Islam doesn’t need reformation; the Western mind needs reformation about Muhammad, the Quran and Islam.

    “It will be better for both of us.”

    Tahir A. Qureshi; Silver Spring, Md.

    You see the formula. Massacres are regretable. Mass murder is not Islam. But, you richly deserve it. If you fail to “straighten up”, you will get more death and destruction.

    Bill Sr.: The liberals/progressives are working their way up to beheadings.

    “DEATH THREATS AGAINST REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN LEE TERRY lead to extra security.”

    Reportedly, 17 death threats were received by WI state legislators.

    Tea party members are routinely assaulted by union goons.

    Black congressmen fabricate racist slurs and spitting incidents.

    The idiot Jesse Jackson blasphemed Our Lord comparing necessary union curbs to the Crucifixion. At least, the libtard didn’t commit the travesty on Good Friday.

    Ban the Q’ran. Deport terrorist sympathizers.

  • [This is Paul’s thread, but please rein it in T Shaw.]

  • Vatican II is strongly convinced as to the Bible’s being written by God.

    Chapter 3 of Dei Verbum

    11. Those divinely revealed realities which are contained and presented in Sacred Scripture have been committed to writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. For holy mother Church, relying on the belief of the Apostles (see John 20:31; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:19-20, 3:15-16), holds that the books of both the Old and New Testaments in their entirety, with all their parts, are sacred and canonical because written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author and have been handed on as such to the Church herself.(1) In composing the sacred books, God chose men and while employed by Him (2) they made use of their powers and abilities, so that with Him acting in them and through them, (3) they, as true authors, consigned to writing everything and only those things which He wanted. (4)

    Therefore, since everything asserted by the inspired authors or sacred writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit, it follows that the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings (5) for the sake of salvation. Therefore “all Scripture is divinely inspired and has its use for teaching the truth and refuting error, for reformation of manners and discipline in right living, so that the man who belongs to God may be efficient and equipped for good work of every kind” (2 Tim. 3:16-17, Greek text).

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  • I think the Pope made pretty much the same point a few years ago. The Bible is revelation filtered through human agency–the word of the Lord in the mouth of the prophet; the Gospel according to Matthew…Each book is a product both of divine inspiration and particular historical circumstances and also, perhaps, individual human personalities. This allows for a difference in emphasis and temperament. It was not the product of a mechanical dictation and should not be received in a mechanical way. . .

    The Koran, on the other hand, is the unadorned word of God, literally transcribed by the prophet. The text is this, and there is no arguing with it. This is an obstacle to rational discussion of religious truths, not only between Islam and other religions but within Islam itself.

  • What Blackadder said @ 12:35pm, and the comparison of Muslim reverence for the Koran to Christian’s reverence for the Eucharist is accurate.

    Robert Spencer is correct in this regard:

    The Qur’an is, according to classic Islamic thought, a perfect copy of a book that has existed eternally with Allah, the one true God, in Heaven: “it is a transcript of the eternal book [in Arabic, “mother of the book”] in Our keeping, sublime, and full of wisdom” (43:4). The angel Gabriel revealed it in sections to Muhammad (570-632), an Arabian merchant. Like Jesus, Muhammad left the written recording of his messages to others. Unlike Jesus, Muhammad did not originate his message, but only served as its conduit. The Qur’an is for Muslims the pure Word of Allah. They point to its poetic character as proof that it did not originate with Muhammad, whom they say was illiterate, but with the Almighty, who dictated every word. The average Muslim believes that everything in the book is absolutely true and that its message is applicable in all times and places.

    This is a stronger claim than Christians make for the Bible. When Christians of whatever tradition say that the Bible is God’s Word, they don’t mean that God spoke it word-for-word and that it’s free of all human agency — instead, there is the idea of “inspiration,” that God breathed through human authors, working through their human knowledge to communicate what he wished to. But for Muslims, the Qur’an is more than inspired. There is not and could not be a passage in the Qur’an like I Corinthians 1:14-17 in the New Testament, where Paul says: “I am thankful that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius; lest any one should say that you were baptized in my name. (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any one else.)” Paul’s faulty memory demonstrates the human element of the New Testament, which for Christians does not negate, but exists alongside the texts’ inspired character. But in the Qur’an, Allah is the only speaker throughout (with a few notable exceptions). There is no human element. The book is the pure and unadulterated divine word.

    It is why, for example, Muslims will only refer to books as “translations of” the Koran — copies of the divine.

    NOT that this is grounds for the behavior of those doing the beheading, but understood from this perspective, you can see why any Muslim might get a tad upset witnessing somebody burning a copy or posts a Youtube video ripping one to pieces.

    Would that all Christians regard the Eucharist with such reverence.

  • Christopher;

    I am of the opinion that beheading and killing innocent people is a tab bit more than being a “tad bit upset”. Please do not diminish muslims evil acts and the loss of life because of their actions by calling muslim behavior a “tad upset”.

    My mother always taught me that “but” erases everything that came before it.

    I can never understand from any perspective why muslims can kill innocent people.

    Would you regard human life with such reverence.

    Please keep carrying the water for muslims. When they come for you do not cry that you did not know. Read about Dhimmi.

  • Catholic Lawyer, you are off base here. Christopher has a brother with the US Army who has fought in the Middle East and who he is very proud of. Christopher fully understands the threat posed by radical jihadists.

    He has also been supportive of Israel in her struggle for survival in the Middle East.

    Here is one of his posts on the subject:

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2008/12/30/thoughts-on-israels-war-with-hamas/

    Here is another post on the Catholic Friends of Israel:

    http://catholicfriendsofisrael.blogspot.com/2010/06/israel-confronts-gaza-freedom-flotilla.html

  • If we were to grant that Muslims revere the koran to the same as extent as Catholics are to revere the Eucharist, then it follows that no koran or queeran should be on display in any public library, bookshop, dawa centres etc., for heaven forbid that such an exalted object should fall into the hands of infidels who might trash it like the homosexuals and atheists did to the Eucharist. I’ll be happy with that, but I suspect that almost everyone who has thought about this knows, that the manufactured outrage by muslims is a clear attempt at intimidation of non-muslims. I frankly do not care what Jones does, and the I won’t p*** on a koran if it was on fire, as I see that the main issue here is the special treatment that muslims seek to gain whether passively by their unctious bathos a la Karzai (which is a replay of the drama put on earlier by Imran Khan during the Motoon riots) , or as now increasingly by terrorising and butchering christians.

  • Catholic Lawyer,

    Cool your jets. If you bothered to read my post, you would understand we’re on the same page as far as the killing of innocent people in protest — no matter how great the sacrilege.

  • It is probably accurate to say that the reverence Muslims have for the Quran is somewhat equivalent to that of Catholics for the Virgin Mary or for the Eucharist. Then again, when was the last time you heard of Catholics rioting in the streets over a desecrated Host, or a portrait of Mary plastered with elephant dung? When was the last time you heard the pope or any bishop call upon the faithful to rise up and kill anyone who receives the Eucharist in an apparent state of “manifest grave sin”?

  • There are Muslims who do the beheading, and there are Muslims who condemn them in turn. Lest we forget: Sunni Muslims in Anbar province got fed up with “Al Qaeda in Iraq” and joined General Petreus in rooting them out. Or we can talk about Ahmad Shah Massoud, “Lion of Panjshir” — a Sunni Muslim who fought against the Soviets and stood up for the Taliban, forming the Northern Alliance. It was believed that he had caught wind of and attempted to warn the West about 9/11 and was assassinated.

    Good Muslims? — you bet.

    “Are you happy to meet Allah with this heavy burden on your shoulders? It is a weighty burden indeed – at least hundreds of thousands of innocent people, if not millions [displaced and killed]. And it is all because of the ‘crimes’ perpetrated against civilians by bin Laden’s Al Qaeda on 9/11.”

    Who said this in an open letter to Bin Laden? — a Muslim. Moreover, Salman al Ouda, cited by and influence on Bin Laden.

    I recommend to everybody a reading of Fawaz A. Gerges’ The Far Enemy: Why Jihad Went Global

    Fawaz Gerges’ book on al Qaeda and the jihadist movement has become a classic in the field since it was published in 2005. Here he argued that far from being an Islamist front united in armed struggle, or jihad against the Christian West, as many misguided political commentators and politicians opined, al Qaeda represented a small faction within the jihadist movement, criticized by other groups who preferred to concentrate on changing the Muslim world, rather than attacking the Far Enemy and making the fight global. In the intervening years, with the advance of the ‘War on Terror’ and the invasion of Iraq, much has changed and, just as Gerges showed, al Qaeda’s fortunes have taken a significant downturn. Revisiting The Far Enemy in this new edition, Gerges demonstrates that not only have the jihadists split ranks, but that voices from within the ultra-religious right, those that previously supported al Qaeda, are condemning its tactics as violent, unethical, and out of accord with the true meaning of jihad. In fact, millions of Muslims worldwide have rejected al-Qaeda’s ideology and strategies and blame Osama bin Laden and his cohorts for the havoc the organisation has wrecked on their communities. Al-Qaeda is now in the wilderness suffering massive erosion of authority and legitimacy in Muslim eyes and facing a fierce revolt from within. As Gerges warns, the next US administration would do well to use political and socio-economic strategies rather than military means to ensure that it stays there.

    Gerges makes a convincing case that the “identity crisis” within Islam extends even to the ranks of the Islamists themselves.

    Rage on against “the Muslim horde”, but I think it is to our benefit that we pay attention to the nuances, the distinctions, the complexities of Muslims and within Islam itself.

  • “Then again, when was the last time you heard of Catholics rioting in the streets over a desecrated Host, or a portrait of Mary plastered with elephant dung? When was the last time you heard the pope or any bishop call upon the faithful to rise up and kill anyone who receives the Eucharist in an apparent state of “manifest grave sin”?”

    Elaine — I couldn’t agree more, and precisely the point of my own post on the topic.

  • Donald;

    Thank you for your perspective. You are normally a very reasonable but in this instance I think you are mistaken.

    Please re-read Christopher post. He is rationalizing why Muslims are killing innocent people. He is asking us to look at it from their perspective – which is to kill innocent people who had nothing to do with burning a book, be it holy or not. With all due respect to Christopher as a fellow human being, he uses the word “but” in his argument hence my comment on the affect of that word. Lets look at what rationalize means:

    ra•tion•al•ize is to ascribe (one’s acts, opinions, etc.) to causes that superficially seem reasonable and valid but that actually are unrelated to the true, possibly unconscious and often less creditable or agreeable causes. (see http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/rationalization)

    He is asking us to look at killing innocent life from the Muslim perspective. That “NOT that this is grounds for the behavior of those doing the beheading”, BUT if we could only be enlightened enough to see it from the Muslim perspective their action would make sense. I am sorry but it does not make sense to me – maybe I am just slow and not as enlightened as some but God made me how I am.

    Christopher;

    Thank you for your concern about my jets but they were not in need of cooling. Just as I cannot understand why a baby can be killed (aborted) so to do I fail to understand why Muslims can kill innocent people. Again, I cannot understand from any perspective that it is justifiable or understandable to kill innocent people no matter what someone else did. Just because some fool in Florida burned the Koran does not make it okay for some one else thousands of miles away to kill innocent people. Muslims must take ownership of their actions – not claim it is the will of God (Inshalla). I hope you will not next tell me that I need to understand from a rapist’s perspective why they raped a person no matter what type of clothes the victim was wearing.

  • To explain why Muslim A would be upset over the burning of the Koran is in no way to rationalize why Muslim B would *kill* innocent people.

  • Thank you Chris (Burgwald).

    I said as much in the prefix to the sentence Catholic Lawyer is citing:

    NOT that this is grounds for the behavior of those doing the beheading, but understood from this perspective, you can see why any Muslim might get a tad upset witnessing somebody burning a copy or posts a Youtube video ripping one to pieces.

    I’d also refer Catholic Lawer to this post:

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2011/04/05/on-the-muslim-response-to-terry-jones-quran-burning-a-reply-to-rich-sanchez-huffington-post/

    Where I am making the same point: protesting sacrilege cannot be taken as grounds for murdering the innocent.

  • What Chris Burgwald said.

    I would also ask the Catholic Lawyer to take note of my disclaimer …

    NOT that this is grounds for the behavior of those doing the beheading, but understood from this perspective, you can see why any Muslim might get a tad upset witnessing somebody burning a copy or posts a Youtube video ripping one to pieces.

    — and to please read the prior post as well: On the Muslim Response to Terry Jones where I specifically dispute the notion that protesting sacrilege is legitimate grounds for murdering the innocent.

  • Christopher;

    Words have meaning. Look at what you really said “NOT that this is grounds for the behavior of those doing the beheading, BUT understood from this perspective, you can see why any Muslim might get a tad upset witnessing somebody burning a copy or posts a Youtube video ripping one to pieces.” (Emphasis added).

    But defined:

    CONJUNCTION:
    1. On the contrary: the plan caused not prosperity but ruin.
    2. Contrary to expectation; yet: She organized her work but accomplished very little. He is tired but happy.
    3. Usage Problem Used to indicate an exception: No one but she saw the prowler.
    4. With the exception that; except that. Often used with that: would have joined the band but he couldn’t spare the time; would have resisted but that they lacked courage.

    So lets write what you really said “NOT that this is grounds for the behavior of those doing the beheading, EXCEPT THAT understood from this perspective, you can see why any Muslim might [kill] witnessing somebody burning a copy or posts a Youtube video ripping one to pieces.” If this is not your intended meaning then you should be more careful in what you are writing.

    Men of good will can disagree and still treat each other with common courtesy and respect.

  • Sorry “definition” not defination – my bad

  • Good grief, do you have a vendetta or something?

    What Chris Burgwald said @ 3:25pm.

    And did you bother at all to read my post? – http://the-american-catholic.com/2011/04/05/on-the-muslim-response-to-terry-jones-quran-burning-a-reply-to-rich-sanchez-huffington-post/

  • Chris, isn’t it fun to be accused, on one thread, of being an apologist for Islam, while on another thread someone tweaks you for making a religious issue out of supposedly political and tribal slayings?

  • The Internet: A place where people who want to misunderstand you, will.

  • Christopher;

    I may have misunderstood your post but I am not alone. I come to this conclusion because
    1. Other people on this site have; and
    2. I asked others to read your posts and they came to the same conclusion that I did. Admittedly, the people I asked are of similiar temperment and mind set as I. In thier defense, they are highly intelligent and highly educated (not that these two are necessarily related).

    If your position is to compliment or remind other of those Muslims that have not reacted violently even when provoked then you should make this point more clearly. I know you have in other places but, I know this will come as a shock to some, not everyone reads all the posts here

    I did not intentionally misunderstand your post but took it at face value. It says what it say. If what it says is not how it should be interperated then please speak more clearly.

    I am sorry that you feel that having a discussion about the use of words amounts to a vendetta or something. I cannot prevent you from feeling this way. I would hope you understand that it was and is not my intent. Christopher, we are both brothers in Christ and I hold no ill will towards you. I would hope that if we ever met we could be friends.

  • “Christopher, we are both brothers in Christ and I hold no ill will towards you. I would hope that if we ever met we could be friends.”

    Thank you, the feeling is mutual.

  • Good on you, CL.

    Let me explain *my* reaction–I’ve long thought that Chris Blosser was one of the five sanest men on the internet (honest–it’s not a backhanded compliment). The idea that he-of all people-would be thought of as apologizing for religious terror…astounds.

  • I’ve long thought that Chris Blosser was one of the five sanest men on the internet…

    Hear, hear.

Religious Egalitarianism

Tuesday, March 8, AD 2011

The five minute window between approximately 5:16 and 5:21 p.m. is my least favorite time of the day.  Not only am I usually waiting for a bus that has about a 25% chance of showing up,  that’s when both the sports radio talk show that I listen to and the Michael Medved show hit commercial breaks.  This leaves me a few options: turn off the darned radio for a few minutes, see if one of the FM stations is playing a good song, or flip to Sean Hannity.  Perhaps out of some yearning to perform an daily act of penance I often choose option three.  (To understand why this is a quasi-penitential act for me, you can read my post about Hannity here.)  At least he usually has on a guest during this time slot who is both more informative and entertaining than he is – a low bar to be sure.

Today he had two guests, both Muslim.  One was a woman that I’ve heard on his show before.  I am not sure if she is currently a practicing Muslim, but she clearly thinks that it is in the thrall of radicals, and she makes this clear by practically shouting each word that she speaks.  The other gentleman was a “moderate” Muslim.  The few minutes of the exchange that I listened to largely consisted of the former insisting that the latter’s abhorrence of sharia law and radicalism was a minority viewpoint within Islam, and the latter insisting that he represented the majority viewpoint.  Neither really advanced any supporting evidence for either viewpoint save to just insist more fervently in their respective positions. Thrilling radio.

Before tuning out to return to the vitally important discussion of the NCAA tournament (perhaps an even stricter form of penance), the man said something that struck me as rather bizarre.  He stated that he did not think that any religion was any better than any other, and that to believe that one’s own religion was superior to other religions was a sign of arrogance.

Come again?

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11 Responses to Religious Egalitarianism

  • “after all, why hold to said faith if it isn’t the true one?”

    correct.

  • Christ did not say I am one of the ways and one of the truths. Of course, for people who believe that religions are basically clubs with god-talk, I can understand how they view each of these clubs as equally valid. Those who view religion as the true reality underlying their existence, have a somewhat different view.

  • I caught that broadcast, too – my excuse is that my Mrs likes Sean Hannity…as she married me, maybe its just an affinity for Paddys. Anyways…

    That statement by the “moderate” Moslem jarred me, too, though a case can be made that any excuse for moderating the exceptional violence and barbarism of Islam is to be welcomed. But your point is well taken – why believe any religion unless you believe it to be the correct one? I have an absolute conviction that not only is Jesus Our Lord; the Christ, the Son of the Living God, but that His Church is headquartered in Rome and Benedict the XVI is the successor to the man Our Lord gave the keys to. I wouldn’t go in to a Moslem’s home and just shout this at him…but if asked, it is what I’ll answer…and, in truth, I should probably be a bit more forceful and proclaim it often among non-believers.

  • Yet more troubling is the message that Islam, in order to become less of a threat to the world, must relativize its claim to possess the truth. That plays directly into the hands of Muslim rigorists who pose as the defenders of the uncompromised and uncompromisible truth and who call for death to the infidels. If Islam is to become tolerant and respectful of other religions, it must be as the result of a development that comes from within the truth of Islam, not as a result of relativizing or abandoning that truth. Is Islam capable of such a religious development? Nobody knows. But, if the choice is between compromising Islamic truth or a war of civilizations, it is almost certain that the winner among Muslims will be the hard-core Islamism that [Bernard] Lewis rightly views as such a great threat.

    Christianity is more, not less, vibrantly Christian as a result of coming to understand more fully the mysterious and loving ways of God in His dealings also with non-Christians. Although the story of this development is complex, the important truth is that tolerance and mutual respect are religious, not secular, achievements. I will say it again: the reason we do not kill one another over our disagreements about the will of God is that we believe it is against the will of God to kill one another over our disagreements about the will of God. Christians have come to believe that. We must hope that more and more Muslims will come to believe that. That will not happen, however, if they are told that coming to believe that will make them less faithful Muslims.

    ~ Fr. Richard J. Neuhaus (First Things June/July 2003)

  • Christopher:

    Where precisely is there pressure put upon Muslims to “relatavize its claim to possess the truth”? I am assuming you are citing Fr. Neuhaus agreeably. Their claims, as well as the Christian claim, to truth is often challenged. It is the duty of both to answer those challenges. Christians, in large part, do. Whereas many traditional Muslims regard such challenges as a bigoted threat.

  • Blessed Nicholas Tavilich stated, “You Mohammedans . . . Your Koran is not God’s law nor is it revealed by Him. It is founded neither in the Old Testament nor in the New. Far from being a good thing, your law is utterly evil. In it are lies, foolish things, buffooneries, contradictions, and much that leads not to virtue and goodness but to evil and to all manner of vice.”

    “But the holy monk (St. George of San Saba) having declared that Mahomet was a disciple of the devil, and that his followers were in a state of perdition, he also was condemned (to martyrdom) with his companions.”

    Five disciples of St. Francis of Assisi, who when reproached by the followers of Koran for preaching against Mohammed, simply responded by saying “We have come to preach faith in Jesus Christ to you, that you will renounce Mohammad, that wicked slave of the devil, and obtain everlasting life like us.”

  • T. Shaw,

    You’re a bigot! 😉

  • I do a comedy bit with my friends about the Sean Hannity show, how he cites four facts per show:

    (first hour) One! Two! One and Two!
    (second hour) Three!! One and Three!! Two and Three!! One, Two, and Three!!
    (third hour) Four!!! One and Four!!! etc.

    As scary as extremist Islam can be, there’s something possibly more dangerous about moderate Islam. Moderate Islam has the potential to become the easiest religion in the world. There is one God, Muhammed is his prophet (even though what he said isn’t that important), try not to do bad stuff, or if you do, try not to do it again. That creed could produce a wussier religion than mainstream Protestantism ever could.

    Lazy, feel-good Christianity has to contend with two challenges: the Cross, and the Church. Protestantism steps around the authority of the Apostles, and avoids depictions of Christ crucified, but they still recognize the fact of Christ crucified. What would moderate Islam have to keep its followers on the straight and narrow?

    I think moderate Islam could sweep through the West in the same way that watered-down Buddhism has in the past 50 years, but in much greater numbers. We may be seeing the beginning of it in the fraternity that politically-liberal America feels with the Muslim third world.

  • Knight:

    Did you see my earlier comment, which was deleted?

    It explained the “situation” without spending 15,000 words worth of click-clacking.

    “Let not your hearts be troubled.”

    Mr. Zummo could “get it” from an immoderate mislum over allowing that comment.

    This was a republic, but they were unable to keep it.

  • This thread was not meant to be about Islam, but rather about how some people have a squishy view of religion. It just so happened that the individual who made the comment is Muslim. I have no quibble with discussing the errors of Islamic faith – this just isn’t the thread for it.

  • T. Shaw,

    I did not see an earlier post. My tongue in cheek comment was referencing the fact that I believe is the point of this thread. Noting the difference in faith, or anything else for that matter, is not an insult to anyone, although most people take it that way. To presume all religions are the same, is to negate the very idea of religion. If religion is understood as the justice we owe to God, then it can only be true if it is on His terms. Most of today’s religions, including most forms of Catholicism (as they are practiced) are more about us than Him.

    If we establish egalitarianism in regards to God, the only question is are we raising ourselves to God’s level or bringing Him down to ours? I suppose some simply think we should just become gods and then who would need the God hypothesis.

    God established a kingdom, it is necessarily hierarchical, which is over and against egalitarianism, except with respect to dignity.

    Paul, it is evident that this post is not about Islam per se; however, it is the most virile of opponents to the true faith, which creates an interesting point vis. this topic. Islam expresses no egalitarian equivalency with other faith. It is considered superior to the point of waging endless war (jihad) to make the world Dar al Islam. Yet our culture always tries to place Islam above all forms of Christianity. One has to wonder how secularists and sentimental Christians find it comfortable to revere an authoritarian religion like Islam merely because it is against the Truth.

Shahbaz Bhatti: Martyr For the Faith

Thursday, March 3, AD 2011

Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.  Courage and Faith.  Abstractions to many, meaningless phrases to some, to others they are a way of life.  Shahbaz Bhatti was in the last category.  His faith was obvious to all.  As a Roman Catholic in overwhelmingly Islamic Pakistan he was tireless in spreading the Truth of Christ, and in standing up for the rights of Christians in Pakistan.  Appointed Minister of Defense of Minorities in the Pakistan government, he took on the position, knowing full well that he was signing his death warrant.  Death threats against him were constant.  As constant was his speaking out for the rights of Christians and other minorities in Pakistan.  After leaving his government office each day, he would head over to the offices of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance, working late into the night to continue aiding Pakistan’s embattled minorities.

He never married, thinking it unfair to put a wife and children in the cross-hairs in which he lived.  On March 2, 2011 he was visiting his mother.  After he left his car was sprayed with bullets and he was killed.  The murderers of Al Qaeda and the Taliban have claimed responsibility.

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14 Responses to Shahbaz Bhatti: Martyr For the Faith

  • It is brave men such as this that make me rethink my agnosticism. Though I retain doubts, I hope that he will have a special place in heaven along with other courageous and dedicated martyrs to the faith.

  • Eternal rest grant unto him!

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  • I agree whole heartedly with what you have posted.
    “No man has ever measured love,
    Or weighed it in his hand.
    But God who knows the inmost heart,
    Gives them the promised land.”

  • I bow my head in honour of this courageous and principled martyr of our Christian faith.

  • Joe Green: I pray that through the example and the intercession of that brave Catholic martyr, Mr. Bhatti, that you will embrace the love and forgiveness and invitation of our Lord Jesus Christ! If Mr. Bhatti’s martyrdom is used by God to bring just one soul–yours!–to Heaven–his death will not be in vain!

    May God bless you, Joe Green, and may our most holy and tender Mother Mary enfold you in Her sacred and loving arms!

  • Thanks, Linda. The Hound of Heaven always pursues me. Some day I hope to take His Hand and walk with Him.

  • Joe,

    The Hound of Heaven continues to pursue me even though I took his hand long ago. He keeps wanting to teach and love me (and you) more and more each day.

    Prayers for you and have a good weekend.

  • “Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

  • And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshipped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

  • My soul weeps for this just and good man. Oh Pakistan, must you kill those sons who yearned to bring you out of the darkness. How long will you suffered them to be killed. Those who pursue their beliefs through the killing of their brethren will never have peace in their country nor in their lives. How I wish they would spend more time in mediation and the pursue of truth instead of violence. I trust in the Lord’s ability to bring good of this evil. Rest in peace my brother.

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Egypt on the Brink, Obama Doing His Best Carter Imitation

Friday, January 28, AD 2011

[Updates at the bottom]

Egypt has sent out the army to the streets of Cairo with reports of gun-battles and deaths everywhere.  Media sources are reporting 870 wounded, but this can’t be confirmed as of now.

How important are the events occurring in Egypt today in reference to the United States?  Very important.

Any person of history understands that in the 20th and 21st century, how Egypt goes, goes the Middle East.  The most distinguished Islamic university is located in Cairo and militant Islamic organizations such as Al-Qaeda are off-shoots from the Muslim Brotherhood, an extremist Muslim organization based in Egypt seeking to return to the days of Muhammad.

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30 Responses to Egypt on the Brink, Obama Doing His Best Carter Imitation

  • Egyptian Sphinx eats American dove . . .

  • It is a bad day when I have to rise to the defense of Obama, but I sincerely doubt there is much that cold be done by any American administration right now. Backing one faction or another could well backfire. Other than making public statements calling for a peaceful resolution and that this is a situation that Egyptians will have to work out, I doubt there is much that an American President can do. You can bet that the Israelis are looking at this closely. They have enjoyed a Cold Peace with Egypt since the days of Sadat. They have no guarantees that the government that follows the present one will keep the same policy.

  • This is looking more and more like Iran ’79.

    You are correct, this is about stability in the Middle East. Although I don’t mean to go into this point too deep, this here is one reason that Iraq was engaged by the Bush Admin. When a powerhouse falls in an Islamic country, it isn’t usually at the hands of peace loving democrats, instead it is often at the hands of the youth that scream for democracy, but handled oh too well by older and more powerful Islamic fundamentalists.

    One point though, I do have to agree somewhat with D. McClarey. It is hard for Obama to do a lot right now. There are reports that there has been some US ties to this ordeal dating back three years. http://bit.ly/gDS7hE
    If that is the case, we better do exactly what you say and back another more liberal leader, and not let the Muslim Brotherhood take the reins.

  • I do understand what Donald and Joe are saying about the lack of influence that the Obama administration has on the outcome, but they do have influence.

    So Obama’s actions can affect the outcome to certain degrees.

  • This is a fascinating situation to watch unfold, especially with regards to its wider impact across the globe.

    Note to Obama: this should be your lesson that an internet “kill switch” is NOT a good idea under any circumstances.

    Let’s see if Mubarak goes down and if the economic circumstances that ignited these revolts in Tunisia and Egypt spread to other corners of the globe. Remember: in recent times we’ve seen riots also in Iran, Greece, France and the UK. Yes, all these countries have vastly different domestic circumstances, but don’t think that the global economy does not string all these events together.

    Curious: what more will Wikileaks have to reveal?

    Also, Obama might not have a lot he can do right now, but don’t think that our foreign aid support to nations like Egypt does not contribute to the domestic powder keg.

  • President Obama just finished his speech on the situation in Egypt.

    Basically a bunch of nice words, but nothing that puts pressure on Mubarak to make reforms or action of support for the protesters.

    He just split the difference in his speech without making a difference.

    Pretty much ineffectual flowery ‘nothing’.

    Obama is pathetic.

  • There surely is precious little this 40-something, former community agitator (a glib Al Sharpton?) and gangs of aging, hate-America hippies who spent the last 2 years dismantling the evil, unjust United States . . .

  • · I hope people remind Obama that he supports reopening the internet in Egypt the next time talk of an internet kill switch occurs

    · Isn’t it sort of bad diplomacy to admit to the whole world that you spoke with Mubarak minutes after he finished his speech?

    · Doesn’t all of Obama’s talk of government by consent over coercion just sort of reek of contradiction considering our own coercive economic policies, to say nothing of the dubious last 10 years on “human rights,” whether it be on abortion, torture, secret prisons and Guantanamo?

    ·Agreed. This was a nothing speech, designed to make him look like he has some influence over world events. He doesn’t.

  • As usual, Donald sums things up well.

    Also, on an unusually old-world conservative note for me: This underlines that democracy itself is an unmitigated good. Mubarak is certainly a dictator, but he’s willing to keep the peace in the region. It’s entirely possible that a popular government would happily participate in kicking off a regional war in a region which, however “undeveloped” by Western standards could easily stage a WW2 size war in terms of people and technology.

  • Certainly, the Egyptians will heed the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner’s call for no violence as he conducts two wars in their neighborhood, and listen attentively to the Secretary of State whose husband bombed Serbia and whose Attorney General engineered the massacre of 74 innocents at Waco in 1993. Clearly, the U.S. has the high ground here.

  • I don’t understand. Aren’t we supposed to be ‘pro’ democratic uprising? Isn’t Mubarak essentially a dictator? Or do we only support democracy when we are confident that it will support our interests? Such seems to be the case with our support for the autocracies of Tunisia, Jordan, and Egypt. In any case, I don’t think it’s likely that Egypt will turn into an Iran. Will it be a state friendly to U.S. interests? Likely not. But then, again, it may ween us from our codependent relationship with Israel. Is that a good or a bad thing? Who knows? Augustine’s total political cynicism makes a great deal of sense in these situations. May not too many innocent die, no matter what happens.

  • Daniel Larison has characteristically excellent commentary on the situation here: http://www.amconmag.com/larison/

  • “I don’t understand. Aren’t we supposed to be ‘pro’ democratic uprising? Isn’t Mubarak essentially a dictator?”

    Oh, he is a dictator alright, a relatively benign one by the standards of his bad neighborhood where dictatorships are the norm, with the exception of Israel, Iraq and Turkey. I will weep no tears for his regime if it is toppled, but many people in Egypt and abroad will weep tears if he is replaced by an aggressive Islamist regime. At this point we do not know what will happen.

    “In any case, I don’t think it’s likely that Egypt will turn into an Iran.”

    Nasser was quite bad enough, and a Nasser II might be the most likely outcome. The Muslim Brotherhood would love to control Egypt as the mullahs control Iran. The Army might step in and take over. Many bad possibilities as well as good ones, and it is too early to tell how it will develop.

    “Will it be a state friendly to U.S. interests? Likely not.”

    Then that is a bad thing unless one subscribes to the isolationist fantasies of a Daniel Larison, who simply refuses to in habit this frame of reality.

    “But then, again, it may ween us from our codependent relationship with Israel.”

    Actually an Egypt hostile to Israel would likely drive the US and Israel closer together and make far more likely a general Middle Eastern war.

    It is too early to see how this Egyptian situation will play out. We should not indulge in either optimism or pessimism. We should watch and wait.

  • Donald,

    You too easily reduce the principled position of anti-interventionism to that favorite shibboleth of the post-Wilsonian: “isolationism.” Isolationism is not anti-interventionism. It does not involve the closing of borders, refusal of trade, abandonment of treaties, etc. It rather embodies a sense of limit and prudence, and recognizes the difficulties that attends involving oneself overmuch in the affairs of other countries. It is the position, more or less, of all of the Founders. One can disagree with this posiiton, of course, but it’s just not intellectually responsible to dismiss it as “isolationism”–this kind of language is name-calling masquerading as thought.

  • “It does not involve the closing of borders, refusal of trade, abandonment of treaties, etc.”

    By that standard WJ no one in American history has been an isolationist. Larison, acolyte for Pat Buchanan, isolationist in chief, is firmly in the tradition of the America Firsters, who they celebrate, who thought America could retreat into a Fortress America before Pearl Harbor. It was a foolish and dangerous policy at that time, and it is no less foolish and dangerous today. What worked for America in the Nineteenth Century, courtesy of the British Empire, will not work for America in the Twenty-First. Anti-interventionism is merely the latest gloss on, in the immortal words of Mel Brooks, “Let ’em all go to Hell, except Cave 76!”. That does not mean that American intervention is called for in all situations. As to the situation in Egypt, for example, I can’t think of anything we could do positive right now. But the idea that the US can simply ignore developments abroad and cultivate its garden here at home is merely a pleasant illusion and not a serious foreign policy.

  • Donald,
    But it’s simply *not true* that the position of Larison and Bacevich–to take two prominent contemporary anti-interventionists–is what you describe it as being: “ignore developments abroad and cultivate its garden here at home.” This is what I meant about your consistent tendency to reduce the arguments of anti-interventionists to the strawman of “isolationism.” As though the only two options were (1) involvement in *every* foreign crisis and (2) blithe ignorance of the goings on of other countries and how they affect our interests.

  • To the contrary WJ, a retreat into Fortress America is precisely the policy advocated by both Larison and Bacevich. That of course is why Bacevich, hilariously, endorsed Obama in 2008, thinking that Obama shared his isolationist predilections.

    “So why consider Obama? For one reason only: because this liberal Democrat has promised to end the U.S. combat role in Iraq. Contained within that promise, if fulfilled, lies some modest prospect of a conservative revival.

    To appreciate that possibility requires seeing the Iraq War in perspective. As an episode in modern military history, Iraq qualifies at best as a very small war. Yet the ripples from this small war will extend far into the future, with remembrance of the event likely to have greater significance than the event itself. How Americans choose to incorporate Iraq into the nation’s historical narrative will either affirm our post-Cold War trajectory toward empire or create opportunities to set a saner course.

    The neoconservatives understand this. If history renders a negative verdict on Iraq, that judgment will discredit the doctrine of preventive war. The “freedom agenda” will command as much authority as the domino theory. Advocates of “World War IV” will be treated with the derision they deserve. The claim that open-ended “global war” offers the proper antidote to Islamic radicalism will become subject to long overdue reconsideration.

    Give the neocons this much: they appreciate the stakes. This explains the intensity with which they proclaim that, even with the fighting in Iraq entering its sixth year, we are now “winning”—as if war were an athletic contest in which nothing matters except the final score. The neoconservatives brazenly ignore or minimize all that we have flung away in lives, dollars, political influence, moral standing, and lost opportunities. They have to: once acknowledged, those costs make the folly of the entire neoconservative project apparent. All those confident manifestos calling for the United States to liberate the world’s oppressed, exercise benign global hegemony, and extend forever the “unipolar moment” end up getting filed under dumb ideas.

    Yet history’s judgment of the Iraq War will affect matters well beyond the realm of foreign policy. As was true over 40 years ago when the issue was Vietnam, how we remember Iraq will have large political and even cultural implications.

    As part of the larger global war on terrorism, Iraq has provided a pretext for expanding further the already bloated prerogatives of the presidency. To see the Iraq War as anything but misguided, unnecessary, and an abject failure is to play into the hands of the fear-mongers who insist that when it comes to national security all Americans (members of Congress included) should defer to the judgment of the executive branch. Only the president, we are told, can “keep us safe.” Seeing the war as the debacle it has become refutes that notion and provides a first step toward restoring a semblance of balance among the three branches of government.

    Above all, there is this: the Iraq War represents the ultimate manifestation of the American expectation that the exercise of power abroad offers a corrective to whatever ailments afflict us at home. Rather than setting our own house in order, we insist on the world accommodating itself to our requirements. The problem is not that we are profligate or self-absorbed; it is that others are obstinate and bigoted. Therefore, they must change so that our own habits will remain beyond scrutiny.

    Of all the obstacles to a revival of genuine conservatism, this absence of self-awareness constitutes the greatest. As long as we refuse to see ourselves as we really are, the status quo will persist, and conservative values will continue to be marginalized. Here, too, recognition that the Iraq War has been a fool’s errand—that cheap oil, the essential lubricant of the American way of life, is gone for good—may have a salutary effect. Acknowledging failure just might open the door to self-reflection.

    None of these concerns number among those that inspired Barack Obama’s run for the White House. When it comes to foreign policy, Obama’s habit of spouting internationalist bromides suggests little affinity for serious realism. His views are those of a conventional liberal. Nor has Obama expressed any interest in shrinking the presidency to its pre-imperial proportions. He does not cite Calvin Coolidge among his role models. And however inspiring, Obama’s speeches are unlikely to make much of a dent in the culture. The next generation will continue to take its cues from Hollywood rather than from the Oval Office.

    Yet if Obama does become the nation’s 44th president, his election will constitute something approaching a definitive judgment of the Iraq War. As such, his ascent to the presidency will implicitly call into question the habits and expectations that propelled the United States into that war in the first place. Matters hitherto consigned to the political margin will become subject to close examination. Here, rather than in Obama’s age or race, lies the possibility of his being a truly transformative presidency.

    Whether conservatives will be able to seize the opportunities created by his ascent remains to be seen. Theirs will not be the only ideas on offer. A repudiation of the Iraq War and all that it signifies will rejuvenate the far Left as well. In the ensuing clash of visions, there is no guaranteeing that the conservative critique will prevail.”

    http://www.amconmag.com/article/2008/mar/24/0002/

    In hindsight of course this seems all completely laughable, but that is what Bacevich wrote at the time. Bacevich and Larison are isolationists, and to claim otherwise, to use your phrase, is not “intellectually honest”.

  • Nothing you’ve posted from Bacevich answers the objection I’ve raised. Opposition to the Iraq War, and a recognition of its enormous cost in lives, money, and its failure to promote the security for which it was purportedly undertaken–none of this entails “isolationism” as you continue to insist. Bacevich does articulate, briefly in that section, an anti-Wilsonian realism that is more legitimately conservative–a label that I would think most writers and readers on this blog would be proud to claim–than the ridiculous idealism that forms the vocabulary and, at times, the practice, of our foreign policy. That Bacevich was wrong about Obama, who is clearly no anti-interventionist, is irrelevant. One point of agreement that I have with you is that there was never any good reason for supposing that Obama would have the courage or ability to reverse the de facto interventionist stance that has marked the last several decades of our foreign policy. There Bacevich was suffering from an illusion. But I can’t see how that fact has any bearing on the merits of anti-interventionism as a corrective to the default position we are in today.

  • Isolationism has few advocates on the right WJ who are politically signficant. (I do not consider Ron Paul politically signifcant.) Support for a robust American foreign policy abroad has been the norm for the vast majority of conservatives in this country since December 7, 1941. As to Bacevich, he did not just oppose the Iraq war. He also believes that the Cold War was an unnecessary event against a largely illusory foe. He thinks American intervention in Korea, Vietnam, Central America, Afghanistan and Iraq were all mistakes. The man is a thorough going isolationist. I can only assume that you are unfamiliar with much of his writing.

  • A good review of the latest isolationist tome authored by Bacevich:

    http://afri.au.af.mil/review_full.asp?id=120

  • I am aware of Bacevich’s writing, and of his thesis that post-WWII America was unable rationally to reassess the benefits and liabilities to anti-interventionism on account of that War and its reception. We are just talking past each other now, as it seems clear to me that you believe anything *other* than Wilsonianism is “isolationism,” where I believe that one can be an anti-interventionist without being an isolationist, and that such anti-interventionism is, in fact, the conservative position. Eisenhower himself was deeply cognizant of the dangers that Wilsonianism would pose for post WWII America, and he was no isolationist. If you want to believe that any approach other than the largely failed and counterproducitve approach of military intervention is “isolationist,” then I suppose that’s your right. But it is historically unimaginative.

  • I would have bet money WJ that you were not a fan of Mr. Beck, but your use of Woodrow Wilson as a bogey-man makes me doubt that wager. 🙂 I consider both the Cold War and American interventions abroad to stop Communism to have been not romantic idealism but hard headedly realistic, just as I consider the current interventions to be. I think you mischaracterize Eisenhower, you are certainly not alone in this, as anyone familiar with the foreign policy he and John Foster Dulles pursued could not reasonably regard it as in any sense non-interventionist.

    Bacevich does not bring up reasoned critques of American interventions abroad. Reasonable people can an will disagree about particular interventions. His heated verbiage about an “American Empire” is in the best traditions of both Pat Buchanan and Noam Chomsky. In his world American intervention is ipso facto bad, and America should retreat to its shores and let the rest of the world get along as best it can. If this foreign policy is ever attempted by the US, I think we would not like the world produced by our attempted flight from responsibility and reality.

  • In regard to Bacevich, his transformation into a raging isolationist is fairly recent. Here, in part, is what he wrote in National Review back in 2003 when he supported the invasion of Iraq:

    “Such an approach would use the coming war against Iraq as a vehicle to persuade Arab governments that they themselves have a compelling interest in putting Islamic radicals out of business. In the Arab world, American values may not count for much, but American power counts for quite a bit. Concepts like parliaments or women’s rights may strike Saudi princes as alien. On the other hand, they have no difficulty grasping the significance of a B-2 bomber or a carrier battle group.
    The promptness with which U.S. forces dispatched the Taliban in the fall of 2001 has already provided an object lesson of what awaits any regime that knowingly harbors terrorists. By dispatching Saddam Hussein in the coming weeks, U.S. forces can provide a second lesson: that any ruler who flagrantly disregards international norms and engages in behavior that poses a threat to the United States— for example, by funding terrorist groups, subsidizing radical Islam, or nourishing anti-American hatred—can expect to share Saddam’s fate.

    Thus, taken in tandem, the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan and in Iraq will define red lines that a regime will violate only at its peril. In that regard, the message to the Arab world from American officials needs to be explicit and unambiguous: Respect those red lines and we will respect your existing political arrangements; disregard them and we are coming after you, with or without allies, with or without the approval of the U.N. Security Council.

    In sum, what we should demand of Arab Leaders is not ideological fealty, but simply responsible behavior. And this demand is not negotiable. We will not insist that the House of Saud declare its adherence to the principles of Jeffersonian democracy. But we will insist—as the Bush administration has yet to do—that those who rule the kingdom will ensure that Saudi Arabia cease serving as an incubator of suicidal terrorists. On that point, we will be adamant and uncompromising. And on that point, with the examples, of Afghanistan and Iraq showing that we mean what we say, we can expect compliance.

    As it pertains to a post-Saddam Iraq, such an approach would find the United States extracting itself from Iraqi affairs with reasonable promptness. This is not to say that U.S. forces would withdraw in a matter of days or even weeks, but that we would not commit ourselves to a vain effort to remake Iraq in our image, which would require another semi-permanent U.S. military garrison. Once we have established a regime that is legitimate, friendly to the United States, able to maintain Iraq’s territorial integrity, and respectful of its people, Washington would do well to leave Iraq to the Iraqis.

    A foreign policy based on authentically conservative principles begins by accepting the fact that the world is not infinitely malleable. It recognizes that our own resources, although great, are limited. And it never loses sight of the fact that the freedom that U.S. officials are sworn to protect is our own.”

    [Andrew J. Bacevich, “Don’t Get Greedy! For sensible, limited war aims in Iraq,” National Review, February 10, 2003.]

    Anyone can change his mind, but I always find it surprising when someone of Bacevich’s vintage decides to do an ideological remake in the course of a very short period of time. A debate between Bacevich 2003 and Bacevich 2011 would be amusing if not illuminating.

  • Well, when you consider the lies, distortions, and mismanagement at play leading up to and in the war in Iraq, and you consider further that his son was killed in that war, then this might make more sense to you. But Bacevich was strongly critical of both the decision to invade Iraq and the conditions that made that invasion seem responsible well before the death of his son.

  • Your litany is a familiar one from Iraq war opponents Wj, but Bacevich is not simply an Iraq war opponent. In the space of about two years, 2003-2005, he went from being an advocate of both the wars of Afghanistan and Iraq into being the reincarnation of William Appleman Williams. Bacevich was 56 in 2003. I guess we have to assume that he simply wasn’t paying attention the first 56 years, most of it spent either in the United States Army, or as an academic specializing in defense and foreign policy. I haven’t seen such a radical makeover in such a short time since Gerald Naus, formerly of The Cafeteria is Closed, rediscovered his inner atheist, shut down his blog, and left the Church. When such about faces involve someone who is relatively young and inexperienced I find them more understandable than someone who is deep into middle age, and, one would have thought, would have had time and opportunity to better develop their views over the span of most of a lifetime.

  • I guess that one’s child dying for the cause is probably enough to spark introspection at any age.

  • I can’t wait until the democratic reformers in the new Weimar Egypt vote in Sharia.

  • “I guess that one’s child dying for the cause is probably enough to spark introspection at any age.”

    Perhaps Bob, except that First Lieutenant Andrew Bacevich, a 27 year old West Point graduate, was killed in Iraq in 2007, well after the transformation discussed below.

  • When was the young Bakevich first put in harm’s way in the cause of freeing Weimar Iraq from Kaiser Saddam? (I honestly don’t know. The point that one’s own flesh and blood on the altar tests one’s devotion may or may not apply here).

  • He was first sent to Iraq as a platoon leader in 2006. He enlisted in the Army in 2004. (A correction to my earlier entry. First Lieutenant Bacevich was not a West Point graduate. He graduated from Boston University in 2003. He earned his commission through Officer’s Candidate School in 2005.) Bacevich the father has indicated that he was opposed to the Iraq war prior to his son’s enlistment, as articles he wrote prior to that time would indicate, although he supported the war in 2003.

As The September 11 Anniversary Nears, A Review Of Al Qaeda's Little Reported-On War Against The Catholic Church

Tuesday, September 7, AD 2010

While most of the world mourns the nearly three thousand who were brutally murdered by Al Qaeda on September 11, 2001, many assume all of Al Qaeda attacks stem from a warped political motive. Most may not be aware that since the day of its inception many of Al Qaeda’s targets have involved the Catholic Church and her holy sites.

Less than one year before the September 11, 2001 attacks Al Qaeda was planning a spectacular Christmas attack at the large and historic Strasbourg Cathedral in France. While this attack was foiled, an attack on the Catholic cathedral in Jakarta, Indonesia was not thwarted, resulting in the deaths of several churchgoers and those on a nearby street.

Yet, five years before this brazen plan, an even more sinister plan was nearly carried out by the chief planner of the September 11, 2001 attacks, Khalid Sheik Muhammad, which he coordinated to coincide with the visit of Pope John Paul II to Manila for World Youth Day in January of 1995. The plan called for the pontiff to be killed along with countless of the faithful who was planning to see him in Manila that day. Incidentally, some speculate that the crowd that came to see the Polish pontiff that day was nearly the same size that came to see his funeral some ten years later. Some speculate it may have been the largest religious gathering at one place in our known history, some five to seven million strong.

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21 Responses to As The September 11 Anniversary Nears, A Review Of Al Qaeda's Little Reported-On War Against The Catholic Church

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  • Excellent article, Dave!!

    While I was aware of some of what you stated, your post gave me both further and great insight into Al Qaeda’s war against the Catholic Church. I will be passing this along. God Bless.

  • Good paper. Keep up your good work.
    We are, and have always been, in a “moral and
    religious” war. That war is between those that
    believe in (faith in) the God of the Bible that
    gave us individual UNalienable rights of life
    and liberty vrs. those that believe in arbitrary man made collective INalienable privilages.
    Read more on the link below. Begin with the
    article on the “paper” menu and then review the
    references.

    http://www.unalienableproject.com/

  • Thanks for putting this out for everyone to know.

  • I can’t thank you enough for this post. My husband and I will spend Saturday at a seminar on spiritual warfare by Fr. Corapi. You make the case for warfare very real. God Bless you in your work.

  • Thanks for this article. You are very brave to voice out facts that most Catholics could only whisper. God bless.

  • Sorry David, dig deeper in your research please..Al Quaeda was founded by, trained by, and still bankrolled by the CIA…The CIA is in cahoots with the Mossad and the English CIA…they are a tool of the conspirators that are out for total control of the world…at the highest levels they worship satan and are out for the total destruction of Christian Civilization..they may win but only for a short time…lets start telling the truth about world events…thanks…Rob Epperly/Author.Sons of Thunder.

  • Step one: turn off your TV
    Step two: meditate on the Gospel daily.
    Step three: stay out of debt…zero credit cards..
    Step four: simplify, live within your means..give away your possesions to the poor.
    Step five: (should be step one) reconciliation and holy communion.
    Step six: holy reading.
    STep seven: pray that all Christians unite against this juggernaut anti-christ we call illuminati. Unite all Christians against satan..

  • St. Michel the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil, may God rebuke him we humbly pray, and do thou o prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, throw into hell satan and all evil spirits that prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls, amen.

  • David, please submit this to Columbia magazine. I have shared it with my immediate fellow Knights of Columbus. Note: Operation Bojinka was hatched in Manila in 1996, the same year that the training camp at Salman Pak Iraq opened. reporter Jayna Davis recorded Terry Nichols wife saying how he had visited persons in Manila at that time.

  • “Sorry David, dig deeper in your research please..Al Quaeda was founded by, trained by, and still bankrolled by the CIA…The CIA is in cahoots with the Mossad and the English CIA…they are a tool of the conspirators that are out for total control of the world…at the highest levels they worship satan and are out for the total destruction of Christian Civilization..they may win but only for a short time…lets start telling the truth about world events…thanks…Rob Epperly/Author.Sons of Thunder.”

    Your tinfoil hat needs loosening Robert.

  • i might go with trained by and bankrolled by, but not founded by, the CIA isn’t 1600 years old….

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  • Thanks for the kind words everyone. As for those who spew nutty conspiracy theories; unless we suffer from mental illness, we will be held accountable for the crazy things we say.

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  • The Crusades were small defensive actions fought by amateurish Christian soldiers who truly felt they were answering the call of God. They were hardly in it for the gold and the girls that so many ridiculous movies and research articles have asserted.

    True. Eleventh-century Europeans making war “for the gold and the girls” accompanied William the Conquerer in 1066. He led his armies west, away from the Holy Land.

  • “Your tinfoil hat needs loosening Robert.”

    I’ll say. You know, I always wonder at these people who think the Mossad – an admittedly crack team working for a country the size of a potato chip – run the world. For one thing, the number of the Jews on the entire planet is something like 14 million. That doesn’t even amount to a Chinese statistical rounding error. The Mossad is a teensy tiny fraction of a teensy tiny fraction. When gentiles whisper about “the Jews” or “the Mossad” what they are actually saying is that a miniscule fraction of Jews are so incredibly smart they are able to control all the dumb gentiles in the world. It just shows how contemptuous characters like David are of the goys – he thinks we’re so stupid the brilliant Jews can easily dupe us.

    My boss is Jewish. She’s a nice lady but I wouldn’t call her an Einstein. Nor do I think all us goyim are as dense as David obviously thinks we are.

    David, if you think all Jews, or all Israelis, are so incredibly intelligent that they can run the world with the mass of gentiles remaining dumber than sticks of gum, all I can say is “Speak for yourself, dude.”

  • Also, it seems to me that if the Israelis control PR, someone is obviously sleeping on the job, judging from the barrage of criticism the Israelis are subjected to. These world-class geniuses somehow can’t keep a lid on the Guardian, BCC, CNN or MSNBC and yet we’re supposed to think they control governments – yeah, sure.

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Mosque Opponents: Be Careful What You Wish For, You Might Get It

Saturday, August 28, AD 2010

The debate over the so-called Ground Zero mosque near the former site of the World Trade Center in New York has raised public interest in, and opposition to, other proposed or recently built mosques and Islamic centers throughout the country.

In areas where Muslim migration or immigration has been significant, some citizens have attempted to discourage construction of new mosques. Few come right out and cite the threat of terrorism; more often they seem to resort to time-honored NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) tactics such as creative interpretation of zoning ordinances, claims of decreased property values, or claims of real or potential problems with traffic, noise, etc.

Before I go any further, I want to make it clear that I understand the need to be vigilant regarding the potential for violent subversion, as well as the dangers of taking such a politically correct approach to militant Islam that people hesitate to report obvious suspicious activity for fear of being labeled bigots (as seems to have happened in the Fort Hood massacre case).

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45 Responses to Mosque Opponents: Be Careful What You Wish For, You Might Get It

  • Outstanding article — thank you!!

    Question (and please forgive this social-networking-backward-participant!):

    Why doesn’t American Catholic enable readers to SHARE this via Facebook? (Maybe I’m flunking the IQ test and missed the link??? I just did a “copy & paste” on the link above on my FB page . . . Sad to say, I am still trying to figure out this RSS stuff!!!)

    Thank you!

  • Elaine,

    You raise some very valid points. But, did Catholicism, or the perversion therof, and Catholics or any Christians for that matter murder 3000 innocents on September 11? Or have Catholics or Christians committed bombings in recent years or pose threats of bombings around the world?

    I think the problem here is that the Muslims who have proposed this mosque have displayed absolutely NO sensitivity to the families of victims of 9/11 while demanding all the tolerance in the world from those 9/11 families,as well as other citizens. These “moderate” Muslims claim that they want to build bridges but all they are doing by forcing the building of this mosque at this partiular ultra-sensitive location is burning bridges. Why is this location so important when there are over 100 mosques located in NYC already? How is this mosque being funded? By terrorist organizations or not? I believe in order for the community as a whole to benefit from this mosque our government and our citizens must be as certain as possible that this mosque is not funded by terrorist organizations and will not be used as a terrorist training center under the guise of religious freedom. If the mayor and others would be willing to look into the mosque’s financial funding I believe that this would allay many peoples’ fears.

    I do understand that the people behind the building of the mosque has a right to be built according to civil law. But, as Charles Krauthammer pointed out, if zoning laws and aesthetics can trump one’s right to build why could the sensitivity to those families who had loved ones killed by a single act of war trump one’s right to build?

    As to the issue of this mosque being two blocks away from the primary ground zero site: Would you agree that wherever the planes hit or any of its part on 9/11 should be considered Ground Zero? If so, then so should the Burlington building since a part of the plane hit that building.

    I think this whole controversy could have been avoided if the NYC commission had shown some prudential judgment and declared the Burlingtion building as a historical landmark.

  • I agree that it wasn’t a good idea for the mosque/Islamic center to be built so close to Ground Zero. I see nothing wrong with encouraging them to build elsewhere. The $64,000 question, however, is whether or not the local government has a right to explicitly FORBID them to build at the site. That’s where the danger of setting a bad precedent comes in.

  • Elaine a ban on construction of new places of worship would be clearly unconstitutional and would not stand up in court longer than the time it takes a Chicago alderman to pocket a bribe. No one has been disputing the right of the Flim Flam Imam and his Cordoba Initiative (Dhimmis Always Welcome!) to build this Mosque, but whether it is right for them to do so. I am keenly aware of the frequent divergence of a legal right and a moral right. My opposition might well not exist if a local group of Muslims had wished to put up a Mosque for local worship. I think the Flim Flam Imam clearly has an agenda that has little to do with worshiping Allah, and quite a bit to do with furthering his Cordoba Initiative which has one message for gullible Western elites and another message for his backers in the Middle East.

  • I thought this post by Bob Murphy about the Glenn Beck rally today was a propos:

    Of course Mr. Beck and his fans have every legal right to hold a rally in front of the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech.

    Nonetheless, we are asking that they hold their rally a few blocks away, and on a different date. There are 364 other days in the year; what’s wrong with them?
    Now look, we know full well that Mr. Beck and his supporters claim that they are trying to heal racial division. Intellectually, we black Americans know that just because we have been brutalized by angry white conservative males for as long as we can remember, that doesn’t mean that all angry white conservative males pose a threat to our physical safety.

    But this isn’t about logic or rationality. This is about sensitivity to our feelings. Surely Mr. Beck can understand why a majority of American blacks wouldn’t appreciate him holding a rally on the anniversary of Dr. King’s famous speech. If he goes ahead with his plans, he won’t promote racial unity. So we ask him to hold the rally in a different place, on a different date.

  • Teresa – Did you seriously just say that Christians have not bombed or killed significant numbers of people? Check the stats on our current wars sometime.

  • As usual, Blackadder mistakes cuteness for substance. By now Blackadder is aware that the objections to the Mosque are not grounded in a general objection to anything at all being built near Ground Zero.

  • “Teresa – Did you seriously just say that Christians have not bombed or killed significant numbers of people? Check the stats on our current wars sometime.”

    Our wars being the equivalent of Bin Laden’s murder of 3,000 innocent men, women and children? Moral equivalency: the opiate of the politically correct.

  • While I agree with Donald that the proposed ban shouldn’t pass constitutional muster (there’s a case that states you can’t ban all forms of religious speech-I think it’s Rosenberger v. Rectors & Vistors of UVA), you are absolutely right in stating that the opposition to the mosque establishes a precedent that is far more dangerous to Catholics than to Muslims insofar as some are advocating legal means to interfere with the building of the mosque.

  • “I think the Flim Flam Imam clearly has an agenda that has little to do with worshiping Allah, and quite a bit to do with furthering his Cordoba Initiative which has one message for gullible Western elites and another message for his backers in the Middle East.”

    Donald, I agree.

    Blackadder,
    If Alveda King has no problem with the rally I don’t see why any other person, of any color black, white, red, brown etc., should have a problem with Beck and others honoring Martin Luther King Jr’s message of equality for all. Yeah, and if he didn’t do anything honoring Martin Luther King the Left would make accusations about no person caring about blacks and spreading King’s message, so Your “damned if you do, and damned if you don’t” according to liberalism.

    Martin,
    First, is that an admission that our nation is rooted in Christian values?

    Second, Did we really go to war as “Christians” or as a nation fighting against terrorism and for our nation’s national defense?

    Third, I didn’t know that a group of Christians not associated with the U.S. government went off on their own and specifically targeted a building or another location just to murder Iraqi inocents? I think your the person who is a little confused with reality, Martin.

    Fourth, Please name me one war in history that has had no civilian casualties?

  • I’m with Gen’l. (Vinegar) Joe Stillwell, “Don’t let the bastards wear you down.”

  • It isn’t even a matter of where the mosque is being built – replace the entire WTC site with the biggest mosque in the world, no problem – PROVIDED Islam changes its ways.

    I realize all the 1st Amendment issues involved here – but until I am no longer considered such subhuman filth that I cannot enter the precincts of Mecca, then I’m going to hold that Moslems must be curbed in what they do in the United States. Not stopped – not expelled; just carefully curtailed to ensure that everyone, especially in the Moslem world, knows that we have not lost our back bone.

    Tolerance does not mean going along happily with whatever someone wants to do – it is a two way street and it requires some compromise. We can easily tolerate a mosque in Manhattan – but we can’t tolerate it hard by Ground Zero…not now, and not until Islam changes its tune.

    Mark Noonan

  • Blackadder,

    I wonder if the author of that piece can find even a single black man brutalized by a conservative white man in the past 40 years.

  • We might just consider the possibility that these local pols want to limit the quantum of non-taxable property in that particular locality. Piggy, but unsurprising.

    It is not a novelty for houses of worship to face zoning tangles. Given the size of the metropolitan New York area, you will have to excuse me if I suggest that prohibiting the placement of a 13 story building of a particular character at a historic site of modest dimensions is a measure different in kind than prohibiting all construction of houses of worship in a given municipality.

    Martin:

    As far as I am aware, the Marine Corps does not have an icon of St. Michael on their weaponry and al-Qaeda does not do civil affairs projects.

  • Here’s my $64,000,000.03 question.

    If religious freedom/tolerance requires a $100 million mosque over the WTC site. How is religious liberty/tolerance served by denying the rebuild of THE Orthodox Church that THE muslim terrorists destroyed on 11 Sep 2001?

    AD:

    No! It’s much worse than that! USMC heroes wear (gasp) US flags on their uniforms.

    Re AQ civil affairs projects: They’re helping make Americans good. They believe the only good American is a dead American.

  • Lot of assumptions in this post; the assumption that the REAL motive folks have is fear of terrorism, and that they can’t possibly object for the reasons they give:

    zoning ordinances, claims of decreased property values, or claims of real or potential problems with traffic, noise, etc.

    Evidence for this claim? I know that the blog Beers with Demo did the research to show a pattern of harassment against a church in his area, but a blanket claim that 1) Mosques are being unusually opposed and 2) it is because of fears of terrorism is a claim that requires more than just a claim to be taken seriously.

    There’s also the issue of using charged terms inaccurately. NIMBY, while meaning “not in my back yard,” also implies that something is not opposed in general. (Example, opposing wind power generators in your area while promoting wind energy in general.)
    People who are worried about Islamic terror risings from Mosques are going to be bright enough to remember the home mosques of the 9/11 terrorists were far, far away, and would appose them in general, not just specific.

    Your notion of equivalence between “there shall be no non-profit organizational buildings in our district” and “no, you may not build a triumphalist religious center on the ruins created by said religion” is mind bending.

  • Martin-
    Go troll someplace else.

  • Wow. Far-ranging discussion.

    First, the First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The religion piece really has no bearing on the discussion over the Cordoba Mosque proposed for Ground Zero.

    How many mosques are there in Manhattan? About a hundred? Sounds like pretty free exercise of religion to me.

    Second: I challenge any black person who reads this blogs, or any black person who’s a friend of someone who reads this blog, to tell me the date of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. I had to memorize parts of it as a child (stand down, racialists: I’m Black). Never knew what day it was given; barely knew it was in August. Glenn Beck planned this rally (which I wish I had had time to attend)for the last Saturday in August. An lo and behold, what date did that happen to fall on? Why, August 28! August the 28th, which happened to be an anniversary of Dr. King’s speech!

    Why should a mosque be built at the site of a murder committed by people motivated by Islam? Why should a church of any type be built at the site of the murder of hundreds of thousands of Jewish people (and others, including Catholic Saints)? Why should the Japanese in Hawaii build a temple at the site of the sunken USS Arizona?

    Answer? None of them should. Because it’s disrespectful. Why is this so hard to grasp? And what does it tell those who truly hate us about whether we will truly resist them?

    It is not un-Christian to stand up for common politeness.

  • Gee, RR, why didn’t you link to this much more recent article on those idiots?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/08/nyregion/08hate.html

    Those morons were accused of racial hate crimes and seem to be gang related. Notably, not “conservative white men”– just idiot gang members. (is that redundant?)

  • What are you trying to prove by arguing that white people no longer attack black people? For one, it’s a sad, callous, and absurd battle to fight. Do you, like, remember this one time, in, like, 1992 in LA where, like, some white cops beat up this black guy named Rodney King? White on black violence occurs a lot, as does black on white, white on white, black on black, brown on black, brown on white, brown on brown, white on brown, black on brown, etc, etc, etc.

    Also, please STOP calling it a mosque. A mosque is specifically a Muslim holy place where only prayer can be conducted. This is a Muslim community center, similar to a YMCA. It will have a culinary school, basketball courts, etc. With a prayer room on one or two of the fifteen or so floors.

    I can think of Catholic terrorism pretty easily: the IRA. And that was specifically religio-nationalist.

    It is utterly absurd to demand that “Islam” renounce its terroristic ways before the community center is built, as Mr. Noonan said. A religion cannot change its ways. People can change their ways, but abstract nouns cannot. And the people behind this community center have no terroristic tendencies to modify. Furthermore, there is no central authority for Islam as there is for Catholicism. In fact, some radical sects of Muslims hate opposing Islamic sects more than they hate America. Like al-Qaeda. Bin Laden hates America not “for our freedoms” but because we prop up the (in his mind) heretical Saud monarchy in Arabia.

    Quite frankly, it’s astounding that a debate over a Muslim community center is occurring in 21st century America. As someone who would never have voted for George Bush, I will say that I am so grateful that he modeled Christ’s love to American Muslims by not targeting them after 9/11, as seems to be occurring now.

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  • I would like to ask everyone – Do you think that Islam can be a “moderate” religion? I am not saying Muslims cannot be moderates, but can the religion itself really ever be considered moderate since it follows Sharia law?

    If Sharia law is one of the precepts of Islam then why wouldn’t Sharia law fall under the guise of religious freedom and challenge the constitution in several capacities and force all of us citizens to respect and follow Sharia as well? Is Sharia law and the Constitution really compatible?

    If those who believe in the “letter of the Constitution” instead of the “spirit of the Constitution” with regards to religious freedom truly believe that religious freedom is absolute without taking into account our national security interests (as it seems to me) how could one deny Muslims the “right” to follow their “moderate” religion that includes Sharia Law which would also impose Sharia Laws on the non-Muslim citizens when that clearly clashes with our Constitution?

    You might want to look at a some things that Sharia law demands:

    1 – Jihad defined as “to war against non-Muslims to establish the religion” is the duty of every Muslim and Muslim head of state (Caliph). Muslim Caliphs who refuse jihad are in violation of Sharia and unfit to rule.

    2 – A Caliph can hold office through seizure of power meaning through force.

    3 – A Caliph is exempt from being charged with serious crimes such as murder, adultery, robbery, theft, drinking and in some cases of rape.

    4 – A percentage of Zakat (alms) must go towards jihad.

    5 – It is obligatory to obey the commands of the Caliph, even if he is unjust.

    6 – A caliph must be a Muslim, a non-slave and a male.

    7 – The Muslim public must remove the Caliph in one case, if he rejects Islam.

    8 – A Muslim who leaves Islam must be killed immediately.

    9 – A Muslim will be forgiven for murder of: 1) an apostasy 2) an adulterer 3) a highway robber. Making vigilante street justice and honor killing acceptable.

    10 – A Muslim will not get the death penalty if he kills a non-Muslim.

    11- Sharia never abolished slavery and sexual slavery and highly regulates it. A master will not be punished for killing his slave.

    12 – Sharia dictates death by stoning, beheading, amputation of limbs, flogging and other forms of cruel and unusual punishments even for crimes of sin such as adultery.

    13 – Non-Muslims are not equal to Muslims and must comply to Sharia if they are to remain safe. They are forbidden to marry Muslim women, publicly display wine or pork, recite their scriptures or openly celebrate their religious holidays or funerals. They are forbidden from building new churches or building them higher than mosques. They may not enter a mosque without permission. A non-Muslim is no longer protected if he commits adultery with a Muslim woman or if he leads a Muslim away from Islam.

    14 – It is a crime for a non-Muslim to sell weapons to someone who will use them against Muslims. Non-Muslims cannot curse a Muslim, say anything derogatory about Allah, the Prophet, or Islam, or expose the weak points of Muslims. However, the opposite is not true for Muslims.

    15 – A non-Muslim cannot inherit from a Muslim.

    16 – Banks must be Sharia compliant and interest is not allowed.

    17 – No testimony in court is acceptable from people of low-level jobs, such as street sweepers or a bathhouse attendant. Women in such low-level jobs such as professional funeral mourners cannot keep custody of their children in case of divorce.

    18 – A non-Muslim cannot rule even over a non-Muslims minority.

    19 – H***sexuality is punishable by death.

    20 – There is no age limit for marriage of girls under Sharia. The marriage contract can take place any time after birth and consummated at age 8 or 9.

    21 – Rebelliousness on the part of the wife nullifies the husband’s obligation to support her, gives him permission to beat her and keep her from leaving the home.

    22 – Divorce is only in the hands of the husband and is as easy as saying: “I divorce you” and becomes effective even if the husband did not intend it.

    23 – There is no community property between husband and wife and the husband’s property does not automatically go to the wife after his death.

    24 – A woman inherits half what a man inherits.

    25- A man has the right to have up to 4 wives and she has no right to divorce him even if he is polygamous.

    26- The dowry is given in exchange for the woman’s sexual organs.

    27 – A man is allowed to have sex with slave women and women captured in battle, and if the enslaved woman is married her marriage is annulled.

    28 – The testimony of a woman in court is half the value of a man.

    29- A woman loses custody if she remarries.

    30- To prove rape, a woman must have 4 male witnesses.

    31 – A rapist may only be required to pay the bride-money (dowry) without marrying the rape victim.

    32 – A Muslim woman must cover every inch of her body which is considered “Awrah,” a sexual organ. Some schools of Sharia allow the face and some don’t.

    33 – A Muslim man is forgiven if he kills his wife caught in the act of adultery. However, the opposite is not true for women since he “could be married to the woman he was caught with.”

    The above are clear-cut laws in Islam decided by great Imams after years of examination and interpretation of the Quran, Hadith and Mohammed’s life. Now let the learned Imam Rauf tell us what part of the above is compliant with the US constitution?

  • Ryan-
    who are you talking to?
    NO ONE was talking about “whites never attack blacks”. Blackadder posted a quote of someone claiming that “angry white conservative males” have been brutalizing blacks for “as long as they can remember,” and someone else challenged him to find a single case of a white conservative assaulting a black person. RR then posted an article that implied but did not claim anti-Dem motives, and which five minutes of research showed to just be gang idiots.

    Secondly, go yell at the Cordoba House proponents, and even the initiative itself; half the time, they call it a mosque. (Generally when they want to drum up the religion side of it; when it’s more flattering to emphasize the “community center” side, it becomes a building that includes a mosque.)

    If the reading comprehension and careful consideration of the argument you’ve shown in this post is standard for you, no wonder you can’t see how this is a topic for valid debate. Straw men with only a nodding acquaintance to the topic aren’t very good aids to understanding.

    A wise lady once told me that if you can’t argue the other side of something, you have no business arguing your own side because you clearly don’t know enough about the topic. I try to keep it in mind, maybe you should try it?

  • In response to jihad etc…

    I am not sure where you are getting your information on what jihad and sharia is….but you have incorrect information. Jihad and sharia is much more complex then what you have stated. As I have reserached this extensively I will just point out very plainly and in layman terms what jihad is. Jihad means “struggle”.
    More commonly known in the Muslim world as an internal spiritual struggle to be better and serve God. It can also mean warfare where one needs to defend themselves when attacked- so it has two meanings to it. There are a lot of inaccuracies in your e-mail and I do not have time to go over them now…but one just to correct one is that bride money is not given for sexual organs. Bride money is called “mehr” and it is an obligatory gift that the groom must give his wife so that she is not left with nothing if he decides to leave her. It is the right of a woman and not a man. Actually in researching Muslims I found that there are a lot of similaries to Catholicism…and then there were differences as well. An interesting bit of information I came across was “Marriage helps men and women to develop along natural lines and head towards development and success through mutual co-operation. Marriage prevents immorality licentiousness and irresponsibility. The spouses in marriage agree to share rights and responsibilities to develop a happy family”….doesn’t that sound like something Catholics believe in as well? What happened on 9/11 was plain WRONG. I have friends who are Muslims and they beleive it is wrong…they say that the people who did this are crazy. So I have to think before I judge anyone and encourage you to do the same.

  • Sandy-
    please do not misrepresent your study, which seems to have been of the more modern and mild forms of Islam, as representative of Islam in general.

    Also, your definition of “mehr” is incorrect, (In Canada, it often functions like a pre-nup– often enough that a basic google will bring up a LOT of legal help boards.) as is your characterization of Jihaad.
    (links to understanding-Islam.com, which is affiliated with Al-Mawrid Islamic Research foundation out of Pakistan.)

  • Foxfier, white conservatives can’t be in gangs?

  • RR,

    Gangs are color neutral, but I’m having a hard time picturing how a conservative could be in a gang since gang life and activities run counter to conservative values. My guess is that you’re perhaps angling toward skinheads because the media like to call them conservatives. However, conservatives have about as much appreciation for neo-nazis as they do racist gangs/parties typically associated with the left, which is to say none.

  • “Gang life and activities run counter to conservative values”

    Well, it goes without saying that violence, vandalism, drug use, other criminal activity, and intimidation of non-members go against conservative values (and probably even the values of most moderates and liberals I know).

    But, isn’t it true that gang membership, especially among urban teens, basically takes the place of the families they don’t have — giving them a structure, culture and sense of belonging that they don’t get from absent or incarcerated or unknown fathers, mothers who change boyfriends as often as they change clothes, being shuffled from one relative to another, etc.?

    So in that sense, gang membership does express (albeit in a perverted or distorted fashion) one very important “conservative” value: the absolute primacy of the family as the basic unit of society, and the consequences that result when it is undermined or destroyed.

  • I can think of Catholic terrorism pretty easily: the IRA. And that was specifically religio-nationalist.

    True to some extent. But it wasn’t expansionist.

  • Actually I think in a number of areas there are limits on, if not the building of churches, at least the size of churches. Where I once lived this limit made it impractical to build a Catholic Church as the size limit was too small for what was required to meet the needs of the Catholic population without building multiple small churches. Those restrictions were placed in the 90’s as I recall. No big First Ammendment concerns have been raised. Perhaps they should.

  • Mary Margaret Cannon,

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

    Until recently, WordPress.com did not allow this function (WordPress.org does I believe).

    But today I noticed this option was now available and I have just finished adding this particular function.

    Enjoy!

  • Hey, why not make a page, too? You can set it up to autopublish your blog with the “notes” feed, or us
    e http://apps.facebook.com/blognetworks/newuser1.php

  • Foxfier,

    We have ‘something’ on Facebook, not sure what.

    I’m going to investigate and get this set-up/streamlined for greater social-networking-optimization (SNO).

  • Scott Gentries might want to take a look at this:

  • …Might strike home if the primary arguments weren’t specifically related to the history and culture of Islam, Ryan.

    Fail.

  • RL, if conservatives can’t be in gangs by definition then sure there are no white conservatives in gangs. There are no Catholics in gangs either then.

  • i would like to point out that the proposal only bars new buildings, and not changing the use to of already constructed ones. the mosque near to us was once a church, a church was previously a synagogue, and the nigerian christian group uses a clothing warehouse.

  • Teresa, half of what you said is inaccurate / disinformation. if the USA followed the other half, maybe they wont have millions of inmates that the taxpayer has to support.

  • I would just like to point out a couple of things that are on point:

    1. It’s not a mosque. It’s a community center, and you can read here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/08/opinion/08mosque.html?_r=1&src=tptw the words of the chairman of the project, stating that one of the many goals of it is to include prayer centers for those of Christian and Jewish faiths in hopes that this will strengthen interfaith relations.

    2. I’m not usually a fan of Charlie Brooker, but he hit one point straight on the head when he said that being a 2 minute walk and around the corner is not at all the same thing as being AT the same location. He said something like, he’s used a bathroom 2 minutes away from Buckingham Palace, and has yet to be arrested for defecating on the Queen’s pillow. We’re talking about Manhattan, and if you’ve ever been there, it’s a crowded place. How close is too close, exactly?

    3. To the person who said Catholic/Christian extremists haven’t bombed or killed significant numbers of people in recent years, I ask: Have you ever heard of the Irish Republican Army? Visit Belfast or Glasgow sometime and ask around – just… be careful in which neighborhood you ask and what colors you’re wearing when you do.

  • 4. On the topic of how Muslim women are clothed, ask yourself if you’ve ever questioned the chaste garb (and lifestyle, for that matter) of nuns and priests. I bet you just take it as a matter of course, because it’s what you’re used to. Of course, there is spousal abuse and other unsavory activity that goes on among members of the Islamic faith, but again, look closer to home. Surely you cannot insist that no Catholic or Christian has ever abused another human being.

  • Brian,

    Strawman.

    The IRA is a nationalist organization. To be more accurate, they are a violent Marxist nationalist organization looking to impose communism under the guise of being “Irish” and “Catholic”.

    Being Catholic has nothing to do with it.

    They don’t espouse anything Christian AT ALL.

    You’ve never heard them saying they are dying in the name of Jesus. Only in the name of Ireland.

    You need to do better than that to espouse your anti-Christian bigotry around here.

  • Brian,

    Again your bias is grossly revealing itself.

    Religious wear their clericals as a choice, not in being imposed.

    Whilst on the other hand Muslims force women to wear burkas, regardless of their religiosity.

  • Brian, you’re exposing your ignorance or willful blindness– the folks building it called it a mosque until their PR guys realized that was not so good. They also called it the Cordoba House, until word got around what that indicated, especially with the 9/11/11 opening date.

    Also, you’re pointing to an opinion piece in the NY Times. Not exactly hard, unbiased facts– I notice you didn’t bother to do the research Powerline did about another time that “chairman” spoke in the NYTimes.

    As Teresa pointed out above, a building destroyed by chunks of the plane on 9/11 is part of ground zero.

Rank and File Conservatives & The Conservative Intelligentsia United In Outrage Over Mosque Near Ground Zero, Not So With Same-Sex Marriage

Sunday, August 15, AD 2010

The proposed mosque set to be built near Ground Zero, site of the September 11, 2001 attacks has brought a sweeping condemnation from both rank and file conservatives and the Conservative Intelligentsia. Now that President Barack Obama has weighed in the matter, seemingly supporting the effort, one can only imagine how this will be used in the fall elections. However, a rift has appeared to have been opened concerning the views of the rank and file conservatives and the Conservative Intelligentsia following the ruling of Judge Vaughn Walker over same-sex marriage. Many of the conservative intelligentsia, along with the establishment wing of the Republican Party has either been silent or voiced the view that the wished the whole gay marriage issue would simply go away. This has led to bewilderment from some conservative voices.

The best Catholic tie in with the efforts to build a mosque on Ground Zero came from the famed conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer, who is Jewish. In his opposition to the mosque being built near Ground Zero, he correctly pointed out that Pope John Paul II ordered Carmelite nuns, who were living right next to Auschwitz, to move closer to a nearby town, since the site had become a rallying point for Jewish identity. Krauthammer correctly pointed out that Christians had been murdered there too and the nuns were doing the heroic deed of praying for the souls of those who were viciously murdered. However, Krauthammer pointed out that the late Polish pontiff felt that it created the wrong perception.

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27 Responses to Rank and File Conservatives & The Conservative Intelligentsia United In Outrage Over Mosque Near Ground Zero, Not So With Same-Sex Marriage

  • Which members of the conservative intelligentsia who aren’t also rank and file Republicans, have expressed opposition to the mosque?

  • There are plenty of natural law and non-religious arguments against homosexuality. It is not a natural co-equal with heterosexuality. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Men and woman are complementary, not only physically, but emotionally and psychologically.

    Homosexuals have significantly higher levels of: mental health problems, psychological disorders such as suicide and depression, sexual addiction and coercion, promiscuity, STDs, violence, and addictions of all kinds including alcoholism and drug abuse.

    Almost every society, primitive and complex, has had laws and taboos against homosexuality. This isn’t just a Christian thing. There will always be a visceral reaction to homosexuality because it goes to the very heart of the survival of our species.

    Where homosexuality occurs in the animal world, it is primarily a temporary condition, and when the opportunity presents itself, animals will copulate heterosexually.

    Two-parent heterosexual families, despite the exceptions, are proven over history, across cultures, as the better way for healthy child development. Healthy children produce healthy societies.

    It’s time, in my opinion, for a Constitutional amendment that establishes once and for all that marriage is between one man and one woman. Then we can put this issue to bed.

  • I was rather hoping you would offer some analysis as to WHY so many self-described conservatives are backing away from the defense of traditional marriage. I suppose it is because Americans of all stripes have internalized the notion that it is “mean” to express “intolerance” toward homosexuality. Genuine intolerance, however, including intolerance toward Catholics, remains quite socially acceptable.

  • discarding Western Civilization’s definition of marriage (2,000+ years) is simply a non starter.

    As pointed out above, it’s not just Western Civ’s definition, it has been humanity’s definition since recorded history, and likely pre-dates that as well. try more like 5,000+ years.

  • From what I can tell, those members of the conservative “intelligencia” who aren’t members of Fox & Friends or proprieters of talk radio shows have mostly remained in favor of religious freedom — as they should.

  • Try on this one, Bunky:

    “Rank and file liberal catholics and the liberal catholic intelligentsia united in outrage over tax cuts for the rich, not so with abortion.”

  • I was rather hoping you would offer some analysis as to WHY so many self-described conservatives are backing away from the defense of traditional marriage.

    I suspect you usually could not do this without making evaluations of their personal disposition and conduct, as in noting that some folk appear other-directed by default (Ross Douthat, Rod Dreher) or have been married four times (Theodore Olson), or make use of the self-description ‘conservative’ to obfuscate (Conor Friedersdorf).

    Someone on the payroll of The American Conservative or the Rockford Institute can likely also supply a dismissive commentary to the effect that those resisting this burlesque have neglected some deeper cultural deficiency which these resisters are too shallow to detect and about which we can do nothing in any case.

  • “Rank and file liberal catholics and the liberal catholic intelligentsia united in outrage over tax cuts for the rich, not so with abortion.”

    Fits alright.

  • Homosexuals have significantly higher levels of: mental health problems, psychological disorders such as suicide and depression, sexual addiction and coercion, promiscuity, STDs, violence, and addictions of all kinds including alcoholism and drug abuse.

    Same can be said of blacks. I don’t find that a convincing argument. If you’re going to oppose gay marriage on secular grounds, I think you have to rest on the procreation argument.

  • I’d postulate that people don’t feel as threatened by gay marriage as they are by Islam. Homosexuals never killed 3000 people in my backyard.

  • Tide turning towards Catholicism? Just today I read a credible report saying that in the last 10+ Catholic marriages have decreased. One point of view is that the religion is too strict and another is that it is not needed with modern thinking. I just had a conversation with a liberal who said life is a pendulum goes from one extreme to the other finding it’s way in the middle. I do not believe this that societies do go by the wayside, that they undo themselves, with no virtue to survive pop trends.

  • I don’t find that a convincing argument. If you’re going to oppose gay marriage on secular grounds, I think you have to rest on the procreation argument.

    Why don’t you try making the case FOR it? Start with an explanation of why male friendships which do not incorporate sodomy as part of their daily practice should received less recognition than those which do.

  • Art Deco, I don’t know why you want me to make the case for it but you asked so I’ll try.

    The closer the relationship, the greater the rights and responsibilities between them are. If we want to legally protect expectation interests, we will want to recognize intimately committed couples in ways that we don’t recognize mere friendships. We may also want to legally recognize friendships but that’s not at issue here.

  • RR,

    We have an association that is sterile and undertaken in a social matrix where sexual activity is treated as fun-n-games. Why should this be honored? Why is it deemed ‘closer’ than the fraternity that bound my father to the man who was his dearest friend for 48 of his 51 years? What are ‘expectation interests’? Why do you want to protect them?

    My question was rhetorical. The gay lobby wants this as a gesture of deference. The only reason to give it to them is that they will be put out by refusal. Lots of people do not get their way, and public policy is enough of a zero sum game that that is inevitable. For some, it is incorporated into their amour-propre to regard some clamoring constituencies as composed of those who are So Very Special. Then there’s the rest of thus, who are not so well represented in the appellate judiciary.

  • AD,

    We have an association that is sterile and undertaken in a social matrix where sexual activity is treated as fun-n-games. Why should this be honored?

    It shouldn’t.

    Why is it deemed ‘closer’ than the fraternity that bound my father to the man who was his dearest friend for 48 of his 51 years? What are ‘expectation interests’? Why do you want to protect them?

    I assume your father and his friend didn’t rely on each other for financial support. When people form an association with the mutual expectation that they take on certain duties, it would be unjust to allow one party to escape their duties at the expense of the other(s). It’s why we enforce contracts. If your father and his friend did have such an arrangement, it should be enforced.

  • I’d postulate that people don’t feel as threatened by gay marriage as they are by Islam. Homosexuals never killed 3000 people in my backyard.

    Neither have illegal immigrants, but that hasn’t stopped an upsurge in hostility and resentment towards them as a group.

  • Pope John Paul II ordered Carmelite nuns, who were living right next to Auschwitz, to move closer to a nearby town, since the site had become a rallying point for Jewish identity. Krauthammer correctly pointed out that Christians had been murdered there too and the nuns were doing the heroic deed of praying for the souls of those who were viciously murdered. However, Krauthammer pointed out that the late Polish pontiff felt that it created the wrong perception.

    Nobody would object if those wanting to building the mosque volunteered to build it elsewhere. But who is the more honorable person? The Jew who welcomed the Carmelites or the Jew who told them to go somewhere else?

  • Neither have illegal immigrants, but that hasn’t stopped an upsurge in hostility and resentment towards them as a group.

    They ignored the law and act to frustrate lawfully constituted immigration policy. Can we have a wee bit o’ antagonism, pretty please?

  • I assume your father and his friend didn’t rely on each other for financial support.

    I cannot say if they borrowed money from each other or not. Ordinarily, working aged men are expected to be self-supporting if not disabled.

    When people form an association with the mutual expectation that they take on certain duties,

    Human relations are not commercial transactions and the law does not ordinarily enforce amorphous and unwritten ‘expectations’ that someone else is going to pay your rent.

    Right now, RR, I am pricing insurance policies. I was offered (unbidden) discount rates by the agent if I was in some sort of ‘committed relationship’ with some other dude. Uh, no, nothing like that Chez Deco, ever. I inquired about purchases for my sister. No discount offers there.

    Maybe sis and I can manufacture an ‘expectations interest’ and get you and Judge Walker to work on our problem.

  • And if it is written?

    Are you opposed to insurance discounts for spouses or for discounts for siblings?

  • Pingback: If Liberals Lose Big In This Fall’s Election, The Professiona Left Will Mock The Religious Faithful « The American Catholic
  • This article has a lot of interesting points. However, it rambles all over the place. The essay would have been easier to understand if it was broken up into three mini essays.

    There’s no intrinsic connection between the Cordoba Mosque, homosexuality, and same-sex marriage. Why lament that some conservatives have an opinion on one topic but not the other? You might (rightfully) argue that the establishment of a mosque near Ground Zero does not carry even a tenth of the socio-moral import of same sex marriage. But the logical independence of the two questions renders party lockstep on the two issues irrelevant. Let the GOP/right/conservative rank and file make up their own minds about the relationship between these two variables.

    Gratuitous aside: I know that you and other faithful/orthodox Catholic bloggers must boost reparative therapy. To not do so would negatively impact one’s orthodox Catholic street cred. Still, one can be a faithful Catholic, live morally, and not support COURAGE. Indeed, I found the meetings emotionally intrusive and psychologically manipulative. I wish that the Catholic orthodox/conservative/right would think twice before lavishing praise on an organization and therapeutic model that at the very least has emotionally troubled some participants. Sing your praises only after attending a meeting or two.

  • Sorta Catholic, the beauty of writing an article for a blog or newspaper column is that you have the freedom to write it as you see fit. Perhaps, some would like shorter columns, while others may favor longer columns, the choice is up to the writer.

    As for Courage, the group’s spiritual mentor is Father Benedict Groeschel, his credentials are certainly good enough for me. Perhaps, the meeting you attended was not run properly. I can only tell you that the group is trying to impart the Church’s teachings in a world that has become enamored with self, and not with faith.

    As for orthodox-minded street cred, we aren’t trying to impress anyone only help spread the message of Christ through His Church. We have divergent opinions on a variety of topics, but yet we fall under the same umbrella of supporting the Church’s teachings. The longer you submit to the will of God, the more you realize the wisdom of the 2,000 year old Catholic Church. It really does make you a more content indiviudal, free from the whims of the modern world. Take care!

  • It is a shame that the likes of Beck, Coulter and Limbaugh would let their libertarian views get the best of them when it comes to SSM. Divorcing that from their preaching for conservative values is not the charitable thing to do when the eternal salvation of those who engage in homosexual acts is at stake. Frankly, by doing so, they are committing the grievous sin of omission. A priest in Texas recently made that point clear when he said that Catholics have a moral duty to oppose abortion and SSM.

  • By the way, one of my favorite journalists, WorldNetDaily’s founder Joseph Farah, hits the nail on the head of this issue in offering his take on why some conservatives are “capitulating” to the gay agenda pushers: http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=192761

  • Hi Dave,

    A person that bases his or her judgement of an organization on the perceived reputation of a founder/leader/mentor in that organization commits the logical fallacy of “appeal to authority”. Now, Fr. Groschel is an upstanding authority. I respect him as a religious leader even if I do not agree with many of his points. Even so, the absolute metric for any organization is its ideology/methodology. Perhaps you’ve provided a rigorous defense of reparative therapy elsewhere on your website. If so, point me there. Otherwise, an appeal to authority without prior analysis of an institution’s ideology or methodology is rather insubstantial.

    Appeals to authority or subjective statements such as “X is trying to impart the Church’s teachings […]” sometimes hide insufficient research. Also, “orthodoxy” (i.e. strict adherence to a religion’s dogma/doctrine) does not guarantee the success or failure of a particular therapy.

  • Hi SortaCatholic, I hope your day is going well. I must say that I find these sorts of exchanges very interesting. I don’t believe my “Appeal to Authority,” is some sort of man made or earthly authority. You see I have worked for the Church in a number of capacities. I have seen the good, bad and the ugly. There is some great people who work for the Church and some really inept ones. I have always felt with all of these inept folks, the Church would have to be who she says she is to have survived 2,000 years!

    Perhaps someone at Courage might come across this and answer some of your questions. I do know that God does help us and prayer does work, but rarely in the sort of miraculous way in which we would like it to happen. God sorts and sifts us. We all have our own sets of problems, blessings, gifts, talents and struggles. I have always found Christ’s words of seek and you shall find, knock and you will be heard to be very true (Matthew 7:7-11.) In addition, I have always found this Scripture reading from Hebrews about God showing us the way through trial and struggle very revealing in my own life (Hebrews 12:5-12.) Take care!

On Media and Mosques at Ground Zero

Saturday, August 14, AD 2010

One of the interesting (by which I mean dull, predictable and repetitive) aspects of the 24 hour news cycle is that all forms of media have incentives to magnify and actively seek out controversy. Not only does this increase ratings/page views/newspaper sales, it provides media outlets with something – anything in a slow news month – to talk about. I can’t help but feel that the recent outburst of commentary about the construction of a mosque near the site of the 9/11 attacks is the type of story designed to increase media consumption and accomplish little else. The First Amendment is not in dispute here; freedom of religion is well established and protected by settled case law. Furthermore, the proposed mosque is to be constructed on private property, and there is no legal reason to challenge its construction. And so most of the discussion revolves (and frequently devolves) around taste and symbolism.

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44 Responses to On Media and Mosques at Ground Zero

  • I take your point about media generated controversies, but I’m not sure I’d place the mosque controversies at least entirely in that category. I find the following aspects of this controversy to be very remarkable and worthy of reflection:

    1. The legal right of Muslims to build houses of worship has been called into question.

    2. Islamic terrorists are being conflated with all Muslims.

    3. It’s being proposed that Islam really isn’t a religion.

    I really see our country at a crossroads right now. The increased presence of Muslims challenges our national narratives (e.g., we’re a Christian nation) and the extent to which we value are willing to extend religious liberty. This controversy is forcing us to ask ourselves who we are, and that question is as serious as anything.

  • I suppose, in turn, I take your point Kyle. There are important issues connected to the controversy (although points 1 and 3 strike me as rather fringish, self-marginalizing ideas). I think it is a matter for serious concern that so many voices on the right have picked this particular battle. At the same time, I do not see why it is a national, rather than a local, issue. There is no legal basis for challenging the mosque’s construction, and there is virtually no chance of that changing in the near future (barring a cataclysmic series of events). I am glad that liberals have stated these truths and criticized the over-heated rhetoric from the right, but I still see this more as a controversy-of-the-day, rather than a matter of significant national import.

  • John Henry,

    There are a lot of things I can say about your perspective, and few of them would be very flattering. I’ll limit myself to this: as a Catholic, you ought to have a better understanding and appreciation of the symbolic. To dismiss the importance of symbolism in the manner you have seems rather crudely materialistic to me. Symbols are generally representations of real things.

    “there is little reason for anyone else aside from the families of the victims of 9/11 or residents of that area of New York to comment”

    And yet here we are, in a free society, in which people don’t need reasons deemed acceptable by others to engage in public discourse. Don’t let it burn you up too much 🙂

    Kyle,

    “1. The legal right of Muslims to build houses of worship has been called into question.”

    It has not. And someone ought to question the wisdom of the builders.

    Moreover, people have a right to make legal challenges if they like. It doesn’t mean they will succeed, and they may even be charged with the court cost if their case turns out to be frivolous.

    Finally, some suspect that the mosque is funded by a man with ties to terrorism.

    “2. Islamic terrorists are being conflated with all Muslims.”

    No, I think it is more accurate to say that Islamic terrorists are being portrayed as consistent Muslims, while the “moderate” Muslim is being portrayed as inconsistent, given the clear teachings of the Koran on the relations between Muslims and infidels. You won’t find anything like that in the New Testament.

    “3. It’s being proposed that Islam really isn’t a religion.”

    Yes, I don’t see the point in that. It isn’t a religion like others, to be sure, but in the West we tend to think of religion as something different (though not entirely unrelated) from politics, and from science, a legacy we can thank the Church for. These distinctions are what enabled Western society to advance far beyond others, I believe.

    Then again, I believe communism is a religion, just a secular one. Environmentalism is also fast becoming a religion, neo-pagan for some, secular for others.

    “challenges our national narratives (e.g., we’re a Christian nation)”

    We are a Christian nation, if for no other reason than that the majority of Americans are Christians. If you mean in the substance of our policies, well they rest upon a Christian legacy anyway.

    In Lebanon, Islam “challenged the national narrative” of a Christian nation by repeatedly attempting to slaughter all of the Christians. Only God and the impenetrability of the mountains of Northern Lebanon saved them from that fate.

    Now I’m not saying that the Muslims who live here now either desire such a thing for the United States, or that they could do it if they did. I do wonder however how the picture will change if/when they become 20% of the population or more. This isn’t an observation limited to Islam either: ANY group with ANY ideas will seek to impose them more and more as their numbers grow. That’s just rational human political behavior, it is universal.

    Perhaps looking at Europe’s experience we would be wise to take certain precautions sooner, rather than later.

  • To dismiss the importance of symbolism in the manner you have seems rather crudely materialistic to me. Symbols are generally representations of real things.

    Symbols can be important, but they can also be ambiguous or frivolous. I wasn’t categorically rejecting arguments about symbolism; just saying that this particular one wasn’t particularly fruitful given that there are very few repercussions for public policy.

    And yet here we are, in a free society, in which people don’t need reasons deemed acceptable by others to engage in public discourse. Don’t let it burn you up too much

    This is silly, Joe. Saying that I don’t think a particular controversy is very valuable is hardly the same as saying I am upset that people are free to have it. I’m consistently on the side of freedom here – whether it be of religion or speech.

  • A commenter on a friend’s facebook page remarks that Muslims have the right to practice their religion in their own countries, but not in ours. I’d say that qualifies as denying the religious freedom of Muslims in the U.S. Teresamerica asserts that the sensitivity of the 9/11 families is grounds to refuse the building of the “ground zero” mosque. She’s not just questioning the wisdom of the building planners, but their legal right to build in that location. I can also point to the opposition the president has received in response to his statement that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as we all have. As for lawsuits: Exhibit A.

  • Cordova House: Why don’t we start a $100,000,000 fund to build a cathedral dedicated to St. Perfecto, a Spanish martyr murdered for the faith in Cordova during the 700 years the mass murderers held Spain?

    You geniuses will see how this plays out in November.

    Meanwhile, you will see a representative sample of 80% of US at 2PM on 11 September.

    You insensitive America-hating geniuses . . .

    Practicing their religion . . . flying large airplanes into tall buildings.

  • Regarding jihad, Adams states in his essay series,

    “…he [Muhammad] declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind…The precept of the Koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God.”

    Confirming Adams’ assessment, the late Muslim scholar, Professor Majid Khadduri, wrote the following in his authoritative 1955 treatise on jihad, War and Peace in the Law of Islam :

    “Thus the jihad may be regarded as Islam’s instrument for carrying out its ultimate objective by turning all people into believers, if not in the prophethood of Muhammad (as in the case of the dhimmis), at least in the belief of God. The Prophet Muhammad is reported to have declared ‘some of my people will continue to fight victoriously for the sake of the truth until the last one of them will combat the anti-Christ’. Until that moment is reached the jihad, in one form or another will remain as a permanent obligation upon the entire Muslim community. It follows that the existence of a dar al-harb is ultimately outlawed under the Islamic jural order; that the dar al-Islam permanently under jihad obligation until the dar al-harb is reduced to non-existence; and that any community accepting certain disabilities- must submit to Islamic rule and reside in the dar al-Islam or be bound as clients to the Muslim community. The universality of Islam, in its all embracing creed, is imposed on the believers as a continuous process of warfare, psychological and political if not strictly military.”3

  • Kyle,

    Well, frankly, the cited examples all strike me as fairly marginal views. Your Facebook friend isn’t in favor of the First Amendment (and likely hasn’t really thought much about the history of Catholics in the United States); Teresaamerica is proposing manipulation of a city zoning requirement protecting landmarks to prevent the construction of the mosque, which is a rather startling example of using a facially neutral requirement for discriminatory purposes. As to lawsuits, they are unlikely to make it past summary judgment, if they even make it that far. As I said, there are important questions connected with this controversy, but for the most part these conversations involve issues more significant than – and distinct from – whether or not New York has another mosque.

    I should add, though, that I appreciate you taking the time to provide examples. It may be that I’m wrong about the significance of this particular controversy, or have chosen a poor example to illustrate the point I was trying to make.

  • T. Shaw – the purpose of this thread is not to debate the place of jihad within Islam; please try to provide comments that relate more directly to the topic of the post.

  • Right.

    “Taste”: I would use “sensitivity” or “sensibilities.” I know where your “head” is on this.

    Of course, the media actively magnified the immaterial, tragic events of 11 September 2001 (the boring History Channel mini-series they air each September need to cease and desist, too), so widows and other survivors have their evil bowels in an uproar over the religion of peace building a pacifist training camp two blocks away from where their little eichmann’s got it for liberating Kuwait from Saudi Arabian bases and supporting Israel.

  • “Muslims have the right to practice their religion in their own countries, but not in ours. I’d say that qualifies as denying the religious freedom of Muslims in the U.S.”

    This is one of the most laughable statements posted here in quite some time.

    All over the Muslim world, Muslims are denied the right to practice as they see fit. No whirling Dervishes if you are in Saudi Arabia. Want to wear a burqa in Turkey? Have fun in jail. Surely the hundreds of thousands of Muslims arrested each year on charges of “crimes against Islam” reveal the claim as absurd?

    And, with regards to Muslims not being able to practice in the US, what could your Facebook friend POSSIBLY mean by THAT allegation? Is she suggesting that opposing the building of a mosque at Ground Zero represents an absolute bar to the practicing of Islam in New York City or the United States as a whole? If so, she has lost her furry little mind.

    Whether one agrees or disagrees with opposing the building of Cordoba House at Ground Zero, we shouldn’t jump on the victimized bandwagon just yet. Lets face it, Cordoba House isn’t the first mosque to be built to praise Allah for a great victory… The Blue Mosque in Constantinople is.

  • John,

    “I wasn’t categorically rejecting arguments about symbolism”

    That wasn’t very clear originally. I thank you for the clarification.

    Kyle,

    Your link is just a link to people who want to stop the construction of one mosque. That is a far cry from arguing that “Muslims don’t have a right to practice their religion.”

    You know, we deny a lot of different religious groups the right to certain practices. We prosecute Christian “scientists” who refuse to give their children medicine when they are sick, for instance. So this idea of absolute religious freedom is as detached from history and reality as those who proclaim an absolute right to free speech. I don’t claim that there are grounds at the moment to deny certain aspects of Islam, but they could well arise at some point.

    My compromise would be this: today, right now, before 10% of our population is Muslim, we pass state or even federal constitutional amendments forever barring the implementation of Sharia law at any level. We make resolutions to avoid what has happened in Europe and some of the commonwealth countries, in which “culture” or “religion” has been used in courts of law to defend honor killers and rapists. We subject Islam to the same scrutiny that Christianity is subjected to in the public school system, and we stop these ridiculous charades in which children are forced to act like Muslims for a week as part of “cultural awareness.” It’s absurd.

  • G-Veg, I think your comment reflects a misunderstanding. Kyle’s FB friend was expressing their view of what should be rather than what is. Obviously, there are a lot of problems with his friend’s desired state of affairs and that (fortunately) is not currently the state of things in the U.S.

  • The constant invocation of Cordoba itself reeks of mealy-mouting of Catholics and the Christian faith in general. The legends of Al-Andalus and the alleged tolerance of Muslims for other religions have been amplified beyond caricature by Jews who couldn’t forgive Catholics for the expulsions and fabulists such as Borges and Fuentas who projected their fantasies onto a mideaval past. The strange thing is, Muslims themselves never cared for the comity of Cordoba, one can hardly find references to that aspect in their earlier writings; bin Laden wasn’t rueing for the Cordoba of fantastic memory. The remaking of Cordoba into some kind of wonderland was the work of (a few) Jews, thus it is no surprise that Bloomberg is taken in. I look forward to the day when the very same boosters, complain when some Sheikh or other compares Jews to monkeys at Cordoba House.

  • Pauli’s link makes my point in an indirect way. What was the need for that anti-Catholic bigot Foxman to invoke the Auschwitz nuns to frighten off CAIR, when the salient comparison to the destruction of the WTC is in fact Pearl Harbour? It seems as though he wants us to forget that Catholic Poles in their hundreds of thousands perished in that camp. Is McGurn a Catholic? If so, he needs to stop drinking the ADL Kool-Aid.

  • I agree that symbolism is important. That’s why I think the efforts to stop the building project are so awful.

  • I wouldn’t try to stop them through the courts, but I would impress upon them how much they will rightfully be resented for failing to respect the wishes of the people. To do something simply because one can is hardly a persuasive argument.

    There are a thousand and one good ways to foster better relations between Muslims who wish to disavow the violent teachings of the Koran, and Christians in the United States. This is not one of them.

  • Pingback: Religious Freedom vs. Theocratic Dictatorships « Vox Nova
  • I would impress upon them how much they will rightfully be resented for failing to respect the wishes of the people. To do something simply because one can is hardly a persuasive argument.

    I agree. Muslims don’t “do” persuasive argument. Never have. Why should they? They like their methods better. From passive aggressiveness all the way up to not-so-passive, that’s where they excel.

    In many ways I’m glad they are building this at ground zero to show their absolute smugness and insensitivity. It will further expose their nature.

  • Pauli,

    I think such generalizations are unfair, dangerous, and inaccurate when applied to a group of 1 billion people. A disturbing pattern is found in many long-running feuds/persecutions: 1) a group of individuals is lumped together on the basis of a distinguishing feature (whether it be race/religion/nationality/etc.) and identified as ‘the other’; 2) that group is then accused of having various negative characteristics to an unusual degree (e.g. greed, stupidity, or guilt for certain crimes); 3) these negative characteristics are then used as a pretext for denying rights to this group that other citizens enjoy. I am concerned about the implications of your comments.

  • I should have written “Muslim leaders” rather than merely “Muslims”. That’s my point. Islam doesn’t have one billion leaders. One billion people are not building a mosque. I can “generalize” about these leaders based on their past and present behavior. They don’t show the kind of sensitivity of the Holy Father in the link I posted.

    John Henry was wise to delete his former comment where he compared me to a Klan member and a jihadist.

  • John Henry was wise to delete his former comment where he compared me to a Klan member and a jihadist.

    My point was about language and the structure of your argument; to say language is similar is not to say the people are similar. Substitute Catholics/blacks/Israelis for Muslims in your comment above, and the similarities in language are quite striking. Btw, I frequently re-write my comments multiple times to try and make them clearer within the first few minutes after they post.

  • I frequently re-write my comments multiple times to try and make them clearer within the first few minutes after they post.

    Mmmmm, I see. That also provides a benefit that those subscribed to the comment thread get to see what you really think before your discretion kicks in and you self-censor. Maybe you should just write your comments down on scratch paper first and read them out loud to yourself. That’s what I do.

    Let me clarify my views further WRT the smugness and insensitivity of the Muslim leaders behind the building of the ground zero Mosque. I don’t think I would say the same about black leaders in general, Israeli leaders in general or Catholic leaders in general, and my proof for the third is in the link I provided earlier. This rules me out as a Klansman if there was any further question.

  • Pauli – you seem to be missing the point. I wasn’t saying that you feel similarly about Catholics/blacks/Israelis, etc. I was observing that your comment above about Muslims is very similar to the type of statements that the Klansmen of yore made about Catholics and Blacks, and radical Muslim groups today make about Israelis. You’ve said now that you were only speaking about ‘Muslim leaders,’ but I think, again, your statement still reflects a disturbing prejudice.

  • John Henry, here’s a question. Can you think of other comparable situations involving different religions other than Islam? Keep in mind that this project will be large costing millions of dollars. If I am prejudiced against Islam, then I have overlooked all the other times a different religion has done something comparable.

    Prejudice means to prejudge, to judge someone before you see any of there actions. For example, I see a black person and I think, “That person is probably a lazy bum, because blacks are lazy.” If I think this, then I am prejudiced. But what if I am able to observe a black person for several months and note many instances of laziness? Then I can state “He is lazy” without prejudice, can I not? This would only appear to be prejudice to a third person who didn’t know that I had many occasions to observe the laziness and who then made an assumption that the reason for my judgment was my own prejudice against blacks. This third person would himself be guilty of prejudging me.

    So give me some comparable situations throughout history to the ground zero mosque. Otherwise this word substitution exercise you are proposing smells like a red herring.

  • I really see our country at a crossroads right now. The increased presence of Muslims challenges our national narratives (e.g., we’re a Christian nation) and the extent to which we value are willing to extend religious liberty. This controversy is forcing us to ask ourselves who we are, and that question is as serious as anything.

    There are some disputes about the proportion of the population which is Muslim. (Robert Spencer offers that the most valid estimates appear to place that population at 3,000,000, or 1% of the whole). I do not think a minority that size ‘challenges national narratives’. (The appellate judiciary and the public interest bar have insisted on the adoption of enforced secularization, because that is the preferred policy in the social circles in which they run).

    Both you and John Henry might consider the possibility that past is not prologue, and that a muslim minority might eventually prove tragically incompatible with the general population, and that such an outcome is more likely if elite policy rewards rather than ignores (or penalizes) aggressive postures on the part of novel minorities.

  • The remaking of Cordoba into some kind of wonderland was the work of (a few) Jews

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04359b.htm

    “Owing to the peace which the Christians of Cordova then enjoyed, some knowledge of their condition has been preserved, among other things the name of their bishop, Joannes, also the fact that, at that period, the citizens of Cordova, Arabs, Christians, and Jews, enjoyed so high a degree of literary culture that the city was known as the New Athens. From all quarters came students eager to drink at its founts of knowledge. Among the men afterwards famous who studied at Cordova were the scholarly monk Gerbert, destined to sit on the Chair of Peter as Sylvester II (999-1003)”

    I suppose it’s possible Jews infiltrated the Catholic Encyclopedia’s editorial board.

  • Yeah, those silly martyrs didn’t know when they had it good!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martyrs_of_C%C3%B3rdoba

  • restrainedcatholic, the article you linked to in its entirety, shows that Catholic scholars were not among those going gaga over Cordoba. The quote does not accurately convey the thrust of the article. By the sheer dance of things, there is bound to be a period when Christians and Jews enjoyed a measure of peace living among Muslims. This by itself is not sufficient to inspire the paens to Cordoba. Where for example is the equivalent Christian city? We know that there were Christian monarchs in the Iberian peninsula who were tolerant by the standards of that era. Yet no one is concerned to inflict their saga on us.

  • sorry I should have addressed the above to restrainedradical..

  • Donald, you should substitute the phrase “female African slaves” for “martyrs” in your sarcastic remark. How’s it sound then? Answer: very disturbing.

  • Let us assume that those financing Cordoba House are sincere in their desire to present the most tolerant face of Islam possible and that harkening back to an enlightened period of the Cordoban princes is meant to be a signal of the kind of to