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.

  • Pingback: Opponents of mosque may soon see tables turned | Holy Post | National Post
  • 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?

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  • 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.

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  • 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 tolerance they seek in America. Let us further accept the claim that the proximity to Ground Zero is meant to give voice to moderate and modern Islam – as an answer to the kind of religious extremism that brought the towers down and the world’s economic Goliath to his knees.

    It was surely possible to be a practicing Christian or Jew in Cordoba at various points. We have fairly modern examples to suggest that a calm, judicious application of the Koran and the Hadith to the interactions between religions leads to some degree of stability and freedom of worship. However, at its very best, this isn’t anything approximating Freedom of Religion. This is because Sharia law absolutely requires Theocracy. It presumes that Islam is right on a host of human interactions that allow for no deviation. However “tolerant” of other religious teachings an Islamic state seeks to be it cannot permit deviation on critical issues such as the nature of God, the duty of man to his family and to the community, and how work is organized. In even the most tolerant of Islamic states (indeed, I would argue that this is true of ALL theocratic states and that we are concentrating on Islamic states because they are the last of this old order), no Christian can be allowed to evangelize because, at its core, tolerant Islam nonetheless requires absolute adherence to basic Koranic doctrine as expressed through the Hadith. This is to say that the Spanish Caliphates may have been “tolerant” but only so long as the other faiths knew and stayed in their place. (This shouldn’t be surprising. There was a reason for the brutality and vindictiveness of the Spanish Inquisition and I doubt it was “payback” for six centuries of Islamic FAIR treatment.)

    Bringing my point back to Cordoba House: even IF those financing the project intend to signal the kind of “tolerance” that was supposedly exhibited under Muslim rule in Cordoba, that kind of “tolerance” is nothing akin to Freedom of Religion. Further, it “feels like” building a mosque so close to the place where the American economic model of a hundred years was destroyed is a sort of “victory dance” or, at least, a shrine to thank Allah for victory. My guess is that our ancestors felt the same way about the conversion of the Basilica at Constantinople into the Blue Mosque.

    If this is not what is intended… if the Cordoba House builders are honest in their desire to forge bonds and further understanding, they have picked a damn awful way to do it. Appearances DO matter.

    One final note: please do not interpret my writing to suggest that I believe that the engines of law ought to be brought to bear to prevent the building of the mosque. Indeed, even if it were called the “Usama Bin Laden Victory Mosque” and have individual shrines to the 911 “martyrs,” I would not want the state to act in an unconstitutional way. However, I take great exception to those who suggest that protesting the building of the mosque is un-American. Nothing is more democratic than to stand up for one’s views and to speak for oneself – not expecting the government to intervene

  • G-Veg: If this is not what is intended… if the Cordoba House builders are honest in their desire to forge bonds and further understanding, they have picked a damn awful way to do it. Appearances DO matter.

    Yeah, this is pretty much how Michael Medved phrased it today on his show. Either it’s a victory dance which means it’s horrible, or it’s an extremely poor and insensitive attempt at reconciliation.

  • Should you be glad that it’s named after a place that became exclusively Catholic?

  • Wow, why didn’t I think of that? Cordoba as a backhand compliment to Ferdinand and Isabelle; tell the hardhats its alright, they must get to work. Expedite the construction.

  • Good Morning restrainedradical,

    I’m not sure I follow you because I didn’t think we were talking about what I would do if I were going to sponsor a religious community in a place that would deeply offend. For this conversation, it is enough to articulate why I am offended and how the decision to build this mosque in a place where it appears to glory in misery is inappropriate.

    I’ll range farther though to say that I understand the impulse of the victor to raise monuments – to celebrate victory in a way that visits new injury on the defeated every time they are forced to accept and contemplate their impotency. It is a basic and base impulse. I mentioned the Blue Mosque as an example but there are many others such as the obelisk at the Vatican (doubly so if Wiki is right in noting that the obelisk was the center-point of the Circus Maximus).

    Monuments are built to channel human vision such as the Smithsonian and to inspire the way the Statue of Liberty does. They are built to control the divine (Stonehenge) or to refocus culture such as St. Petersburg. Sometimes they are merely the extension of man’s feeble attempt to control what happens after death (Pyramids at Giza). Often they are build to “immortalize” conquest such as Trafalgar Square and to put a face on a particular victory such as Admiral Nelson’s monument at Trafalgar. There are a lot of reasons to put mortar to stone and not all of them are base and mean.

    It is a fair question as to why those who seek to build Cordoba House at Ground Zero choose that location. The explanation given – that they seek to put a moderate face on Islam and to answer the extremism of September 11th with the understanding and tolerance of a thoroughly modern and moderate Islam – is difficult for many people to accept. I am one of them.

    I look at the speeches of its lead spokesman, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, and wonder how a man who believes that America invited the 911 attacks through its policies over the previous century can simultaneously believe that the building of a mosque on the site of those attacks would be perceived as other than a victory monument by extremists. The questions about funding further alarm me since our culture is accustomed to look with skepticism upon projects whose funding is hidden. I admit to looking with jaded eye on attempts to present the Koran and Hadith as purely religious – i.e. having no pre-requisite political, legal, and economic structure – strictures.

    Cast against this backdrop, calling the project “Cordoba House” and then withdrawing that name when confronted about its implications appears to me to be revealing. It suggests that the name choice was more illuminating about the hidden agenda of those building the center than they wished it to be.

    In many ways, the rise of Islam in the Americas presents a unique challenge to both Muslims and the broader society. Primary in the challenges is recasting the political, social, and economic structures inherent in the Koran and, particularly, in the Hadith as idealized analogies rather than divine order. Stated more simply, the Koran and the Hadith are incredibly specific as to how society as a whole, family life in particular, and the daily lives of individuals are to be organized. While it is true that the burqa and other such trappings of modern Islam are not ordained in the written word, it is fair to note that the vast majority of religious, economic, and political obligations are spelled out.

    In a modern, constitutionalist state such as the United States, there is an assumption that the duties of man to man and man to the broader society are limited by law maintained by virtually universal suffrage. The framework is set by the democratic institutions. The individual actions inside of that framework are set by our personal codes. Religion, in one sense, must accept the overall legal framework in order to be practiced freely. Stated differently, lest I be misunderstood to be saying that religion is subordinate to the State, the modern, diverse culture, the State guarantees a field of contest on which the worldviews can compete without being oppressed by organs of government. So long as those worldviews accept the framework, virtually any can operate freely (Scientology for example) without damaging the State.

    It remains to be seen whether Islam can exist within a constitutional state.

  • G-Veg, similar things can be said of Judaism yet they developed doctrines that allow them to integrate into a pluralistic society. Christianity went through a similar transformation. Even if the Bible doesn’t command certain public policies, it became conventional wisdom that, for example, heresy should be a capital offense. Freedom of conscience didn’t hold as high a place as it does today.

    I don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibilities that Islam can develop doctrines that can allow them to deemphasize teachings that prevent them from integrating. There will still be fundamentalists but they may become a tiny fringe minority with no mainstream support.

    We can aid in this process by supporting the moderates within Islam who are willing to abandon the more radical teachings.

  • It remains to be seen whether Islam can exist within a constitutional state.

    Constitutional monarchy has functioned in Morocco for most the the last 50-odd years. Malaysia has always been a parliamentary state, if an illiberal one. There are several West African countries which have had elected governments for the last 20 to 35 years. The Arab world is peculiarly resistant to electoral and deliberative institutions; outside of that, it is doubtful that muslim societies are more prone to tyranny than other societies at similar levels of economic development.

    A better statement of the question is whether a muslim minority can be amicably incorporated in a society where the judiciary, the social services apparat, the educational apparat, and much of the political class considers the vernacular society of the natives something which needs to be contained and leavened, and makes use of (often rude) immigrant populations in its battles with that vernacular society.

  • Bernard Lewis in his book The Jews in Islam writes,

    “The claim to tolerance, now much heard from Muslim apologists and more especially from apologists for Islam, is also new and of alien origin. It is only very recently that some defenders of Islam have begun to assert that their society in the past accorded equal status to non-Muslims. No such claim is made by spokesmen for resurgent Islam, and historically there is no doubt that they are right. Traditional Islamic societies neither accorded such equality nor pretended that they were so doing. Indeed, in the old order, this would have been regarded not as a merit but as a dereliction of duty. How could one accord the same treatment to those who follow the true faith and those who willfully reject it? This would be a theological as well as a logical absurdity.”

  • Art Deco,

    The Arab world is peculiarly resistant to electoral and deliberative institutions.

    Isn’t there a whole history of colonial (mis)administration here that is being calmly passed over–as though we can leap from the time of the caliphate to contemporary world politics without addressing the serious harms imposed upon the middle east and northern africa by various european powers.

    Even the case of Iran (not Arab, but Muslim country) complicates the situation. We did depose their legitimately elected government and instituted a dictator in his place, as we’ve done several other times in various places.

    My point is that an awful lot of this analysis passes over modern history as though it didn’t have any effect on how Islam first encountered representative systems of government.

  • Most of the Arab world was under colonial rule by Europe for a very brief period from shortly after World War I to shortly after World War II. The pathologies that afflict the Arab world are homegrown. It is representative institutions and the Western concept of human rights which are the legacy from Europe.

    In regard to Iran it is more accurate to say that we deposed a dictator, Mossadegh, and restored the Shah. The Shah was a squalid tyrant, but he gleams as positively enlightened compared to the rulers thrown up by the Shia Revolution.

  • Isn’t there a whole history of colonial (mis)administration here that is being calmly passed over–as though we can leap from the time of the caliphate to contemporary world politics without addressing the serious harms imposed upon the middle east and northern africa by various european powers.

    Even the case of Iran (not Arab, but Muslim country) complicates the situation. We did depose their legitimately elected government and instituted a dictator in his place, as we’ve done several other times in various places.

    I keep having this argument with Maclin Horton’s troublesome blogging partner. I offer you the following inventory.

    European colonization in the Near East, North Africa, and Central Asia was limited to the Maghreb and to a small knock of Levantine territory (the Valley of Jezreel and a portion of the coastal plain running between Gaza and Haifa) difficult to see in an atlas of ordinary scale. In Morocco (and I believe in Tunisia as well), the French agricultural colonies were small (the total number of households being under 10,000), although a good deal of common land was enclosed and delivered to them. Demographically obtrusive colonization was found in Algeria (state supported and enforced) and in the Levant (as private and voluntary immigration financed by the Jewish National Fund, etc). I have seen some figures I do not quite trust that there was quite a bit of settlement in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica as well.

    Egypt, the Sudan, Aden, the south Arabian sheikhdoms, the Trucial sheikhdoms, Bahrain, Kuwait, the Transjordan, and Iraq were all dependencies of Britain or France for periods ranging from 14 years to 72 years. Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, and Syria were dependencies of France for periods ranging from 26 years to 75 years. You had a rotating population of civil servants and soldiers and a foreign resident population there for business or missionary work (e.g. the founders of the American University of Beirut). There were, however, no colonists other than the aforementioned population of farmers. Morocco’s agricultural colonies were founded around 1928 and fully liquidated by about 1971.

    You may have noticed that Indonesia has had an elected government for the last 11 years, that elected administration has been modal in South Asia since 1947, and that elected governments are (at this point in time) rather more prevalent in Tropical and Southern Africa than they have been in the Arab world at any time in the last 50 years. The encounter between Europeans and natives was a good deal more durable, intrusive, and coercive in these loci than it ever was with regard to the Arab world.

    You may have noticed the United States had scant involvement in this enterprise of collecting overseas dependencies, and none at all in the Muslim world.

    You may also have noticed that the 9/11 crew were recruited not from Algeria (which did feel the French boot rather severely), but from Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Egypt was a dependency of Britain in a juridically odd arrangement from 1881 to 1922; any complaints about this are not exactly topical. Neither the Hijaz nor the Nejd (united now as ‘Saudi Arabia’) was ever a dependency of any European power. Britain and Russia established some concessionary arrangements with Persia for a period of time (1907-25) in the early 20th century, but it was never a dependency of any European power.

    The four Arab countries which have had the most extensive experience with constitutional government (Morocco, Lebanon, Jordan, and Kuwait) are all over the map as regards the duration and features of their encounter with Europe.

    As for the ‘legitimately elected government’ of Iran, parliamentary executives are generally dependent on the pleasure of the head of state, most especially when they have arbitrarily prorogued the country’s legislature (as Iran’s had been in 1953). Mohammed Mossadegh was no more entitled to rule by decree and disestablish the Persian monarchy (his ambitions) than was the Shah to run a royal dictatorship, but you win some and you lose some. Now, run down the list of states in the Near East, North Africa, and Central Asia which were sovereign for some time during the period running from 1953 to 1978 and identify those which had some measure of competitive electoral politics and public deliberation more often than not. That is a low bar that about 2/3 of the Latin American states could have met. The list will read as follows: Morocco, Kuwait, Israel, Lebanon, Cyprus, Turkey, Pakistan, Libya (perhaps), and Jordan (perhaps). That would be 6 or 8 of the 25 states of the region. It is just not fertile ground for parliamentary government, and a multi-ethnic state with a literacy rate of 8% is not promising material for a durable constitutional order in any case.

    I do not care what bilge Noam Chomsky or John Prados are pushing. The machinations of the CIA are not the reason competitive electoral politics has often been a transient state of affairs here there and the next place in this world (as it was prior to the CIA’s formation in 1947). The only good example of something resembling a democratic political order iced by the CIA would be Jacobo Arbenz’ government in Guatemala in 1954. Personally, I think Arbenz bears more resemblance to Juan Domingo Peron and Salvador Allende than he does to Latin America’s authentic constitutionalists, but it is difficult to find trustworthy histories of his life and times.

  • Muslims don’t “do” persuasive argument. Never have.

    Clarification. I would like to take my second phrase back: “Never have,” which I wrote in ignorance. (Never say never, right?) It turns out that for a time, Muslim thinkers were at one time more reasonable and more at home with the use of reason. I learned that from this excellent piece interviewing Robert Reilly on his new book, the title of which is “Closing of the Muslim Mind”. It’s particularly germane to this discussion and sheds quite a bit of light on the B16/Regensberg thing as well.

    I believe my larger point stands, i.e., currently Muslims do not so much engage in apologetics as they do in a certain type of assertiveness about their beliefs, which is possibly a more useful word than aggressiveness for describing the particular tendency I wish to describe for purposes of this discussion.

63 Responses to The Ground Zero Mosque Controversy

  • My understanding is that the mosque wouldn’t be built on Ground Zero but several blocks away. Why they shouldn’t be allowed to do so is not quite clear to me.

  • Legally, they have every right to do so (build a mosque).

    As to the distance from Ground Zero, my impression was that it was only a block away if that.

    Not really sure to the distance.

  • Why we fight: We need to see that video every day until the war is won.

    BA: Clearly, you do not know the gang behind this travesty is called “The Cordova Initiative.”

    Where do you suppose they are going to get the $100,000,000 to build the blasphemy?

    Do you know what Cordova means to the jihadi?

    It recalls the Mohammedan conquest and rape of Spain for seven centuries from circa 700 to 1492.

    They don’t have a right to rub their murderous paganism in our faces. I was there both in 1993 qnd 2001. And, I knew men and women who were massacred.

    It must be nice to view 9/11 as a boring History Channel mini-series they re-run once a year in September.

    It must be to be at peace.

  • I don’t see that this is necessarily a problem — and more to the point, while I would agree with the Muslims quoted in the article Don links to that this is probably a bad idea, it would strike me as intensely un-American to deny a specific religious group permission to build a place of worship on a piece of land that they’ve bought simply because we feel sensitive about the locale.

    Also, while I think it’s important that we not deceive ourselves about the extent to which military jihad and theocracy are native to Islam, it would also be a serious mistake to consider the US to be at war with Islam as a whole or with all Muslims. To the extent to which Muslims are prepared to exist peacefully with or in the US (and most are), we should welcome that.

  • Clearly, you do not know the gang behind this travesty is called “The Cordova Initiative.”

    I’ve never heard of the Cordova Initiative. Were they somehow involved in the 9/11 attacks? Cause the video says that “they” attacked us on 9/11, and now “they” want to “celebrate” by building the mosque.

    Do you think (can any reasonable person think) that the purpose of building this mosque is to celebrate 9/11?

  • “I don’t see that this is necessarily a problem — and more to the point, while I would agree with the Muslims quoted in the article Don links to that this is probably a bad idea, it would strike me as intensely un-American to deny a specific religious group permission to build a place of worship on a piece of land that they’ve bought simply because we feel sensitive about the locale.”

    A very reasonable point, DC. Thank you!

  • Blackadder,

    No reasonable person would think this is to celebrate the 9/11 attacks. The problem is that committed Muslims aren’t reasonable, so, yes, they are erecting this to celebrate their greatest salvo in the war against the West. Religious freedom in the United State of America, is freedom to practice religions that are compatible with Judeo-Christian tradition, not necessarily of the same theology, but the same cultural principles – Islam is not.

    Darwin,

    Islam lives peacefully with Dar-Al-Harb, the House of War (the West, us) only to the extent that it is pragmatically necessary in order to gain the upper hand. When they think they can conquer, they will. It is pillar of the ‘faith’. We are commanded to go and baptize all nations in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost – we conquer with Love. They are commanded to conquer by the sword and slay all enemies, although Jews and Christians may be allowed to live as slaves.

    How do you suggest we peacefully exist with that mentality?

  • AK is correct about Dar-al-Harb.

    Muslims are instructed to lie and live among infidels until they become the majority.

    That’s at least according to Bernard Lewis and Robert Spencer, both experts on Islam and the Middle East.

  • No reasonable person would think this is to celebrate the 9/11 attacks. The problem is that committed Muslims aren’t reasonable, so, yes, they are erecting this to celebrate their greatest salvo in the war against the West.

    The guy in charge of the proposed community center is named Feisal Abdul Rauf. Here is an article by Mr. Rauf from last year arguing against prohibiting alcohol based on Sharia. Sounds like a real extremist.

  • Blackadder,

    You are employing reason as we understand it from a Christian perspective. That is not how the Muslim mind thinks.

    Muslims are commanded to employ taqiy’ya, loosely translated as concealing or guarding. Practically it means employing deceit to conquer your enemy. ‘Moderate’ Muslims are living pleasantly amongst us simply to be inside the gates to open them for the inevitable attack. Any other view is asking for our destruction.

    The only solution to the problem of Islam is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As Catholics, we cannot sit back and watch as over a billion of God’s children are led into hell. We are obligated to witness to the Truth of Christ to them so that He has an opportunity to save them. Confirming them in their error is akin to desiring their eternal damnation.

  • T. Shaw,

    You should be very careful referring to all Muslims as ‘filthy animals’ – that is an error, it is rude and is probably a sin. Our problem cannot be with Muslims, they are made in the image of God also and we have to look for Christ in them. Our problem is with Islam, which is as much the enemy of the poor, enslaved Muslims as it is ours.

    Tone down the rhetoric. Our Lady loves the Muslims. Muslims also revere Our Lady. She is given the highest honor above all other women, including Mohammad’s daughter, Fatima. We pray, “Blessed art thou amongst women” in the Ave Maria. Muslims actually share that sentiment. Our Lady appeared at Fatima, which is the name of Mohammad’s daughter. She also appeared at Guadalupe from the Sparabic (that is Spanish and Arabic hybrid) Wadi Lupe, Wolf River. She also appeared to a mostly Muslim crowd in Zeitoun, Egypt (Zeitoun is the Arabic for olives, as in the Mount of). She has her eye on Muslims, she will crush Islam and bring the Muslims to her Son.

    When she appears, clothed with the Son, with a crown of twelve stars on her head, what is under her feet?

    A crescent moon. Think about that.

  • It would mean much more to the world, I believe, if Muslims would invest the one hundred million dollars in support of the global war on terrorism as a religious statement that Islam really is about peace; and as an incentive for the Arab nations of the world to do the same.

    Going to prayer isn’t proof of anything.

    The proving of prayer is in the way we live.

  • If someone feels compelled to call all muslims “filthy animals” they will do so at some other blog than American Catholic. T.Shaw, I have unapproved your comment, and for the time being you are on moderation.

  • The mosque would be 2.5 blocks from Ground Zero. It would be in the middle of the block surrounded by buildings so I doubt Ground Zero would be visible from that location.

    [I]magine being Baraheen Ashrafi, nine months pregnant with her second child. Her husband, Mohammad Chowdhury, was a waiter at Windows of the World restaurant, on the top floors of Tower One. The morning of September 11, they prayed salaat-l-fajr (the pre-dawn prayer) together, and he went off to work. She never saw him again. Their son, Farqad, was born 48 hours after the attacks — one of the first 9/11 orphans to be born.

    http://islam.about.com/blvictims.htm

    Anyone opposed to the building of the mosque should be able to tell Baraheen Ashrafi that she should not be allowed to worship so close to Ground Zero.

  • And anyone in favor of building the mosque so close to ground zero should explain to Debra Burlingame why this is a good idea:

    “Outraged family members and community groups are accusing a Muslim group of trying to rewrite history with its plans to build a 13-story mosque and cultural center just two blocks from Ground Zero, where Islamic extremists flew two planes into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

    “This is a place which is 600 feet from where almost 3,000 people were torn to pieces by Islamic extremists,” said Debra Burlingame, whose brother died in the attack on the Pentagon that day.

    “I think that it is incredibly insensitive and audacious really for them to build a mosque, not only on that site, but to do it specifically so that they could be in proximity to where that atrocity happened,” said Burlingame, who is co-founder of 9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/05/14/plan-build-mosque-near-ground-zero-riles-families-victims/

    This is America, so assuming the building permits are issued, the mosque will be built, and the promoters of this project have every constitutional right to do so. However, that is not the end of this inquiry. To overlook the role that Islam played in the attacks on 9-11 is to be historically blind. Are all Muslims to blame for the attack? Of course not. Does Islam have a very long history of justifying such actions as part of conflicts with non-Muslims? Of course. This pours salt on a very raw wound, and the backers of this project are playing with fire. Having a right to do something does not make that action smart, moral or proper.

  • Until I am no longer considered dirt by Islam – ie, until I can travel freely and worship freely in Mecca as a Catholic – then Moslems can go jump in a lake as far as I’m concerned in such matters. They get to build their Mosque at Ground Zero when we can build a Church in Mecca.

  • I’ve been told that we can built a church in Mecca when they can build a mosque in Vatican City.

    Don, we should be required to prove that our chosen location for a church is a “good idea”? The burden is on the opponents to show that it’s a bad idea. Why is it insensitive to build a mosque near Ground Zero? That might make sense if the mosque was to preach that 9/11 was good but there is no indication that that’s the case.

    There’s nothing immoral about it. Saying it’s not smart or proper sounds an awful lot like the criticisms leveled against the Holy Father when he spoke about Islam. “It wasn’t wrong but it was unwise and improper.” Maybe the criticism should be directed at the irrationally oversensitive.

  • To the extent to which Muslims are prepared to exist peacefully with or in the US, we should welcome that.

  • MAGISTERIUM SAYS EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE A VISIBLE MEMBER OF THE CHURCH FOR SALVATION, EXTRA ECCLESIAM NULLA SALUS

    Catholic blogs and websites are still not willing to discuss extra ecclesiam nulla salus and they just accept a secular media interpretation of a Catholic ex cathedr dogma. This has an important bearing on our understanding and relationship with Islam.

    The following is from the blog eucharistandmission
    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.com/2010/07/apologist-simon-rafe-in-real-catholic.html#links
    ____________________________________________________

    July 15,2010
    APOLOGIST SIMON RAFE IN REAL CATHOLIC DIFFICULTY : MAGISTERIUM SAYS EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE A VISIBLE MEMBER OF THE CHURCH FOR SALVATION, EXTRA ECCLESIAM NULLA SALUS

    Apologist Simon Rafe says :

    The teaching of the Church is that a person CAN be saved if they are not a visible member of the Church.
    Lionel: Yes. True. This is not being denied.

    To deny this is to cease to give full acceptance to the Church.
    Lionel: It is not being denied.

    Non-Catholics can be saved, DESPITE their failure to be a visible member of the Church. This is the teaching of the Church.
    Lionel: This is not the official teaching of the Church. This is a popular interpretation.

    I would say everyone needs to be a visible member of the Catholic Church to be saved and there are no known exceptions. If a person was saved without being a visible member of the Catholic Church it would be known to God only, we cannot know any such case.

    It’s a real Catholic difficulty these days, with the new doctrine, which goes like this: everybody needs to enter the Catholic Church for salvation except for those in invincible ignorance, the baptism of desire or a good conscience.

    When people say that everybody needs to enter the Catholic Church except for those in invincible ignorance, with the baptism of desire and a good conscience it could be right or wrong depending on the interpretation.

    1. It is WRONG if they mean that every one does not need to become a visible member of the church. Then this is a new doctrine and contrary to the Deposit of the Faith.

    2. It is RIGHT if they mean every one does have to become a visible member of the Catholic Church to avoid Hell and if there is anyone with the Baptism of Desire, genuine invincible ignorance and a good conscience it will be known only to God.

    (Note: Above I affirm the Baptism of Desire, invincible ignorance and a good conscience and I also affirm the dogma that everybody needs to be a visible member of the Catholic Church to avoid Hell.)

    The dogma says everyone needs to be a visible member of the Catholic Church.

    ‘…it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 302.). Ex Cathedra

    ‘…none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation…

    No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” – (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.) Ex Cathedra
    The dogma does not contradict other Church Documents regarding the Baptism of Desire.

    Simon Rafe’s problem is one being faced by many Catholics, including those who have orthodox Catholic beliefs.Some Catholics are describing the situation as ‘a mystery’.So Rafe is only repeating the problem as other Catholics face it i.e everyone needs to be a visible member of the church and everyone does not need to be a visible member of the Church.

    Catholics in erroe interpret the Catechism and the Vatican Council II according to the Jewish Left media and believe there is no other interpretation. Simon Rafe and others needs to interpret the Catechism of the Catholic Church,Vatican Council II and the Letter of the Holy Office 1949, in line with the ex cathedra dogma which says everyone needs to be a visible member of the catholic Church and there are no exceptions. Simon agrees everyone needs to be a visible member of the Catholic Church for salvation but when I ask him of Lumen Gentium 16 contradicts this teaching of the dogma he does not answer.

    The Magisterium of the Church cannot reject an ex cathedra dogma.
    So interpret all Church documents according to extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

    Catholic Church documents say everyone needs to be a visible member of the Church to avoid Hell and there is no Church document issued to refute it.

    1. For instance we can misinterpret the Letter of the Holy Office 1949.

    In order for someone to be saved, it explained, “it is not always required that he be incorporated into the Church as an actual member, but it is necessary at least to be united to her by desire and longing.”-Letter of the Holy Office 1949. The same message is there in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

    True however this (not receiving the Baptism of water as an adult and being saved) is only known to God. It is not as real as the Baptism of Water. So it was wrong to suggest that everyone does not have to be a visible member of the Church, as if the Baptism of Desire is explicit and visible by nature. So this is a distorted interpretation of the Letter of the Holy Office using the Cushing Doctrine. It is heresy. It is clear ‘double speak’. Discerning Catholics consider this new doctrine a hoax, the equivalent of the fabled Emperors New Clothes. Liberals call it a developed doctrine.

    Through his books Fr. Hans Kung uses the Cushing Doctrine, suggesting Lumen Gentium 16 refers to explicit and not implicit salvation, to question the infallibility of the pope ex cathedra. He maintains the Kung Deception that the Church has retracted extra ecclesiam nulla salus after Vatican Council II.

    Without the Cushing Doctrine, one could say: For salvation everyone needs to be a visible (explicit) member of the Catholic Church with no exception and if there is anyone with the Baptism of Desire or who is in invincible ignorance it will be known to God only.

    If this point in the Letter is ministerpreted one could also misinterpret the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

    2. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says the Church alone saves from the flood like Noah’s Ark and so everyone needs to enter the Ark to be saved. Extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

    N.845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son’s Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is “the world reconciled.” She is that bark which “in the full sail of the Lord’s cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world.” According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah’s ark, which alone saves from the flood.-Catechism of the Catholic Church n.845
    Here we have an interpretation of the Catechism affirming the dogma.

    3.”Outside the Church there is no salvation”

    846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

    Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.-Catechism of the Catholic Church 846
    CCC 846,847 like Lumen Gentium 16 refer to implicit salvation, those saved ‘in certain circumstances’ (Letter of the Holy Office 1949).They are known to God only.

    847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

    Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.-Catechism of the Catholic Church,N.847

    848 “Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men.”-Catechism of the Catholic Church,N.848
    Those saved implicitly (CCC 847,848) for us, they are just a concept, something hypothetical, a possibility. It is not explicit. Since it is not explicit it does not contradict CCC845, 836.It does not contradict Ad Gentes 7, Lumen Gentium 14 and the infallible teaching outside the church there is no salvation.

    CCC836 which says all people need to enter the Catholic Church include all Christians who are not in full communion with the Catholic Church, Jesus’ Mystical Body.
    If CCC 846,847(invincible ignorance etc) referred to explicit salvation, it would be irrational. Since we cannot judge who has a baptism of desire or is in genuine invincible ignorance.It would also mean that the Catechism, which is the ordinary Magisterium of the Church, is correcting and contradicting an ex cathedra teaching. So it would be a rejection of the dogma on the infallibility of the pope.It would mean CCC 846,847 (implicit invincible ignorance etc) is a new Christian doctrine or Christian Revelation.
    Yet this teaching was not mentioned for the first time in the Catechism of the Catholic Church or Vatican Council II (Lumen Gentium16).It was referred to in the Letter of the Holy Office 1949 to the Archbishop of Boston, Richard Cushing. The popes over the centuries always considered those saved by implicit faith as, implicit. Hence the ex cathedra teaching said everyone with no exception needs explicit faith (the baptism of water and Catholic Faith).
    So 846,847 do not refer to explicit salvation. Otherwise it would be irrational, illogical and contrary to the Magisterium of the past and present.
    The Catholic Church is saying everybody needs to be a visible member of the Church to avoid Hell.Those who are aware of Jesus and the Church and yet do not enter are on the way to Hell, definitely.
    CCC is also saying that all non-Catholics in general need to enter the Catholic Church to avoid Hell. All. If there is anyone among them with the baptism of desire, invincible ignorance etc (implicit faith) it will be known to God only. We cannot judge.
    De facto everyone needs to enter the Catholic Church for salvation.
    De jure there could be the probability, known only to God, of someone ‘in certain circumstances’ (Letter of the Holy Office 1949) being saved with implicit faith. God will provide all the helps in the manner known to Him only; it could include explicit faith (the baptism of water).So if someone says the Catechism says that they can be saved who are in invincible ignorance etc, the answer is: ‘Yes, as a concept only. In principle.’ De facto everyone explicitly needs to be a Catholic to go to Heaven is the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.(CCC 845).Simon Rafe needs to clarify this point.

    “For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament” (CCC 1259).
    In other words everyone needs to de facto be a ‘card carrying member’ of the Catholic Church, everyone needs to have his name on a Parish Register. All who are in Heaven, people of different countries, cultures and times, are Catholics, the chosen people of God, the Elect, the people of the New Covenant. I think Simon Rafe and Michael Vorris would agree here. They recently produced a video on ONLY CATHOLICS IN HEAVEN! ( http://www.youtube.com/user/RealCatholicTV#p/a/u/0/2Dcfj0PU_JQ ) . It is highly recommended.( I try not to miss Michael Vorris’ videos)

    4.In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the sub title‘Outside the Church there is no salvation’ has been placed over N.846.It should really be above number 845.

    The ex cathedra dogma says everyone needs to explicitly enter the Church for salvation. It is in agreement with n.845

    N.845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son’s Church….(quoted above in full )
    Here is the ex cathedra dogma:

    1. “There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved.” (Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215). Ex cathedra.

    2.“We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302.).Ex cathedra.

    3.“The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.) Ex cathedra
    – from the website Catholicism.org and “No Salvation outside the Church”: Link List, the Three Dogmatic Statements Regarding EENS http://nosalvationoutsideofthecatholicchurch.blogspot.com/
    It says everyone needs to be a visible member of the Catholic Church to go to Heaven and avoid Hell.

    So CCC 847,848 must be interpreted as referring to implicit salvation, in ’certain circumstances’ and unknown to us, otherwise it would contradict the infallible teaching.

    847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

    Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.-Catechism of the Catholic Church
    848 “Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men.”-Catechism of the Catholic Church
    CCC 847, 848 do not refer to explicit salvation and so do not contradict the dogma. There is no de facto baptism of desire that we can know of. There is no explicit Baptism of desire that we can know of. While implicit Baptism of Desire is only a concept for us. Since it is known only to God.

    So if asked if everyone needs to enter the Catholic Church for salvation the answer is YES.

    5. Everyone explicitly needs to enter the Catholic Church for salvation and those who have the baptism of desire or are invincible ignorance would be known only to God.

    All men are certainly called to this Catholic unity. The Catholic faithful, others who believe in Christ and all mankind belong to or are ordered to Catholic unity.-CCC 836

    Here again we have an affirmation of the ex cathedra dogma and the word all is used as in Ad Gentes 7.

    6.

    How do we understand this saying from the Church Fathers? All salvation comes from Christ through his Body, the Church which is necessary for salvation because Christ is present in his Church…-CCC846
    Here the Catechism places de jure and defacto salvation together. It does not conflict with the ex cathedra teaching that everyone with no exception needs to enter the Catholic Church .We cannot personally know any cases of a genuine invincible ignorance, baptism of desire or a good conscience.

    7.

    However, those, who through no fault of their own do not know either the Gospel of Christ or his Church, can achieve salvation by seeking God with a sincere heart and by trying to do God’s will (Second Vatican Council). Although God can lead all people to salvation, the Church still has the duty to evangelize all men.-CCC 848
    Those who are in invincible ignorance can be saved -and this does not conflict with the ex cathedra dogma that everyone with no exception needs to enter the Church to avoid Hell. It is a conceptual, de jure understanding.

    8. CCC 1257 The Necessity of Baptism

    CCC 1257 affirms the dogma when it says that the Church knows of no means to eternal beatitude other than the baptism of water. This is a reference to explicit salvation for all with no known exceptions.

    CCC 1257 also says that for salvation God is not restricted to the Sacraments. This must not be interpreted as opposing the dogma or the earlier part of CCC 1257. This is a possibility, ‘in certain circumstances’ (Letter of the Holy Office 1949) and we cannot judge any specific cases. Th Baptism of Desire is never explicit for us humans.
    I repeat the Church refers to the ordinary means of salvation (Redemptoris Missio 5. The word ordinary is used in RM 55).

    In Dominus Iesus the words de jure and de facto are used in the Introduction.

    In CCC 1257 we have the baptism of water as the ordinary means of salvation for all people with no exception.

    In CCC 1257 we also have those saved with implicit faith (invincible ignorance,BOD etc) as the extraordinary means of salvation.(‘God is not limited to the Sacraments’).

    VI. THE NECESSITY OF BAPTISM

    1257 The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation.59 He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them.60 Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament.61 The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are “reborn of water and the Spirit.” God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments. -Catechism of the Catholic Church 1257

    The Letter of the Holy Office 1949 while affirming the dogma and the need for everyone to be a visible member of the Church to go to Heaven with no exceptions- also says that ‘in certain circumstances’ a person can be saved with implicit faith, if God wills it.

    However, those, who through no fault of their own do not know either the Gospel of Christ or his Church, can achieve salvation by seeking God with a sincere heart and by trying to do God’s will (Second Vatican Council). Although God can lead all people to salvation, the Church still has the duty to evangelize all men.-CCC 848

    St.Thomas Aquinas says God will ‘provide the helps necessary for salvation’ by sending a person to baptize the one needing help in this extraordinary situation OR telling the person what he needs to do.

    Here we are in a conceptual area, open to theories since this is the nature of the baptism of desire etc which cannot be explicitly known to us humans.
    St.Thomas Aquinas also said that everyone with no exception needs to be a visible member of the Catholic Church for salvation. De facto everyone needs to enter. De jure there could be the man in the forest for St.Thomas Aquinas. He did not have a problem with de facto and de jure.

    On the Saint Benedict Centre website, the community founded by Fr.Leonard Feeney in New Hampshire,USA it is written, that Fr.Leonard Feeney knew that his view on the Baptism of Desire was only an opinion.
    Finally everyone’s view on the Baptism of Desire is ONLY AN OPINION. De jure. This is seen clearly in CCC 1257.
    It reminds one of Jesus’ saying that ‘he who does not collect with me disperses’ and ‘those who are not against us are for us.’

    9.When it is said that only those who know about the Catholic Church need to enter to avoid Hell (Ad Gentes 7) we can mistake this to mean only this category of people are on the way to Hell. Instead we know that all non Catholics are on the way to Hell with no exception ( ex cathedra dogma) and if there is any one among them who is in invincible ignorance etc it will be known only to God.

    Those who are in invincible ignorance can be saved-and this does not conflict with the ex cathedra dogma that everyone with no exception needs to enter the Church to avoid Hell. It is a conceptual, de jure understanding.

    So the Catechism is not asking us to reject the notion that one can be saved without the Sacraments according to the ordinary way of salvation. (Redemptoris Missio 55).If one says it does it is a misinterpretation of the Catechism.

    Where it refers to being saved without the Sacraments it is referring to that exceptional case, which in ‘certain circumstances'(Letter of the Holy Office 1949) are known only to God. We do not even know if there has been any case of the Baptism of desire during our lifetime.

    A.Practically speaking everyone needs to enter the Catholic Church to go to Heaven.

    B.Theoretically (de jure, in principle) a person can be saved through implicit faith (if God wills it) even without the Baptism of water.This is the official teaching of the Church.

    B is in accord with the Catechism which mentions the Baptism of water as a concept (it cannot be anything else other than a concept)

    B is in accord with Fr.Leonard Feeney who mentioned the Baptism of Desire (catechumen).It was a concept in his mind (something dejure).

    B is in accord with the website of the Saint Benedict Centre,one of Fr.Leonard Feeney’s communities, which defines the Baptism of Desire. A definition is a concept.

    So when Simon Rafe says in his e-mail to me that ‘Non-Catholics can be saved, DESPITE their failure to be a visible member of the Church. This is the teaching of the Church.’ it is true ( de jure, in principle). However de facto everybody with no exception needs to be a visible member of the Catholic Church, Jesus’s Mystical Body to go to Heaven and avoid Hell.

    -Lionel Andrades

    _______________________________________________________________________________

    Simon Rafe

    Simon Rafe is a former undergraduate in the Department of English Language and Linguistics at Sheffield University, England. An immigrant to the United States, he is an adult convert to Catholicism, formerly being what he describes as a “militant atheist”. Simon has been heavily involved in the Internet for over a decade, working as a webmaster and performing web design for several companies in the UK. He is well-versed in the ethos of the “New Evangelization”, having both found his wife and come to know Christ and the Catholic Church thanks to the Internet. He is the author of the book “Where Did The Bible Come From?” and consultant-author for the Saint Michael’s Basic Training series.

    ——————————————————————————–

  • [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Dcfj0PU_JQ&hl=it_IT&fs=1]

  • How about we celebrate America’s Christian heritage with a church instead?

  • “Don, we should be required to prove that our chosen location for a church is a “good idea”?”

    Well, yes, actually restrainedradical, if a group of Catholic fanactics, to the strains of Ave Maria, had crashed two airliners into the twin towers and then less then a decade later Catholics wanted to build a grand Cathedral two blocks from the site.

    Of course the comparison breaks down in that I find it hard to imagine any priest, let alone a bishop, who would support such a terrorist act by Catholics, no matter the motivation. Plenty of imams, in this country and abroad, have given at least tacit approval to what was done on 9-11.

  • I’ve been told that we can built a church in Mecca when they can build a mosque in Vatican City.

    The Vatican is a 109 acre site occupied by antique buildings with complimentary plazas and gardens. The City of Mecca extends, per some accounts, over an area of 330 sq miles, and, like any city, makes additions to its stock of buildings each year.

  • How about we celebrate America’s Christian heritage with a church instead?

    I believe there already is a church equally close by to Ground Zero.

  • Blackadder,

    You are employing reason as we understand it from a Christian perspective. That is not how the Muslim mind thinks.

    Muslims are commanded to employ taqiy’ya, loosely translated as concealing or guarding. Practically it means employing deceit to conquer your enemy. ‘Moderate’ Muslims are living pleasantly amongst us simply to be inside the gates to open them for the inevitable attack. Any other view is asking for our destruction.

    Well, gee, if that’s the case how do I know that you aren’t secretly a muslim practicing taqiy’ya?

  • “Well, gee, if that’s the case how do I know that you aren’t secretly a muslim practicing taqiy’ya?”

    Or you BA? Paranoia, it’s not just a game! 🙂

  • “I believe there already is a church equally close by to Ground Zero.”

    Is there a synagogue? How about a Hindu shrine?

  • Allowing the building of this or any other Mosque shows our commitment to religious freedom. Not allowing it “to happen” gives the impression that we don’t take freedom of the religion seriously or that we take it seriously for us but not for them.

  • “Allowing the building of this or any other Mosque shows our commitment to religious freedom.”

    To whom? And to what end? Call it a hunch, but I think the Muslims worldwide who think America got what it deserved on 9/11 won’t react to a 13-story mosque at ground zero with heartfelt gratitude and a new appreciation for Western tolerance, but rather as unmistakable (and further) evidence that Western society is a paper tiger, an apple ripe for the plucking.

    I’m all for religious freedom, but we don’t need to symbolically bend over and clutch our ankles to show our commitment to it.

    We’d do better to show our commitment to religious freedom by, say, standing up and fighting for our own religious values such as the rights of the unborn and the integrity of marriage. Simply preventing the construction of a mosque at ground zero isn’t enough to impress upon anyone that we do in fact take our own religious liberties seriously.

  • “Not allowing it “to happen” gives the impression that we don’t take freedom of the religion seriously or that we take it seriously for us but not for them.”

    If the “Cordoba Initiative”, a name that bespeaks gross ignorance of what Muslim Andalus was actually like, obtains the necessary permits they have every right to construct the mosque, just like the wackos of the Westboro Baptist “church” have the right to protest at the funerals of servicemen. Whether a right should be exercised in a particular case is completely separate from whether a legal right exists.

  • I’m happy for you all. You seem to be able to see ‘it’ – September 11/the Pentagon/World Trade Center – as the plot for boring History Channel specials they rerun every September.

    I know: I need to get over it!

    Well, at the least $100 million (from wherever they obtained it) won’t be used to arm, supply, and train mass murderers. Thank God for small mercies.

    I will join the widows, widowers, mothers, fathers, orphans of the 3,000 victims in whatever they deem approriate.

    Anyhow, there appears to be an amount of ignorance around here.

    Pull your heads out of the sand. The religious war that is now raging around you is far bigger than you know.

  • Yes, T. Shaw. We get it. Only you are seriously passionate about the threat of Islamic terrorism. Those of us who think that calling all Muslims filthy animals is beneath contempt must obviously have our heads in the sand.

    The sad thing is that there is a little bit too much naivety about the threat of Islamism – whether it be expressed here or in the wilder world. Yet there are those who seem to think that anything less than 100 percent, undiluted, RAGE AND HATRED ARGHHHHHH!!!!! is unacceptable. Shouting at the skies might be amusing for a while, but at some point it’s time to grow up. Raging at the world isn’t going to solve problems. I’m not saying we should stifle our passions or walk around like robots, but you’ve gotta channel some of that to more constructive purposes.

  • Is there a synagogue? How about a Hindu shrine?

    I have no idea. And, more importantly, who cares?

  • The enemy lies amongst us. They will continue to out breed us until the day they rise up to take control. It’s not too many years away before they’ll be able to vote whom ever they wish to the highest political seats in our nation.

    “America…it was fun while it lasted”!!!

  • Pat and everyone else,

    America is not Europe.

    What is occurring in Europe will not occur in America because we integrate our immigrants into society. We don’t make entire new neighborhoods for them to reside in as Europe does.

    Granted blue states like California and New York will not integrate their immigrants like the rest of the country, but I guess it is a problem they will need to deal with in the future.

  • We let them build it, not because we’ve forgotten 9/11 or because we think it’ll win world support for us. We let them build it because we’re America, and if we stop them then we’re liars.

    The whole point of this blog is to approach issues from an American Catholic perspective. The implication is that it’s possible to be both American and Catholic. The day we ignore the Constitutional protection of religion in the name of our Faith is the day we cease to be American Catholics.

  • They are commanded to conquer by the sword and slay all enemies, although Jews and Christians may be allowed to live as slaves.

    How do you suggest we peacefully exist with that mentality?

    Because not all of them share that mentality. There is nothing wrong with working with the more “Piskyized” versions of Muslims.

  • Tito –

    I’m not talking about immigrants. These will be American born Muslims, that worship Islam. They will/are out breeding everyone around the world. Like I said, they will be able to take control of the House of Reps., the Senate & ultimately the Presidency of the U.S. just based off the sheer numbers they’re producing.

    “America…it was fun while it lasted”!

  • Blackadder,

    If I am concealing my true intentions because I am a Muslim, then it appears that my secret plot is to NOT build the Mosque at Ground Zero and I am promoting the conversion of Muslims to the Catholic Faith through the intercession of the Blessed Mother of God.

    By their fruits ye shall know them. 😉

    Pinky,

    Religious freedom is limited to authentic religious practices. Satanists desire to sacrifice virgins to Lucifer – do you think we should let them kill virgins in the interest of religious tolerance? How about Rastafarians, should we allow the use of an illegal (well at least still somewhat) mind-altering drug in their practices?

    The attack we endured on 9/11 was perpetuated by Muslim terrorists. Not by terrorists who happen to be Muslim; rather it was their ‘religious’ ideology that inspired them to kill and destroy. At best, erecting a Mosque so close to Ground Zero is in bad taste and it is more likely a beachhead for the battle against the unfaithful infidels who must be subjugated or destroyed (in case you are wondering that is everyone who does not subscribe to the Islamist ideology of the particular terrorist group that committed the heinous attacks, and includes Muslims who tolerate the ways of the West).

    Your opinion, kindly civil sentiment as it is, is grossly naive.

  • AK – In what context to you mean “authentic religious practices”, theological or civil? False religions have no rights in themselves, but they have rights accorded them by human freedom. That’s what a theologian would say, I think.

    As a civil matter, religion isn’t an excuse to break the law. If we had reason to believe that this particular mosque was being used to commit or encourage criminal activity, we’d be right to investigate it and arrest those involved. If you’re worried that they’re hiding something, we can keep an eye on them. But we can’t forbid them from building on the grounds that they’re Muslim. At least not under the current interpretation of our Constitution.

  • Tito Edwards, yes New York will pay soon enough for failing to integrate the Irish, Jews, Italians, and Chinese.

    Fact is we’re never had a problem with people retaining foreign cultures as long as they retain or adopt a common set of core values. There is nothing to indicate that the Muslims who will worship at the mosque do not share our values. In fact, their values are probably closer to conservative Southern values than liberal NYC values. If you talk to Muslim cabbies in NYC (who will probably make up a large portion of the mosque’s congregants), they sound like conservative Southerners with the exceptions of their views on immigration and Israel. I even met one who thought Bush would be remembered as one of America’s greatest presidents for taking down Saddam. Another Muslim cabbie expressed his disgust that an Episcopal church we were passing by was converted into a club. These are hardly the people who are subverting our way of life.

  • RR,

    I’m referring to the “multi-cultural” programs that purposely segregate and demonize “whitey” that is taught in the schools in New York and California.

    I am not familiar with the sample pool of NYC cab drivers and their political leanings.

    Though I know Tijuana taxi drivers and they have a pretty good right hook.

  • RR,

    As a Coptic friend of mine once told me, “Your problem is you think like a Westerner.” Her portrait of living under (and I do mean under) Islam is not flattering. Her experience is probably more informative than a few cab rides in NYC.

  • Way too much education wasted here. Our sense of right and wrong, enshrined in our legal system, will guarantee that when the permits clear, Islam will have it’s Al Aqsa Mosque casting a triumphalist shadow over (or very near) the place of execution of thousands of (mostly) infidels.

    That said, there is no way to turn their intent to erect this hellish monument into anything less triumphalist, even malicious, than Catholic-in-good-standing Nancy Pelosi’s provocative march of the Democrats through those gathered in DC to protest against the passage of the ObamabortionCare bill.

    Our sense of right and wrong will cause us to stand by with our hands in our pockets while those who wish us ill lay the legal, financial, and political groundworks from which they will ultimately bring us into dhimmitude.

  • j. christian, I didn’t know we were talking about Islam in Egypt. I had thought we were talking about Muslims in NYC.

  • And I thought we were talking about Islam, not Muslims.

  • This is not about individual opinions, but demographic changes.

    You meet Muslims who are sympathetic to Christianity when it is attacked by secularism – and you meet Muslims who are allied with leftist radicals against all things Western.

    Today, its sensitivity programs and recognition of holidays. That’s where it starts. Tomorrow, towns with significant Muslim populations start wondering why they can’t have sharia courts for family disputes. The flow of Muslim immigration to the US isn’t like what it is in Europe so we may have a while yet before such things occur. But we may as well take measures against it now – like, perhaps, state laws forever barring the establishment of separate sharia courts. I know people will say our first amendment prevents it. Lawyers will always find a a way to justify anything. What we don’t want in the future must clearly be spelled out now, before some bottom-feeder hoodwinks a judge or jury and establishes a dangerous precedent.

    That’s why I care, Blackadder. Jews and Hindus don’t have a mandate to convert the world by any means necessary. Muslims do. Christians also have a mandate to spread the Gospel throughout the world, but many Muslim states punish both proselytization and conversion from Islam with death.

    I really don’t hate Muslims. I respect them on many levels. But I don’t want their values replacing ours. We don’t have to become hateful savages in our dealings with them, but we need to at least match their level of determination to see their own religion and world view triumph.

  • I don’t think we assimilate like we used to. Even 30 years ago, it was assumed that the first generation would figure out English the best they could, and the second generation would be raised American (even if the family remained in an ethnic neighborhood). These days, we reinforce the “manyness” of the immigrant rather than promote the “oneness” of America. If we don’t stop that, we can’t handle any immigration at all without falling apart. If we return to the idea of assimilation, we can handle a slow influx of any culture.

  • Pinky, know many 2nd generation Americans who can’t speak English? I don’t that’s been an issue since French immigration to New England 100 years ago. Immigrants probably assimilate faster today than ever before.

  • It’s my understanding that there was a much smaller mosque, near the twin towers, and that it was damaged when the airplanes hit. Rebuild the mosque to what it once was, there is nothing wrong with that, but to build a new, much, much larger mega mosque is a slap in the face to those who lost loved ones on 9/11. As someone above said, how would muslims like it if a Cathedral was built at Mecca?

  • Pinky,

    There are a few problems with your line of thinking.

    First, there have only been two authentic religious practices – those of the Hebrews prior to the Incarnation and those of the Catholic Church since. That being said, we are not a Catholic nation; however, we are Christian.

    To be clear in our Christian nation we allow religious freedom, originally that meant that as a matter of culture we allow the different denominations of Christians to practice their own faith – it also meant that we would allow guests to practice what they desire; however guests are not invited to change the fundamental principles of our culture including religious life.

    Something as fundamental to the make-up, the constitution, of each and every one of us as religion is, cannot be multi-cultural. We have to genuinely agree on some basic truths of conduct. The only rules of conduct that are compatible with authentic human freedom are those of mere Christianity (to quote C.S. Lewis). Muslims who practice within the confines of Christian culture are welcome. Yet Christians are barely permitted to be Christians in a Muslim state.

    It is a terrible error to apply Western Christian thought about human dignity, religious freedom, human rights, etc. to the Muslim view. Islam is a conquering religion, at any cost. It is imperial, it is unbridled human passion without the restraints of reason. Do most Muslims practice their religion that way? No. But that doesn’t change what Islam is. Many Muslims do adhere to the jihad between Dar-Al-Islam (the House of Peace) and Dar-Al-Harb (the House of War). You cannot take that lightly. If you do, it is to your own peril. We are commanded to love our enemies, which means we should want them to be saved by the Precious Blood of Christ – without compulsion. But, it does not mean we tolerate their blasphemies, errors, heresies and aggression.

    Furthermore, the civil law is only valid when it is built upon the rock that is God’s Law. What are you going to do when the Catholic Church is declared illegal because she discriminates against women by not ordaining them as priests, or, engages in ‘hate speech’ for her views on homosexualism?

    Most Catholics throughout the world, including China and ALL Muslim controlled lands, practice their faith in secret because to be Catholic is illegal.

    There is no such thing as the CURRENT interpretation of the Constitution – there is only the original intent of the Constitution, properly amended. The false idea that it is to be perpetually and continuously interpreted is a liberal idea to undermine the very term constitution.

    Patrick Henry said it clearly, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship.” (Now there is some dispute as to whether or not he actually said that, or if it was added to one of his letters in 1956 – nevertheless, the sentiment is valid.)

    We can accept certain Muslims into the United States; however, those would be either guests, tourist or laborers who are invited by the employer for a temporary stay and that has to be enforced strictly. Muslims that want to come here to live, would need to choose to live in a Christian culture, which is essentially to no longer desire to be Muslim.

    I agree with your point about assimilation. We are a nation of many elasticities, but we are of one culture – the American culture and authentic American culture is Christian in character and quite compatible and welcoming to Catholics. Of course, we should all remember, sadly many don’t, that we are to uncoercively change the culture toward the one true Catholic faith without being changed by the culture.

  • AK – You raised a lot of issues, but since we disagree on a lot of things, let’s take them one at a time.

    You said that religious freedom is limited to authentic religious practices, and that there is only one such practice at this point in history. But that’s not the same thing as banning the practice of other religions. The Catholic Encyclopedia defines three types of religious toleration: dogmatic, civil, and political. The practice of dogmatic toleration of error is an affront to truth, but civil and political toleration of error are obligations. That’s why I was making the distinction between our obligation as Americans and as Catholics.

    The Summa calls religion a natural virtue, not a supernatural one. I take that to mean that the practice of any religion, even in error, contains an element of virtue. Jacques Maritain says that with respect to God and truth each of us is obligated to follow the true religion, but “with respect to the State, to the temporal community and to the temporal power, he is free to choose his religious path at his own risk; his freedom of conscience is a natural, inviolable right”.

  • Pinky,

    We are Catholics first and from the dogmatic perspective we have to be intolerant. The Spirit of the World stands against God and we are always to seek His Kingdom first. On this I know we agree.

    As for being Americans, well then we have to be vigilant to protect the fragile nature of a free society. Although the natural virtue of religion is admirable in all, after all it is innately human to seek Truth and that is what the virtue of religion is, it is not admirable to twist the virtue into an orientation for anything else. Religion is the justice due to God. For an American to have freedom of religion necessarily means a religion based on truth, not necessarily God’s revealed Truth, but the natural truth that we can know by reason.

    The religion of the atheists can be practiced by good people. If their intellect is acute enough and can see the world as it is, then an atheist can have some sense of morality. They won’t admit it, but that morality would necessarily have Christian elements, although not fullness of truth – that is what Western tradition is all about. Mormons too. They do NOT believe in God as we do, and the ‘revelation’ they received from the mind of Joseph Smith is full of error. Yet, being an American invention, their religion is replete with authentic Christian morals, which is why most Mormons are good people and fully compatible with life in America – religious heresies excepted.

    Islam is like Mormonism in many ways. It was ‘revealed’ to a mentally unstable man by and ‘angel’ and is a horrible heresy. Islam is very different than Mormonism in that Islam demands the conquest of the world by the power of force, terror, fear, plunder, deceit and unbridled human passion. This is incompatible with life in America, with our civic institutions, with our way of life. It cannot coexist in the same culture as anything other than Islam. It is not to be tolerated because it is a dangerous political movement and even the most benign Muslim will eventually face the choice of renouncing their faith (which is a death sentence) or becoming a jihadi. Mohammad left no other option.

    To be ‘tolerant’ of Islam within our country is to tempt God to unleash hell upon us. Perhaps that is what He has in mind. I don’t know, but it wouldn’t be the first time He uses Islam to chastise the children of His one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church.

    As for freedom of conscience as an inviolable right, I do agree; however, keep in mind that when we commit a mortal sin we may be damning ourselves, but we also bring down the whole Church and when we repent all the angels and saints in Heaven rejoice. We do not sin alone, so while we must have freedom of conscience, after all God gave us a free will, we cannot be absolved of the responsibility our individual sins have on others. The sins of Islam have direct temporal and eternal damage attached. Islam calls for the subjugation of all people of the Book and the wholesale genocidal slaughter of ALL others. That means that Islam desires the murder of 60% of the people, 3 billion souls! And the slavery of another billion. Those numbers may be right out of the Book of the Apocalypse and we are to hasten the Lord’s Parousia, but we are not to desire the tribulation that precedes the Return of the King. Islam thrives on violence, discord, domination, rape, theft, plunder, murder and chaos. To let that blasphemy take hold within our borders is suicide. For Muslims, suicide is salvation; for us it is an unforgivable sin against the Holy Spirit.

    We are at war!

    Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in praelio.

  • It’s not a matter of being “Catholics first”, AK. Obviously, we’re all Catholics first. If we weren’t, we wouldn’t be Catholics at all. Given that fact, the question isn’t whether we choose to be dogmatically intolerant, civilly tolearant, or politically tolerant. The question is how do we do all three at once.

    I’m no fan of sharia, believe me, and I’m not gullible. I understand the dangers of Islam. But America isn’t at war with a religion.

  • Pinky,

    I try to state the obvious when I post because people who aren’t in the dialogue will read it and perhaps some of them aren’t Catholics or at least poorly catechized Catholics.

    We are not at war with a religion, but we are at war with a violent, dangerous, anti-intellectual (reason), anti-brotherhood (love), anti-Christian political ideology masquerading as a religion. To think we are not is to give in to defeat – in this matter we cannot concede. Our primary battle is within ourselves, but in order to win souls for Christ – our primary mission, we cannot allow an environment that is dangerous to both those outside of Islam as well as those mired in it to grow. Will we win? Ultimately – yes; however, we must remember that our part is in the effort – the victory belongs to God alone. Islam is not to be tolerated.

  • It’s not a Ground Zero mosque… it’s a few blocks away… and if you’ve ever been to NYC, you’d know that a few blocks is a huge distance in such a highly densely populated area. And the Imam heading the project has had his own Sufi-based (y’know…the tolerant, love-all type Muslims) in Tribeca since 1990 (Masjid Al-Farah)… roughly 12 blocks from Ground Zero. Masjid Al-Farah, where he’s given the Friday prayer service for over 20 years is the antithesis to fundamentalist Islam. It’s a seat of the Jerrahi Sufis…lead by two female Shaykhas. Heck, they’ve even had same sex couple blessings there and female-led prayers. Imam Rauf was chosen by the FBI to lead sensitivity training following 9/11 and has been involved in Interfaith issues for years. He’s very well-respected among the NYC Interfaith crowd.

    It’s not the same as building a Church in Mecca… nor is it the same as building a mosque in Vatican City (which would be similar). Although you may not know this, people like Imam Rauf are hated by Islamic Extremists far more than non-Muslims. They are viewed to be the kafirs…not Christians and Jews who are viewed as People of the Book. Sufis, liberal/tolerant Muslims are much more enemies of Bin Laden types than you and I. There would be nothing that would bother the Wahabis more than having a Sufi affiliated, Multifaith Islamic Center representing Islam. I say thumbs up. And opposing this mosque, goes against our Constitution. I’d much rather show what true religious freedom is about than unfairly target Muslims–especially those like Imam Rauf.

  • karla,

    You may not have slogged through all the posts, but it is probably worth the time if you have interest in the subject.

    Islam, even Islam as understood by the ‘nice’ Muslims, is incompatible with Western Civilization and especially Christendom. To rationalize any other viewpoint is suicide. Muslims are less than 1.5% of the American population; if ‘tolerant’ people like you keep welcoming more and more of them, that number will grow and the inevitable clash will be a disaster.

    Additionally, I don’t see how Muslims who promote homosexualism are to be held as a sign that Islam is improving. That is some seriously twisted thinking.

  • To prove their love for us, the Mosque proponents seek the civil protection of a fair minded US Constitution which is their right. But will it make us love them? Coming to us outside of the courts and appealing to our Christian duty to love, especially to love our enemies, would have been the better result, if it were for mutual love and respect. As it stands now, we have to love, but we don’t have to like. This manner of action makes me suspect the true motive and I will remain wary, very wary.

    I trust, however, that living long enough in the presence of New Yorkers will have the same “liberating” effect that New Yorkers have had on every monolithic creed they have ever encountered. How long before New York Islam buckles under New York mockery, ridicule, perversion, and defilement? Do you think their grandchildren will be wearing head scarves or jeans? Do you think their children will marry into their faith or be seduced by New York style liberty? We can corrupt the sacred in anyone.

    I also trust that living side by side with committed people of other faiths, persecuted equally by secular society, will lead to personal choices that would not be possible in single faith societies. If the Saudis want to remain Islamic pure, they better not allow any Churches.

  • Woe to us who just don’t get it. Islam seeks to conquer, pure and simple. They will build a mosque in any area they deem significant as a conquest. This is what they do, hence the reason for the mosque on the temple mount in Jerusalem. Anywhere near ground zero, for that matter, the whole of NY City as one of our centers of commerce that represents America, is where they would erect a huge ediface to the glory of their moon rock god (little g) as an insult to us. They would level NYC, then build a new Mecca if they could. We are really the ostridges with our silly 60’s peacenik, hippy, lovefest heads in the sand. They just laugh and praise allah (little a)that our stupidity with our complacent holier-than-thou humanistic, atheistic (a religion by the way), political correctness will lead us to hand over our country (if we don’t wake up!) As to previous posts, if we haven’t already allowed islam (little i) into our political system, we are certainly paving the way.

  • My wife is Muslim (from Lebanon; I am black). The father of the family is a lawyer and the mother is a lawyer. They are living the great American dream– a big screen TV, a German shephard dog in the back yard, a full 401k, a mini-van to bring the kids to footbal practice, the whole enchilada. They also happen to be practicing Muslims. We should not split “us” and “them,” we’re all “us.” Don’t let those criminal terrorists divide our vibrant, learned Muslim community from the rest of America.

  • Max,

    I’m 100% with you.

    Freedom of Religion is a right! The builders behind the Ground Zero Mosque have every right to build their mosque.

    My personal opinion is that the mosque should still not be built near Ground Zero. That’s me practicing my free speech rights.

Is Islam Part of Gods Plan?

Sunday, July 11, AD 2010

Most of us are aware of the Christian exodus from the Middle East where the fundamental problem is Muslim intolerance towards non-Muslims.

Father Samir hopes to change all of that.

In this interview with Father Samir Khalil Samir done by Mirko Testa of Zenit, Father Samir explains the possibility of learning form Lebanon’s coexistence between Christians and Muslims:

The coexistence of Christians and Muslims is good for civil society because their mutual questioning of the other’s faith acts as a stimulus and leads to deeper understanding, says a Jesuit priest who is an expert in Islamic studies.

This is the opinion of Father Samir Khalil Samir, an Islamic scholar and Catholic theologian born in Egypt and based in the Middle East for more than 20 years.

He teaches Catholic theology and Islamic studies at St. Joseph University in Beirut, is founder of the CEDRAC research institute and is author of many articles and books, including “111 Questions on Islam.”

ZENIT spoke with Father Samir regarding the June 21-22 meeting in Lebanon of the Oasis International Foundation, which seeks to promote mutual knowledge among Christians and Muslims.

ZENIT: Why was the subject of education placed at the center of the Oasis meeting this year?

Father Samir: The problem we are experiencing both in the Church as well as in Islam is that we are not always able to transmit the faith easily to the new generation and the generations to come. The question we ask ourselves is: In what way should we rethink the faith for young people, but also in parishes or in mosques, in the talks that religious address to their faithful?

This is what we want: to make a study of the Christian experience in Lebanon, and the Muslim Sunni experience and the Muslim Shiite experience in this ambit. We want to compare, to identify even if it is only the common difficulties, to seek together an answer to them. I think this has been the main objective of our meeting in face of a dialogue of cultures in the Christian and the Muslim faith.

ZENIT: What effect would the disappearance of the Churches of the Middle East have on the Christian and Muslim world?

Father Samir: The disappearance of the Churches of the Middle East would be, first of all, a loss for Christianity, because, as John Paul II said, the Church, as every human being, lives with two lungs: the Eastern and the Western. Now, the Eastern Churches were born here in the land of Jesus, in the territories of the Middle East, where Christ lived. And if this experience, these millennia of tradition are lost, then the loss will be for the whole Church, both of the Christians of the East as well as the Christians of the West.

However, there is more to this: if Christian leave the Middle East, in other words, if the Muslims remain alone, an element of stimulation will be lacking — represented, in fact, by that element of diversity that Christians can contribute. Diversity of faith, because Muslims ask us every day: How is it that you say that God is One and Triune? This is contradictory. And we say: How is it that you say that Mohammed is a prophet? What are, for you, the criteria of prophecy? Does Mohammed answer to these criteria? And what does it mean that the Quran is from God? In what sense do you say that it descended on Mohammed? We say that the Bible is divine, but mediated through human authors, whereas Muslims want to remove Mohammed’s mediation.

These questions that they ask us and that we ask are a stimulus, not only for civilization, but also for civil society. It would be a great loss because the risk exists of wishing to found a society, a state based on the sharia, that is, on something that was established in the seventh century in the region of the Arabian Peninsula, even if for Muslims the sharia is generic and true for all centuries and all cultures.

And this is Islam’s great problem: how can Islam be re-thought today? The absence of Christians would make the problem even more acute.

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4 Responses to Is Islam Part of Gods Plan?

  • Nice ideas. Maybe they will work. We can pray. Our Lady is revered by the Muslims, at least as much as any woman is revered by Islam – she can lead them to the truth. We need to ask her.

    That being said, Lebanon was drowned in 15 years of civil war for political reasons born of the Muslim mind and that includes the influence of Islamic thinking patterns on Christians. Islam is like the Matrix, even non-Muslims living in Muslim lands are plugged into the lie.

    As for Muslims and Christians getting along in Lebanon – sure they do, however, some like Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hizb’Allah, don’t like it and will only lie in wait until they are strong enough to do something about it. In any event most Muslims and Christians that get along are essentially secularists. I am not so sure that indifferentism toward all religion is a cure for the plight of Christianity in the region that Christ walked.

  • Is malignant melanoma part of God’s Plan?

  • There has always been a certain percentage of Muslims who sincerely seek the truth. Never more than a tenth of the population at any given time, they are the earnest ones who have questions about the Trinity and the Eucharist. Such Muslims by their very nature do not threathen the Christians. No Christian is about to abandon his home and hearth, just because he can’t handle the apologetics. Instead they are leaving because they are being murdered as in Iraq, through widespread intimidation and the unfailing standby of harassment of their women.

  • I think we need to discuss the Catholic ex cathedra dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus and not just accept the secular media’s interpretation. This is important for our understanding and relationshoip with Muslims.
    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.com/2010/07/apologist-simon-rafe-in-real-catholic.html#links

    Thursday, July 15, 2010
    APOLOGIST SIMON RAFE IN REAL CATHOLIC DIFFICULTY : MAGISTERIUM SAYS EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE A VISIBLE MEMBER OF THE CHURCH FOR SALVATION, EXTRA ECCLESIAM NULLA SALUS

    Apologist Simon Rafe says:

    The teaching of the Church is that a person CAN be saved if they are not a visible member of the Church.
    Lionel: Yes. True. This is not being denied.

    Rafe :To deny this is to cease to give full acceptance to the Church.
    Lionel: It is not being denied.

    Rafe:Non-Catholics can be saved, DESPITE their failure to be a visible member of the Church. This is the teaching of the Church.
    Lionel: This is not the official teaching of the Church. This is a popular interpretation.

    I would say everyone needs to be a visible member of the Catholic Church to be saved and there are no known exceptions. If a person was saved without being a visible member of the Catholic Church it would be known to God only, we cannot know any such case.

    It’s a real Catholic difficulty these days, with the new doctrine, which goes like this: everybody needs to enter the Catholic Church for salvation except for those in invincible ignorance, the baptism of desire or a good conscience.

    When people say that everybody needs to enter the Catholic Church except for those in invincible ignorance, with the baptism of desire and a good conscience it could be right or wrong depending on the interpretation.

    1. It is WRONG if they mean that every one does not need to become a visible member of the church. Then this is a new doctrine and contrary to the Deposit of the Faith.

    2. It is RIGHT if they mean every one does have to become a visible member of the Catholic Church to avoid Hell and if there is anyone with the Baptism of Desire, genuine invincible ignorance and a good conscience it will be known only to God.

    (Note: Above I affirm the Baptism of Desire, invincible ignorance and a good conscience and I also affirm the dogma that everybody needs to be a visible member of the Catholic Church to avoid Hell.)

    The dogma says everyone needs to be a visible member of the Catholic Church.

    ‘…it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 302.). Ex Cathedra

    ‘…none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation…

    No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” – (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.) Ex Cathedra
    The dogma does not contradict other Church Documents regarding the Baptism of Desire.

    Simon Rafe’s problem is one being faced by many Catholics, including those who have orthodox Catholic beliefs.Some Catholics are describing the situation as ‘a mystery’.So Rafe is only repeating the problem as other Catholics face it i.e everyone needs to be a visible member of the church and everyone does not need to be a visible member of the Church.

    Catholics in erroe interpret the Catechism and the Vatican Council II according to the Jewish Left media and believe there is no other interpretation. Simon Rafe and others needs to interpret the Catechism of the Catholic Church,Vatican Council II and the Letter of the Holy Office 1949, in line with the ex cathedra dogma which says everyone needs to be a visible member of the catholic Church and there are no exceptions. Simon agrees everyone needs to be a visible member of the Catholic Church for salvation but when I ask him of Lumen Gentium 16 contradicts this teaching of the dogma he does not answer.

    The Magisterium of the Church cannot reject an ex cathedra dogma.
    So interpret all Church documents according to extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

    Catholic Church documents say everyone needs to be a visible member of the Church to avoid Hell and there is no Church document issued to refute it.

    1. For instance we can misinterpret the Letter of the Holy Office 1949.

    In order for someone to be saved, it explained, “it is not always required that he be incorporated into the Church as an actual member, but it is necessary at least to be united to her by desire and longing.”-Letter of the Holy Office 1949. The same message is there in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

    True however this (not receiving the Baptism of water as an adult and being saved) is only known to God. It is not as real as the Baptism of Water. So it was wrong to suggest that everyone does not have to be a visible member of the Church, as if the Baptism of Desire is explicit and visible by nature. So this is a distorted interpretation of the Letter of the Holy Office using the Cushing Doctrine. It is heresy. It is clear ‘double speak’. Discerning Catholics consider this new doctrine a hoax, the equivalent of the fabled Emperors New Clothes. Liberals call it a developed doctrine.

    Through his books Fr. Hans Kung uses the Cushing Doctrine, suggesting Lumen Gentium 16 refers to explicit and not implicit salvation, to question the infallibility of the pope ex cathedra. He maintains the Kung Deception that the Church has retracted extra ecclesiam nulla salus after Vatican Council II.

    Without the Cushing Doctrine, one could say: For salvation everyone needs to be a visible (explicit) member of the Catholic Church with no exception and if there is anyone with the Baptism of Desire or who is in invincible ignorance it will be known to God only.

    If this point in the Letter is ministerpreted one could also misinterpret the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

    2. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says the Church alone saves from the flood like Noah’s Ark and so everyone needs to enter the Ark to be saved. Extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

    N.845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son’s Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is “the world reconciled.” She is that bark which “in the full sail of the Lord’s cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world.” According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah’s ark, which alone saves from the flood.-Catechism of the Catholic Church n.845
    Here we have an interpretation of the Catechism affirming the dogma.

    3.”Outside the Church there is no salvation”

    846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

    Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.-Catechism of the Catholic Church 846
    CCC 846,847 like Lumen Gentium 16 refer to implicit salvation, those saved ‘in certain circumstances’ (Letter of the Holy Office 1949).They are known to God only.

    847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

    Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.-Catechism of the Catholic Church,N.847

    848 “Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men.”-Catechism of the Catholic Church,N.848
    Those saved implicitly (CCC 847,848) for us, they are just a concept, something hypothetical, a possibility. It is not explicit. Since it is not explicit it does not contradict CCC845, 836.It does not contradict Ad Gentes 7, Lumen Gentium 14 and the infallible teaching outside the church there is no salvation.

    CCC836 which says all people need to enter the Catholic Church include all Christians who are not in full communion with the Catholic Church, Jesus’ Mystical Body.
    If CCC 846,847(invincible ignorance etc) referred to explicit salvation, it would be irrational. Since we cannot judge who has a baptism of desire or is in genuine invincible ignorance.It would also mean that the Catechism, which is the ordinary Magisterium of the Church, is correcting and contradicting an ex cathedra teaching. So it would be a rejection of the dogma on the infallibility of the pope.It would mean CCC 846,847 (implicit invincible ignorance etc) is a new Christian doctrine or Christian Revelation.
    Yet this teaching was not mentioned for the first time in the Catechism of the Catholic Church or Vatican Council II (Lumen Gentium16).It was referred to in the Letter of the Holy Office 1949 to the Archbishop of Boston, Richard Cushing. The popes over the centuries always considered those saved by implicit faith as, implicit. Hence the ex cathedra teaching said everyone with no exception needs explicit faith (the baptism of water and Catholic Faith).
    So 846,847 do not refer to explicit salvation. Otherwise it would be irrational, illogical and contrary to the Magisterium of the past and present.
    The Catholic Church is saying everybody needs to be a visible member of the Church to avoid Hell.Those who are aware of Jesus and the Church and yet do not enter are on the way to Hell, definitely.
    CCC is also saying that all non-Catholics in general need to enter the Catholic Church to avoid Hell. All. If there is anyone among them with the baptism of desire, invincible ignorance etc (implicit faith) it will be known to God only. We cannot judge.
    De facto everyone needs to enter the Catholic Church for salvation.
    De jure there could be the probability, known only to God, of someone ‘in certain circumstances’ (Letter of the Holy Office 1949) being saved with implicit faith. God will provide all the helps in the manner known to Him only; it could include explicit faith (the baptism of water).So if someone says the Catechism says that they can be saved who are in invincible ignorance etc, the answer is: ‘Yes, as a concept only. In principle.’ De facto everyone explicitly needs to be a Catholic to go to Heaven is the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.(CCC 845).Simon Rafe needs to clarify this point.

    “For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament” (CCC 1259).
    In other words everyone needs to de facto be a ‘card carrying member’ of the Catholic Church, everyone needs to have his name on a Parish Register. All who are in Heaven, people of different countries, cultures and times, are Catholics, the chosen people of God, the Elect, the people of the New Covenant. I think Simon Rafe and Michael Vorris would agree here. They recently produced a video on ONLY CATHOLICS IN HEAVEN! ( http://www.youtube.com/user/RealCatholicTV#p/a/u/0/2Dcfj0PU_JQ ) . It is highly recommended.( I try not to miss Michael Vorris’ videos)

    4.In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the sub title‘Outside the Church there is no salvation’ has been placed over N.846.It should really be above number 845.

    The ex cathedra dogma says everyone needs to explicitly enter the Church for salvation. It is in agreement with n.845

    N.845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son’s Church….(quoted above in full )
    Here is the ex cathedra dogma:

    1. “There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved.” (Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215). Ex cathedra.

    2.“We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302.).Ex cathedra.

    3.“The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.) Ex cathedra
    – from the website Catholicism.org and “No Salvation outside the Church”: Link List, the Three Dogmatic Statements Regarding EENS http://nosalvationoutsideofthecatholicchurch.blogspot.com/
    It says everyone needs to be a visible member of the Catholic Church to go to Heaven and avoid Hell.

    So CCC 847,848 must be interpreted as referring to implicit salvation, in ’certain circumstances’ and unknown to us, otherwise it would contradict the infallible teaching.

    847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

    Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.-Catechism of the Catholic Church
    848 “Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men.”-Catechism of the Catholic Church
    CCC 847, 848 do not refer to explicit salvation and so do not contradict the dogma. There is no de facto baptism of desire that we can know of. There is no explicit Baptism of desire that we can know of. While implicit Baptism of Desire is only a concept for us. Since it is known only to God.

    So if asked if everyone needs to enter the Catholic Church for salvation the answer is YES.

    5. Everyone explicitly needs to enter the Catholic Church for salvation and those who have the baptism of desire or are invincible ignorance would be known only to God.

    All men are certainly called to this Catholic unity. The Catholic faithful, others who believe in Christ and all mankind belong to or are ordered to Catholic unity.-CCC 836

    Here again we have an affirmation of the ex cathedra dogma and the word all is used as in Ad Gentes 7.

    6.

    How do we understand this saying from the Church Fathers? All salvation comes from Christ through his Body, the Church which is necessary for salvation because Christ is present in his Church…-CCC846
    Here the Catechism places de jure and defacto salvation together. It does not conflict with the ex cathedra teaching that everyone with no exception needs to enter the Catholic Church .We cannot personally know any cases of a genuine invincible ignorance, baptism of desire or a good conscience.

    7.

    However, those, who through no fault of their own do not know either the Gospel of Christ or his Church, can achieve salvation by seeking God with a sincere heart and by trying to do God’s will (Second Vatican Council). Although God can lead all people to salvation, the Church still has the duty to evangelize all men.-CCC 848
    Those who are in invincible ignorance can be saved -and this does not conflict with the ex cathedra dogma that everyone with no exception needs to enter the Church to avoid Hell. It is a conceptual, de jure understanding.

    8. CCC 1257 The Necessity of Baptism

    CCC 1257 affirms the dogma when it says that the Church knows of no means to eternal beatitude other than the baptism of water. This is a reference to explicit salvation for all with no known exceptions.

    CCC 1257 also says that for salvation God is not restricted to the Sacraments. This must not be interpreted as opposing the dogma or the earlier part of CCC 1257. This is a possibility, ‘in certain circumstances’ (Letter of the Holy Office 1949) and we cannot judge any specific cases. Th Baptism of Desire is never explicit for us humans.
    I repeat the Church refers to the ordinary means of salvation (Redemptoris Missio 5. The word ordinary is used in RM 55).

    In Dominus Iesus the words de jure and de facto are used in the Introduction.

    In CCC 1257 we have the baptism of water as the ordinary means of salvation for all people with no exception.

    In CCC 1257 we also have those saved with implicit faith (invincible ignorance,BOD etc) as the extraordinary means of salvation.(‘God is not limited to the Sacraments’).

    VI. THE NECESSITY OF BAPTISM

    1257 The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation.59 He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them.60 Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament.61 The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are “reborn of water and the Spirit.” God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments. -Catechism of the Catholic Church 1257

    The Letter of the Holy Office 1949 while affirming the dogma and the need for everyone to be a visible member of the Church to go to Heaven with no exceptions- also says that ‘in certain circumstances’ a person can be saved with implicit faith, if God wills it.

    However, those, who through no fault of their own do not know either the Gospel of Christ or his Church, can achieve salvation by seeking God with a sincere heart and by trying to do God’s will (Second Vatican Council). Although God can lead all people to salvation, the Church still has the duty to evangelize all men.-CCC 848

    St.Thomas Aquinas says God will ‘provide the helps necessary for salvation’ by sending a person to baptize the one needing help in this extraordinary situation OR telling the person what he needs to do.

    Here we are in a conceptual area, open to theories since this is the nature of the baptism of desire etc which cannot be explicitly known to us humans.
    St.Thomas Aquinas also said that everyone with no exception needs to be a visible member of the Catholic Church for salvation. De facto everyone needs to enter. De jure there could be the man in the forest for St.Thomas Aquinas. He did not have a problem with de facto and de jure.

    On the Saint Benedict Centre website, the community founded by Fr.Leonard Feeney in New Hampshire,USA it is written, that Fr.Leonard Feeney knew that his view on the Baptism of Desire was only an opinion.
    Finally everyone’s view on the Baptism of Desire is ONLY AN OPINION. De jure. This is seen clearly in CCC 1257.
    It reminds one of Jesus’ saying that ‘he who does not collect with me disperses’ and ‘those who are not against us are for us.’

    9.When it is said that only those who know about the Catholic Church need to enter to avoid Hell (Ad Gentes 7) we can mistake this to mean only this category of people are on the way to Hell. Instead we know that all non Catholics are on the way to Hell with no exception ( ex cathedra dogma) and if there is any one among them who is in invincible ignorance etc it will be known only to God.

    Those who are in invincible ignorance can be saved-and this does not conflict with the ex cathedra dogma that everyone with no exception needs to enter the Church to avoid Hell. It is a conceptual, de jure