Monday, October 25, 2010
A good discussion over at Jihad Watch among Spencer's hoi ochloi
I came across a good discussion in one of the comments threads over at Jihad Watch, from which I have been unfairly banned and so I have to come back here to my blog just to participate -- vicariously and without the benefit of give-and-take -- in it.
Of particular note is one commenter, "Aquinas", who defends his argument soundly and forcefully (with a couple of exceptions, which I'll get to shortly).
The discussion, only incrementally off-topic, concerns the Pope and ecclesiastical hierarchy of the Catholic church and whether they are being unconscionably remiss in their obligation to oppose Islam. "Aquinas" argues they are. Another commenter, "Jos B" disagreed. "Aquinas" then scolded him well. His comment is in italics, my commentary is interspersed in square brackets:
Do yourself a favor and go to www.TheReligionOfPeace.com and read for an hour or so all the absolute atrocities Muslims carry out on a daily basis in the name of their "god".
[No need to go over to another website: Jihad Watch easily supplies a sufficiently massive mountain of data about the horrors which Muslims are advocating and perpetrating in our time, when they are not either doing nothing to stop them or lying about them.]
Then come back here and tell me the Catholic Church's response has been adequate. I defy you. Girls buried alive or burned to death for "honor". Women horribly abused and girls mutilated. Apostates and homosexuals tortured and killed. Non-Muslims bitterly persecuted and killed. Young girls stoned to death for having been the victims of rape. Young girls forced to marry and [therefore] be raped by old men in arranged marriages. Young Christian girls in Egypt and Pakistan and Sudan kidnapped, raped, and forcibly "converted" to Islam. Then go to TruthTube.tv and watch a few actual beheadings or stonings. Inform yourself before you speak, please.
And the Catholic Church's response to these diabolical atrocities is: "the space given to the freedom to practice religion is often quite limited." And: [freedom of religion is] "one of the fundamental human rights that each state should always respect."
Don't mean to embarrass you, but YOU'RE KIDDING, RIGHT?
That's like: a guy bursts into your house late at night and begins raping your wife and you stand there and state (dogmatically, of course): "The bodily integrity of the individual human person is a right which should in principle never be violated."
Friend, Islam is on the march. People of good will, like Robert and Pam have recognized this fact.
[Well, Robert and Pam only recognize that Islam (or "elements of Islam") contains doctrinal justification for such horrific human rights abuses and that such justification is motivating those Muslims who are committing those abuses: Robert and Pam thus oppose Islam, but not Muslims, and thus they leave the door wide open for assuming that the majority (if not the vast majority) of Muslims are harmless and/or salvageable -- an assumption, I have maintained numerous times which, when translated into policy (and it already is, quasi-neo-Wilsonianly), leads to the predicament the West is in now, of having admitted, and continuing to admit, masses of Muslims into our societies.]
My questions are: Why is the Catholic Church so silent about the evident evils of this worldwide ideology of hatred and violence? And why does it specifically refer to Islam as an "Abrahamic faith"? Don't get me wrong. I believe the Catholic Church is the true Church founded by Jesus Christ. No argument there. I AM a Catholic. But I am very curious to know why the Catholic Church has adopted such a dhimmi posture towards Islam and the current Islamic jihad.
[Here, "Aquinas" manifests a typical bafflement about PC MC -- a bafflement generated by the Explanatory Vacuum: when a person has no grasp on the sociopolitical phenomenon of PC MC and how it has attained mainstream dominance throughout the West, one becomes baffled as to how ostensibly non-Leftist institutions (the Republican party, the Catholic church, etc.) could possibly be more or less pro-Muslim.]
And, again, no lie: I personally have been commanded - officially and on pain of my employment in our diocese - never [again] to "make negative general comments about Islam or Muslims".
The simple fact is that the Church's response to Islam has been inadequate at best. Just as it would be criminal for the man to stand by and spout platitudes about the bodily integrity of the human person while his wife was being raped, it is INADEQUATE and INSUFFICIENT for the Pope to talk in generalities about the "freedom of religion" and "human rights" while Rome burns... Be honest: the statements the Pope makes are typical diplomat-speak and meant "not to offend" anyone. He speaks in generalities intentionally NOT to offend the sensibilities of Muslims. And to avoid their typically barbarian response. And his response to the Muslim outrage [and murder] after his speech at Regensberg was weak at best. He did not apologise. But he was evidently cowed by their violence.
Why not just come out and call them the barbarians they are? Jesus called the Pharisees children of the devil. Why won't the Pope speak the truth and openly call Islam the hateful, diabolical ideology that it manifestly is? If you're the Vicar of Christ on earth: open your mouth and call Islam what it is: a diabolically evil ideology of intolerance, hatred, violence, and death. Many people can see that the emperor has no clothes; why can't the Pope? And if he does see it: why doesn't he SAY it? Or atleast make it a clear policy among his bishops and priests not to silence the rank and file lay Catholics if THEY want to criticise it?
And WHY does the Catholic Church refer to Islam as an "Abrahamic faith"??? Have the Bishops actually read the Qur'an? Do they know what it teaches? Why even refer to Islam as a religious faith at all, once you know its teachings and objectives? Just my opinion. But in my opinion the Catholic Church's response to Islam has been (and continues to be) supine and dhimmi.
"Jos B" responded with, among other things, a well-worn mantra:
Aquinas, well it's easy enough for you and I to say that sitting in our nice armchairs at home here, but what do you think is going to happen to Christians in Muslim countries if the Pope speaks out heavily?
With another commenter, "Wellington", chiming in with his approximate agreement:
I think there's merit to both what you and Aquinas say. The Catholic Church has to be very careful in what it expresses about Islam because we all know how Muslims can go into lethal hysterics over the slightest slight towards Islam and Mohammed. It's a knife edge the Church has to walk, but at the very least I think the Church, especially the Pope, should say nothing good about Islam.
Merely refraining from saying anything good about Islam would be the minimum we should expect from any leader in the West, but still tends to reinforce the cowed deference of dhimmitude.
"Aquinas" then fired back with an excellent riposte (again I intersperse my comments in square brackets):
Your rhetorical questions make both of my points quite succinctly. You ask first: "What do you think is going to happen to Christians in Muslim countries if the Pope speaks out heavily?" Answer: Muslims will react in their typical barbarian fashion and kill Christians. Point #1: Islam is an evil ideology that inculcates irrational violence in its followers, who are only too willing to carry out this violence. Point made. Thank you.
Next, you state: "There is only so much the Pope can say." Says who? The Muslims who will react violently if he says the "wrong" thing. So - like a good dhimmi - he keeps his mouth shut altogether or mutters some innocuous platitudes about "human rights". Point #2: The Pope and the Catholic Church have adopted the posture of a dhimmi in regard to Islam and the jihad. Point made. Thank you.
Next, as for sitting in my armchair safely, bite your tongue. I have...
[At this point, "Aquinas" goes off on an irrelevant jag of defending his own personal record of activism for Israel, having taken the bait of his interlocutor's rhetorical red herring ad hominem in his accusation of limiting himself to the "armchair". Whether or not a person is an activist is irrelevant to whether the arguments they make are cogent or not. Similarly, whether or not a person makes himself publicly visible courageously is immaterial to whether his argument is cogent or not.]
Finally, as for what the Pope should say. First, he should never praise Islam or refer to it as an "Abrahamic faith". Second, he should speak internally, in a clear message to all of his bishops and priests, that lay Catholics who would [reasonably, responsibly] criticise Islam and point out the many injustices it engenders SHOULD NOT BE SILENCED. Hello. And, third, in the appropriate manner and at the appropriate time, he should say in no uncertain terms that the doctrines of Islamic supremacism and Islamic jihad are EVIL and that Muslims the world over should STOP persecuting their Christian neighbors. Muslims should STOP their jihad against the rest of the world. Muslims should STOP trying to impose Sharia Law on the rest of the world. He should state that Sharia Law is fundamentally EVIL because of what it mandates and what it permits.
[If "Aquinas" is advocating the use of the word "should" in a rhetorical sense, then I have no problem with his suggestion; but if he intends the concretely prescriptive sense, then it becomes problematic, because such a sense tends to inculcate an expectation that Muslims can actually change, at least in numbers that would make a difference for the problem their Islam is causing the world -- and this expectation, in turn, sets us up for quasi-neo-Wilsonian policies that tend to try to assimilate and digest Muslims into our societies, which on a sociopolitical level is like a body trying to assimilate and digest deadly toxins: It can't be done without irreparable harm to the body.]
And then, when the inevitable Muslim violence erupts, people can begin to SEE for themselves the diabolical nature of Islam and its doctrines. And then we can begin addressing the problem as a united group, instead of as individuals here and there. The Pope has the power to unite people against Islam and Sharia Law in a way that no one else has. Obviously. He needs to use that bully pulpit to warn his flock and to begin to respond to the jihad that is already very much upon us.
[Here, "Aquinas" took another of his interlocutor's baits -- the bait, specifically, of assuming that Muslim violence isn't already intolerable even absent our supposed provocations that would incite them. I.e., when "Jos B" or "Wellington" object to the suggestion that the Pope should overtly condemn Islam on the premise that such a condemnation would cause Muslims to be violent against Christians, those two commenters should have been roundly refuted with the elementary fact that Muslims are already being horribly violent against Christians now -- as "Aquinas" himself articulated so forcefully in his first post:]
Girls buried alive or burned to death for "honor". Women horribly abused and girls mutilated. Apostates and homosexuals tortured and killed. Non-Muslims bitterly persecuted and killed. Young girls stoned to death for having been the victims of rape. Young girls forced to marry and [therefore] be raped by old men in arranged marriages. Young Christian girls in Egypt and Pakistan and Sudan kidnapped, raped, and forcibly "converted" to Islam. Then go to TruthTube.tv and watch a few actual beheadings or stonings.
[The implicit argument of "Jos B" and "Wellington" would then be massaged into the open, and they would either have to concede defeat and agree that the violence they fear might happen were we to anger Muslims is already happening -- or they would have to persuasively argue that the violence our condemnations would arouse in Muslims would become sufficiently worse than it already is to warrant the Pope's continuing silence on the matter, among other similarly timid suggestions.]
While the comments by "Aquinas" are very good, they suffer from two flaws:
1) An unnecessary bafflement about the fact of Catholic dhimmitude. Once such dhimmitude is seen to be simply one species of the PC MC that affects nearly every individual and institution throughout the modern West -- no matter what their political persuasion and no matter what their sociopolitical status -- one can cease being baffled, and focus more on one's constructive fury.
2) A failure to underscore vividly the principle that Muslim violence is already intolerable now and that the concern to continue walking on eggshells around them is not only pointless, but also tends to reinforce the effectiveness of the Islamic tactic of terror.
The West needs to move away from the concern to walk on eggshells around Muslims, and toward the grim reality that, as they say, "You can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs." Indeed, eggs are already broken -- Muslims are breaking them left and right, and we continue to try to step gingerly around them, out of two fears: the fear of what Muslims might do to us, and the fear of what we might do to Muslims which would cause us to "become like them".
It's time to stop being afraid of the wrong things, and focus on the appropriate fear of what Muslims are actually already doing -- and plotting to do -- now, so that we can then appropriately protect our societies from them.