Wednesday, July 13, 2011
One problem with Christian opposition to Islam
Lawrence Auster in an article on his blog uncritically (unsurprisingly) quotes a reader's praise of an Arab Christian (Father Botros) who is currently fighting a spiritual-theological war (mostly, apparently, through the media of television and the Internet) against Muslims. Botros and his fans claim, without sufficient substantiation, to have converted significant numbers of Muslims to Christianity, thus attempting to beef up that particular tactic of defending the West against Islam -- not that Father Botros in his eschatological zeal cares about defending the West per se; but that's another story.
Auster then adds:
As much as the problem with Islam is political, social, and religious, it is fundamentally a spiritual problem. As St. Paul said, our struggle is ultimately not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual evil. It is from spiritual evil that political, social, religious, and other worldly evils arise. This is something important for defenders of the remnants of Christendom to remember.
Funny how Martin Luther saw this exact same situation (for the more Islam changes, the more it stays the same), and came to a markedly, and dangerously, different conclusion, as we see in this quote:
The Pope, with his followers, commits a greater sin than the Turk [i.e., the Muslim] and all the Heathen... Though he [the Turk] rages most intensely by murdering Christians in the body -- he, after all, does nothing by this but fill heaven with saints...
...the Pope fills hell with nothing but 'Christians'... this is committing real spiritual murder, and is every bit as bad as the teaching and blasphemy of Mohammed and the Turks. But whenever men do not allow him [the Pope] to practice this infernal diabolical seduction, he adopts the way of the Turk and commits bodily murder too...
The Turk is an avowed enemy of Christ. But the Pope is not. He is a secret enemy and persecutor, a false friend. For this reason, he is all the worse!
Thus, for Luther, this is indeed a spiritual war -- against the Papacy and the Catholic Church, who pervert the soul and eternally murder those who are thus deceived. The fight against Islam, on the other hand, for Luther, is merely a physical struggle against those who merely "murder the body".
My title alludes to "one problem" with Christian opposition to Islam. This problem may be termed the "conservative" problem. More Leftwards of this, we have the broader problem of innumerable Christians throughout the West infected with the PC MC virus, who would find such talk of any kind of fight against Islam -- whether bodily or spiritual -- as not only antiquated, but downright bigoted and "racist". We should be building bridges with Islam and respecting their cultural "diversity". The real fight, for such Christians, is against Western "bigots" who dare to condemn Muslims for following Islam.
I say we do not hamstring ourselves with a Christian framework, whether traditionalist (and which tradition would we follow -- the one that deems the Pope a spiritual evil, or the one that follows the Pope, or the one that bickers Orthodoxly between?) or PC MC. I say instead we keep a level head, and just:
a) recognize that Muslims through following their Islam pose a mortal danger to our physical lives and infrastructures;
b) come to a rational assessment of the actual nature and dimensions of that danger; and
c) figure out the most rational means by which to minimize and manage that danger.
We can save the spiritual salvation for later, after we've attended to the house on fire.
Too many in the "Counter Jihad" (which I would rather call the A.I.M. -- the Anti-Islam Movement) have a spasmodic reflex they cannot seem to control that moves them to put the cart before the camel, thus broadening the problem beyond its appropriate proportions. Or maybe, one suspects, they had other grandiose fish to fry long before Islam came on their radar, and they are just using the problem of Islam as a vehicle or springboard by which to push their hobbyhorse-cum-agenda. If so, they are being reckless at best or, at worst, positively inimical to our pragmatic concerns about this metastasizing emergency.