Tag Archives: Christianity

Obama’s Christianity

A harsh but correct statement about Obama:

Obama and Co very much want to fool Christians, again.  He managed the trick in 2008 – and not just with Catholics, as Obama did relatively well among self-identified Evangelicals, as well.  As the video states, Obama is counting on our ignorance – on the ignorance of Christians, themselves – in order to sucker us to vote for him.  My view:  in 2012, our theme song will be “Won’t Get Fooled Again”.

 

The Crusades, Reconsidered

From an excerpt of Jonah Goldberg’s new book, Tyranny of Cliches’:

…Until fairly recently, historically speaking, Muslims used to brag about being the winners of the Crusades, not the victims of it. That is if they talked about them at all. “The Crusades could more accurately be described as a limited, belated and, in the last analysis, ineff ectual re­sponse to the jihad—a failed attempt to recover by a Christian holy war what had been lost to a Muslim holy war,” writes Bernard Lewis, the greatest living historian of Islam in the English language (and perhaps any language).  Historian Thomas Madden puts it more directly, “Now put this down in your notebook, because it will be on the test: The cru­sades were in every way a defensive war. They were the West’s belated response to the Muslim conquest of fully two-thirds of the Christian world.”…

You can, of course, bring up some bad things which happened during the Crusades – most notably the massacre of the both the Muslim and Jewish population of Jerusalem when the Christians took the city in 1099 as well as Richard the Lionheart’s massacre of 2,700 Muslims at Acre during the Third Crusade.  Bad things.  Should not have been done.  No decent person in 2012 would ever contemplate doing any such thing.  But, by the standards of 11th and 12th century warfare, not at all remarkable.  And any Muslim who wants to whine about it is directed to what Muslims did when they took Constantinople in 1453…many centuries later, when we were all supposed to be much more civilized.

So, I leave aside such complaints – war is always nasty and the hard men of the 11th and 12th centuries, on both sides, did many a cruel act.  But the main facts cannot be disputed:  the Crusades were a counter-attack.  The Muslim attack upon Christianity began, entirely unprovoked, in 634 when some rapacious Muslim barbarians from the Arabian peninsula launched what was at first no more than a large scale plunder raid in to Christian Syria.  Quickly noticing how weak the Christian forces were (the Christian government of the area – the Byzantine Empire – was greatly weakened by a recently concluded, 20 year long war with Persia), the Muslims just poured in to a military vacuum.  For centuries thereafter, Muslim armies conquered Christian lands, massacred and enslaved Christians, treated Christians like dirt when they didn’t murder or enslave them and generally acted like pirates.  Europe was weak from the 7th to the 10th century as the new, Christian civilization developed upon the debris of the old Greco-Roman civilization…and that build up was hampered by the “barbarian wars” which absorbed the energy of Europe often over a period of centuries.  Because of this, the Christians could do no more than hold on…once Europe recovered a bit, there was a chance to push back…and it wasn’t just a push in to the middle east (though that was by far the more famous part), but also a push against the Muslims in Spain.

The only thing bad about the Crusades was that they ultimately failed – they did not extirpate the Mohammedan heresy.  And it is high time that people started to learn the truth about the Crusades.

Can America Tolerate Sharia?

Eliyahu Stern in a New York Times Op-Ed argues that Americans have nothing to fear from the importation of Sharia law in to the United States – he likens laws banning Sharia to past attempts at excluding Jews from full civil rights:

…The suggestion that Shariah threatens American security is disturbingly reminiscent of the accusation, in 19th-century Europe, that Jewish religious law was seditious. In 1807, Napoleon convened an assembly of rabbinic authorities to address the question of whether Jewish law prevented Jews from being loyal citizens of the republic. (They said that it did not.)

Fear that Jewish law bred disloyalty was not limited to political elites; leading European philosophers also entertained the idea. Kant argued that the particularistic nature of “Jewish legislation” made Jews “hostile to all other peoples.” And Hegel contended that Jewish dietary rules and other Mosaic laws barred Jews from identifying with their fellow Prussians and called into question their ability to be civil servants…

This argument does strike a chord – not just in someone familiar with the history of anti-Semitic persecution in the Christian West, but even for those – like myself – who are Catholics and know how our ancestors were considered unsuited for American citizenship as we allegedly owed loyalty to a foreign prince, the Pope.  Of course it was always nonsense to hold that Jews and Catholics couldn’t be good citizens of the United States – such views were just a hold-over of Protestant bigotries from centuries prior.   And, of course, once Jews and Catholics became numerous in the United States and demonstrated their loyalty again and again, it became absurd for anyone to hold to those old bigotries.  Is it the same for people of the Muslim faith?  Are we just rushing to judgment before we’ve given Islamic Americans a chance to prove themselves?

Perhaps – but here is the difference:  anti-Semitism and anti-Catholicism pre-date the founding of the United States of America.  Indeed, the Puritans who founded Massachusetts and set the stage for the growth of American liberty were, to a man and woman, ferociously opposed to any manifestation of Catholicism.  When those Puritans came from Europe to America, the war between Protestantism and Catholicism was still raging in Europe (when the Puritans landed at Plymouth Rock Europe was in the second year of what would become the Thirty Years War which was just a horrific war made even worse by sectarian animosities being used as a cloak for greed and cruelty).  We, as it were, inherited a bigotry…but Islam never felt such animosity in America until people of the Muslim faith started to massacre Americans for no justifiable reason whatsoever.

Remember that – it is key:  there is not and has not been an iota of justification for Muslims to feel hostility towards the United States.  Indeed, the proper feeling among Muslims should be gratitude…gratitude that American influence was set against the European colonial powers; gratitude that when Muslim States started to steal Western assets via nationalization the United States refused to coerce Islam in to restoring the stolen property; gratitude that the United States has restrained Israel from occupying Cairo and Damascus; gratitude that we pressured Israel to give up the Sinai and the West Bank even though Israel had no cause to do so; gratitude that we have helped to topple tyrants ruling over Muslim States; gratitude that time and time again the United States has rushed aid to Muslim States stricken by disaster.  The hatred felt by Muslims towards the United States is unreasonable…and the murder of Americans by people claiming to act in the name of Islam is a blot upon Muslim honor.  This blot is compounded by the fact that Americans have yet to see a vigorous, Muslim campaign to stamp out the people who murder Americans.

The words “bigotry” and “mistrust” are not synonymous.  We would be nothing more than bigots if we asserted that all Muslims are bad – but if we express mistrust of Muslims, the question must be asked – why?  Because Muslims have unjustifiably attacked Americans.  Because we have many examples of Sharia-advocates using it as a tool for persecution.  Because some of the most fervent advocates for Sharia have connections to the most vile, anti-American groups.  Certainly no American will object to a Muslim going to an Islamic court to clarify matters of faith and morals – no more than any American, of whatever belief, objects to a Catholic getting a ruling on the validity of a marriage.  But there is enough evidence in the actions of some Muslims who advocate for Sharia to convince Americans that Sharia is not compatible with American ideals.

It doesn’t have to remain this way – in fact, in just a few, short years American attitudes can be vastly altered.  All Americans will need to see is action on the part of Muslims to go after those who attack the United States and/or use Sharia as an excuse to brutalize their fellow human beings.  It won’t do the least bit of good for 10,000 people to swear that 99.9% of Muslims would never dream of attacking Americans or using Sharia as a means to oppress…words are meaningless unless matched to action.  It shouldn’t take American special forces and drone attacks to kill radical Islamists – Muslims should be doing it.  The sort of people who carry out terrorist attacks and use Sharia for oppression are not fit for decent company…no rational, well-meaning people would tolerate such in their midst.  But just as long as Islam at least appears to tolerate those sort, so will American mistrust of Islam remain, and likely grow.

You can’t excuse yourself from the act of building civilization by simply accusing others of being bigots.  We, as non-Muslims, have our duties to perform…to be tolerant of differences, to show love towards our fellow men and women, to fight for what is right.  Muslims have these same duties.  And I say to all Muslims who wish to have a world in which mistrust of Islam is a thing of the past – get busy:  you’ve a lot of work to do.  Once you’ve done it, you won’t have to ask for tolerance of Sharia…it will be automatic; in fact, you’ll find Christians and Jews to be willing collaborators in helping Muslim observance of Sharia…provided it is, as some claim, just a matter of adjudicating Muslim religious practices.

Is Tolerance an End, or a Means?

Lots of continuing commentary going on in the blogosphere, especially the Catholic part of it, regarding the Accepting Abundance “public morality” post we discussed here yesterday.  Over at Little Catholic Bubble, Leila posted an interesting quote:

We need to remember that tolerance is not a Christian virtue. Charity, justice, mercy, prudence, honesty — these are Christian virtues. And obviously, in a diverse community, tolerance is an important working principle. But it’s never an end itself. In fact, tolerating grave evil within a society is itself a form of serious evil. – Archbishop Chaput

The left long ago learned the trick of using a nice-sounding word to cover a wicked agenda.  The key is to find a word that is hard to argue against, claim that the word covers some desired, liberal goal and then say anyone who opposes this goal is opposed to the nice-sounding word.  “Tolerance” is one of those words being misused – like using “choice” for abortion; if you are opposed to abortion you are not opposed to murdering babies, you are opposed to people choosing, you see?  These days, the left uses the word “tolerance” as the nice-sounding word to cover the concept of homosexuality being morally the same as heterosexuality.

Just as the left would never get anywhere advocating for baby killing, so they wouldn’t get anywhere trying to convince common-sense people that gay and straight sex are morally the same…so, “choice” instead of “baby killing” and “tolerance” instead of “gay same as straight”.  And if you oppose the concept of homosexuality being morally the same as heterosexuality, then you are being intolerant…even though you’ve never said anything against gay people and, indeed, strongly advocate that every sign of unjust discrimination against them be removed (as all believing Catholics, for instance, hold).

We need to scrape away the lies which have grown up in our society -the various words and phrases the left has twisted to cover the bad and unpopular things they wish to impose on us.  Tolerance is a means, not an end – it is something we do because we wish to live in a peaceful, civil society…but it must not and cannot mean approval.  I am not being intolerant when I say that homosexual sex is inherently disordered…I am merely stating the truth as I understand it.  If the left wants to persist in using that word, then we have to force them to use it properly…and right now, if “tolerance” is the goal, then they’ve won…gay people are broadly tolerated in the American populace and none but a few kooks would dream of putting the slightest legal disability upon homosexuals (good to keep in mind, liberals, that I and plenty of other conservative Christians are, for instance, not opposed to openly gay people serving in the military…and until you went and tried to judicially impose gay marriage, most of us were in favor of some sort of civil union legislation). But that is as far as we can go – to go beyond that, especially for a Christian, is impossible.  We can’t say that what is wrong is right – we are, indeed, supposed to die rather than do any such thing.

Let us start having debates without lies – no more code words, twisted phrases or rhetorical misdirection.  Words mean what they mean, and we should use them as they were intended.  Truth is not subjective – what is right is not dependent upon the ideological viewpoint of the individual.  There is a truth to adhere to – to discover as best we can and then attempt to apply it as best we can in our lives.  To do otherwise is to sink in to a morass of dishonesty where reason cannot exist…and to play the liberals game of undermining us by the clever tricks of the propagandist.

A Spasm of Liberal-Fascist Hatred

Stacy Trasancos vented a bit on her blog, Accepting Abundance, the other day – while she mentioned specifically the actions of openly gay people engaging in public displays of affection in the local park, the clear issue was not whether or not two gay men will hold hands, but whether or not any part of the public square will be kept clear of the immorality of our age.  The natural reaction of our loving, tolerant liberals was best encapsulated in this comment:

…Your view of what is sinful, immoral, and the like are because of your own thought processes. YOUR definition of sin and immorality are not the universal definitions and immorality. How dare you be so arrogant as to believe that your opinions are higher than others’. F*** off you ugly Christian slut…

I’d have to say that better than 90% of the comments attacking Mrs. Trasancos are “anonymous”.  Which is probably a good thing because it would embarrass the authors if their names were known – hard to find such a collection of ignorance, hatred and misery in such a small area.  These people don’t understand what the article is about, they don’t know what a Catholic like Mrs. Trasancos believes and they don’t know what “tolerance” and “liberty” mean.  Their comments range from the mildly snarky to the crudely vulgar to the downright blasphemous.  At no point is there any attempt to engage Mrs. Trasancos as a human being – to try and see things from her point of view or show some respect for the fact that a fellow human being courageously put their name to an opinion in the public square.  Just anonymous, ignorant hatred is what she gets.

And why did she get this?  Because she dared to question the liberal party line on morality.  The liberal party line on morality is essentially negative in character – whatever breaks down the Judeo-Christian morality of Western Civilization is morally good, whatever upholds it is morally bad.  If you step outside those parameters, you are going to be attacked…and as Mrs. Trasancos found, attacked quite cruelly and nauseatingly by people who would never show the courage to stand up in public and actually proclaim their beliefs under their own name.

I greatly sympathize with Mrs. Trasancos as I have been on the receiving end of this sort of thing, too.  I’ve had my past dug in to, my car vandalized, I’ve been stalked at work, my computer has been hacked, people have tried to put a photo of my house in the web (and in their eagerness to harm me they actually put up a photo of a house belonging to a different Mark Noonan; there are several people with my name in Las Vegas).  I’ve had a radio host suggest that people beat me up and one kind liberal opined upon a time that I was a fit subject to be hanged from a lamp post with a meat hook.  And all of that just because I, too, dissent from the liberal orthodoxy.

Make no mistake about it, if the people who filled Mrs. Trasancos’ blog comments with filth and vituperation ever got the chance, they would imprison and kill people like myself and Mrs. Trasancos.  Plenty of liberals scream with anger when I used the term “liberal-fascist”, but I chose that phrase with care.  It is an exact description of that species of person who is liberal and demands that certain views be silenced in the public square – classified as “hate speech” and declared first out of bounds and, eventually, illegal.  Inside of every liberal there is an NKVD agent straining to break free.

Mrs. Trasancos has asserted that the hate won’t stop her – and I applaud her courage.  The one thing the left would really like is to just be able to shout down voices of reason.  It is hard, at times, to stand against the fury of people who will go straight to the lowest gutter hoping that by being vile, they can disgust decent people and convince them to leave the public square.  We dare not let them do this.  Firm in our faith, ready for whatever sacrifice we are called upon to make, we must remain in the world while never being of it.  Our duty – to God, ourselves and our fellows – is to do what is right, even if everyone disagrees and hates us for doing it (and Our Lord did warn us that we would be hated on account of Him).  This is just part of the task of a Christian; indeed, the task of anyone who really believes in God – and if we carry it out faithfully, then even our defeats are victories…but the really good thing is that when we do stand firm, we win far more than we lose.

The time is coming when one side or the other will prevail…and we on our side already know who the Victor is.

The Republic of South Sudan

From Bloomberg:

The Republic of South Sudan was declared an independent nation today in the capital, Juba, as tens of thousands of people celebrated their freedom after almost 50 years of rebellion against the Muslim north.

The national flag was raised for the first time after the declaration of independence was read by the speaker of the South Sudanese parliament, James Wani Igga. Celebrations started at midnight when church bells rang as a countdown clock flashed “free at last.”…

I don’t think any nation ever started with more against it than South Sudan – generations of war and oppression lead up to this moment, and the nation is probably the poorest in the world.  The article goes on to note that there is a total of 100 miles of paved roads in the country.  On the other hand, it does sit atop rather large oil reserves and now that it is free from the north, the people there will start to see some benefits.

It is to be hoped that the new government will go absolutely free market – using only oil revenues to sustain the government and having no other taxes and minimal regulations on new businesses, South Sudan can swiftly become prosperous.  Literally, just let ‘er rip…if they set up what amounts to an area of completely free trade, money will pour in for investment.  It’ll still take 50 years to rise, but the change will be phenomenal and will start to raise up the people very quickly.

More importantly, to me, is the example this provides – both as to the oppression that Islam deals out to all non-Moslem people and the fact that separation is the only way to resolve that issue.  Following upon South Sudan we also need Assyria (out of Iraq), South Egypt, South Lebanon, a piece of the West Bank for the small Christian community there (a strip of land around Bethlehem would be best) and probably several other Christian enclaves out of other Moslem nations.  It is just a fact that Christians cannot obtain peace and justice in Moslem lands – what the Moslems did in South Sudan was by far the worst, but in all Moslem lands the lives, freedom and property of the Christians are at the mercy of the least Moslem whim.

It is time to face up to the facts – civilized behavior towards “the other” is a long way off in Islam, and until that developes it is best that no non-Moslems be forced to endure Islamic rule.