Only Believers Can Beat the Islamists

Quite a long time ago, Hilaire Belloc wrote, “the Faith is Europe and Europe is the Faith”. To be sure, what Belloc specifically meant by “Faith” was the Roman Catholic Church, but it can be expanded to mean Christianity in a more general sense. While many streams of civilization flowed into the continent of Europe to help make it into Europe, the crucial thing about it was it’s Christian faith. Europe was not a mere development out of the Greco-Roman civilization which, in any case, never extended to Germany, Poland, the Baltic nations, Russia, Ireland and Scandinavia.

It was the Catholic Church – or Christianity if using the word “Catholic” causes discomfort – which welded the flotsam of barbarian invaders and the ruins of Greece and Rome into a completely new civilization. It was Christianity which stamped Europe in a particular manner and got it thinking in a certain way. It was because of Christianity that there was a decline and eventual termination of human slavery. It was because of Christianity that people starting thinking of the world as a rational place which human reason could come to understand (the Greeks did make a start at this, but failed to develop the scientific method…it took Christians to make that step). It was because of Christianity that the worth of a human being ceased to be a mere expression of his social position. It was because of Christianity that things were rendered to Caesar, but not all things. You can look endlessly through human history and you won’t find anywhere but in Christendom (though pre-figured strongly in Judaism) that mix of the worth of the individual, the limitation of the State and the rational approach to the world which we have come to think the normal state of human existence. It did not come into being of its own accord – it was created and fostered over a thousand years by Christians. And, now, it is nearly gone.

And it is gone because most people in our civilization don’t really believe in Christianity any longer – and this includes a a very large number of self-professed Christians (and, yes, Catholics, too). Just to give a few examples – a Christian civilization would not have government organizations empowered to come between parents and their children. A Christian civilization would not have welfare for people who refuse to work (as opposed to welfare for people who can’t work). A Christian civilization would not permit vast amounts of what we see, hear and read in popular culture. A Christian civilization would not have legal divorce, abortion and euthanasia. To be sure, some people would opine then that a Christian civilization is bad because it wouldn’t have these things – and thus we’re better off without it. And if that is what you want, then ok. But does this euthanizing, divorcing and watching-trash civilization you hold superior actually believe in anything?

For those who are sitting around on welfare watching pop-culture trash and aborting their children – just what is it that they believe? What are their dogmas? What will they stand and fight for? Anyone who wishes can take a stab at it – I can’t come up with anything. I am firmly convinced that people who live like that – or who believe that having people live like that is ok – are people who functionally believe in nothing. We Catholics call our fellow Catholics who live like that “practical atheists”…even if they go through the motions of going to Mass, they are living their lives as if God doesn’t exist and His laws are meaningless. Someone who advocates for things like euthanasia and never putting the slightest restriction on popular culture trash might claim they are for freedom, but in practical terms they are for nothing. It is more, I believe, that they don’t wish to bestir themselves to fight for what is right. Much easier to just go with the flow – though a wise writer once pointed out that only a corpse goes with the flow.

And a corpse is what we have – a dead civilization. And it died because it stopped believing in what made it into a civilization to begin with. This civilization is so dead that it can’t even sin bravely, when pressed to it. As some might be aware, Wednesday is Ash Wednesday – the start of Lent. Back when Europe was Christian, this meant that Tuesday was a time for one, last party and then everyone would repent of their sins, engage in fasting, alms and prayer and get ready for the glory of Easter. Today, in post-Christian Europe – and the western world in general – it means a big, old freakish party with heavy emphasis on booze and promiscuity…and without any thought of repentance come Wednesday. Well, the party in Braunschweig, Germany was cancelled due to the possibility of an Islamist attack on the party. And in the nature of the times, the government ordered the people into hiding and being the good, little serfs that they are, the people ran and hid. A people who believed in something would have stood forth and defied their enemies – a people who believes in nothing doffs the costumes and goes home. If these people believed in a dogma which held that human freedom is important – and partying until dawn was an act of freedom – then they would have gone on with party and defied their enemies to attack. Think about it – an entire European city has been cowed by the mere treat of an attack. Once upon a time, European cities filled with believers would endure sieges until the last cat and dog in the city had been consumed. And don’t think we’re really much better – this could happen here. In fact, it did: when the Boston Marathon was bombed, the city of Boston ran and hid from two punks on the lam. But the party wasn’t an act of freedom – it was just something to pass the time with. Meaningless activity designed to distract participants from an empty existence…and, so, when a threat possibly arose, it wasn’t something to stand firm upon. Maybe the enemy will let the party go on at a later date? And maybe they’ll kill you last?

You can say what you will of the Islamists, but they do believe in something. They believe in something I think quite wrong, but they believe in it. They are willing to fight and die and do rather horrific deeds in the name of their beliefs. The only sort of people who can fight them are people who believe just as strongly the other way. A Christian, in other words, can fight a Muslim – can also, by the way, become genuine friends with a Muslim. A non-believer can neither fight nor befriend a believer determined upon having his way. Faced with a determined believer, the non-believer can only run away, or accept a subordinate status. We see this in the actions of the non-believers – they literally run away (as in Braunschweig) or they accept that they have masters they cannot offend (thus the people who say that we must beware of writing, saying or drawing anything a Muslim might find offensive – and I’m not talking of actual blasphemy, but anything a Muslim might in any way, shape or form find offensive…and thus you can’t write a children’s book with a pig in it).

If we are to fight and beat these Islamists – and if we are ever to befriend Muslims – then we’ll have to be believers, ourselves. We have to find a ground we will stand upon, never to be moved. We need, that is, some dogmas; you know, that tiresome, old Christian stuff we jettisoned in the hopes that welfare and the pleasures available from applied science would usher in the New Era. We need the ability to say to Islam, “we believe in this, and we will fight you to the death in defense of it”. True, we also have to recognize that Muslims have different beliefs they will die in the last ditch to defend, as well. We might start at swords-drawn and we may have to battle, but if we both know what we believe in and what we won’t surrender, then the fight can be concluded…peace and, eventually, a sort of friendship can grow. But if we persist in believing in nothing, then the Islamists will keep attacking – and rightly so. Why shouldn’t they? By refusing to hold fast to core beliefs, we are inviting the attacks – we don’t appear reasonable: we appear cowardly. Sunk in sloth and indolence…certainly not worthy of holding the lands and wealth we have.

When Obama stated that we of the West have to get off our high horse and remember the Crusades, he wasn’t winning any points with the Islamists. All he was doing was demonstrating – aside from a lack of historical knowledge – was a willingness to surrender…or, at least, an unwillingness to fight for a set of beliefs. There is a romance in the story of Richard the Lionheart vs Saladin. They fought each other – Crusader vs Muslim – with courage and tenacity (though both leaders permitted interruptions in their careers as warrior-gentlemen) and respected each other because each saw the courage and conviction in the other. In a very real sense, they became friends across the battle lines (upon the conclusion of Richard’s Crusade, he sent one, last defiant message to Saladin stating he’d be back to take Saladin’s lands…and Saladin replied that if he had to lose his lands, he’d rather lose them to Richard than to any man alive). I don’t know about you, but while I can imagine plenty in the West becoming sycophants of Muslim enemies, I can’t imagine too many becoming friends with them. To become friends with The Other, you have to first off demonstrate your willingness to defend yourself if push comes to shove.

What I think the next ten years or so will show is whether or not there are in our civilization enough believers to defend the civilization. I have my doubts. But we will be pressed to it – our enemies will keep attacking. Eventually it will come down to a choice: do we fight or do we quit? And by “fight” I mean really take the battle to the enemy without being finicky and without trying to soften the blow. But if we fight, we’ll only fight if we are possessed of a set of dogmatic beliefs we are determined to defend – that some things may not be permitted to happen because we believe them wrong. No more excuse making – no more, that is, calling in the Crusades to justify mass murder by our enemies in the West…no more excusing things which even back during the Crusades would have been condemned by all reasonable people.

No civilization ever dies entirely from internal rot – there is always an outside blow which topples it into dust. But the internal rot is always necessary for the outside blow to succeed. The Irish in 700 years of British oppression never rotted internally – slaughtered and despoiled, their very language taken from them, they yet retained their Irish civilization (which, as it turns out, was firmly Catholic). They fought and fought and fought and lost and lost and lost…until they won. We are very much rotted internally, and Islamist radicalism are delivering blow upon blow…and already we start to surrender. Every time our leaders insist that the Islamists aren’t of Islam, we are surrendering (we are, also, insulting the Islamists – which can be a good thing, but enraging people you are surrendering to is not a good idea). Every time we gloss over difficult facts and hard truths because Muslims claim offense, we are surrendering. Every time we make any sort of excuse for actual crimes, we are surrendering. Will the next very hard blow – the next 9/11 style attack, that is – wake us from slumber and send us into battle…or will it call forth yet more pointless “security” measures applied only to ourselves? Will we fight, or surrender? We shall see.

23 thoughts on “Only Believers Can Beat the Islamists

  1. Retired Spook February 16, 2015 / 10:16 am

    For those who are sitting around on welfare watching pop-culture trash and aborting their children – just what is it that they believe? What are their dogmas? What will they stand and fight for?

    I lost count of the number of times I asked that question of the trolls who used to infest this blog. I never got a definitive answer, just fluff like “I’d fight for freedom” or “I’d fight for my family.” Which leads me to believe that the only consolation to having the fight you describe is that our Progressives will be the first to die, because the vast majority of them have neither the will nor the means to fight.

    • M. Noonan February 16, 2015 / 1:06 pm

      My worry is they’ll surrender and convert…

      • Retired Spook February 16, 2015 / 2:02 pm

        See, now to me, that would be worse than death. And I find it hard to imagine that people who believe in nothing could could force themselves to believe in an ideology mired in the 8th century, but then I guess cowardice is a strong motivator.

      • M. Noonan February 17, 2015 / 12:30 am

        With our feminists now claiming that the mere male gaze is offensive, I see it as only a step for them to accept conversion and the wearing of the burka…and they’ll claim it as an act of liberation.

      • dbschmidt February 20, 2015 / 9:40 pm

        I would tend to agree but I do have one question somewhat off topic but will post it as a response. Given the choice I would rather go through beheading, or whatever–dying as a free, Christan person than submit to conversion. I am really wondering why the 21 Christian that were beheaded did so “without a fight?” My belief is that the Islamic radicals are doping them into near unconsciousness or something.

        BTW, I have seen quite a bit of our old-school military might and we can “kill them into extinction” in contrary to what the WH spokesperson claims. Still need boots on the ground to claim the space but the could make a show about for the standard broadcast channels ~ something like “Last man in _____” (pick your own city / region)

      • M. Noonan February 21, 2015 / 12:34 am

        There hands were tied – and there might have been severe threats made against their families…

  2. shawny2011 February 17, 2015 / 5:19 am

    Feminists can rationalize whatever they want. In the wide, wonderful world of Islam, there are no feminists, no womens rights, no abortion rights, no lesbians and they will learn the meaning of “offensive”. I don’t know about the burka though, they went to so much effort sewing those anatomically correct vagina costumes….it does appear though that genital circumcision might be considered an equal right with males. They could literally rationalize themselves out of existence. .

    • Retired Spook February 17, 2015 / 8:59 am

      They could literally rationalize themselves out of existence.

      That’s if they don’t abort themselves out of existence first. I can’t imagine how much it must suck to be a Liberal.

  3. Amazona February 17, 2015 / 9:04 am

    I recently sent a couple of quotes to some friends. One was from Eric Voegelin: “When God is invisible behind the world, the contents of the world will become new gods; when the symbols of transcendent religiosity are banned, new symbols develop from the inner-worldly language of science to take their place.”

    The other is from Jonah Goldberg, who said: “As I say in my column, the fight over evolution is really a fight over the moral status of man. And, if we are nothing but a few bucks worth of chemicals connected by water and electricity, than there’s really nothing holding us back from elevating “science” to divine status and in turn anointing those who claim to be its champions as our priests.”

    • shawny2011 February 17, 2015 / 9:28 am

      Jonah’s statement is in line with one of the Communist goals and they’ve been amazingly successful over my 60+ years at pretty much turning us into electricity just in time to pull the plug on us lesser beings.

    • M. Noonan February 17, 2015 / 12:47 pm

      Pretty good – I do enjoy the debates over evolution with our liberals because they all act as if they’ve read Darwin’s book and know what they’re talking about. As for me, I freely admit that I’ve never read Darwin’s book – because whether or no a thing called an ape slowly turned over time into a thing called a man is an entirely irrelevant bit of information for me – it won’t tell me anything about myself, nor provide the least bit of guidance to my decision making. Our progressive types have acted, ever since Darwin published, as if his theory is actually earth-shattering…as if God could not just as well develop life slowly as quickly; they seem desperate for something which will deny God, even if it doesn’t.

      • shawny2011 February 19, 2015 / 7:21 am

        Exactly. I have never figured out why a scientist discovering or proving anything has anything to do with disproving anything about God. If there was a big bang or man evolved from apes, how do these scientist prove that was not God’s design? Man knows so little and has proven to be so wrong so often to be so arrogant.

      • M. Noonan February 19, 2015 / 11:37 pm

        I always like this bit from Chesterton’s The Everlasting Man:

        One of my first journalistic adventures, or misadventures, concerned a comment on Grant Allen, who had written a book about the Evolution of the Idea of God. I happened to remark that it would be much more interesting if God wrote a book about the evolution of the idea of Grant Allen. And I remember that the editor objected to my remark on the ground that it was blasphemous; which naturally amused me not a little. For the joke of it was, of course, that it never occurred to him to notice the title of the book itself, which really was blasphemous; for it was, when translated into English, ‘I will show you how this nonsensical notion that there is a God grew up among men.’ My remark was strictly pious and proper; confessing the divine purpose even in its most seemingly dark or meaningless manifestations. In that hour I learned many things, including the fact that there is something purely acoustic in much of that agnostic sort of reverence. The editor had not seen the point, because in the title of the book the long word came at the beginning and the short word at the end; whereas in my comment the short word came at the beginning and gave him a sort of shock. I have noticed that if you put a word like God into the same sentence with a word like dog, these abrupt and angular words affect people like pistol-shots. Whether you say that God made the dog or the dog made God does not seem to matter; that is only one of the sterile disputations of the too subtle theologians. But so long as you begin with a long word like evolution the rest will roll harmlessly past; very probably the editor had not read the whole of the title, for it is rather a long title and he was rather a busy man.

        But this little incident has always lingered in my mind as a sort of parable. Most modern histories of mankind begin with the word evolution, and with a rather wordy exposition of evolution, for much the same reason that operated in this case. There is something slow and soothing and gradual about the word and even about the idea. As a matter of fact it is not, touching these primary things, a very practical word or a very profitable idea. Nobody can imagine how nothing could turn into something. Nobody can get an inch nearer to it by explaining how something could turn into something else. It is really far more logical to start by saying ‘In the beginning God created heaven and earth’ even if you only mean ‘In the beginning some unthinkable power began some unthinkable process.’ For God is by its nature a name of mystery, and nobody ever supposed that man could imagine how a world was created any more than he could create one. But evolution really is mistaken for explanation. It has the fatal quality of leaving on many minds the impression that they do understand it and everything else; just as many of them live under a sort of illusion that they have read the Origin of Species.

        But this notion of something smooth and slow like the ascent of a slope, is a great part of the illusion. It is an illogically as well as an illusion; for slowness has really nothing to do with the question. An event is not any more intrinsically intelligible or unintelligible because of the pace at which it moves. For a man who does not believe in a miracle, a slow miracle would be just as incredible as a swift one. The Greek witch may have turned sailors to swine with a stroke of the wand. But to see a naval gentleman of our acquaintance looking a little more like a pig every day, till he ended with four trotters and a curly tail would not be any more soothing. It might be rather more creepy and uncanny. The medieval wizard may have flown through the air from the top of a tower; but to see an old gentleman walking through the air in a leisurely and lounging manner, would still seem to call for some explanation. Yet there runs through all the rationalistic treatment of history this curious and confused idea that difficulty is avoided or even mystery eliminated, by dwelling on mere delay or on something dilatory in the processes of things…

  4. shawny2011 February 17, 2015 / 9:21 am

    Good point Sir. New Conservative marketing/rebranding strategy…….Hands up, Don’t Shoot (with or without hoodie) poster picturing fetus with hands up. Or maybe “Occupy Womb”,”Our Future Depends On It”. There is just so much hypocrisy involved in being Liberal that it defies any kind of logic.

  5. Retired Spook February 17, 2015 / 2:29 pm

    We’ve all laughed at some of the brain-dead comments by Liberals on this blog, but, as far as I know, none of them is a leading spokesperson for the State Department. Kind of brings “brain-dead” to a whole new level.

    • M. Noonan February 18, 2015 / 12:23 am

      They know nothing and understand nothing – I like how Dave Burge (@iowahawkblog) on Twitter characterizes her: a Tri-Delt with glasses so she’ll look smart. But, that is really what these nitwits believe…that the only reason someone would do this is lack of a job, or lack of ability to go to college. I hate to break it to our liberals, but these people are doing it because they believe in it. We can at least pay them the respect due to their beliefs…and arrange their transition into the hereafter, as necessary.

      • shawny2011 February 19, 2015 / 7:05 am

        Maybe the problem is that many Christians as well as Muslims are willing to die for their beliefs but only one side is willing to kill.for their beliefs. That does not bode well for our side.

    • Cluster February 18, 2015 / 8:56 am

      It’s hard to believe some of the people that Obama surrounds himself with and of whom speak for this administration. Proving that statement to be even more detached from reality is the fact that many jihadists come from middle class backgrounds.

    • Cluster February 18, 2015 / 9:14 am

      Marie Harf just doubled down on her comment this morning on Morning Joe saying that the root cause of terrorism is poverty, lack of jobs and poor governance. The kicker is, she said that this is the cause of “all” extremism including …. wait for it ….. Christian extremism.

      Just a thought – I bet if we if we gave them free healthcare, they would then have the freedom to work or not. They could decide to chase their dreams of becoming an artist or something. Just ask Nancy Pelosi, she has it all figured out

      • shawny2011 February 19, 2015 / 6:56 am

        Yes, I’m sure Nancy is feeling pretty bullet proof. Of course, they would never behead a good Catholic (or even a bad one). Christians converts are convinced by the word of God V.S. Islam converts convinced by the sword of Allah. Perhaps, like “Progressive” is a new label for “Communist”, the definition of “extremism” has changed and we just didn’t get the memo. Does that mean we don’t need weapons to fight ISIS because it’s really the war on poverty, not the war on terrorism? Wait, wait, Obama said those ISLAMIC STATE dudes aren’t Islamic. Maybe it’s like when Jimmy Swaggart used to be a representative of Christianity. Yeah, he made the whole ministry look bad for a while there……but he didn’t burn or behead anyone. So even our bad Christians aren’t as barbaric as their bad Muslims. Maybe instead of arming the Muslims we think are good, we could at least send asbestos bullet proof vests to those Christians being terrorized. What the heck else are we paying all those big bucks to the U.N. for? It certainly ain’t peace keeping.

      • Amazona February 21, 2015 / 10:43 am

        When you study the propaganda of the Left over the years/decades, you see a pattern, and one part of the pattern is the development and extensive use of buzzwords. Propaganda is really just a form of advertising, and just as advertisers know they have to repeat the same thing over and over again, propagandists know they have to imprint a word on the collective minds of their audience.

        A perfect example is the word “liberal”. When Communism and Socialism were either feared or despised, the Left needed a new word that conveyed a more positive impression, and they latched onto “liberal”. It’s a fine word, with great connotations—–open-mindedness, fairness, acceptance, tolerance—-and over the years they have had great success in hijacking the word and using it to describe a political philosophy which is closed-minded, unfair and intolerant.

        When people started to catch on to the bastardization of the word “liberal” the Left needed a new buzzword, and they switched to “progressive”—-another fine word, and with its own positive connotations. Of course, it is now used to identify a system which is REgressive, but never mind—-there are enough Useful Idiots swayed by the mere word and indifferent to the reality behind it to make it pretty effective.

        They do the same when they need to demonize the opposition—-they come up with a word, define it in negative terms, associate it with badness and evil, and spread it around, confident that their mindless lemmings will never examine it for relevance to the message they want to send. They have tried out several catchwords they want to use as signals to their minions that are supposed to have a knee-jerk negative reaction, such as the silly term “one percenter” and more recently the “hands up” meme.

        In the last couple of years I have noticed the extensive, almost comical, dependence on the term “extreme”. Actually, the use of this word is evidence of some excellent market analysis—-if your success depends on attracting people who are so unfocused and vague they can’t even commit to any particular political model and just describe themselves as “moderate”, it’s brilliant to validate their squishyness by implying that those who HAVE committed to a political philosophy are scary, or “extreme”. Just look back at the recent election cycle and remember how every Republican candidate was described as “extreme”. Every position that did not involve taking OPM to redistribute was painted as “extreme”. Every policy that did not relate to a federal government unrestrained in its drive to gain more power was defined as “extreme”. Merely believing that the United States should be governed according to its Constitution was “extreme”.

        To really drive this point home, it is wonderful for the Left to have examples of true evil, violence and savagery they can paint with the same brush, using the same word, thereby establishing in the mushy brains of their target audience a link between viciousness and the various people and beliefs that have already been defined for them as “extreme”.

  6. Retired Spook February 20, 2015 / 9:15 am

    Ben Crystal has a great piece this morning.

    If you missed out on President Barack Obama’s Countering Violent Extremism summit held in Washington this week, then you missed as Obama put on a star-studded show devoted solely to addressing terrorism, during which nearly everyone involved avoided using the word terrorism. The same president who reacts to increasingly common incidents of Islam-addled serial killers by claiming Islam is their real victim staged what amounted to a three-day photo op. The same sort of people who swear that so-called “global warming” is an actual thing purported to offer solutions to terrorism while only mentioning terrorism in passing. Indeed, Obama put everyone through quite the rhetorical gymnastics routine to avoid connecting Islam to the thousands upon thousands of murders committed in the name of Islam. I’m left wondering if the world’s Christians should apologize for allowing some of their adherents to throw themselves neck-first onto ISIS’s machetes.

  7. shawny2011 February 20, 2015 / 4:27 pm

    Ohhhhh, that IS good! Attila The Hun could have really made progress had Obama been his front man.

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