The Temple Mount is God’s Jewish Footprint

Observations by Stephen L. Golay

My Islamic Thoughts #1

TAKEN FROM SCATTERED BLOG/COMBOX RESPONSES
[all rights reserved]

Did St Francis Make One Damn Difference?

St Francis once went down to Islamic Africa possessed with a very healthy spirituality. Did his radical act of faith make any dent in Islam’s bloody evangelization?

His lack of success is ours. It’s been a bloody adventure.

Peace will descend when Islam, before the whole world, makes an act of renunciation of its central dogmas: the absolute meshing of religion and state (society), and the notion of Allah crushing all and everything under the weight of his Totalitarian Will. What must go is Islam’s violent expression of all that.

One question remains: Will Islam speak that renunciation at the conclusion of tabletalking discussions or through battlefield defeat?

The NeoCons are no St. Francis, but do they have had a better grip on his mission work? That they expected garlands in Baghdad shows their acceptance of man’s fundamental goodness – the kind he received in Eden’s Garden. And why not? Even people in bondage are made in God’s Image. One could think they would be thankful for their liberation.

Frankly, this seems quite Christian (or Jewish)! That some NeoCons (looking about at war’s untold turns) may now be adjusting their assessment of things, again, illustrates their (how should we put it) biblical starting point. They are giving more play to the fundamentals of man’s Fall. That also seems quite Christian and Jewish of them!

In adjusting their expectations the NeoCons are factoring in the effects of the Fall. Islam, we now understand, had transmuted those effects into the central dogmas of its religion. Accepting the blunt truth: the issue before us is not garlands or no garlands – but garlands as a token of thanks after an old-fashion war.

Now we know. This current conflict of ours is a honest-to-goodness religious war. Liberty and democracy is not the banner under which we fight. Liberty and democracy is the gift of the conquerors to the defeated. Only in defeat can the receivers be set free from bondage to a totalitarian faith. Maybe that is what the War in Iraq is not – and should be!

Treading dangerous ground here.

Maybe the prelude for a people to hear God’s call (to enter the truest of freedoms) requires a war of total liberty (that is, the enemy’s defeat). St. Francis did not err, as such, in taking his missionary journey to Africa – he just forgot to read his Michael Novak.

An aside on NeoCons: Democratic Capitalism, in its own way, gives expression to the freedom we were created for. Goodness or Fall, Democratic Capitalism affirms Eden’s Narrative. Don’t wish to say that Capitalism is God’s story – but it comes along side his Great One. I see it as an analogy to God’s Greater Story of Salvation. Because, in its faltering creative way, Capitalism tracks God’s Greater Story. Capitalism partakes and gives (in a worldly sense) redemption: that is, it points to something other than itself.

That, Islam never can.

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Note to “Richard”

Under an Islamic state you will not have much of a Christian family to defend, or a Church free from subjection. Not to dismiss our failings as a nation, but a degraded Christian culture still has ear to hear the word of repentance – its culture can be restored. It is not up to us to cut and run – or cut time short!

Better that than subjection to Islam. An Islamic state will enslave your sons and daughters and bend what’s left of the Church to its own ends. (1400 years is a loud and noisy history.) God’s Living Word would not be heard. There would be no going out. Under Islam, history sadly gives no stories of repenting nations. Being totalitarian in its origins and character, Islam is . . . ?

The choice is clear. The West is not all that deaf to its patrimony. As long as there is ear to hear, we are under moral duty to stand and do: pick up courage and defend even this sweet, sad paganized Christian society of ours.
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Islam is not a nation-state. Who says so!

Do Jihadists see themselves as stateless (homeless and baseless)? Better yet, do “moderate” Muslims see Jihadists without home and base?

Wherever Islam dominates, there resides a Jihadist’s citizenship. Even the tacit agreement of “moderate” Muslims gives statehood (if you will) to a Jihadist’s sense of home.

(Such talk is difficult; Islam cannot accommodate our preferred terminology: citizenship, state, nation.)

The West can no more digest Islam’s absolute identity of religion and state (society) then Islam has the stomach to nurture on the mature meaning of citizenship.

What we need to do is a good look at the enemy as he sees himself.

The enemy does have a home, a land, a nation – it’s called the House of Islam. The Jihadists do not see themselves without a country. Even “moderate” Muslims, in their silence, set table and welcome these god driven brigands home.

The assumption that these “terrorists” are homeless and landless exposes our ill-conceived battle plans. We cannot win this war over Jihadism without bending the neck of Islamic states.

“Moderate” Muslims understand this – which accounts for their silence.

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On Table-Talking Islam into Moderation

Muslims (unless Islam, to them, is but a folk memory) are unable to accept American citizenship. The rule of Islam’s house demands their complete submission. This is something other (totally so) than membership within God’s Covenant People or sonship in the Father’s Kingdom.

How do we tabletalk with such people?

Take Iran. Is there any point for more of that? Sure, Iran will do a sit down, but only to discuss the daily rate of exterminating Jews, and (to spare ourselves) the funds we’ll put up to build death camps in Gaza and south of Tyre.

Down to this, is this all there is?

Before we sit at more tabletalking there is still opportunity to bend Iran’s neck. It will take, though, a few bombs and maybe several hundred thousand boots on the ground. It’s that, or clouds of flesh burning soot over Jerusalem.

After Jerusalem, the next crisis will float onto our shores – again: Islamic Sharia Law overriding America’s Constitution, a tax on every Christian and Jewish head.

To prevent that horror may take a war. But better that than slavery. (Irony even in this: Has Islam ever renounced, before the whole world, even that?)

Again. When Islam, before the whole world, voices apologies and regrets, renounces its central dogmas, then we can sit down at table over some stiff coffee.

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Note to Catholic “John”

You say, truth sits nice and pretty within Islam? (If only some Catholics apologists could only be so charitable to Christian fundamentalists and dispensationalists!)

Islam’s dogma (theology) was developed from the violent acts of its founding. It has yet to say otherwise. Those founding acts are utterly foundational to Islam’s self-understanding and behavior.

In that regard Islam is a parody of Christianity and Judaism. Unlike paganism, and all modern “isms”, certain acts of God within history are truly pivotal: those acts (the God who acts) both define and drive history to certain ends (elected for the sake of the whole world). God has assigned his coming to us himself as history’s acting God.

In Islam Allah never does do that – act. Allah never dares or cares to step into our world – or enter our humanity. Allah’s stand against the world is total; and he stands (if we can even call it that) through his capriciousness.

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On Demythologizing Islam

What Islam needs is a good dose of demythologizing. Where are Bultmann and Funk (of Jesus Seminar fame) when you need them? Roust them from their graves and speed them along their way!

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A Sign of Islam’s Totalitarianism: property purchases and Islamic theology – what’s the fit?

BEFORE THAT, THIS NOTE: Islam’s doctrine of total identification of religion and state is sturdy confirmation that Islam is truly totalitarian. Think we can agree on that. A section by section discussion of Bat Ye’or’s “Islam and the Decline of Eastern Christianity” will resolve most of the issues discussed here.

Sometime back Douglas Farah (douglasfarah.com) posted a report on Muslim aggressive property buys (in Europe), especially by the Muslim Brotherhood:

“Perhaps the most interesting move, and one with long-term implications, is the (largely successful) efforts by these groups to buy large amounts of real estate, territory that effectively becomes ‘Muslim’ land once it is in the hands of Islamist groups. Some groups are signing agreements to guarantee that they will only sell to other Muslims.

“The Brotherhood, particularly, is active in investments in properties and businesses across Europe, laying the groundwork for the future network that will be able to react rapidly and with great flexibility in case of another attempted crackdown on the group’s financial structure.

“The newly-developed structures are largely designed to allow different groups within the international Brotherhood to become financially self-sufficient, perhaps in anticipation of future law enforcement activities . . . It will also help insure that their presence is permanent, given the property ownership that is expanding.  (This property buying is a strategy being replicated) in the United States [ ] where Brotherhood-affiliated groups have recently bought up tens of millions of dollars of U.S. real estate, often with offshore companies acting as fronts and creating layers of holding groups and shell entities that filter the money through multiple layers that make it almost impossible to track.

“This only underscores the fact that these groups, while having sharp disagreements among themselves, have a long-term plan of penetration and action in the non-Muslim world. These groups have strategies looking at 10 year to 50 year horizons.

“We do not have a plan. They do. History shows that those that plan, anticipate and have a coherent strategy usually win. We are not winning.”

In America, we tend to dismiss this concern due to the excess anxiety, some years back, over Asian property buys. Bring it up and you get, “Oh yeah, remember how hyped we got over Japanese and Chinese money roiling the real estate markets” Pebble Beach, that sort of thing?”

This spike in Musllim property purchases is different, especially when the likes of the Muslim Brotherhood keeps the kettle boiling.

In Europe, much of this Muslim buying spree is done with exclusive clauses attached. Could this ever pass in racially sensitive America, given our concern over open housing? Or will we go along due to our warped attachment to “multiculturalism”: assisting the Muslim community in preserving integrity in a hostile environment, etc (Zionist Jews owning half of Manhattan, that sort of thing!). If we yield on this – we’re goners.

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WoeBeGone

America’s “Great Project” is retreating. We have broken our tired backs holding up the weak. We have exhausted ourselves.

Islam has arrived – whirled from the desert to rescue. Here is our new Romanticism. To it we yield bended knees and necks. Iranian power or the promise of an Islamic empire, none should be resisted. The purity of the politics is irresistible – as is Islam’s absolutism.

It’s over, folks. Peace is upon us, like the calm falling on beaten down wives after a sound thrashing – knowing the next beating is far off. We can now crawl into the high grass, lick our wounds. God, we are assured, is quite pleased for we have done the only thing asked of us – we have gone dhimmi!

Maybe when we see God, himself, bend his neck to Allah, we can settle down and be doubly comforted we no longer need to fear God and his righteousness.

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Pro-Life Islam?

[THIS NEEDS A PAGE OF ITS OWN.]

There is a trend among traditional Christians (Catholic, Orthodox, evangelical) to view any cultural gain by Islam (they being traditional folk, too) as a plus for the pro-life movement. Must be the case, it goes, in these pagan times of ours.

This is a dangerous notion to gain footing. It’s put forward on the assumption that Islam holds the same understanding of the person as Catholic Christianity. Does it?

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On Muslim “Extreme Hospitality” (with reflection on why the Eastern Church yielded)

“Extreme Hospitality” is the backside of the inability to express gratitude and thankfulness. This shows in the American bewilderment of why Iraqis, though being an extremely hospitable people, show little or muted gratitude in being free from Sadaam.

It is difficult in any clan-tribal society to give place to unconditional thankfulness.

Gratitude and unconditional love are Western concepts: unfolded, tested and strengthened (at times with hard effort) and placed at the heart of our ethic. The West did because it understood the urgency of voiding the hold of the clan and tribe. With that blest history, Americans, in particular, confuse hospitality and gratitude.

A habit of gratitude (without strings attached) is only possible under the habit of the full acceptance of personhood – where the “other” (I heartily dislike the term) is NOT seen as a different order of being; that, in the act of gratitude, the giver and receiver are known as equal embodiments of personhood

Such does not happen in clan-tribal ridden societies. The “others” are members of different orders of being. This hostility to the “others” is what defines relationships – in spite of “extreme hospitality”. In the 7th century, with Islam’s arrival (settling in, mingling) such a “bad habit” only hardened. It become totalitarian in its reach and effects.

Before one points it out; yes, the clan/tribal structure of the Middle East was already ingrained before Islam swept in from the desert. Clan & tribe had already spread its poisonous effects upon a divided Christendom. True enough. But Islam, taking advantage of that, stirred that within its jihadist mix of war booty. From it Islam stretched its imperial reach as a universal totalitarian tribe.

Eastern Christianity, already encamped with bad habits of clan & tribe, too easily understood the totalitarian demands of the greater tribe of Islam. It too quickly knew what “lesser beings” had to do. Resistance is not the habit of the beaten down.

Eastern Christianity made a horrendous error in permitting Islam any ground, any controlling sway over its communities. To what end? To survive, to save something? Maybe, it assumed, some good could come from the bad habits of clan & tribe they knew too well. From a look about, the greater habit demanded by totalitarian Isalm didn’t seem all that bad.

It didn’t work!

Islam could have been resisted (and defeated) if Eastern Christianity faced the enemy with a united front. But such unity is the result of emptying clan & tribe of its holding power. It did not happen because (in Bat Ye’or’s phrasing) of Constantinople’s “fanatical orthodoxy”. (That for a different day.)

All this does leave one wondering:

The development of Christianity (the truths it must adhere to) did occur within the matrix (another hated word)  of clan & tribe – and empire. Yet, within that very messy work there was seeded a second, complementary development – the unfolding of truth out from the cradle of that mixture – away from clan, tribe and empire.

It would take centuries. It would take much toil. But Christianity did replace clan & tribe with civilization – and substituted empire for political economy. But which Christianity – East or West?

The answer to that may be why the Evil One has so degraded the West (by and through ourselves), because it is here, in the West, that God will do his next great work. Why not? It was in the West that God did his hard work of ridding the Church of so much – stuff.

That, or go the way of Eastern Christianity into dhimmitude: submitting to Islam, saving only what it takes to bend neck and knee.

Middle Eastern Christians (of whatever breed) maintain certain habits of mind and behavior as outcome of centuries of dhimmitude (as Bat Ye’or defines the term, “The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam”). Recognizing that is not a “cultural blind-spot”. Nor is it a sign of parochial “superiority and entitlement” to suggest that Eastern Christians heed the call and, once and for all, pick up the task of ridding itself of the habits of dhimmitude.

Dhimmitude is no hospitality.

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Back to the Table again

Maybe we can perk up and say something good about ourselves, for once: in the end, absolute military might is simply not in our nature – as it is twined in the very foundation of Islam.

So why not just go apoliticing?

Back to the table, our strength will be our courage to insist that Islam demythologize itself (that it become utterly secular), that it remove from the Koran and its various traditions any doctrine that binds religion and the state. Our saying of it must be hard; for this means that Islam must rid itself of the dogma that birthed such a doctrine – that God may be One but not as a capricious totalitarian unity.

The problem is not ours; it is Islam’s. Will Islam play along? Will it ever sit down at table and just talk politic? Can’t see it ever yielding a political point without us giving in to a religious one.

But that’s asking Islam to turn itself inside out! Yet, it is the only way we can live with it.

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Dogs of War

Need to call this thing we’re in what it is – a religious war. Only that will clear up the muddle and separate the kernel of Just War from our conversational chaff.

Those who chose to be Christian Soldiers about it, that’s great; those who don’t or can’t, that’s fine too – just don’t stand in the way.

Didn’t Popes Urban II and Innocent III once made common and just cause. Their words seem never enter into our discussions.

One billion Muslims will get the message when they witness the only victimization that counts – the one on the battlefield. The only thing we ask (as war booty) is for Islam to setup a “Muhammad Seminar” and accept its predicted judgment – that their religion must be cut off from its violent founding acts. This war was set in motion, in the first place, by the theology that unfolded from the violent history of that man. Fourteen-hundred years of it.

Saint Raymund Lull had it right (killed and quartered in Tunis). So did that Spanish bishop: Reflecting on the death of Muhammad, he observed that it wasn’t descending angels assuming Muhammad’s body to heaven, but dogs from the wilderness who came and devoured it down to its bones.

The good bishop was meditating on the logical end of such a violent man.

So, what do we do with Muhammad? Yes, it does come down to that.

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Slaving Religion

In the midst of a consequential conflict with Islam – I, for one, do not hesitate calling this, in its substance if not on the battlefield, a religious war.

There was a time, the first time, when the Church faced Islam’s onslaught with devastating consequences. Even if it took several generations, even if the Church chose dhimmitude to survive, Islam (by conquest and submission) squeezed the life out of her. She gave up (within the great sweeps of north Africa, Asia Minor and Mesopotamia) her mandate to evangelize; she relinquished ultimate authority to the Muslim overlords (by a head tax maybe, for the safety of being left alone, maybe). It was a capitulation with consequences.

Did God give the Church warning to confront this danger, at the beginning, to prevent those consequences? Was the opportunity squandered? How? Why? To what effect?

In the 7th Century the Church was warned of the Islamic whirlwind swarming from the desert. That warning was public, loud, and for all to hear – it spoke within the swirling violence of the Church’s own disunity.

If not identical, we are in the same position. Will Islam swarm upon and swamp the Church (again) because we are overly attentive to our squabbles? Will we see the tipping point for our children and grandchildren? It was not long ago Islam demanded the devshirme, the tithe of children of those under dhimmitude. This time (this next first time) our children may walk into Islam on their own feet. We, squabbling in the narthex, may not even notice.

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Why Muslims do not call Themselves “People of the Book”

Quote from Bat Ye’or (“The Decline . . ., p.256):

“Islam, on the other hand, does not place itself in a chronological continuity, but claims ANTERIORITY over Judaism and Christianity. The Prophet, through the Koran, restored the divine revelation given by his Hebrew and Christian predecessors, whose revealed Scriptures are allegedly falsifications. Here, it is not a question of the interpretation of a common text but a refutation of that text itself.”

And, some sincerely belief that Islam can be put into a mood of talking things over – a give there, a tug here, a happy ending for us all.

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Snapping at Someone Mocking the “Greater American Project”

The “Greater American Project”? Is that something like the “Greater Japanese (or German) Expansion Project?” And God forbid, pray it’s not anything similar to tiny Israel’s ambitions to be greater than it is!

Yeb, I’m sure, underfoot and underhanded, the protocols of the Great American Project” were written late one night in K. Rove’s office. (Most likely, on or about Jan./Feb. ’03.)

“Greater American Project” must be a marker for something nasty and devious within the coded language of pundits and diplomats. Please set me straight with a reference or link. If there’s a white paper out there titled “Greater American Project”, coloring the future black, let me know. Thanks.

But . . . “Greater American Project” is a tag that steals the emotive power of other (almost mythological) phrases. Come on guys, say “Greater American Project” and what, honestly, comes to mind: democratic sweetness and light? Heck no, I bet its goose-stepping blackshirts and fast plunging suicide bombers.

There is INTENT behind all this write up about the “Greater American Project”. Pray high and low that it never comes to pass – the INTENT, that is. That INTENT has taken over the phrase regardless of its origin – it is intent with betrayal on its breath.

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Scripting Tabletalk

How does one act honorably with the guy sitting across the table? Is one’s good intentions enough? Better put, how can you expect your goodness to be honorably accepted when the other guys intent is total domination (to that end his own total oblation, and every one else’s).

What then? Unfortunately, the Church did have a response, once: we’ll pay you the head-tax tithe and give you one child out of three – just leave us alone.

Now that you’ve got everyone sitting down at the table, write out the script. Come on. Describe the ideal conversation and its end result: I mean real, measurable outcomes. Honorableness and good intentions are not results – even hope anticipates things yet to come.

Over and over, I keep asking for such a script. Folks like you never come up with one.

With Islam, talk stops as soon as butts hit the chairs. A totalitarian religion cannot yield to questions put to it. All it can hear is the solid thump of bended knees. It brooks no conversation, only demands.

Why be surprised? Islam has given us centuries of proof.

Honorable intent? All it has ever done is to build bridges across the Tiber to ease the horde’s push into Tuscany.

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Questions for a published petition Railing and Wailing about “Christian Zionism”

1. What of Hebrew Catholics?

2. Is there truly such an entity called Palestine? What is the honest-to-goodness history here?

3. In the document, there’s no attempt to reference and discuss the actual positions of Christian Zionism. Difficult to know what the petitioners are pissed off at.

4. What is the actual threat poised by Christian Zionism? What political power does it weld over any eventual outcome?

5. If, bottomline, Christian Zionism, in its most charitable stance (however exaggerated or wrongheaded it claims may be) is simply highlighting what too many Christian communions studiously ignore – the irrevocable covenant of God with the Jewish People. In that, they are doing the greater Church a favor – especially for Palestinian Christians. Palestinian Christians deeply ingrained bias (envy) against that Covenant is a grinding stone that has worn down its community for generations. Much is the pity.

6. Palestinian Christians (and not they alone) must come to terms with that irrevocable Covenant: without sinking heads in the sands of supersuccessionism.

7. “Coming to terms” also includes accepting the biblical understanding of the relationship between the irrevocable Covenant and the Land. (Christian Zionism may, in important ways, get that relationship wrong, but that’s not the primary issue – point 8 below is!)

8. Final point. If the historic churches had “come to terms” and taught, with greater clarity and insistence, the proper understanding of God’s irrevocable covenant with the Jews, they’d be no need for groups calling themselves “Christian Zionists” – nor for silly petitions.

9. Final, final point! Among the Palestinian Christians (Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant) the full embrace of the Old Testament as Scripture is a very troubling, difficult thing to do (in spite of how their liturgies are bound to it).

(For Evangelical Christian Zionism link here. For Hebrew Catholic sites, here.)

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NULLIFYING JEWS?

Yes, it’s true (glory be) the Old truly is fulfilled in the New. What more does one need to say?  Yet, still, the notion of nullification is bandied about and gets in the way. Even among Catholics.

Extreme nullifiers’ (is that what we should call them) take up a legal/judicial vocabulary into their argument: lifting for themselves the same mode of argument they excuse Calvinist of using in their battles over judicial justification. Anyway, the point is, what do they wish to do with all this nullifying? Extreme Nullification of the Old Covenant can too easily meld into the nullification (literally?) of the Jewish People whom St. Paul would have given his life for.

For the Christian, this whole discussion about Jews and Jewishness comes down to Romans 9 thru 11 – does it not? When Paul wrote these chapters did he have nullification in mind? Would he even recognize our bandied about word?

This does toss down a few outstanding questions.

Neither Old nor New stands alone, both footing on the bedrock of fulfillment. This is also the standing of any discussion. So, what enters?

The Old comes packaged with the Land of Promise. Foremost, the Covenant People are defined by their obedience to God; but that relationship was lived in view of the Land of Promise (even in exile). This cannot be easily dismissed or dissolved into deconstructed spirituality. Doing so would nullify so much.

Even Christianity.

The Incarnation is the knot that ties Old and New. The Incarnation is rock-solid for us because our grasp is, partially, patterned on the Old Covenant’s relationship with the Land: it was that physical.

It is a pattern we take with us as we grasp every event of God in the Flesh: God footed in Death, rock-solid in Resurrection and up and physical in Ascension. Not left here. The pattern descends into the physical agency of grace: water, bread, wine and the laying on of hands.

Covenant (Old & New) . . . Land & New Jerusalem . . . mark well . . . it all fits.  Israel is God’s first pattern of stepping foot on soil. The why and how of it is forever physical, though it remains, like Israel (like the Jews) a mystery.

Anti-Semitism comes down to this, disgust toward God for his particular affection for something as physical as the Jews.

If for the Christian that particular physical affection of God’s was, in the time of Rome’s Caesars, made complete in & by the Incarnation of himself (in Birth, Bloody Sacrifice, Resurrection and Eucharistic gift) one cannot partake of anti-Semitism without giving oneself over disgust of the God who once so loved.

By day’s end all this impinges, somehow, upon our politics.

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IslamicFascism: first take

I’m trying (truly I am) to understand why some get so riled by “Islamic Fascism” and “Islamic Totalitarianism” entering into the debate.

Or is it a stirred up sentiment getting spitting mad over some “monotheistic religion” (Islam in this case) being maltreated by Western decadence and secularism? That is, the greater enemy is not offended Islam but our slide in depravity – greased no doubt by _______________ (you fill the blank).

Islamic (extremism, fascism, whatever) is no idle enemy. It is this hour’s most serious threat against our families, our country and our traditions. It (Islam pure and simple) wants nothing less than what it has demanded since the 7th century: our conversion, our capitulation, or our death. Has it asked for anything less?

At this point I don’t give a damn that Islam is a monotheistic religion: one of us in some odd way because of Father Abraham, Archangel Gabriel and a mention or two of the Mother of our Lord.

Paul Johnson in a recent piece in National Review put out the prediction of Islam’s eventual secularization. It’s one with my prayers behind it.

Only in the total secularization of Islam can there be hope that Islam’s monotheistic intuition can rediscover its true home – in Judaism & Christianity. Sounds like an odd wish. But Islam will never convert to God’s true Covenant without passing through that dark night.

My attitude, these past months, has hardened. Islam’s existential harm is upon us. We must do the just and manly thing and arm ourselves with the practical side of Just War Theory.

Have just read the transcript of A/Q’s latest tape, “Convert America”. That did it for me. Damn any 100-point peace plans, the whole lot of them. Islam will never take the tithe of my son, my grandson, my nephew, or my neighbor down the street.

Hear me out, Mr. Ben Laden? That Spanish bishop was right; it was the dogs who ate Muhammad down to his bones. Now, in quick order, all good Christian men will do the same with Islamic Fascism.

Do I hear denunciations of A/Q’s message from that mass of a billion Muslims? Is the Arab/Muslim street furious with this slander against their religion? Or has that street sealed itself off from all reason and charity, yielded it sons and daughters to Islamist’s extortion? That street’s quiet, the silence roaring down it, speaks a totalitarian volume.

 

Today (this first week of September 2006) A/Q with its fascists hordes have climbed through the window. I fear our fear is such that the only decision left, we believe, is which son to toss out as bait.

Our apologies for a Church so weakened and effeminate it can’t (when the thieves are at the garden gate) pull the shotgun out from under the bed.

St. Boniface, pray for us. St. Alexander Nevsky, pray for us. (Now here’s a saint or two who knew how to muster the troops!)

I hear you Pope Urban II – I’m your man. The Red Cross is painted firm and bright upon my left shoulder.

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Here and There

  • For centuries the Curia’s response to the Middle East has been primarily about protection of Christian communities living within a hostile environment.  Vatican statements were built upon this complicated history – the theological element does not dominate.  Westerners (especially converts) want to read too much dogma into a pressed down existential reaction.
  • Seems that this current battle of ours against Islamic Fascism/Leftism has a long and deep history to it. Can we not put sense and insight into both our philosophical and practical approaches by reflecting on that history – on the Church’s sparing with Islam over these many centuries?
  • And, would not reflecting on the behavior of Eastern Christianity be especially helpful?
  • The first question to ask is why, in the 7th Century, did Eastern Christianity not put up a manly fight, giving Islam a bloody nose blowback into the desert.
  • If that was too difficult ( impossible, not to be) what then can be learned from their failure and capitulation? Why did Eastern Christianity shut down the Gospel’s imperative to evangelize? Why did it seek refuge in the poison of clan & tribe?
  • Without the Church’s capitulation, Islam’s grip on North Africa and Mesopotamia would not have survived past the next generation, weakened and besieged. Christian capitulation is what gave Islam it reach and endurance – and, strangely, its “Golden Age”.
  • Constantinople’s longevity was a historical oddity.  Too bad the city was not defeated centuries earlier. The Church (East & West) would have faced reality sooner: its response more swift and total.
  • But the better queston still returns us to the beginning: Why didn’t the Eastern Church kick Islam in the teeth when it first swarmed from the desert? Its failure to do so is the harlot mother of our current grief.
  • Here’s a good exercise: take up Bet Ye’or’s “The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam”, take it on section-by-section, and wrestle with its mass of facts and episodes.
  • Is Islam a species of Gnosticism? Are we overstretching, misapplying? Gnosticism is mankind’s most persistent malady. It found a pretty nasty root in Islam. Gnosticism (its Christian heretical sort, that is) first popped its nastiness, way back in the beginning, in the heresy of Marcion with his denial of the Church’s Jewish roots and his refusal of the Old Testament. In locating the Gnostic root of Islam one begins here – in Marcion’s Great Denial. This is Islam’s genesis. That is why Islam finds Christianity such an offense. The Cup we receive pours out for us, and all mankind, the very Blood of Christ. Christianity is anchored in God’s Divine Physicality (that is, His Incarnation in His Son). God’s poured out Blood retains the people and place of its coming. As the universal Gift of Salvation it was, is, and forever will be Jewish Blood. [Know the putting of the last statement will irritate some of the Elder Brethren, but that for a later Page.]
  • So, was it our Middle East footprint that woke Islam’s violence? Speak up, is that what you’re saying? Why don’t you take the next step: Israel is the problem, bottomline; Israel is America’s footpad (and the worst of our stomping about in the world). Since your solution is withdraw, why dont we just put those Jews on a sinking boat and sail them upriver – if they survive the ocean crossing!
  • Why not stay with the obvious – the violence is Islam’s, not ours (violent in its founding, violent in its dogma, violent in its history, violent always in the future). Islam is simply a sad, bad trap for a billion human beings. It is time to set the prisoners free.

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