Friday, July 22, 2005

Will We Win The War Against Islam?

Catholic Dossier: "Islam Will Not Be The Loser"

I've included the above article for you to read not to depress you, but perhaps to awaken you. James Schall's column is in conjunction with my previous post containing Hillaire Belloc's treatise on "The Great and Enduring Heresy of Mohammed." Schall explains what you may have missed with Belloc and drives home the points of what Islam is, the current state of affairs in the West, and what is to be our response to this real threat. I've included several exerpts for you to chew on. A point to blogspot is a place for comment no doubt. However, I'm including these articles not so much for you to comment but for you to learn and consider how you, your beliefs, your philosophy, and even your political views might need to be altered so as to meet the harsh reality of this very dangerous ideological threat to our lives. It is real. Though I can appreciate what President Bush is trying to accomplish, my fear is that it is a band-aid and only prolongs the inevitable, an Islamic takeover of the modern world. We as members of the West, must face our decadence, our relativism, our worship of ourselves and replace it with the enduring faith of our Fathers. We must stop this ridiculous hedonistic journey to self-destruction, turn around, and search for the truth of the Ages. Enough for now; here are a few quotes:

"Another alternative may well be that of the Holy Father’s teaching of authentic family life, even to Muslims and uncomprehending secularists." The spiritual roots of the crisis which the Western democracies are experiencing (is) a crisis characterized by the advance of a materialistic, utilitarian and ultimately dehumanized world view which is tragically detached from the moral foundations of Western civilization,” John Paul II remarked:

Economic and political structures must be guided by a vision whose core is the God-given dignity and inalienable rights of every human being, from the moment of conception until natural death. When some lives, including those of the unborn, are subjected to the personal choices of others, no other value or right will long be guaranteed . . . . Never has it been more urgent to reinvigorate the moral vision and resolve essential to maintaining a just and a free society."

Let me interrupt. For years, the West has snickered and sneered at Pope John Paul's continuous railing against the "Culture of Death." And we arrogant hedonists (in general) let this "camel" into our tents and now we cannot get it out. The problem is that we are so used to the camel being inside we don't know what is normal for camels, or for us, for that matter.

"Today, Belloc’s words of 1937 almost ring in our ears:
That story (of Islamic victory in the first Crusade) must not be neglected by any modern, who may think, in error, that the East has finally fallen before the West, that Islam is now enslaved—to our political and economic power at any rate if not to our philosophy. It is not so. Islam essentially survives, and Islam would not have survived had the Crusade made good its hold upon the essential point of Damascus. Islam survives. Its religion is in tact; therefore its material strength may return. Our religion is in peril and who can be confident in the continued skill, let alone the continued obedience, of those who make and work our machines (weapons)?

We have, here, in a nutshell the essence of Belloc’s thesis, one that occasions a further reflection on what this current war is about. "

Schall continues his reflection of Belloc's ideas by stating that the failure of the Crusades, essentially the first one, was a tactical failure in that the Crusaders did not fully capture all the land in Palestine to complete the division between the Eastern and Western tribes. This was not because of a failure in military tactics per se, but a lack of manpower. Much of Europe, primarily England, France and Germany, were slow to respond to the threat Islam imposed. Eventually the Crusaders were defeated. This defeat was the critical failure that allowed Islam to grow and eventually make huge gains into Europe. Let's read on:

"There is with us a complete chaos in religious doctrine where religious doctrine is still heldand even in that part of the European population where the united doctrine and definitions of Catholicism survives, it survives as something to which the individual is attached rather than the community,” Belloc concluded. As nations we worship ourselves, we worship the nation; or we worship (some few of us) a particular economic arrangement believed to be the satisfaction of social justice. Those who direct us, and from whom the tone of our policy is taken, have no major spiritual interest.”17 Belloc’s comment on “social justice” is itself extremely perceptive as many of those who blame America for all this wish to see the problems of Islamic aggressiveness to be one of its internal hurt feeling that it was being treated unjustly. Therefore, in this view, the problem was not Islam’s but of the West. This sort of flawed analysis is quite prevalent in many modern religious analyses of ideological aggressiveness. It continually underestimates the vigor of spiritual forces. Islam, because of what it is, would be a problem without economics, without Israel, and without the modern world."

Here is a key section that I want us to consider. One, we fail to see the decadence of Western culture, a decadence that we participate in and in many cases, promote. Some call this freedom, but it really is a huge cultural flaw that is a cause for disintegration of our community. Our strength, in political terms, is shown in unity. It is very clear that we are a fractured community, which lends to at best, our insipid response to terrorism, and at worst, a self-condemning auto-racism. This penchant to blame ourselves for Islam's fury is myopic to the nature of Islam itself. Two, and as a result of one, we fail to see Islam for what it is in its heart, a dynamic spiritual force. Let's read on:

"Islam has not suffered this spiritual decline (found in the West),” Belloc affirms. Its spiritual power is seen everywhere within its own realms. “We are divided in the face of a Mohammedan world, divided by separate independent national rivalries, by the warring interests of possessors and dispossessed—and that division cannot be remedied because the cement which once held our civilisation together, the Christian cement, has crumbled.” Belloc is definitely not on the side of the “secularist” solution to the current problem of Islam. He sees the spiritual unity of the West has, in its absence, political consequences of the utmost importance."

It is here that I take leave of you to look into your hearts. Do you see the importance of a renewal? Are you willing to re-consider the dearth of moral substance in what is currently Western Civilization? If we do not take seriously the danger that is before us, and not just individually, but as a community, we will succumb morally, spiritually, and politically to this ideological titan.

May your weekend be peaceful, but only in that you may be free to be sufficiently disturbed enough in your musings to make the necessary changes that confront you. God Bless.


At 7:52 AM, Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

I would agree with the article for the most part. The only thing that I take exception to is the author's comparison of Islam to Calvinism. The two are as vastly diverse as Calvinism is to Mormonism. Simply because a faith builds on another faith doesn't make it at all akin to that faith.

At 11:20 AM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

The only comparison that Belloc makes between Islam and Calvinism is how both of them over-simplify or radically strip down the Catholic faith into what is unique to each of their versions. He doesn't equate them. Calvinism doesn't deny the deity of Christ, but it has stripped the sacramental principle and man's freedom to participate in God's grace from the Catholic model.

At 1:55 PM, Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

Well, I would tell you that Calvin would've disagreed with that summary. He felt the Catholics added to the basic tenets, and his belief was that he was returning to the root of Christianity (but you know that, so I'm preaching to the choir, so to speak).

At 2:44 PM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

Yes he would say that, but he also adopted the solas fide, scriptura, and gracia of Luther, which to any observer of scripture, would not find Biblical backing for these doctrines. Interestingly, he also contended against Luther for keeping baptism of infants. Luther contended against Calvin for his position on good works as a sign of grace, which in Luther's mind, is too close to being Catholic. They wrangled with each other as men who have adopted their own authority.

At any rate, to make the Bible be the ONLY basis for faith is building castles in the air, for the Scriptures say nothing of the sort. So to assert sola scriptura is to create doctrine out of thin air. The scriptures do speak specifically of a tradition of the apostles (II Thess. 2:15; 3:6, and II Peter 3:2) that is binding on all Christians and holds that the Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth (I Tim. 2:15)that shows us how to conduct ourselves in the household of faith. There is more that I can share, but this will suffice, and besides, I don't know if this interests you.

What makes Protestantism essentially weak against the onslaughts of Islam is it's failure to know where its authority comes from. To a protestant, the Bible is the Word of God, and they would be right, but they don't know why. Some, beg the question and say the Bible says so, but it creates a vicious circle. To the Islamist, the Koran is the word of Allah because the Koran says so. Both parties are at an impasse. Each book "declares" itself to be the Word of God. When going to the source, one finds who is the author. I do this with Jehovah Witnesses as well, who started up in the 1840's. If that be the case, what was to happen to the hapless folk in the previous 1840 years?

What I'm trying to do is to go the the genesis of things, where Mohammed actually in his interactions with Arians along with his horrific spiritual experiences, compiles a set of doctrines that are a shell of Catholic teaching. Luther, Calvin, and co. refer to the Bible, in which its canon had been identified and ratified by the Catholic Church in one synod, two ecumenical councils, and ratified by two Popes in the early 5th century. This occured after a space of about 460 years after the very first book in the New Testament was written (Galatians...A.D. 47).

If you want more info., just put in a quarter. :D

At 5:11 PM, Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

OK, here's my quarter. Go on, I'm interested in your thoughts on the matter. Or, if you'd like, we can email.

Yes, I always felt that many Christian fundamentalists are too calvinistic in their approach. But in my many years of studying theology, I grew discouraged at first, because I could see so many points of view, yet they often differed from each other. How to choose? It's not easy to select a doctrine that is correct, for fear that you have chosen incorrectly.

But, though the Protestant movement had disagreements, the basics of the movement remain and that is what the protestant churches are built on. Just as the Catholic remains, though there were blights on her character in earlier years.

I would be interested in knowing exactly what led to your conversion from protestant to catholic.

I agree with your thoughts about the Jehovah's Witness movement. The same applies to the Mormons as well.

I do point out that there are several books in the Bible that warn against adding to, or subtracting from, that book. Many protestants believe that this indicates that the Bible is the ONLY source for their doctrine. However, I do realize that it's only a couple books in the Bible that state that, and so it may not apply to the entire canon. Also, the canon itself varies between Catholic and protestant.

At 9:02 PM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

The New Testament Canon is the same for both Protestant and Catholic. The Old Testament for Protestants has seven less books than Catholics which have in addition, the Book of Judith, Tobit, Ecclesiasticus, I and II Esdras, and I and II Maccabees, and four more chapters in the Book of Daniel. These seven which we also called the Deutero-Canonical Books were written after the captivity of Babylon. These particular books were a part of the Greek translation or Septuagint prior to the birth of Christ. These seven, though they existed before, during and after the birth of Christ, were stricken from the Old Testament Canon by Martin Luther. He thought that since they contained elements of Catholic doctrine he found reprehensible, they were not to have been included in the canon the first place. He also was ready to strike the Epistle of James from the New Testament Canon but his friends urged him not to. He considered James to be the Epistle of Straw.

As to explaining my conversion, that would be an enormous task to accomplish, for it took place over a period of several intense years, however, I could say that though I grew up Catholic, it wasn't until 1996, or when I was 38 years old, that I finally understood what Catholic really means. I am forever grateful to God for allowing me the honor of suffering for such a noble cause. Maybe what I'll do is give you my email, and for those of you who are interested I can send out a group email and corespond accordingly.

At 9:48 PM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

If you go to my profile, I've included my email address. I tried testing it myself, but the Outlook box pops up and I don't know how to make it work. So if you want I'll include it here and you can copy/paste it:

At 7:28 AM, Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

I'll email you, but can't do much corresponding today as I'm busy with a new baby possum we just found (you can see pics on my blog). She's adorable!

At 7:59 AM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

Yes, I saw it. I wonder if they are as cute as baby raccoons? Hey, check out my new blogsite. I put my conversion story on it and will expand it to cover all the various doctrines and practices I had to learn. Just Another Beggar

At 8:18 AM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

Sorry, I must have missed something in the html commands. The link in my comment doesn't work. But I do have on link on the main page.

At 4:15 PM, Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

OK, I'll check out the site. She IS really cute, and very sweet and cuddly. All she wants to do is be held today.

At 5:22 PM, Anonymous always questioning said...

I'd been waiting for an appropriate place to ask about your conversion - your profile intrigued me.

I've added my quarter and my comments to your other blog. I'm looking to future posts on the subject.

At 2:07 AM, Blogger ts said...

i second the appeal for a conversion-story post. specifically, i'd be interested in how you reconciled the big obstacles separating protestants from catholics.

At 2:57 PM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

Go to my profile and click on the "Just Another Beggar." And like'll be there!

At 8:07 PM, Blogger United We Lay said...

Great conversation, guys! I don't know if it is possible to win a war against a religion. The war between Christianity and Islam has been going on for centuries in one way or another. People are solid in their religious beliefs. The only hing we could possibly do is convince the Muslims that we are no threat to them. The problem is, we are. We want their oil. That's at least a little bit threatening. And they are somewhat threatening to us. The fundamentalists disagree with most of what we stand for. The only way to win a war with two totally opposed sides is fo one side to slaughter the other.

At 11:51 PM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

Polanco, welcome back!

Yes, Christianity and Islam have been going at it for over 1400 years now. We made mistakes, we made some advances, but it seems overwhelmingly difficult to overcome the disagreements. In a formal sense, Christianity, multi-faceted as it is, does not have the level of intolerance that Islam has. This fact doesn't stop the existence of intolerant Christians or tolerant Muslims, but as religions go, Islam is far more intolerant, to the point of "jihad." I do disagree with you on what threatens them. We are "non-Muslim." They take advantage of our need for oil to give them a wealth they couldn't have had otherwise.

As to one side slaughtering the other, I don't know if you're being fascetious (sp?) or not, but here, I am very pessimistic. St. Francis of Assissi deplored the use of force against the Muslims and sought to convert them to Christianity. He failed initially, though it is said that the great leader Saladin, was baptised on his death bed. I don't want to think that destruction of Muslims is the answer. As a Christian, I believe that Christ's death was for everyone; no one should be ruled out as a "neighbor" who is to be loved with the love that Christ has for them.

What a difficult situation we are facing!

Thanks again for dropping by!

At 8:13 PM, Blogger United We Lay said...

As always, I think education is the key. If we could just figure out a way to set up schools and teach people to read... I my be niave but I continue to believe that teaching people to solve their own problems goes a long way toward the reversal of poverty.


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