Saturday, October 13, 2007

Beheading of the (Western) Nations

Fjordman continues the prophetic (albeit secularist) role of describing with forensic clarity what is happening to the West; namely, the beheading of western nations:
The massive concentration of Muslims in major European cities will have dramatic consequences, some of which are already visible. If it is allowed to continue, it will destroy the coherence of society that is necessary for our democracies and our legal systems to work. Increased urban insecurity means that the state is not able to guarantee the security of its citizens. If ordinary citizens feel that the state is no longer able to guarantee the safety of their loved ones, then perhaps native Europeans will create groups and “clans” of their own, to counter the Muslim clans. The result will be a re-tribalization of our countries. The downfall of the nation state, if it happens, will be chaotic, painful and bloody. Can it still be avoided? Only time will tell.
It is my contention that what Fjordman describes is merely considered by the Saudi overlords as part of the continuing operations in the already-established functional dhimmitude of the West, though not recognized because of a social and psychological state of denial by westerners. My question is: Will the West wake from this denial and do something faithful, loving, and good about it?

Renaissance Lies re: the Middle Ages

Or, Even Monty Python Knoweth It
Daniel Mitsui, one of our greatest medievalists, fills in the vapid void that most moderns share about the Middle Ages; namely, that it was muddy, superstitious, and drab subservience to the Church. Oh yeah? Well, even Monty Python’s Terry Jones knows better.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Chesterton on Defense & the Common Good

The president of the American Chesterton Society, Dale Alquist, offers choice words on "Sometimes You Have to Fight: A Chesteronian Perspective"

Functional Dhimmitude

In the West, there is a vocal minority crying in the wilderness that Islam is actively working to take over the world. Wake up and smell the gasoline. We live and move and have our being in dhimmitude, pal, and nothing about that fact is going to change in the foreseeable future.

The Saudi royal family owns us. They act like landlords, mortgage-holders, and drug-lords because they are. Like it or not, their power extends to the car in your driveway, as well as to the lighting and hvac system in your church, synagogue, and the New York Stock Exchange.

Also, like the conquering Normans (or perhaps Elizabeth and Lord Cecil), they dictate the terms of discourse with a slap of varnish from their religion for the respectability and approval factor from the world's newest theological high ground, Islam. Like it or not, you'd better know and practice a modicum of kowtowing to "Muslims R Us." Go along to get along. It is only our predictable codependent denial to the drug (oil, our idol of choice) that keeps us from seeing why, when Islamic imams say "Jump!" we keep asking, "How high and for how long, sir?" We are too afraid the dealer at the pump, power relay station, and refinery won't show up if we don't.

But Christianity? Get real. How many gallons of oil in reserve does the Pope have?

Is it any wonder that Islamic scholars are coming in peace delegations to the Vatican? They are gracious, civilized victors in the non-clash of civilizations. The junkyard-dog street rabble will make short work of stragglers on the fraying edges of the ghostly, sickly, oil-addicted West.

Resistance is futile. Or is it?

Fostering Phobia ... the Tipping Point

Gil Bailie, author and lecturer, wrote an incisive essay entitled, Fostering Phobia … the Tipping Point: [used by permission of author]

VISITING WITH FRIENDS RECENTLY, I learned that their eldest, just off to his first year at a respected university, was taking a freshman course in "Islamophobia."

This week CNN has aired a series of programs the underlying premise of which is the moral equivalence of the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic predisposition to violence, something from which many on the left only dissent by claiming -- implicitly or explicitly -- that the greater threat comes from the "Christian right" or the "fundamentalist Christians" -- both terms meaning simply people who still hold to Judeo-Christian moral principles and still feel a degree of patriotic loyalty to the society that has fostered the political freedoms and economic prosperity for which they are grateful. (I do not have a television, and I have not seen the CNN series, but everything I have read about it leads me to believe that it is a slightly more subtle version of the line long espoused by the major media outlets and the American professorate.)

Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, there have been roughly 9000 terrorist attacks carried out in the name of Islam. Islamic radicals are palpably on the rise in virtually every European country, to the consternation of many. Violence in the name of Islam is literally everywhere one looks today. But CNN hasn't veered from the doctrine to which it has long been wedded; nor have the academicians. The problem requiring the immediate attention of the West's fledgling undergraduates is "Islamophobia." Imagine a course on the irrational fear of Nazis in the 1930s, an analogue that will not seem at all preposterous in historical hindsight.

Sweeping moral problems under a linguistic rug is the special hobby of postmodernists. The terms "Islamophobia" and "homophobia" function to silence misgivings that are anything but irrational. The misgivings are rooted in moral, historical, and cultural reality. But as those who harbor these misgivings are made to swallow them for fear of being accused of barbarism and psychopathology -- which is to say, the violation of the speech codes formulated for the purpose of silencing legitimate criticism -- those misgivings don't go away. They may well drop below the level of consciousness, for no one likes being reminded by an inner voice of his cowardice in the face of social intimidation. But these misgivings remain, and as the social revolutions that give rise to them grow bolder -- much of the opposition to them having been silenced -- there is a real possibility that these choked-back misgivings might become so loaded with resentment that when they do finally make it to the surface they might do so precisely as Islamophobic or homophobic fury. And were that to happen, it would be both a moral and social catastrophe.

By using recently manufactured neologisms such as "Islamophobia" and "homophobia" to silence legitimate criticism of movements committed to a fundamental reordering of cultural life and prevent free and open public debate about the cultural impact of these revolutions, those behind these movements may be creating self-fulfilling prophecies.

On the matter of "Islamophobia," there are signs in Europe that a tipping point may be approaching, a point at which ancestral Europeans may suddenly panic. Social panics are anything but edifying, and European history doesn't inspire confidence that one provoked by the very legitimate fear of the Islamization of Europe would be an exception.

Were those who have been long intimidated into silence to finally rise up, however, those who threw these accusations at the heads of all who resisted their revolution can be counted on to seize the opportunity to declare that they were right all along.

So, who would get blamed? The answer of course is the moral realists, the heirs of Augustine, who have known all along what a precious and fragile gift a harmonious civil order is and how quickly and precipitously it can descend into chaos if the moral presuppositions on which it was built are dismantled.

Meanwhile, the next generation is being taught that the only thing requiring moral discernment is the presence of the retrograde people still willing to exercise moral discernment; that the only thing we have to fear but fear itself. Franklin Roosevelt must be turning in his grave.

It's About Time

The Knights Templar have been cleared of heresy charges -- after a 700-year wait. Yahoo!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Against the Faith (and Wh*te People?!?)

Recently, the Swiss have been getting real bad press due to some folk there wanting to restrict immigration. So-called Enlightenment thinking dictates that countries of the north should be safe havens for the folk hard put to live "freely" in their countries of origin. Fair enough. Sounds good as far as it goes.

So, what are we to do when it becomes patently obvious that countries of the south, shall we say, north Africa, and other sub-tropical places do not feel the same way about immigrants and looking after their ethnic and cultural traditions?

An international poll in 2007 showed that 90 percent of the inhabitants in Egypt, Indonesia and India believed that each country should guard their innate culture and lifestyle. Immigration concerned people in 44 out of the 47 countries.
Fjordman has stated:

Guarding your identity is thus a universal human trait, not a white trait. In fact, it is less pronounced among whites today than among anybody else. Only whites cling onto the idea of universalism, everybody else sticks with their own ethnic group. In white majority Western nations it has become a state-sponsored ideology to “celebrate diversity” ...

In May 2007, Osama bin Laden’s deputy terrorist leader Ayman al-Zawahri stated that “Al-Qaida is not merely for the benefit of Muslims. That’s why I want blacks in America, people of color, American Indians, Hispanics, and all the weak and oppressed in North and South America, in Africa and Asia, and all over the world.”

Read that statement closely. This Jihadist organization is calling for a global war against white pe ...
Wait, wait, wait! But I thought that everyone was starting to sing, "I want to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony!" Apparently multi-cultural celebration of diversity is based on wish-fulfillment, not the goals of Mr. al-Zawahri, or other rather large, influential entities on the world scene.

Who's to say Switzerland should NOT roll up the welcome mat? Indeed, where will the Shire Strategy begin? Limp-wristed PC pansies won't get it done. Neither will "flower-children" now pushing their mid-60's. Neither will lawyers. It must be done by the voters and those willing to protect faith, family, Church, priests, and Christendom. The Christian faith in general and the Catholic Church -- with her persons of all races and colors -- must be protected in order to thrive without fear of attack by those who would seek its annihilation.

What the end-goal looks like, I cannot guess. My "palantir" only gets cable and the internet. But part of being faithful, hopeful, and charitable means legitimate defense. Let us not be found wanting. NB: For all normal Westerners with qualms of false guilt -- consider it a "sit in" if that helps. And, no immigration without reciprocal immigrant policies and freedoms.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Laying Down Scimitars, Guns, & Bombs

Kamal Saleem came to America to recruit terrorists, but instead became a convert to Christ. "Three Christian men reached out to me and loved me unconditionally," he said.

He fought in many battles and wars -- against Christians in Lebanon, Russians in Afghanistan, Jews in Israel.

But he ended up in America, recruiting new terrorists here.

"First you teach them Islamic teaching, and once it's embedded in their system, then you teach them how to use a gun," Saleem said.

George Saieg, leader of Arabic Christian Perspective, advises Christians to dig into their own past and fears, remembering "how we used to be not assured of our salvation -- we used to be afraid of dying."

"And this is the same common ground that the Muslims have today -- that they're not assured of their salvation, that they're afraid of dying," he said. "But Jesus came to our life and changed our life. This is the story we need to tell them, how Jesus changed my life and He's able to change theirs, too." Saieg agrees with Saleem, that Islam preaches violence.

Saleem says don't buy everything you hear about Islam these days.

"Muslims will say 'We're a people of peace -- we worship the same God,'" he said.

But what they're really taught is "that Jews are pigs and monkeys. Jews they must be killed. 'The rock will cry out "there's a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him,"' Saleem said.

They say Muslims believe Christ was a mere man.

"He didn't even die on the cross. He was lifted up and He's coming back and He will be a Muslim," Saleem said.

Saieg and his people are reaching out as quickly as they can to Muslims at Arab Festivals, like one that took place in Seattle, and a recent one in Dearborn, Mich., where dozens converted.

"And, praise the Lord, we had 42 Muslims come to the Lord." Saieg said.

These former Muslims insist Islamic people are not by nature violent. They totally blame the mayhem and terror pouring out of Islamic lands on the religion itself.

"I really look at Osama bin Laden himself as a victim of Islam. My problem is not with Osama bin Laden. My problem is not with the Muslim people," Saieg said. "My problem is with the teaching of Islam, the teaching of Koran because this is what is pushing Muslims to do what they're doing." Read article – a must read.

Benedict XVI Urges

Monday, October 8, 2007

How Would We Know?

A question to any and all Catholic bloggers who are concerned with the two-front war with in which the West is presently engaged; namely, with paganism in its two forms, postmodern nihilism and Islam:

How would we know when to cheer, what would signal victory?

A great many voices are pointing toward, shouting about, and packaging warnings, solutions, and strategies. But what would be the extent of a victory with which we would all agree would be satisfactory?

You see, it seems to me that if we don't have a goal toward which to aim, we will never know when we have arrived.

James Pinkerton's ”Shire Strategy” is just that, a strategy and perhaps a goal, but not flat-out victory. It is a means toward containment of one of West's foes, Islam.

But when, using further imagery from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, when would we, as Catholics mind you, cheer and laugh at heart's-ease with Gandalf, Strider, and everyone left standing in Gondor? And, I suppose, a concomitant question is, what would we not agree to use in the efforts toward such goal; namely, the ring of power? What is that Isildur's Bane that if we use, we shall not, by definition, have won a victory?

Primer on René Girard

Gil Bailie, founder and president of the Cornerstone Forum, is in my opinion the finest explicator of the anthropological works of René Girard. The journal Communio published a two-part essay by Bailie that helps one starting out in studying Girard's "mimetic theory." Here is part one, Violence and the Sacred - Rene Girard's Insights into Christianity.

With a copy of Catechism of the Catholic Church in one hand, the Bible in the other, and an understanding of Girard, one is about as ready to understand the problems facing the world as one can hope to be.

The Coming Cataclysm

Shangri-La, or Rivendell, or ...

A nagging fantasy of mine is one that James Hilton wrote about in Lost Horizon. A hideaway in a deep rift of the Himalayas serves as a repository for all the greatest expressions of truth, goodness, and beauty while the world wars and tears itself apart. Many on the left, I suspect, see themselves flying-the-flag for such a place when they affix little ”Save Tibet” flags to their Subaru bumpers. On the right, an equivalent might be becoming a life-member of contributors to Ronald Reagan ranch.

Regardless, when one considers the loss of sub-creations, in Tolkien's parlance, whatever the source, at the hands of those caught in the fearful symmetry of the primitive Sacred, one wonders and dreams of such a place as Shangri-la. Is it a merely a playful fantasy, a parody of being, finally and eternally, in the presence of our greatest desire, the Beatific Vision? Or, is it a valid goal amid the terrors and destruction of conventional culture? Even Tolkien's Rivendell was not a place in Middle Earth of final security for the elves, let alone mortals in his Lord of the Rings.

What is clear is that more and more small fissures are appearing in the dike of western civilization. Expressions of truth, beauty, and goodness, like Monet's ‘Le Pont d’Argenteuil’ recently attacked, are a scandal to those caught in the whirlwind of the ”sacrificial preparation” -- not merely to Muslim iconoclasts, but to neo-pagan Westerners as well.

King's Cross Station - Just Because

Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered

Marisol at Dhimmi Watch reports, Saudi religious police arrest maid after employer "bewitched":
The arrest of the maid, whose nationality was not revealed, followed a complaint by the wife of the employer who she said had been ‘bewitched by the maid’.
The woman said she suspected her husband had been put under a spell because he fiercely defended the maid from criticism every time she neglected her work.
Members of the religious police, known as Mutawas, discovered ‘talismans and products of charlatanism’ in a search of the maid’s quarters in the eastern city of Damman, the newspaper added.
The paper said the maid, who is to face trial, ‘admitted she took refuge in sorcery so as to make her employers like her’.
‘The bewitched husband adored the maid and carried out all her wishes, unbeknownst to his wife,’ the newspaper said.
Saudi’s feared religious police are tasked with enforcing respect for public morals. Witchcraft is a capital offense in Saudi Arabia, where Sharia law is strictly applied.
Around two million domestic workers, mostly from Asian countries like Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, are employed in Saudi Arabia.
Okayyy, so the Saudi Sharia law enforcement officers and, presumably, judges, prison officials, and street rabble haven't a clue about scapegoating. Those still able in the "Christ-haunted" West should see here a veritable case study of the one who has the least power, least protection, the most vulnerable being the "problem". At least I hope you don't blame the maid.

What is even more interesting is the degree to which the mumbo-jumbo of "witchcraft" is able to frighten these officials. It is like Jack and the choir-boys cowering before the corpse of the "Beast" (dead parachutist) in Golding's Lord of the Flies. But what is clear is this:
Islam and its Sharia law are part-and-parcel with the primitive Sacred.

One more interesting note: China Daily reports that Guantanamo prisoners are asking to read Harry Potter books and see the movies. The Gospel has a funny way of getting into hearts and minds. Perhaps Harry, Ron, and Hermione will bring people interested in "witchcraft" to "Kings Cross Station."

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Worshiping Paris - NYT

The New York Times looks at great churches of Paris.

Steady Growth for Church Worldwide

In case you missed it, L’osservatore Romano reports [22 Aug 2007] that the Catholic Church is experiencing a "steady growth" worldwide. "From 2000 to 2005, the number of Catholics in the world rose from just over 1.045 billion to 1.1115 billion, increasing by 6.7 percent ..." More…

SJS - Sudden Jihad Syndrome

In George Lucas' finally-filmed installment in the Star Wars saga, Revenge of the Sith, on a special command ('66'), the clone army, heretofore obedient and helpful, suddenly turn their weapons on the Jedi, destroying nearly all of them. Out of the blue, unforeseen, unprovoked, this sudden attack is devastatingly destructive to the Jedi; devastatingly excellent for the Sith and Emperor Palpatine.

Daniel Pipes has thematized what I think is a similar and insidious phenomenon: Sudden Jihad Syndrome. [HT: What's Wrong w/the World]
Individual Islamists may appear law-abiding and reasonable, but they are part of a totalitarian movement, and as such, all must be considered potential killers.” I wrote those words days after 9/11 and have been criticized for them ever since. But an incident on March 3 at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill suggests I did not go far enough.

That was when a just-graduated student named Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, 22, and an Iranian immigrant, drove a sport utility vehicle into a crowded pedestrian zone. He struck nine people but, fortunately, none were severely injured ...

In fact, no one who knew him said a bad word about him, which is important, for it signals that he is not some low-life, not homicidal, not psychotic, but a conscientious student and amiable person. Which raises the obvious question: why would a regular person try to kill a random assortment of students? Taheri-azar’s post-arrest remarks offer some clues.

He told the 911 dispatcher that he wanted to “punish the government of the United States for their actions around the world.”
I am thankful to Pipes for giving this phenomenon a name, "Sudden Jihad Syndrome" (Don't wait up for the American Psychological Association to put it in the DSM-V along with, say, homosexuality which they removed from the DSM-IV for political not scientific reasons. That’s another story.) Let me be clear, however: unlike the "clones in Star Wars, it is NOT a "command" that compels the attacker and overrides the will.

It is more like the wisdom of the late Fr Raymund Schwager: "Sins, especially serious and conscious ones, begin in the depths of the heart and they often have a long prehistory, in which many people bear different amounts of responsibility and in which it often depends on accidental circumstances as to whether things get as far as an outward, punishable deed and who commits it." In other words, one puts into actions what one has spent a great deal of time thinking about, fantasizing about. After a while, the step from fantasizing to acting-out is like slipping down a greased pole. The old word for it was possession.

But why, for pity's sake, would a Muslim spend time thinking about acting violently toward infidel (kafir) with whom he has no personal quarrel? Because, simply put, (1) the Koran praises such action in the realm of war (Dār al-Harb), and, as Erwun Caner points out, (2) the soteriology of Islam has to do with scales -- how much evil is in my life? how much righteousness? If 51% of my accrued action is "evil", I go straight to perdition when I die (in Islam). What can "erase" all the evil in my life as a man? Martyrdom in killing kafir "erases" all the evil in my life. For Muslim women, childbirth has the same effect. Does that tell you something about the "demographic wars?" Too, does it tell you something about the nature of the deity of Islam? Cf. The Hubris of Alchemical Gnosticism - Or, How I Learned to Love Dionysus.

So. Why would a young law-abiding college student like Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar suddenly go berserk? Go figure. It seems likely that in the near-future we shall have all the opportunities we want or don't want to practice the virtue of Christian men that needs dusting-off and cleaning: chivalry.