Saturday, October 20, 2007

IEDs - Coming to a Street Near You

The Washington Post -- yep, the WaPo -- reports that IEDs Seen As Rising Threat in The U.S. IEDs -- improvised explosive devices -- have been the weapon of choice against troops in Iraq. The fact that the story is front page news means that Homeland Security would rather get the news out prior to an actual event. You know -- a loaded school bus is destroyed; a motorcade in DC; a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade -- that sort of thing.

Is it reassuring that Secretary Chertoff is notifying the public to this threat ahead of time? It sounds to me more like a case of CYA, so when it happens no one can say, "Don't say we didn't warn ya!"

Would such an event provoke repercussions? Hot-heads will be hot-heads, mimetic doubling rivalry will be mimetic doubling rivalry, Hatfields and Ahmeds will be Hatfield and Ahmeds. There would (will?) be mourning, grief, grievance, and deep resentment born on the wings of such death and destruction. Yes, there would be repercussions.

It is in my mind that the bell-shaped curve would hold. A few nut-cases would do their best to "share the grief" with indiscriminate victims of their own making. A few on the other end would roll-over and play dead in pacifist idiocy. The vast bubble in the middle would react by the kind of vigilence I saw during our "Beltway Sniper" days.

Let us prepare our hearts for chivalry, legitimate defense, and the kind of charity Our Lord speaks about in yesterday's Gospel: [Lk 12, 4-7]
I tell you, my friends,
do not be afraid of those who kill the body
but after that can do no more.
I shall show you whom to fear.
Be afraid of the one who after killing
has the power to cast into Gehenna;
yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one.
Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins?
Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God.
Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.
Do not be afraid.
You are worth more than many sparrows.”

600-Pound Gorilla Political Theory, Etc.

Mark Lilla on ”Coping with Political Theology” at Cato Unbound:
Our working assumptions – that democracy is the only legitimate form of government, that the institutional separation of church and state is necessary, that religion is essentially a private matter, that one should be free to enter or leave a religious congregation at will – are simply not the assumptions of millions of Muslims across the globe. This is not because they do not want good government, or decent societies, or that they are utterly intolerant of other faiths. It is because the political theology of the shari’a is still intact and commands the respect of all pious Muslims – just as the Torah is intact for ultra-orthodox Jews, many of whom reject the legitimacy of the Israeli democratic state. Torah and shari’a are comprehensive laws, and those who believe in their comprehensiveness are obliged to look to them for guidance in everything, including politics. Given the statelessness of diaspora Jews for two millennia, the political-theological potential of the Torah lay dormant, except for occasional outbursts of messianic dreaming, as in the case of Shabbtai Zvi (1626-76). But the political theology of shari’a is highly developed and has been put into practice in Muslim nations for over a thousand years. The Great Separation that eventually extinguished Christian political theology in the West has no counterpart in the Muslim world.

What conclusions are we to draw from this fact? The most important is how little our American assumptions about religion and politics, deriving from the post-Christian Great Separation, will apply to a civilization with a strong, intact tradition of political theology. This is not to say that the Muslim tradition lacks political concepts akin to ours, such as justice, toleration, separation of religious and governmental power, accountability, and the like. How could it, given that all societies face the same basic set of political problems? But the bases of these concepts are wholly different: Muslim political theology derives them from the revelation of the Qur’an, the traditions of the hadith, and the decisions of the community of legal scholars who look to these sources; modern political philosophy derives them from a reading of human nature alone. However much overlap there may be in terms of particular “values” and principles, we are deriving them from completely different sources.
Too, Tony Blair in his first speech after leaving office sees the long shadow of the Scimitar in Iran: the Middle East, we’ve seen... the ideology driving this extremism and terror is not exhausted. On the contrary it believes it can and will exhaust us first," he said.
“Analogies with the past are never properly accurate, and analogies especially with the rising fascism can be easily misleading but, in pure chronology, I sometimes wonder if we’re not in the 1920s or 1930s again.
“This ideology now has a state, Iran, that is prepared to back and finance terror in the pursuit of destabilising countries whose people wish to live in peace.”
What Blair must realize is that ideology IS the religion.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Standing Firm

Vatican official, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, both praised the initiative by 138 Muslim scholars and offered problematics to meaningful dialog. "Muslims do not accept that one can discuss the Koran in depth, because they say it was written by dictation from God," Tauran said. "With such an absolute interpretation, it is difficult to discuss the contents of faith."

Likewise, the fact that Muslims can build mosques in Europe while many Islamic states limit or ban church building cannot be ignored, he said. "In a dialogue among believers, it is fundamental to say what is good for one is good for the other," he said. Read the full Reuters article.

This statement by the good Cardinal seconds my contention in Cassandras – Keep It Up that immigration must be enforced along lines of similar reciprocity. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Otherwise, we see a complimentary relationship between Islam and Christendom; a hubris-filled ersatz suzerainty arrangement that presupposes a superior Islam dictating terms to a subservient Church. As the kids say: yeah, right.

Holy See Defends Right to Convert

Religious freedom includes the right to change religion, and to receive or give catechesis, the Holy See affirms.
Muslims might ask why a "security fence" is erected around Islam. To keep Christians from coming in? Get real, Beavis. To make it vvvery difficult to get OUT. Prohibitions like forfeiture of one's life if one converts to the Christian faith are a sure sign of the primitive Sacred.

The Catholic Church, on the other hand, has ever been a refugee camp for runaways from satanic tyrants, a dry beach for the shipwrecked, a field hospital for those wounded by sin. Just GET here anyway you can. You'll enjoy the welcome.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Won't You Be My Neighbor?

I wonder what Fred about this if he (were still living and) lived in northern Virginia, in the shadow of the Capitol?

UPDATE from the Washington Post: One ninth-grade textbook taught teenagers that violence toward Jews, Christians and others is sanctioned by God. A 12th-grade textbook, the 2006 report says, reads "the hour [of judgment] will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them." Drop in any time, neighbor ...

Struggling into the Kingdom of Heaven

Ridley Scott's epic film, Kingdom of Heaven, tells the sad tale of the loss of Jerusalem to Saladin in the twelfth century. It is based in part on the accounts of William of Tyre who, it is said, discovered Baldwin IV's leprosy while the latter was still a young lad.

Like Roger Ebert, I find it a deeper parable for our times than a mere "epic battle movie." Probably the most profound observation to be seen in it is the fact that the best of intentions for peoples to share an albeit uneasy peaceful coexistence is often undone by hotheads on both -- or all -- sides.

Ridley Scott portrays this reality in biting irony when both Baldwin IV and Saladin find bloodlust and "honor" among their own ranks to be the undoing of the peace of Jerusalem. Ultimately, it is the power of this thirst for the primitive Sacred among the Christians in the film that brings down Christian control of Jerusalem.

Those of us who ruefully foresee the day when chivalry and legitimate defense will become necessities, culturally and individually, need to learn a lesson from Kingdom of Heaven. Perhaps the greatest danger we will face will not be the foe who worships a cruel taskmaster for a deity and carries a scimitar, but the westerners who no longer give a rat's tail about the Gospel, its Lord, and his Church. This is one motive why I posted, How Would We Know when we'd won "the" Victory over the Scimitar? Mark Gordon thoughtfully seconded the motion with his "What Will 'Victory' Look Like?" Why is this a concern? After all, war makes strange bedfellows and fellow travelers, doesn't it?

In his series on the Purgatorio and Paradiso [1b], Gil Bailie expounds on the negligent rulers who, he says, must now deal with the spiritual problem that once they tried to save a world that is already saved, thank you very much. Bailie reflects on the fact that they leaned heavily on the cardinal virtues -- justice, fortitude, prudence, and temperance -- but now must come to grips with the theological virtues -- faith, hope, and charity (agape) -- which acknowledge that there is a greater power than our own at work here.

Kingdom of Heaven depicts these struggles far away from today: historically and geographically (perhaps). But it raises them in a way we shall all have to face in significant ways in OUR times, whether we like it or not.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Ah, How Useful Multiculturalism

Genevieve at Real, Clear Religion has posted a vitally important article entitled, ”U.K.: PRIEST GETS VISIT FROM HATE CRIME POLICE FOR EXPRESSING VIEWS ON MUSLIM VEIL."
Hate crime laws are simply the precursor to official dhimmi status. The politically correct laws that have been enacted in the West are only ushering in the eventual reign of Islam by making us all cowards that surrender the truth for human respect and the lie of wordly peace.

From Daily Mail: A priest has been interviewed by police on suspicion of inciting racial hatred for expressing his Christian views in his parish newsletter.

Father John Hayes, 71, was quizzed for more than an hour after commenting on the case of a Muslim girl who went to court over her wish to wear a full veil in class.

A sergeant and community support officer turned up without warning at his presbytery after an allegation was made to a Scotland Yard 'hate crimes' unit.
For different reasons altogether, an English actor and openly homosexual man, Christopher Biggins, LifeSite reports, has condemned the Big Brother thought-police tactics:
Biggins, who is known for his appearances on British television sit-coms and played the young Emperor Nero in the BBC’s production “I Claudius”, responded that the proposed law is “a charter for nosy-parkers and bully-boys, for prigs who find offence at every turn and bores who want to impose their narrow, self-righteous opinions on the rest of us.”

“I despair at the mood of edict-issuing, word-censoring dreariness that seems to have overtaken the leaders of the gay rights movement. They, more than anyone, should be on the side of flamboyance, eccentricity, laughter and earthiness. Instead, they are acting like old commissars of some Eastern bloc regime or a bunch of Victorian moral puritans, clamping down on politically incorrect words."
Another source, unnamed in the article anticipates an increase in hate-crimes against homosexuals in reaction to the proposed legislation: “Whilst I myself am happily heterosexual I have a lot of gay friends who are all up in arms about this. There is a very real fear that resentment and anger will bubble up to such an extent in the community at large that they will be hated for being a ‘special case’. This is also one step on a very slippery slope, one that could lead to the ultimate dictatorship where words are a cause for persecution, none of us would be safe.”

All told, it seems to me that Genevieve has the correct read of the situation in England -- that is, unless there is a Shaker-esque homosexual agenda for taking over and repopulating their religion with converts. Until that happens, I'm afraid we see, yet again, the Religion of Peace using the helpful weapon of multicultural (in)tolerance to further the goals of domination.

Primitive Sacred Resurges

The West's Great (and Only) Hope

René Girard's mimetic theory, one might say, begins with the accusatory gesture. "The accuser" is, quite literally, in New Testament Greek, "satan". Accusations and threats of violent vengeance are, if one is willing to look at them through the prism of the anthropology of the Cross, all coin of the realm of Satan; what Girard has called "the primitive Sacred."

So, it should come as no surprise that accusations and threats of violence are in perfunctory use, ad nauseam, by Jihadists. For example, "If the perpetrators do not apologise to Afghans and to all the Muslims of the world, and if they are not brought to justice and punished for what they have done, we will stand against you, you will see an uprising," as Robert Spencer reports at Jihad Watch. Recall that the accusatory gesture and accompanying threats are mechanisms that pull disparate people (read: people who might otherwise be at one another's throats) together against a common enemy. This is the "least common denominator" approach to social cohesion as employed by the primitive Sacred.

The trouble with it is, it is fragile. Witness this: "Over the past year, prominent Internet chat forums which underpin the terrorist communications network known as "Obelisk" have increasingly become the stage for bitter infighting between Al-Qaida and other competing Islamic extremist groups…"

The power of the primitive Sacred, Girard contends, is diminishing in the world due to the power of the Gospel at work in history. This is both good news and bad news. Because it is losing its grip, those who employ it usually do not seek an alternative, but ratchet up its usage increasing the number of victims, or prestige of its victims. That is the bad news.

The good news is two-fold: (1) eventually the heart tires of slavery to the realm of the Satanic, empathizing with its (or MY) victims, who no longer appear anything other than just as human as I. And (2), by the grace of God we stumble across the Alternative: a community brought together NOT by the accusatory gesture and threats of violence against a common enemy. Rather, a community who worship, find meaning in, and try to emulate the Victim of all victimizers, the Lamb Slain Since the Foundation of the World, Jesus Christ the Lord.

This is the Great Hope of the sin-sick West. The enemies -- postmodern nihilism and Islam -- only know the Satanic realm of the primitive Sacred. They will maybe, just maybe, devour themselves in-fighting because of the waning power of the Satanic. And that may just give the West long enough to come to itself, repent, remember and return to the Word made flesh [Jn 1, 14] and his Church. Maybe. Just maybe.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

An Adoring, Loving Mother +

Madonna with the Host - Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
Musee d'Orsay, Paris
Ingres makes the flames of the attendants' lamps seem meager, pale, and drear compared to the face of Our Lady and the luminous Host before her. How true it must have been when the world's "lanterns, torches, and weapons" appeared before Our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane [Jn 18,3b]. How true it still remains.

The whole world was lost in the darkness of sin;
The Light of the world is Jesus;
Like sunshine at noonday His glory shone in;
The Light of the world is Jesus.

R: Come to the Light, 'tis shining for thee!
Sweetly the Light has dawned upon me;
Once I was blind, but now I can see;
The Light of the world is Jesus.

No darkness have we who in Jesus abide;
The Light of the world is Jesus;
We walk in the Light when we follow our Guide;
The Light of the world is Jesus. R

Ye dwellers in darkness with sin-blinded eyes;
The Light of the world is Jesus;
Go wash at His bidding and light will arise;
The Light of the world is Jesus. R

No need of the sunlight in heaven, we're told;
The Light of the world is Jesus;
The Lamb is the Light in the City of Gold;
The Light of the world is Jesus. R

WaPo - Dis Him? Sure. Not Muslims

The Washington Post bravely publishes today's Sunday Berk Breathed OPUS comic in which the Commander in Chief of the United States is depicted prancing about in whitey tighties. This, after censoring by dropping Breathed's OPUS on Muslim women’s apparel in August. Apparently the Post knows the power of mob violence, the practitioners of it by members of the the religion of peace, and, inchoately, a great deal about what mimetic theory says about paganism and the primitive Sacred. As Fox News reported,

As far as whether the Post and the Post Writers Group syndicate treated content about conservative Christians differently than it did content about conservative Muslims, it certainly could be taken that way.

"It appears on the surface to be a double standard," Burford said, "but at the same time, the climate of the world probably informs their decision with how to go forward with it."

That point, "the climate of the world probably informs their decision" is called "soft coercion," an important feature of functional dhimmitude. Go along to get along. "Muslims R Us" or face the consequences.