Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cassandra, Swastika, and Scimitar

Some may consider speaking too much about the Scimitar and the "clash of civilizations" an off topic harangue, so far as what we are supposed to be about as Christians (along with legitimate defence and the like). But, while we are not supposed to judge "lest we be judged," we are supposed to be "innocent as doves and wise as serpents."

This goes for understanding the taxonomy of Sin with a capital 's'. For this, one must have a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in one hand and a primer in Girard's mimetic theory in the other.

Jeffrey Imm reveals huge similarities between Nazism and the Scimitar. Vast conspiracy? Reincarnation? Jung's "blond beast" gone tawny?

Say rather that the primitive sacred, regardless of the ostensible themes spoken of or self-understanding of its proponents - and they are Legion - the primitive sacred will always carry in its train basic characteristics that lead to human sacrifice and victimization and self-congratulations on the part of its human standard bearers. So Imm writes the following:
The speaker demanded that their supremacist ideology needed to be accommodated by the government, and called for a "new era." The speaker said that his people must be allowed to have laws in place to support this supremacist ideology.

Perhaps you think I am referencing the grim situation for human rights in Pakistan, where the Taliban's push for implementing Islamic supremacist Sharia law in northwest Pakistan has succeeded in obtaining surrender by the Pakistan government on this. The result is that the people in that part of Pakistan will soon be ruled by an Islamic supremacist ideology with its own outlook, its own Sharia laws, and its own Islamic supremacist version of "justice."

Perhaps you think I am remarking on the statements reported on February 18, 2009 in Pakistan by Islamic supremacist Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat Muhammadi (TNSM) chief Maulana Sufi Mohammad who attacked democracy stating, "From the very beginning, I have viewed democracy as a system imposed on us by the infidels. Islam does not allow democracy or elections... I believe the Taliban government formed a complete Islamic state, which was an ideal example for other Muslim countries. Had this government remained intact, it could have led to the establishment of similar Islamic governments in many other countries." This is the same Sufi Mohammad who told news reporters that "democracy is against the teachings of the Holy Quran and Sunnah" and that he "regarded democracy a system of Kufr (unbelief)."

In fact, I am referring to both of these. But I am also referring to another man, at another time, and in another place – who echoed very similar sentiments.

It was February 18, 1939 – 70 years ago – with another supremacist group. Then, it was in Czechoslovakia with a Dr. Kundt stating that he represented Germans with his National Socialist party beliefs of Aryan supremacism. You may remember them as the "Nazis" ....
I have written previously on this connection. But while the major action advocated in the West at present is breast beating and hand-wringing, the Scimitar (like National Socialist before it) views appeasement as weakness, an incentive to victimize all the more, as kafir recognize their underling status and quake before their mighty (sic.) overlords of the Scimitar.

If any think this thinking is Chicken Little-esque, think again. Call it Cassandra-esque instead. The Trojan Horse is already within the gates.

The primitive sacred is a billion-strong and growing in the Scimitar shaped shadow. It is not informed by the Gospel. It kneels before an wholly other deity not revealed in the "Lamb slain since the foundation of the world."

Scruton - Defence of the West

Roger Scruton lays out a manifesto for those who are concerned about the way of approaching one of Christendom's oldest and - now again - aggressive foes.

Put simply, the citizens of Western states have lost their appetite for foreign wars; they have lost the hope of scoring any but temporary victories; and they have lost confidence in their way of life. Indeed, they are no longer sure what that way of life requires of them.

At the same time, they have been confronted with a new opponent, one who believes that the Western way of life is profoundly flawed, and perhaps even an offense against God. In a "fit of absence of mind," Western societies have allowed this opponent to gather in their midst; sometimes, as in France, Britain, and the Netherlands, in ghettos which bear only tenuous and largely antagonistic relations to the surrounding political order. And in both America and Europe there has been a growing desire for appeasement: a habit of public contrition; an acceptance, though with heavy heart, of the censorious edicts of the mullahs; and a further escalation in the official repudiation of our cultural and religious inheritance. Twenty years ago, it would have been inconceivable that the archbishop of Canterbury would give a public lecture advocating the incorporation of Islamic religious law (shari'ah) into the English legal system. Today, however, many people consider this to be an arguable point, and perhaps the next step on the way to peaceful compromise.

All this suggests that we in the West stand on the edge of a dangerous period of concession, in which the legitimate claims of our own culture and inheritance will be ignored or downplayed in an attempt to prove our peaceful intentions. It will be some time before the truth will be allowed to play its all-important role of rectifying our current mistakes and preparing the way for the next ones. This means that it is more necessary than ever for us to rehearse the truth and come to a clear and objective understanding of what is at stake. I will, therefore, spell out in what follows some of the critical features of the Western inheritance which must be understood and defended in our current confrontation. Each of these features marks a point of contrast, and possibly of conflict, with the traditional Islamic vision of society, and each has played a vital part in creating the modern world. Islamist belligerence stems from having found no secure place in that world, and from turning for refuge to precepts and values that are at odds with the Western way of life. This does not mean that we should renounce or repudiate the distinguishing features of our civilization, as many would have us do. On the contrary, it means that we must be all the more vigilant in their defense ...

Read all from the Catholic Education Resource Center here.

UPDATE: Mark Shea redirects Scruton here.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Choice the Dragon

Anthony Esolen looks at tales from The Quest of the Holy Grail, written by an unknown Cistercian monk of the 12th century, and sees a dragon that still devours hoards today.

Choice is the dragon of our day. It smuggles into its charcoal-smelling barrow not goblets and gilt pommels but human souls, one after another after another, enticing them there with “choices,” all of them more or less trivial, while it sits upon the hoard and snores away in its inhuman sleep.

We like that dragon. We eat the fruit of the land in season, out of season. We surf the speckled Internet for spiky games and delights, or for the sheer satiation of ennui, only a click away. We shop for schools, we demand “electives.” We shop for churches (alas that we should have to shop for churches), even shop for creeds. We will give the dragon our gold for the privilege of wider choice in how we may put our brain waves to sleep for a couple of hours a day, irritable and unaccountable as those brain waves are.

We find arranged marriages abominable. What, no choice? And after we marry, we retain a fail-safe, lest married life prove to be married life and not the predictable scripts of our own writing. We are the first people in the world who expect that our children will live far away from us and from each other. Why should anyone be subject to the geographical accident of having been raised in Bag-End, near a certain hill or beside a certain brook?

We even believe in the “freedom to choose,” a lizardly slogan that darts past the silent object of the infinitive: as if we feared that the children of our own wombs would be reptiles themselves, now come to prey upon our precious choice. We like that dragon. We like our choice ...

The dragon has a name; it is Choice. [ht: Mary Victrix]

Benedict XVI - Venerable Bede

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 18, 2009 ( Venerable Bede contributed to the makings of a Christian Europe, says Benedict XVI, and thus it is right to pray that God raise up people of his stature.
The Pope affirmed this today in the general audience held in St. Peter's Square. He dedicated his reflection to Bede, who lived from the early 670s to 735. The Holy Father concentrated on Bede's contribution to Scripture studies, the history of the Church, and liturgical theology.

"Sacred Scriptures were the constant source of Bede's theological reflection," the Pontiff noted. "Having made a careful critical study of the text […] he commented on the Bible, reading it in a Christological vein, namely, re-uniting two things: On one hand, he listened to what the text was saying exactly, he really wanted to listen and understand the text itself; on the other hand, he was convinced that the key to understanding sacred Scripture as the unique Word of God is Christ and with Christ, in his light, one understands the Old and the New Testament as 'a' sacred Scripture."

Benedict XVI affirmed that the history of the Church was a "topic loved by Bede."

The scholar placed the center of history at the birth of Christ, creating a calendar that begins with the Incarnation, the Pope noted.

He continued: "[Bede] registered the first six ecumenical councils and their development. […] Finally, he wrote with documentary rigor and literary expertise the already mentioned 'Ecclesiastical History of the English People,' for which he is recognized as 'the father of English historiography.' […]

"The calculation elaborated scientifically by him to establish the exact date of the Easter celebration, and thus of the entire cycle of the liturgical year, became the text of reference for the whole Catholic Church."

Finally, the Holy Father pointed to Bede's contribution as "an illustrious teacher of liturgical theology."

He said that Bede's "way of making theology, interlacing the Bible, the liturgy and history," enabled him to give a "timely message for the different 'states of life.'"
Read all here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pope to Pelosi - Justice for all ages

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday told U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic who supports abortion rights, that Catholic politicians have a duty to protect life "at all stages of its development," the Vatican said.

Pelosi is the first top Democrat to meet with Benedict since the election of Barack Obama, who won a majority of the Catholic vote despite differences with the Vatican on abortion.

The Vatican released remarks by the pope to Pelosi, saying Benedict spoke of the church's teaching "on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death." That is an expression often used by the pope when expressing opposition to abortion.

Benedict said all Catholics—especially legislators, jurists and political leaders—should work to create "a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development."

Read all …

Or ... you may like Patrick Archbold's imagined "visit surprise" for Speaker Pelosi.

'So we need to rethink how we farm'

I think she has a point. After all, the monks did it in England before her.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Burke, the Hihab, & the Kafir

"Manners are of more importance than laws. Manners are what vex or soothe, corrupt or purify, exalt or debase, barbarize or refine us, by a constant, steady, uniform, insensible operation, like that of the air we breathe in."

--Edmund Burke [ht: Whapping]

I thought of the above yesterday as a hijab-adorned young beauty swerved, tail-gated, and berated me for my observing the speed limit in a 25-mile per hour zone (okay - I was doing 30).

But, you know, for a kafir, I thought I practiced radical non-retaliation rather well.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hughes - PRB

Sir Galahad (1865-79) - Arthur Hughes

(Inscribed on back of painting:)

'The clouds are broken in the sky,
And thro' the mountain-walls,
A rolling organ-harmony
Swells up, and shakes and falls,
Then move the trees, the copses nod,
Wings flutter, voices hover clear:
Oh just and faithful knight of God!
Ride on: the prize is near.
So pass I hostel, hall, and grange;
By bridge and ford, by park and pale,
All-arm'd I ride, whate'er betide,
Until I find the holy Grail'.
A gentle sound, an awful sight!
Three angels bear the holy grail:
With folded feet, in stoles of white,
On sleeping wings they sail.'