Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Catholic hostage crisis
Tom Smith

Interesting observations here, via Instapundit.

The Holy Father is in a tough spot.  Millions of Catholics, such as the Italian nun who was murdered yesterday in Somolia, are hostages to the violence of Muslim fanatics who respond to the statements of the various ayatollahs, mullahs and brotherhoods.  What exactly do they want the Pope to say?  Apparently, saying the views of the medieval Byzantine emperor he quoted were not at all his own, but that he esteems Muslims, was not enough, though the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt thought at first it was, and then changed its mind.  Saying that he regrets having caused offense is not enough.  What is he supposed to do?

This may indeed be a pivotal moment for the Pope.  Perhaps he will discover that the people who want him to apologize still more are not acting in good faith, but are in fact every bit as evil as that Byzantine emperor who had been chased across Asia Minor and was shortly to be chased out of Byzantium, said they were.  Consider, what kind of man, even if he thought his religion had been insulted, would make comments that he thought could lead to the deaths of innocents, such as the Italian nun?  You would have to be one flinty hearted monster.  But then, these religious leaders, many of them anyway, are the same ones that laud the crimes of Hezbollah and al Qeada. Children reduced to body parts in the streets?  God's work. 

I think the Pope must reach back into his own experience and consider the effect Naziism had on his fellow Germans, and consider whether something very analogous now inhabits the Muslim faithful, and is as ubiquitous there as HIV is in Africa.  What purpose would be served by the bizarre spectacle of Benedict, a learned and holy man, apologizing to these murderers of women and children, is beyond me, but, sincerely, I do not presume to judge.  The New Testament is full of unwarranted acts of forgiveness, and those are just the ones we know about.  The Pope also has to think of all the Catholics and other Christians held hostage inside the countries where mobs or just a few assassins (an apt word here) can be unleased upon them.  If he says the wrong thing, or nothing at all, Christians will probably die.  It is no longer about what he ought to say in some abstract sense; it is more akin to, what do you say to the gunman who holds, say, a pregnant woman hostage.  He is in a very difficult position, like one to whom a very difficult question is put.  He can hardly stand on his dignity, and yet, if we know anything from the Nazis and their ilk, it is that the first necessary thing in fighting evil is to recognize it as such.  Maybe some post-modern professor of multi-cultural studies cannot bring her/him/itself to call 9/11 or suicide bombers in Haifa evil, but the Vicar of Christ needs to call a spade a spade, or what is the office worth?  The whole world, from the Koran quoting killers in blood up to their elbows, to the humble believers who just want peace, will be watching what this man, who once deserted a Wehrmacht AA battery and now finds himself in the shoes of the fisherman, decides he must do.

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Tom Smith


It is high time the west stopped apologizing and put islam and it's apologists on the defensive. The west is poorer without the strength of Orianni Fallaci. Would that we had more of her.

Posted by: pacwaters | Sep 17, 2006 7:41:20 PM

and no my apologies. I've been using the contracted form of it is so much tonight i used it in this comment instead of the possessive.

Posted by: pacwaters | Sep 17, 2006 7:42:48 PM

The Pope's point is that Volunteerism always leads to Nominalism, Islam really was not his focus in this talk. For example, when God says "thou shall not commit adultry", is it wrong because God says it is, or does God say it it is wrong because adultry is always wrong in itself? Another example: When a city council says street 'A' will be one-way only, is it wrong to drive in the opposite direction because the city council says so, or because the City Council recognizes that the funamental nature of that street dictates it is wrong to drive both ways? How about when a state says that it is wrong to murder? I bet most would say that the city is just excercising it's 'Will' in the first example, but in the second example, most people would say the state recognizes the eternal truth that murder is wrong in itself. This is the question the Pope was trying to address. Now it just so happens that the best example of Voluteerism (That truth is a reflection of will) is the Muslim idea that all truth is willed by God. Since the Muslim God preordains Hell for non-Muslims, there is no harm in helping them on their way. Ideas have consequences. Christianity on the other hand is based on reason. That the created universe contains eternal truths that inform us of the true nature of God. Most all of our cultural problems today are based in deviations from a Christocentric view of nature. Islam is just one such deviation, but so are others such as Darwinism, modern philosophical trends, and other forms of post-modern thought.

Posted by: Bogman | Sep 17, 2006 9:38:09 PM

Volunteerism leads to happier communities. Voluntarism (arguably) leads to nominalism

Posted by: hoya | Sep 18, 2006 5:33:30 AM

In this case Volunteerism leads to a embarrased poster. Thanks hoya !

Posted by: Bogman | Sep 18, 2006 9:06:12 AM

Isn't the guy infalable? or that was just crap that I had to eat and enjoy as a child.

Posted by: Ray | Sep 18, 2006 3:25:36 PM

ins't the guy infalable? or was that just crap that I had to eat and enjoy as a child

Posted by: Ray | Sep 18, 2006 3:26:47 PM