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[COMMENT: This is a stunningly perceptive piece. It seems that it has taken the terrible violence of Islam to bring some (at least) Westerners to their senses and to speak out with boldness against the atrocity of radical Islam and promote the only solution in a restoration of Christian culture.
Note: We do not have to engage the issue of whether Islam is peaceful or not -- not until Muslims are willing to face the realities of those issues in honest debate -- including their standing up against the radicals. But we do have to face the radicals directly and pointedly on the way they are pasting their own evil-mindedness onto God to justify their behavior. Walden does an excellent job here. See Islam Library for other articles on this issue. See also the Pope's original comments, and other items in the Denomination(RC) library.
It is sad that Judeo-Christians have had to be forced into this terrible situation to come to our senses and start defending the reputation of God and what God has given us, but it seems that we would not be rising to the occasion had not Islam been poking its finger in our eye. We were too absorbed in being "polite" and "multicultural" to be realistic. And we are way behind the 8-ball, with a long way to catch up. But if we get faithful to God, it will happen. Christian civilization will be restored in the West. E. Fox]
In what has suddenly been made into a highly controversial speech, the day after September 11, at Bavaria’s University of Regensberg, Pope Benedict describes Christian belief in a God whose words and acts are bound by reason, truth and the law of non-contradiction. Benedict contrasts this with Islamic belief in a God not bound by anything—including his own words. Benedict further contrasts Christian belief with that of secular humanists who see reason as being completely unbound of God.
In response, both Islamists and secularists have demanded the Pope apologize. He must not. Benedict’s speech is a work of enlightened genius. He has clearly laid out the differences between Christian culture and Islamic culture and the basis of the clash of civilizations we now experience as the War on Terror. His analysis also explains the underlying cause of the alliance between the western left and the Islamofascist right. It should be studied carefully by all who seek to defend western civilization.
Islamist reaction focuses on one sentence in the speech. Reaching back to 1391, Benedict quotes Byzantine Emperor Manuel II: “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”
Four days later, according to AP: “Pakistan's legislature unanimously condemned Pope Benedict XVI. Lebanon's top Shiite cleric demanded an apology. And in Turkey, the ruling party likened the pontiff to Hitler and Mussolini and accused him of reviving the mentality of the Crusades.
“Across the Islamic world Friday, Benedict's remarks on Islam and jihad in a speech in Germany unleashed a torrent of rage that many fear could burst into violent protests like those that followed publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.”
Reuters quoted other sources expressing fears for the Pope’s safety and even fear of an attack on Vatican City.
The Islamist reaction proves Manuel II’s 600-year-old point. The reaction is not one of anger but a calculated attempt to force the Pope into submission to Islam. Since Islam need not be internally consistent and it is not bound by reason, it’s only objective can be to assert the power of a God who is so transcendent that He is not bound by anything. If man is created in God’s image then by extension Islamic man is not bound by anything. (This explains the predilection on the part of some Muslims to lie.) Islamists are not responding to any ‘offense’ to their non-existent morality. They are asserting the only ‘morality’ they have—the will to power.
[COMMENT: The so-called "transcendence" of God is an absolutely key point.
Muslims claim that their God transcends truth. That is a logical impossibility. You cannot transcend truth anymore than you can transcend the North Pole. Once you get to the North Pole, you are as far north as you can go. There is no "norther". If you go further than the North Pole, you are not transcending north, you are going back down south. Just so with truth. Once you get there, you have arrived. Any attempt to transcend truth just puts you on the path back south into error, falsehood, and/or deceit.
What we are dealing with is evil-minded men who want to coopt the authority of God to justify their evil-mindedness. We, especially all Judeo-Christians, must call them to account, and invite their own people to judge them on the basis of truth. E. Fox]
“Will to Power” is a key element of Nietzsche ’s philosophy—hence the root of the term, Islamofascist. Moreover the Western “left’ is today guided far more by Nietzsche existentialist thought than by Marxist thought—hence the alliance between the Western “left” and the Islamofascist ‘right’.
Reuters quotes an Indian Muslim leader doing precisely what Manuel II said they would: “Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the chief cleric of New Delhi's historic Jama Masjid, India's largest mosque, extolled Muslims to ‘respond in a manner which forces the Pope to apologize.’” Note they intend to use “force” not reason.
Reuters quotes an unnamed diplomat pointing out the Pope was, “calling a spade a spade”.
The secularist mouthpiece, New York Times, editorializes, “Pope Benedict XVI has insulted Muslims….” This is false. The Pope’s description of the Islamic God as being unbound by reason is not an insult, it is an Islamic article of faith. What Muslims and secularists fear is the Pope’s decision to choose to enter dialogue asserting his belief in Christianity. How dare he not “apologize” for being a Christian? That is the so-called “insult.”
[COMMENT: It is not quite true that transcending truth is not a tenant of Islam. Their view of the Koran makes it virtually untouchable by reasonable process. The Bible is a very testable book, written over centuries by many persons, claiming to be rooted in history. That makes it testable. Furthermore, the Biblical worldview is testable. The Koran is more like pagan myths, or the Book of Mormon, having no way to prove or disprove their essential claims. E. Fox]
One might “reasonably” ask when will Muslims “apologize” for being Muslim? But they are not bound by reason to the point is lost on them.
Amazingly the Times continues: “Muslim leaders the world over have demanded apologies… For many Muslims, holy war — jihad — is a spiritual struggle, and not a call to violence.” In saying this, the Times implicitly recognizes the Islamists are waging a propaganda jihad against the Pope and by extension against Christianity—and they explicitly endorse and join this jihad. The Times is saying to Islamists, ‘we can join your ‘spiritual’ jihad, but not your violent jihad.
The Times editors are living in a fool’s paradise. The “spiritual” non-violent jihad of propaganda is merely the flip side of the violent jihad. Nowhere is that more clear than in the Islamist reaction to the Pope.
With the Pope scheduled to visit Turkey in November the Islamists are rejecting any apology from Vatican spokespersons and demand to hear from the Pope himself. This would place raging mobs of semi-literate Islamist thugs in the position of forcing the leader of Christendom to bow before them.
In this demand for submission they are joined by the secularist mouthpiece. In its September 16 edition the Times editorializes: “He needs to offer a deep and persuasive apology…” The secularists too seek the Pope’s submission. Like the Islamists, the secularists are driven only by their will to power. While the Islamists represent their demented version of God--unrestrained by reason, the secularists represent their demented version of reason--unrestrained by God. They are united by their self-worshipping world view.
It should be noted that the carefully staged “anger’ from the Islamic world does not condemn Benedict’s characterization of Islam as a religion where God’s “will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality…. (The Islamic) God is not bound even by his own word….” This is not seen as an insult. Islam embraces this description. In offering this description of Islam, Benedict refers to the views of leading modern French Islamist R. Arnaldez as discussed in the writings of Professor Theodore Khoury of Munster.
Likewise the secularists express no dismay at the pope’s characterization of a secularist as: “(A) subject (who) then decides, on the basis of his experiences, what he considers tenable in matters of religion, and the subjective ‘conscience’ becomes the sole arbiter of what is ethical.”
Benedict asserts that without reason, or without God, there can be no modern system of morality. He explains, “In this way…ethics and religion lose their power to create a community and become (instead) a completely personal matter.”
[COMMENT: Benedict is exactly right. Apart from the Biblical worldview, there is no logical possibility of morality. E. Fox]
Both Islamist and secularist seek to break God and reason apart. Each claims superiority over the Christian West. They believe absolute moral license makes them powerful. As globalization carries the Western tradition of reason throughout the world, both are in decline.
Where the force of reason is defeated, Islamist and secularist will meet in combat, just as Hitler’s fascists broke their pact with the Soviet Union, invading in June, 1941 after the collapse of the allied forces on the western front.
What the Islamists and the New York Times both fear is having to reply to the Pope’s key point, borrowed from the Byzantine Emperor: “‘Not to act reasonably, not to act with logos (word or reason) is contrary to the nature of God,’.… It is to this great logos, to this breadth of reason, that we invite our partners in the dialogue of cultures.”
Their fear of reason can only lead the world to disaster.
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