A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Not Against Flesh and Blood

You have to love ``God`s Rottweiler``; only Pope Benedict would have the courage to suggest publicly that Islam is bad. His speech, in which he quoted from Byzantine Emperor Manuel Paleologos, set the Islamic hounds to howling in a virtual caricature of Moslem thuggery.

The Pope quoted from this 14th century opinion from the Emperor:

"Show me just what Muhammad 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."

In rebuttal the offended Moslems rioted, looted, and pillaged.

Islam was, is, and must be propagated by coercion; it has limited appeal to the Divine, which is the principle reason for accepting a faith. It is, as the Apostle Paul would call it, an Anti-Christ; Islam twisted Scripture and sought to displace both Judaism and Christianity (while holding that Jesus was the second greatest Prophet, it denies his Divinity and changes his words and deeds to support the teachings of Muhammad.) The Emperor was correct in that Islam plucked what was useful from other faiths and grafted those beliefs onto an ages-old warrior cult philosophy.

Judaism gave Mankind the knowledge of a transcendent God who could not be bullied or controlled, a Creator who cares about us. Judaism gave us justice, and taught us how to live according to the Law. Christianity tore the shroud, gave us personal access to a God who treats us as his children. It gave us real forgiveness and mercy-just as God forgave us for our own rebellion against Him. These were all concepts which were novel and radical, ones which, in many ways, go against the Natural. Both teach that Man is fallen, and in need of God`s mercy. Human nature is depraved, and following our ``natural`` inclinations is not the source of happiness and virtue, but the path to damnation.

Even Hinduism and Buddhism offered some new insights into the human condition, and to our relationship with the Divine; the concepts of Karma and the transmigration of souls means we have to consider more than our worldly existence, but must act on this Earth in ways which will further our spiritual development, so that we can eventually be liberated from the cycle of reincarnation.

Islam, however, never contributed anything new to Man`s understanding of the nature of God, nor how to live in accordance with the Divine Will. Muhammad basically adopted Judaism while removing the Jews, then altered what was not pleasing to him. (It`s interesting to note that Muhammad claimed the Archangel Gabriel appeared to him; Gabriel was the patron of ISRAEL. Why would it be Gabriel, and not some other angel? Islam was trying to usurp Israel`s role.) He authorized stealing when he ran out of money, authorized the raping of non-Muslims, authorized many things which could not be justified under Christian or Judaic teaching.

The appeal of Islam is not spiritual but worldly; the enticements are sexual (a man can have 4 wives and as many concubines as he likes-he is free to use any infidel woman), financial (a Muslim may prey upon non-believers, the Islamic state forced non-believers to pay most of the taxes), physical (warfare and thuggery used to be powerfully attractive-especially to young men throughout the world). Where is the spiritual side of this? What great contribution does Islam make to our knowledge and understanding of the Eternal?

Why, might I ask, does Allah need help in killing infidels and sinners? Why does he force those who do not choose to believe in Islam to join anyway? Why the shouts of ``Allah Akbar`` (God is Great) when killing innocent non-Muslims? Remember, once converted you cannot convert back, and that is under penalty of death. Is Allah so weak that he fears someone leaving the True Faith?

Jesus commanded his disciples to go and convert all of the Nations, but he also commanded them to ``shake the dust of the town off your feet and move on`` when a community rejected Him; Jesus never wanted to force anyone to believe. Those who forced conversion to Christianity were in rebellion to Jesus, as are any who would do such a thing today. Muhammad commanded his disciples to convert others, and to pour blood on the streets of any town which rejected him.

Many Moslems argue that the great, sudden rise of Islam is proof of the hand of the Almighty; how else do you explain the great success which attended Muhammad and his followers? I like to point out that another group of tent-dwellers joined under another leader and conquered even more territory in comparable time-Temujin would be proclaimed ``Great King`` or, in their language Ghenghis Khan, and would lead his desert nomads to conquer much of the world. What difference is there between the Mongol King and Muhammad, other than Muhammad`s use of religion to secure his position of authority?

Jesus` disciples conquered Europe in spite of tremendous persecutions of his followers; when one considers what was done to some of the early Christians, it`s amazing that anyone would dare follow such a faith. Christianity grew and flourished despite great persecution (perhaps because of them), in a way not at all natural, but SUPERNATURAL. The gentle nature of Christ and the concepts of personal salvation and forgiveness seemed far more suited to the Divine, above our worldly and mundane concerns. People converted by grace, because Christianity was gracious. Islam, on the other hand, spread principally by the sword.

And, since Islam allows no competitors, the Moslem world has largely destroyed the beauty and richness of the lands in which it has triumphed. They have torn down great Churches and synagogues, destroyed ancient statues of the Buddha, desecrated tombs and shrines. While during the classical era the Moslems preserved culture and science, and modern mathematics (and as a result, science) can be attributed to them, the fact is that once Islam stops growing it leads to stagnation and squalor. The great cities of antiquity have turned into impoverished hellholes under Sharia law. The Islamic world swallowed up the really civilized and prosperous parts of the old Roman Empire, while the western area was crushed under the heel of barbarian invaders, yet it is that Western part which would flourish after the Crusades, while the rich and civilized portions-along with the Persian Kingdom and western India-disintegrated into backwaters. Why? I would argue that Sharia forces everyone into the same mold which stifles creativity and wealth, plus it perpetuates the status quo politically and economically, thus stifling the will to create.

So, ultimately Islam is a destructive force both physically and spiritually, and the Pope was right to chastise this religion. (That doesn`t mean Moslems are bad people, necessarily, just that their belief is erroneous.) We have to stop tiptoeing around this issue. I agree with those who say we cannot fight the entire Islamic world and that we should court moderate Moslems-I`m just not sure what a moderate Moslem is. Islam is, by definition, submission; there can be no middle ground. Either we submit or be destroyed. I really don`t see any way to meet in the middle.

Why do we hear such deafening silence from these moderate Moslems? Why do they not condemn terrorist attacks on innocents? Because they cannot take the side of an infidel over a brother, that`s why. Who is to say that a brother in submission to Allah is wrong to kill infidels, especially when the Prophet commands it? The only argument a moderate can make is over tactics-he can say terrorism is a poor strategy, but he cannot condemn the actions themselves.

Which makes this problem much larger than most people think, because we fight not just against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities, against strongly held beliefs. Victory in the War is going to require the complete remaking of the region. Terrorism and Jihad are going to have to be too costly a strategy to employ for the Islamic World, or a great spiritual awakening must occur; an influx of Christianity, for example. Of course, for this to happen the power of the Mullahs and Sharia Law must first be broken, and that requires the absolute defeat of the holy warriors. It`s doubtful that the secularized Western world has the courage and determination to wage such a war, or the spiritual currency to succeed.

Easier will be to buy time; keep fighting and defeating them, forcing a temporary retreat until we can work out a better policy. That, I am sure, is the path we will end up following.

Moral authority is critically important, which is why the Pope`s comments are so desperately needed; John Paul II (along with Reagan`s ``tear down this wall``) brought such spiritual authority to bear that the evil kingdom of Satan known as the Soviet Union simply evaporated. While it is doubtful that the menace of Islam will evaporate in like manner, still, the great power of the Pontiff can, God willing, have a major impact on this system of things, on the powers and principalities which rule them.

Remember what Stalin asked; ``How man legions does the Pope have?`` His successors found the answer not to their liking-a great many, and not merely of flesh and blood. Perhaps the legions of Islam will learn the same lesson?

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