Is religion a force for good? 30

One of our highly valued contributing readers, Jeanne, writes in a comment:

We may not like the form of “stabilization” that comes from Islam, but it worked to set up the type of community and family life that Mohammed desired. We may not like the “stabilizing” influence of Christianity from a thousand years ago, but it did the same. We may not like the Christianity of today that came from the Reformation, but it was a stabilizing factor of the beginning of our nation and forms the backbone of many communities by supporting the family, the individual and charities, which benefit them each. Judeo-Christian beliefs and values aided by the Enlightenment (or vice-versa) set the tone for the moral populace that was so important to our Constitutional Republic when it was making its mark and requiring such principled and responsible individuals to form a United States loosely held together by the laws of men and not divine-rule royalty or theocratic forces of Rome.

If we did not have such an organized Communist movement that worked on our nation for a century, helping to secularize the populace, we might have found that those who left the Judeo-Christian religion behind were still moral/ethical and responsible individuals disciplined enough to make a Constitutionalist proud, but that is not how it worked out. Instead we have no consequences for unethical behavior, because there is a deplorable lack of guidance for proper parental behavior, no reason to be ashamed of bearing out-of-wedlock children, no stigma to a man abandoning all his fatherly duties, no desire to be responsible, no desire to have allegiance to one’s community or country or to obey the nation’s laws and respect its heritage. And that has not so much come about as people left their church, but because of Progressive influence that has been very well done. Most people need religion to maintain a discipline of responsibility and morality.

We think it is a comment that deserves attention.

This is our review of it:

On Islam and the family: Muslim men can marry as many wives as they can afford to keep. The wives are totally subjected to the will of the husband. He is commanded by the Koran to beat her if he judges her to be disobedient or insubordinate in any way. There is no such thing as rape within marriage – a husband can rape his wife. A husband can divorce a wife by saying three times that he divorces her. For her, divorce is difficult to the point of being almost impossible. She cannot have custody of children past their infancy. A daughter can inherit only half as much as a son. If a woman is raped and four male witnesses did not witness actual penetration, she is not only considered uninjured, she is accused of illicit sexual intercourse which is a capital offense. Execution is by stoning. There is no lower limit to the age at which girls can be married. Little girls can be married to elderly men. Girls as young as five can be and often are raped by their lawful husbands literally to death. That was indeed the type of family life that Muhammad was said to desire. But if that is “stabilization”, then stability is no virtue.

On “Judeo-Christian”: This is a favorite hyphenation in the West of late. But it makes no more sense than would “Christio-Muslim”. (Islam derived some ideas from Christianity but it is a very different creed.) Christianity was a revolution against Judaism. The essential moral point of Jewish religious teaching was the idea of justice. (What those ancient men thought was just doesn’t match in every particular with what we may think is just, and the Jewish God is more a god of revenge than of justice, but the thrust of the doctrine was that guilt must be punished and innocence protected.) Christianity substituted love for justice. The guilty must be forgiven. The sin can be condemned but not the sinner. St. Paul, who is the author of the Christian religion (see the essay listed in our margin under Pages, The Birth and Early History of Christianity) wanted to abandon the Jewish Law altogether, insisting that it had been superseded by the “sacrifice” of “the Christ”. But the Church fathers could not organize an antinomian church so retrieved the entire Jewish bible as a prologue to their own “Testament” for the sake of preserving the moral law – which is to say, the “ten commandments”. They also needed the Jewish Bible for the prophesies of the Messiah, since they held Jesus to be the fulfillment of them. They changed the meaning of “Messiah” from ”King” to “God”, and declared that God was not One – the central tenet of Jewish theology – but Three. So little more than  a few laws, common to all the law codes of the Middle East and probably everywhere, remained of Judaism in Christianity. Christianity with its extreme intolerance even of slight doctrinal differences came down as a long night on Western Europe for a thousand years. Terrible religious wars between Christian factions, and between Christians and Gnostics such as the Cathars, took untold numbers of lives, century after century. What happened to families and the stability of communities while the Papal Inquisition was at work? Or in the civil wars fought over doctrinal differences? Or to the families and communities of the Jews persecuted throughout Christendom? It’s a blood-soaked history. When the Reformation came, the Protestant churches were as intolerant as the Roman Catholic church. The darkness was lifted at last only by the Enlightenment.

The Enlightenment was a revolution against all the orthodoxies of all the churches, and broke their power. Western greatness dates from the Enlightenment. Doubt, valued by pre-Christian Greece and Rome, came back from long suppression to challenge the churches’ insistence on unquestioning conformity. The two greatest products of the Enlightenment were Science and the Constitution of the United States of America.

In a nation that made no laws respecting religion, the history of Western religion changed. Old historical religious conflicts were put to rest. In America, millions live peacefully with neighbors of different faiths and none. (But new ideologies have arisen, secular religions, stirring up antagonisms as intense and bitter as did the old.)

It may well be the case now that American church-going families are in general happier and more successful than others. It may well be that the abandonment of traditional religion contributed of late to delinquency, fatherlessness, and disregard of familial, patriotic, and civic responsibility.

But does that mean most people need religion to live responsibly and morally?

Did most people behave more morally and responsibly when they feared divine retribution? Was there in fact less theft, rape, and murder when, through the long Christian centuries,  everybody went to church? And if so, was it a good bargain to have more security for one’s possessions and one’s person at the price of living one’s entire life in terror of eternal hellfire?

In the past, in the long perspective, has religion proved itself to be a force for good?

Is it good now for a civilized educated nation to teach children to believe that a person rules over the universe, continually watching their every thought and deed so as to reward or punish them?

Is it good if the citizens of a free republic believe that a Lord, a King, an invisible Sovereign rules over them?

Is it good to kneel to, worship, suffer for, pray to, an omnipotent, omniscient, unknowable, immortal Tyrant?

Posted under Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Religion general, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, May 24, 2019

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Everybody hates the Jews – unless it suits them not to 10

Oh the protestants hate the catholics
and the catholics hate the protestants
and the hindus hate the muslims
and everybody hates the jews

So sang Tom Lehrer in his 20th century satire, National Brotherhood Week.

There’s been a resurgence of anti-Semitism – or to give it its common or garden name Jew-hatred – all over the formerly Christian world where it never disappears entirely. The boost results now from the addition of Islamic cultural color and its fun new cooking recipes to the social mix.

Even in the US, the Democrat majority have just proved themselves open-minded on the issue since a couple of newly-elected Muslim members of Congress, the representative for Hamas, Rashida Tlaib, and the representative for Somalia, Ilhan Omar, have given them a new perspective on it. (Warning: The Tlaib link goes to an article showing examples of extreme political obscenity.)

Don’t expect Western anti-Semites to be consistent with their hatred. They can condemn anti-Semitism when it suits them. For instance, when they use it as an accusation against their opponents.

That’s what President Emmanuel Macron did. Here’s the story, told by Guy Millière at Gatestone:

After sixteen Saturday demonstrations by the “yellow vests,” who began in November by protesting French President Emmanuel Macron’s increase in fuel prices, the controversy seems to have taken a darker turn.

That seems to have come to light on February 13, when a small group of demonstrators started hurling insults at a French Jewish philosopher, Alain Finkielkraut — who was born in and lives in Paris — after they spotted him on a sidewalk. One man, shouted, “Shut up, dirty Zionist sh*t,” “Go home to Tel Aviv,” “France is ours,” “God will punish you.” A cameraman filmed the incident, then shared the video on social networks. A scandal ensued. The “yellow vests” movement as a whole was immediately accused by the French government of anti-Semitism and “fascism”.

Finkielkraut claimed that he had not been attacked as a Jew, but as a supporter of the State of Israel. He then added that the man who had insulted him did not speak like a “yellow vest” and that the words “God will punish you” is an expression from “Islamic rhetoric”. Police who watched the video identified the man as a radicalized Muslim, and the next day arrested him.

In the days leading up to that incident, several anti-Semitic acts had taken place in and near Paris. The German word “Juden” [Jews] was painted on the front of a Jewish bakery; swastikas were drawn with a black marker on portraits of former Jewish minister Simone Veil; trees that had been planted in memory of Ilan Halimi, a young Jew who had been kidnapped, tortured and murdered [by Muslims] in 2006, were destroyed. Investigations have begun but nothing so far has shown any relationship between the “yellow vests” movement and any of these anti-Semitic acts. The French government nevertheless continues accusing the “yellow vests” of being at least partly to blame.

When the French government, for instance, published statistics about anti-Semitic acts committed in 2018, and noted a 74% increase from the year before, the government spokesman linked this increase to the “disorders” that have been taking place in France, implicitly meaning the “yellow vests”.

Meanwhile, in a demonstration against anti-Semitism organized for February 19 by the Socialist Party and The Republic on the Move (the party created by Macron), fourteen parties agreed to participate. Marine Le Pen’s National Rally, however, was excluded. The organizers said that as the National Rally belongs to the “extreme right”, it cannot participate in a protest against the “fascist peril”. Slogans included: “It’s enough”, “No to hate” and “Anti-Semitism is not France”. Former Presidents Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande took part. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe spoke of a “united France”. A Muslim singer, Abd al Malik, was invited to sing the French anthem.

President Macron, during the event, was at the Holocaust Memorial in Paris. The next day, he attended the annual dinner of the CRIF (Representative Council of Jewish Institutions) and gave a speech against “racist hatred”. To make sure that his audience understood that he was talking about the “yellow vests”, he used an expression he had used on December 31: “hate crowds”.

The “yellow vests” movement continues to be described by members of the government as guilty of being anti-Semitic and “fascist” despite the minor detail that nothing proves any culpability in recent anti-Semitic acts. The “yellow vests” movement began only in November and therefore cannot be held responsible for the increase in the number of anti-Semitic acts for the whole of 2018. Small groups of anti-Semites who did try to infiltrate the demonstrations of “yellow vests” were quickly expelled. The “yellow vests” movement is fundamentally a movement against taxes that many French people consider arbitrary; it has nothing to do with either anti-Semitism or “fascism”.

Anti-Semitism in France has been gaining momentum. In the last 15 years, eleven Jews were murdered in France by anti-Semitic killers, often in horrific ways. In a growing number of neighborhoods, everyday life for French Jews has become unlivable. Many who have the means have left France. Many who have not left have moved to more secure areas of the country. In the last two decades, 20% of French Jews (100,000 people) have emigrated, and tens of thousands have abandoned unsafe places, such as Seine-Saint-Denis, and have relocated inside France.

Some journalists observed that a decision to mobilize people against a “fascist peril” — and to unite almost all political parties while excluding the National Rally — seemed like a political trick, unfair and biased. They emphasized that most of the anti-Semitic attacks and all the murders of Jews in France came not from members of the National Rally or “fascists”, but from extremist Muslims.

Also on February 19, tens of thousands of people across France demonstrated against anti-Semitism. Those protests would certainly seem praiseworthy — if they had no hidden agenda. Many commentators, however, seem to think that this was what was taking place.

Some community leaders stressed that the demonstration against anti-Semitism was a political operation aimed at demonizing the “yellow vests” to arouse fear of a non-existent peril in order to help Macron’s Republic on the Move party win the European elections in May.

Other people noted that holding a demonstration which excluded the right-wing National Rally party was a move aimed at diverting attention from the real anti-Semitic danger. They also suggested that political parties which support the murderers of Jews were precisely those which deny that radical Islam is a danger.

Television commentators pointed out that the government had largely ignored the “anti-Zionist” dimension of the insults addressed to Finkielkraut. They also noted that the presence among the demonstrators of parties, such as the French Communist Party, and Europe Ecology — which support terrorists who murder Jews — was a shock.

Gilles William Goldnadel, Honorary President of the France-Israel Association, published an article in Le Figaro stating:

“Making the yellow vests take the blame is an act of cowardice [to avoid mentioning] Islamism…. Asking people to march against anti-Semitism while cynically rejecting political parties in the name of a fantasy anti-fascism, but accepting to be at the side of parties that support killers [of Jews] is outrageous… It is Islamism that kills Jews in France. We must not forget it. Since 1945, every drop of Jewish blood that has flowed in France was shed by Islamism“.

MP Meyer Habib said that, “hypocrisy reaches new heights when parties that praise terrorist killers claim to fight against anti-Semitism.” He enumerated in Parliament the list of Jews murdered in France and gave the names of their murderers, to show that all of them were radicalized Muslims. He added that the mobilization should be a mobilization against “radical Islam”, not against “fascists”.

In a television interview, the author Éric Zemmour defined the behavior of Macron and the government as a “masquerade of pyromaniac firefighters“:

“They claim to fight against anti-Semitism by attacking imaginary fascists, and they do it in alliance with leftists who support anti-Semitic murderers, but they do nothing against the Islamization of France, which is the main source today of anti-Semitism in France…

“Macron and the government are accelerating the rise of Islamism by each year hosting in France hundreds of thousands of Muslim immigrants who come from countries where anti-Semitism is omnipresent, and continuing to repeat blindly that Islam is a religion of peace. They actively contribute to the rise of anti-Semitism by barely denouncing Muslim anti-Semitism.”

The journalist Ivan Rioufol, also using the word “masquerade,” spoke of a fight led by the government against “almost non-existent fascists”, and of the “use of the fight against anti-Semitism” to crush “an almost non-existent anti-Semitism” while sparing “the anti-Semitism that attacks and kills“. …

A documentary film, Under a False Identity, by the journalist Zvi Yehezkeli, showed in detail how some Islamist organizations are preparing to be the “vanguard of the revolt” and using all the opportunities available to take control of France. One of the people he interviewed, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in France, said that the Muslim Brotherhood is gaining ground, and can count on the help of the French government, which subsidizes its activities. …

Back to Macron’s speech at the CRIF dinner: He spoke briefly of “an anti-Semitism based on radical Islamism”, but immediately — and incorrectly: as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, “Islam is Islam.” — defined “radical Islamism” as a “deformed religion” and not true Islam. He said just as briefly that “anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism”, but that he would not call for a vote on a law to condemn anti-Zionism.

He immediately added that he intends to fight against “other hatreds: hatred against Muslims, racism in all its forms, anti-LGBT racism”. He said that he will ban associations that “feed hatred”. He then named three associations he intends to ban as soon as possible: a very small neo-fascist group, Social Bastion, and two extremely tiny Nazi groups, Blood & Honor Hexagon and Combat 18. He did not name any leftist, anti-fascist or Islamic group, even though they are evidently responsible for much of the violence committed at the end of the demonstrations of “yellow vests” and are easily identifiable: many have websites or street addresses.

Macron stated that “the foreign policy of France is known”, but he failed to elaborate. He could not very well remind a Jewish audience that France is one of the main supporters of the Palestinian Authority, or that he had “regretted” Israel’s decision to freeze the funds used by the Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas to reward murderers of Jews and their families, or that he had worked for months with Germany and the United Kingdom to create a trade mechanism intended to help Iran’s of the mullahs, who often repeat that they intend to wipe Israel off the map.

On February 20, the fifteenth demonstration of the “yellow vests” took place in Paris without major incident. The police used a few explosive grenades but no one was hurt. There were no anti-Semitic attacks. A fully veiled woman, wearing a yellow vest on which anti-Jewish slogans were written, was asked by demonstrators to leave. She was in the company of some bearded men also wearing yellow vests. They all quietly left.

The next day, in the center of Paris, another demonstration was held. Pro-Palestinian advocates assembled to demand the release of “Palestinian political prisoners”. They waved pictures of people who had been convicted of murdering Jews and were now in Israeli prisons, and signs on which were written, “Israel murders Palestinian children”, “Destroy Israeli apartheid” and “Death to Israel”. Macron and the French government do not seem to find the organizers of that demonstration problematic.

So that’s the picture. The civilized world, the post-Enlightenment West, the forgiving, loving, Christian world as it used to be, condemns race-hatred. It will even go so far as to forbid it by law.

It commands:

Thou shalt not hate. Especially thou shalt not hate supremacist, totalitarian, misogynist, homophobic, savagely cruel, murderous Islam.

But thou mayest hate the Jews.

Myths of our time 17

This is a list of beliefs – in no particular order – that are very widely and commonly held, but are untrue:  

Sweden is a happy country. Fact: It is a Muslim-infested misery-state, the rape capital of Europe.   

The BBC is a trustworthy, truthful, unbiased source of news. Fact: It is dishonest, it routinely distorts or suppresses news it doesn’t like, is snobbish, deeply and persistently anti-Semitic, and heavily biased to the Left. 

The Jews seized the state of Palestine, sent most of the Palestinians into exile, and oppress those who remained. Fact: There never was, in all history, an independent state of Palestine. The territory is the historic homeland of the Jews. When Arab armies tried to destroy the modern Jewish state, many Arabs fled, intending to return when their side was victorious, but their side was defeated. Israeli authorities tried to persuade Arab residents not to leave. Those who remained are the freest Arabs in the Middle East, with all citizens’ rights. 

Nazism was a right-wing ideology. Fact: Nazism was National Socialism and as distinctly derived from the tradition of the Left as its rival International Socialism.

Che Guevara was a hero. Fact: Che Guevara was a torturer and mass murderer, and a coward.  

The Mahatma Gandhi was a good man who liberated India from the British Raj. Fact: Gandhi was a cruel man who had little if any influence on the British decision to withdraw from India.

Senator Joe McCarthy was an evil witch-hunter of Communists. Fact: McCarthy did his duty in tracking down potential Communist fifth-columnists, propagandists, and traitors during the Cold War.

President Roosevelt was a liberal who saved America from economic disaster. Fact: President Roosevelt was a Communist sympathizer. His policies prolonged the Depression.

President Obama’s period in office was scandal-free. Fact: President Obamas’ period in office was exceptionally full of scandals, some of them the worst examples of corruption and plain treason in US history. 

Islam is a religion of peace. And its name means “peace”. Fact: Islam is a religion of war and conquest. Its name means “submission”.

Carbon dioxide is a poison. Fact: Carbon dioxide is the food of green plants.

Human beings are changing the climate of the planet for the worse. Fact: The climate of the earth is always changing as vast cosmic forces act upon it. Human beings can make very little difference, if any, to the heating and cooling of the planet.

A baby in the womb is not a living human being. Fact: A fetus with a heartbeat is alive, a living human being.

Government exists to care for and provide for the people. Fact: government robs the people, threatens the people, frightens the people. Whatever government does, it does badly. Government must be kept within bounds to properly perform its only essential duty, the defense of liberty, by enforcing the law and preventing invasion.

President Trump is a racist. Fact: He is not and has never been a racist. He has worked all his adult life with people of many races, never discriminating against any of them on racial grounds.

President Trump is an anti-Semite. Fact: He is the most pro-Jewish pro-Israel US president ever.

President Trump oppresses women. Fact: he honors women, promotes them, behaves towards them as heterosexual gentlemen in our culture customarily do (or did).

President Trump is a liar. Fact: He tells the truth. Like every human being, he can be inaccurate with dates, numbers, recollections, but on all important matters he is consistently truthful.    

The Democratic Party protects minorities. Fact: The Democratic Party is the party of slavery, segregation, secession, and the Jim Crow laws. By keeping millions of blacks on welfare, Democrats have kept them from independence, advancement, and prosperity.

Democrats act in the interests of the working class. Fact: Democrats despise the working class.

The US media report the news. Fact: The US media, in the huge majority, are lackeys of the Left.

American universities encourage free thinking, free and open exchange of opinion, the exploration of ideas. Fact: Most American universities are centers of Leftist indoctrination, dogmatic and intolerant.

Western civilization is grounded in “Judeo-Christian” values. Fact: Western civilization as we inherit it derives its values from, and owes its success to, the Enlightenment, which was an intellectual revolution against the oppressive authority of the Christian churches.

The “white patriarchy” has been bad for non-whites and women. Fact: Almost everything we have that sustains our lives and makes them endurable; almost everything we know;  every comfort, every convenience, every freedom that makes it possible for us to pursue happiness, physically, socially, politically, was given to us and the world by white middle-class men. 

That’s just a starter list.

We invite readers to add to it.

Allah has a Pope and Marx is his prophet 1

It is plainly a thing that needs explanation, why the Left, doctrinally anti-religion, insistent on women’s liberation, vehemently against homophobia, is in alliance with Islam. How can you be against religion yet for Islam? For women’s equality and at the same time for women’s subjugation? Against homophobia but unconcerned that gays are bound hand and foot and flung to their death from the top of tall buildings?

The Left does not explain why. It does not entertain the question.

And here’s another thing that needs explanation. Why are the heads of the Christian churches looking on impassively while Christians of many denominations are being slaughtered and enslaved by Islam in the Middle East and North Africa, to such an extent that the Christian communities of what was once the vast empire of the eastern Roman church are being wiped out of existence?

The Catholic author William Kilpatrick writes at Lifesite:

Ever since the Second Vatican Council, Church leaders have presented a smiley-faced version of Islam which emphasizes the commonalities with Catholicism and leaves out the alarming elements.

Over the last six years, the chief proponent of this bowdlerized view of Islam has been Pope Francis. He has reassured Christians that Islam is opposed to violence, advised Muslim migrants to find comfort in the Koran, and has portrayed terrorists as betrayers of true Islam.

More significantly, he has become perhaps the world’s foremost spokesman for an open-borders, let-everyone-in policy toward immigration. Seemingly indifferent to the increasingly dangerous situation created by jihad-minded Muslims in Europe, Francis has encouraged a welcoming attitude toward all while scolding opponents of mass migration as fearful and xenophobic.

In short, Pope Francis has acted as an advocate for Islam. He has portrayed it as a religion of peace, the moral equivalent of Catholicism, and a force for good. A number of people, however, now feel that the pope has seriously misled Christians about the nature and goals of Islam and Islamic immigration. …

The combination of high Muslim birth rates, mass Muslim migration, and European concessions to Islam’s blasphemy laws has set Europe on a course toward Islamization. Islamization, in turn, will spell dhimmitude for Christians. As the Islamic influence grows, Christians will be subject to increasing restrictions on the practice of their faith, perhaps even to the point of persecution. It’s possible that Christianity in Europe will be exterminated.

The pope has done much to promote the cause of Islam – so much so that he has been praised by Islamic leaders for his defense of their faith. The questions that then arise are these: Is Francis aware of the possibility that Islam will become dominant in Europe? Is he aware that this may spell the end of European Christianity? And if he is aware, does he care?

For a long time, I thought that Francis was simply naïve regarding Islam. His counterfactual statements about Islam and his Pollyannaish view of mass Muslim migration must, I thought, be the result either of blissful ignorance or of bad advice from “experts,” or a combination of both.

Now, however, I have my doubts. The catalyst for these doubts is Francis’s approach to the current sex-abuse crisis. I originally supposed that he was naïve about this, too: perhaps he didn’t realize the full extent of the problem or the full extent of the cover-ups, or perhaps he wasn’t aware of the numerous lavender networks in seminaries, in dioceses, and in the Vatican itself. But in light of recent revelations, it no longer seems possible to give him the benefit of the doubt. In several cases, he not only knew of the crimes and cover-ups, but took steps to protect and/or promote those involved. Francis seems determined to push through a revolution in doctrine and morals – what he calls “a radical paradigm shift” – and it doesn’t seem to matter that the men he has chosen to help him achieve his goals are the ones most deeply implicated in the scandals. By all accounts, Pope Francis is a “hands-on” pope who knows exactly what he wants, carefully calculates his moves, and leaves little to chance.

Why, then, should we suppose Francis is completely naïve about the extent of the threat from Islam and from Islamic immigration? It’s difficult to imagine that he isn’t fully aware of the widespread persecution of Christians in Muslim lands. And it’s just as difficult to think that he’s ignorant of the Islamic crime wave on his own doorstep – the escalating incidence of rape, riots, and terrorist attacks in Europe. Does he really believe that such things have nothing to do with Islam?

Unless one assumes that Francis is ignorant of history and out of touch with current events, one must entertain the possibility that – to repeat a favorite slogan of his – he wants to “make a mess” in Europe.

But why? Why risk the damage to the Church that would surely follow on the Islamization of Europe? Doesn’t Francis care about the Church? Increasingly, it seems that he does not. …

This is from Francis himself speaking at a conference on Church closings:

“The observation that many churches, which until a few years ago were necessary, are now no longer thus, due to a lack of faithful and clergy … should be welcomed in the Church not with anxiety, but as a sign of the times that invites us to reflection and requires us to adapt.”

Translation: Francis is not particularly concerned about church closings. Perhaps he even thinks of them as a blessing, i.e., a necessary end to the old order of things that will clear the way for the construction of the new order.

What is this new order? In many respects, it resembles the new world order envisioned by politicians and academics on the left. Like them, Francis has a dim view of national borders and national sovereignty, and, like them, he has an almost unquestioning belief in the benefits of international institutions. One gets the impression that Francis would be quite content to let the U.N. run the world, despite the fact that the U.N. is increasingly run by leftists and Islamists. For example, Francis has praised the U.N.’s Global Compact for Migration because he believes that immigration should be governed globally rather than by individual nations.

How does this relate to Christianity and Islam? Just as Francis seems to favor a one-world government, he also seems to be drawn by the vision of a one-world religion. He hasn’t said so in so many words, but he has given several indications that he envisions an eventual blending of religions. …

One way to achieve this unity in diversity is by deemphasizing doctrine. Doctrinal differences are, after all, the main dividing line between different faiths. Thus, by downplaying the importance of doctrine – something he has done fairly consistently throughout his papacy – it’s probable that Francis hopes to smooth the path to interreligious harmony. Just as Francis disapproves of borders between nations, it’s quite likely that he looks upon borders between religions as artificial and unnecessarily divisive. …

But a religion must have a doctrine. The doctrine is the religion. What is a religion if not its doctrine?

Francis frequently shows signs of indifferentism – i.e., the belief that all religions are of equal value.

If this is the case, then Pope Francis probably has no desire to convert the Muslims streaming into Europe. …

Exactly what, then, does he have in mind by encouraging mass migration into Europe? One possibility … is that he envisions a kind of multicultural blending of religions. But in order for this to happen, it would be necessary for the respective faiths to dilute their doctrinal positions. Pope Francis seems quite willing to do this on the Catholic side. …

But what about fundamentalist Muslims? A harmonious world religion dedicated to humanitarian ends would require not only a watering-down of Christianity, but also a considerable moderation of Islam. …

[He claims] that Islam is already – and always has been – a moderate and peaceful faith. Most notably, he asserted … that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence”. …

For decades now, global leaders have been assuring us that Islam means peace, that violence has nothing to do with Islam, and that the vast majority of Muslims are moderate. …

Francis seems to have little anxiety about the Islamization of Europe. Indeed, as evidenced by his encouragement of mass migration, he seems to have no objection to Islamization.

Either because he truly believes the false narrative that Islam is a religion of peace, or because he believes that the self-fulfilling prophecy strategy will create a more moderate Islam, Francis seems to be at peace with the fact that Islam is spreading rapidly.

Whatever he has in mind, it seems that Pope Francis is betting against the odds. …

Whether Francis has been misinformed about Islam or whether he has adopted a strategy of misinformation, he is taking a huge gamble – not only with his own life, but with the lives of millions. When the religion of Muhammad meets the religion of indifferentism, which seems more likely to prevail?

As the “one world religion” must have a doctrine, what would Pope Francis have it be? The only hint we have is in what we know of his own beliefs. The beliefs he holds not at all indifferently: the Liberation Theology that Communist Catholic priests preached in his native Latin America – but was cooked up and fed to them by the Soviet Union.

The Catholic part of Liberation Theology is less evident – if evident at all – than the Communist part.

Whether to Communism or Islam or both, Christianity is losing, and may be on its way to being lost – dissolved perhaps in a “world religion”.

We are not sorry to see a religion lose its grip on sad human gullibility, but we get no satisfaction from the victory of the temporary alliance of Islam and the Left over Christianity. Of the three religions – Christianity, Islam, Communism – Christianity has been the least dreadful in recent times.

The Christian response to Islam 11

If we think our interests may only come first and we don’t care for others, it is a treason of our values, a betrayal of all moral values.”

So said Emmanuel Macron, who is (curiously) the president of France (at a gathering in Paris of heads of state to commemorate the centennial of Armistice Day).

The idea is confused. “Only” come first? How many can come first? And to put one’s own interests first does not exclude “caring for others”.

Macron was defending globalism – though he hesitated to call it that because, he admitted, globalism made many French citizens “nervous”.

He prefers to call it “internationalism”, and in defense of it he condemns nationalism. (Donald Trump – sitting near him at the time – proudly  calls himself a nationalist, and insists on putting  his own country’s interests first as his job absolutely requires him to do, so Macron’s speech was generally taken to be an attack on the US president.)

Because internationalism is in itself a good thing to Macron, he praised the League of Nations (!), the UN (!), and the EU(!). (But not empires.)

And he is passionately keen on every country in the world signing on to the Paris Agreement which would commit them all to saving the planet from burning up in, say, a hundred years’ time. For this they must  give up burning fossil fuels to provide their energy for light and heat, industry, business, transport and communication, and let the wind blow it to them instead. To maintain this utopian ideal over the entire globe, UN sponsors of the Agreement frankly admit that world government will be necessary.

The biggest of all possible international organizations that would be, and so the most desirable to internationalists like President Macron. (It’s too soon to aspire to a Federation of Galaxies. That will come when someone finds how to use wind or solar power for intergalactic travel.)

As well as the global warming alarmists, there’s another group aspiring to world government, not as a federation of nations or creeds, but under its own absolute power – Islam.

Islam does not put its own interests first, allowing others to pursue theirs with equal concentration; it wants to rule humankind all by itself.

To attain its end, it will use force whenever it can. For Islam, force is not a last but a first resort. It will use other, non-violent means, such as infiltration and indoctrination of infidel societies, only when force – outright hot war – is not likely to succeed. But force is never to be abandoned. Intermittently, small acts of violence to terrify enemy societies can, must, and do accompany the non-violent efforts.

The cry is often raised that it is because Christian values have been abandoned in the West that Islam has been able to spread in it, filling as it were a religious vacuum.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

While it is certainly true that Christianity as such has lost its hold over most people in the West – which is to say Western Europe and the countries of the New World, with the exception of a large group of Americans – Christian values are dominating the actions of Western leaders as strongly as ever they did.

Indeed, it is those very Christian values that are betraying the West to Islam.

President Macron speaks for all the globalist Western leaders when he says that to put one’s own country’s interests first is “a treason of our values, a betrayal of all moral values”.

The moral values that he means – that they all mean, including the self-confessed Communists in the EU government – are Christian values: self-denial, self-abasement, serving others before, or rather than, oneself.

Whether or not those are good values for individuals to live by is a matter of opinion. (We say they are not. We say that every one of us is his own, not other people’s, responsibility. Our “own” including our natural dependents.)

But the question here is whether those values ought to be the principles of a state.

It cannot be good for a state to be unselfish; it will fall to the enemy that covets it. It cannot be good for a state to be generous with money; the state has no funds of its own, it holds the money taken in taxes from its citizens in trust, and the obligation of a trustee is to be frugal.

Yet the aspirants to world government, the secular Leftist globalist rulers, are yielding their countries to Islam – in  the name of Christian values.

And the actual Christian leaders, both Catholic and Protestant, in the spirit of Christian selflessness, universal love, forgiveness of enemies, and willing martyrdom, are urging them to do so, bowing to a creed that preaches supremacy and vengefulness –  and the duty to despise Christians.

Christianity bowing to Islam? Yes, all the way down to the execution block. We are witnessing a willing martyrdom of an entire “faith”. Of what used to be called Christendom. (Though many individual Christians, particularly in America, will not comply.)

Andrew Jones writes at Jihad Watch, in the first article of “a series examining ‘Islamist’ influence and infiltration into the various branches of the UK establishment: Church, Monarchy, Military, Security Services, Police, Prison Service, Judiciary, Legislature, Civil Service, state media and banking/corporate interests”. (Read the whole of this article here.)

The UK’s state religion is the Church of England and as such is a centuries-old branch of the political establishment. Now largely bereft of political power, it nonetheless still exerts some soft-power in terms of moral influence in British public life. Headed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, the Church of England has a track record of interfaith dialogue with extremist Muslims.

A former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, advocated the absorption of aspects of Sharia law into UK legislation. Some Muslim groups supported Williams in this, for instance, the Rochdale-based Ramadhan Foundation, an educational and welfare body. They said Williams’ advocacy was “testament to his attempts to understand Islam and promote tolerance and respect between our great faiths”. The same foundation has a history of making outlandish and delusional comments, including referring to Israel as “the new Hitler”. Williams also made the claim at a 2014 conference organized by the supposedly integrationist and progressive Islamic Society of Britain (ISB), that Islam is rejuvenating British values. …

As well-meaning liberals, Williams and Welby engage in interfaith dialogue aiming for a “draw” — they aim for the common ground of understanding among equals. However, Islamic supremacists enter such dialogue with the aim of “winning” — as religious exclusivists, it could not be otherwise, whether they are honest about it or not. Moreover, as Samuel Westrop has noted, “honorable activities do not only attract those with honorable intentions”, and the involvement of extremists poisons the entire interfaith exercise — extremists such as Inter Faith Network members, Jamiat Ulama e Britain (JUB), who are “directly affiliated” with Pakistani seminaries that have close ties to the Taliban. The error of the interfaith template is therefore similar to the equally misguided attempt to engage “Islamists” in the democratic process.  Islam, in the purist 7th century form, advocated by the Muslim Brotherhood and others, is a totalitarian theocratic system and therefore sees democracy as haram. For “Islamists”, engaging with the democratic process is only a means to the end of destroying it from within.

Welby has, in recent years, made numerous pointless attempts at dialogue with those for whom dialogue has a foregone, supremacist conclusion. In 2016, he welcomed Muhammad Naqib ur Rehman to Lambeth Palace to counter “the narrative of extremism and terrorism”, despite Rehman having openly praised acts of terror in Pakistan. In July 2018, Welby hosted the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Shaykh Dr. Ahmad al-Tayyeb, for the “Emerging Peacemakers Conference”. Given the conference title, it is grimly ironic that this is the same al-Tayyeb who in 2015 refused to condemn Islamic State [ISIS] as un-Islamic. Welby, in his capacity as an amateur scholar of Islam compared to al-Tayyeb, contradicted this a year later with his claim that ISIS had “nothing to do with Islam”. Al-Tayyeb also considers apostasy punishable by death and, as head of Al-Azhar, the world’s foremost Sunni university, is party to both incitement against Egypt’s much-persecuted Coptic Christian minority and the promulgation of Sunni jihadism’s ideological underpinning. …

Welby has done much work in the interfaith field with his “friend”, MCB Assistant Secretary General, Ibrahim Mogra. Although moderate in his public pronouncements, Mogra regularly re-tweets posts from the “extremist” advocacy group, Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND), and, as a senior MCB member, is formally linked to many who have openly supported the likes of Bin Laden and Hamas. Furthermore, Mogra has promoted “Islamist” narratives within the British education system by writing a Teacher Handbook on Islam. The handbook includes justifications for amputation punishments, violent jihad, polygamy, slavery and — casting doubt on Mogra’s interfaith work — Islamic supremacist thinking.

It is therefore reasonable to conclude that Archbishop Welby is willingly blind to Islamic extremism and is actively covering for it, for instance, with the false-equivalency that “many faiths, not just Islam” have a problem with radicalisation. Moreover, Welby asserts that it is an irrational “fear of Muslims” among the public which is tearing British society apart, rather than Islamic extremism, which he downplays by warning against “hysteria”. Furthermore, he claimed the number of young Muslims travelling to Syria to fight for Islamic State and other jihadist groups was “extraordinarily small” — it was approximately 800 (including family members).

The UK now faces an ongoing severe terror threat from around 400 fighters who have returned, adding a combat-hardened core to the pool of up to 35,000 potential jihadists already in the country. For Welby, the public is not to believe its lying eyes that it is his interfaith partners who sow the ideological seeds which sprout into sectarian apartheid and acts of terror.

So the leaders of one of the largest Protestant denominations, Anglicanism, “cover” for Islam. In other words, they capitulate to it.

So do other Protestant churches, but they don’t all influence government policy as the Anglican leaders do in Britain.

The leader of the world’s Catholics, Pope Francis, courts Islam in the person of prominent Imams. (See here and here.)

Broadly, the Christian response to militant, advancing, conquering Islam is to yield to it, and to support governments that yield to it.

And almost all the secular rulers of the West (the most important exception being President Trump), are yielding to it. Because Christian values have soaked the spirit of the West for two thousand years, and every secular ideology the West has embraced, even and especially Communism, claim those values as their own: Put others – the group – before yourself. Put the foreigner before your own people. Give your countries to those who want them. Give them to Islam.

Blame yourselves when they slaughter and terrorize your citizens. Do not blame them.

But those who rule would rather you did not call this Christianity.

Call it anti-racism. Or globalism. Or internationalism.

Muslim judges set a Christian woman free 4

This is very good news.

A death sentence hung over Aasiya Noreen – called “Asia Bibi”, meaning “Asia Woman”, by Muslims and the international press – for blasphemy against Muhammad. But today (October 31, 2018) an appeal court in Pakistan set her free.

She has not gone unpunished. She has been in solitary confinement in a dark prison cell for eight years.

We posted her story recently here.

And here is our Facebook summary of the Channel NewsAsia report of the court ruling and its immediate consequences:

Pakistan’s Supreme Court today freed a Christian woman from a death sentence for blasphemy against Islam and overturned her conviction, sparking angry protests and death threats from an ultra-religious party and cheers from human rights advocates. Asia Bibi, a mother of four, had been living on death row since 2010 when she became the first woman to be sentenced to death by hanging under Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy laws. She was condemned for allegedly making derogatory remarks about Islam after Muslim co-workers objected to her drinking water from the same cup as they drank from because she was not Muslim. The case has been a source of division within Pakistan, where two politicians who sought to help Asia Bibi were assassinated. Supporters of the Islamist political party Tehreek-e-Labaik (TLP), which was founded to support blasphemy laws, immediately condemned the ruling and blocked roads in major cities, pelting police with stones in the eastern city of Lahore. The TLP’s leadership called for the death of Chief Justice Saqib Nasir and two other judges on the panel. Street protests and blockades of major roads were spreading by mid-afternoon, paralyzing parts of Islamabad, Lahore and other cities.

Chief Justice Saqib Nasir and the other two judges are brave men. Their lives are now in jeopardy.

Posted under Christianity, Islam, Law, Muslims, Pakistan by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, October 31, 2018

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Secret sacraments of rape and sodomy 8

Religion is the prostitution of reason and the pornography of the intellect.

Why then is it to be wondered at that priests are lechers?

Christianity teaches hypocrisy. It commands that Christians love everybody and forgive all offense – against human nature. Priests of the Roman Catholic Christian denomination are required to be celibate – against human nature. Christians do not of course love everybody, do not forgive all offense; and Roman Catholic priests indulge in every variety of concupiscence.

St. Paul, the author of the Christian religion and its first moral instructor, had this to say about marriage, sexual intercourse, chastity, and homosexuality:

1 Corinthians 7:1,2,7-9 King James Version:

7  Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. …

For I would that all men were [celibate] even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.

I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I.

But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

And this:

2 Corinthians 11:2 King James Version:

For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

And this:

1 Corinthians 6:18 King James Version:

18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

And this:

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 King James Version:

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind … will inherit the kingdom of God.

That last quotations is made more explicit on the sin of homosexuality in other translations from the original Greek:

Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men …  – New International Version

Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality …  – New Living Translation

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality … – English Standard Version

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who submit to or perform homosexual acts …- Berean Literal Bible

Or do you not know that the unrighteous ones will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals …  -New American Standard Bible

Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, or males who have sex with males …  – Christian Standard Bible

Have ye not known that the unrighteous the reign of God shall not inherit? be not led astray; neither whoremongers, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor sodomites … -Young’s Literal Translation

It’s quite clear. Homosexuals will go to Hell.

Do Catholic priests believe it?

Seems not.

Vox (along with numerous other news outlets) reports:

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court made public one of the broadest-ever investigations into Catholic clerical sex abuse of minors in the United States … The document, a 1,400-page grand jury report, is the result of an 18-month probe by Pennsylvania state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, and names at least 300 priests accused of child sex abuse by more than 1,000 victims throughout the state. …

Shapiro told reporters at a news conference that the report details “systematic coverup by senior church officials in Pennsylvania and at the Vatican”. 

The latest revelation comes at the end of a summer already marked by scandal for the Catholic Church. Last month, former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, previously the archbishop of Washington, DC, and among the highest-ranking Vatican officials in America, was forced to resign his cardinalship following numerous accusations of sex abuse from both adult seminarians and children. …

Earlier this year, Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s highest-ranking official, took a leave of absence to face criminal charges of child sex abuse in his native Australia.

These numerous high-profile cases have cast a wider media spotlight on an ongoing story of abuse, secrecy, and cover-up that dates back decades.

The Pennsylvania files, though, represent the most wide-ranging investigation yet into Catholic clerical child sexual abuse in the United States. Despite the fact that the report covers just six of Pennsylvania’s eight dioceses — just a fraction of the dioceses in America overall — it suggests a widespread and large-scale operation on the part of church hierarchy nationwide to cover up the behavior of offending priests and help them escape punishment.

The report, which is often graphic and disturbing, details widespread sexual abuse and rape by priests of both female and male minors, many of whom used the language and rhetoric of their office to convince their victims that their sexual abuse was “holy” or desired by God. …

The charges detailed in the report go back as far as 30 years, and implicate 300 priests in the abuse of more than 1,000 victims. (The report stresses that the actual number of victims and abusers in the state is probably much higher, given how common it is for victims to refuse to come forward.)

The report also implicates senior priests and bishops in knowingly reshuffling offenders from parish to parish, allowing them to continue their abuse unchecked. …

The report details a number of disturbing and lurid cases, including a priest accused of raping a 7-year-old girl in the hospital after she had her tonsils removed, and a ring of priests in the Pittsburgh area who traded pornographic photographs of their victims. …

For more on horrific cases, see the NYT report here.

Example:

The grand jury reported that it had uncovered a ring of predatory priests in the Pittsburgh diocese who “shared intelligence or information regarding victims”, created pornography using the victims, and exchanged victims among themselves. “This group of priests used whips, violence and sadism in raping their victims,” the report states.

What is the reaction of the Marxist Pope Francis to the report?

Breitbart tells us:

Pope Francis is reportedly “embittered” by allegations that he knowingly promoted a serial sex-offending cardinal but has no plans to retire.

The Italian news agency ANSA cited “close collaborators of the pope” Wednesday in its report of the pontiff’s reaction to an explosive 11-page testimony by the former papal nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.

In his report, the archbishop said that at least since 2013 Pope Francis knew of the serial homosexual abuse perpetrated by U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, along with sanctions imposed on his ministry by Pope Benedict XVI, and yet lifted those sanctions and promoted McCarrick to a position of influence, consulting him for the naming of future bishops.

Confronted with the charges by the media, Pope Francis has adopted a strategy of silence, refusing to utter a “single word” about the veracity of the allegations. …

While avoiding the subject of the grave allegations leveled against him, the pope instead returned to one of his favorite topics: care for the environment.

About which St. Paul had nothing to say.

At the end of his General Audience on Wednesday, Francis announced that next Saturday is “the fourth World Day of Prayer for the care of creation”.  In this year’s Message, which will be released Saturday, the pope said he would focus on “the question of water, a primary asset to be protected and made available to all”.

By pivoting from sex abuse to the environment, Pope Francis confirmed recent statements by the archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal Blase Cupich, who told NBC News Tuesday that answering the allegations brought by the former nuncio was not a priority for the pope since he had more important things to worry about, such as the environment and immigration.

“The pope has a bigger agenda. He’s gotta get on with other things, of talking about the environment and protecting migrants and carrying on the work of the Church,” the cardinal said.

Never mind the suffering of children at the hands of his clergy. Never mind the breaking of priestly vows. Francis is a Marxist before he is a Catholic. And the proper concern of a Marxist is “the environment” and the protection of the Muslim hordes now raping Europe.

Nasty as the revelations of the report are, there is nothing surprising in them.

Nor is there anything hard to understand in a Pope’s unconcern for the victims of his Church and his religion. ‘Twas ever thus. And how could it be otherwise?

Out of the atheist closet – and into the mosque? 0

Britons – and most indigenous Europeans – have given up believing in “God” just in time to submit to “Allah”.

Of course British and European atheists don’t see it that way. The men don’t think they’ll be forced into mosques or to pray five times daily while groveling on the ground and banging their foreheads on it, letting their  wives and daughters out only if they’re encased in black tents, having their daughters’ reproduction organs mutilated and killing them themselves if they are raped or letting the neighbors half bury them in a hole and stone them to death, have their own hands cut off if they borrow from the till, and so on … or alternatively choose to hand over their earnings to the Islamic government and live in abject poverty.

Breathe deeply the air of freedom, British and European atheists! It will be possible only for a little while.

Here’s the first Member of Parliament to declare himself an atheist. While the shadows of Christian darkness have not entirely gone from corners of his world, he feels safe to admit that he’s godless.

James Arbuthnot writes at The Spectator (UK):

I’m a Conservative MP who doesn’t believe in God. Polls suggest that my lack of belief puts me in the same position as most people in the country. So what’s the big deal?

The reaction to my saying this has been mixed. One was a comment under an article in the Independent – ‘What kind of a pussy MP keeps his faith quiet just because there is pressure to do so?’  The answer, self-evidently, is this kind of pussy, the kind that wanted to be selected as a Conservative candidate and then elected as an MP.

… Peter Walker …  when he was a Minister answering questions in the House, was asked something about whether his motivation for supporting a particularly right-wing policy had been sycophancy or cowardice, and his answer was, ‘Almost certainly both’. It was a well-received joke (I was in the House at the time) which no doubt contained a kernel of truth.  And I would give the same answer in relation to my keeping quiet about not believing in God.

My lack of belief would not have prevented my election – the people of North East Hampshire are a generous lot – but it could well have stopped my being selected as a candidate, a notoriously competitive arena.  Conservative activists who used to do the selecting tend to be older and more traditionally minded – this is no surprise.

Another reaction has been, ‘Oh dear. Why did he need to say anything?’ This rather confirms what I have said.  In politics, the pressure of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is similar to that applied in the armed forces – and in some families – about being gay.  There’s nothing spoken about this pressure, but everybody knows it exists.

I don’t know of any other Conservative MP or candidate who has admitted publicly to not believing in God.  And yet, if the statistics are correct, only around a third of the country does believe in a God or Gods.  Either that makes Tory MPs completely unrepresentative (of course that’s possible, but I don’t myself believe it to be true) or it suggests that the Conservatives might benefit from more openness, in order to be more in touch with and representative of the electorate.

They have little to fear. The vast bulk of the reaction I have received, and not only from those who do not believe in God, has been ‘Well done. About time we had some rationality in politics!

Oh, James! On whom do you call now to save your gracious Queen?

On whom will you call in the coming years to save your gracious King?

Will he too kneel to Allah? Or be replaced with a caliph?

 

(Hat-tip to our British associate Chauncey Tinker)

Posted under Atheism, Britain, Christianity, Europe, Islam, United Kingdom by Jillian Becker on Friday, August 24, 2018

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God the Father takes a selfie 8

For a bit of fun on a Sunday –

We quote two articles from Inside Edition.

First:

God

What does God look like to you? That was the question raised by a University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill study assessing America’s take on the Christian creator.

Their conclusion: God is an average white guy, according to the majority of 511 people, 74 percent of whom were Caucasian.

Participants were shown hundreds of randomly varying face-pairs and were tasked with selecting the face from each pair that looked more like their vision of God …

Researchers combined all the selected faces to assemble a composite “face of God”, the site says. The composite appears average-looking and white, with twinkling eyes.

The study found that some black Americans polled also saw God as a white male, though not all of them.

“People’s tendency to believe in a God that looks like them is consistent with an egocentric bias,” Professor Kurt Gray, a senior author told the College of Arts & Sciences’ site. “People often project their beliefs and traits onto others, and our study shows that God’s appearance is no different — people believe in a God who not only thinks like them, but also looks like them.”

God was also perceived differently down ideological lines.

While liberals tended to see God as more feminine, younger and more loving, conservatives saw God as more Caucasian and more powerful-looking.

Next (but with an illustration of our choosing):

 

God’s son Jesus

What did Jesus Christ really look like?

He has historically been portrayed as a light-skinned man with wavy brown hair down to his shoulders, with a full beard and moustache.

The look has been prominently featured in churches around the world and reinforced in classic Hollywood movies like King of Kings and The Passion of the Christ, as well as hit TV shows like The Bible.

Although the image can be traced back to the 3rd century, Dr. Tom Beaudoin, a professor of religion at Fordham University, explained the depiction is inaccurate.

“Jesus was modeled as a combination of a Greek god and a philosopher,” Beaudoin explained in an interview with Inside Edition.

He said many historians believe that the fair-skinned Jesus was actually inspired by the heir to the Borgia clan in Italy in the 15th century, Caesar Borgia. The Italian Cardinal was famed for his handsome features, and his father, Pope Alexander VI, commissioned Leonardo da Vinci to paint a portrait of Jesus modeled after his son.

But, citing historian Joan Taylor and her latest book, What Did Jesus Look Like?, Beaudoin speculated the real Jesus probably looked much different.

He said historians believe Jesus was much darker of skin, and stood at only 5 feet tall. He would have also worn his beard and hair short.

Instead of a long robe, Jesus likely wore a knee-length tunic with a short mantle or shawl, and wore leather sandals.

“He would have presented very typically, she argues, as a Jewish man of his day, which is quite different than how Jesus is often imagined in Christian churches today,” Beaudoin explained. “Think about Jewish people in Iraq today and this is how we should imagine Jesus. He would have looked like what we think of Middle Eastern presenting people today.”

Despite that characterization, Beaudoin speculates that the image of a light-skinned Jesus persisted to reflect the demographics of some churches in the United States.

“It reflects the whiteness of Christianity in the United States,” Beaudoin said. “We tend to have a very white Jesus in the United States, especially in white churches.”

So to believers in an anthropomorphic universe-creator, God is no longer, or not so much, an old man with a white beard sitting on a cloud. Now he just looks like lots of guys. Not old. Clean shaven. Amiable. Ordinary.

A face snapped in many a selfie.  

And though his son Jesus is still most often depicted as a pretty youth with beautifully shining shampooed well-brushed hair (brown, reddish or blond), and matching neatly trimmed beard and mustache, some believers, in need of verisimilitude, prefer to imagine a Middle Eastern type of Jew in the period of the Emperor Tiberius. Such a one as we show above. A mature man. Only a stumpy five feet in height? If they say so. Hair? He might have worn the hair on his head short like a Roman, but his beard would have been full, at most lightly trimmed. Short tunic like a Roman, even though no longer a youth? Hmm. More likely a long garment with, yes, a mantle – like the pious man in the picture. Sandals, sure. But maybe boots in winter.

And after Jesus rose in the flesh to rule enthroned at the right hand of God in perfect harmony with the not-so-old man? What did he put on his body then? What garment, made of what heavenly cloth – or none? With what razor do they trim or shave their beards?

What air do those four nostrils breathe? What divine foods pass those lips, growing in what gardens or wandering in what forests, and gathered, hunted, cooked by what ethereal processes? Do they digest as we digest, only with unaging entrails and no requirement for sewers?  What immortal hands made their thrones? Their own, that made the planets and the stars? And do they sit there through all the ages, and after time eternally? Do those bodies need no exercise?

And what of the Holy Ghost? Has anyone done a study of how believers visualize him nowadays? Is he still a “he”? Is he still a white dove? White? Are you sure?

Political religions and the politics of religion 1

Robert Spencer is an Eastern Orthodox Christian, so we make allowance for his mistaken belief that our Western civilization is “Judeo-Christian” rather than the product of the Enlightenment.

We quote him because he is expert on the history, texts and teaching of Islam.

Here he talks about Pope Francis appointing himself a defender of that intensely anti-Christian religion:

So the old joke question “Is the Pope Catholic?” is no longer funny. The serious answer is “No.”

The Pope’s opinions derive from various political religions, among them: Marxism, New Leftism, Liberation Theology, and Islam.

Let’s review what the Pope is defending when he defends Islam:

The subjugation of women, including the religion-sanctioned beating of wives, sex slavery, honor killings, and the stoning to death of women and little girls who have been raped

A death sentence for anyone who leaves the faith 

A  death sentence for homosexuals

Intense anti-Semitism; anti-Jew, anti-Christian, anti-Yezidi, anti-polytheist, anti-rival-Muslim-sect terrorism, persecution and enslavement

Routine torture of prisoners and extreme torture to death even of civilians, notably: slow beheading with a knife; stoning; burying alive (of children as well as adults); burning alive; drowning in boiling oil; the amputation of limbs; crucifixion; the throwing to the ground of homosexuals from high places; starvation.

So to defend Islam is to defend oppression, savage cruelty and murder. Judged by contemporary Western criteria, Islam is a deeply immoral religion.

Oppression, cruelty and murder are not, however, against traditional Catholic practice. Catholics can defend the use of torture and murder on the grounds that in the past the Roman Catholic Church needed to have people burnt alive in order to discourage heresy. For hundreds of years the Catholic Church tortured and murdered untold numbers of men, women and children who were guilty of nothing worse than a personal opinion that was not in conformity with Church dogma.

But not now. Now the Pope is virtue-signaling without reference to – and, he must suppose, without taint from – the past.

Now he has decided that capital punishment is “inadmissable”.   

This is a political decision against the teaching of the Roman Catholic religion:

Prior to the changes announced through the Vatican press office Thursday, the Catholic Catechism taught that recourse to the death penalty was not to be “excluded” as a legitimate punishment “if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.”

The Pope probably intended his ruling to have an effect chiefly on the laws of the United States, where capital punishment is still available to judges as a punishment for murder.  

And his decision may be taken notice of in the US.

But it will not make any difference in Islam. On that he relies. If he thought it at all likely to offend those stoners, burners, crucifiers, boilers, buriers, throwers from heights, beheaders and amputators, he would be very unlikely to announce it.

Possessing a fine talent for cognitive dissonance, Francis must be confident that his condemnation of capital punishment will not make his defense of Islam into a bad joke.

Posted under Christianity, Islam, jihad, Judaism, Muslims, Religion general by Jillian Becker on Sunday, August 5, 2018

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