Monday, April 20, 2015

Politics and Religion

We are told that there is a 'seperation' between Church and State.  Can't say as I notice it too much, m'self. Indeed it has been remarked upon in the Tavern that Politicians are increasingly interfering with religious expression, especially in America. 

Some religions seem to be imposing their own expressions on States too. 

We cannot avoid the Muslim Problem, although in recent months there seems to have been a mixed response by the political leaders, most of whom seem to be in denial. 

One, however, just cannot seem to help himself in trying to blame anyone but the Muslims for the mayhem. 

President Obama.

I will come to him in a moment. But first let a very articulate and passionate lady have the floor to set the scene. Brigitte Gabriel. Here she addresses the United Nations. Not that many will listen and fewer of the delegates take any notice.

But YOU should.

The horrors she describes are just a small example.

And the response by the white House? The other leaders? Say in Britain?.

Ahh, Britain. The only western country where they claim seperation but actually have a State Religion. Hmmm. Not that it does much, but.....

Obama’s ‘Christianity’: 
A political tool to silence Christians

For all his faults on the subject, at least British Prime Minister David Cameron has talked about Christian persecution in the Muslim world. Barack Obama actually uses and abuses Christianity to shut down the discussion altogether. What a disastrous failure of leadership. Or is it?
Doing his best for his Allah
Raymond Ibrahim stood in the bar.....
In the United States, where Americans are used to hearing their president always invoke Christianity as a way to silence Christians, British Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent Easter message was moderately refreshing.
Among other things, Cameron made it a point to say, “that we should feel proud to say, ‘This is a Christian country.’ Yes, we’re a nation that embraces, welcomes and accepts all faiths and none, but we are still a Christian country.”

The context of Cameron’s statement, it should be recalled, is a UK with a large, and in parts intolerant and aggressive Muslim populace -- some among whom seek to treat the UK’s indigenous Christians the way the Islamic world’s indigenous Christians are habitually treated, that is, subjugated, enslaved, raped, and murdered.

In fact, Cameron touched on the phenomenon of Christian persecution in mostly Muslim lands:
“We have a duty to speak out about the persecution of Christians around the world too. It is truly shocking that in 2015 there are still Christians being threatened, tortured, even killed because of their faith.
“From Egypt to Nigeria, Libya to North Korea.  Across the Middle East Christians have been hounded out of their homes, forced to flee from village to village; many of them forced to renounce their faith or brutally murdered.  To all those brave Christians in Iraq and Syria who practice their faith or shelter others, we will say, ‘We stand with you.’”
While one may argue that Cameron is all talk -- after all, the UK’s foreign policies, like America’s, have only exacerbated the plight of Christians in the Middle East -- it is still refreshing to hear such honest talk, since here in the U.S. one seldom gets even that from President Obama.
Consider what Obama -- who is on record saying 
“we are no longer a Christian nation,” 
and who never notes the Islamic identity of murderers or the Christian identity of their victims, and who ignored a recent UN session on Christian persecution -- had to say about Christians at the Easter Prayer Breakfast:

“On Easter, I do reflect on the fact that as a Christian, I am supposed to love. And I have to say that sometimes when I listen to less than loving expressions by Christians, I get concerned.”

This is in keeping with his earlier statements calling on Americans in general, and Christians in particular, to be nonjudgmental and instead to have “humility” and “doubt” themselves.

For example, during the National Prayer Breakfast last February, after Obama alluded to the atrocities committed by the Islamic State -- which include beheadings, crucifixions, rape, slavery, and immolations -- he said:
“I believe there are a few principles that can guide us, particularly those of us who profess to believe. And, first, we should start with some basic humility.
“I believe that the starting point of faith is some doubt -- not being so full of yourself and so confident that you are right and that God speaks only to us, and doesn’t speak to others, that God only cares about us and doesn’t care about others, that somehow we alone are in possession of the truth.”
Humility, of course, is a well-recognized Christian virtue. It is the exact opposite of pride; a modest if not humble opinion of oneself, one’s shortcomings.
But what does that -- exercising humility -- have to do with our understanding of Islamic violence and terrorism, which was, after all, the topic Obama was discussing immediately before he began pontificating about humility?
Are we not to judge and condemn Islamic violence -- since we’re apparently no better, as the president made clear when he 
told Christians to get off their “high horse” 
and remember the Crusades and Inquisition?

Furthermore, while Christian humility encourages self-doubt, it does not encourage doubt concerning right and wrong, good and evil.

The same Christ who advocated humility repeatedly condemned evil behavior, called on people to repent of their sins, and even hurled tables in righteous anger.
The point here is that whenever Obama invokes Christianity and Christian virtues, it is almost always in the context of trying to silence Christians
telling them to “love” more -- that is, to never judge or condemn anything, and instead be doormats ever “turning the other cheek”; 
telling them to remember the historic “crimes” of other Christians -- even if they are a thousand years old and no crimes at all -- that is, telling Christians not to criticize Islam because they too live in glass houses.

This is the “liberal Christianity” which Obama and others hail, because its chief purpose is to silence Christians from condemning and combatting what are otherwise clear evils.

Christians are being persecuted by Muslims all around the world? That’s okay, seems to be Obama’s response; just turn the other cheek -- have some more “humility” and “doubt,” show their Muslim persecutors some more “love” -- and everything will be set aright.
Obama is not just an excuser of Islam and a blamer of Christianity, he is an active destabiliser.  

On the matter of that 'equivalencing' of the crusades with islamic terrorism, Sheila Liaugminas had some things to say too.

Invoking the Crusades
Did Obama do a moral equivalency of Christian Crusaders with Islamic terrorists the other day?
Well, yes. But he won’t call them “Islamic”, though that’s what they call themselves.
Expert analysts are talking daily now about the president’s refusal to address the threat we face globally. Time after time he’s had the opportunity, notably in the State of the Union address in January.
But in addressing the National Prayer Breakfast last week, Obama turned it into a chance to call religious extremism out. Of sorts.
In his comments at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, President Obama condemned violence in the name of religion and pointed to religious groups other than the Islamic State that have perpetrated acts of terror in human history.
Note, other than the Islamic State, which has mutilated, crucified, beheaded, raped, enslaved, burned alive, beaten to death, tortured and terrorized countless populations of innocent women, children, men, elderly, anyone and everyone in their path.
Obama continued with this astonishing statement:
“Lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place,” the president said, “remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”
Oh geesh. This is more than a ‘here we go again’ moment. This is critical mass. The president of the United States. Going there.
Our news is increasingly made up of one outrageous act of barbarism committed in the name of Allah after another…
Against this backdrop of horror, our President feels the need to step back and take the long view. Instead of talking about Islam’s connection to the slavery of young girls right now, the President wants to lecture us on Christianity’s connection to slavery 150 years ago. 
Instead of condemning ISIS’ undeniable connection to Muhammad right now, he wants to re-focus our attention on the Crusaders and the Inquisition. 
Instead of condemning the Charlie Hebdo attackers Islamic extremism in a clear voice he wants to also condemn those who insult the faith of others (as if these two things were equally problematic).
This is not a much needed exercise in humility. 
This is a dodge, a cop out.
The ongoing threat to peace and human dignity from religion is not coming from Christianity, nor does it stem from Christian arrogance. 
The Christians being slaughtered in Nigeria, in Syria and Iraq, and in Egypt do not need a lecture on humility. 
The President ought to drop the moral equivalence and confront the threat we face in the here and now. And if he feels the need to lecture on religious humility, there is one religion that desperately needs to grasp the concept, right now in this century. In case it’s not already clear, that religion is not Christianity.
So in the name of Christianity, and for the purpose of clarifying the history of the Crusades now that we have this window opportunity, here are a couple of good articles by academics who know what they’re talking about.
Author and historian Thomas Madden.
Most people in the West do not believe that they have been prosecuting a continuous Crusade against Islam since the Middle Ages. But most do believe that the Crusades started the problems that plague and endanger us today. Westerners in general (and Catholics in particular) find the Crusades a deeply embarrassing episode in their history. As the Ridley Scott movie Kingdom of Heaven graphically proclaimed, the Crusades were unprovoked campaigns of intolerance preached by deranged churchmen and fought by religious zealots against a sophisticated and peaceful Muslim world. According to the Hollywood version, the blind violence of the Crusades gave birth to jihad, as the Muslims fought to defend themselves and their world. And for what? The city of Jerusalem, which was both “nothing and everything,” a place filled with religion that “drives men mad.” 
On September 11, 2001, there were only a few professional historians of the Crusades in America. I was the one who was not retired. As a result, my phone began ringing and didn’t stop for years. In the hundreds of interviews I have given since that terrible day, the most common question has been, “How did the Crusades lead to the terrorist attacks against the West today?” I always answered: “They did not. 
The Crusades were a medieval phenomenon with no connection to modern Islamist terrorism.”
But you have to be open to learning the truth to accept that and stay with the article, short as it is. Madden knows this, too well.
It is generally thought that Christians attacked Muslims without provocation to seize their lands and forcibly convert them. 
"The Crusaders were Europe’s lacklands and ne’er-do-wells, who marched against the infidels out of blind zealotry and a desire for booty and land. As such, the Crusades betrayed Christianity itself. They transformed “turn the other cheek” into “kill them all; God will know his own.”
Every word of this is wrong. 
Historians of the Crusades have long known that it is wrong, but they find it extraordinarily difficult to be heard across a chasm of entrenched preconceptions.
Which obviously includes the president.
Madden continued teaching, for those who were open to learning. Here’s a piece he wrote two years later.
"Many historians had been trying for some time to set the record straight on the Crusades — misconceptions are all too common. These historians are not revisionists, but mainstream scholars offering the fruit of several decades of very careful, very serious scholarship. For them, current interest is a “teaching moment,” an opportunity to explain the Crusades while people are actually listening. It won’t last long, so here goes…
Misconceptions about the Crusades are all too common. The Crusades are generally portrayed as a series of holy wars against Islam led by power-mad popes and fought by religious fanatics. They are supposed to have been the epitome of self-righteousness and intolerance, a black stain on the history of the Catholic Church in particular and Western civilization in general. A breed of proto-imperialists, the Crusaders introduced Western aggression to the peaceful Middle East and then deformed the enlightened Muslim culture, leaving it in ruins. For variations on this theme, one need not look far. See, for example, Steven Runciman’s famous three-volume epic, History of the Crusades, or the BBC/A&E documentary, The Crusades, hosted by Terry Jones. Both are terrible history yet wonderfully entertaining.
So what is the truth about the Crusades? Scholars are still working some of that out. But much can already be said with certainty. For starters, the Crusades to the East were in every way defensive wars. They were a direct response to Muslim aggression — an attempt to turn back or defend against Muslim conquests of Christian lands.
Christians in the eleventh century were not paranoid fanatics. Muslims really were gunning for them. 
While Muslims can be peaceful, Islam was born in war and grew the same way. From the time of Mohammed, the means of Muslim expansion was always the sword. Muslim thought divides the world into two spheres, the Abode of Islam and the Abode of War. Christianity — and for that matter any other non-Muslim religion — has no abode."
It’s an extensive piece, well worth reading to learn the history of the Crusades. Take the time for it, too few people in media and politics will.
But they should get this from Madden’s conclusion:
"From the safe distance of many centuries, it is easy enough to scowl in disgust at the Crusades. Religion, after all, is nothing to fight wars over. But we should be mindful that our medieval ancestors would have been equally disgusted by our infinitely more destructive wars fought in the name of political ideologies. And yet, both the medieval and the modern soldier fight ultimately for their own world and all that makes it up. Both are willing to suffer enormous sacrifice, provided that it is in the service of something they hold dear, something greater than themselves. Whether we admire the Crusaders or not, it is a fact that the world we know today would not exist without their efforts. The ancient faith of Christianity, with its respect for women and antipathy toward slavery, not only survived but flourished. "
But we have the most articulate President, equiped with his teleprompter, revising history for us and blaming the victims.

Thank goodness some people are ready and willing to call him out.

I call him Evil.

Yes, I know. It is not a fashionable word. 

But let me give the last (but one) word to the lady. She does not need a teleprompter.



  1. Very little to add here.

    Furthermore, while Christian humility encourages self-doubt, it does not encourage doubt concerning right and wrong, good and evil.

    A theme close to my heart.

    1. Indeed. And a theme very much at the centre of the PC attack. The cultural Marxists would have it that there are no 'right and wrong': They would have us live without 'discrimination' between Good and Evil. Judgement is an 'oppressive' concept, inducing 'guilt' and 'shame'. The soul and conscience are pierced.


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